Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

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François
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:47 am

Yeah, this really isn't Ginza. Of course I don't absolutely know that, but seeing as Shibuya still pretty much looked like Shibuya, I'm confident this is some other place entirely. It... feels like that weird tunnel I was taken to instead of the elevator, right after the Conception.

Maybe Hijiri doesn't have anything to do with this nonsense after all. But he's not off the hook until I figure out what else is going on here.

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There's one of those strange doors behind where I fell in. Hmm.

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*: Note the "Terminal" label. Weird place for a save point.

And there's another passage behind that tree thing.

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So, no exits then. Great!

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Is this even a tree? Whatever it is, it looks like it might have been alive once.

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Is there's something in here?

Image: Hello? Anybody?



Image: Yeah. Loud and clear.
Image: I guess you made it to Ginza alright.

So that wasn't his fault in the end.

Image: You had me worried there... I lost track of you for a while, and I thought you may have gotten lost in the Amala Network...
Image: It... was just a small detour. For real, this time.
Image: ...Anyways, I'm glad to see that you're okay. So, can you look around Ginza and gather some info about Hikawa?
Image: That's the whole reason I'm here, isn't it? Don't sweat it, if there's something to dig up, I'll sniff it out. It's not like I have anything better to do.
Image: You might run into tougher demons, but I'm sure you can handle them.
Image: I appreciate the vote of confidence, especially given how that last fight went.
Image: I'm not cut out for fighting, so I'll track down Hikawa some other way. I'm sure we'll meet again, since we're both after the same thing.
Image: So you say.
Image: Alright then, see ya.
> The voice could no longer be heard.

Hmm. I shouldn't keep critical information from him, but I still think it was best not to mention I've just met the devil.

I mean, I'm not on the up and up with my Judeo-Christian religious studies, but if that wasn't Lucifer, I'm tongue-kissing Choronzon.

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*: And we're left in the larger type of Terminal room. There is a new option available, however: Amala Link. As you may have guessed, it will teleport us to any other big Terminal we've visited, which would mean to the Shinjuku Medical Center and Shibuya. This time however, we can come and go as we please without being intercepted and thrown into a dungeon.

Amusingly, if we return to the hospital basement's Healing Room...

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*: Yeah, that would be just a little too convenient. On the other hand, if we return to Shibuya, we can see that Hijiri is no longer there. He must have sent himself somewhere else. Apparently he has a knack for going to places he's never been to before!

That's enough stalling, though. Ginza!


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Music: Ginza

*: Well, doesn't that sound familiar?

I didn't expect a reception committee. And this guy looks serious. Better go introduce myself, I suppose.

Image
Image: Make sure you don't make any trouble here.
Image: Trouble? Me? Nah. I'm the very picture of serenity.
Image: hE... MUcH GeNERoUs!!
Image: SUcH mERcIfUL!!
Image: wOW...
Image: See? Lotsa friends! No trouble on the horizon whatsoever. Keeping the peace, that's what I do best!
Image: ...
Image: I think he bought it.
Image: bLARg...
Image: fNorD!?
Image: *snort*
Image: I'm still right here.
Image: Well! Don't let me take up more of your time! I'll be right along, thank you for your valuable service.

Let's pretend this went acceptably well and move on with our lives.

Image
Image: They have different exits, too.

*: Geographical information, always welcome. Let's hope it doesn't come in one ear and come out the other this time.

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This plaza also boasts a Fountain of Life and a neat skylight that I can't help but wonder if it has a real life equivalent. I'm not sure if I prefer going north or west first, but I gotta pick one, so I go north. Hopefully we're going to find a Cathedral of Shadows soon, Choronzon took up our last free slot.


Image

Image
Image: Oh my word.
Image: Hey there, big boy. I have a question for you. I've been thinking about something lately. From your point of view...
Image
Image: That is a trick question if I ever saw one. If she asks if her butt looks fat, get out of there.
*: There are four Lilim in this battle group, so I'm not particularly interested in offending them and taking a surprise round to the face.
Image: Err, looks pretty soft from here.
Image
Image: It totally shows, well done!
Image: Let me tell you something good. When negotiating with a demon, are you just letting any member deal with it?
Image: I try to give everyone a shot every once in a while, yeah.
Image: I figure you know, but a guy seducing another guy will only turn out... crappy.
Image: Hey, I wouldn't be so sure about that, you never really know!
Image: You don't hafta worry about it all the time, but you should use common sense.
Image: Aight, that's a good recommendation for sure.
Image: I hafta get going now.
> Lilim left.

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Well, that's one taken care of.

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*: The other three acted before we did, and they all used Rakunda to reduce our defense. We actually have to pay for healing again, so I have to play this cool. And I can't really attempt to recruit them, since we're at capacity.

In the end they keep trying to use Mazio, which bounces off Shikigami and ends their turn. Glorious!


Lv8 Night Lilim
One of the thousands and thousands of daughters of Lilith and Samael, we know the jazz. They're a mite fragile, but come with a variety of useful skills.

We knew the Night race as Yama. They are typically closely associated with humans, even if often as bloodsuckers or life energy parasites.


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Hello, what's this?

Music: Jewelry RAG

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Image

Image: If it isn't my favorite little slave trader.
Image: Mmmm, you smell strongly of gems.
Image: I have amassed a humble collection of various sparklies, yes.
Image: You've come to the right place. Heh heh heh...

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Image: Keep the Kagutsuchi in mind when looking for gems. The best time is when it's shining brightly...

*: So there's your advantage to fighting in bright light: better gem drops.

