Sega Saturn Guide
|Button||While Moving||In a Menu|
|D-Pad / Left Joystick||Move the player and camera||Change selection|
|A / C||Attack / advance text||Enter / OK|
|B||Open Map||Back / Cancel|
|X / Z||Open Inventory||Enter / OK|
|L / R||Side Strafe||Show attached parasites and brands|
If you're playing on native hardware, I strongly recommend using the Sega Saturn's 3D Control Pad when playing Baroque. Movement is stiff when using the default Saturn controller, and it's even worse in the emulated Nintendo Switch port. The 3D Control Pad eliminates all of this stiffness, allowing for incredibly smooth and fluid gameplay.
When you progress to a lower level of the Nerve Tower, you can make a temporary save. These saves can be used to load the game once. Quitting the game before you make another save will land you back in the Outer World. Your overall story progress is updated when saving and will not be lost when resetting or powering off the console (just don't cut the power while saving).
Interacting with NPCs
NPCs will begin speaking as you approach them. Press A or C to advance the dialogue. Once there is no dialogue on the screen, pressing A or C again will attack the NPC. Sometimes this will kill the NPC, so be careful!
You can give or show things to NPCs by opening your inventory and throwing things at them. Afterwards, they will comment on the item and throw it back to you, give another item in return, or keep the item if it is related to a quest.
- Use the Y button to sort your inventory. This will also combine any separate stacks of bones that you are carrying.
- All items can be thrown (投ける) at Grotesques to inflict damage or apply special effects. For example, if an item cures poison for the player, it will poison a Grotesque.
- Only 20 items can be held at a time. Manage your inventory carefully.
- All items can be safely discarded with the "Drop" (置く) command and picked up later. This can be useful for organization or safeguarding valuable items from effects that destroy or transform the contents of your inventory.
- Some items will be unidentified when you pick them up. You will need to use an identification item to identify them. Alternatively, you can just use an item to find out what it does.
- If an equipable item gets stuck and cannot be removed (はずす), there are some items that will be able to remove it (Erasure Brand, Feather Worm, etc). You can also trick a Gliro into ripping it off of you by temporarily discarding the rest of your inventory in a safe location.
Equip (装備) a sword to use it as a weapon. Without a sword equipped, you will attack with your fists instead. Beware of walls and other level geometry when you swing your sword, as it may hit the wall instead of completing the swing. However, this can also be exploited to rapidly strike a monster by letting a wall interrupt the remainder of your attack.
In untranslated versions of the game, all swords contain the kanji 剣 in their name.
A list of all swords with stats is available here.
The only firearm in the game is the Angelic Rifle. It plays an important role in the story and is capable of obliterating any Grotesque in a single shot. The 'bullets' the rifle fires cannot be replenished, so use it sparingly. This is to say nothing of the judgement using this weapon will illicit from other characters. There is significance in the dancing feathers that rain from the sky after each successful shot.
Coats are Baroque's equivalent of armor, likely inspired by the film noir aesthetic the game was designed around. Equipping (装備) certain coats can also grant ailment immunities or other passive effects.
In untranslated versions of the game, all coats contain the katakana コート in their name.
A list of all coats with stats is available here.
A prosthetic device used by the pretend angels, the Order of Malkuth, to signify rank within the organization (based on wingspan). Equip (装備) one for a range of passive effects, from preventing status ailments to stat boosts.
In untranslated versions of the game, all imitation wings contain the kanji 偽翼 in their name.
A list of all imitation wings with stats is available here.
You must consume (食べる) Heart Seeds and Heart Fruit in order to restore your 'vitality' (VT). As long as you have >1 VT, your HP will slowly regenerate, but your VT is constantly depleting. If it runs out, your HP will start to slowly drain. Consuming hearts while your VT is full will instead increase your max VT, unless the heart is burnt.
Beware of rotten (腐) hearts, as they will give the player a stomachache and reduce your stats until it is cured. Hearts can be burned to remove the rot by exposing them to fire (via environmental heat sources and items) or by throwing them to the Crypt Angel (who will purify rotten hearts without burning them). Be careful, as the Crypt Angel will burn healthy hearts if he tries to purify them.
You can tell if a heart is rotten or not by dropping it on the ground and seeing if it still beats. Some NPCs (Alice, Box Thing) will also give you a clue as to whether a heart has rotted or not. In untranslated versions of the game, all hearts contain the kanji 心 in their name.
A list of all hearts with stats is available here.
Mysterious flesh that you can consume (食べる) to restore HP. The 'smarter' the flesh is, the more HP it will restore. For example, Idiot Flesh restores only a little HP while Genius Flesh restores all of it. Consuming flesh while your HP is full will instead increase your max HP (unless it is burnt).
Beware of rotten (腐) flesh as it will give the player a stomachache and reduce your stats until it is cured. Rotten flesh can be burned to remove the rot by exposing it to fire (via environmental heat sources and items) or by throwing it to the Crypt Angel (who will purify rotten flesh without burning it). Be careful, as the Crypt Angel will burn uncontaminated flesh if he tries to purify it. Some NPCs (Alice, Box Thing) will also give you a clue as to whether flesh has rotted or not.
In untranslated versions of the game, all flesh contains the kanji 肉 in its name.
A list of all flesh with stats is available here.
Open (開く) a box to get an item and/or release a special effect. Be aware that many boxes have a chance to explode when opened.
In untranslated versions of the game, all boxes contain the kanji 箱 in their name.
A list of all boxes with stats is available here.
Inject (注入) yourself or an enemy with these (by throwing it at them) for a variety of effects, ranging from status ailments to the spontaneous creation of parasites. All ampoules also restore 10 HP and VT when used.
In untranslated versions of the game, all ampoules contain the kanji 液 in their name.
