EXT. CITY PARK - DAY

 

BACHU APPEARS SUDDENLY. A FOREST LIES AROUND HER AS FAR AS SHE CAN SEE, A VERDANT LANDSCAPE OF CATERED GRASS AND EVEN ROWS OF TREES INTERRUPTED BY WINDING SIDEWALK.

 

Imps roam the forest, one of them juggling fire in its hands before sending a ball her direction. As it throws the fireball, it disappears, taunting her as if it understands exactly what has happened to bring her here.

 

Under player control, Bachu wanders the forest until she sees structures. Giant things, surrounded by walls. The structures surround the forest, a stone echo made by man. In two directions, the walls are solid, impassable. In a third direction lies darkness, a meaningless void with no obstruction except its emptiness. To the south is an opening. A door barely sealed shut by planks of wood hastily thrown up to defend against the imps. Behind that door a guard is visible, the first sign of life Bachu sees. The imp is here with its friends. They dance around the door, throwing fireballs at it until Bachu shows up and they turn around to begin pelting her instead, each ball a taunt and reminder of her guilt.

 

She attacks the imps with the full force of her power, unleashing flame and death on them all.

 

The guard sees her action and hides behind his door, trembling in fear. Humans do not use magic, so this must be some new demon.

 

Bachu approaches the man, but does not speak his language.

 

[PLAYERS STILL SEE DIALOGUE BOXES WHILE BACHU DOES NOT SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE, BUT THE BOXES ARE FILLED WITH NONSENSE SYMBOLS INSTEAD OF NORMAL TEXT]

 

[PLAYERS MUST FIND A NEARBY PIECE OF METAL TO MAKE INTO A NEW DOOR]

 

Bachu places a piece of metal between them as a shield for the guard.

 

He stops shaking, understanding the gesture. He peeks his head out from behind the door and invites her inside.

 

Bachu enters the mall.

 

INT. MALL SURVIVORS’ CAMP

 

A SPRAWLING CITY OF HUTS, TENTS, AND WHATEVER OTHER FORM OF PROTECTION AND PRIVACY CAN BE THROWN TOGETHER. MANY PEOPLE SEEM TO LIVE HERE, A COMMUNITY FORMED IN THE RUBBLE, CLINGING TO LIFE AMONG WHAT ONCE WAS CLEARLY A THRIVING MARKETPLACE. THEY SEEM TO BE WORKING WITHOUT TOOLS, THEIR DEFENSES MADE ONLY OF WHATEVER WAS LEFT BEHIND, EVERYTHING SIMPLY PLACED AGAINST THE THINGS NEXT TO IT, NOTHING CRAFTED, NOTHING REFINED.

 

Bachu begins to wander through the tents of the city, trying to understand what is happening here. People approach her or greet her, but she still does not understand their words. As she explores, she sees an imp stealing some materials that were lying around. She follows the imp to a small path through a wall, and finds another section of mall.

 

INT. BEHIND THE CAMP

 

This section is overrun with monsters. Bachu clears them out, moving methodically from one room to the next.

 

She ends up in a book store where a giant imp has made its nest. The king Imp towers over its brethren, wearing armor made of the stonework walls that have crumbled, tied together with clothing and rope. The king imp attacks the intruder with its fiery claws.

 

Bachu defeats the giant imp, crushing it under a heavy bookshelf.

 

As the shelf falls, one of the books lands at her feet and she opens it to find writing within. Struck by inspiration, she casts a spell on the book to help her understand the people around her.

 

[BOOK ITEM DROPS AFTER IMP BOSS FIGHT. UPON PICKING UP THE ITEM, AN ANIMATION PLAYS THAT SHOWS BACHU CASTING A SPELL ON THE BOOK AND PUTTING IT INTO HER INVENTORY.]

 

She also finds, behind the fallen shelf, a cache of tools.

 

INT. MALL SURVIVORS' CAMP

 

Bachu returns to the mall with the tools, and a new ability to understand their language. She finds the leader of the mall dwellers.

 

BACHU

What has happened here?!

 

MARIAN

You speak?!

 

Bachu gestures, impatiently

 

MARIAN (CONT’D)

Oh.... Um... It happened a few weeks ago...

 

[CUT TO STORY SEQUENCE WITH PRERENDERED 2D STILLS]

 

We were all just shopping, going about our lives.

Out of nowhere, giant holes opened up in the air.

 

Light poured out of the holes,

huge rivers of the stuff.

The light coursed through the air

until everything seemed to glow

 

Some places changed.

Started spewing fire or water for no reason.

 

Then the monsters came.

Tiny goblins or whatever,

things out of a movie.

 

They started killing.

 

We all hid here.

 

MARIAN (CONT’D)

We tried to go home,

but the streets are dangerous.

 

And there’s talk of something even

larger out by the docks.

...I haven’t seen my dog in weeks...

 

[CUT BACK TO NORMAL GAMEPLAY CAMERA]

 

Bachu listens to this in shame, realizing the enormity of what she’s done, and what she must now do. She reaches into her belt and removes one of the spell stones there.

 

[GUI ICON FOR PLAYER SPELL PLAYS ANIMATION AS IF PLAYER HAS INPUT BUTTONS TO DROP THEIR SPELL. STONE DROPS FROM PLAYER IN THIS WAY AS WELL. THIS IS ALL DONE OUTSIDE OF PLAYER CONTROL, BUT IN NORMAL GAMEPLAY CAMERA]

 

Marian sees the stone Bachu is giving to her and approaches it hesitantly MARIAN What’s this? Marian grabs the stone BACHU Let me show you

 

[SCREEN FADES TO BLACK]

 

INT. MALL SURVIVORS’ CAMP

 

[SCREEN FADES BACK TO NORMAL]

 

Marian has just cast a spell using the stone Marian holds the spell stone in awe of what she can now do.

 

MARIAN

T-Thank you… it was Bachu, right?

I’m Marian.

 

If you’re still looking to help,

I’ve heard people are hiding near

the college east of here.

They even have internet!

 

[IF PLAYER TALKS TO MARIAN AGAIN AFTER THIS]

 

I’ve heard people are hiding near

the college east of here.

They even have internet!

 

BACHU HEADS EAST, BEING ALLOWED TO PASS THROUGH A PREVIOUSLY-BLOCKED BARRICADE ON THAT SIDE OF THE MALL, WHICH OPENS INTO THE NEARBY STREETS.