Choking, desperate, lungs aflame, you focus your will. Where are you? Which are you? Find your river.
November 30, 2018
Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Seventeen, entitled "Of Teen And Tech, Acerbic", is the seventeenth 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 Daraya Jonjet and Nihkee Moolah.
As with all other volumes, it is sold as $0.99 DLC for Volume One.
You first express hope about meeting someone normal for a change, but later laugh it all off as you know that there's always going to be some freak ready to heap yet another dose of appalling friendship on you.
Dragging your feet, you walk down the street feeling extremely tired and lethargic. Even though you are guilty for not answering any of your friends' numerous texts, you find that texting takes too much effort for the time being. While you are indeed still eager for friendship, the wave of exhaustion currently overwhelming you has dulled your motivation. Not particularly concerned about anything, you wander into a cerulean neighbourhood and notice that there's a lot of people converging outside Elwurd's place. Realizing that she's hosting a party, you make your way there and notice a certain someone lurking by Elwurd's back door. Daraya recognizes you on sight, though she isn't pleased with your presence. You apathetically explain that you were just passing through, which makes Daraya less judgemental. As Daraya rambles on and on about how cool Elwurd is, you conclude that she's clearly hoping to join the cerulean's party. When you ask whether she's supposed to be out of the brooding caverns, Daraya snaps that she isn't a baby and that being stuck there all day is mind-crushingly boring. Daraya grumbles about Bronya and Lynera being total killjoys, prompting you to become a little defensive of them. Losing her patience, Daraya asks whether you're here to help her out or not.
- If you choose to suggest she go home, Daraya expresses extreme distaste over your meek nature and heads off somewhere else. LAME!!
- If you choose to party hard (since it's not your job to tell anyone to do anything), you lead Daraya to the front door and hope to impress Elwurd with your new self. You're a little startled to see Chahut there, but she's more interested in Daraya at the moment, which makes the jadeblood quite nervous. Chahut gives Daraya a lazy pat on the shoulder, wondering aloud whether Daraya being so far away from her fellows was such a good idea. Before things could take a turn for the worse, Chahut clarifies that she's joking and returns inside. Rattled by the experience, Daraya states that since the party is filled with lame highblood conformers, going elsewhere to have fun would be much better. You agree to go someplace else, but Daraya expects you to lead the way so that rebellious shenanigans can take place. Unfortunately, nothing much comes to mind.
- Should you admit that you're all out of ideas and let her take the reins of the adventure instead, Daraya is intitally grumpy as she rarely gets the chance to venture outside the caverns. But she later relents, saying that she knows a place that isn't too lame. Hopping into your car, Daraya gives you instructions to an abandoned town. You are understandably nervous while inside a run-down mall, but Daraya reassures you that things would work out just fine. While you marvel at the beauty of the decrepit food court, Daraya informs you that she believes this place was once inhabited by adult trolls as most of the items here are adult-sized. Yet when you mention that living on a planet full of kids is somewhat strange, Daraya grumbles about her difficult position as a jadeblood and hestitantly asks you to take her back to Earth when you decide to return home. Despite the urge to reassure her, you confess that you still haven't found a way to get back to your planet and prefer to not think about such depressing details. Your attempt to cheer her up fails spectacularly, Daraya shooting down your hollow words almost immediately. Her anger infecting you, you find yourself agreeing to the furious words spilling out of Daraya's mouth. But when her demeanor becomes increasingly erratic, you are beyond startled. To your utter shock, Daraya sets off an explosion in the food court, fire now threatening to destroy the entire place. Panicking, you try to drag Daraya out of the rapidly crumbling place, but she viciously kicks you aside. Hoping that she would find a way to escape the firery inferno, you let your survival instincts take over and scramble out to safety. GAME OVER
- Should you suggest wandering the street like hoodlums, Daraya is at first skeptical of your plan, but later goes along with it as she has nothing better to do. Trying to make small talk with Daraya just ends with her griping about the extremely screwed-up systems in place on Alternia, and you agree with her sentiment for you are all out of positive things to say. Daraya becomes rather flustered when she may or may not have misspoke about Lynera, but Tyzias' presence saves you from a potentially awkward situation. You introduce the two trolls to one another, hoping that Tyzias could perhaps guide Daraya to do something meaningful to change Alternian society. However, the conversation between the two doesn't go as planned, forcing you to step in before Tyzias could hurl her mug at Daraya. You apologize to Tyzias about the entire thing, Daraya also offering a roundabout apology for her less than stellar attitude. Tyzias spends a few more moments advising Daraya, and the jadeblood decides that Tyzias might be right. The two agree to help each other out in the future, then all three of you spend the rest of the night hanging out. 3-WAY FRIENDSHIP COMBOBOB VICTORY!!!