Much like in the last games, Rag will exchange single gems or combinations of gems for rare items that you can't normally buy, for various Elements, and for various Mitama. (We haven't touched on Mitama yet but they're another kind of fusion-focused creature.) The demons he sells have randomized levels and skills, which usually will differ from the same creatures you'd get from fusion, so it can be worth a look every now and then. Right now we can't afford anything I'd want, so we leave without buying anything.


Image: Come again.
Image: Man, dude's still a creepy lil' dirtbag.

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Ah, excellent!

Music: Heretic Mansion ~ Shining Heaven

*: This is the Full Kagutsuchi, so we're treated to an awesome new music piece.

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Image: Well that doesn't sound creepy at all.
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Image: The strength of the resulting demon will reflect the level of the demon that was sacrificed. ...Also, in some cases, you may end up with a completely different demon than you expected. I recommend that you experiment with various combinations. However, be forewarned that this type of fusion harnesses the chaotic power of Kagutsuchi. Therefore, it can only be performed when Kagutsuchi shines brightest. Why don't you give it a try next time?

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*: His tutorials have a new "Sacrifices" section as well.

Image: Kagutsuchi is the source of all light present in the middle of the world... Its light has special powers, and makes demons go mad. When it is shining its brightest, you can use the light for fusion. By offering another demon as a sacrificed, you can use 'sacrificial fusion'. Sacrificial fusion will allow you to create demons with higher stats and more skills. There are demons that can only be born from sacrificial fusion. If you use it right, it will be of great benefit to you. Just remember that you can't offer a sacrifice if you're fusing with a Mitama. Also, accidents often occur when Kagutsuchi is at its brightest. The choice is up to you...

*: The Minister's rundown explains it pretty well. Sacrificial Fusion replaces the poorly-explained Triple Fusion mechanic of the previous games. In essence, you pick two demons who determine the race and initial level of the resulting fusion as usual, but you also pick a third demon who will be killed during the ceremony. This third demon usually has no influence on the species of the resulting demon, but any experience that the sacrifice has accumulated in your company will transfer over to the new demon, with a 50% bonus. This means that the new demon can start out with a higher level, better stats and more skills than it would have were it the result of a standard fusion.

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This is our current fusion chart. The dot symbol between Will o' Wisp and Mou-Ryo indicate that they cannot be fused together; demons of the same race fused together would usually produce an Element, but not for Foul demons.

Will I use Sacrificial Fusion right now? I know I want to at least get some regular fusion done. Let's see...


Hmm.

Image: Aight, you three, come here.
Image: What is it?
Image: Me? Okay.
Image: Oooh, this is so mysterious and exciting!
Image: How do you feel about getting stronger?
Image: Sounds good! I wanna be strong!
Image: It'd be alright I guess.
Image: I can't even begin to imagine all the stuff I could burn if I was more powerful! Whatever you've got in mind, I'm in!
Image: Hey, that's the spirit. Why don't you step up to the... ah, yes right there. Is that right?
Image: Absolutely. Have you done this before?
Image: Nope. Is just, this seems pretty simple.
Image: Well it's not... that simple. Behind the scenes, it's very...
Image: Oh I can imagine, I didn't want to... Err. Can we... just get on with it before I change my mind?
Image: Ah but of course. It'll be just a moment.
Image: See you on the other side, guys!
Image: Buh-bye!
Image: See you!
Image: Yeah yeah yeah bye. This occult stuff is SO COOL. I could only dream that places like this existed, back in that dinky old hospital. I can't wait to see what happens!



OH MY CRAP THIS FEELS SO WRONG WHAT HAVE I DONE
JUST... SHINK!
GAH!

Image: I... I wish I could unsee that.
Image: I don't know what you expected!

*: The bonus experience is a real efficient way to increase your party's overall power, but man. I know I'm being a ridiculous softie but I must admit I viscerally prefer regular fusion.

Welp, that's two free slots and a brand new friend, fresh out of the Friend Recycler.


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Yoma Apsaras
These spirits of Hindu mythology appear as young, beautiful women, whos duty is to dance for the entertainment of gods and their guests. They're support casters first, but they have decent Magic for this point in the game and are well-suited for offense as well.

Yoma, which we used to know as Youma, are divine and semi-divine creatures, typically companions, servants or messengers for greater deities.


*: Apsaras usually pop at level 8, and certainly not with a full skill list. I would have liked her to inherit Hua Po's Agi, but we do have Choronzon's Agi and Zed's Fire Breath for fire damage right now so it's not too heavy a blow. As she levels up she will keep learning the usual Apsaras skills she doesn't already know, though we'll have to replace existing skills as they come in.

There's at least one other fusion I'd like to perform right now, but Zed needs to gain two more levels, and I'd like the ingredients to get a little stronger still. So this is it for now. Let's get back to exploring the north portion of Ginza.


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Image: People say that Loki owns a bunch of different things. He's at Nyx's Lounge.

*: We quickly run into two Apsaras. D'oy! At least ours is much stronger.

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Image: If the time arises, we are willing to sacrifice our lives for them!
Image: The... Maiden?

Holy crap, Hikawa called Ms. Takao "troublesome Maiden". It's gotta be her.

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Well look at me, gathering information.

