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Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


:siren: Spoiler Policy: Be sensible! Tag it if we haven't seen it yet! :siren:



Scriptures (Attract)

Title Loop 1

I'm sure it goes without saying by now, but Shin Megami Tensei is my favorite series. Period. Likewise, to the surprise of probably no-one, Nocturne / Lucifer's Call (as the PS2 release was titled in Europe) is my favorite game in the series.



Nocturne here is the third game in the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series. It was originally released in February 2003 for the PS2 but an updated rerelease was out... 11 months later. Mercifully, the updated version is the only one that got translated and released outside of Japan. A second version of that rerelease was made available in October 2008, which is mostly the same but with one notable difference.

For this thread, we'll be playing (the PS4/5 version of) the HD remaster, covering all the DLC at some point or another; brief though some of it will be. Likewise, for trophies/achievements, for the folks who care about those, I will mention most of them where relevant but not gonna go out of my way to show off exactly how to get them. There's other, better places for that.

Brief reminder of what various symbols you'll see mean:

is for regular videos. I'll also include a minor note where every video ends. Hopefully it'll be easy to spot.

is for music. Mostly recommend listening to 'em if possible, since it conveys the atmosphere really well. Anything we haven't had before will have after it, for convenience.

is a combat video. These are noteworthy encounters, minibosses, plot bosses and the like. Should probably watch these, where possible.

is a combat video for more special bosses (optional ones, final ones, what have you). Should probably watch these too, where possible.

If you like what you've seen here and want to read more, might I recommend:

Devil Survivor 2
Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (the DS original)
Persona 3 FES (and Portable, but mainly FES)

Table of Contents
01. A Normal Tokyo Day
02. Shinjuku Medical Center
03. Shibuya
04. Amala Network
05. Ginza
06. Great Underpass of Ginza
07. Ikebukuro
08. The First Kalpa

Lotus Aura fucked around with this message at 01:30 on Jan 19, 2022

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Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!




So, here's a staunch difference already that I can't ignore. The HD Remaster uses the Maniax rerelease as its base but also adds a new Merciful difficulty as free DLC.

I haven't actually touched Merciful yet, but I'll give it a once-over at some point in like NG+ or something. From what I can gather from other sources, it does the following:

- You take half damage
- You deal double damage
- The encounter rate is reduced
- You gain roughly triple to quadruple EXP and money from all fights
- Enemies rarely use skills at all and will target attacks in the most player friendly way.

There are, of course, also fair few differences between Normal and Hard. A brief rundown is that on Hard:

- Enemies deal double damage (of course);
- Escaping from random encounters is
almost impossible;
- Damage from traps/damage floors is tripled;
- Poison damage out of combat is tripled;
- Prices in stores are tripled
- Enemies actively attempt to exploit your weaknesses (not literally every turn, but more often then Normal)

That's basically it, really. Needless to say, yeah, we'll be playing on Hard almost the whole time. It'd be more of a surprise if we weren't, really.

You might notice here that it says you can change difficulty at any time. And you can. You might also notice that I said prices in stores are tripled on Hard. And they are. That was in the PS2 release and it was kept here. Why? :iiam:


A Powerless World



"The views and opinions expressed in the game, even in the routes we do, do not reflect those of Atlus USA or its employees." was in the old disclaimer but removed from this one. Not gonna mention differences like that all the time, but this one is just weird and immediately obvious.

It also does not reflect the views of me, the LPer.

Anything posted by folks that aren't me though? The views and opinions probably reflect on those posters.

Lookin' at you Requisite Law Crew.




If such is the fate of this world...
Then I shall return it to its mother's womb.
The world must first die, for it to be born again...
That is the path to salvation, as foretold in an ancient prophecy.

It's not necessarily immediately obvious, but with the addition of voice acting the game HAS been retranslated. Sorta. Some lines are the same, some lines are different. On rare occassions, wildly so.

Apocalypse





But, I won't let you meet the same fate.
I want to help you hold on to your life.
To do so, I need to know your name.
Will you tell me who you are?



Naoki Kashima's one of two possibilities that are the closest thing there is to a canon name. It comes from a drama CD and is the name I would expect more people to recognise (just from general fan chatter, if nothing else).

The alternative would be Shin Managi from the light novel Nocturne Konton which I imagine not a lot of people would recognise. Also it looks dumber, so there's that.


As of now, your will to live shall sustain you.
Believe in it...and survive.
I don't understand.

Much like every other SMT protagonist, Naoki here speaks exclusively through dialogue choices. Can assume that whenever he pops up, it's thanks to that.

You may not understand right now...
But please don't forget what I've told you.



The template for our future rests within my hands.
Now, I want you to say my name aloud.
Yuko Takao.



Yuko Takao's the default name. For every name input from this point onwards, we'll be running with the defaults. No exceptions.

You may also realise that this is naming someone other than te main character. And this game has voice acting. I'm sure this won't be weird when anyone else has to say her name.

Speaking of, Yuko is voiced by Laura Post. She mostly has done minor side characters but occassionally get major roles like Arfoire in Hyperdimension Neptunia, Fubuki in One-Punch Man, Isabella in The Promised Neverland, Kasumi in Persona 5 Royal and, most recently, Nuwa in Shin Megami Tensei V.


Naoki...
No. I won't shed another tear, not even at this world's end.
Instead, I can invite you to the world that is to come.
Now go ahead, wake up. The time is here.

Silence



Please do not rush onto the train. The door is now closing.

End

Well, that was a weird dream. Guess we needed something while sleeping on the train, or whatever.







You forget we're visiting Ms. Takao today?
Just get to Yoyogi Park ASAP. Time's a-wastin'!

> It's from your classmate.



Isamu's name isn't mentioned at all in this scene, even as the name dialogue is attributed to. We do get to name him here, though.



Oh right. Be sure to dress to impress. After all, you represent me by way of association.
How about that slick jacket you bought the other day? The one with the little demon sprites?
Remember, you're just the mood maker. Don't get it twisted, 'kay?

We can't change jackets or anything, that'd be silly. But it's fine.



Naoki's jacket has the old Megami Tensei demon graphic on it. I'm pretty sure this is what the text meant.

Anyway, yeah, the subway here is desolate and empty. There's no music, just ambient noise. Mostly traffic coming from the street above. There's no one else around, either. It gives a strong atmosphere right away, and the unnerving feeling that something isn't quite right here.

But before we head on outside, just off to the left from where we started, we can find...



A pair of Atlus brand soft drink vending machines! We can only get one drink here, but we'll pick it up because why not? It's right here, after all.



We'll just turn around and head on over to the exit, then.

Oh, I guess there is someone else here after all. Just one person, though.




Let me guess, you're here for Yoyogi Park?
Ever since that incident went down, it's been one lookie-loo after another. No one's here for the train.
As you can probably tekk, I've had a lot of time on my hands.
You've... heard the news, right?
What's going on?



If you want the gory details, go check the giant screen at Shibuya.
Long story short, a couple folks lost their lives in that park. You could hear the sirens wailing all night long.
Anyway, didn't mean to talk your ear off. It's just nice to have some conversation once in a while.



That one conversation with that poor, bored station agent is the only thing between us and the exit. It's a pretty straight shot, which is fine.

Large Map ~Real Universe~



Ah, a good ol' classic SMT world map. I feel like it's been forever since we've seen one of these. The blue circle-and-triangle is us. Green ones are NPCs. Very simple.

Speaking of which, Yoyogi Park is straight north of here. We'll talk to the one person on the way and then head on in.




We appreciate your cooperation.



Nah, I'm sure it's fine. See, still glowing red and everything.



Ah, a weird decision. Just take a screenshot and upscale it? Sure... Sure, why not.

Guess we gotta use the other entrance. Might as well wander around the city a bit first then.






The fact that Cybers Communication would destroy the park for their own gain is not only inconceivable--it's unforgivable!

> The reporter's impassioned speech continues...

Maybe this is just me, but I think "big business destroys park to chase more profits" is very conceivable. Depressingly so, even.



In my dream, everywhere ya look... everything... is round. The world itself is round!
Argh! Dag nabbit--I KNOW the world is round, but... it got round in a different way!
I'm tellin' ya, my dream is a prophecy! *sigh* And yet no one believes me...



You said you were going to visit Ms. Takao today, right?
I know she's beautiful, but that doesn't give you license to creep on her, okay?

Please, I'll be fine. Who do you think I am, Isamu?







(Excite) I know! To me, that only adds to it! He's got intrigue... a whole world of lore built around him!



Ah, we seem to have looped around to the Shibuya Crossing (the crossroad intersection on the bottom right; arguably the busiest intersection in the world). This's gotta be what we were told about before, huh? Might as well have a gander.



The demonstration got out of hand, and there have been several deaths and injuries reported.
Furthermore, Hikawa, the top executive of Cybers Communication, remains missing.
Stay tune to see what the weather forecast has planned.

> The news continues...

We'll make our way back over to the park now, I suppose. Still got a few folks to talk to on the way there.



I dunno, it's just... it hardly seems real. Like, how could this be happening here?
...Glad it doesn't involve me.







Ugh, that's just gross and nothing else.

(Woman) Wow, could you be any more predictable? Ahaha... But I guess that's what I love about you.



One moment we're suffering fatalities, the next, everybody's dressed like it's a goddamn carnival.
Take that long-haired yuppie wanderin' around, for instance.

Yoyogi Park

Silence



Oh, that was probably this guy. He has long-ish hair, at least.



They can't even let a guy in to snap a few photos? Guess it's not my lucky day.



...You need something, kid?
What happened here?
Well, here's what they said on TV:
"Panic erupts as a clash between corporate representatives and a civic organization ends in violent deaths."
Pretty disturbing, right? But, those who live on the fringe say...



