Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Eight, entitled "Of Stresses, Song And Otherwise", is the eighth installment of Hiveswap Friendship Simulator, a series of "loosely-canonical" Hiveswap spinoff visual novels in the style of dating sim games, but termed "friendship simulators" instead due to their focus on platonic friendships instead of romance. The befriendable characters in this installment (first introduced in the Troll Call) are Tyzias Entykk and Chixie Roixmr. As with all Friendsim installments, Volume Eight was developed in Ren'Py, and the volume's development credit is given to Mint Chipleaf, presumably alongside David Turnball.
As with all other volumes, it is sold as $0.99 DLC for Volume One. It was also made available on the Google Play Store for the same amount.
You muse upon your past experiences, wishing that you had some sensible footwear and better clothes (you're still clad in Tagora's bathrobe), as well as reminding yourself not to get too excited at the prospect of making new friends.
You notice Tyzias leaving her hive with a mountain of papers and books in one arm, a mug held in the other. Too engrossed in her own problems, she doesn't notice you at all. Tyzias trips over a rock on the sidewalk, dropping all her items sans the mug in the process. Grumbling to herself, Tyzias gathers all her belongings while you contenplate the possibility of friendship. You then cautiously make your way to her side, and begin helping her with her scattered items after she gives you the greenlight to give her a hand. Upon noticing a spiked gavel embossed on the cover of one of the books, you get nervous and take a better look at Tyzias. Once you come to the conclusion that she's just a lawyer, you aren't too enthused with the idea of being pals with her.
- If you choose to stand there paralyzed by your own volition, Tyzias will sarcastically thank you for your help—i.e. doing absolutey nothing. Irritated, Tyzias gets to her feet and snatches the book out of your hand, then lambastes you for getting in her way. Despite not telling you to shove off, Tyzias stops acknowledging your presence and you get the sense that friendship with her is no longer a thing. >GAME OVER
- If you help her pick up more papers, Tyzias will pull herself together and aid you in the process of gathering all her fallen documents. Almost immediately Tyzias grumbles that she doesn't have time for this sort of nonsense, then reminds you to make sure a particular collection of notes are in the red folder. As you are still relatively new to the Alternian alphabet, you begin to get quite nervous. When Tyzias casually remarks that you still aren't able to read in Alternian, you are quite stunned with her astute observation. She then reveals that you don't look much like a troll to begin with, and that she's actually heard of you as teals are known to talk to one another. Flipping through a book, she laments that she would probably get a verbal lashing from her group mate for dropping half of their project in a ditch. You go back to sorting through her papers, hoping that you are doing a reasonably good job at it. You are quite relieved when Tyzias approves of your progress, mentioning that a certain someone claimed that you were quick to pick things up. After she introduces herself, you decide that perhaps sorting through all her files on the sidewalk isn't a particularly good idea. When a strong gust sends all the newly organized papers into chaos again, Tyzias lets out a frustrated yell while you scramble around snatching papers out of the air. Looking at how exhausted and vexed she is, you decide that maybe it's your turn to take the initiative.
- Should you suggest that she take a small break, she will begrudgingly agree with you and ask what else could be done for the night. A plan already in mind, you lump all her dropped papers together and let Tyzias dump it in her hive for later. She comes out of her hive with her mug and only one book, and you lead her to your private little hangout in the outskirts of town. Tyzias then pointedly asks whether she looks like the sort who would appreciate sternuous outdoor activity, but you decide that she's the sort who would complain no matter what, so you offer to take her book when making the climb up. Once up in the dilapidated tower, she notes that it was probably a watchtower used by the Condesce in the past. You and Tyzias take a seat on a ledge overlooking town, and you are alarmed to see how miserable she is when talking about Alternia's brutal caste system. In an attempt to lighten the mood, you tell her that since she's a teal life wouldn't be too harsh on her, but her dour mood still lingers. She goes on to explain that even though her current position does grant her benefits, it doesn't make the system any better, and expresses distaste that she is also forced to uphold the system itself. Tyzias moans that being a legislacerator is basically mandatory for her caste, and that there's already enough cruelty on Alternia without the biased system in play. Not liking how depressing the conversation is, you try to be positive and enquire whether there is anything else Tyzias can aspire for. She tells you of two historical figures that tried to change Alternian society for the better, though their attempts were crushed in the end. After a bit of pondering, she shares some of her ideas: to become a fully flegded legislacerator with real power and abuse some loopholes she found in Alternian law to shake up the system and start real change. Tyzias goes on to say that sitting by and watching the cruelty take place in her home planet is more than she can bear, and really wishes to start