*: More Lilim show up. I let Shikigami have a go this time.
Image: WE ARE MIGHTY. JOIN US.
Image: Are you asking me out? Then instead, how about, like...
> Lilim is thinking about this and that.
Image: Your powers... Let me drain some of your energy, then I'll think about it.
Image: ACCEPTABLE.
Image: Thanks for the meal. I shouldn't, like, judge you by your looks. It's still too little! *sob* Oh! Let me drain your energy again!
Image: AGREED. BUT DO NOT PUSH YOUR LUCK.
Image: ...Mmm... This taste is to die for! There's a good boy. Tee-hee!
> Lilim is smiling bewitchingly.
Image: How can I live on that?! Give me 130 Macca!
*: She asks for a couple more hundred after that, which is still small change.
Image: Tee-hee! Before I join you, let me get your opinion...
Image: MY PATIENCE WANES, LITTLE ONE. BUT I WILL ANSWER, FOR MY MASTER'S SAKE.
Image: I wonder... Do flowers ever worry about the color of the flower next to it...? Dammit! Everyone is such a nuisance, right!?
*: The Night race are typically social demons, close to humanity. I'd be surprised if this Lilim really thought everyone is a nuisance.
Image: ABSOLUTELY NOT. THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.
> Lilim is content.
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Image: I'm Lilim the Night. We'll have some fun together!
Image: Hot damn, you're the best wingman in history. Superbly done.
Image: I AIM TO PLEASE.

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*: This must be one of the exits we've heard about.

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We're going back in right away to keep exploring, but while we're here, do note that Ginza is in the "left" section of the Vortex World. We've come a long way.


Image
Image: It is a world without pain, because it is not controlled by emotion.
Image: I suppose that's one way to look at it.
Image: ...It is far different from the state of chaos that Tokyo is in right now.

Image
Image: Better than a cobra commander, I'll wager.
Image: He may be human, but he is very intelligent and dependable.

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The team could use a bit of R&R, I suppose.

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Image
Image: ...But, thanks to that, the demons here don't cause any real trouble.

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Image: She and the Commander are the ones holding Nihilo together. But, that's not saying much.
Image: So they're still cooperating. Hmm.

Image
Image: Hey kid. What're you doing in a place like this?
Image: Certainly not gathering information from inebriated locals!
Image: I haven't seen you around before. Did you come to check out the Assembly of Nihilo?
Image: Yeah. We've heard of 'em all the way in back in Shibuya, so I figured I'd come see what the fuss is about.
Image: ...I knew it. You probably have something for that Maiden, right?
Image: Nah. A nobody like me couldn't possibly get close to someone so important.
Image: ...Nihilo's base of operations is right outside Ginza. I'd tell you not to try it, but boys love risking their necks for girls. If it doesn't work out, come talk to me again.
Image: Huh, you're a sharp one, m'am. I will. Thanks.

Image

Image

Image: Nobody important, broseph.
Image: Whaddya want in here? Did you come for a drink?
Image: Sure, like everybody here.
Image: Sorry kid, but I don't think they serve milk or juice boxes in this place.
Image: Nice try, but I'm more offended that you resorted to such a cliché.

*: When we try to open the door in the back...

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Image: That's my room. Don't even think of touching it!
Image: Aight, aight, don't have a cow.

Well this has been mildly productive. On to the west wing!

Image
Image: ...
Image: ...Hold on now, don't expect me to become a sacrifice!

Image
Image The Assembly of Nihilo is using terminals to suck Magatsuhi from the Amala Network. The Commander is a clever one... Ha ha ha!

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Lv20 Haunt Chatterskull
According to the folklore of Dominica, a tiny island country in the Caribbean not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, the Chatterskull is a strange living skull whose piercing laughter kills those who hear it. It's a tough customer at the moment, and its Last Resort is no joke; it'll blow itself up once its HP runs low, so if you're going to kill it, try do so in one turn. Hell Thrust is a fairly strong single-target physical move with a moderate critical rate, and Stun Gaze is self-explanatory.


Image
Image: There's a door leading to the back room of Nyx's Lounge.

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Image: Those guys hanging around in Nyx's Lounge are a bunch of good-for-nothings. "Full of information" my ass!
Image: You'd be surprised!

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Image: Do you know about Rag's Jewelry, the shop that will trade gems for items?
Image: Yeah, I peeked in there for a bit, but it's way out of my price range.
Image: The merchandise changes every time I go in there. It's so hard to choose!

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*: And that's the other way out. Looks like we've cleaned out the place.

The Assembly's base of operations should be right outside, eh? I just love having a destination!

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*: That round building is clearly sucking up Magatsuhi pellets from its surroundings.
Image: That's the Assembly of Nihilo.
*: Ominous!

User avatar
Grath
Posts: 1426
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Grath » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:49 pm

François wrote:Detroit Thrust is a fairly strong single-target physical move with a moderate critical rate

Sometimes the word filter just makes everything more amusing.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:59 pm

Image

Image: Aight guys, it's infiltration time. Play it cool. We gotta Solid Snake this.

Whew, okay. There's the entrance, I can do this.

I am a shadow. I am the essence of stealth. I am-

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-screwed.

Image: This is the Assembly of Nihilo, the place for those who seek silence.
Image: Silence sounds pretty good to me! Now, do you mind if I just...
Image: I cannot let anyone see our commander or the Maiden. Leave these grounds immediately!
Image: Okay! Okay! I'm going. The Maiden expects me, I'll be back later and you'll feel pretty silly for not letting me in, but I'm not going to hold it against you today. You're welcome!

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Okay, that could have gone better. Madam Nyx clearly suspected this might happen though, so I have to believe this isn't a complete dead end yet.

