This is a dark world.
October 10, 2018
Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Fourteen, entitled "Of Cleanliness And Clownliness", is the fourteenth 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 Marsti Houtek and Karako Pierot.
As with all other volumes, it is sold as $0.99 DLC for Volume One.
You comment that life on Alternia would make even the most vilest of being take a change of heart, but quickly dismiss the notion as you being overly dramatic.
Brushing aside the twinge of existential gloom you've gotten ever since meeting Boldir, you continue onwards to make more friends. Deciding to visit the crash site of your spaceship, you make your way there, only to notice two figures arguing nearby. You watch as the purpleblood yells at the rustblood to get lost, insisting that his graffiti was of sacred importance. Instead of being cowed, the rustblood stares the highblood down despite not wielding any weapons to defend herself with.
- If you choose to intervene, the purpleblood punches you out of the game in mere seconds. CLOCK
- If you choose to mind your own business for once, you walk by without comment. Abruptly, the rustblood darts past you, the highblood hot on her heels. You remind yourself over and over again that you aren't going to get involved in this mess, but at the last moment you trip up the purpleblood, sending him face-first into the dirt. Cursing yourself for being a busybody, you make a break for it before the clown comes after you. Hands seize you by the back of your hoodie, and you are dragged into an alleyway. Before you can scream, a rubber-gloved hand stops you from doing so. You and the rustblood girl proceed to watch as the highblood storms past your hiding place, cursing and bleeding from an injury on his forehead. You thank Marsti for helping out, though she doesn't seem pleased with your involvement. Marsti then heads back to get her cleaning equipment, and asks why you're so intent on getting yourself into dangerous situations. Not knowing how to respond, you instead inquire why she values her tools so much. While you berate yourself for screwing up culture-wise, Marsti remains unruffled by your social faux pas. You jump to help Marsti clear away the graffiti, but she instructs you to keep a lookout instead. Chatting with Marsti only serves to nettle her, causing her to put you on scrubbing duty in an attempt to shut you up. Not wanting to lose the chance of being friends with her, you casually ask whether she has any plans after this. Upon hearing that she would probably be doing more cleaning, you inform her that you know someplace that could use a good wash.
- Should you try uptown, Marsti decides that cleaning a mansion would be alright. Upon entering your scuttelbuggy, Marsti begins cleaning up the mess you've made, much to your chagrin. As you get closer to Zebruh's hive, however, doubts begin to seep in for you are worried that Zebruh might make Marsti one of his many 'guests'. You change your mind and take her to Galekh's place, knowing that he's of a kinder personality. Marsti's unease is gone the moment she enters Galekh's messy study, and methodically sorts his belongings in a thorough manner. After clearing away some dirty dishes, you try to chat with Marsti. She isn't interested in the topic, making it clear that she finds you rather irritating, to say the least. Loud crunching makes you both pause, and you are horrified to see that Galekh's goat lusus had been munching on the indigoblood's personal writings. To make things worse, Galekh returns home at that exact moment. Without another word, Marsti leaps out of the window and runs as quickly as she can. SCAMPER...
- Should you try downtown, Marsti begrudgingly agrees, noting that the drones mostly clean highblood residences. You show her a few places that are quite dirty, though Marsti either dismisses it as too easy to clean or outright refuses to do anything. Somewhat frustrated with her obstinacy, you fail to notice her disappearing without a word. Wandering into a familar empty lot, you find Folykl sitting on a pile of old tires. After greeting the goldblood, you make a verbal jab at Marsti's habit of cleaning up after people, hoping to impress Folykl. When both lowbloods snap at you for being overly judgemental, you apologize profusely to resolve the tension. While you babble on and on about your other friends and how they're currently doing, Marsti examines Folykl, irritating the goldblood. Ignoring Folykl's insults, Marsti informs the goldblood that being filthy isn't helping her condition in the slightest. Your comments wind up seriously pissing Marsti off, and she warns you to stop chiming in. Chastised, you shut your trap and watch as Marsti gives Folykl some helpful advice. Once that's over with, Marsti leaves the lot and you trail after her cautiously. You apologize for being nosy earlier, citing you tendency of wanting to fix things. Marsti understands the sentiment and forgives you. SOMETIMES IT BE LIKE THAT
After spending some time on Alternia, you've begun to eschew main throughfares in favour of byways to reduce the chances of running into someone that might mean you harm. Despite the logic of your reasoning, you ultimately decide that perhaps sticking to the footpath wasn't such a good idea. Cautiously making your way past the dangerous alien flora, you see someone headed your way. Startled by your presence, Karako jumps in fright only to have his horns stuck in an overhead branch. You spend the next few moments apologizing and assuring him that you're not a threat, and would be more than willing to help him down provided he doesn't use his weapons on you. Hoping that friendship could be established after lending a hand, you inch forward to read an ID tag on the troll's being. Turns out that said troll is under the care of Bronya, and you whip out your palmhusk to give your friend a call. However, there is no signal out here, forcing you to ditch the plan. Karako gains your attention once more, and you hasten to rescue him after unintentionally ignoring him for so long. Happy to be back on the ground, Karako has a conversation of sorts with you (you doing most of the talking, him responding in honks). You offer to be his friend, and wait awhile for Karako to make his choice. Abruptly, a strange metal object floats into view, hissing twice and scaring Karako witless.
