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Act IV of Kentucky Route Zero was released on July 19, 2016.

SummaryEdit

The Echo River

Act IV opens to the scene of Will, the hamdyman of the Mucky Mammoth ferry, struggling with a manual for mechanical mammoth repair. He has a brief conversation with Junebug about the river. He tells Shannon that he was a teacher at the university, but had been demoted to odd jobs and ended up helping out his friend and captain of the ferry, Cate. Cate tells Shannon they have some weird tapes in the VCR room of a woman talking, but you can't hear her, and there is a strange hum. Johnny and Junebug hang out inside with fellow musician and traveler from Lithuania, Clara. Johnny sends Ezra out with his tape recorder to collect all kinds of sounds to use for their musical performance. Conway grabs a beer from the fridge with his new skeletal right arm, after being sober for 15 months. He has a conversation with Shannon about his drinking.

(The player chooses as Ezra to either stay on the boat at the gas station, or go with Johnny and Junebug.)

Gas Station

Cate says they stop at the floating gas station every night, but it drifts about on the Echo, so it isn't always in the same spot. She talks to Junebug about the roaming storm upstairs and possible flooding and damages. She looks forward to the mushrooms that it'll bring and says her dog Valkyrie helps find them. Junebug talks to the gas station attendant and he tells her he has some cool crystals for sale and goes on to tell her he used to be wealthy and living in Cleveland Ohio until he ran out of money and took up his current job. Cate never remembers him, but he says it's okay. Junebug considers why Johnny may be feeling preoccupied. Maybe he wants Ezra to join them permanently? She wishes he would confide in her more. She is greeted by a man, Norm, who mistakes her for a woman named Loretta who he met online and had planned to meet at the gas station. He met his now ex-wife Greta while he was working in textiles, but she left him for unknown reasons. He has 2 adult children and is retired. He asks Junebug for help with his online dating profile. Johnny talks to a man named Al. He tells the story of how he was lost adrift on the Echo without a lantern for a very long time and almost starved to death, but on the last apple he had there was a newborn insect that turned out to be a lightning bug and he survived by its tiny light! "GLORYITISGOODTOBEAMONGFRIENDS!"

If the player chooses to stay on board: Ezra makes some observations from the captain's chair and Cate talks to him about the floating gas station, what the dials and gauges on the dashboard mean, and her home-brewed kombucha. She relies heavily on sight and lights since compasses don't work well on the Echo. She is concerned about the placement of one of her landmarks which seems to be in the wrong place, so she sends Ezra to the map room to talk to Will about it. Ezra records some more sounds. Conway tells him maps are probably needed for boats, but he doesn't use them, just landmarks and directions. Shannon tries out Clara's theremin. Will asks Ezra for more info to update the map for accuracy since things often end up shifting on the river. Will offers a selection of old maps to Ezra to choose from if he is interested. As the boat continues on its journey, Will recounts what most likely happened at the gas station; the musicians probably talked to the attendant for a while and looked for food that wasn't found in nature.

(The player chooses as Shannon to stay aboard and repair the VCR or go to the Rum Colony bar.)

The Rum Colony

Junebug tells Shannon their musician friend Cyrano, wizard of the lap steel guitar, is playing at the bar tonight. She is late to meeting a woman for bike parts. Rick, from the Bureau, is relaxing on the shore with a drink. Or rather, he is trying to relax. He says Lula broke off from the group to do some packing. Bohm, Metzstein, and Luis drink and chat nearby. They are all celebrating a big milestone, but nobody knows what it is. Mary Ann says the Hard Times shipment never arrived for their celebration. It was the crash site in Act I. Conway has a drink and talks about how his past is taking over and surrounding him. He doesn't belong in the here-and-now. A man named Sonny complains to Shannon about environmental threats and how woeful it all is. Next to him is Dawn, his wife, who says he worries too much and to not listen to him. (WARNING: It is possible to completely miss this next part if the player does not talk to Patch at the bar when Johnny and Junebug are sitting near him, and instead talks to them a second time at the dock.) Patch, the bartender, talks to Junebug for a bit. She missed the lady she was supposed to meet up with for bike parts. Patch offers a seemingly endless list of drinks, but they decline. Johnny talks to Cyrano, who is struggling for cash but doesn't want his audience to know it. Johnny sets out to collect tips while Cyrano plays. As they set up to leave, Conway is sitting at his table talking with a few skeletal figures, seen with the flashlight.