Despite the fact that you are on an alien planet, sporting arenas still appear to remain the same. As one of the spectators cheer obscene commands, Amisia grumbles about being seated next to purplebloods as she finds them crude and boorish. While you are indeed happy that Amisia immediately offered to take you to a wrestling show upon winning her tickets in a raffle, you decide that wrestling isn't exactly your thing (even more so when it's on Alternia, where violence is taken up to eleven). Amisia is clearly enjoying herself, though she hopes the current round is over soon--the famous Nihkee Moolah is about to make an appearance. As Amisia proudly states that her fellow indigoblood has never lost a match (and might have even beaten a violetblood), you muse that perhaps Nihkee would be the befriendable sort. When the current purpleblood fighter partially crushes his oliveblood opponent's skull, you hurry to the washroom to be sick. Before you can get far, however, a violetblood calls for your attention and offers you money, fame and friendship. The first two don't sway you in the slightest, but at the mention of friendship you are all for it. The seadweller explains that he's a promoter for the show, and as one of the performers had been eaten by a carnivourous plant, Nihkee is left without an opponent for the night. Since you're an alien, your presence in the ring would stir up controversy and fame, which means big bucks for him and friendship for you. While you aren't convinced by his insincere tone, you decide that you could do a lot worse. The promoter leads you backstage to meet Nihkee, and the indigoblood isn't impressed with you at all. Nihkee cuts you off mid-explanation, asking whether you're ready for the match of your life.
- If you hesitate, Nihkee is insulted by your cowardice and orders you to get out of her sight. Upset with losing a potential friend, you keep your head down for her performance (that and it's hard watching her brutally dominate challenging lowblood opponents). SLAM
- If you agree right away, Nihkee expresses approval for your courage then proceeds to plan the entire show. You ask whether there's a chance that you might die, but Nihkee waves your concern aside, citing that one must be willing to face the risks associated with whatever craft is undertaken. After you clarify several more things with Nihkee, the promoter informs you both that it's time to take the stage. Nihkee enters the ring first, you following shortly after. Nihkee draws blood almost immediately as you spent too much time admiring her form, though you are somewhat relieved that the arena's lighting makes your blood look burgundy, not mutant red. As it were, you don't have a lot of time to think and spend the next few moments narrowly avoiding Nihkee's attacks. When Nihkee demands that you stand and fight, you wind up running in the opposite direction. Even though you try to make the best of it by springboarding off a chain for a classic clothesline maneuver, the impact from colliding with her arm knocks you out cold. You awake in an excercise room, Nihkee training nearby. She explains that you're now in her hive, and that she's very disappointed in your pathetic performance earlier. However, she waves off your apology, stating that she brought you here for training as she likes your determined spirit. Nihkee is more than willing to train you into something so much more, her extended hand vibrating with faith and hope as she bestows this offer to you.
- Should you take her hand, Nihkee begins assessing your physical abilities through a series of harrowing tests. While you try your best to push yourself to the limit, Nihkee would either taunt or encourage you to go even further. After a short break, Nihkee is surprised with the potential with you and continues the incredibly demanding workout routine. You collapse in exhaustion once the entire ordeal is over, but Nihkee is beyond proud with your strong sense of preseverance. She happily declares you an excellent workout friend, not a mere workout partner. Despite the exhaustion you're in, you understand that being strong shall remain the same throughout all galaxies and planets. VICTORY!