See, this is way radder than "business does thing that people disagree with. Again."

> Your cell phone started to ring.

...Uh, I think that's your phone going off.



Finally, I get a hold of you. What's taking you so long?



It's a minor thing, but it bugs me how the dialogue box in the station didn't update to say Isamu's name... but Chiaki's does here. I dunno, it's just a very minor annoyance for its inconsistency. It doesn't even remotely matter, and I know that.

Also, Isamu is a name we can change so the voice acting never says it. She just says "our other friend" here. The game kind exudes Final Fantasy X energy at times.

Anyway, Chiaki is voiced by Carla Tassara who is not really much of a prolific actor, voice or otherwise. Most of her credits are minor unnamed characters, though exceptions include RAY in Mighty No. 9 and Judy Alvarez in Cyberpunk 2077.


Where are you now? Yoyogi Park?
Well, since you decided not to show, we had to leave without you. We're almost there now.
So yeah. Would you mind coming straight to the hospital?



Just go east from Shinjuku Station and keep going. You can't miss it.
Mm, I guess this works out.
I was planning to ask Ms. Takao for career advice, so I'll just go ahead of you.
I'll be there ASAP.
Thanks. Keep in mind, I don't plan on staying too long.
'Kay, see you later.

> Chiaki hung up.



...That's also where I'm headed, oddly enough. Go figure.



I'm assuming you don't know what went down here.
Then, you probably don't know what kind of place that hospital is, either.



Now that we have his name, I can say that Hijiri is voiced by Chris Tergliafera who's a relatively new name in voice acting but his notable roles still include Muraki in Mob Psycho 100, Kiyotaka Ijichi in Jujutsu Kaisen, Silva Zoldyck in Hunter x Hunter, Andre Camel in Detective Conan and Muhammad Avdol in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders.



Ayakashi Monthly, huh? Understandable that they wouldn't be able to translate that effectively into English. It straight up tells a Japanese audience that this magazine is about the supernatural without any qualms at all. We can still tell pretty well regardless thanks to this guy's explanation at least.

Oh right, "Ayakashi" is a term that's used for a collection of yokai. The exact specifics of what yokai it's referring to varies in different parts of Japan. It's also used as a synonym for a slender sharksucker remora. This is because of a folklore belief that if it latches onto the bottom of a boat, then that boat becomes unable to move.


Normally, you wouldn't associate a hospital with the occult...
But that hospital is anything but normal.
...Or so they say.
There's a lot of misinformation floatig around these days. If it turns out I'm wrong, jut laugh it off, okay?
Anyway, I'd better be going.
Oh yeah. In the event we run into each other again, let me know how you liked my article.

End

Large Map ~Real Universe~



Well, I'm sure we'll never see this Hijiri fellow and his rad snake pattern jacket ever again.

We're booted back to the overworld at this point, so let's head on over towards the hospital.



Y'know, eventually. A few more folks up north to talk to first.


Did you hear the rumor about Yoyogi Park?
No.



And that demon was the one behind the killings!
Well... It's just a rumor.



Being here is starting to depress me.
That riot's got everybody all shaken up...
You look like a decent enough guy. Let's forget all this doom and gloom and have ourselves some fun!

Nah, I'm good, thanks.



The way he carried himself was real dignified-like. Oh, and he had a cat with him--black as the uniform he wore.
I dunno why, but something about that vintage style... Maybe the hat and the cape... I know I've seen is somewhere.

Hm, maybe just some vaguely famous kid from a prestigious school or something. What else could it be?



The hospital up ahead hasn't been open for a while. What's goin' on?

That sounds like a bit of a problem. We should check it out for sure.



The annex is closed, but it doesn't mean the whole hospital is...


Silence





Hmm, yes, okay, I see... this map is too low-res to be useful, dangit.

I'm sure it's fine, though; Chiaki and Isamu are already here, so they probably know where to go.


Chiaki



So, do you like denim? Chiaki likes denim. Get something you like even half as much as she likes denim. Full jress right here.

um, is it just me... or is something seriously off here?



Look, even the reception desk is empty.
Don't you think there's something weird about this place? I sure do...



And, big surprise, he's still gone. He'd better not be off goofing around.
...Oh, what's with that magazine?
Do you want to read it?
Knowing your taste, it probably wouldn't interest me.

Shinjuku Medical Center



Not that that stops her taking it anyway. Oh, Chiaki...



Ohey, look on the back cover. It's a fun little cameo of Nova, the guy who gives you the personality test at the beginning of Shin Megami Tensei If. What an odd choice to include here.


Well, maybe it could help me kill some time.
Anyway, Naoki. Can you go look for Isamu?
If he can't find Ms. Takao, then I don't want to be here another minute.



I'll be waiting down here. Oh, and leave the mag with me.
Don't leave me hanging too long, okay?

End

Okay, so we have to find Isamu before we can find Ms. Takao. Should be easy enough, since apparently the hospital has been deserted and all.



We could take the stairs and walk up, but eh. I'm feeling lazy so we're taking the lift.



Mostly because afterwards, we can go immediately to our left and get a second vending machine.

Despite being another nebulous "Mysterious Drink" this is a very different item to the one from the subway. If you only bother getting one of them, make it this one. You'll see.

On the other hand, if you care about achievements you want to get both. Yep, that's a chievo right there!

Anyway, after that we'll pick either hallway and...



See that someone is in the other one. It's always the opposite one to you, so you gotta run around no matter what.


Isamu

Silence



Not like it adds much time or anything. It's just really inconvenient.

Also, if I've said it once I've said it a thousand times but I really dig most of Isamu's design. I don't think the inexplicable waistcoat fits the rest of it, but that's the only real downside to it.



Isamu is voiced by a guy who's all over lately: Robbie Daymond. You probably know him from such high profile roles as Prompto Argentum in Final Fantasy XV, Zhao in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Peter Parker in multiple Spider-Man related cartoons from 2017 onward, Megumi Fushiguro in Jujutsu Kaisen, Licenceless Rider in One-Punch Man and of course Goro Akechi in Persona 5.


Geez... You come here late, you cause trouble...
You know what, forget it. Not worth it.
I'm sure you've already noticed, but this place has been cleaned out. You think everyone died off?



Something's up.
They could've at least put up a notice or something, so visitors aren't clueless.



This line sure hits way, way harder in 2021...

I've already checked out everywhere Ms. Takao might be. I'm running out of places to look.
Think we should just call it?
All right, I'm gonna head back down and check out how Chiaki's doing.
I bet she's all pissed 'cause I've been gone so long... It ain't easy pleasing a princess.
Anyway, Naoki...
I really hope this isn't the shitstorm it's shaping up to be.

End

I'm sure it's fine. Nothing at all to worry about. If it was a super big deal, the place'd be closed down.

Missing Takao

Shinjuku Medical Center



So Naoki...
You know that special report at the beginning of the magazine?
Well, it says some things that are more than a little unsettling.



And they're right here in Japan.

In itself that's not necessarily super-disturbing, but it's important to remember that Aum Shinrikyo has left a massive impact on Japanese society.



Miroku here is named after Maitreya, the 5th reincarnation of Buddha. Might be worth keeping that in mind, just like in general.

Also, unrelated to that, I kinda wanna point out that there is a Japanese gun manufacturer called Miroku. They've been around since 1893. Notably, they make shotguns for Browning and rifles for Winchester.


In that book, it says that chaos will engulf the world...
And these people are trying to cause that somehow.
Whether their idea of "chaos" means terrorism or something else entirely...
The reporter couldn't figure that out. But get this...

It's a little clunky, but the reporter in question here is Hijiri. He told us as much himself, though it was not clear.



I even checked the men's room.
*sigh* Didn't need to know that.
We're in the middle of a conversation here, so save those details for later.
Now, listen to this part.



Lemme guess, that ends with, "Find out more in our next issue"?
Though, it wouldn't surprise me if that article had some truth to it.
I've heard some real spooky poo poo about this place.



And, of course, there's a rumor that a cult's behind it all.
...You're serious?
I never knew any of that. Maybe we really shouldn't have come here...
I almost feel stupid for buying into some bizarre tabloid...



...
We really need to find Ms. Takao, don't we?
Okay, we search this place top to bottom one last time. If nothing pops up, we assume nothing's wrong, and we split.



I'll go take a look up there.

This IS true; there is an annex entrance on the second floor by the elevator. It requires a keycard to get through, though, and we don't have that so I glossed over it.



I've no idea where Isamu got a card for the annex and also a card for the basement, but I guess he did.



Ah well, it's ours now.


You're the one who found the card--why don't YOU search the basement?
...Could it be you're too scared?
Come on! This is ME we're talking about!
The only reason Naoki's going is 'cause I'm sure there's nothing down there!



After all, saving the day is my job.
Should things take a turn for the worse, just run like hell! Okay?
*sigh* I can't believe him sometimes.
Anyway, let's focus on finding Ms. Takao. No matter what, we have to make sure she's safe.

End

Alright, fine. We'll take the elevator to the basement.

And yeah it has to be the lift this time around. Stairs only go between the first and second floors.



It looks like a bit of a mess down here. Like a tornado ripped through it or something.



Also there's (hopefully dried) blood in places. I'm sure it's not a big deal.



Could've come here before, but we wouldn't get past this door. It's locked up so odds are good no-one's even down here.



There's three rooms to check out, though. Two on the left, one on the right. There's a fourth door at the end of the corridor as well.



First room on the left is... some kind of operating room. And there's a gigantic sigil. That's strange, but I'm sure some folks have seen weirder.



Second door on the left is a morgue. I'd be more surprised if there wasn't one down here, though.



Door at the far end is locked up tight and has a security camera watching who goes in and/or out. Pretty sure we're not getting through there.