positive change. When the player tells Tyzias that back on Earth, the accused has a defense, she gets excited, but her elation is short lived when the player adds that the justice system on Earth doesn't always work for everyone. Despite being somewhat deflated with that realization, Tyzias still expresses that she wouldn't mind fighting against oppresion with you by her side, and that she would do all that she can to help those who have the real skills to start a rebellion. After you cheer her up with a quip, she offers you a drink out of her mug. Hesitant, you look at her for askance, and decide to take a swig when she reassures you that it's not anything lethal. You are stunned to find out that it's just water, and Tyzias reveals that she acts this way to fool people into thinking she's somewhat deranged. Tyzias begins yawning, and you offer her a pile of blankets to take a nap on. She agrees, and you take watch while she rests. >VICTORY
- Should you offer to help organize her stuff in a less windy area, Tyzias concurs with your sentiment and begins leading you to the bookhive she'd meant to go to. When you wonder whether teals are the nerd caste—most of the trolls in the bookhive are teals—Tyzias will half-heartedly admonish you for your choice of words, though she admits that they are, in a sense. When you get nervous about being spotted, Tyzias reassures you that being picked on or hunted down probably won't happen with her by your side. You ask her what sort of project she's working on, and Tyzias explains for a bit before cutting herself off upon seeing your glazed expression. She then gives you the short version: it's a boring and tedious assignment from her legislacerator class, and it's extremely hard to find sources that aren't altered by fuchsias. Tagora then approaches you both, and makes a snide remark about Tyzias' dishevelled appearance. Annoyed, Tyzias pointedly asks Tagora to leave, since he'd already done his part and she's not interested in his offer. Tagora relents, exchanges an obscure hand gesture with Tyzias and leaves after asking you to swing by later. Tyzias exasperatedly explains that Tagora's a classmate, nothing more, and gets back to sorting through her papers. After a while, she notices that a particular handwritten page is missing, and doubles her efforts in hunting it down. You tell her that you could help her recreate the lost page, but she informs you that those were some personal notes on a very sensitive topic she'd found. Even though it wasn't something she intended to submit with her assignment, it was very important to her and its loss sends her into spiralling despair. She also expresses fear at being caught once her handwriting is recognized, and laments not being able to do anything if she is culled. Feeling guilty, you admit that you might have let that particular page blow away while you were distracted. Tyzias berates herself for trusting you, and you feel outright horrible when she tries her best to suppress her tears. Tyzias takes a moment to compose herself then gathers all her things on the table as she intends to retrace her steps to search for the lost page. You jump in to help, but she rebuffs your assistance and leaves without turning back. >GAME OVER
You express minor distaste over your current attire, and wish you thought of asking Elwurd for one of her cool leather jackets. You find yourself wandering down a rougher part of town bustling with people, and notice a long line of trolls waiting outside a nightclub. Instead of getting in line, you head to the back of the building and hear someone singing. You then see Chixie standing near a door, dejectedly singing to herself. Astounded with how melodious her voice is, you wonder whether you should go say something to her. Before you could make up your mind, another troll shoots Chixie a dark look and kicks the cement block barring the door away.
- If you grab the door before it can close, Chixie will thank you for catching the door. She then darts inside, letting the door slam shut behind her. You stand there in disappointment, remarking on the futility of doing something nice only to be ignored for it. >GAME OVER
- If you choose to stand there uselessly, Chixie will notice the door beginning to close but fail to reach the handle in time. In the process, she scrapes her knee and you walk over to her to check whether she's alright. She reassures you that she's fine, then fruitlessly tries to open the door. Disappointed, she asks whether you would join her in the front, and you are more than delighted to oblige. She introduces herself, then informs you that she would be performing here; why else would she be practicing in a filthy back alley? You then follow her inside the club, but she drags you into a dressing room. She expresses rage upon seeing her rifled suitcase, then marches off to deal with it after instructing you to get an outfit change. You aren't sure what to go for, as most of Chixie's outfits are much too small for you. In the end, you settle on a floaty purple dress that isn't exactly to your taste, but you find yourself getting used to the look. An irate Chixie returns, and she tearfully tells you that she'd been bumped off the performing list as another band with a purpleblood drummer ousted her. Just as you are about to comfort her, Zebruh appears and begins chatting with Chixie. Only after a few moments does Zebruh notice your presence, and he begins macking on you almost immediately, much to Chixie's irritation. But Chixie's expression changes and starts asking how you and Zebruh knew one another. She and Zebruh continue chatting for a bit, until Zebruh mentions his excitement for her show.