Image
Image: Bad news.
Image: What? You couldn't get inside the base?
Image: I don't know how, but they caught us.
Image: *fart*
Image: You're a ghost! You don't even have a digestive system! How does that work?
Image: ...duNnO...
Image: Ha! I didn't think you'd actually be crazy enough to try and go there.
Image
Image: Someone's waiting for me in there.
Image
Image: I see... Then, let me tell you something. Go see Gozu-Tennoh.
Image: Who?
Image: Gozu-Tennoh is the leader of the demons in Ikebukuro. He's no friend of the Nihilo, so he might help you out. You can get to Ikebukuro from the Great Underpass of Ginza, just across the bridge from here.
Image: Huh. Alright then, that sounds like a plan, and it's the only one I got. Thank you, Madam.
Image: Good luck... You're gonna need it.

If these demons are opposing Nihilo, they're probably not too keen on that whole "silence" idea. Maybe they'll hear me out.

*: We go heal up and save before our journey.

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Image: You sure you want to hang out with pyromaniac fairies? We got an opening right here, if you like.
Image
> Jack Frost is thinking.
*: 300 or so Macca later...
Image: Hee hmm ho... I still can't decide! Hee hee ho ho!
> Jack Frost is still hesitating.
Image: Then answer me ho... this last question, hee ho... I've been thinking, hee ho! I think that there'd be no fighting if no one talked, hee ho! Isn't that a great idea, hee ho?
Image: Nah, that's ridiculous. If I hadn't been talking, I would have gotten in a lot more fights.
Image: HEE HO!!!
> Jack Frost seems to be offended.
Image: I'm not listening to you, hee ho!! Make do with this, hee ho!
> You obtained Chakra Drop.
Image: Bye-bye, hee ho!
> Jack Frost left.

Fairy Jack Frost
Still Atlus' mascot slash creative interpretation of Old Man Winter. They use ice spells, are weak to fire, etc. etc.


At least he had the courtesy not to take my money and run.

*: Chakra Drops cost 600, so this was actually pretty nice. Zed levels up a couple fights later.

Image

You might have noticed our stats are a little lopsided. Here's why.

Agility governs accuracy, evasion, and turn order. Due to the Press Turn system, hitting for a small amount of damage 90% of the time is much, much better than hitting for a large amount of damage 50% of the time. Vitality is near-enough indispensable that I also invested in it several times. and Luck helps a little in several domains, so I like dropping points there as well.

The game's damage calculations take into account not only the character's relevant damage stat (Strength or Magic), but also the character's level. So even though I was not investing in either St or Ma, we have still been gradually hitting harder and harder. However, we have reached a point where Zed's current damage output is becoming a liability where it should be a great asset. Dude needs to start hitting harder, and for that, we need to start investing in a damage stat. However until now I had not decided yet if I wanted to turn him into a physical damage powerhouse, a dedicated magic-user, a support caster, or something in between.

Well, that has changed. I've decided to invest in Strength. We're gonna hit things until they stop moving, and if we need elemental damage, we'll adjust our crew accordingly. There are plenty of spectacular physical damage skills down the road, so we certainly won't be missing out on fireworks; SMT1 this ain't. Besides, my first playthrough ended up plenty wizardy, so this'll be an opportunity for me to explore a playstyle for the first time.

Now even a Fist Puncher like we aim to become can make use of some magic. Stat buffs and debuffs never miss and are equally effective regardless of how good their users are at slinging spells, so I'll probably keep some of those around. Getting a basic healing spell slotted in will also prove useful when we can pick one up. And when we meet enemies that nullify or absorb physical damage, we might keep one damage spell around, otherwise that's why elemental attack items exist.

We've had Shiranui still equipped for this level, and it wants to teach us Fire Boost, a passive skill that increases inflicted fire damage by 50%. However, our eight skill slots are already taken. We have to discard an existing skill to learn a new one, and discarded skills are Absolutely Gone Forever. For now, this means I pass on Fire Boost. Our only fire skill at this point is Fire Breath, and the plan is to use it mainly to exploit weaknesses and gain extra turns; if I relied on it for raw damage, we'd be in bad shape as we don't really have the stats for it.

In the end, Fire Boost is the first skill we discard, and certainly not the last. Zed ingests Wadatsumi, which will teach it Ice Boost next, and which we will discard also.

I plan to leave soon, but the fact that we only have one open ally slot worries me somewhat, and I decide to perform several fusions, one of which Zed needs to level up once to perform, and the other which I will perform once a couple allies have gained a level. It's less than a thousand experience points each, so I grind it out here in Ginza for a bit. Will o' Wisp still has Riberama, it shouldn't take too long.


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Image: ...!

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> Angel is extremely agitated.
Image: ............
Image
*: Demons lose their shit on Full K, so it's extra hard to predict what it is they want to hear. We're fortunate she would even hear us out at all.
Image: I... I suppose once or twice I've been accused of being the center of my own universe. Looking back, maybe it's been the case.

Image

Image

> Angel is ecstatic.
Image: Very well! I am Angel the Divine. Let us go together!
> Angel joined your party without your consent.
Image: "Without your consent". Right.

Image

Lv11 Divine Angel
...

Image: What's the hold up?
Just waiting for your inevitable salacious quip.
Image: I got nothin'. I mean, what can I add to this? I actually can't wait to see how you explain that one.
The regular Angels are still the bottom rung of the angelic hierarchy. They're the least free-willed among the least free-willed beings in all of creation. They live to serve the other angels above as well as the mortals below, and even then, only under God's all-encompassing direction. I'm not going to pretend this specific depiction isn't intended to be edgy and controversial and just plain show a lotta skin... but the symbolism checks out. They're blind slaves, existing only to obey.
Image: Huh. Alright, I'll buy that. It's kinda creepy but it makes some sense.
Whew, thanks. I'm surprised at how much this means, coming from you. Anyway, they're basically support casters, if you count Hama's instant death effect a support spell. Detain is an interesting conversation skill in that it activates randomly if a demon you're already conversing with is attempting to leave, sometimes allowing you to continue the negotiation a bit further.
Image: Also, underboob.
God dammit.