If the player chooses to stay on board: Shannon watches various tapes on the TV, like ones about birds, a funeral, weather, art. One tape is of Will, younger, taking calls about supernatural stories, just to listen. The tape marked "???" has Weaver on it. She is in a dingy room with lockers and desks. The captions read: "...mail, school, and these magnificent, tragic horses. Go underground, as deep as you can go. The air is cool and the earth is damp, and when you close your eyes you are surrounded by the dead. Remember where that is? You'll find your way from there. I think this place is what you're looking for. Some of it will wash away soon, but I think you'll be happy here, even without the mail, school..." and it repeats. Will and Cate discuss what the mammoth song was like. There is a music box hidden inside the mammoth that used to play, but not for years. Cate says the tapes are all weird since the VCR will randomly record over tapes and the only station they get is WEVP. Cate says Shannon should talk to Dashiell at the telephone exchange. He used to volunteer at WEVP and they might have a lot in common. As the boat takes off, Will recounts hearing what happened at the bar, either about Conway's drinking, the dark corners of the beach, or Junebug's feeling at ease about missing her appointment. He says Patch is the general manager and creative director, but not the owner. He's run the bar for 7 years, but a dead man named Vernon owns it. The power company would be the owners, but no one ever identified the body. Patch makes a great Mai Tai.

(The player chooses between a scene with the dogs below deck, or with the humans.)

A Phone

The group waits in line at a phone. Ezra plans to make a phone call, and Conway drops into the water and swims back to the ship to drink more. Will is first to the phone. He listens to his messages, in real audio recordings as the screen splits and shows the player the waiting area table from the Bureau. The first is a recording of a man describing going to see a new residence. The second is about bathing in a sink. The third, about a woman parallel parking and how it smells in the old car. The fourth is a person going to school. The fifth, a person who can't sleep. The sixth, "What?" The seventh, a man about to go overseas. Another man who can't sleep. A guy who held a snake. A yellow flashcard with a turkey and "10" on it. The messages continue to be strange snips of conversations and parts of stories. Will says every message is important. Cate is up next. The screen splits to show the home of Summer, a pregnant client of Cate's. Summer can't get comfortable to sleep so she is up watching TV. Cate suggests a natural remedy for her pains. Cate tells the others that she is a birth doula, and treats things with her experience rather than how a nurse treats the situation like an illness to be cured. Clara calls her older sister Nadia in Lithuania and the screen splits to a higher floor of a cramped, noisy apartment complex. Uncle Andrius has been moved to hospice care and is not accepting visitors. Nadia suggests Clara come home and try to see him, but there isn't enough time. Brandon, the janitor from the Self-Storage, asks if the group will be going by the Bureau since his mother didn't pick him up as she usually does. He was too busy playing a game and didn't call in time. The phone rings and Shannon answers. The screen splits to show Carrington at a pay phone under a Hard Times neon light. He says no one is there yet, but he really needs help with an aspect of his performance. (If you chose the mine, he will need moonlight, for example.) He thanks Shannon and the boat sets off.

If the player chooses to stay on board: The two dogs relax and do nothing. The boat moves on. Will recollects what they did during that time. He listened to his phone messages, Cate who is also a birth doula checked in on a client, and Clara talked to her sister about a family health issue.

(The player chooses between a card game with Ezra, or a stop at the Radvansky Center for cash.)