- If you choose to run from the drone, you flee from the scene in record time, trying your best to avoid the dangers presented by the Alternian plants. Your efforts to increase your speed leaves Karako in the dirt, but you eventually trip over a root and nearly get sliced to bits in the process. Winded, you spend a few moments on the ground, paying close attention to your surroundings. Once you're sure that there are no immediate threats in your vicinity, you dust yourself and get moving. You think about putting more distance between you and the drone, but concern for Karako's wellbeing makes you double back. Back at where you started, Karako is nowhere to be seen. You are unsure whether the small troll is alright or alive, but you are certain that you are alone once more. > GAME OVER
- If you choose to defend your friend from danger, you shove Karako against a large rock while you use your body as a shield. Almost instantly, you pretend that you're just causally leaning agains the boulder, hoping to throw the drone off with your act. Instead of flying off, the drone hovers near you for a very long moment before finally giving up. Once the drone is gone, Karako is visibly delighted to be alive, and regards you with fondness and admiration. Before you could give him a handshake, you hear a commotion from further down the path. Three figures appear, and you notice that they're all seadwellers. One of the seadwellers whisper someting to her companions, prompting them to laugh at you and Karako. With growing unease, you watch how Karako steadily gets angrier with the seadwellers' taunts and mockery. You advise Karako to ignore them, as bullies usually scram when they don't get a response from their victims. When the lead seadweller demands that bowing is in order, you do so begrudgingly. Karako, on the other hand, becomes furious and finally goes all out on the seadwellers when the taunting becomes too much to bear.
- Should you choose to stop Karako from causing havoc, you struggle to keep Karako away from the seadwellers. When the seadwellers overcome their inital shock, they resume insulting Karako, further enraging the purpleblood. Your attempts to pacify the bloodthirsty Karako are to no avail, and a sudden explosion of fear and violence sends you tumbling into the air. Still airbourne, you manage to glimpse the terrified expressions on the seadwellers' faces and watch the ensuing chaos. You get knocked out after colliding into a branch, waking up to see Karako (now calmer) sitting next to you. You are more than relieved that things turned out well, and Karako gives you a handshake in gratitude.
- Should you choose to jump right in to help Karako, you kick someone in the shin while Karako goes to town with his blades. Deciding that you're much to flimsy against the violetbloods, you instead pick up a rock and hurl it into a spring-thorn near the seadwellers. One of the seadwellers gets impaled with numerous thorns, blood pouring from his wounds. Even though Karako has succeeded in wounding the others, one of the seadwellers manage to wrench Karako's blade out of his hand. Horrified with how the seadwellers are sticking blades in Karako's body with manic glee, you furtively kick at the violetbloods in hopes of distracting them. Karako's movements gradually slow as blood loss kicks in, then finally succumbs to his numerous injuries. Grief-stricken, you lament that you could've been friends with Karako if he had the chance to live. Distraught with Karako's passing, you fail to notice a seadweller behind you and get suplexed for all your troubles. Struggling to remain conscious, you suddenly see a hole in the sky housing a carousel. Two mannequin angels hoist Karako's body into the dark carnival, the hole sealing up behind them. Silence descends upon you, and you are shaken with how utterly insignificant you are in the universe. You conclude that you are beyond fed up with highblood arrogance, now fully intending to punish those that are needlessly cruel to the weak and vulnerable. Anger lending your strength, you pick up two of Karako's dropped soft drinks and shake them violently. Popping the pin, you direct the twin streams at the seadwellers and watch as they cry out in shock. Even though you repeat the entire process with new cans once you run out, the seadwellers push back and begin attacking you in earnest. Impaled with numerous weapons and bleeding profusely, you aren't too upset about dying for you died doing the right thing. As your life fades away, the angels return to collect you and gently deposit you next to Karako. You realize that while things constantly change, friendship is the one thing that shall remain the same. SHHH...FRIENDSHIP
Character Sprites Edit
- This episode is the first and only time that the two trolls featured were also coupled in the Troll Call.
- In the promotional character select screen, Karako Pierot is missing, and his Alternian name read "Mother Fucker". The post was later updated to show his name and picture.
- Prior to the release of this episode, James Roach announced that "strange lore" would be explored. This could reference Karako's dark carnival ending.
- Galekh's silhouette can be seen behind the MSPA Reader in one of Marsti's bad endings.
- This is so far the only volume where the word "FRIENDSHIP" is not said anywhere in the introduction.