The Divine race used to be the Tenshi, and are still the various members of the Judeo-Christian angelic hierarchy.


*: Did I say something about having a free slot? Now I really need to grind this out.

Further encounters with Angels are heart-pounding. I want Mou-Ryo to get experience so he can learn Deathtouch and pass it down to his descendants, but he's weak to expel. Additionally, Zed is no longer human, he doesn't have a particular resistance to expel effects, and if the spell hits, it's Game Over.


Night Lilim + Haunt Choronzon =

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Lv14 Yoma Isora
Isora is the name of a Japanese god of the seashore, which, considering Japan's geography, makes him a relatively big deal. He's a fairly well-rounded demon with respectable offensive power and, with a few levels, a variety of useful spells, including Media. Kidnap is a recruitment conversation skill, which works a lot better on demons with a childish personality.


*: I couldn't do a Sacrifice Fusion because it would have pushed Isora's level above Zed's, and that's a no-go. Alright then, just a bit more exp!

Oh crap, High Pixie gets Hama'd. That's 400 Macca down the crapper in the blink of an eye.


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Lv17 Haunt Yaka
Yaka are Sri Lankan spirits of disease, likely a demonization of the Hindu Yakshas and Yakshinis. Shamans carve masks in their likeness to make it easier to communicate with them.


Image: Hey, buddy, come here. You too.
Image: THE TIME HAS COME.
Image: sKUB???
Image: This isn't my first time anymore, but it still feels kinda weird.
Image: YOUR POWER WILL INCREASE. MY POWER WILL INCREASE. THIS IS AS IT SHOULD BE.
Image: Yeah, you got a point. I guess I just don't like thinking about it this way.
Image: IT HAS BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU. IT WILL BE GOOD TO KNOW YOU AGAIN.
Image: I hope that's how it works. And, uh. Before I forget... Hell, I never really was any good at this stuff, but...

Image

Image: UNNECESSARY.
Image: I know, I know, but, it's not much, so, just take it, alright?
Image: THANK YOU.
Image: No, thank you. You had my back, and we conquered Shit Town together. That counts for a lot. See you on the next page, aight?.
Image: whAT i GEt??
Image: Err... Thumbs up, pal! Keep up the good work!
Image: aPpROvaL!! yAAaAaaaYyY!!

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Huh, a badass horse. I think he would have liked that.

Brute Shikigami + Foul Mou-Ryo =

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Lv15 Wilder Bicorn
Still a anthropophagic horse that subsists on a diet of faithful husbands, according to Chaucer. The Mana Aid this one inherited from Mou-Ryo restores a percentage of its MP after every battle, and it's easily among the most desirable skills in the game to have for long dungeons.


Foul Will o' Wisp + Yoma Apsaras =

Image
Image: NOW CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY I WANT TO EAT A WIZARD?

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Lv 14 Snake Nozuchi
The Nozuchi is a Japanese earth spirit, dwelling in places where the shadows of trees and plants touches the ground. It's neither particularly benevolent nor dangerous if left alone, but it can grow to become violently and fiercely defensive if it thinks humans are a threat to its home. Here it's a slow-but-powerful warrior type, though I've given it a few basic spells to make use of its relatively high MP. Toxic Cloud does curse/poison element damage to the entire enemy group, and Counter grants a 50% chance to strike back when hit by a physical move.

We knew the Snake race as Ryu-ou, being various snake-like spirits, deities or other mythological beings.


*: No one under level 11, and three free slots. We're good to go!

Image

That's the bridge Nyx mentioned, we're on the right path.

Image

Huh, two ways to go from here. Let's try north-east.

Image
Image: Demons with the Lucky Find skill can supposedly find stuff by just walking around outside. So, i was trying to do that. I mean, I could use the treasure! But, I guess it's not working.

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*: A dead-end with treasure. Eh, could be worse. We use up a bunch of MP on the way back, and a Zhen insists on joining up in exchange for its life, so I return to Ginza to get topped off and see if I have any more fusion options worth considering. Spoiler alert: not for now.

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Image: Ha! There's a bunch of dangerous demons on this end of the highway too. Step aside.

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Image

Image

Image

Image

Hey, there's the Assembly of Nihilo. I think that's a back door up there. We won't have to bother with this Gozu-Tennoh after all!

Image
Image: The security here is super-tight.
Image: We'll see about that.

Image

Image
> The door is tightly shut.
Image: ...oh. Well, let's look around some more, this place must be important for a reason.

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Hmm, at least Tokyo Tower remains, for what it's worth.

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Ooooh, so that must be what the security is all about. This cube must be real important!

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Whuh-oh.

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Image: Level 37? Nice knowing you, kid.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image: ...right.
Image: Holy crap, high five!
Image: ...
Image: Yikes, okay, blindfold, sorry. Still, nice work.

*: The Succubus drops a Ruby, which I presume would be the content of the Cube.

Lv37 Night Succubus
Y'all know what a succubus is. Their Eternal Rest skill instantly kills all sleeping members of the enemy party; try not to lose your bricks when three of 'em pop in and the first opens up with Dormina.


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And further north...

