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Kemix
Dec 1, 2013

Because change


Tallgeese posted:

The actual caveat is that by their own rules, YHVH's rule is just because he's the strongest. They are hypocrites.

THOOUUUUSAND YEARS KINGDOM! But seriously, gently caress Yahweh. loving rear end in a top hat always wants to take away our freedoms and make a boring rear end world where nobody has a god drat personality besides worshing it and the angels. I'll take a "might makes right" world over that any day of the week if it came down to it.

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cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

Tallgeese posted:

The actual caveat is that by their own rules, YHVH's rule is just because he's the strongest. They are hypocrites.

I was wondering when this would start. How about we cut to the quick so we can keep from having the big ol'back and forth in this thread. eh?

God is Great, because he protected humanity from the demons and rogue gods in time antiquity, he also abused the prayers of humanity and he'd a controlling, petty, shortsighted, easily agitated prick.

Lucifer is Great because he believes humans should chose their own destiny, have their own opinions and live for themselves, He's also a sociopath, consumate lier, ,master of double speak and routinely tries to corrupt people to follow his path.

There, now back to Punching things into oblivion.

GilliamYaeger
Jan 10, 2012

Call Gespenst!


Kemix posted:

THOOUUUUSAND YEARS KINGDOM! But seriously, gently caress Yahweh. loving rear end in a top hat always wants to take away our freedoms and make a boring rear end world where nobody has a god drat personality besides worshing it and the angels. I'll take a "might makes right" world over that any day of the week if it came down to it.

Isn't a large part of why Lucifer is so nice and typically vaguely on the side of humanity (even if his end goal for them is easily considered insane) simply sheer spite for YHWH?

And to be fair, if you gave humanity free will and all they did with it was all of human history, chock full of warcrimes and atrocities as it is, you too would be quite eager to undo that particular mistake.

GilliamYaeger fucked around with this message at 07:37 on Feb 2, 2016

Llab
Dec 28, 2011

PEPSI FOR VG BABE


FrankZP posted:

The satisfaction of crafting a well-oiled death engine of a party is real. And the MP recovery skills are really the unsung heroes of Nocturne; the peace of mind they afford you is unmatched, especially considering how long some of the dungeons get.

My entire party has ways to refill mp or hp, and it is just the best. I just need to be careful when fusing their replacements, but they seem to hold up well for the middle game, at least.

FrankZP
Nov 11, 2015

AIGHT SHITBIRDS, IT'S EXPLOSION TIME!


Shitenshi posted:

Pretty sure Shige is supposed to be a parody of Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the Mother series, and also known for having blown a great deal of his fortune on unearthing ancient Tokugawa gold and failing miserably at it.

Huh, I had no idea! But somehow I'm not surprised. Oh dang, it puts that one dude digging for treasure in Onett in a whole new light. And that diamond in the mine! It all makes sense!

GilliamYaeger posted:

And to be fair, if you gave humanity free will and all they did with it was all of human history, chock full of warcrimes and atrocities as it is, you too would be quite eager to undo that particular mistake.

Looking back on the past, it is evident that the history of mankind is comprised of meaningless events. The worthless overgrowth of a civilization blind to its sins, continuous bloodshed and war, and thousands of years of repeating the same mistakes again and again.

The world must start over from the beginning.

April truly is the cruelest month.

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


cdyoung posted:

I was wondering when this would start. How about we cut to the quick so we can keep from having the big ol'back and forth in this thread. eh?

God is Great, because he protected humanity from the demons and rogue gods in time antiquity, he also abused the prayers of humanity and he'd a controlling, petty, shortsighted, easily agitated prick.

Lucifer is Great because he believes humans should chose their own destiny, have their own opinions and live for themselves, He's also a sociopath, consumate lier, ,master of double speak and routinely tries to corrupt people to follow his path.

There, now back to Punching things into oblivion.
Thank you very much for strangling this in the crib. Seriously..

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


FrankZP posted:

Huh, I had no idea! But somehow I'm not surprised. Oh dang, it puts that one dude digging for treasure in Onett in a whole new light. And that diamond in the mine! It all makes sense!
Yeah, he was quite the subject of ridicule in the Japanese media from what I've heard. Supposedly the zombie episode of Samurai Champloo is taking a poo poo on him too, which given the main zombie is also named Shige and obsessed with digging up Heike dynasty treasure, is very likely.

Shitenshi fucked around with this message at 21:17 on Feb 3, 2016

Lunar Suite
Jun 5, 2011

If you love a flower which happens to be on a star, it is sweet at night to gaze at the sky. All the stars are a riot of flowers.


FrankZP posted:

: IT IS SAID THAT REGRET CAN CHANGE THE NATURE OF A MAN.
: Bah, it's easy to be regretful when you've been condemned to eternal torment.

You beautiful bastard.

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


Shitenshi posted:

Yeah, he was quite the subject of ridicule in the Japanese media from what I've heard. Supposedly the zombie episode of Samurai Champloo is taking a poo poo on him too, which given the main zombie is also named Shige and obsessed with digging up Heike dynasty treasure, is very likely.

Heh, I wrote in a review once that part of Earthbound's appeal is that it was probably the world's first RPG-autobiography, among other things, but I digress.

I don't think I ever found those rooms where you can speak to Futomimi and Sakahagi in my playthroughs, but it is good to see that they closed the loop on those storylines in-game and that it's not one of those factoids buried away in an artbook notes page.

Also, based on the general attitude of the thread, am I to assume that Francois may find himself pursuing the...alternative that Lucifer seems to be proposing? At the very least we ought to hear a bit about Hijiri's side of the story first...

mauman
Jul 30, 2014

Whoever's got the biggest whiskers does the talking.


ModeWondershot posted:

I don't think I ever found those rooms where you can speak to Futomimi and Sakahagi in my playthroughs, but it is good to see that they closed the loop on those storylines in-game and that it's not one of those factoids buried away in an artbook notes page.

