June 8, 2018
Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Five, entitled "Of Affection, Unwanted or Untrue", is the fifth 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 Zebruh Codakk and Polypa Goezee, although Polypa is initially disguised and is portrayed in the initial volume banner and character select as such, with her name listed as "??????". Zebruh's route was written by Cee L. Kyle, Polypa's was written by Aysha U. Farah. As with all Friendsim installments, Volume five was developed and programmed by David Turnbull using the Ren'Py game engine.
As with all other volumes, it is sold as $0.99 DLC for Volume One. It was also made available on the Google Play Store for the same amount.
You continue your journey across Alternia, remarking upon the amount of walking you've been doing despite all your injuries. Despite the rather bleak situation, you firmly believe that you will find friendship soon enough.
The streets are hopping, and up ahead there is a night market. Despite having no money, you decide to go window shopping. You are so distracted by the thoughts of finding friends, you do not notice that many trolls are running and screaming away from it. You step away to avoid the crowd but are grabbed by a mysterious troll in a black hoodie. She tells you that she and you are on a date, it doesnt matter what quadrant, and you should act natural.
- If you freak out and let the purrbeast out of the bag, you are knocked down into the street by a passerby and the girl is disgusted. She states that she'll deal with it herself and scampers up the alley wall, leaving a smudge of violet blood on your hand. GAMEOVER >leap of unfaith
- If you play along and hold hands, she thanks you with a squeeze of your hand and you walk together. Despite being short, it is hard for you to keep up with her. She states that someone died, a violetblood. She doesnt give a shit about the hemospectrum, and states no matter the job, she'll take it. You are filled with joy at being her acomplice, You ask what you should call her. She reveals herself to be Polypa, but tells you not to speak. You sneak past drones searching for her, and she pulls you into a smaller alley. She takes off her disguise, throwing away the sweatshirt, pulling her hair down, and taking off her fake horns. Large billboards show images of a goldblood in a ponytail killing the violetblood. You are impressed. She mentions something about a contact who she can't locate. Polpya asks where a good place to hide would be.
- If you choose to hide in an apartment building, she decides on a cheap lowblood rental building. You choose a tall purple building to hide in. You go inside and she chooses a rust's room. She kicks the door's lock instead of using a pick, like you expected. You go inside and Polpya sits down on the couch and takes out her palmhusk. You poke around a bit as she ignores you. You discover the place is filthy and the rustblood who lives here is sloppy. Polypa is visibly upset from her seat on the couch. She types with her knuckles to prevent scratching the screen with the phone held close to her face. She sinks down and states that her contact has been culled. She sits in dispair for a moment, and you stand there, feeling like an ass. Polypa tells you not to pity her, that she barely knew her contact, they weren't in a quadrant, or anything, that it was just buisness. You sit on the couch, ready to listen and commiserate. Polypa begins to speak about having a partner to work with, how most trolls work with their quadrantmates. She drops a reference to Azdaja and Konnyl, calling them a particularly famous olive and goldblood duo, to whom she lost plenty of jobs to. But she has never found anyone she strusts enough to be her partner, except for a one off. She states that she killed the sea-dweller with and expensive knife and poison, and that they are definitley dead. Highblood jobs are her specialties, and she never leavesa job half-done. She admits that it would be easier to have a partner, and you cough into your fist, ready to become her assassin friend. Polypa snorts, and declines semi-politely. She couldn't be your partner because you don't exactly fit in with the rest of the crowd, but you think that's fine. She begins to consider you a bit more thoughtfully. She is about to say something when there is the sound of jingling keys outside the door. Polypa grabs a knife and prepares to attack the lowblood who enters. As the door is knocked down, she launches herself and the trolls who have entered. A short rust boy comes through, but behind him is a purple boy who is too tall to fit through the door without ducking. Polypa realizes her mistake, and the purpleblood