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> The entrance is closed tight.

Ah. Oh well. Gozu-Tennoh, the name was, eh? Let's head back to the underpass.

Image

Image

Image: Oh crap. This area is well-guarded.
Image: Try to Hama this one, will you?
Image: Yeah, no, we're running.

Lv28 Divine Principality
Where the rank-and-file Angels watch over individual mortals, the Principalities watch over entire nations; they also inspire art and science. Diarama is the upgraded single-target healing spell, and Hamaon is Hama, but with a better hit rate.


*: Fortunately we manage to escape on the first attempt.

Image

Image

Image: Now these guys we can take. Hold nothing back!

*: Exploiting their weakness to electricity serves us well, but they get a couple solid hits in. It's definitely time to leave.

Lv23 Beast Badb Catha
Still an ancient Irish deity, gracing battlefields with her presence and delighting in causing confusion and mayhem.


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Lv18 Night Fomor
The Fomorians are demonic, goat-headed, minotaur-like giants from Irish folklore, said to have settled Ireland long before anyone else showed up. Legend has it they were savage and brutal, and it took several attempts by various mythical groups, culminating in a great war effort by the more civilized Tuatha Dé Danann, to put an end to their control of the island.


*: These guys are more our speed, but we still gotta go back to Ginza to heal up once again, and return to the area just before the highway.

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Image: *sigh* Okay, thanks.

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Image

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The Service Entrance to the Harumi Warehouse, eh? If this doesn't connect to the Underpass, we're out of luck.

*: There are a couple Cubes here, with a Muscle Drink (restores HP, inflicts a mysterious "side effect") and a Makajam Rock (inflicts Mute on one target). It looks like there's nothing else, but...

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Image

Here goes nothing.

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*: That's a Small Terminal, like the one we've seen just before the Forneus battle. We can use it to return to a Large Terminal, but the trip is one-way only.

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A ladder down, this must be it.

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Image
Image: Boy am I glad to hear that.
Image: ...It's a loooooong tunnel full of poisonous demons!
Image: Markedly less glad to hear that.

*: High Pixie and Zhen both know Posumudi, the antidote spell, but the former is also our main healer and her MP isn't spectacular. We do have Dis-Poison items, and Chakra Drops in an emergency, so we're not turning back. Or, well, we're not turning back right away.

Oooh, Zhen and Bicorn both naturally resist ailments, they'll probably be worth taking along. I switch them in to replace Angel and High Pixie.


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*: We can hear water rushing behind that door. An actual sound effect, too!

Image
Image: Eh?

Image

That strange guy sure made himself scarce quickly. He... looked human? Human and scared. I gotta track him down, but gently, I suppose.

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This isn't very inviting, but it might not be a bad place to hide from demons.

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Image
Image: Hey! I'm not gonna eat you!
Image: THAT'S ALSO WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IF YOU WERE GOING TO EAT HIM.
Image: ...crap.

*: The dude was on the other side of the water, but we might as well check out the doors down here anyway.

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So, dead end on this one. We run into Slimes and large groups of Kodama around here, so it's nothing we can't handle.

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*: Little mofo didn't want to come with us, but he healed Zed before he left. The next one we run into does join up, though.

Lv13 Jirae Sudama
Sudama are nature spirits that have a lot in common with Kodama, but they dwell in rocks and mountain trees instead. They're thought to be peaceful and occasionally quite benevolent, if somewhat limited in actual power. Legend has it that if you're walking around in the mountains and suddenly feel like you're being watched, it means a Sudama is keeping an eye on you.


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Gah, we reach the door where the person was, but then I notice a Cube accessible from where we were earlier in the room. I hope it's worth backtracking for.

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Ehh... Might see some use. I could have seen the Cube a bit earlier had I looked carefully behind myself. Gotta keep your eyes open!


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Lv16 Foul Blob.
It's a blob o' goop. Whatchuwant from me, people?


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Dude's probably miles away now.

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Wait, never mind that.

Image: Hey!

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Man on the left: A demon...? Is he a Mantra demon?
Man on the right: ...Huh!? Mantra!? Ummmmmm...... Anyway, let's report this to everyone!

*: The far end of the tunnel leads to a couple dead ends and a Cube containing two Mahama Rocks (group-targeting Hama), which will probably pull our asses out of the fire somewhere down the line. We return to the intersection and follow the gray-robed survivors.

Music: Manekata

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Image: I COME IN PEACE, SETTLE YOUR BUTTS DOWN.
Image
Image: I'M NOT A... OKAY IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT I AM A DEMON, BUT...
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Image
Image: I don't even know what that means, just let me get a word in!
Image: ......It's over...... ...It's all over...

*: Every single person here does a strange full-body twitch every few seconds. It's rather unsettling.

Image
Image: ............ ............? ......Huh? ............
Image: I haven't eaten you yet, don't you think that's a good sign?
Image: Hey, he's not a Mantra! Never seen a demon of the likes of him in their army!
Image: At least one of you appears to have a brain.
Image: ...I was worried for nothing. Now, I can get back to my rocking chair.
Image
Image: What's going on in here exactly?
Image

There is definitely something wrong with these people. It's not just the twitching; they all seem to look at a spot a few centimeters above your head when they're talking to you.

Image: I've certainly not seen the likes of you since... since I got here.
Image: We're Manikins. You can probably tell a lot about us just by seeing where we live.
Image: Ouch.
Image: ...Now, go home! Everyone else, do the same.
Image
Image:: I guess he's not a Mantra demon...
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Image

Huh. Everything went better than I expected. For once.