That just leaves the last door. And there's something inside this room, huh? Definitely gonna go on in.


Hikawa

Hikawa



Pretty sure that's a prayer wheel used by buddhists in Tibet. It looks like it's a bit larger and technological than normal, though, especially since it's hooked up to a computer and all.

Hikawa is voiced by Connor Fogarty, a name you definitely don't recognise. He has done basically nothing of substance or note at all before Hikawa. He was some of the generic NPCs in Final Fantasy VII Remake and Felton Reed in some Fallout 76 DLC and that is it. That's all of his voice acting credit before Hikawa.

That is unfortunate, but it just makes this even more impressive if anything.


Who dares to disrupt this stillness?



A well-known poet once said...



That's true. It is the first line of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land:

quote:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.


Because it is then that one awakens from a long sleep and faces the barren world.
Our history as a species is similarly barren, comprised of empty trivialities.
The worthless overgrowth to a civilization blind to its sins...
Continuous war and bloodshed...
And thousands of years of repeating the same mistakes, over and over again.
...The world needs to wipe its slate clean.



Hikawa's thing with his prayer beads here is drawn attention to a couple of times, but during the entire conversation he's also tapping his fingers on the chair arm. It's a clear set of nervous ticks, and signals that he's annoyed by someone else being here disrupting whatever he was doing. It also gives us an indication that he's at least a little impatient and wants this conversation over with sooner rather than later.



The old world will sink like a setting sun, and the new world will arise in its place.

But, he's also going to keep monologuing about his plan here, and he's using flowery poetic prose. That's because he's a cult leader and it's one of many ways of convincing people to follow him. He's long past the point of selling it to people, but he's maintaining the rhetoric as he's still acting in his leadership role here.

And also because he's blatantly kind of a smarmy dick and clearly evil. There's that too.




From what I recall, you weren't among our followers who survived the purge at the park.
Oh, you're Ms. Takao's acquaintance?



However, even a pebble creates ripples when cast in water.
And while I do feel pity for you...





Oh and the other thing with his prayer beads? This was less obvious before, but...

Boss Appearance



He uses them to summon a gigantic demon.

Well, this isn't quite what I expected our tutorial fight to be!




All the inhabitants of this world will follow before long.
Your time has come just a bit sooner, that's all.

So, uh, remember what Isamu said to do before? Yeah, we get the chance to stand our ground or flee at this point.

Quite like to not die, so I'mma run, thanks.


What a pitiful attempt...
One should face death honorably.



Silence



Ms. Takao, I presume?



What effect could he possibly have on our plan?
However insignificanthe is, I am not a man of exceptions. You know this.
Fine. If you don't spare him... then consider our partnership over.
......



Well, I'll leave the teaching to the teacher.
Please leave this room.
I would like to enjoy this blissful end in solitude.



We'll have a good view of the city from there.
Come, see it with your own eyes.
Witness that which will change the world...

End

Man, it's gonna be awkward when nothing happens. Y'know, like happens with all doomsday cults and soothsayers. Though the cults usually end up with ritual suicides.

Or sometimes just murders.

Or both.


Shinjuku Medical Center









Oh, is that so? My, my...
But right now, we have other matters to attend to. Let's do that afterward.



So, we know that Ms. Takao is waiting on the roof, so we should go let Isamu and Chiaki kn--



...oh.

Right, well then. Guess we'll just take the lift up to the roof. Maybe they're already there?


Conception

Silence



I'm glad I intervene when I did.
I wouldn't want you to fall prey to a demon.

Tokyo Conception (first half)



The world is about to be swallowed by chaos.



The rebirth of the world, an event which no human has ever witnessed.
Everyone outside of this hospital will perish.
I doubt anyone would approve of such a terrible thing...
But, even if we did keep this old world alive, it would eventually lose all of its power.



And I alone will carry the burden of its sin.
As for regrets... I have none.
What matters is that fate reached out and led you here.



It may actually be more painful than death...
But... I believe in you.
Please, Naoki...
Come find me when it's done.



It is my duty as the Maiden to take part in shaping the new world...

So, in this cult a "Maiden" is used to bring forth a new world. Via an event called the "Conception."

That is incredibly blunt, huh?


Meaning I cn show you a better way to live.
...I know it must be difficult for you to understand.
But, we're out of time.
Listen, Naoki...
If you can find me on your own...



The answers to all your questions...
And what intentions really are.

:siren: The Conception :siren:

Silence



Right on cue, a single bolt of lightning strikes...



And the world immediately gets completely and utterly messed up.



Buildings and the ground get pulled and begin to contort, as if gravity itself is just breaking...



A large shadow engulfs part of Tokyo...


Tokyo Conception (second half)



And despite being saddened by it not too long ago, Yuko still looks happy and content with what's going on here.



As a large energy wave pulses across the city...



Some buildings just completely melt and others remain intact.



The world itself is now properly twisting and contorting.





Parts of it are curving upwards...





Making a perfect sphere: a true concave planet. And this large, white light in the centre of it all...


Silence













Oh, at least we... kind of... have seen these two before.

Once. Briefly. Not too long ago. Still, better than a nebulous voice inside the light.




Pitiful human though you are, he wishes to grant you a gift.
It is vital that you receive it, and I'm afraid you have no choice.



It will only hurt for an instant...



This is some creepy-rear end parasitic bug thing. How is this a gift...?



That's very vague and ominous. Thanks, uh, kid. At least he told us that himself.













And again, it all returns to white.



Naoki is alone. A shadow sitting in an empty room...



He begins to glow, as the room itself comes into focus.



The sharp spike sticking out of his neck was obvious before, but it really stands out now.







Naoki needs to take a moment to look at what he's become now as well.



Neither truly human nor truly demon, Naoki has now become the Demi-Fiend.


End



Achievement unlocked! Marogareh is a very fitting name for the magatama. It's derived from the Japanese word "marogaru", which is basically to turn something into a sphere. How fitting, for something connecte to the events of the Conception.

Also, yeah, getting Marogareh is another achievement. That's not a joke.



But hey, we're in the hospital again. We'll take a closer look at what we have and properly understand where we are... next time.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



I really don't get having full voice acting yet allowing the player to rename so many characters. The protagonist, fine, it's an Atlus staple, but the other three is just wanting to cause issues with the voice acting. I'm not sure how much of the voice acting was in the original, I imagine significantly less, so the remake probably should've just made their names static.

Regardless, I know nothing about this game beyond how loved it is so I'll be happily following the LP. The game definitely has an interesting start, at least.

Sally
Jan 9, 2007


Don't post Small Dash!


hell yiss my favourite SMT game. sold my PS2 copy years ago and keep meaning to get the HD version.

Sum Gai
Mar 23, 2013


Blaze Dragon posted:

I really don't get having full voice acting yet allowing the player to rename so many characters. The protagonist, fine, it's an Atlus staple, but the other three is just wanting to cause issues with the voice acting. I'm not sure how much of the voice acting was in the original, I imagine significantly less, so the remake probably should've just made their names static.

It's been a long time but I'm pretty sure VA work in the original was just battle cries and nothing else.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Blaze Dragon posted:

I really don't get having full voice acting yet allowing the player to rename so many characters. The protagonist, fine, it's an Atlus staple, but the other three is just wanting to cause issues with the voice acting. I'm not sure how much of the voice acting was in the original, I imagine significantly less, so the remake probably should've just made their names static.

Regardless, I know nothing about this game beyond how loved it is so I'll be happily following the LP. The game definitely has an interesting start, at least.

The original versions only had battle grunts in terms of voice acting so the name thing wasn’t a problem there. They probably shoulda just dropped that feature entirely for the HD versions but I guess they wanted to keep it in for some reason?

megane
Jun 20, 2008





I've seen this game speedrun, but never seen the actual story. From what I hear, though, I doubt I'll understand anything anyway.

Incidentally, this character art style is super weird. The eyes in particular.

Sally
Jan 9, 2007


Don't post Small Dash!


I adore the art style!

The story isn't particularly difficult to understand. Speedrunning it, I could imagine...

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


Yeah, if anything, the story is incredibly simple. Strange Journey or SMTIV this is not. There's some stuff that's easy to miss on one runthrough*, but that's mainly just subtle foreshadowing and low-key moments of characterisation; not important information that affects your understanding of the plot. Everything relevant is told very directly,

*That's not why I'm doing all 6, but regardless by the end no one should be confused about anything really.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Aw yes time to see what all the hubbub about this game is about, and also punch out some gods in the face.

Does the latter count as spoilers? :v:

YggiDee
Sep 12, 2007




Fallen Rib

Aww yeah ground floor on a Nocturne LP. I'm excited!

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Sweet! I've never experienced Nocturne, and I'm looking forward to having my SMT4 LP running in parallel to this one.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


It feels like a very sudden jump to DEMON WORLD compared to what I recall of the earlier SMT games which gave you a decent span of time in normal world before everything went to hell.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



As much as I love Nocturne and appreciate that this version exists and is easily accessible on modern hardware, I do have some qualms with the way the remaster/remake was handled. The game was rebuilt from the ground up in Unity but I guess they lost a bunch of source assets from the original development, like music and movies so those are taken straight from the PS2 version, so all of the music is really crunchy and compressed and the scene of the Conception happening is still a 4:3 video that hasn't been upres'd all that gracefully. It's all fine in the end, the game is still very enjoyable, but it is weird to me that they didn't make a whole new arranged soundtrack or something.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Omobono posted:

Aw yes time to see what all the hubbub about this game is about, and also punch out some gods in the face.

Does the latter count as spoilers? :v:

It's a Megaten game, not punching deities out would be weirder.

jimmydalad
Sep 26, 2013

My face when others are unable to appreciate the :kazooieass:

AGDQ 2018 Awful Block Survivor



Oooh ground floor for Nocturne LP? Exciting stuff. Any idea what build you will be going for?