Also, based on the general attitude of the thread, am I to assume that Francois may find himself pursuing the...alternative that Lucifer seems to be proposing? At the very least we ought to hear a bit about Hijiri's side of the story first...

Based on the charactization of our main character so far, it would probably be more fitting to get the normal ending first then do the alternative as a what-if scenario (considering that unlike every other ending in the game, it's not that hard to change it at the last minute).

The Futomimi/Sakahagi thing has a little bit more to go. In fact there's something I really really hope Frankzp is going to do, but he could have something else in mind to, and I wouldn't mind that either.

mauman fucked around with this message at 03:35 on Feb 4, 2016

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


ModeWondershot posted:

Also, based on the general attitude of the thread, am I to assume that Francois may find himself pursuing the...alternative that Lucifer seems to be proposing?
I'll discuss which ending I prefer when Frank reaches the point of no return, decision-wise.

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




cdyoung posted:

Lucifer is Great because he believes humans should chose their own destiny, have their own opinions and live for themselves.

No, he doesn't.

You're forgetting that even Lucifer acknowledges that YHVH is the one who gave humans freedom in the first place, and insinuates that it was a mistake which he is perfectly happy to exploit.

That's actually the backstory of SMT in general. YHVH more or less facilitates a high quality of life for his constituents... until someone makes him super upset, and when YHVH gets upset he turns out to be a huge fan of collective punishment. It's actually very Old Testament-y.

In other words, Lucifer's biggest motivation for saying that is to annoy Sky Daddy, whose main response is to just grouse about it a lot (not unlike an actual dad). Ol' Lucy is basically in a state of being perpetually grounded and resents playing the game of Don't Wake YHVH 24/7.

Tallgeese fucked around with this message at 06:01 on Feb 4, 2016

cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

Tallgeese posted:

No, he doesn't.

You're forgetting that even Lucifer acknowledges that YHVH is the one who gave humans freedom in the first place, and insinuates that it was a mistake which he is perfectly happy to exploit.

That's actually the backstory of SMT in general. YHVH more or less facilitates a high quality of life for his constituents... until someone makes him super upset, and when YHVH gets upset he turns out to be a huge fan of collective punishment. It's actually very Old Testament-y.

In other words, Lucifer's biggest motivation for saying that is to annoy Sky Daddy, whose main response is to just grouse about it a lot (not unlike an actual dad). Ol' Lucy is basically in a state of being perpetually grounded and resents playing the game of Don't Wake YHVH 24/7.

No, stop. We are not having this here.

FrankZP
Nov 11, 2015

AIGHT SHITBIRDS, IT'S EXPLOSION TIME!


*: So, the Kimon Ball.



Or, err, the Kimon Stone, as it now says in the inventory. We've seen this word before. Let's head to Asakusa. We heal up, save, register, and restock on Light Balls, earning a few Tickets, then we leave through the western path where the Collector Manikin has set up shop.



: If you lose, you're out. That's pretty tough...
: It saves you the hassle of living in a world you despise, I suppose.
: Art thou thinking of abandoning thy fight?
: Ha, not a chance.

*: Zed levels up on the way and learns Glacial Blast from Miasma, replacing Shock. It's 25 MP instead of 9, but if a weak elemental skill would come in handy, we might as well use an attack item.



All of our non-mastered Magatama are wriggling and shining, meaning that they would all teach us their next skill on level up. All, except Marogareh, our first one.



This question mark is really the only instance of a Magatama with an unknown next skill. Strange!

Aaaanyway...



Remember this temple in northwest Asakusa? The one that seals the Kimon of Tokyo?






> Will you enter?

We sure didn't come all this way for nothing.

Cutscene + Boss battle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZOckN4iuPk

quote:

Kishin Bishamon
Bishamonten is the leader of the Four Heavenly Kings, deities of Buddhist lore who preside over the cardinal directions and whose duty it is to defend the Buddha, Buddhists in general, and the realm of the quasi-divine Devas. He himself is the guardian of the North. In Japan, he is regarded as a mighty war god, which is somewhat at odds with his pacifist origins; there he is also counted among the Seven Lucky Gods.

*: Bishamon can be tough here if you don't know what to expect (he did instantly incinerate Shiki-Ouji and Gogmagog), but he doesn't have any irritating gimmicks and essentially offers a fight against a strong, straightforward opponent. He's got boss immunities, on top of reflecting fire and being weak to ice, and he knows Focus, Hassohappa, Prominence, Diarahan and Holy Wrath. If you just chip away at him he'll use Diarahan at some point and negate all your efforts, so you mainly want to apply buffs and debuffs until you can chunk down his 4568 HP in a few rounds.



And here we have the upgraded Force element Magatama, with decent fighter stats. The first skill it would teach us is Wind Cutter, which is a single-target Force skill that is in fact one of the most damaging spells in the game. If you're doing a specialized Magic build, it's hard to go wrong with Tornado, Wind Cutter and Force Boost, even for the endgame.

Alright, that's it for this quest line until we find the last Magatama. Now, we need a cemetery, and as far as we know, Zoshigaya's the only one left. To Ikebukuro!

We pick up a few more elemental Rocks while we're here, earning us another tenth Ticket. However, I pick the black box by accident, and we only get a Bead. I like getting Beads because you can't buy them anywhere and they're great healing resources even with Zed's low Magic... but they're not Incense.









: The Manikin over there died... He died the instant he became human.
: Ouch.
: You see, humans can't live in the Vortex World... May his soul rest in peace...
: I'm pretty sure you need a fact check on that one... but that certainly is one dead guy right there, in any case.



*: Yeah, that's a faintly glowing, human-shaped pile of dust.



> Something is in its hand. Will you take it?

: Well, you sure don't need this anymore, buddy.

> You obtained the Afterlife Bell.



Intriguing!

*: Alright, what's next...? A bar, right! We head to Ginza.



Aw hell, there he is. It's gotta be him.


