Hopepunk City Case File: The End Game

Hopepunk City does not really work in a way that can be covered in traditional step by step walkthroughs, so I decided to create advanced tips and tricks and call them “Case Files”.  This one is about getting through the end game to get the best ending.

Some of this case file gets political, I understand that is odd for a game of this nature to get political.  This portion of the game was written and illustrated in November 2020 after a crazy US election that was still ongoing because of a particular stubborn candidate made it ongoing.

Art is created to express emotions, and I had a lot of emotions to express while writing this, so no apologies from me. I discussed how 2020 was affecting not just me but all creative types in a blog post I wrote in the same month as I wrote this ending.

The main plot of this section goes like this:  The city-state you are living in is about to make a monumentally dumb decision (this part was less US election related, more UK Brexit related).  You and each of your roommates have a piece of the puzzle needed to avoid this dumb decision.  

Maya has political connections and knows the council, Rachel has family on the other side and knows the enemy, Ariane suffered a tragic loss in the last conflict and can get her head of state mother involved.  You the player can contribute in two ways, first “like” everybody in the house enough to unite them all together, and second, depending on your job at this point, you can contribute vital information.

Rachel’s Sister is in trouble

The “endgame” typically begins around week 11 give or take a week depending on other choices made, when Rachel announces at breakfast to you and Ariane that her sister is in trouble and needs to be rescued.  There are two options: “Go by foot”, and “Go by Car”.

Spoiler alert: The answer is “Go by Car”, but this is the first of the stealth checkpoints in the end game.  If your Rachel “like” score is not at least 31 (normal mode, 34 hard mode, 28 easy mode), the option to go by car will not be an option.  She can go by foot on her own, but needs others help to go by car.

There is a second way to successfully rescue Leah, which I discuss in “The Underground Path” case file.

Maya Learns of a Planned Attack

One or two dialogs later, Maya will announce that Artema is seriously considering restarting the civil wars, this results into a confessions from Ariane that she might have accidentally encouraged it.  This leads to two choices: “Hope for the best” and “Get involved”.  The only reason to select “hope for the best” is if you want to get the two achievements tied to bad endings.

The answer is “Get Involved”, and again this choices availability is tied to a “like” score, this time Maya’s.  If Maya’s like score is below 32 (normal, 35 hard, 29 easy) the “Get involved” choice will not be there.

Council Meeting Strategy

2 to 4 dialogs later the entire household, including Leah, if she was rescued, will have a meeting about convincing the council to give peace a chance.  The best chance at a successful outcome is if the entire household goes to the meeting with Maya.  That is only possible if they can get Ariane’s mom to approve, and that will only happen if Ariane’s “like” score is 33 at this point (normal, 36 hard, 30 easy), otherwise she won’t be motivated to ask.  Without Ariane’s help the odds are 50:50 even if you pick the right strategies.

The first councilor is Stacy Forbes.  If you work in intelligence gathering, you can go with “We should convince them that the war is not popular.”, as you will have the data to back it up and get an achievement.  If not go with “We should explain the extent of friends and family connections.” and Rachel will give a convincing speech.

*Achievement Guest Speaker Speak at the council meeting, be an Intel agent and choose “We should convince them that the war is not popular.”

The second is Dr. Connel, a historian and a “nationalist”.  Nationalists are people that think their own country is the best, and they come in all political stripes. Most of the problems in the US right now can be blamed on right-wing nationalists, ditto the UK, Russia, India, Brazil, The Philippines, and everywhere else with ultra nationalist leaders who only did the bare minimum in the Covid-19 situation, resulting on the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

Dr. Connel is a liberal nationalist.  You are given three valid arguments (world war 1, war in Iraq, and Vietnam), but the only one that could persuade Dr. Connel is the Iraq one, because of the religious terrorist factor.

Finally there is Councilor Sanchez, one of Maya’s favorites.  To convince him:

If you work in a career where you deal with people from St Reagan (Security, AI Security, or one of the bartender jobs) you can pick “St. Reagan is already preparing for the attack.”

*Achievement Guest Speaker Speak at the council meeting, be a Security agent or Bartender and choose “St. Reagan is already preparing for the attack.”

If you work in a career where you deal with Robots, (repair or program) or you do surveys and haven’t volunteered to speak yet, you can pick “We are not ready for a war.”

*Achievement Guest Speaker Speak at the council meeting, be a Robot Repairer or Programmer and choose “We are not ready for a war.”

Otherwise go with “Let’s expand our relationship with St. Reagan.”

The Meeting Itself

I’ll admit, this council meeting is a bit long winded and boring.  Having attended city council meetings, and school board meetings, or just watching C-SPAN, there is no way to liven these things up.  Unless you are assigned to speak, you never have to make any choices, and you can just let it play out on auto, or if you watched it once before, you can hit the tab key and skip over it all fast.

I hope you watch it through at least once, because there are some good speeches in there.

If you picked all the right things during the planning session, you will get the “good” ending.

The ending basically consists of a signing ceremony, but there is a rather tragic twist at the end.  There is no ending where the twist doesn’t happen because it involves events out of your control.

The name of the game is “Hopepunk City”, hopepunk is a story genre where the ending is hopeful, but not completely happy.  

Grimdark“, of which most cyberpunk belongs, is always tragic and dark, on it’s opposite is “noblebright”, where the hero saves the day and we all live happily ever after.  I was not interested in doing either.  Even the games main “bad” ending (the Lake Michigan one) is at least a bit hopeful.

Will the participants in the treaty signing ignore the news and sign anyways?  It is not answered here, but I like to think they did.

*Achievement Spoiler 3:

  1. Pick “Hope for the best” on dialog with Maya at breakfast
  2. When war breaks out, pick “Stay in Artema and fight.”

*Achievement Spoiler 4:

  1. Pick “Hope for the best” on dialog with Maya at breakfast
  2. When war breaks out, pick “Leave with the roommates.”

*Achievement Science Nerd Saves the Day Get to the treaty signing with an interest in Science

*Achievement Outdoor Enthusiast Saves the Day Get to the treaty signing with an interest in outdoor sports

*Achievement Artist Saves the Day Get to the treaty signing with an interest in Art

*Achievement Activist Saves the Day Get to the treaty signing with an interest in helping the community

*Achievement Best Friends Forever Get to the treaty signing with all the roommates at like level 38 (normal, 35 easy, 41 hard