TheOneAndOnlyT
Dec 18, 2005

Well well, mister fancy-pants, I hope you're wearing your matching sweater today, or you'll be cut down like the ugly tree you are.

I've played through Nocturne several times and read a bunch of LPs of it, and yet every new one is always exciting.

I know you're playing on Playstation, but does anyone know if they ever fixed the horrific performance issues on the Switch version? I could never figure out how they managed to make a literal PS2 game run like such rear end on modern hardware.

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


I know there was a Day 1 patch (because of course there was) but I don't know exactly how much it improved. The issues were bad enough that I just straight up passed on the Switch version when it first came out and never looked back.

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


Today's update is a bit too long to post in-thread, so as always remember to thank Baldurk for his great work on the archive and test poster:

:siren: 02. Shinjuku Medical Center :siren:







Also just to reiterate the point about Luck: it is bad. It is very, very bad. If you play this game for the first time, or a repeat playthrough, please do not waste stat points on Luck.

LiefKatano
Aug 31, 2018

I swear, by my sword and capote, that I will once again prove victorious!!


Quick note: from everything I've found on the 'net (and I searched a good bunch to compile a little skill database), Mag and Vit don't do anything to change the amount of damage you take. Vit's effectively the only real defensive stat, and that's more "take more damage before you die" than "take less damage in general".

I'd probably specify that Mag affects magic accuracy (I don't think it affects magic evasion at all?), too.

Sally
Jan 9, 2007


Don't post Small Dash!


haha my first playthrough of the game when i had no idea what i was doing i dumped all my points into Luck. it was maxxed out by the end of the game...

:negative:

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Sally posted:

haha my first playthrough of the game when i had no idea what i was doing i dumped all my points into Luck. it was maxxed out by the end of the game...

:negative:

Doing a Luck build in these games is a very inspired choice. :v:

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


LiefKatano posted:

I'd probably specify that Mag affects magic accuracy (I don't think it affects magic evasion at all?), too.

Double checking, yeah that's right. For spells, accuracy is level/magic/luck but what's functionally evasion is level/agility/luck.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Raidou absolutely owns and his games kick rear end.

So I presume there's a pretty hard and reasonable cap on how many demons you can have deployed at once, but do you have a limited inventory of them as well or can you collect and cart around the entire collection eventually?

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



PurpleXVI posted:

Raidou absolutely owns and his games kick rear end.

So I presume there's a pretty hard and reasonable cap on how many demons you can have deployed at once, but do you have a limited inventory of them as well or can you collect and cart around the entire collection eventually?

You start off with eight slots for demons, but as you progress, you can have up to 12 in your stock at any time. There are ways to gain access to older/lower-level demons you've previously owned without having to renegotiate with them or backtrack, but we'll see those later. If you've played the Raidou games or the Persona series, you'll already be aware of it.

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


Normal Battle



So, running back from the S-Terminal to the map and look who showed up. Hi Hua Po! You couldn't have that done a few minutes earlier? No? Oh, okay.



Just get in the party, please.



Conceptually, she's fine I guess. She gets some good skills but her first useful one isn't until level 8. Raukaja is level 9, so it'll take some getting if we want a defense buff.


Large Map



Anyway, where were we? Just heading out, right. We have to find our way around to Yoyogi Park first. We can only go left here, so let's try and make our way around to anywhere new.



Yes.
Then let me tell you something. This is Shinjuku, and if you go south from here...
...Well, Tokyo's round, so I'm just talkin' relatively...
If you go south, you'll see Yoyogi Park and Shibuya.
Speaking of which, I saw a human head toward Shibuya.

Yeah, that's basically just confirmation of what we were told in the hospital basement. I think Tokyo as a whole is more or less roughly aligned how it should be, just like... on the inside of a giant sphere.



You heard the rumor about what's gonna happen to Tokyo?
No.
Supposedly, some guy with an ultra-strong will is gonna come rebuild this chaotic city, along with the rest of the world.
...Heh, good luck to that. No matter what you do, Tokyo'll always find a way to spew out more chaos! Hahahahaha!



I didn't really mention it when we were in the old world's Tokyo, but there's two ways of knowing when you can enter a spot on the overworld. The building glows red intermittently but also it lists the area name in the top corner. How nice!

Yoyogi Park





I guess this is goodbye?
Yes.
Whoa! Talk about cold!
You sure you can get by without me?
Yes.
Is that so! Then here you go.



Careful not to die out there!

And then she leaves and is gone for... well, not forever. We can always just recruit another Pixie. But there's a weird trick here. Ankh is the only one you can obtain in two different ways, and it is absolutely not good enough to give up Pixie for.

Normally, anyway. Doing it though and you can't stop me. :colbert:



We're at the park, so we might as well look around a bit. First though, there is exactly one demon we can encounter here:



Literally every fight is against multiple Pixie and nothing else. Jut gonna recruit a new one and move on.



That cube you could see in the center of the park gives us a free Chakra Drop. That's cool.




No.
Then hurry up and go to the Fountain of Life up ahead.
...You'll see what I mean.

Incubus thirsting like that makes sense, but I don't have to like it.



They locked the door to keep everyone out...



Huh, sure enough. Most of the park is just not accessible right now. Kinda fine with that, though, since it seems like a distraction.



Whenever I look at it, for some reason, the name "Hikawa" flashes through my mind...
Then I get this strange feeling... like something terrible happened to me... but what?

It is kinda interesting how inconsistent souls are with whether or not they remember the world pre-Conception. Some do, some don't, some like this are kind of in the middle.



We can't check out all the park, but we'll still explore what we can. Hit up the north side first.




Is there a large amount of Magatsuhi stashed there or something...?



There's nothing up here but a Dis-Poison. This room is one worth remembering for way, way later. For... reasons.



Heading back out but going due south to see what's down there.



Can never have too many Life Stones, that's for sure. Hua Po wanted three of these things! Three!




Seems that she came from some hospital.

Chiaki or Takao? Could be either.



Most relevant is this door with a strange ol' symbol on it. Let's check out the... Fountain of Life...


Fountain of Life



Lady of the Fount is voiced in her introduction. She's voiced by Ali Hillis. It is a very minor role, yes.

Your name has reached my humble ears. I will assist you to the best of my ability.



Healing here does cost some macca, unfortunately. It's remarkably cheap though. It doesn't even get increased for Hard or anything! How generous.

The Lady of the Fount does do some other stuff, but we don't need them right now. We'll get to those as/when they become relevant.


Large Map



Nothing else in the park so we'll head back out to the overworld and head sou--

Normal Battle -Large Map-



Very briefly, there's not much new to fight on the overworld. Will o' Wisp is here. How nice for it.



But there's also Zhen! Zhen is kind of an rear end in a top hat!



They're fast, and boy do they like to spam Wing Buffet a lot.



It hits random targets with Force damage (9MP; 30 power).



But if they want they can just gutter your offense. War Cry (40MP) is two stacks of Tarunda in one cast.

Sadly for us, Zhen is a Wilder. That means they are a Dark tendency demon. That means, under normal circumstances, we cannot negotiate with one! Shame too, because Zhen's War Cry is the earliest its obtainable and it comes REALLY early.

...Zhen is the only new demon out here.


Large Map



The world being round as a tumbleweed--it don't surprise me one bit!
...But even now, people STILL won't listen to me!
What if I were to tell ya... this ol' noggin of mine can tune into broadcasts from Jupiter? *hic* That pique your interest?
Yes.
Oh! S-So you believe!
Then here's an even juicier nugget o' wisdom!



Wait a see... You wouldn't be... You COULDN'T be... Nawww! *hic*

We definitely are. Others have already commented on it!

If we follow the path much further, we hit a dead end with just one NPC hanging out.




Oh, are those fairies I see occupying the east side?

Fortunately, this makes it clear that at some point we will get to loop around to the other side of Yoyogi Park. Just a question of when that will be, though.



For now, Shibuya is right here and we've been hearing about it enough. We know there's a human girl here and we ARE looking for one of them!


Shibuya





Shibuya proper is not really all that big, but we'll be spending a decent chunk of time here anyway. We don't really know where to look for Possibly Ms. Takao, so we'll see what the folks here have to say first.



The other cities battle it out because of philosophical contentions, but everyone here's pretty chill.



One's got shops so you can survive, the other's got a club so you can JIVE.
*ahem* For shops, I recommend the Cathedral of Shadows. They have creepy ceremonies there.



Where the hell's Forneus!?

Uhh, so.... about that... :sweatdrop:



We'll just head on over to these stairs and see what's down there.



There's no random encounters up on street level, but down here they're back. Alas... Not as safe as it sounded.




Demons and shady stores may ask for gems, but it all comes down to Macca in the end.
They say money's the root of all evil, so what could Macca be the root of...?



Rather conveniently, there's a Fountain of Life down here. How nice. We don't need it just now, though.



Immediately next door to it, there's a Terminal. Also nice. Gonna take advantage of that one for sure.



Due opposite both of them, is another couple of rooms but neither are ones we've seen before.



We'll start with the one opposite the Fountain. It's a shop! It's the closest we get here to a regular shop, even.


Junk Shop



And it's run by a Jack Frost?! :swoon:

My goal is to become a super-cool, super-strong demon, like the great King.
So I'm thinking of going on a journey to train myself, but I need money, hee-ho...
Can you help me out by buying lots of stuff, hee-ho?



Oh, that sounds like a Magatama!



...Uh, Frosty? I respect you and all but these prices? Yeah, not a fan. One sec, I'll be right back!



The config menu lets us switch difficulty at any point we're not in a fight. Just gonna drop down to Normal for a second.