A list of all ampoules is available here.
A branding iron used to press (押す) a distorted sigil into your flesh. This sigil imparts a passive ability that remains for the rest of the current run unless removed with special items (such as an Erasure Brand or Unbranding Pattern). Only one brand can be applied at a time.
In untranslated versions of the game, all brands contain the kanji 印 in their name.
A list of all brands with stats is available here.
A device that punishes (処す) all surrounding enemies with damage and/or special effects. Some torturers can even affect the items in your inventory. If thrown at an enemy, many will simply trigger as if you had used the item directly. Others, like the Flying Torturer, will apply their effect to you instead.
In untranslated versions of the game, all torturers contain the kanji 刑具 in their name.
A list of all torturers is available here.
A trap analogous to a magic circle (or "pattern") that can be installed (設置) on the ground in either an upright or reversed (裏置) configuration. When stepped on by you or a Grotesque, an effect will be activated. Take note of the diagram for upright and reversed patterns below. A reversed pattern inverts the effect of the trap. However, many patterns do not have a reverse function and can simply be picked up when in this position.
In untranslated versions of the game, all patterns contain the kanji 文様 in their name.
A list of all patterns with stats is available here.
Distorted human bones that can be gnawed (かじる) or thrown (投ける) for a variety of special effects. Many bones restore 10 HP and VT when gnawed. However, tough bones will damage your teeth (and therefore your HP).
Bones can be stacked by sorting your inventory. Alternatively, you can leave bones unstacked (or split stacks by tossing them individually to certain NPCs) in order to increase the effectiveness of multiplication items such as Girder Fluid. You can also transfer an entire stack of bones through a Sense Sphere by using the "Drop" (置く) command.
In untranslated versions of the game, all bones contain the kanji 骨 in their name.
A list of all bones with stats is available here.
These creatures can infest (寄生する) you, your items, or even be thrown at Grotesques to trigger special effects.
Your body, sword, and coat only have room for one worm each. Infesting an already infested body will kill the previous worm and replace it with the new one. However, you can cultivate a composite parasite by infesting one parasite with another - creating a single worm with two effects. In this way, you can be imbued with up to six passive effects from parasites at any one time. Additionally, some effects can stack (such as Comet Worms which can stack twice, or Assault and Guard Worms which can stack up to 99 times).
In untranslated versions of the game, all parasites contain the kanji 虫 in their name.
A list of all parasites with stats is available here.
Crystals, also known as Idea Sefirot or 'water', are said to be the very core of a person's being - an amalgamation of all the data and memories that make up an organism. These can be obtained from purifying NPCs and are often used as quest items. Use the "Give" (わたす) command or throw (投ける) them at NPCs for additional dialogue. They can also be thrown at Grotesques to inflict a large amount of damage.
If you lose an important Crystal, don't worry. It will respawn in the location you obtained it from when you begin your next run.
In untranslated versions of the game, all crystals contain the kanji 結晶 in their name.
A list of all crystals with stats is available here.
Sense Spheres are the sensory organs of God. Their purpose is to sample and absorb the data that comprises reality. Any distortions found in this information will be corrected. In this way, the Creator constantly "preserves" our reality. However, these organs have ceased to function properly ever since the Malkuth modified them with the capability to transmit man-made items.
These large, bio-mechanical spheres come in a variety of shapes and colors (see below) and can be found both inside and outside of the Nerve Tower. Throw an item into a Sense Sphere within the Nerve Tower to transfer it back to the Outer World. If you don't pick up these transferred items at the start of your next run, they'll disappear forever.
The two main stats in Baroque are HP (health) and VT (vitality). HP will gradually increase as long as you have >1 VT. When your VT drops to 0, your HP will begin to slowly decrease. HP will also decrease when you take damage. At 0 HP, you will die and awake to find yourself back in the Outer World - stripped of all your EXP, stats, and items.
Consume flesh and hearts to increase your HP and VT, respectively. If your HP or VT is full, consuming flesh or hearts will increase your max HP/VT instead.
The other two stats in the game are ATK (attack) and DEF (defense). Equipping weapons will increase your ATK, and coats will increase your DEF. You can further increase these stats by upgrading your sword and coat with various items (such as parasites or ampoules).
Additionally, Grotesques and items may inflict the following status effects:
- Poison - HP will gradually decrease.
- Darkness - Impairs your vision.
- Lust - All Grotesques and items will appear as beautiful women.
- Lethargy - Movement becomes slower.
- Paralysis - Renders you immobile.
- Stomachache - Decreases your attack and defense.
- Confusion - Your movement is randomized.
All status ailments except for Stomachache will wear off on their own after a short time. Various items can also be used to cure or prevent these status effects. Conversely, throwing these items at Grotesques will usually inflict them with the status ailment the item was meant to cure. In addition, any Grotesque suffering from Darkness, Lust, or Paralysis will be unable to attack you.
Purifying Grotesques will grant experience and increase the player's level. As you level up, your parameters will increase. Below is a table of the experience requirements for each level between 2 and 51. The max level the protagonist can reach is 99.
Part -1: Simulation
The game begins inside a 'Consciousness Simulation' - a nearly perfect simulation of reality designed by the Malkuth Order for the purpose of burning the protagonist's mission into his brain. You can exit this simulation by succeeding in your mission or simply by dying. With the exception of a minor change in the subsequent cutscene, nothing you do in the simulation effects the rest of the game.
Nerve Tower Walkthrough
Below is a list of the Nerve Tower's floors, as well as a description of what you will find on each one. These ever-deepening levels are procedurally generated, but Grotesques and NPCs will always appear on a specific floor.