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What a craphole. Still, maybe one of them can tell me the quickest way to Ikebukuro. They don't look like they're the ambush type, so I'll take some time and look around.

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*: Convenient!

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Extra convenient!


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Image
Image: Yeah, there's definitely something off about you. No offense.
Image:: We were made to look like them, for some reason or another. It can't be helped.

Image
Image: I'll be on my way soon enough, I'm just curious.
Image: Is it bothering you that much?
Image: I just didn't know what to think when I first saw you. I thought everyone was dead. And now, well... I guess I'm back to thinking that.
Image: ...We're Manikins. Our destiny is to be slaves to the demons. ...But, we can also feel pain, you know. That's why we live in hiding in this underpass. ...Get it? So, please leave us be.
Image: Don't worry, I have no reason to tell anyone about you. And I'll be gone soon enough.

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*: The encounter indicator in the bottom right remains blue when we stand on the dry platforms, telling us that we will not run into random encounters. It immediately turns yellow if we get in the water though, and if we keep running around in there, it will turn orange then red to signify the countdown to the next battle. Appropriately enough, the only creatures we can meet here are Isora.

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Image: I sure haven't been called that in a long time.
Image: I thought you were one of those scary monsters... A handsome demon like you deserves a major discount! I hope we'll have a long-lasting relationship! *wink*
Image: You know, I much prefer this to being viewed with fear and suspicion. You're a rad fella.

Image
Image: I think this was called... a Magatama?
Image: Yup.
Image: It's too yucky! I hate how it looks like a bug. Hurry up and buy it!
Image: Don't mind if I do!

*: The Manikin shopkeeper carries some basic healing items, and is notable for only offering Dis-Poison and Sacred Water as far as ailment cures go.

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Float Balls protect from floor traps temporarily, and Divining Water tells us if a demon is capable of transforming, and if it's close to doing so. Of greater interest at this time are the three Magatama: Ankh, Hifumi, and Kamudo.

Ankh is the healing Magatama that Pixie could have given us at Yoyogi Park. It has basic healing spells and would be fairly useful even for us. However, I skip it for now. I pick up Kamudo right away instead, and I'll get in a few fights in the water for the 164 Macca we'll need to purchase Hifumi as well. There's no Fountain down here, but we can use the Terminal to reach Ginza's easily enough.


Image: Thank you for buying sooo much! Here, have this Lucky Ticket. Get ten of them, and I'll give you a special present!
Image: Ha, I see what you're doing there. Alright, I'll take it. Thanks!
Image: Come back again!

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*: Aaaand that'll do it. I return to purchase Hifumi, leaving us with 31 Macca. It earns us a second Lucky Ticket. You have to spend a minimum amount in one go to receive one, but the several thousand a Magatama cost us more than qualify. In fact, if I had enough money to buy both at once, I would have left the store between purchasing each just to accumulate extra tickets.

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Hifumi is another elemental-aligned spellcaster Magatama. Nullifying force damage is what will make it the most useful for us in time, but its first skill, Tornado, is a multi-hitting spell that causes heavy force damage to random targets and would actually be pretty good to use even with our low Magic stat. In fact, it's easily one of the strongest force-elemental attack in the entire game and can legitimately stay with you until the end. I think it costs like 25 MP, though, which is a lot for us.

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Kamudo is our first specialized warrior-type Magatama. As you might imagine, resisting physical damage is a big deal, but a weakness to ailments is a tough proposition. Still, it gives us more Strength than any other until now, and a good amount of the other stats we value most. And it'll teach us Heat Wave very soon, which is the first Big Boy physical attack skill we can get our mitts on. So for now I'm gonna chance putting it on.

I'll definitely want to pick up Ankh once we get another 2000 Macca together, but that's all we're purchasing at the moment, and we go back to exploring the Manikin hideout.


Image
Image: ...Um, the Mantra are a group of demons based in Ikebukuro. Dunno if you knew...
Image: I knew of the group, but I didn't know that's what they were called. Thanks.

Image
Image: I'm cool, don't worry.
Image:: ............ Oops... Wrong demon.

*: The same room that guy was in has a cube with a Poison Arrow inside, which does light curse/poison damage to an entire group.

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Image: Sure is a bitch to get anywhere though.

*: In fact I decide to go heal up before we get any further in, and we have to get in a couple fights just to get enough money to restore everyone.

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There's no music in here, just the rushing water, a weird echo-y brushing sound, and this occasional undescribable resonating drone reminiscent of a gong hit without the initial crash. It's creepy as hell. This place really doesn't feel like somewhere anyone would deserve to live in.

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Especially not children.


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Image: I know of him. So, not really, no.
Image: You blow. Gozu-Tennoh is the leader of the Mantra!
Image: That much I had pieced together.

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Okay, that's unusual.

Music: Playing the fool

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Image: Heyo.
Image: ...Hey. Are you that demon everyone is talking about?
Image: In the flesh.
Image: I'm a collector of many things, especially things that have to do with humans.
Image: I'm not selling you my clothes, if you were gonna ask.
Image: So, I leave the underpass every so often, convincing the gatekeeper to let me through.
Image: Gatekeeper, eh?
Image: Well, if you need some advice, I'll help you. ...Maybe you could help me collect 'stuff'...
Image: Aight, if I come across anything interesting, I'll let you know.

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Image: They have different ideas of how Tokyo should be run, you see.

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Image: Yeah, actually.
Image: You did?
Image: He's just downstairs, with the big barber pole. He's hard to miss.
Image: He's weird...