That's better. 66ish% off compared to his previous prices!

I am going to drop to Normal every time we come to a store and there is no shame in that. I paid my dues on the PS2 version. :colbert:



We still can't quite afford everything I want to grab though, so we'll take this Soma. Where'd we get it?



Well, remember this vending machine in the hospital? Yeah, it's from that. And now I'm gonna sell it. I recommend this absolutely every time, no exceptions. The need for the money this early massively outweighs the use of the Soma as a recovery item here.



So, now we can afford both magatama! Yep, both. Iyomante is named for Iomante, an Ainu ceremony that formerly used to involve the sacrifice of a brown bear.



Shiranui is named for an optical trick of weather phenomena in the Yatsushiro and Ariake seas surrounding Japan. It honestly sounds really cool, as it looks like there are anywhere between hundreds to thousands of flames upon the water's surface for up to about 5 miles in length. Plus approaching them makes them appear to move away.

We'll buy both and nothing else. Since the Demi-Fiend is currently level 7 (got Ice Breath at the park), we can take this opportunity to switch to Ankh an--


Shibuya



...Iyomante is pulsing meaning it has a skill to teach ready. That's literally impossible. Its first skill is supposed to be level 10.



Sorry, Ankh. You suck and Dia (minimum level 5) is less interesting than Tarunda. Previously, level 8 had no skills associated with it and Tarunda shared level 10 with a skill on Marogareh. I guess it got bumped down to 8 to remove that choice and fill this weird gap. I always presumed it was free to give a place to slot the Dia, from Ankh, but someone clearly disagreed.

Also Iyomante is just really good for general use in a way that not even Marogareh can realy compete with. No weaknesses and immunity to Mind is amazing. There are some Mind elemental attacks, but primarily it covers one of the three ailment elements (the other two being Nerve and Curse).

Mind's ailments are Sleep, Stun (sometimes), Panic and Charm. Sleep is kinda helpful to be hit by, weirdly, but the others? Yeah, gonna want immunity to those as a general rule!



We'll ignore the room next to the Junk Shop for now. Instead, there's two unmarked doors. This one is next to the Terminal and it has... a treasure chest in it.



It's only got a gemstone in it, but that's still better than the alternative.

"Alternative"? Yeah, so you see how Kagutsuchi has suddenly jumped from 2? Yep, that's right. Lotta fights!


Normal Battle -Street-



There's a few repeats from other areas hanging around still, but we'll just focus on the new kids. Like Datsue-Ba! She's quite good. Needle Rush doesn't play into her strengths. Shibaboo (5MP, single target, inflicts bind, no damage) is one of a whole three Nerve spells. Bind and Stun (sometimes) are the only Nerve ailments even.

Dormina likewise is a Mind spell, since it attempts to inflict Sleep. The other differences are that it costs 9MP and is multi-target. There IS a single-target Sleep spell but it almost always comes later.



...Tried to recruit one, later, and she's also the first demon that just took our poo poo and ran. Get used to that happening!



Slime aren't too bad, I suppose. Sonic Wave is the Mind elemental way of inflicting Stun. It cost 9MP and is mult-target. Stun's single targt spell is Nerve elemental but it's multi-taret one is Mind elemental. Stun is weird like that.

Gathering summons reinforcements (is another Slime). Last Resort kills the user to deal Physical-Almighty damage to everyone. Not every enemy. Everyone. It cannot crit or miss, and has a base power of 59. Will o' Wisp learns it at level 5. He's never using it.



Speaking of, the last new demon is Mou-Ryo. He's somehow both more and less impressive at the same time. Pulinpa is a single-target Mind spell that inflicts Panic. Whatever.

Toxic Sting is a Physical attack that costs 7% HP, has a base power of 31 and has a base 40% chance to inflict Poison.



Oh, after beating up Mou-Ryo enough he decided he wants no more of it and is willing to parley!



For mercy, he's offering to join us. There's a chance that this could be a trap, but I'm willing to take that risk here.



And it sure paid off! :getin:



Sadly, his level up skill list does leave a little to be desired compared to others around now. On tap Pulinpa could be good though, but he starts with that.

Oh and I realise I threw a lot of ailments out there in rapid succession lately. I'll cover them as/when they become relevant.



...Like right now, for example. Iyomante has some rudeness to it, because its random level up effects are the first one we've come to that can have negative repercussions. Alternatively its a full party heal or +1 Strength (or Luck but who cares).

Poison is, well, poison. It damages after taking action and even on the field as you move around. It can kill in combat, and presumably also when walking around but I haven't had it happen and don't plan on testing anytime ever.


Shibuya



Head down there if you want the latest scoop!

The unmarked door opposite the room with the Agate just has this soul in it. It's very clear from there where we're supposed to go next then.



Right next door, to the last marked area we haven't entered yet!


Cathedral of Shadows







So, the Cathedral of Shadows are exceptionally useful.



Its primary use is to let you combine demons to make a new one! There's things that'll futz around with this later, but for now it's pretty simple.



There are limits to it, though. We can't just make stuff all willy-nilly. If we try to make something with a base level over the Demi-Fiend's current level, we won't be able to. It's too strong for us (right now).



If it's something we CAN make, then it'll appear like a normal stat screen but with a couple differences. In the skills in the bottom left corner, we'll have some skills added, at random based on inheritance rules, from the selected demons.

However, added in the HD remaster are two little options. One is the ability to instantly reroll the random skills without leaving and re-entering the menu. That's pretty cool. The other?



Manual skill selection. These are still subject to inheritance rules, so you can't just select whatever you want without worry. This is frankly not super necessary, but it saves time and hassle so it's a nice quality of life feature to include.



We'll throw Hua Po and Mou-Ryo in the Cathedral blender and take a Datsue-Ba that has Pulinpa and Agi added.


Shibuya



Won't fuse anything just yet, so let's head back up topside and down the other stairs. We need to find this club, since it keeps coming up. If nothing else, it'll be useful in helping us get information.



Stairs leaing further down and a branch to the right... Hm. First, let's check in with that soul.




Yes.
All right then. Welcome to Kick-rear end Deli, punk! How 'bout a knuckle sandwich!?



It is a completely normal Will o' Wisp. Nothing remotely fancy or different. It gets punched. It crumples.



I'll offer you some juicy information, so please forgive me...
There's a girl at the club downstairs... and she's human.



So if that's downstairs, that's where we're not going. Not yet, at least. The two doors on the left up here are uh...





More than a little useless, to say the least.



Fortunately, before we go downstairs there is a bit more to explore over here.




Take that dance hall, for example. What do they call it? A club?



Taking the door to the right of Datsue-Ba leads to a new set of stairs back up the surface!



There is nothing up here other than a chest that lets us get an Amethyst, though.



If we run past the Datsue-Ba, we can come across three more doors.




For example, you want more power? Magatsuhi'll give it to ya.
That's why everyone wants the stuff.

Kodama's telling us about Magatsuhi, huh? That also keeps coming up, but it's more of a general importance than anything to focus on here and now.



WHEN IT'S FULL, WE BECOME AGITATED AND CANNOT SPEAK WELL.
WE ALSO BECOME AGGRESSIVE AND PREVENT ENEMIES FROM ESCAPING.
IT'S DANGEROUS WHEN KAGUTSUCHI IS BRIGHTEST. REMEMBER THAT. OR ELSE.

Nozuchi's in the middle room and he tells us a bit more about negotiation and Kagutsuchi. Though, like everything to do to with this system, there are exceptions.



The last room drops a fixed fight on us as soon as we enter! This one has no warning, even.


Forced Battle



It's not really a tough fight, though the Nekomata here can do decent damage.



...If she was able to hit with that.



For whatever reason, she's not able to be Analyzed so I just have to rely on remembering that she drains Force and is weak to Elec.



She also has Marin Karin!



Single target Mind elemental spell that inflicts Charm. Charm here means you either do nothing, hit an ally or heal an enemy.



Despite that Nekomata's not really much of a threat overall. The game is aware of this and makes her not worth much beyond being a guaranteed Aquamarine.


Shibuya



The cube in her room is only two Dis-Charms as well. That would be nice for the fight we just did, huh?



Either way, Nekomata signals the end of B1 so let's head on downstairs. Gonna turn left first...



That brings us to two doors and nothing else.



The closest room is empty. Just completely. No items, no one to talk to, no fixed fights. Boring.



The other one gives us a decent chunk of macca at least. 1000 is pretty nice right now.



The other side of the floor has another branch and a soul to talk to. Perhaps this one won't attack us.




The club's up ahead.



Turning right, then, we come to two doors. Left one...



...is empty. Again. Great.



The other one has the only soul who has anything negative to say about the club down here. We've nowhere else to go, though, so let's go over to Club Inferno and see who is...


The Girl at the Club



I think I recognise that silhouette...

Chiaki



But mostly that denim.

Are... are those boots made of denim too? Chiaki has a problem.




Should I be happy?
Like, "I'm glad we're both okay"?
It's you, right? I can tell.



That in itself is quite worrying, really. Or at least it should be, but given the Vortex World... it's weirdly fair.

I realized something.
Whether I scream or cry... It won't wake me up from this nightmare.
I'm just tired of dealing with it.
What happened to us, Naoki?
To the world we used to know?
I'm not sure.
...Oh.
I remember blacking out at the hospital...
And when I woke up, there were demons everywhere.



So, I ran outside for help, but...
It wasn't just the hospital that had changed.
You saw the way it was out there, right?
I couldn't even tell where my house used to be...



But seeing you changes everything.
Maybe... Maybe there's still hope.
There have to be other survivors, don't you think?



I want to go find them.
Giving up on them means giving in to despair.
Yeah... There's no way they're gone. Fate can't be that cruel, can it?
If it is... I don't know what I'll do.