Like all Grotesques, these carnivorous fish were once ordinary people before they were transformed by the Archangel's tampering with God. They now embody the 'Moon' of the Tarot's Major Arcana. They can be seen swimming through the skies of the Outer World, as well as within the corridors of the Nerve Tower. There isn't much point in trying to dodge them, as their frail bodies break easily and they only pose a danger to fledgling players if they attack in large swarms.
Drops: Evacuation Bone, Experience Bone
These tiny, hopping insects are the product of another, yet unseen, Grotesque. As such, they belong to a fictional 23rd card of the Major Arcana - "Waste". They can be avoided and easily purified by backstepping as they hop towards you, but again, there is little point considering how weak they are. You (and Grotesques) can even crush them underfoot by walking over them.
Drops: Idiot Flesh, Detoxification Fluid
In a secluded room of BF1, you will be assaulted by a vision of a face that looks exactly like the protagonist's. Every time the player enters this room, they will be haunted by this traumatic memory - an embodiment of the survivor's guilt that the protagonist constantly suffers from, following the death of his conjoined twin brother.
A blacksmith of the Malkuth Order who was twisted into this pitiable form by the Great Heat Wave. Despite his disfigurement, his passion for synthesizing tools has continued unabated. Throw him items in order to make use of his various skills.
If you throw a sword or a coat with a ▼ symbol at the Crypt Angel, he will return it to you with the debuff removed. The Crypt Angel will also take rotten flesh and hearts and restore them to normal. If you throw ordinary flesh or hearts, they will be burned, so be careful.
Throw a crystal at the Crypt Angel and he will always transform it into a specific item. You can also get a valuable Toy Box with one Gold Bone or three Silver Bones. He will carry your Silver Bones with him, so you don't have to find three all at once.
The Crypt Angel's effect on specific items:
Item to Throw Item Received Sword or coat with a ▼ symbol Item reverted to base value Rotten flesh or heart Item reverted to normal Normal flesh or heart Item will be burned Koriel Crystal Revolution Fluid Neck Thing's Crystal Heart Seed Sack Thing's Crystal Absorption Torturer Little's Crystal Angelic Rifle Horned Woman's Crystal Identification Bone Box Thing's Crystal Box My Crystal Self Sigil Gold Bone or
3 Silver Bones
Otherwise, you can throw any two items at the Crypt Angel and receive one random item in return. However, there are a few combinations for crafting specific items:
Items to Throw Item Received 2x Grilled Flesh or Burnt Hearts Flesh or Heart Old Sword + 1 other item Sword Old Coat + 1 other item Coat Fire, Ice, or Thunder Worm + Sword Sword of the corresponding attribute Fire, Ice, or Thunder Worm + Coat Coat of the corresponding attribute Box + Equipable Item Vulnerable Box Empty Box + Box Box Box Empty Box + Pattern Pattern Box Recovery Fluid A +
Recovery Fluid D
Recovery Fluid AD
The source of the hopping Grues encountered earlier. When feeding God his delusional instructions on how to classify all of humanity into 22 categories based on the Major Arcana, the Archangel designated the bureaucratically-minded to "The Wheel of Fortune" category. The mutations that resulted now wander the post-apocalyptic wastelands, lashing their victims with poisonous tongues that closely resemble the neckties they once wore. They pause only to spit up Grues, which according to the game's writer, are embodiments of their constant, pointless complaints.
These Grotesques are very easy to trap in a loop by circle-strafing. Unless you're cornered or attacked by several at once, it is fairly easy to completely avoid their strikes.
Drops: Detoxification Fluid, Uncertain Box
From this floor onward, you will begin to see various mechanisms built into the Nerve Tower, such as furnaces, hidden doors, and fire traps. The large furnaces can be turned on or off by hitting a nearby lever, which will cause lower levels to freeze over. You can also throw flesh into an active furnace to burn it. If no furnace is visible, a lever indicates the presence of a hidden chamber. Later on, you'll encounter other fake walls made out of mud or ice. Simply strike these walls once and they will melt away.
Not all mechanisms are benign, however. Be alert for the green pressure plates pictured below, as they will activate an emitter that launches enormous fireballs. Be aware that Grotesques that travel along the ground can also activate these traps.
From the work of Hieronymus Bosch comes Gliro, "the Devil". This mischievous hopping Grotesque will steal absolutely anything it wants from your inventory, including key plot items. When it begins its stealing animation, quickly back up to interrupt the theft. If Gliro does succeed in stealing an item however, it will take off at incredible speed. You can get your item back if you kill the offending Gliro, but only if you catch it before it stops running and goes back to idling. Status ailment-inflicting items (especially Torturers) are very useful for stopping fleeing Gliros in their tracks. Otherwise, move diagonally while strafing to pursue them more quickly. You can also use an Adhesive or Immobility Brand to prevent theft entirely. Conversely, Gliros can help you remove equipment that has become stuck.
Drops: Stolen Item, Heart Seed
Mind Reading Thing
A former actress who became fused with a Sense Sphere following the Great Heat Wave. As a result, she is now cursed to hear the delusional thoughts of everyone around her. Despite hating this burden, she will use her ability to provide useful hints concerning the protagonist's situation. If you're feeling charitable, throw her an item. She'll toss out a variety of bones and patterns - but beware, many of the patterns can destroy you or your inventory if you accidentally step on one.
The bloated, gas-propelled Grotesques that originated from "The Empress" card. They attack by shoving when you get too close, but can also leap towards you over longer distances. The leap is easily dodged by moving backwards and strafing. Bulger can also expel a blinding secretion from their anus. If you react fast enough, the blinding miasma can be dodged by moving backwards while strafing. However, their violent shoves can't be circle-strafed. Until you can inflict enough damage to quickly cut through their considerable HP pool, consider using and throwing items to deal with them from a distance.