grabs her with a single hand. He is described as having "ram-like horns" "a curly purple symbol" and "black and white makeup designed to make his face look like a skull". He taunts you both, and shakes Polya while she claws at his arm. Petrified, you are unable to help Polypa in any capacity. The highblood throws her and she runs for the window. You then escape through the window as well, the highblood sticking his tonge out at you. You fall one floor and land right on Polypa. She is angry, and tells you that the drones will definitely be called. You both get up, but you soon notice there is a piece of glass in her calf muscle. You go down to inspect it, but she tells you to stop as she has no intention of leaving a blood trail. She tells you that you and her need to split up. She begins to speak about how she can't believe she ever trusted someone to have her back. She leaves you, and you curl up on the road. GAMEOVER >at least your ass didn't kill her
- If you choose to go to a movie and get some grubcream, she does a bit of a smirk and agrees semi-playfully. She states she hasn't seen a movie in forever, and you walk together. You notice her hand is very cold, but it's still nice. You walk into a mall, and the top floor is reserved for highbloods. Luckily, there is a movie theater inside, and she pays for both of you. They don't have any grubcream, but you're glad because you dont think you could handle something called 'grubcream' in your current state. You do stop for buttery exploded kernels, though. You walk into the showing area and you feel everyone's eyes on you, and Polypa sits close to the only other group in the theater. Awkward. The movie plays without any previews, and it turns out to be a romantic comedy, which you hadn't expected from Polypa. The movie is about a jadeblood getting involved with a visiting blueblood and their servant--a big bumbling bronze. The bronze in the movie grunts and falls down a lot, which you seem to think is vaguely offensive. You also notice the caverns have been glamourized, much bigger and glittery than the one you were in with Bronya. You don't really understand the movie, and Polypa keeps a running comentary, including her thoughts on the mistaken identity storyline, blackrom in comedies, and how the book wasn't this garbage. She admits she used to have a blog for relationship advice when she was younger, but it didn't last. A couple of kids broke into her hive, high, maybe on sopor. They stole a bunch of shit, killed her lusus and a psionic boy broke both of her legs with his brain because he though it'd be funny. She was trapped in her hive, and if not for a tealblood who lived in her neighborhood (confirmed to be Tegiri in vol. 10), she would've died. She calls him a little idiot fondly, and states he dueled purrbeasts and ran around with an eastern alternian replica sword. A kid turns around and tells you to get a room if you're going to get all nasty and pale. Polpya kicks the back of the kid's chair. She is about to fight Polypa, but a boy sitting next to her paps her on the cheek, and calms her down. You are nervous about how Polypa is talking about her past in public, but you are glad she trusts you. She states it's safer to be a bit extra than to skulk around suspiciously. She finds out her contact is dead, and her sadness turns to rage, and she begins to shout. People start to look and you take action.
- Deploy Shooshpap. You press your palm to her cheek and she blushes deeply and closes her eyes. She leans in, but realizes what she'd doing and pulls back. She asks you sternly to keep it professional, but then she bites her lip and considers you. She calls you all right and offers a partnership if you ever need extra cash. You begin to tear up. She reassures you that you'll only be bait. Because you're a pushover, you state you wouldn't want it any other way. VICTORY!
You find yourself entering a posher part of town, one with numerous mansions and larger hives. Despite being vaguely worried about your personal safety (past experience has taught you that being a high-class place does not equate to security in any sense), you forge onward and immediately run into someone. Zebruh greets you, and almost instantly begins flirting with you shamelessly. When he enquires as to whether you know where you currently are, you reluctantly tell him that you're lost. Instead of mocking you for your apparent cluelessness, Zebruh tells you how lucky you are to meet him, claiming that not every highblood is as respectful of lowbloods as he is. He suddenly asks about your blood colour, which causes you to hesitate as you now have an inkling as to what having red blood meant on Alternia.
