What do you saye? Wanna help me pull off a risky arte heist?
July 6, 2018
Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Seven, entitled "Of Business, Flagrantly Illegal", is the seventh 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 Remele Namaaq and Konyyl Okimaw. As with all Friendsim installments, Volume Seven was developed and programmed by David Turnbull using the Ren'Py game engine.
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.
Ruminating on your experiences with your new troll friends, you consider how, back on Earth, your greatest wish was to travel the world and ride the high of novelty and excitement. Though you imagined you'd never get to live that sort of life, you're pleased to have found a similar experience here on Alternia, and have made peace with a future of drifting from friend to friend, from adventure to adventure.
You stumble upon a hopping center of cultural activity, and in search of free food, wander into an art gallery showcasing works by Remele Namaaq. Remele herself confronts you, and asks if any of her paintings have grabbed your attention.
- If you remark that her work seems kind of derivative, she asks you to make roome for someone with money to burne and better taste! and unceremoniously shooes you out of her showcase. GO AWAY
- If you say the art is stunning, perhaps the best you've ever seen, she's flattered and remarks positively on your taste. Noting the nobles in attendance, and the circusey, gory theme of most of the artwork, she admits that she's pandering to affluent purplebloods to maximize her profits, and advise you that artistique integrity is for chumps. The two of you are suddenly accosted by Alternia Nightly correspondent Journo, who inquires about a suit filed against Remele by artistic giant Trident Media (and their unscrupulous legislacerator Tagora Gorjek)—Remele is accused of profiting off content featuring Trident Media's characters and stories, which she vehemently denies. As Journo departs, Remele suggests that she had been hired by elements of the artistique establishmente, particularly those featured in a museum nearby. Wanting to get back at the establishment for undervaluing her, she asks you to accompany her in an art heist. Naturally, you say yes (Yes, Fuck yes, or Hell fucking yes), the two of you leave for the museum, and she suggests two angles of attack—stealing the museum keys from Journo, or busting down the door yourselves.
- If you suggest busting the door down, Remele offers you her belt as a headscarf to conceal your hornless dome, and picks the lock with a paintbrush, granting you entry. The two of you are greeted by a Mission: Impossible-style infrared laser grid guarding the gallery, and, having no giant horns to trip the wires, you're the obvious choice for infiltrator. You reach the other side without a hitch, access a security terminal and disable the grid. Guards begin storming the building, but Remele calmly takes the painting in her arms and argues with security, impersonating the original artist. The two of you are allowed to leave, but despite your celebration, Remele says she's not one for long-term artistique collaboration and walks away with her painting, leaving you stupefied on the sidewalk. GAME OVER
- If you suggest stealing the keys, Remele begins scraping together a troll disguise to keep you inconspicuous, but a purple-blooded troll approaches the two of you—you recognize him just a little too late; you and Polypa broke into his apartment. Remele backs off and apparently abandons you to your fate as the purpleblood corners you in an alley, spiked club at the ready—but Remele distracts him, and the two of you subdue him together. Remele collects his club and drives it into his thinkpan until he goes quiet. Exhilerated from the kill, Remele suggests the two of you become partners in crime, and invites you to her hive to lay low and prepare for the heist. VICTORY more bloode!
In an unremarkable middle-class part of town, you find a large, imposing olive-blooded girl hunched behind a bush, casing the street. She catches your eye and asks if you're who im waiting here FOR. Seing as she's confidential enough to not separate herself from her spiky hiding place, but forthright enough to divulge identifying information about her client, you determine she's looking for Skylla Koriga, who arrives with her lusus, Ladyy. Skylla informs Konyyl that their business concerns the lusus thieves that attempted to abduct Ladyy—well aware that other kids were less lucky, Skylla wants the thieves' operation shut down permanentlyy and painfullyy. Konyyl is initially interested, but upon discovering Skylla doesn't intend to pay her (and unintentionally paying Skylla flushed compliments), the two look ready to throw down. Do something!