Drops: Eyeball Fluid, Average Flesh
NPC: Crypt Angel
Urim and Thummim
Two members of the Malkuth Order who worked closely together. When the Great Heat Wave hit, they were fused into a single organism. The main body is Thummim's, while the face on his shoulder is what's left of Urim. They appear to have been assigned to a Kill Team meant to exterminate the cherub-like Little Angelic Insects within the Nerve Tower, but have deserted their duty out of what appears to be a mix of cowardice and moral objection. They'll assess any item's effectiveness as a throwing weapon for you, and instruct you on various elemental attributes when attacked.
This leathery, phallic unicycler represents "The Star", with its name deriving from the Star being the 17th card in the Major Arcana. Upon seeing you, they will charge but this can be easily dodged by backing up while strafing. If their charge connects, you'll be thrown backwards a short distance. Once they're in range, their headbutts are easily dodged by sidestepping. But beware, they kick like a horse if you get in their blind spot.
Drops: Lethargy Bone, Convergence Torturer
Box Thing became consumed by regret after attempting to murder his daughter, Sack Thing. He hasn't yet realized she survived, and so he searches the Nerve Tower for the power discovered by the Malkuth Order (God) - a power he believes can revive his "dead" daughter. His grossly elongated, strangling fingers encircle a box which he delusionally believes to contain his daughter. This is his "Baroque", a distorted delusion that grants people the will to keep living in the hellish world of the Great Heat Wave. Give him a box and he will reward you with a random item.
"The Hermit", Jerryrom, was designed to evoke the feeling of a playful child - including children's innate propensity for cruelty. Their innocent frolicking stops as soon as they see you - giving way to a relentless desire to kick you to death. Don't you dare walk away from them, because as soon as you try to ignore them, they'll begin chasing you. If they catch up, they'll explode - killing themselves and doing massive damage to everything in their vicinity. If you're brave and skilled at diagonally strafing to boost your speed, you can lead them into groups of enemies and set them off before fleeing to a safe distance.
Drops: Heart Seed, Anonymous Torturer
A former aide to the Archangel, this eerie figure is now consumed by guilt over the heinous cultivation of the Little Angelic Insects she carried out under his instructions. Her plan to put an end to the tortured beings she helped to cultivate begins when she attempts to break into the simulation in order to warn you away from using the Angelic Rifle given to you by the Archangel...
A manifestation of the Archangel's "Justice" card. This clownish beast spins at alarmingly high speeds and can saw through an unprepared player in seconds. Additionally, the frogs on its shoulders can vomit flaming explosives or a green, corrosive slime that degrades your equipment. Prevent your items from rotting with Antiseptic Fluid, or hand them to the Crypt Angel to fix the damage. Moving backwards while strafing can lessen the number of hits you take, but don't relax once it dies. Even in death, they target your gear by frequently dropping Food Patterns that can transform your items into flesh. Long range combat involving items is advised.
Drops: Flesh Pattern, Double Edged Box
A simulated version of the ultimate target assigned to you by the Archangel: the God of Creation and Preservation. Once in the bottom layer of the Nerve Tower, you are to take the Angelic Rifle and shoot God with it - or at least that's what he tells you to do.
If you've lost or discarded your simulated Angelic Rifle, another will be provided to you once you reach the bottom floor. Shoot God with the Angelic Rifle to clear the simulation.
Part 0: The Outer World
The blasted, purgatorial wasteland you perpetually awaken to upon your death. The tortured howls of the Little Angelic insects can be heard coming from the distant Nerve Tower looming over the northern horizon. Each time you return to the Outer World, try talking to the NPCs and throwing them various items recovered from the Nerve tower.
Path to the Nerve Tower
To the north lies the path to the Nerve Tower, framed by two Sense Spheres on either side.NPC:
The leader of the Order of Malkuth and your direct superior as one of the pretend angels. It was this organization that discovered an organism found to be responsible for the creation of the universe, as well as its ongoing preservation. Unlike other religious organizations which seek salvation through gaining the favor of their god(s), the Malkuth Order sought to capture and protect God as if it were an endangered species. To this end, they built the Nerve Tower around the organism - a sanctuary wired directly into the creature's nervous system.
Not long after, the world began to violently distort. Grotesques began to appear in ever-increasing numbers, and as society was on the brink of collapse, the entire world was engulfed by a disaster that came to be known as the Great Heat Wave. The Archangel blames you for all of this, and states that it is your duty to return the world to normality. To this end, he tasks you with taking an Angelic Rifle to the bottom of the Nerve Tower and putting an end to God once and for all. Only then can he create a new world - one free from distortion.
What was once a subterranean crypt has now been converted into a dubious 'training dungeon'. Following the simulation, you can descend inside for a tutorial concerning Baroque's gameplay mechanics. There are three training dungeons in total, each longer than the last. Once one tutorial is completed, the next won't be ready to play until the following run.
There is a small barrier that surrounds the entrance to the underground cemetery. Walk along the outside of this barrier until you reach the northwest corner. Here you will find a Recovery Pattern that can restore your HP and VT.NPC:
The shady figure responsible for renovating the underground cemetery into a training dungeon - likely for the purpose of killing off unsuspecting adventurers and stealing their belongings. He speaks with an unusual dialect that sounds rude and polite all at once.
A building within the southern wall of the starting area.NPC:
The enticing crimson doors of the laboratory are patiently guarded by a steadfast Sentry Angel, who despite his tiny wings, diligently stands guard to prevent "you guys" from "re-entering" the laboratory. His dedication to duty seems unwavering, but perhaps there is a way to make him abandon his post...