End

Club Inferno



So, unfortunately, that wasn't Ms. Takao so we're stuck kinda trying to find direction again. We'll chat with most of the souls here and see what's what.



They got some pretty good stuff in 'em, don't they!
But there's a trick to opening 'em. Do it wrong, and you'll end up with nothing but crap. The contents change, y'know?
Wonder if there's a way to get the good stuff ALL the time...

It's Kagutsuchi. One of the things Kagutsuchi phases affect is those chests. You may have noticed that both times I opened them at Full Kagutsuchi. That's why. The ones here had some leeway and didn't need to be Full to get their real contents, but some later ones absolutely do. Best to just get in the habit now.

If you open them on a "wrong" phase you just get 1 Life Stone by the way.






(Left) "Create a new world?" Huh, whatever that means! But... it sounds scary.

Hm, sounds like we should probably head on over to Ginza then.



...But first! Yes, I saw you there Nekomata.




...I have an idea. You satisfy me and I'll tell you the name. Think you can scratch me in just the right spot? ...Mrrrow?

> Will you attempt to satisfy the Nekomata?

Yes.
Ooh, MEOW-velous!



It's another fight. Same as the one we did upstairs. Next.



Well, she DID say she'd tell us the name. The Assembly of Nihilo, huh...



We'll head on back up to street level then. We've become this random Will o' Wisps aniki when we weren't looking I guess. Good for us!



Finding a way to Ginza is a bit of a priori-- hold up, someone new's here!




He's still snooping around there yelling, "I've got it!" every so often. What's he got?

So, weird minor thing about this Setanta. Sometimes he just... doesn't appear. I don't 100% know what his triggers are though. What I do know is that if you don't go to Yoyogi Park until after meeting Chiaki at Club Inferno, he never appears.



Stumbling across the weird human at the Terminal is easy enough to do either way, of course.


Instant Transmission

Reunion with Hijiri



I can hardly believe this. You came here all the way on foot?

It really wasn't that far, y'know.

Guess there's more to ya than just some glowing tats, huh?



With this baby.
Look familiar? You saw one just like it at the hospital.
Turns out it's more than a pretty decoration. It's an incredibly complex device.
These devices are connected to each other by a strange passageway.



So, I figured I'd transport myself, and voila.
Now, I'm guessing these things are all over the place-nodes on a huge transportation network.
And, most likely, that network will lead us to Hikawa.
I say we start working together.



We don't really have a reason to refuse, honestly. We know Ms. Takao was working with Hikawa after all...

Now, I heard there's a group in Ginza vying for control over how to shape this infant world...
And it happens to be led by a human.
I'm almost positive that leader is Hikawa.
...But that's all I know.



What I can do on my end is send you to Ginza with this thing.
So what do you say?
It definitely poses some risk, but it's better than wandering around on your own.
Anyway, I'll be here for a while.
Let me know when you reach a decision.



If you do decide to go there, make sure you're prepared, all right?

Well, I dunno about you but I'm all for it. Let's take a trip to Ginza!

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Lotus Aura posted:

Nozuchi's in the middle room and he tells us a bit more about negotiation and Kagutsuchi. Though, like everything to do to with this system, there are exceptions.

What, an SMT game with a subsystem that has bizarre and arcane exceptions enough to write a short novel about? :v: I refuse to believe it.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Legit surprised you ditched Pixie given the advantages to keeping her in every edition save the initial vanilla release. Also shocked the game compensates you at all if you decide not to keep her around. Then again, it'd make sense in the original version, just because all that fun stuff hadn't been added yet.

Shitenshi fucked around with this message at 02:43 on Dec 10, 2021

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






Does the Demi-Fiend ever acquire a shirt?

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

Does the Demi-Fiend ever acquire a shirt?

I sure hope not, he shouldn't hide those sweet tats.

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


Shitenshi posted:

Legit surprised you ditched Pixie given the advantages to keeping her in every edition save the initial vanilla release. Also shocked the game compensates you at all if you decide not to keep her around. Then again, it'd make sense in the original version, just because all that fun stuff hadn't been added yet.

I wouldn't recommend doing it, like, ever because she's way more useful than Ankh in basically every way honestly.

Mostly just did it for the sake of variety (literally no one does this after all) and, well, I have 4 full playthroughs to do. I can't do the same stuff every single time :v:

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Lotus Aura posted:

Mostly just did it for the sake of variety (literally no one does this after all) and, well, I have 4 full playthroughs to do. I can't do the same stuff every single time :v:

So, gotta ask, four full playthroughs...

Is this because something extremely early changes the outcome or changes certain encounters you want to show off? Or is it because there's stuff hidden behind certain numbers of NG+ playthroughs?

BDA
Dec 10, 2007

Extremely grim and evil.

Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

Does the Demi-Fiend ever acquire a shirt?

Unless the remaster added new costumes, nope.

Ashsaber
Oct 24, 2010

Deploying Swordbreakers!

College Slice

PurpleXVI posted:

So, gotta ask, four full playthroughs...

Is this because something extremely early changes the outcome or changes certain encounters you want to show off? Or is it because there's stuff hidden behind certain numbers of NG+ playthroughs?

So, minor spoilers for mechanics: A whole lot of little choices over the course of the game add up to decide your ending So to see all the endings there needs to be a lot of playthroughs

Booky
Feb 21, 2013

chill bug



smh ditching ur bff pixie....... messed up :colbert:

but yea this games pretty cool, i made two saves before the Big cutoff point in amala and got the TDE already, so im gonna get Freedom too (tagging this to be safe)!! personally i didn't notice much performance issues on my switch lite but maybe its cause its handheld??

Sum Gai
Mar 23, 2013


Ashsaber posted:

So, minor spoilers for mechanics: A whole lot of little choices over the course of the game add up to decide your ending So to see all the endings there needs to be a lot of playthroughs

I'm curious what the differences between runs will be, because while this is true as far as it goes- seeing everything absolutely takes a lot of time- I don't think any of it requires starting from the beginning.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



With judicious saves, you can see all the available endings without starting from scratch every time, but honestly, doing NG+ each time lets you steamroll the game with ease. SMT IV in particular is really bad for that: your first playthrough will take about 60-70 hours. Your second: about 15.

Lotus Aura
Aug 16, 2009

KNEEL BEFORE THE WICKED KING!


Cathedral of Shadows



Before we head over to Ginza, I figured we could use a new d-hee-mon, ho. Just put Kodama and Shikigami together to get a Jack Frost.

Terminal



Yes.
All right then.
Once I send you, I'll head over to Ginza myself.
Until then... stay alive.
Well, here goes nothing!

Silence



So, the terminal starts glowing and spinning rapidly as our vision of the world around it narrows...



...and we get pulled in, to the Amala Network.


Amala Network



Just... perhaps a little more literally than one would assume.



Good. Looks like you're still safe.
It seems that the link failed and you fell into the Amala Network.
But... The Amala Network is exactly that: a network.
If there's an entrance, there's always an exit.
Just leave it to me. I'll get you out, so head toward Ginza...



So, the Amala Network has this dodgy, awkward camera angle. I am not a fan. It's like we're looking up while laying on the floor or something.



Most of the time, I'm holding the stick to angle the camera in a way that doesn't suck but it always drifts back down if given half a chance.




Then let me warn you...
If you don't have a map, you'll get lost.

Oh this is referring to a quirk of this place. I don't mind it much but I can see how it'd annoy people:



Every branch like this one (and some unlike this one) has a path that gives you this fade to white.



And then it boots you back to the start of the area. It's not too hard to get a grasp on, but the big problem is that it might be easy to get lost. Or at least annoyed. Have to check the map a lot because everywhere in the network looks the same.



The first few branches are easy enough to manage at least.



This is weirdly ominous, since nothing before now could petrify...

Much like the previous screen, the thing of visual note is on the wrong branch. Need to take the right-hand path here.





Uh... where'd the stairs go?




Something's not right.
You're not stuck, are you?
Yes.
All right, let me try something. Gimme a minute.



I can't even pretend to guess what Hijiri's doing, but it's working.

Looks like the Amala Network never stays the same shape.
Demon or not, you're gonna have a hard time getting around.
Well, call me if something else happens. I'll help out any way I can.



Heading on up to B2, we get a rarity. A branch that doesn't kick us backwards for guessing wrong! We'll go left first.



Always gonna get a free Bead where possible. Why would you not?



We'll go the other way and see another flight of stairs spontaneously disappear.



It's happened twice and Hijiri is already over this dungeon gimmick.


Hopefully the fix'll be as smooth as last time...



...Dam...it...! Conn...ction's...unst...ble...

> You can no longer hear Hijiri's voice.

Well, that's inconvenient. Guess we have no choice but to turn left and see what's that-a-way.



A couple rooms and the path branches right too... Whew boy. Fortunately it's not as bad as it looks.



The door to the immediate left is a healing room. The soul doesn't like other people much, but heals us for free. How generous!



The other door was an unmarked Terminal. I'd recommend splitting off into another save file, just in case, here. It's not like the network is super tough, but you never know.



Anyway, only one path that we can actually take so let's ignore it and check out that new door.




If you really must open your mouth, there's a place where you can communicate with the outside world.
So go flap your gums over there.

That sounds like exactly what we want! It's perfect.



But first, we have another one of these. I see that cube over there.



So far our experience has taught us that these mark the wrong path. That holds up here, so we'll take the left branch.



Ah, that brings us to another branching path. This one is completely unmarked, so we can't even rely on the old standby.

It's left. We're going left.



Ah, a branching T-intersection instead of a Y. Other than that, this is the same deal as those. Left is progress, right kicks us back to the start of the area.