- If you tell him that you're a highblood like he is, he will become unimpressed and claim that he's a busy troll that only befriends people that he might want to fill a quadrant with someday. He insists that highbloods don't need that much help, as they're not the ones being oppressed in society. Though you try to make it clear that you're just as oppressed as the lowbloods, the gesture wasn't enough to change his mind. He informs you that he just doesn't see it working out and bids you farewell, waving as he leaves. GAME OVER > out of his league
- If you tell him the truth about your blood hue, he goes on to say that red is a very unique colour and that he's never been in a quadrant with a redblood before. Then he hastily corrects himself, saying that he's never been friends with a redblood. Even though you aren't well informed on quadrants and what they are, you decide not to reveal your ignorance and merely insist that you are excited about new friendships as he is. Delighted, Zebruh then offers you a place to stay for the night, telling you that his hive has plenty of spare rooms for guests. He quickly adds that he does so to help the undeserved members of the community as best as he can. You follow him down the street, noting that plenty of other trolls are talking walks--fancily dressed highbloods mingling with shabbily clothed lowbloods. Zebruh tells you that it's actually Flushed Affirmation Day, hence the numerous trolls taking their respective matesprits out for a stroll to celebrate. He happily adds that since he's single, you can have him for the entire night. Feeling slightly put off, you inform him that you're just an easygoing person who is more than happy to share friends with other friends. To your discomfort, Zebruh misinterprets your statement, taking it as an implication that you are into polyamorous relationships. Worried about being misconstrued again, you decide to keep quiet for the time being. Zebruh then notes that there are a lot of highblood-lowblood couples out for the holiday, saying that this was actually an unusual sight in this particular neighbourhood. He laments that most of these couples are only together for social advantages, adding that not every highblood is as socially conscious as he is. Zebruh believes that highbloods should treat their lowblood matesprits like queens, and you take note of the obvious class divide between the couples: some highbloods regarding their lowblood dates with scorn. As you watch a cerulean troll humiliate her date, Zebruh catches sight of the display and shudders theatrically, slipping an arm around your shoulders in the process. He apologizes for witnessing such a revolting scene with you, though you are more focused on trying to tactfully tell him to move away from his arm round your shoulders. Before anything could be done, you arrive at his hive; a giant sprawling mansion larger than the others all around it. He gestures proudly at his 'humble' abode, and beckons you inside. Upon entering the hive, you are greeted by a zebra lusus that is most unimpressed by your presence. Zebruh tells you to ignore his socially old-fashioned lusus, and proceeds to give you a tour of his place. While Zebrus shows you around, you notice plenty of plainly-clothed lowbloods doing chores everywhere, the zebra lusus whinnying orders or possibly insults at said lowbloods. Zebruh proudly tells you that he wasn't lying when he said he had plenty of lowblood guests around, though it is evident that said guests are slaves in all but name. Deciding that the lowbloods weren't important for the moment, he focuses all his attention on you, which makes you slightly nervous. Once again saying that you have him for the entire day, he asks whether you would like to go out to celebrate Flushed Affirmation Day or just stay in for the night in your guest room.
- If you choose to stay in due to your exhaustion and you not wanting to give Zebruh the wrong idea, he suddenly asks you whether you've heard of a singer named Chixie Roixmr instead of taking you to your guest room. Deducing that you aren't a serious music fan, he insists on taking you out for a Flushed Affirmation Day concert played by one of Chixie's lowblood musician friends. He casually flaunts his good social networking skills, saying that he could get the two of you in easily. Seeing as he blatantly ignored your request to stay in for the night, you decide to attend the concert for the sake of being a good friend. You aren't particularly comfortable with Zebruh holding your hand or putting an arm round your shoulder every now and then, but you decide that things could've been worse. The two of you arrive at the concert, and watch the performing troll onstage. Zebruh tells you that the singer's songs spread radical messages like that of Chixie's, but since you don't understand what the lyrics mean, you ask him what exactly is being conveyed. Your question only serves to annoy him, as he fully expected you to be on the same page as he is and be able to understand the message of social justice and oppression. Abruptly he switches topics, opting to talk about you instead of the music. Before you could tell him about your interests, he nonchalantly interrupts you and asks you point-blank about your quadrant situation. You tell him that you have no idea as to what quadrants mean, so he gives you a relatively brief spiel on the four different types of romances on Alternia. Now that you are mostly informed, you let him know that you really just want to be friends. Zebruh takes your response in stride, saying that he really respects your choices and offers to be by your side should you ever change your mind. When he goes on to add that being in a quadrant with him would make life on Alternia easier, you decide not to point out his hipocrisy (he'd been criticizing socially advantageous highblood-lowblood relationsips earlier). After another song, a stranger sidles up to Zebruh and whispers in his ear before moving off. Alarmed, Zebruh insists that it's time you and he leave the concert as a culling is going to take place. You express concern over the fact that he's in no particular hurry to inform the others about the impending threat, but he doesn't see a point to it as he has no desire to risk his life. He tells you that highbloods will always have each other's backs, and true enough, you see other highbloods discreetly leaving the concert venue. Despite your misgivings, you follow Zebruh back to the posh neighbourhood. Zebruh goes on to blather about how dangerous it was for him to attend lowblood events due to the hight risk of getting culled, but he is willing to do it all for the sake of being an activist. He suddenly takes hold of your hand and gazes deep into your eyes, saying that it was very cool of you to support him when he was risking his life for the cause. After thanking you, he once again prods about your quadrant situation. Again, you stress the fact that friendship is what you're looking for, though his response isn't exactly the one you were hoping for. He says that he's a staunch believer that a strong friendship is a good foundation for any successful romantic relationship, though it's quite obvious that he wants you in any one of his quadrants. You try to make it clear that friendship doesn't necessarily involve romantic activities, but he doesn't seem to hear what you've just said. He then asks whether you enjoyed the concert and whether you're now an ally for lowblood rights. Given your miserable situation in Alternia, you agree that you are a comrade to the socially oppressed. Happy with your response, Zebruh states that you can be his matesprit. You correct him right away, saying that you will be his friend, not matesprit. He concurs with your statement, and finally lets go of your hand with a wink. VICTORY!!