The Distorted Ones
Rumored by the game's writer to be survivors of a "Geo-Spiritual Quantum Interference Train" that derailed as it passed through the epicenter of the Great Heat Wave. These "distorted ones" now listlessly mill about the Outer World as guilt from their past slowly presses down on them.NPC:
A former scientist and pretend angel who served under the Guardian Angel. His role in cultivating beings of pure suffering - the Little Angelic Insects - weighs heavily on his mind. He blames himself for the recent apocalypse and so wishes to avert his eyes from the world he helped to create. With no sane God present to correct distortions in his physiology, this desire to avert his eyes has caused his neck to elongate until he sees only the sky. His guilt is matched only by his gluttony, and he will steadily grow fatter as his body absorbs surrounding matter in an attempt to sate his appetite. This hunger prevents him from fulfilling his only remaining aspiration - to plant and cultivate a Heart Seed so that he can watch it grow into a beautiful flower.NPC:
This concealed figure is what remains of a studious young woman who loved reading and poetry. In the wake of the disaster, her father decided to strangle her to death instead of watching her slowly distort. She managed to survive, but now only communicates by relaying the quotes of others in what appears to be an attempt to avoid any further judgement. Due to the trauma of this nearly-fatal attack, she no longer seems certain of whether she deserves to live or not. You can put her extensive knowledge to good use by showing her items. She'll explain the basics of each one, in her own way.NPC:
The Horned Woman
A mysterious person who has completely lost her sense of self, but has somehow gained the ability to read the minds of others. She will automatically recite the thoughts of anyone who comes near her, in what according to other NPCs may be an attempt to "become like those around her." Due to this affliction, the mute protagonist's thoughts can be read by the player while in her proximity. Nothing is known of her past circumstances, but according to the game's writer, she carries a great deal of guilt just like the other distorted ones.
- Just an empty corner, at least in the Saturn version.
Small flocks of Moons appear to the east and west of the Outer World area. If you're struggling, killing them can earn you easy EXP and some extra items before entering the Nerve Tower. Combine this with a run through a training dungeon for even more of a head start.
Part 1: Harvesting Pure Water
Having completed the Consciousness Simulation, the Archangel now tasks you with entering the actual Nerve Tower and purifying the mad God of Creation and Preservation. When you are done exploring the Outer World, enter the Nerve Tower.
|Important events will be marked with this image. These events must be completed before moving on to Part 2.|
The Little Angelic Insects, otherwise known as Littles, are beings of pure suffering. Their wailing psychic projections haunt the Nerve Tower as they implore the player to release them from their constant agony.
What appears to be a projection of a mysterious floating girl who wasn't in the simulation. She's swathed in fluttering gauze held together with medical tubing, and according to the designers, reeks of antiseptic. As you approach, she retreats through an illusory wall. Due to some unseen interference, she doesn't seem to be able to communicate with you properly and asks you to meet with her again, in the depths of the Nerve Tower.
Yet another drifting maiden who wasn't in the simulation. She floats below a gigantic green Sense Sphere and speaks in a tomboyish fashion. Both Alice and her sister Eliza are aspects of God, created in the wake of the Great Heat Wave in an attempt to restore the Creator and Preserver's lost sanity. Eliza is seeking the player's "pure water" in order to birth new Sense Spheres, but Alice is less sure of herself. She is unable to experience pain, and holds a fascination for the Littles because they are creatures who experience nothing but pain. Tossing an item to her will cause it to be drawn up into the Sense Sphere, transferring it above ground.
The tortured remains of a rebel sect within the Malkuth Order. These are the protagonist's former comrades, as he too once ranked amongst their numbers. A dozen in total, they rebelled against the Archangel when God began to distort the world. The Archangel insisted God was trying to destroy humanity, but they did not believe him. Instead they planned to bodily fuse Koriel #12, the protagonist, with God in order to learn of the Creator and Preserver's true intentions. This plan was christened "The Dabar Fusion". The Archangel learned of this heretical plan and arrived just as the fusion was nearly complete. He tore the protagonist away from God, and in their struggle to remain fused, the Great Heat Wave erupted and spread across the world. The Koriel were not present to see the aftermath however, as the Archangel had them confined within the torture devices they now inhabit. Unfortunately, you are unable to tell them about the aftermath either, as God kept the protagonist's ability to speak and entrusted him with the ability to purify in exchange. Deprived of sight and information while in a state of perpetual torment, all they desire now is the release of death.
These feminine creatures resulted from the Archangel's "Power" category of humanity. According to the game's writer, these were people who kept secrets close to their chest and played games with people's emotions, becoming withdrawn if things didn't go their way. For this reason, they were designed as something that would live under the earth, with root-like hair and claws. They whip you relentlessly with these electrically-charged appendages and occasionally begin shaking in order to inflict the Lust ailment. This is incredibly useful when they're in mobs, as all of the other Grotesques will become passive and aroused. Try leading them to tough enemies that you don't want to fight.
Drops: Erasure Sigil, Thunder Worm
NPC: Crypt Angel
Worker Angel(Kill Team)
One of the Malkuth's Kill Team sent to exterminate the Little Angelic Insects, on orders from the Archangel. However, this angel appears to have gotten lost. Like Urim and Thummim, he can give you information on elemental attributes when attacked by them.
The "Death" card resulted in these metallic coffins armed with sickles. They alternate between grasping at you with their razor claws and slamming you backward with their powerful scythe. They're heavy-hitters that mark a noticeable mid-Tower difficulty spike. If your defenses can't withstand their damage-output, rely on ranged tactics instead.
Drops: Secretion Bone, Storm Pattern
NPC: Koriel Member
NPCs: Guardian Angel, Koriel Member
If you switched off the furnace on BF2, you'll find that BF10-BF13 have frozen over. The difference is purely aesthetic, but you will encounter gigantic walls of ice blocking your path. Like the mud walls, they melt when struck - however the ice ones can take quite a bit longer to disappear.