The Radvansky Center

The scene is viewed from the security camera and Mimi and Jenn are having a conversation off screen. The are viewing the tape without knowing the date on it, but it seems to be a good bit in the past. They interpret what they see. They mention their boss Darryl frequently. Shannon sits down to fill out a questionnaire for cash. Mimi recognizes the name Marquez and mentions WEVP-TV, a community TV station owned by the Consolidated Power Company. She knew Weaver worked there and left on "strange terms," in that she just stopped showing up. She was an archivist. They determined Shannon to be average and normal. Shannon feeds Coconut, the facility cat. Mimi recognizes Will from university days. She said during that time her boyfriend died suddenly by falling off a roof. It was Charlie, Lysette's son. A few months after Weaver's departure, weird things started happening. There would be strange signal jamming interference when shows were broadcast, and a scene of Weaver in the studio just looking into the camera, accompanied by a "sinister" hum and "creepy" captions. Captions were always the same, but Mimi can't recall what they were. The captions were in a different font than usual and the broadcast seemed urgent. This went on for years. The last one occurred right before the flood. Shannon makes a phone call and a strange man answers. He is an orthopedic physical therapist. They have a brief chat about getting to know how someone is by their voices. Conway is seen outside with several skeletal figures. Coconut the cat leaves with the group.

If the player chooses to stay on board: Ezra teaches a card game to Will, Cate, and Clara while they listen to a music tape by a group called "Vecinx." Ezra calls it the Remembering Game. Cate talks about her mushroom based remedy for memory and the they take off again. Will recounts that the Radvansky Center offers money for completion of a series of short tests, run by the university. He then talks about a book he read, about two people named Mimi and Jenn. (All book choices are about them.)

(The player chooses between a nap, and Ezra helping Cate hunt for mushrooms.)

A Grove

Cate teaches Ezra about different kinds of mushroom and he gets to try a few. The first rule of mushroom hunting is to ask Cate if it's edible before trying one, and the second rule is to have fun! She tells Ezra to fill the bag with any mushroom he wants and they will analyze them together after. They both have an introspective moment of their own at either side of the grove. Cate recalls visiting the hospital after the flood and having a few smokes outside the building. Ezra recalls his time at home when he had his family. He didn't like to play inside as it was too cold all the time, and preferred the woods. His father sold windows and his mother worked at a bakery and bar. Cate left home when she was young and almost had a baby. Now she helps other women with their difficult pregnancies. She took up learning about mushrooms and their medical uses as a hobby. Her family is the Mucky Mammoth and passengers now. As they talk, an old battleship covered in cats drifts by; The Iron Pariah.

If the player chooses to stay on board: Cate asks Ezra to wake Will to man the ship while she goes to collect mushrooms. Ezra records more sound samples, including one of Will's cassette playing a man talking about psychic investigation and Edison's theories. Life units scatter at death and recombine into new life, carrying with them memory fragments. A flower could contain a memory of war in this respect. It was from a class, and the tape was labeled "History of the philosophy of death." Will then tells Ezra about his dream of being a cat aboard the roaming Iron Pariah. The crewmen fell into despair and used up all their resources, drinking and fading away into silence. After the boat sets off, Will mentions the mushrooms Cate brought back on board, and how the cypress trees they grow on and near were planted there as some kind of memorial. No one remembers what the memorial is for.

(The player chooses to have Shannon help cook, or go out to deliver a package.)

Echo River Central Exchange

Shannon and Conway are told to pass through a bat sanctuary to get to the Exchange, which has since been renamed "Consolidated Auxiliary Switch Number 30" since the power company took over, to make a delivery to Poppy, "The operator." They will then rendezvous with the Mammoth at Sam and Ida's on the other side for breakfast. They first encounter a shrine to the miners lost in the flood made by the surviving miners, a central pile of helmets surrounded by more helmets floating all around it in the water. The plaque blames the power company for trading safety of the miners for more profit. The helmets are to honor the loss as well as mark their watery graves. As they drift away, Conway waves a skeletal arm at two skeletal figures passing by in a small boat. He says his arm and leg don't bother him anymore and the guys at the distillery can get together a plan for his debt repayment, consolidate it. He decides to leave Ira's old delivery truck to Shannon. Bat fact: Bats talk with their mouths full! At the sanctuary, the bats eat captured moths and hypoallergenic antiseptic pseudomoths. Shannon and Conway talk about a few things, like Lysette's illness and who Shannon was speaking to on the phone in the mine. Just beyond the sanctuary, Shannon sees Flora, the young girl from the Museum of Dwellings. She was there to retrieve her paper boat as she is a romantic. An old man named Dashiell Morse is working at a reception desk, trying to repair old phones. He says the place used to be a train station before the river washed it all away. The Bureau reclaimed the empty space for the phone company. He mentioned working on wiring at WEVP with some others, one of which was Weaver. Poppy says that Dashiell actually isn't employed with them anymore, but is allowed to keep working as a hobby. The power company fired most of the staff as they bought up all the phone lines. They made a mess of things trying to automate everything, but someone was still needed, like overworked Poppy, doing the job of 13 people. 3 skeletal figures pass by in a boat.