: So.
: Oh... You again.
: Star Key. Hand it over.
: What? The Star Key...?
: Don't play dumb.
: Heheheh... It's in my stomach... As liquor, of course.
: Behold our savior and his miracles! Behold he who turns keys into booze!
: Do not encourage him.
: I sold it to a curious Manikin.
: That's... actually pretty good news.
: ...I needed the money, since my room was raided. ...Know what I mean? Heheheh...
: I'm not sorry.

*: We head straight back to Asakusa. Using the Talk command in the Collector Manikin's shop...

: So, you got any new cool stuff lately?

: ...
: Haha what.
: Oh, Loki. Loki, Loki, Loki.
: It's called the Star Key. But, I'm not interested in it. I'm only interested in man-made items. So, I'll give it to you if you'd like.

: Hey, sure, I'll gladly take it off your hands.
: I see. Okay then, here you go.
> ZedPower received the Star Key.
: Thanks!
: Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of your shopping.

*: I pick up three Wagtail Plumes, dude earned our business.

We could go back to the Labyrinth right away, but I'd like to perform at least one fusion before we do so, and none of the candidates are quite ripe just yet. So we return to Yurakucho Tunnel and resume following Hikawa's troops.




Well, that guy wasn't kidding when he mentioned steep slopes. In any case, if Nihilo's Berith and Eligor could find a way out on horseback, I'm sure we won't have insurmountable problems down here.

*: We slide down.



There's definitely no climbing back up from here.



There was a down ladder near the Terminal that we didn't really explore, so I kind of assume that's one way back, though.



Yup, we find the bottom part of that ladder quickly enough. Let's return to the... tunnels...



Oh. Welp. We do climb the ladder and fall down the slope again, and we go all the way down to B4 before we reach a split in the path. We run into Loas, Kaiwans, Gogmagogs and Titans here.

Going through a northward path on B4, we find another slope, and slide down deeper still. It really feels like another dungeon that we might have to visit several times going in the same direction before we can clean it out. B5 starts with another assortment of doors, but I figure we can always pick the northernmost path and work our way south later.

As is my luck though, we find a ladder back to B4. It looks like a separate section though, and we come across Small Terminal A on the way. Then there's a one-way door, another slope... Aight, you know what? You get the picture, I ought to spare you the details before I put you to sleep. Lemme get back to you when there's something new.

...okay, this is interesting.



The four paths leading to the space inside this corridor are downward slopes. We came in from the south, the western path is one-way, the northern room is an empty dead end, and the eastern room has a ladder down, which I assume is our way back up. Let's drop in from the northern end.



Oooh, nice. While we run around, Titania learns Charisma, a passive skill that randomly raises the success rate of all her conversation attempts. And Zed masters Miasma without learning Ice Drain from it.



We're now a Slayer, which is a Dark-aligned title, and quite fitting besides. That'll be one more thing to check out when we get back to the Labyrinth.

At any rate, the Chest contains a Bead of Life. That seems like an elaborate setup for a piece of... treasure...

Wait, the only ways out of here are upwards slopes. What the...





Ah, of course. A series of one-way doors and ladders allows to us climb back up to the eastern side of the circular hallway. There were a couple doors I didn't have the chance to investigate, so I'm going to fall back down.



Oh dang, a loose recruitable Cerberus. I definitely want one, but considering our crowded situation it might be a little while.

Going south from the room the pit drops you in allows you in a little corridor loop with a couple Cubes. One of them is a fixed encounter with two Loas and a Cerberus, which earns you a Megido Rock, and the other contains a Soma Droplet. There's still a one-way door to the west down here though, so we climb back up again, and drop down the western slope. Along the way, Shiki-Ouji learns Mahamaon, making it one of the few demons that naturally learns both Mahamaon and Mamudoon.



Ah, right where I hoped we'd fall. The first door west from here has a Chest with a Pearl, and the second one leads us up...



That door to the east is one-way and would take us to that round corridor again, but there's a new door to the south.



Now this is promising!



We keep going upwards, I like the sound of that. In fact, we find Small Terminal B here.



I can't help but wonder if the game's doing this to mess with me, but I remain optimistic.



Aw yeah. I knew we were bros, Nocturne. I knew we were bros.





: I know, right?
: But, you're best off not goin' near the Diet Building. If you get in the way of Commander Hikawa... *gulp*

: I'm not in his way. He's in my way.
: Then, Commander Hikawa really will make you... *gulp*
: He sure as hell is free to try. I could use a challenge.
: BEWARE WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
: I know, I know. Is just, it can't hurt to appear confident, right?






: Yeah, pretty much.
: I see... But, there's no need to help. We have 'their' protection.
: Hmm?
: I won't tell you to turn back, but from here on out, I can't guarantee your safety...
: That's alright. No one can.



*: Oh-ho! The ends of the station lobbies opposite the entrances are usually empty, but this one has a Chest with a Vitality Incense inside.





We're back in the bottom section. That's clearly the National Diet Building up north, but let's explore some.



Ah, this is the other side of the Amala Temple area. The Cube here contains five Life Stones, and that's all she wrote. Time to get political, then!







The National Diet Building is the rough equivalent of, say, the United States Capitol, being a place where elected officials meet to grind legislation into the guts of the constitution to make the juicy sausages of representative democracy.


Atmosphere: The National Diet Building





Voice: This edifice of Magatsuhi is in Nihilo's possession... Our god shall soon descend upon us, and we shall acquire our Reason. Leavest not, and thy life shall be the price. Begone, lost sheep...!
: Whoever you are, you can clearly see me. So take a good look at this!
: Wait, I thought this meant he thinks you're number one.
: It... really doesn't.
Voice: ............
> You cannot hear the voice anymore.



*: There are doors to either side of this hall, but there's clearly a Terminal up the stairs across the entrance. And it's a large one! What a dang relief.



Two doors on the ground floor, and two doors up here. Where to start...?

...actually, come to think of it, I have a bigger problem. There's no way I'm tackling the notorious Diet Building mid-update, that's crazypants.

Ooooh, alright, lessee. Let's go back to the Tunnel and clear it out first. Maybe that'll earn us enough experience that we can get a fusion done.