An obvious product of "The Hanged Man" card, a category that targeted people paralyzed by defilement from their traumatic pasts. Patient zero for this strain was a young Malkuth adherent who had been repeatedly raped by his father and brother. He was so completely immobilized by this defilement that not even suicide could move him from life to death. Now paralyzed and nearly immortal, he ultimately sacrificed himself to an eternity of degradation for the Archangel's sake - hanging from the ceiling, his leg bound by flesh-cords which ceaselessly violate him (Kazunari Yonemitsu. "23 Tales for Changing the World #3", 1999). In line with this theme of paralysis, the Hungones will alternate between ramming you and spewing a paralyzing miasma from their bloated wing-like fingers. Avoid this by backing away while strafing. If damaged enough, they will fall from the ceiling and rapidly strike you with their leg. This drains a lot of HP very quickly, so consider ranged attacks or simply running away (as they cannot move on the ground).
Drops: invincibility Bone, Identification Worm
NPC: Koriel Member
At first "The Tower", Bubugel, merely appears to be an unexpected dead-end at the end of a corridor. When approached, it will violently spin around and attempt to electrocute the player. If you aren't prepared for their enormous HP value or terrifying attack power, try throwing an item and luring it out of its corridor. Then you can slip around it and keep exploring (unless there's more than one inside). Try to save insta-kill items (Rotten Bones, Death Bones, Heart/Carrion Torturers, Revolution Fluid, etc) for dealing with these. Status ailments are also extremely effective for disabling them, enabling you to attack freely.
Drops: Resurrection Worm, Thunderstorm Torturer
The mosquito-legged Grotesques resulting from the "Judgement" card, named after the neurologist who invented the lobotomy, Egas Moniz (literally, "The Sin of Moniz"). Like their namesake, they siphon away the player's VT - a stat heavily implied to represent the will to live, which is fueled by delusions (aka Baroques). Other than that, they do no actual damage to the player, and can be made to refill your VT by inflicting Lust on them. Highly recommended, if nothing else because they shrink while doing it and it's cute.
Weakness: Lightning, Ice
Drops: Secretion Bone, Twin Box
NPCs: Alice, Eliza.
CAUTION - There is an unknown bug that can occur within the corridors of BF12 which is capable of freezing the game. This can also occur in the Nintendo Switch port and will result in the game crashing.
|Follow Eliza through the illusory wall and listen to her request: "Please bring me your pure water."|
"The World", Orhuganous, was born from people who felt trapped by the world around them. Like songbirds trapped in a cage, they deluded themselves into thinking they would break free one day (Kazunari Yonemitsu. "23 Tales for Changing the World #1", 1998). Inheriting the electrically-charged cyborg motif from their patient zero (a Sense Sphere Cyborg constructed by the Malkuth) these bird-cage like creatures attack in three phases. The first involves firing balls of electricity that can be dodged from a distance. Once their health drops, they spawn a ball of lightning that rapidly orbits their body as they flail around randomly. This is great for quickly taking out mobs of Grotesques with friendly fire. Finally, they will attempt to self-destruct at low health, just like Jerryrom.
Drops: Special Fluid, Recovery Box
"The Sun" appears to have been inspired by H.R. Giger's facehuggers, and is one of Baroque's trickier Grotesques. When you first encounter them, they will be suspended in a web of green mucus that blocks your path. While in their web, they will fire piercing lasers that cannot be dodged within the cramped confines of a corridor. Upon taking enough damage, their web will disintegrate and inflict anyone nearby with lethargy. Sun will then begin scuttling around and attempt to jump on your face. Like the facehuggers of "Alien", it will drop off after a short time and die. If you are near the corpse, it too will begin spraying green secretions that also inflict lethargy. You will usually be forced to trade hits with these Grotesques, so it's advised to use ailment-inflicting or highly damaging items to end the fight quickly. Be aware that this is the one Grotesque that runs away from you when it becomes aroused. You can also enter a dead-end room and activate a Convergence Torturer to clear nearby corridors of these obstructions. Walking Bones are also effective for this.
Drops: Evacuation Bone, Revolution Torturer
"The Emperor" was designed around the image of a tyrant on horseback. As such, this Grotesques hops around the Tower on four hoofed legs. When you first encounter them, they will be asleep and are easy to sneak up on. All of their attacks involve a long windup, making them easy to dodge. Their slashing attacks can be side-stepped, and when they unlatch their head to spew blinding miasma from within their body, just start backing up and strafing to avoid it. However, the Darkness inflicted by this attack isn't very debilitating so it's a decent opportunity to get free hits in.
Drops: Eyeball Fluid, Rotten Bone
Here lies the true reason behind the Archangel's use of projections. When he attempted to separate the protagonist and God during the Dabar Fusion, he became impaled on the spine of a Sense Sphere. In this way, he is eternally preserved and unable to die - powerless to do anything but send projections of himself through the Sense Spheres in order to command his underlings. He admits to being the one who erased your memories and manipulated you into coming here to kill God. After all, it's the only way to create a new world free of distortion - or so he claims. Push forward into his Sense Sphere to enter the Bottom Layer. You can also transmit items with his Sense Sphere, just like the other ones.
The God of Creation and Preservation
Herein lies the one true God of the universe that the Malkuth discovered and imprisoned within the Nerve Tower. The surrounding walls have become nothing but a wireframe, reminiscent of a data construct. God warns the protagonist to stay back, as its unstable condition is driving him mad. The closer the protagonist gets, the more his mind rationalizes what he's seeing as a human woman (according to the game's writer, God's true form was too expensive to properly depict so we only ever see it from the protagonist's deteriorating POV). You are now faced with a choice: trust the Archangel and shoot God, or take matters into your own hands and re-attempt the Dabar Fusion.
|Walk forward into God to complete the current phase. You will be unable to advance the plot until you do so.|
Unfortunately, both the protagonist and God fall into madness. Without understanding the details of his past, the protagonist can't preserve himself. He instead wishes for a world in which he was sacrificed instead of his twin brother. Without the ability to feel pain, God can't preserve herself either. She needs pain to diagnose and repair the damage done to her by the Archangel. The protagonist's memories and God's pain will have to be restored before this metempsychosis can end.