- Should you hesitate, Nihkee becomes disappointed with your flimsy willpower, but her dissatisfaction quickly turns to anger for you have also insulted her passion and craft by shrinking away from challenges meant to make one better. Nihkee warns you to never return to her hive and you flee in shame. Just before things wrap up to a close, you insist that you can and will get ripped to prove that you're not some spineless wimp. Unfortunately, you don't know any bluebloods that are as obsessed with physical strength as Nihkee, but you do know a certain someone who excercises a lot. You make your way to Stelsa's place, the teal surprised to see you. Inside her hive, you notice Tyzias studying a chair. After going through the pleasantries with both of them, you inform Stelsa that you'd like her to help you carve out a workout routine. Stelsa is thrilled with the plan, as she can't have Tyzias (who's usually too tired or too busy) to be her workout partner. For the next few days you train with Stelsa, and while you aren't ripped in any sense your muscles are indeed toned. Deciding that it's time to show Nihkee your progress, you hop into your car and key in the destination. Yet you find yourself dreading the entire thing, as you're afraid that you'll never really befriend Nihkee. Hoping to calm yourself, you meditate, but begin to lose track of who you are. Drifting in and out of consciousness, you have visions of previous routes and their bad endings, and then you somehow manage to glimpse the outcome of your plan: Nihkee is outraged with your return and turns you away, but your insistence to prove yourself causes her to lose her other leg. Furious, Nihkee begins chasing you down in murderous fury, only to get hit by a train and somehow become altered into a cyborg to finish you off. Mallek, Polypa and Tegiri try to lend you a hand, but you are ultimately cornered in a cave after a year of running, Nihkeeborg ready for the kill. You snap back into the present and choose to return to Stelsa's place for more grubloaf, thinking about the terror that is Nihkeeborg all the while. HISSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Character Sprites Edit
- Many of the background trolls in both routes were scrapped concepts for Troll Call trolls designed by Poinko, as confirmed by Poinko.
- The trolls in Daraya's route have the signs of Arus, Scorus, Gempio (which is the same sign as Zebede Tongva), Capripia, Capripio, and Arpio. The troll in Nihkee's route has the sign of Sagiga.
- The signs present in the prototype art are Sagira (which is the same sign Amisia Erdehn), Arra, Arpio, Aquasces, and Aquara.
- The promotional character select screen featured a hidden Lapras plush, referencing it being frequently drawn alongside Daraya by Hiveswap fanartist Diadraws.
- When wandering the streets in Daraya's route, Tagora and Galekh can be seen standing on the balcony of the hive bearing two small blue windows.
- The text at the end of Daraya's good ending is a reference to Rose's drunken mishap .
- At the muscular theatre in Nikhee's route, several characters in the background are references to other things. Included is:
- Murrit Turkin of fan adventure Vast Error
- A troll resembling Mr. Mime, most likely in reference to this joke post made by David Turnbull.
- A troll resembling Xefros Tritoh.
- A troll resembling John Egbert.
- A troll resembling Sweet Bro.
- The hot-dog juggling troll seen in the background of Marvus Xoloto's friendsim in Volume Sixteen.
- The violetblood met early on in the story has many similar features to Nektan Whelan.
- When musing about wrestlers using ring names, the MSPA Reader mentions John Cena and Hulk Hogan (even though Hulk Hogan's actual name is Terry Gene Bollea).
- In an effort to impress Nihkee, the player mentions loving to Do The Muscly Thing, a clear reference to John's Do The Windy Thing.
- Troll wrestlers are ranked according to the Flexeladder, a reference to Sburb's Echeladder.
- Participants of the Intergalactic Trollympics are required to be nude. This could be a callback to the Olympic Games in ancient times, where participants were required to be nude.
- Stelsa orders food from Door Smash, a reference to DoorDash.