Aaaaand we only missed a Bead in a Cube near the beginning and a bunch of dead ends. Gogmagog leveled up but he's definitely not up for fusion. Hmm.

...if I'm in such a hurry to get a fusion done, why did I even keep him on board? Derp.

Aight then, let's go ask a friendly information source about the Afterlife Bell.





: Yo, Lady B, sorry to be a bother, but I ran out of friends who might have the least idea what this thing really does. Can you help a dude out?

: It's called the Afterlife Bell. It has the power to resurrect wandering souls. I thought it was still hidden in the Labyrinth of Amala...
: Well, you gave me the run of the place, I've been more or less turning it inside out for loot, and I found a couple clues that allowed me to track it down. I don't know why you would have expected something different.
: A Manikin must have stolen it and fled, in hopes of returning to the Vortex World.

: ...do you know how Manikins are born?
: From river mud? I don't know the details.
: They are originally fragments of human emotions... that acquire physical form and become sentient.

Cutscene: Strong ones remain

: So they really couldn't create their own Reason, then.
: That's... kind of a shame.
: Would they not have been your enemies, if they were to create a world without humans?
: Well, they were human enough, I guess.
: NO, THEY WERE NOT.
: For me, I mean, even if not for this creation nonsense. Besides, don't Christians believe the first people were made out of clay or something?
: Not only Christians, but, yes, they often do.
: This whole situation is hosed up the a.
: Business as usual, then?
: You know it!

*: We then take the shortcut to the Third Kalpa, and look for the golden door. You usually get to its location by failing one of the stat doors around here, but there's also a ladder in the north section of the Luck area that'll get you down there.







Oh! I didn't expect this, but if it's taking us to the Kalpa below, it makes sense.

*: Good Lord this tunnel is difficult. But we manage without too much damage, and find ourselves in the fourth Kalpa.







Well, that was simple enough. I don't want to get too deep in the fifth Kalpa without my fusion done, but we should at least be able to unlock the final shortcut.

We go back to the third Kalpa, then down to the fourth, and we head for the Twelve Meters of Eternity. Speaking of, it can take you to four places. If you go during new K, you're sent to the Hall, where Beelzebub awaits. If you go during half K or full K, you're sent to the Vault with the teleport maze. If you go during any odd-numbered phase, you're sent to the Road, where you'll find the Burial Chamber behind a couple hidden passages. And if you go during the remaining two phases, 2/8 and 6/8, you're sent to the Maze with the Manikins. For now, we go to the Maze, and find the two strong souls again. From the start, Sakahagi is all the way north, then west, and Futomimi is all the way east.



: I never felt bad about it, and I don't regret living that way, either. But... when I met that girl, the words just slipped out of my mouth... "Everybody has kindness in their heart." Why the hell did I say that? Maybe I was just curious what warmth and kindness feel like... If I could live my life again, I... I'd wanna be the kind of person who is liked by everyone.


: Yeah, I'm, uh, all about feelings and stuff. Lay it on me.

: ...you've made the right choice before. You can make it again. Here, listen.
> You rang the Afterlife Bell. Its pure tone fills the air...
: I guess it's time to say goodbye to this place... The part of my soul that I was missing... The "me" that I really wanted to become... It's gonna wait with other demons for a new life... ......



: I should have taken revenge back then, for what that boy did to me.


: If I ever screw up badly, I can only hope one day someone will give me another chance. And it won't be said that I bring only death and pain. Go, and do better.
> You rang the Afterlife Bell. Its pure tone fills the air...
: Ah... I can see... my black heart... A new shape surrounds it... I am in a place... that gives rise to many demons... ......

: I hope you didn't just make a terrible mistake.
: The Manikins are all but gone, Ms. Takao is apparently under divine protection, I don't mind if Sakahagi takes out Hikawa, and the other demons can take care of themselves. How much harm could he do?

*: Time to take a peek at the next Kalpa. We return to the ladder at the exit of the Twelve Meters.


: Now, you can move on. Good luck!





Cutscene: The eternal witness

: So. It's me. I'm the demon to be created.
: You're taking this remarkably well, all things considered.
: I guess I've known for a while, somewhere in the back of my mind.
: And you guys both knew too, didn't you?
: Yes, we did.
: My apologies.
: No, no, it's... it's fine. I get it. If anyone had told me sooner, I probably would have been pretty mad.
: BUT YOU'RE NOT MAD NOW.
: I've seen a lot of poo poo go down since I got here. I guess at this point I don't know what to think anymore. I mean, Chiaki and Isamu, right? They were more human than I was, and look at how they turned out. And Hikawa didn't even need to be part demon to murder everybody.
: I would refrain from judging all humans from a few of their least savory examples.
: I know, I know, but...
: So, will you go through with it?
: Is that even a hee ho question? It's totally gonna make you super-cool and super-strong!
: I haven't decided yet. I guess there's still stuff I want to do up top before I figure it out. Besides, maybe I'll want to support Ms. Takao and her Reason, right? There's still a chance it won't be completely messed up.
: The outlook isn't so great on that.
: I still gotta see for myself. And on top of that, even if Aradia turns out to be a wet petard, maybe I'll want to finish this whole thing on my own terms. It's not like, you know, like serving Lucifer is my only alternative. It can't be.
: Well, for what it's worth, we're with you either way.
: It's worth more than you can imagine. It really is. Being a human is pretty cool, but, maybe being one of you guys wouldn't be so terrible. I guess we'll see.