Return to the Outer World
If you have completed both of the mandatory events marked in the Nerve Tower above, you will reawaken in the Outer World to find that Neck Thing has become buried in the soil. If you have not yet spoken with Eliza on BF12, you can instead give Neck Thing some Cultivation Fluid (found in the Guardian Angel's chamber on BF10). This will also cause him to bury himself after you return from exploring the Nerve Tower or a training dungeon.
The Sentry Angel has grown curious as to why Neck Thing is so blissful in his current predicament. If you've been experimenting with items, you'll know that getting Neck Thing's Idea Sephirah could communicate this information to the Sentry Angel...
|Acquire Neck Thing's Crystal|
The easiest method is to just attack Neck Thing, which will kill him and leave behind his crystal. Alternatively, you can grant Neck Thing's request and throw him a Heart Seed. After that, you will need to advance the plot by either dying or completing a dungeon (the Nerve Tower and training dungeons are both valid). When you return, Neck Thing will have bloomed into a flower. Advancing the plot three times will see Neck Thing budding and producing a few crops of hearts before ultimately disappearing and leaving his crystal behind.
|Enter the Research Lab|
Upon obtaining Neck Thing's Crystal, the Sentry Angel will ask to see it. Give it to him, and after advancing the plot again, you'll discover that the Sentry Angel has tried to imitate Neck Thing and is now rotting alive in the ground. With your way cleared, you are now free to enter the Laboratory.
A scientist of the Malkuth Order, presumably responsible for overseeing the Consciousness Simulation and cloning procedures that must be undertaken every time the player dies.
|Obtain Pure Water|
You'll find yourself standing inside Clone Laboratory #2, a chamber stocked with machines producing clones of the protagonist. Each time one dies, their memories are sent back through the Sense Spheres and implanted into a new clone. The Worker Angel on duty locks you in, leaving you alone with your clones. When they ask you to purify them, do so. They will then present you with Your Water ("My Crystal"). The protagonist will automatically escape through the Sense Sphere embedded in the Lab's ceiling. Watch the cutscene.
Part 2: Restoration of Pain
|Important events will be marked with this image. These events must be completed.|
Now that you have obtained your Pure Water, give it to Eliza behind the illusory wall on BF2.
With this, God's ability to produce corrective Sense Spheres (capable of purifying the distortion consuming both herself and her world) is restored. But without the ability to feel pain, God will still have no way to diagnose what needs to be fixed.
NPC: Guardian Angel, Koriel Member
|Enter the Guardian Angel's chamber and talk to her. In the following cutscene, we see the secret behind the Littles' cultivation.|
The Archangel instructed the Guardian Angel and Neck Thing to remove God's capacity to feel pain, so that God would be unable to feel that the Archangel was tampering with its systems (in order to spread distortion throughout the world). The pain-inducing chemicals, once extracted from God, were then cultivated into the Little Angelic Insects which we've seen haunting the Nerve Tower. The Archangel ordered the Guardian Angel to pack them inside bullets, which he could then use to shoot God - triggering a type of autoimmune response that would cause God to kill itself. With God destroyed, the Archangel believed he would gain the power to create a new world he could then rule over.
With the secret of the Littles and the Angelic Rifle exposed, the Guardian Angel will ask you to use your purification ability to set the Littles free from their unending agony. If you haven't fired the Angelic Rifle since you entered the Nerve Tower, the Guardian Angel will also ask you to give her the Rifle (in exchange for a stat-boosting item). Also, you will now be able to use the Sense Sphere located behind her.
Worker Angel(Kill Team)
Here is the only member of the Kill Team that managed to reach the Littles' Cultivation Chamber and fulfill his mission. To this end, he has set up a pain amplifier designed to boost the Littles' already considerable agony to unbearable levels. Driven psychotic by unimaginable levels of torment, the Littles are now destroying themselves. If you wait too long to reach the Cultivation Chamber, haven't met with the Guardian Angel yet, or didn't surrender the Angelic Rifle to her, you may find it in ruins - the Littles having already escaped and in the process of actively killing themselves. If this happens, you will need to complete your current run (or just die) before trying again.
This is another Worker Angel, one that appears to specialize in research concerning the creation of the Archangel's artificial Sense Spheres. Dislikes being pushed. In bugged dialogue that isn't readable in-game (see the character's page linked above), it is revealed that he knows the Archangel was using the artificial Sense Spheres found on this floor to stream his delusional instructions into God's mind. He doesn't know much about the extraction of God's pain however, so he's confused as to how God could have let so much damage occur without attempting to fix it.
Niculi and Nicula
Here they are at last, "the Lovers" that appeared in the game's opening cutscene - Niculi and Nicula. Designed around the image of "praying nuns", their name was inspired by the song "Funiculi Funicula" by Luciano Pavarotti. This song also features prominently in Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures", one of Baroque's cinematic inspirations. This Grotesque will charge into your face, immobilizing you as it savagely tears into your flesh. Despite being unable to move while it rips you apart, you can still take the opportunity to stab it repeatedly with your weapon. It is difficult, but their charge can be dodged by backing up and strafing. After their charge, they will retreat briefly before attacking again. This is your chance to give chase and go on the offensive. Be careful! If you try to teleport away while the Lovers are latched onto your face, they will teleport with you.