So we'll take the left, and find an anomaly.




...Can you hear me? Answer me!
Yeah, I can.
Good! Looks like you're in a spot that actually gets reception.



From now on, if anything happens, let's meet up in stable places like the one you're in right now.
Oh, yeah. You're stuck, huh? Just wait a sec...





Let...s...meet...u...p...in...a...nother...stab...le...plac...e..
......Okay...?

> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.



We'll intentionally take the wrong branch at the T-intersection to warp back to the entrance of this three-branch area. This lets us get back to the stairs quicker.



Immediately upon entering the next floor, we see more staircases disappear yet again.



In this case, three of them. Two look like they're in empty areas, but one previews a miniature treasure hoard! We gotta find that.



Speaking of immediately, we're given a Y-branch right off the bat. No markers here either, so it's a straight guess.

It's left. It's left again.



At least this one has a soul hanging out.




Yes.
You see the red things running along the floor and ceiling?
That's all Magatsuhi.
Magatsuhi is born from the flow of emotions, such as suffering, anxiety, sadness...
That's right. Emotions bring forth great powers.

Ooh, we're learning more about Magatsuhi already. And we can technically see it at all times here.

Anyway, this branch breaks the established rule and the correct path is the one the soul's on. Rude!



Next area is a four-way intersection! Fortunately, there's an easy way for us to handle this. Just gonna go left here...




So, there are demons that jump in here looking for Magatsuhi.
Be careful not to get picked on.

That brings us to an immediate dead end with just this soul hanging out. But now when we return to the intersection, we'll turn left from our new perspective!



Another T-intersection, though we're coming from one of the crossbars this time. Going left ultimately paid off consistently so far, so let's do it again!



That brings us to another, different T-intersection. No markers, so left sounds natural again but not this time. This time we're going right.



There's a dead-end that was one of the staircases. This is the easiest one to get to once we open them all back up, but we're not gonna use it at that point. That's why we're here now.

Anyway, we're not gonna warp back. Instead, from this side we're gonna turn left at both T-intersections. That brings us to...




Couldn't go any further, huh? Wait up.





It seems that someone's trying to intercept my communication with you.
Might be an enemy. Be care...ful...



We'll... tal...k...la...er...

> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.



Navigating parts of this place can be a bit much at time, I realise. We're just gonna go straight from here until we're back to the literal cross roads. Then turn... left.

It's the best way to handle mazes, okay?



Anyway, another T-intersection and sure enough we're going left. Again.



That brings us to another set of stairs that head on up. We're taking these.



This time around, we're at a T-intersection right out the gate and there's a soul here to talk to. That's different.




Oops!
I should learn to keep my big yap shut...

Going right is exactly what we're going to do, in fact.



This brings us to a fairly large room. From this entry we have an immediate right-turn, a branch ahead that goes left or right, a door at the end of the straight here and another path right next to that door.



Also, uh, the... the way we came from is a wall. That was a one-way trip!



We'll ignore the first turn right, the second one is a dead-end so that's off the list too. We'll talk to this soul first.




But... the network is in a bad mood, as you can see.

We'll carry on past the soul, ignoring the left turn. Shocking I know.



The immediate door was another Terminal and the turn there ends with a healing room!

This one is also free, mercifully.



So, we have two options left. We'll double back to the soul and go north first. That brings us to stairs down - in particular, the ones north of the previous anomaly. We need to make our way back to that child soul...


:siren: Normal Battle -Stuck in Amala- :siren:



While making our way back there, let's look at the new demons in the area! Erthys is the least threatening, by far, since we can handle it easily. Nothing new or interesting though, except he's an Element demon.

Remember one of the mumbly guys said there's certain races we can never recruit via negotiation? Yeah, Elements are one of them. There's no exception this time. Element is Neutral-Neutral so it's simply just that we cannot talk to them.

We are still able to get some of our own without issue if we really want though. Just don't want it yet.



Erthys is much worse than Aeros in like... every way, wow. Sure, Erthys has Rakukaja but Aeros has no weakness and resists Fire, Ice, Force and Elec. Also it can heal and inflict charm. Just kinda rude all around if you're not expecting it.



And lastly we have Choronzon. Choronzon is both more and less rude than Aeros. Berserk isn't too bad on its own (13% HP, base 13 power, hits randomly, slightly higher accuracy than average; Demi-Fiend get it at level 10 on Marogareh) but Stone Gaze is the real problem.

6MP, single target, Dark elemental and it inflicts Stone. Being stoned (not that kind) is very bad. It is not instant death in itself, but without an easy ability to heal it... It massively increases defense and functionally makes whoever is petrified take 1 damage from all attacks. However, being hit with Force or Physical attacks causes them to shatter and instantly die. It'd be great if we had easy access to it!

Alas, Haunt demons are Dark-Chaos. Also the Demi-Fiend is only level 10 right now.


Amala Network



Having made our way back to this kid, we're gonna ignore him this time around and head west.



This area is a bit annoying at first, since there's two warps back to the stairs but mostly it's just a big circle... er, square. Skipping all that to get through it instantly. Ignoring the turn here on this T-intersection.



That brings us to another four way branch, but straight ahead is a warp. Right set us up on the square loop, so that means we're... going left. Again.



And it's the treasure area we saw before! In total, there's 3 cubes and one Mystical Chest in here.



First couple cubes have a pair of nice items in them. Don't see much need for Mazan right now though, so we'll hold onto that until we really need it.



For no apparent reason, we're gonna check our party's HP in the menu. Just because.



Well okay it's because the third cube is trapped.

Second dungeon and we already have traps. Nice.



Demi-Fiend lost 27
Will o' Wisp lost 18
Datsue-Ba lost 21
Jack Frost lost 21

Hard mode making it's flat 3x trap damage really obvious, huh?



The chest is very much worth getting this time around. Bead Chains are just Beads but for the whole party. 100% HP restore right down the line? Yes, please.



We'll head back on up to first floor, drop a fresh save and take the one remaining path we haven't gone down yet.


Silence



The exit is close to where you are. Let me open the--
...!
...Dammit, something's interfering...

Boss Appearance



Can you...hear...me...?
......

> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.



Oh, our boss fight du jour just... kinda spawns in here. Well, okay.



YoU snEAk aRounD... YOu iN the w-W-w-Way!
*blurgh*
YoUuuuUuuUU! I kNOW, I KnoW!



This is an actual question. It's basically "do the fight now?" If you're unprepared, you can say no and heal/save/etc since this fight does come without warning otherwise. It's very generous.

It's completely overkill, but if there's nothing on any other magatama you want at the moment then consider equipping Shiranui...


Yes.
I SEE! I kNEw iT!
Me fIx PrObLem...
Me eAT yOU! aNd MaGaTSuhi ToO! Me EaT YOu, tOooOooOoO!

Foul Specter

Boss Battle




Specter rudely steals the first turn here. Which, eh, fair enough I suppose. If he didn't, he could potentially not get a turn at all!



He uses the Gathering skill on this turn only. You may remember this as an enemy-only skill used to summon reinforcements.



In this case, he summons five more Specters. This fight has a gimmick and these boys collectively tie into it!

Incidentally, 6 is the maximum number of enemies there can be in any fight at once. It is, however, NOT the maximum number of press turns they can have. More on that much later.



In the here and now, we have 6 Specters to deal with. I recommend not using multi-target attacks or frankly spells in general. These 6 Specters each have 148 HP but resist Fire, Ice, Force and Elec.



This fight involves a degree of playing with literal fire, so Jack Frost sounds bad but I brought him because the Specters have no weaknesses. Dark Might is a passive skill he starts with an it ensures that his basic attack is always a critical hit during New Kagutsuchi.

Bright Might (the same thing but for Full Kagutsuchi) has its earliest availability be a base level 15 demon. And it needs to get to level 17 too. We'll likely not be hitting that second number until after the
next dungeon so Dark it is!



These Specters aren't especially strong. Like, literally. 1 Strength, 3 Magic, 3 Vitality, 1 Agility and 1 Luck. They are quite bad!



They do put that 3 Magic to a kind of use, I guess. Agi and Deathtouch are their only spells. We can't do much about Deathtouch, since it is Almighty elemental, but Agi?



Agi we can do something about. Shiranui grants even the Demi-Fiend immunity to fire. Pretty handy to have, since any attack that is nulled or misses costs an extra press turn.

The Specters have 1 each, so this is a helpful bonus if it comes up. It's not crucial, and doesn't happen THAT often on Hard because bosses are generally cleverer than this, but it can be nice when it does.



At the start of the third round (count Gathering as a special 0th round), Specter pops in his real gimmick.



Uses most of his press turns to cast Foul Union. An annoying trick that...



...Combines all the remaining Specters into one giant Super Specter.



The trick to this phase is that there's three variations depending on the number of combined Specters. 2-3 Specters is the weakest, but 4-5 being also quite weak. Like, the difference between the two is that 4-5 has more than double HP, 100 more MP and one extra point of Strength. That's it.

A full 6 Specters is MUCH stronger. To the point of like... I'm not interested in doing that version thanks. I probably could, in theory, but it'd be a slog.



Even with four, if he hits a Weakness with his Agi then he's doing real numbers. He has 1 Magic in this version. The 6 Specter version has 14.

Also the Super Specter has two press turns all to himself.



He loses Deathtouch here, thank God, but instead picks up Foul Havoc. Foul Havoc is unique to Specter, in fact.



It does multi-target Physical damage. It's pretty touch, but nothing we can't handle at this point.



Like Forneus, he has a worried quip when low on HP. Unlike Forneus, Specter is not voiced so we cannot hear how scared he is.



So, Super Specters only skills are Agi and Foul Havoc. This is true regardless of how many Specters merge together. His damage numbers get bigger, but we can bring them down if needed. Getting Tarunda early on the Demi-Fiend is very nice indeed.