*: Hijiri's fate brings to mind the medieval, typically anti-semitic legend of the Wandering Jew, about a man who taunted Jesus on his way to Golgotha to be crucified, and was therefore punished by God by being forced to roam the earth in misery, unable to die until the end of the world. In the context of the series though, there is a theory that Hijiri is in fact...
: Oh this gon' be good.
*: ...that Hijiri is in fact the protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei II.
: ...what.
*: I'm not sure of the details, but at least one path in SMT2 has the protagonist outright kill YHVH, or whatever was the current manifestation of YHVH at the time. And his punishment for this is stated to be an eternal cycle of torture, painful death, resurrection, and more torture.
: No, seriously, what.
: Almost makes you feel glad you quit before then, eh?
: So I'm Hijiri. Wow.
*: Well, maybe not. That theory has never been confirmed as far as I know, and besides, given the whole Amala Universe business, it's just as possible that the world where SMT 1 and 2 take place is the same world where Nocturne takes place, but on a prior cycle of rebirth, as it is possible that they are different worlds entirely.
: So, Hawke, tell me. Where'd you get the hat?
: Where'd you get the broken face?
: Huh? I don't-
*: Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa! Settle down!
: Lemme at 'im!
*: Aight kids, time out, for both of you!
: But-
*: ZIP IT.

Welp, in any case, it can't hurt to just open the door, right?



Oh.

*: Looks like we can't proceed further inside without agreeing to meet with the Big L. Now this may look like a definite point of no return, but it actually is not. In fact, there's some pretty cool stuff in the final Kalpa that we can get to without locking ourselves into or out of anything, and I definitely want to check it out.



: Uh, yeah, sure, it all sounds super spiffy and everything.

: I will open the way to the last door; please use the candelabrum and come see us. We look forward to seeing you soon.



Well hey, if I change my mind, I'll have lied to the Prince of Lies. I'm sure he'll be able to appreciate the irony of the situation.

*: We ride the last tunnel down. Dang there are actually obstacles coming up from behind, falling faster than we do. That pretty much requires pure memorization right there.





Slayer Francois Hawke. Sovereignty.









*: As anticlimactic as this is, I don't want to get into this just yet, so we take the shortcut up to the first layer, then back down to the third.







The Cube here contains a Deathstone.



: I'll sell you something special. ...Wait a minute, your party's full. If you want a new companion, make some room first and then come back.

*: This broker sells a Lv4 Preta. This isn't so great, but it is a Lv4 Gaki that comes with Megido, Megidola, Megidolaon, Mediarahan, Samarecarm, Tetrakarn, Makalakarn, and Recarmdra (an easily abusable spell that sacrifices its user to restore the entire party's HP and MP). It's not a bad idea to let him earn a bunch of levels and use him as sacrificial fusion fodder.

And that's it for the Dark alignment door. I did say it didn't change much!

I take the time to get into a few fights here. Long gains Violet Flash, his last skill. This dude's been with us for a long time! Soon afterwards, Shiki-Ouji learns Megido, Titania learns Mana Surge, Zed passes on Wind Cutter, and Dionysus learns Wine Party, a unique passive conversation skill that occasionally plies an enemy with drink.

Aight, that'll have to be good enough. Let's... leave the Labyrinth. And head for the Cathedral.

My original plan was to level Titania and Shiki-Ouji, then fuse them together to make a level 70 Night demon. However, due to the way fusion works, now that we've made Night Black Frost available, that combination would produce... Lv66 Black Frost. And that's no good for us, as we of course already have Black Frost. I have other plans for Titania now, and besides she still needs to learn her final skill. But Shiki-Ouji's done, at least.

Back when we fought Sakahagi, he was of the Corpus race; if we had fought Futomimi, he would also have been a Corpus. The Corpus are a special race, and you can't ever fuse something into a Corpus, or get one in your party. However, now that their powerful souls have been guided by the Afterlife Bell, Sakahagi and Futomimi have transcended their past natures as Manikins. Sakahagi is counted among the Foul, and Futomimi is counted among the Kishin.

Foul and Kishin, we can fuse.

Shiki-Ouji + Garuda =



: Friend, I know you're not the type to seek vengeance. Or, not anymore, anyway, right? But we might just get it anyway.
: If I may ask, what kind of world would you create?
: It hardly matters anymore, does it?
: Still, I would hear it.
: I gotta say I'm more than a little curious myself.
: I still don't know, honestly. But... The world you talked about... I don't think I would have had it in me to crush it.
: You did help us, all the way to the end, even though you weren't one of us.
: The Vortex World may forget the Manikins, but I won't. It's an honor to have you by my side.
: Let us go forth, then. There are still abominations we can prevent, I'm sure.



*: Futomimi's skill setup intends him to be a physical bruiser, and that's sort of what his boss battle would have shown us. He actually has more Magic than Strength though, and the only physical attack skill he learns is Lunge (though it's still halfway decent with Focus on), so I got him Rakunda, Mazandyne and Megido to round him out. And with the ever useful Life Drain, he'll always be able to cast them.

I would have liked Garuda to learn more of its own skills, but I just had to free up a spot. Speaking of which, I use that spot to summon up two Nigi Mitama from the Compendium, and fuse them to Titania and Black Frost so their Glacial Blast and Mabufudyne can benefit from Ice Boost. Neither of them have MP recovery, but when they do spent their limited juice, it'll count. Of course it's 18000 Macca each, but we have like 700000 right now so it's really no big deal.

Alright then, we have one final dip in the Labyrinth on our plate before we return to the Diet Building. And for this one, we head straight to the fifth Kalpa.




Well, doesn't this look familiar?

But I can't say I'm surprised.

Cutscene: One coin

: That was a real cool speech and all, but Lucifer can wait.
: Hmm? What do you have in mind, then?
: You and I, we're gonna clean up the Japanese government.
: That's funny, I could have sworn you just told me we were going to clean up the Japanese government.
: I'm your client, I've paid good money, and if I say we're fixing democracy, then democracy is getting hella fixed.
: That sounds like an even bigger waste of my time than that whole business with Lucia.
: What were you even thinking, though? Seriously. Did your agent have a hidden grudge or something?
: Alright then, enough talk, democracy isn't going to fix itself!

*: Of course, Dante's coin is double-sided; if you pick heads you'll win every time.



So, Fiend Dante. Not only does he have standard boss immunities, but he resists both physical and magic damage. All of his skills are unique to him, though one of them is a renamed existing skill. We've seen most of the ones he has already; Never Yield is functionally the same as Endure, and Intimidate is actually a passive conversation skill that works best against indecisive demons at least ten levels lower than him, or demons with a childlike personality. He'll get more new toys as he gets stronger, but I'll mention those as they appear.