Drops: Anonymous Torturer, Recovery Torturer
The Magician is full of visual symbolism meant to partially explain the Archangel using his personalized "electronically encoded Tarot deck" to feed his delusions into God's mind and begin the transformation of humans into Grotesques. This Grotesque is, in itself, a gigantic version of one of these electronically encoded Tarot cards. The backside of the card even sports the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the origin of terms such as "Malkuth" and "Sephirot". The human figure merged into the card represents the Archangel's delusional Tarot being overlaid onto humanity, with their distressing ability to replicate themselves likely signifying the rapid spread of Grotesques throughout the world. If their numbers are growing too quickly, try using area of effect weapons like torturers or patterns. If you have to run away and find your way blocked by one, just hit it. They tend to disappear and reappear behind you in an attempt to take you by surprise. If you're running away however, they won't get the chance.
Drops: Freezing Pattern, Suicide Bomb Pattern
There are many members of the Malkuth who despise the Guardian Angel for betraying the Archangel by revealing the secret of the Littles to you. This betrayal is likely why the Archangel ordered the Littles to be destroyed, as he doesn't want the protagonist to purify them and return their crystal to God. However, this lone Worker Angel isn't looking at the big picture. He just wants revenge and is searching the Nerve Tower for the Guardian Angel so that he can assassinate her. Every time you speak with him, he will move further up the Tower to continue his search.
|Obtain the Littles Crystal|
|Enter the barred gate and kill the Littles inside (but if you've used the Angelic Rifle this run, the Littles won't let you in). Pick up the Little's Crystal. Now all we need to do is find a way to return this pain to God.|
NPCs: Alice, Koriel Member
|Give the Little's Crystal to Alice.|
Just as Eliza was created to regain the ability to purify and create new corrective Sense Spheres, it would seem that Alice was created to regain God's lost ability to feel pain. When you approach her carrying the Little's Crystal, she will ask to see it. Give it to her and she will disappear into the Sense Sphere behind her. Once you give the Little's Crystal to Alice, the Nerve Tower expands from 16 floors to 21 floors.
This Grotesque is the end result of "The Fool" category of the Archangel's Tarot deck. Their amorphous bodies appear to be made of wastewater and can melt into the floor when they're in danger, only to pop up somewhere else in the room. They fight by creating bouncing bubble projectiles from their body which violently jostle the player and are capable of inflicting poison. They can also summon a ring of smaller, rotating bubbles around their body to act as a kind of shield. Fighting them requires patience as you need to carefully dodge their projectiles while chasing them down to inflict damage. Torturers and patterns are especially effective here, as they don't require you to pursue them or even aim.
Drops: Venomous Torturer, Self Sigil
NPC: Crypt Angel
Galgal Tank Joe
This cyborg is derived from "The Chariot" card - renamed in the Archangel's specialized Tarot Deck as "The Tank". This imposing figure is undermined by the well-established pattern of wheel-bound Grotesques being trivialized by circle-strafing. It's even worse in Joe's case, since his elaborate firing animation is incredibly slow. Unless one unexpectedly snipes you from across the room, they're unlikely to pose any real threat to you.
Drops: Blaze Torturer, Blaze Pattern
NPC: Koriel Member
The product of transformations dictated by "The High Priestess" card. Johanna Kyon is possibly Baroque's most passive Grotesque, requiring the player to get very close to them in order to become aggressive. Even then, they're not capable of much more than bumping into the player. The real danger comes from their eerie chattering, which is so incomprehensible that the player and all nearby Grotesques become inflicted with Confusion upon hearing it. This can be prevented if you deafen yourself by gnawing the Earplug Bones they sometimes drop. As a last resort, they will emit a concussive wave of flames as they slowly blast off into the sky. Their flight only takes them to another room on the current floor, but don't let that detract from the sheer spectacle of this display.
Drops: Earplug Bone, Chaos Bone
Named for psychiatrist Bin Kimura's "festum" or "celebration" model of describing mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia, these Grotesques are modeled after "The Hierophant" of the Major Arcana. They attack solely by constructing large and elaborate ice spears which they then hurl at the player. Due to how wide they are, these projectiles are unusually difficult to dodge unless you're a considerable distance away. You don't have many options when fighting these besides using ranged or ailment-based attacks - otherwise you just need to close the distance and overpower them before they can inflict too much damage.
Drops: Freezing Torturer, Walking Bone
This cymbal-wielding noise violation on wheels is what became of humans that fell into the "Temperance" category. Their name comes from a mashup of the Japanese word for 'nose' ("hana") and the English word 'nip' because they look like they're pinching your nose between their cymbals when they attack. Like all Grotesques that travel on wheels, they are fairly easy to circle-strafe to death. Only in corridors and tight paths around Sense Spheres do they become a real problem.
Drops: Girder Fluid, Homing Bone
NPC: The Archangel
NPC: The God of Creation and Preservation
|Walk forward and merge with the Creator and Preserver to unlock the ending.|
|With the protagonist's memories restored and God's pain returned, the Dabar Fusion is finally able to successfully take place. Poised to repair the corruption that has overtaken the world, we finally learn the true intention of the Creator and Preserver: this distorted world was, in fact, the true nature of the world all along. Trying to purify the world of distortion was, in itself, a distorted delusion. The only freedom people can ever have from this hellish existence is to honestly and fully accept their own nature as distorted beings. Do not avert your eyes from it. Hold Baroque Inside Yourself.|
After viewing the end credits, we see that new clones are still being produced by the Laboratory. All of them are able to wander into the Nerve Tower and attempt to fuse with God. You are free to keep playing this cycle for as long as you want. However, any NPCs that died or fused back into God (including Alice, Eliza, and the Illusion on BF1) will no longer appear.