- If you bring up your many, many friends as leverage in regards to Konyyl's contract, she invites you to call up all your fancy FRIENDS—and, seeing as you don't have a palmhusk, good luck with that. YOU DON'T HAVE A PHONE!!
- If you ask Konyyl if she works on spec—that is to say, if she works for free in hopes of eventually reaping a profit—and suggest that the lusus thieves probably have other valuables at their compound, she reluctantly agrees. However, she insists on bringing you along as collateral, more than prepared to wring your neck if it turns out you're just blowing smoke up her nook. The two of you locate the compound via quite-possibly-stolen scuttlebuggy, and it looks to be an unremarkable abandoned industrial site—except for a wicked-looking spaceship and its pilot, an adult ceruleanblood in cahoots with the thieves. Because she normally leaves the tactical, cerebral side of contracts to her cohort and matesprit Azdaja, she's counting on you to plan this operation out.
- If you suggest searching the adult's spaceship, the two of you discover nothing of value inside—and what's worse, the adult has returned and discovered you. You're both rendered unconscious by her psychic abilities, and awaken later to discover a hypnotized Konyyl pinning you to the wall of the now-airborne spaceship. As the adult speaks to an unseen buyer over her comms, the ship suddenly bucks in air and becomes unresponsive to controlls—the same thing that happened to your own ship before you crashlanded on Alternia. You forcibly lead Konyyl (who is now conscious again) to the ship's escape pod bay and cram her and yourself into a pod—and though you're free from the thieves' operation, Konyyl clearly has more interest in killing you than befriending you. GAME OVER
- If you suggest searching the warehouse, you're barely able to stop Konyyl from waltzing into a bandit rec-room and blowing your cover instantly. Much to her chagrin, you lead her through a meticulous series of empty rooms with a manufactured air of confidence, not unlike your sewer escapade with Diemen Xicali. However, like the fuckup you are, you wind up going through another door into the same rec-room. You watch with increasing panic as Konyyl goes into her element, killing young trolls almost effortlessly, until you go into a complete breakdown. Though you expect Konyyl to execute you on the spot to save herself the trouble, she guides your breathing and consoles you—apparently, Azdaja had the same reaction during his first fight. She intuits that you're very weak, and very poor, and as such, wringing your neck would be a waste of time. Instead, she gives you a looted palmhusk and gives you her number, in the event more work comes up. VICTORY write my NUMBER
|Pardon the esoteric tangent. It's hard to|
resist prattling on about matters like this.
|While trivia sections are fine, it might be a good idea to merge some of this material into relevant sections of the main text, because this trivia section is bloated.|
In particular: Some of these points, especially a lot of the notes on references, may be unneeded as they are straightforward and largely speak for themselves in game.
- Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and American Gothic by Grant Wood make an appearance in Remele's art gallery, though the subjects of the paintings are now redrawn as trolls. There also appears to be a portrait based on The Silence of the Lambs.
- The troll depicted in the center of the art gallery bears an uncanny resemblance to Marvus Xoloto, while the troll observing the painting on the right looks similar to Chahut Maenad.
- According to Remele, there's a blueblood troll that only ever commissions her to draw lowbloods in quadrants with other lowbloods. This might be a possible reference to Zebruh Codakk.
- Tagora Gorjek is briefly mentioned, him being the legislacerator behind the lawsuit held against Remele.
- The player is accosted by a purpleblood accusing them of breaking into their apartment, which is a reference to one of the bad endings in Polypa's route in Vol. 5.
- When escaping from a purpleblood, the player runs into a dumpster that looks like the one where the player had met Kuprum and Folykl in the previous Friendsim.
- When Remele describes two Alternian characters as 'a meat hook with angry eyes' and 'a meat hook with purrbeast claws', it might be a possible reference to Karkat and Nepeta.
- The teal Journo's named is a play on journalist.
- Konyyl mentions that Azdaja does the thinking and planning in their partnership, which also meant that the duo are the two competitors Polypa mentioned in the past.