There are a couple fairly big downsides to Dante, however. One of them may not actually be a problem for us, depending on Stuff that I can't quite talk about yet, but in any case, you can't kick him out of your roster (though he doesn't have to be in your active party), and you can't fuse him, so he's using up a slot until your New Game+. And since you can't fuse him, you can't use Mitama to boost his stats. Even though he starts pretty strong, his stats only grow slowly as he levels up and he can easily be outclassed by high level custom demons. That said, you can give him Incense to remedy to that somewhat, and it might not be such a bad idea given that stats have a hard cap of 40 and the Demi-fiend can count on endgame Magatama stat bonuses for a fair chunk of that number.

In the end, it's often recommended to skip hiring Dante entirely, even if only not to permanently occupy an ally slot. But dang, this is a LP, how can I not show him off? His name's on the box!

Aaaanyway! Man that was one disjointed-rear end update. But at least we straightened a bunch of loose ends, right? I still want to fully explore Hell's Vault at some point, but for now it's high time we get back on the main path.


: Look, broseph, I'm sorry I mentioned your ridiculous hat.
: IT'S NOT MY GOD DAMNED HAT YOU WHIRLING CROTCHNOZZLE.

FrankZP fucked around with this message at 13:30 on Feb 5, 2016

FrankZP
Nov 11, 2015

AIGHT SHITBIRDS, IT'S EXPLOSION TIME!


MarquiseMindfang posted:

I hope you're going to do what I think you're going to do.

FredMSloniker posted:

If you think he's going to do what I think you think he's going to do, I hope he doesn't, for reasons I'll explain when it's no longer spoilers.

Welp, I guess I'm disappointing at least one person today. :3

Lunar Suite posted:

You beautiful bastard.

Ha, I figured someone would catch that sooner or later. I didn't originally set out to make the reference, but when I realized it fit what I was trying to say about the the situation so perfectly, I just had to push it through.

RedRupee
Feb 25, 2012



Just caught up to this LP. This is some real good stuff you've got here. Having not played Nocturne I have no idea how any of this is going to end but I look forward to what Ms. Takao's Reason will end up being.

MarquiseMindfang
Jan 6, 2013


FrankZP posted:

Welp, I guess I'm disappointing at least one person today. :3

I was hoping you'd set up the Afterlife Bell sidequest to take Futomimi to the endgame. He's not the vengeful type, yes, but ending Yosuga is a worthy goal anyway.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


The JP exclusive re-release of Nocturne both ups the difficulty as well as replaces Dante with Raidou. But apparently Raidou is pretty good, with actually useful skills and has Pierce to actually stand a chance against Lucifer. He still has the other problems of Dante, like taking up a spot in your roster and unfusable with Mitamas, but he doesn't suffer from being a wimpy token badass. And while Futomimi is pretty good, I've always been disappointed with Sakahagi. He has subpar stats and the only useful skills he learns are Void Elec, Void Force, and War Cry. I guess if you had enough time on your hands, you could beef him up or fuse him to get more skills, but with all the other demons out there, it's just not worth it, especially when Futomimi doesn't suck to begin with.

Shitenshi fucked around with this message at 15:52 on Feb 4, 2016

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


raidou and dante are exactly the same outside of that one point actually. also dante is actually very good

Petiso
Apr 30, 2012





The diet bulding is my favorite dungeon in the game, its atmosphere track is also my favorite as well.

By the way, you called the Preta the broker sells a "Gaki".

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


Petiso posted:

By the way, you called the Preta the broker sells a "Gaki".

They're interchangeable names for the same demon over the course of the series, it's a reasonable mistake to make.

Lunar Suite
Jun 5, 2011

If you love a flower which happens to be on a star, it is sweet at night to gaze at the sky. All the stars are a riot of flowers.


I request that Futomimi get to MANIKIN PUNCH! Baal Avatar's spine out.

cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

alcharagia posted:

They're interchangeable names for the same demon over the course of the series, it's a reasonable mistake to make.

well, in this game there are both Preta and Gaki so naturally there will be some confusion.

Kemix
Dec 1, 2013

Because change


Shame that Dante doesn't get Pierce like Zed/Demi-fiend can and he's completely unfusable, but hey, with all that INCENSE YOU HAVE STASHED AWAY, I think we can max out those attacking stats of his without any trouble.

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007



Shitenshi posted:

The JP exclusive re-release of Nocturne both ups the difficulty as well as replaces Dante with Raidou.

Oh, that's where he comes from. I saw the guy who did the DDS2 2-turn Satan kill video had a Raidou one as well and I figured it was an optional boss later.

cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

Polsy posted:

Oh, that's where he comes from. I saw the guy who did the DDS2 2-turn Satan kill video had a Raidou one as well and I figured it was an optional boss later.

It was free in a LE release of Devil Summoner 2 in Japan, while here in North America we got a Rai-ho plush. I'd rather the reballanced nocturne maniax.

bare bottom pancakes
Sep 3, 2015

Production: Complete


gently caress yeah, Dante! Hiring him is pretty much the only thing I knew about this game going into the LP, so I was hoping you'd show him off.

Since I'm enjoying this LP so much I decided to try out the series myself, starting with IV since a friend was willing to lend it to me. It's pretty fun! The ability to save anywhere definitely lightens the punch, though.

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


Ah, so much commentary to provide in so little time:

The Diet building is awesome (as a dungeon, I mean, haven't yet had a chance to see the actual one) and probably my third favourite Nocturne dungeon, behind Kabukicho Prison and the Amala Temple, naturally.

It may be painfully apparent from my previous commentary, but I never actually got the Afterlife Bell and the full story behind Futomimi and Sakahagi in-game. Might be something to do on the playthrough I am semi-forcing a friend through, though (if we are still friends after he reaches Matador I think that will be a good sign).

Of course the prior-protagonist peanut gallery reacts to the revelation of Hijiri's reincarnation with an argument about hats.