- If you choose to spend the night out as you're not keen on being cooped up with him in a room, he will initially agree with your choice, but then decide to stay in for the night. He expresses his wish to Television Streaming Service and lower the temperature with you, which makes you quite uncomfortable due to the connotations attached to it. You try to state your misgivings, but he talks over you and concludes that you both shall spend the night indoors. Despite being slightly irked with how little regard he has for your preferences, you follow him to his room. After taking note of the posters in his room, you turn your attention to the two lowblood servants cleaning up his massive bedroom. Zebruh then goes on to talk about his music tastes, saying that he prefers listening to artists that spread subversive messages and truths. He then draws attention to his jam pile, saying that it's a great place for moirails to hang out. Zebruh then beckons you to join him in said pile, though you are too disturbed to even consider his offer. You then notice that the lowblood scrubbing the floor is having a violent coughing fit, and you crouch by her side in concern. Even though the lowblood girl insists that she's fine, you are quite worried to see how weak and malnourished she is. You tell Zebruh about said lowblood girl's predicament, but he pays her no attention and instead is confused with your question. Watching the lowblood girl struggle to complete her tasks while coughing so much wrenches your heart, so you ask about the meal Zebruh mentioned was being made for you, hoping to give the guest some of your food so she may recover soon. Slightly annoyed with you, Zebruh claims that none of his guests are going hungry and that he does all that he can to take care of them. He then accuses you of insinuating the fact that you're a better ally than him, and to smooth things over you tell him that you never meant to criticize him so. Deciding that a meal would be better than a feelings jam, he leads you to the dining hall without doing anything to help the ill lowlblood guest. You mouth an apology to her, and she gives you a tired wave before going back to work. Zebruh is at first delighted that dinner is almost ready, but then gets annoyed when it becomes clear that you can't pay for the meal, expressing his ire at troll who always expect him to provide for them without offering any concupiscience in return. You tell him that you can pay him back with friendship, but he doesn't seem to eager with your promise due to your earlier criticism. Vaguely alarmed, you quickly assure him of his validity before he flatly offers you to have dinner. While eating in silence, you notice that all the lowblood guests are underfed and sickly. Zebruh then suddenly declares that you aren't one to respect lowbloods, and rants about how hard it is to be a lowblood ally. All your attempts to explain yourself go unheard, and you hurriedly make your way to the exit. Unfortunately, you were too slow in your escape and wind up getting kicked in the ribs by the zebra lusus. Zebruh then angrily tells you that anyone who doesn't respect lowbloods is not allowed in his hive, and tells you to get lost. GAME OVER >It would behoove you to stay away
- Texting with the knuckles seems to be how trolls get by, as their claws would scratch the screen of their palmhusk.
- In Alternia, the stores in malls are all automated, and higher levels are reserved for highbloods.
- It seems that stereotyping and or degrading lowbloods in Alternian movies is common practice.
- Zebruh mentions wanting to 'Television Streaming Service and lower the temperature' with the player, the Alternian equivalent of Netflix and Chill.
- In Zebruh's jam pile, a plush toy with an obscenely long nose is mentioned, which may be a reference to smuppets.
- Zebruh suggests that highblood–lowblood couples are frequently controlling or even outright abusive. This may be reflected in Polypa's route—the apartment shared by a purple–burgundy matespritship is plainly stained with burgundy blood.
- In one of Zebruh's bad endings, the additional note reads "It would behoove you to stay away", which is a reference to Equius, given his tendencies to use horse puns on occasion.
- One of Polypa's GAME OVER screens says "at least your ass didn't kill her", a reference to one of Bronya's bad endings in Volume 3.