If the player chooses to stay on board: Will is cooking a mystery mushroom stew for tomorrow. Ezra records more sounds. Will learned the recipe from Ida, but only under the condition he immediately forget it. He trained rigorously in the art of forgetting. Cate interrupts to ask Shannon if she and Conway mind taking a delivery in the dinghy since the boat can't go through narrow passages. [Scene goes the delivering a package route.]

Sam and Ida's

Shannon meets back up with the Mammoth crew at the restaurant on Lake Lethe, but Conway is nowhere to be seen. He was taken by the distillery workers to start his new job. Johnny helps Ezra play a claw machine game. He can try for an octopus, clam shells, a cowboy hat, or headphones. None of these choices will yield a prize. Ida tells Ezra about the dinner preserved on a table and the story of how she and her husband Sam were inspired by the divers who ate there, which became a turning point in their career. Sam listened to the divers compete with grand fishing stories and made a mental map of where to actually catch fish and he used that information for the next 15 years to supply the restaurant. He returns with one small fish in hand. He is afraid he could die any day following a false story told for the sake of winning the competition. The scene closes to the tune of This World Is Not My Home by the traveling band in the foreground, as Shannon gets back onto the Mammoth and they set off again.

A Neighborhood

The crew stops at a houseboat neighborhood to see Clara's theremin performance. Johnny and Junebug reminisce about a time they saw her perform before, when she played at a flower shop. Cyrano opened for her act by playing the lap steel, but he was having a hard time. Junebug thinks over the details of that night and her relationship with Johnny. Clara's playing the theremin in the greenhouse caused the glass to shake and made everyone uneasy, but no harm was done by the end. Johnny brings up the possibility of having Ezra join them and Junebug worries that that will do to their relationship that they built together from simple robots to unique individuals. She later says they could teach him to use the drum machine and contribute to their band. After the performance, the Mammoth set off once more, and everyone disembarked. It appears the old hound stays on board. They had to push the old truck as it wouldn't start. Clara decided to travel with them for a bit.

Silo of Late Reflections

The group realizes the spiral staircase around them is the only path available and there is no way to bring the truck along. They will have to carry the delivery on foot. Ezra takes the lead to check out what the truck has been carrying. End of Act IV.

This section is empty or incomplete and requires expansion.

CharactersEdit

This section is empty or incomplete and requires expansion.

LocationsEdit

Soundtrack Edit

Track list for Act IV soundtrack:

  1. Dark Rum Noir − 01:58
  2. My Light Heaven − 03:50
  3. Glowing Arms − 03:29
  4. Riverworld − 04:19
  5. Echo River Central Exchange − 04:20
  6. Angel Wings − 05:54
  7. This World Is Not My Home − 03:29
  8. Music for Rivers − 03:07

Development and referencesEdit

This section is empty or incomplete and requires expansion.

ReceptionEdit

This section is empty or incomplete and requires expansion.
  • GameRankings: 89/100[1]
  • Metacritic: 90/100[2]


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/698962-kentucky-route-zero-act-iii/index.html
  2. http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/kentucky-route-zero---act-iv


Kentucky Route Zero
Acts

Act I · Act II · Act III · Act IV · Act V

Interludes

Limits and Demonstrations · The Entertainment · Here And There Along The Echo