Dante recruitment is hotly contested, yes, but he is quite a powerhouse for the period you can acquire him and his permanent residence in a demon slot is nothing when you consider how fusion-happy this game encourages you to be at this point in the story. That said, my actual favourite aspect of his recruitment would have to be (minor Devil May Cry series spoilers to follow) that if you recall when Nocturne was made and the character design, this is actually Devil May Cry 2 Dante specifically, and the fact that he uses that coin which always comes up heads is both a plot point and a characterization gimmick. The fact that it makes an appearance in this game is hilarious, but also appropriate and a sign that they actually cared about inserting unique elements of his characterization into the narrative for his cameo.

For those curious, the Dante inclusion for Nocturne Maniax also had implications on the Capcom side. For their part of the crossover, Atlus lent character designer Kazuma Kaneko to Capcom while they were making Devil May Cry 3, and he created the Devil Trigger forms that Dante assumes in that game.

As far as endings go, I would argue that any of the options before us might make sense for Francois, given that he is a human, and a demon, and has had to sacrifice aspects of both halves of himself to get to where he is now. Whether to create or destroy will be his decision, and I'll be rooting for him regardless. That, or maybe Ms. Takao's Reason might provide one more alternative.

ahahahahahahahahahahaha...

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




Dante is actually great throughout the rest of the game, for one very simple reason: very few people are going to fuse demons badass enough statwise to actually compete with him.

His resists are basically unbeatable short of certain shenanigans with Mother Harlot and One Other Guy, his damage output his solid, and he has a high critical rate.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


alcharagia posted:

raidou and dante are exactly the same outside of that one point actually.

Huh, apparently JP players said that they were pretty much the same too, but that all of Raidou's skills were more useful overall. Probably exaggeration on their part just because Raidou can never be completely useless, especially for that one big spoiler.

quote:

also dante is actually very good
I guess if you put a lot of work into him he's good enough, but when he lacks a certain something that renders him useless compared to Raidou (and the other demons you can fuse onto them) in addition to the other drawbacks, he feels way too much like FFT Cloud. I've heard good things about Son's Oath being useful for clearing trash encounters, but Trumpeter's Evil Melody is way better.

FrankZP
Nov 11, 2015

AIGHT SHITBIRDS, IT'S EXPLOSION TIME!


I may have undersold Dante's strengths while frontloading his disadvantages, but in any case we'll definitely see him put to good use. If you've played Dark Souls, Dante is kind of like the Drake Sword, which has high base damage but no stat scaling. If you're trying to optimize and minmax a build, it's basically pointless, but at face value, it can definitely carry you through a fairly hefty chunk of the game. The dude does start out at level 80; right now he's not just stronger than any demon we have, in some ways he's also stronger than the Demi-Fiend. (Dante doesn't have Focus, but Zed doesn't have a bunch of powerful group-hitting elemental attacks backed by a Magic stat of 22 or permanent immunities and resistances to pretty much everything.)

MarquiseMindfang posted:

I was hoping you'd set up the Afterlife Bell sidequest to take Futomimi to the endgame. He's not the vengeful type, yes, but ending Yosuga is a worthy goal anyway.

Right, that's the plan. In the end it's not about vengeance as much as it is about making sure the Manikins are the last innocents Chiaki gets to slaughter.

RedRupee posted:

Just caught up to this LP. This is some real good stuff you've got here. Having not played Nocturne I have no idea how any of this is going to end but I look forward to what Ms. Takao's Reason will end up being.

Ha, glad you're enjoying it, good to have one more on board.

Petiso posted:

By the way, you called the Preta the broker sells a "Gaki".

Yeah, that's another old habit from my earlier LPs. Gaki's the Japanese name, and Preta's the Sanskrit name. I'll make the correction, thanks for pointing it out!

Lunar Suite posted:

I request that Futomimi get to MANIKIN PUNCH! Baal Avatar's spine out.

: If that doesn't happen, I'm going on strike.

Kemix posted:

Shame that Dante doesn't get Pierce like Zed/Demi-fiend can and he's completely unfusable, but hey, with all that INCENSE YOU HAVE STASHED AWAY, I think we can max out those attacking stats of his without any trouble.

I've actually been using Incense here and there, mostly when Zed has to use Deadly Fury twice in one fight so he might not have time to regenerate between encounters. But... we do still have a fair stockpile. :3

DraconicImpulse posted:

Since I'm enjoying this LP so much I decided to try out the series myself, starting with IV since a friend was willing to lend it to me. It's pretty fun! The ability to save anywhere definitely lightens the punch, though.

Ha, I'm a late 3DS adopter and I picked up SMTIV maybe a year ago. But not long after I started playing I realized I'd be able to get a new PC before long, so I put it on the back burner until I could LP Nocturne. Though I'll probably take a SMT break before getting back to IV. I'm having a great time putting this sucker together, but when I'm done it'll be pretty cool to be able to spend more than a day or two without thinking about demons, heheh.

ModeWondershot posted:

It may be painfully apparent from my previous commentary, but I never actually got the Afterlife Bell and the full story behind Futomimi and Sakahagi in-game. Might be something to do on the playthrough I am semi-forcing a friend through, though (if we are still friends after he reaches Matador I think that will be a good sign).

Given how little I remembered of that side-quest, I suspect I never undertook it myself before now and just read about it after the fact at some point. My memories of the endgame are hazy in general, but it's really like I have no first-hand recollection of the Bell. There is a point to be made about how easy it is to miss at least one of the locations the Twelve Meters of Eternity can send you to, if you go into it uninformed.

ModeWondershot posted:

Of course the prior-protagonist peanut gallery reacts to the revelation of Hijiri's reincarnation with an argument about hats.

: Well, it was that, or mock him about how he went off the deep end with the "I AM KING KNOW-IT-ALL AND I AIN'T NEED NOBODY" nonsense.
*: Or, you know, not mock him at all.
: Man, it's like you don't even know me.