Is it necessary? Eh, not really. But that's not gonna stop me.



He's worth a lot of EXP for this point and decent Macca too. Free Sapphire is a decent drop, but not massive.

Resistance wise, the Super Specter and tiny Specters all share the same affinities. Resist Fire, Ice, Force, Elec and are immune to Light, Dark, Nerve, Mind and the skill Last Resort. Weirdly specific that one.

As for the big guys, stats... 2-3 Specters has 120 HP, 150 MP, and 4 Strength. 4-5 Specters has 260 HP, 250 MP and 5 Strength. Both versions have 1 Magic, 3 Vitality, 1 Agility and 1 Luck.

6 Specters however has 550 HP, 350 MP, 14 Strength, 14 Magic, 13 Vitality, 5 Agility and 5 Luck. Tiny bit of a jump up, yes.



Also, hey, Pixie hit level 6 and learned Wing Buffet. Since that's her final skill that means...



What? PIXIE is evolving!





Congratulations! Your PIXIE evolved into HIGH PIXIE!


End

Amala Network



...YoU...... I eAt yOU ONE dAy...... Me...ErGh...sWeAr IT......
Me nO foRGEt yoUr uGLy FaCe!

Wow, rude. Good riddance, Specter.

Quicker we're out of here, quicker I can forget they exist.




Hey, Naoki, you okay?
Yes.
I see... You're getting used to being a demon, aren't ya?
I'll open the door. Hang on.



Now we can get outta here!



You did take a slight detour, but hey, at least you're there.
Nice work. Now, let's hurry on.

> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.

We're not there yet. We do still have to leave the network, but it's just around the corner. What could happen in that short timeframe...?



So now it's connected to the Ginza terminal...
...But I wish you were here to see it happen.

The soul hanging out here has updated dialogue. Makes sense, since they're right by where the wall was an all.

Anyway, we'll just head on through to Ginz--



Ah, Choronzon wants in our crew now! Sure thing, buddy.

Anyway, let's head on through to Ginza. But, like, for real this time.


Depths of Amala



Hm. You've redecorated...

I like it.



Oh, this isn't Ginza? Well, let's have a look around then. Up ahead, past the creepy tree thing we have...



A blockage that's kind of a door but also it's covered in nerves.



Oh, this type of door looks pretty familiar. They were in that hallway place the first time we tried to enter the hospital lift post-Conception.



Only thing we can do is look into this peephole though. Fine, let's have a gander.


Sovereignty





I'm not sure how we're meant to be able to see anything, since this tunnel twists...



And culminates in a weird fleshy net thing.


Master of Hell



Beyond which lies a stage. And the curtain rises...



There's a familiar pair.

Heh, remember the demon that Hikawa summoned to try and scare us? That's the head of one stuffed and mounted on the wall here.









The Lady in Black, not to be confused with the Old Woman in Black who is definitely a totally different character, here is voiced by Laura Post. Might seem weird to have a double up between two importat characters like that, but I have an idea why that's the case.

I will explain later.


This is the farthest region of Amala. Humans call it the netherworld.
I am sure you are already aware, but many formidable demons lurk in this dark land.



Demi-Fiend... Young man with the power of a demon...
You are still weak, unable to withstand the flow of Magatsuhi in Amala.
You may be wondering how it is you've arrived here and if you are in danger, but do not fear.
We will send you to your original destination.
It is time for you to return to Tokyo.



...So why am I even here right now?

At this point, you still lack the strength.
However, allow me to leave you with this.



Should you lose your way on your quest for power, the menorah will light your path.



With that, I will send you to Ginza.
We shall meet again, if fate so desires...

Silence



I guess you made it to Ginza after all.
You had me worried there, blipping off the radar like that.
For a moment, I thought you got lost in the Amala Network for good.
Anyway, I'm glad to see you're okay.



I imagine the demons might be tougher out there, but I'm sure you can take 'em.
I'm not exactly cut out for fighting, so I'll track down Hikawa some other way.
I'm sure we'll meet again, though, since we're both after the same thing.
All right then. Stay alive out there.

> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.

So, before we step into Ginza proper let's take a quick second to do something a bit different.



Now that we've travered the Amala Network once, we can use it to quick travel.



However, we can only go to Large Terminals. S-Terminals, like the one at the end of the hospital, are a no go.

The large terminals we found inside the Network itself are also not accessible. That area was one-time only. If you missed anything, there's no going back now.

There's two areas here we haven't been to yet. Those are DLC, and we'll get to them soon. First?



We're off back to the hospital. I'm looking for a special boy!


Normal Battle



This one, specifically. Remember how I said before that we can't negotiate with Haunts? We're going to negotiate with a Haunt.



Well... not right now we're not. It is actively impossible for us to even attempt it.



But what if we run around and try again at Full Kagutsuchi?


> Preta is extremely agitated.

OoOooooKaAyYYyyyy??
Okay.
YAAaHoOOoOOoooO!!

> Preta is ecstatic.

FR-iE...nD!

> Preta edged up to you.



Jokes on him, this is exactly what I wanted!

It's not a guarantee, though. It's basically a coin flip whether it works or backfires.



Case in point, Full Kagutsuchi makes this Zhen act like a regular demon and remain a wasted turn. It's roughly a 50/50 shot so we could just try again, but nah I'm good.



That's not a big deal though. It's easier to make Zhen via fusion right now than Preta anyway. Let's check out these DLC areas.


Shinjuku Medical Center (Vortex World)



The first one is the hospital... except it is blue. How very exciting.



My little master has decided to show you mercy.
This place, where our new demon was born, is full of grimoires. They are used to improve oneself.



> You can no longer hear the voice.

So, navigation wise this is kinda uninteresting.



It's aesthetically similar to the hospital, but it has its own unique layout. Kinda. We're not going through it in full, or anything. There's no NPCs, no treasures, nothing that would make it worth pretending that we can deal with demons over level 50.



So, we'll hang out by the entrance. There's a very large eclectic mix of demons here still, but mostly it's stuff we can manage.

Everything here obfuscates its Analysis as a shorthand to tell you that you cannot negotiate at all in here.



Mitama are kinda special demons. We can only obtain them ourselves via very specific fusions or by, uh, buying them. Kind of. The versions here are not representative of them in the least.



You probably don't wanna be on Hard in here. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Not like that's stopped me before, though, so whatever.



But anyway, there's two specific drops we want from here. Most demons here give a flat 10 EXP each, so when we reach higher levels it scales down to 5.

It should probably just be 1, honestly, but I guess there's some reason it can't be. Some do give less, but those are just ones that are worth small amounts anyway. Nothing got bumped up to 10.



So, let's look at our new Preta that we got jut for this field trip. He's not very exciting right now, but we're using him for his later skills. He learns a very good thing at higher levels you see.



So let's give him that big book of secrets. This...



...Sets his required exp to 1. It says it gives enough to level up, but that's not strictly true. He does still need 1 EXP. A fight that ends with 0 EXP doesn't do it.



Why it can't level up directly is a good question. I presume there's some technical reason it can't call the level up screen from the menu.



Speaking of which, he's attempting a skill change! We haven't had one of these yet, so let's see what happens.



...Oh. That's kinda disappointing. A lot of early skill changes are crapshoots. Later ones can be very exciting though.

This isn't a big deal, since we don't want his spellcasting prowess here anyway.



Thin Grimoires kinda suck, comparatively, but are also way more common than Thick ones.



It takes 5 Thins, from a fresh level, to copy the effect of a Thick.

Thick Grimoire drop more likely if we go deeper into the blue hospital, but the demons back there get way, way too out of our comfortable punching range right now.



Heck, sometimes it happens in the entrance area too



...Though I can totally take these with clever play.

That the Oni are weak to Nerve totally helps. :ssh:



The other area is Yoyogi Park but red.




This place, the cause of Tokyo's destruction, is filled with manifestations of greed.
Those manifestations have been stolen by the demons here. Defeat the demons and take them back.



> You can no longer hear the voice.

Very similar to the other one. It just serves a different purpose.



They still give pittance for exp and no macca directly. Instead of dropping tomes, the demons here drop bull statuettes.



Three types of them, even. They sell for a decent chunk right now, but eh. There is a good chance I will never go back to the Center of the Conception ever again.

I might use Where the Demi-Fiend was Born to speed up levelling demons for their skills sometimes, but never to level up the Demi-Fiend himself. Case in point, I'm gonna use it to get Preta to level 8 and y'all can't stop me. Besides, as Will o' Wisp has helpfully demonstrated he might very well have gotten there naturally by now if we got one earlier anyway. :colbert:


Cathedral of Shadows



Oh yeah, also let's make that Zhen. Gonna be saying goodbye to Will o' Wisp and Datsue-Ba to put this together. Having something less likely to die that has Makakaja is pretty important, and also I really want War Cry.





...Except, whoops, something has gone very wrong!



We got a fusion accident already! Not only does this change what demon we get, it randomly rerolls the inherited skills so she won't even get Makakaja, Bufu and Pulinpa.

Just to rub this in, my entire last playthrough I got 0 of these things. Good thing I saved after getting Preta. Just gonna rollback to that and try this again.

Also gonna get Preta and Zhen to level 8. I want their cool skills. See you in Ginza!

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Can the fusion accidents ever work out to your benefit? Like getting access to a demon type that you'd normally have a pain in the rear end to get to?

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Sum Gai
Mar 23, 2013


PurpleXVI posted:

Can the fusion accidents ever work out to your benefit? Like getting access to a demon type that you'd normally have a pain in the rear end to get to?

Pretty sure the answer is technically yes, but it's much, much rarer than what happened to Lotus.

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