- Should the player choose to tell Zebruh that Chixie isn't going to perform due to the aforementioned issue, Zebruh will insist on helping her out and swaggers off. Once he is out of earshot, Chixe wishes you hadn't mentioned her problem, as she faces a lot of pressure dealing with the indigoblood. Before you can reassure her about her current situation, Zebruh returns and tells Chixie that she's once again headlining the show. Stunned, Chixie asks how he could've possibly done that, and Zebruh nonchalantly reveals that he bought the entire club from the owner, who is a teal. Despite the good news, Chixie steps close to you and hisses that she now owes him even more. She angrily tells you that this had been the only club that allowed lowblood solo performances, then asks you to leave the establishment. >GAME OVER
- Should you choose to mind your own business, Zebruh will take his leave, claiming that he intends to get a good spot in the pit. The moment he is gone, Chixie mutters that there is no pit to speak of, and wants to get a better look at the trolls that bumped her off the performing list. You give her an encouraging pat on the shoulder, which momentarily lifts her out of her dour mood. Upon listening to the first band performing, however, Chixie takes off in a rage with you in tow. The two of you observe the band from a small backstage area, and Chixie is furious that said band was singing her songs. Chixie begins crying as she laments the fact that no one would ever believe that she wrote the songs.
- If you agree upon the fact that things are awful and ask where the bar is, Chixie will spot several bottles nearby and snatch one that resembles a liquor bottle. She leads you back to the dressing room, and takes several swigs before handing you the bottle. Getting somewhat tipsy, the two of you commiserate until Chixie promptly passes out. You aren't particularly certain that this is a way of showing friendship, but you decide it was at least a friendly encounter. >VICTORY...?
- If you decide on doing something, Chixie will harden her resolve and retrive a microphone and mask from the dressing room. The moment there is a break in the music, Chixie howls into the microphone, causing silence to descend upon the nightclub. Startled, you watch as Chixie marches up onstage and challenges the cerulean singer to a rap battle. Chixie steadily wins the lowblood-majority crowd over, using the rival band's shortcomings and personal issues as cannon fodder. Chixie destroys the cerulean in the battle, then runs backstage once more, discarding the mask and microphone before dashing out into the alley. At first Chixie is stunned that she did all that, but is delighted that she had the audience cheering for her all the while. Her elation is short-lived as she realizes that she might get culled for saying vulgar things to the cerulean, but upon being reminded that she'd been wearing a mask the entire time, she relaxes visibly. Yet she becomes dejected as no one would know it was her under the mask, and her constant change in stance confuses you. A troll in a hoodie and sunglasses interrupts you both, asking whether Chixie has any stuff online. She expresses surprise upon being recognized, but the stranger casually points out its due to the fact that she's wearing the same outfit she wore onstage. After bidding her farewell, the stranger leaves and you tell Chixie that she can still make her dreams come true. Chixie thanks you for encouraging her earlier, then hugs you. >VICTORY!
- Tyzias mentions that teals are known to share information with one another, though she doesn't seem too pleased with it.
- Apparently all teals on Alternia are required to be legislacerators to uphold the hemospectrum. And according to Tyzias, anyone below purple are all guilty of whatever they were charged with; court proceedings are all for show, the results are all the same.
- The Signless and the Summoner are mentioned by Tyzias when she's talking about historical figures that tried to fight for equality on Alternia.
- Bookhive is the Alternian equivalent of a library. Most of the patrons are tealbloods, and there appears to be a portrait of Redglare hung under a window. It is also mentioned that there are jars of brains located in the bookhive, and that certain areas require a retina scan before entry.
- Tyzias mentions that jades and teals are more likely to visit a bookhive, while bluebloods have their own personal bookhives.
- Goregle Docs—the Alternian equivalent of Google Docs—is tightly monitored by authorities.
- When the player muses the uselessness of painting themselves grey all over and getting fake troll horns, this might be an intentional jab at troll cosplayers.
- In Chixie's route, the MSPA Reader's new outfit is similar to the Nervous Broad from Problem Sleuth.
- Cirava is mentioned numerous times in Chixie's route, as they once told the player that being a famous lowblood is dangerous.
- A troll by the name of Razzor is mentioned in Chixie's route as one of the tech people. His blood caste is unknown.
- The outfit that MC wears is possibly a reference to the Nervous Broad from Problem Sleuth.
- Aysha U. Farah. “She points finger-guns at the guy on the soundboard. "Razzor, give the lady a beat."”. Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Eight. July 20, 2018.