ModeWondershot posted:

As far as endings go, I would argue that any of the options before us might make sense for Francois, given that he is a human, and a demon, and has had to sacrifice aspects of both halves of himself to get to where he is now. Whether to create or destroy will be his decision, and I'll be rooting for him regardless. That, or maybe Ms. Takao's Reason might provide one more alternative.

I've certainly been making efforts to avoid railroading the narrative into this or that ending until the relevant decisions are made (whether those efforts have been successful or not, it's not my place to say), so I'm at least as eager to see how it'll all end up as anyone else!

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Well this party is officially getting crazy.
Also im the mind that Dantes the previous worlds demi-fiend.


Well if he wasnt a crossover character itd be completely viable.

mauman
Jul 30, 2014

Whoever's got the biggest whiskers does the talking.


I'm still hoping you fuse one more guy.

Former enemies should totally team up to stomp on Baal.....plus it would make fun inter-party banter.

Also, Futomimi is totally worth taking to the end-game especially if you fuse pierce onto him

mauman fucked around with this message at 17:48 on Feb 5, 2016

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


FrankZP posted:

Welp, I guess I'm disappointing at least one person today. :3

At this point, we still don't know what alternatives, if any, we have to Lucifer's plan, but now that we finally know what it is, I can talk about whether I think Francois should take it.

The answer is no. Why? Ultimately, it's about freedom of choice. From the beginning, he's been billed as the one who will ultimately choose what form the new world will take. And Lucifer's whole sales pitch is that Francois can take a third (well, fourth) option, join up with him, and smash the whole corrupt system. That Francois is not bound by destiny and can choose his fate.

But what's the first thing Lucifer did upon meeting Francois? He took his choice away. He corrupted him, locking him out of the ability to form a Reason of his own, leaving him only three lovely options and the option on Lucifer's plate. Even that, I might forgive him for; after all, there's no guarantee Francois would have survived without demon powers, and the ability to form a Reason would be moot if he's dead.

But here's the kicker. Lucifer didn't want to take a chance that Francois might not accept his deal. He manipulated events, by taking away Francois's ability to form a Reason, by getting him to beat up the Fiends in a gambit to make him stronger, by telling him only what would best serve Lucifer's interests, giving Francois the unvarnished truth (and we have only Lucifer's word, through his proxy, that it is the unvarnished truth) only when Francois would reasonably feel there was no better option. Most likely the only reason Lucifer isn't trying to bend Francois's arm is that he's afraid Francois would break his arm off instead.

One of Nocturne's themes is the hypocrisy of ideals. We've seen each of the people who's composed a Reason acting in ways diametrically opposed to it: the weak wanting a kingdom of strength, the one who wants to be alone forcing it on others, the person who thinks free will was a mistake unilaterally making the decision for everyone else. Now we come to Lucifer, who offers us our freedom... but only if we become his pawn.

gently caress him.

gently caress everyone.

FredMSloniker fucked around with this message at 01:11 on Feb 6, 2016

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

ModeWondershot posted:

Dante recruitment is hotly contested, yes, but he is quite a powerhouse for the period you can acquire him and his permanent residence in a demon slot is nothing when you consider how fusion-happy this game encourages you to be at this point in the story. That said, my actual favourite aspect of his recruitment would have to be (minor Devil May Cry series spoilers to follow) that if you recall when Nocturne was made and the character design, this is actually Devil May Cry 2 Dante specifically, and the fact that he uses that coin which always comes up heads is both a plot point and a characterization gimmick. The fact that it makes an appearance in this game is hilarious, but also appropriate and a sign that they actually cared about inserting unique elements of his characterization into the narrative for his cameo.

So if you pick tails, does he do a magician's force? "Right, the other side is heads, looks like you just owe me 1 Macca"?

Forget the candelabra, though. Why has everybody been collecting enough demon bugs to give us a regular holiday chocolate sampler of the things?

cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

Glazius posted:

So if you pick tails, does he do a magician's force? "Right, the other side is heads, looks like you just owe me 1 Macca"?

Forget the candelabra, though. Why has everybody been collecting enough demon bugs to give us a regular holiday chocolate sampler of the things?

he takes 1/2 your macca if you pick wrong.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


FredMSloniker posted:

gently caress him.

gently caress everyone.

Agreed. gently caress Lucifer.

Cape Cod Crab Chip
Feb 20, 2011

Now you don't have to suck meat from an exoskeleton!


Dante is absolutely amazing for walkaround demon fighting, which is like 99% of all the fighting you get into in this game. LPs (with good reason!) gloss over just how many random encounters can happen going from point A to point B and Nocturne is definitely a game that has you hauling a lot of rear end through long stretches of dungeon. You probably shelve him for most boss fights but honestly, short of a handful of super-endgame demons you need to grind for hours and hours to get the levels you need for fusion, he's one of the best endgame allies you can get when random encounters happen.

cdyoung
Mar 2, 2012

Someone call for a Hee-ro-ho?

Night10194 posted:

Agreed. gently caress Lucifer.

But what if he wants you to gently caress him? He's apparently kinda lonely.

Jokes aside. Lucifer actually doesn't care what alignment you are so long as you want to stick it to the great will.

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Tactless Ogre
Oct 31, 2011


Tallgeese posted:

Dante is actually great throughout the rest of the game, for one very simple reason: very few people are going to fuse demons badass enough statwise to actually compete with him.

His resists are basically unbeatable short of certain shenanigans with Mother Harlot and One Other Guy, his damage output his solid, and he has a high critical rate.

Cannot have said it any better. Yeah, he doesn't get Pierce so he doesn't help against the true final boss. But that's really his only shortcoming. His stats are great, he holds his own with his resistances and Son's Oath jacks up his attack power further. He's got a high critical rate as well. Once you start buffing and debuffing enemies or bosses, he really shines forth like any other demon.

He's a case when if you really were to analyze him like "He doesn't get pierce for the true final boss" or "He can't be fused with Mitama"; then yeah he's not going to be the best party member, but when you play and see him in action; you'l realize how insignificant his drawbacks are.

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