*: An the far end of this section of the tunnel, underneath a ladder and across the water...

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I decide to get into some more fights. I could run out Kagutsuchi where it's safe, but we need the money pretty bad. Still, I can tell we'll make another healing run to Ginza before we get in the deeper parts of the underpass.

In the meantime, Zhen learns War Cry, a 40 MP sumbitch that applies two stacks of physical/magic attack power debuff. It's pretty much another of those skills that can prove useful for the entire game, so I'll be looking to pass it down if I can. Zed also levels up and learns Heat Wave, which hits all enemies once for physical damage that increases as you gain more HP. We're gonna be using it for a while, so I drop Fire Breath in its favor. Its utility partially overlaps with Berserk's, but I'm pretty sure Berserk's ability to hit the same enemy more than once can make it more useful in certain circumstances.

Kamudo's next skill doesn't pop up for a while yet, so I ingest Hifumi for now.

Aaaand the chest contains a Bead Chain. Not bad. Alright, back to Ginza. There's something else I want to get now that Zed's level 18.

On the way back, a fight with multiple parties of Isora leaves us well near death.

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Notably, our tattoo's outlines glow red when we're about to die.

Oh, and while I think of it... Heat Wave is a weapon-based skill; it can be learned by demons, but only if they are carrying a weapon of some sort. But we're not carrying a weapon at all! "How does it work?", some of you say. "It can't. It doesn't", others answer.

What is the truth of it?


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Image

Image: ...wow.
Image: I. AM. AWESOME!
Image: I think I have a new best friend.
Image: Hey!
Image: You're half-worm. This guy makes his own damn lightsaber.
Image: Yeah, you're right. I can't be mad at you. I did tell you being a demon was pretty sweet though.
Image: Do you remember how you died?
Image: I reject your reality and substitute my own. It was super cool and it was totally worth it and it wasn't even a little bit infinitely painful.

*: So yeah, we will our own weapons into existence. That is the truth of it.

Aight, enough of that. Straight to the Cathedral of Shadows.


Image: Hey, girls, a word please?
Image: I beg to serve.
Image: Ha, I knew you'd ask for this sooner or later.
Image: No no, no no no, I was gonna talk to you about fusion!
Image: Right, exactly, that's what I meant. What did you think I meant?
Image: Fusion!
Image: Reallllly?
Image: I dated a goth girl for like a week, but getting double-teamed in a cathedral is where I draw the line.
Image: Are we still talking about fusion?
Image: Aaaabsolutely! You okay with it?
Image: Yeah. But you're putting me on the machine whether I like it or not, aren't you?
Image: ...
Image: The master commands, the servants obey. It is the proper order of things.
Image: That's not as comforting as you think.
Image: You are still such a softie.
Image: You think so?
Image: I hope it doesn't get you killed someday.
Image: I'll... I'll get used to this sooner or later. I have to.
Image: I'm staying with you either way, right?
Image: Yeah, you are.
Image: It's not goodbye, then.
Image: See you soon. Have a pleasant trip.
Image: Later!
Image: Farewell.

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Image: I'm well counting on it!

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Lv18 Megami Uzume
Aaand Ame-no-Uzume's back, still the Shinto goddess of dawn and partying. She gets a variety of useful white-mage type skills, as well as Stone Gaze because why not.

Megami haven't changed, still being relatively benevolent goddesses, among the most powerful light-aligned races.


*: We make our way back to the Manikin hideout, to the only door at the western end.

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Image
Image: This path leads to Ikebukuro, the base of the Mantra. It would be real bad if the Mantra came, so I can't open the gate.

*: The dude straight up won't let us pass. Hmm. The collector Manikin mentioned sneaking past the gatekeeper, so this must be who he meant. Let's ask him about it.

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Image: Yeah, I need your help to get past that western gate.
Image: ............ ...The gatekeeper is preventing you from passing by to get to Ikebukuro, huh? Would you like me to persuade him to let you through?
Image: That's what I was hoping for, yeah.
Image
Image: But, only on one condition... You have to find me something I'm looking for. I want a Bill. It's a small portrait painted by humans in a greenish color. It's small, yet detailed, and it uses watermarking technology that changes patterns... It had value at one time, I think. I heard that some humans valued it more than their lives!
Image: You want... you want yen? Wow.
Image: I'd like to find one, but I have no clue as to where I'd find it.
Image: Man, if only I didn't put my wallet in my jacket pocket.
Image: I heard that there were plenty where people crowded together. ...A city, perhaps?
Image: No one seems to use yen anymore though. Haven't seen a single bill since I got here, in fact.
Image: Maybe you'll be able to do it. You're a demon, after all. Anyways, I entrust you with finding that Bill.
Image: Aight. Glorious. I'll be back in no time.

Or so I hope.

Man, even after the demon apocalypse, it still all comes down to looking for some dosh.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:35 am

*: So, money. We don't get a lot of guidance on this one. The collector Manikin suggests visiting a city; fortunately we've only been to two of what might pass for a city so far: Shibuya and Ginza.

Image: Some of you guys have been around here longer than I have. Any suggestions?
Image: NOTHING COMES TO MIND.
Image: Loki's a total hoarder, it's gruesome. If anyone's hanging on to some worthless cash...
Image: Huh, now that you mention it, one of those spirits around here told us about Loki collecting lots of stuff. It's a long shot -
Image: Considering he's a jackass.
Image: Right. But a lead's a lead. Let's go back to the lounge.

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Image: Yo.
Image
Image: I'm looking for a bill, and word on the street has it you're collecting old stuff. Can you hook me up?
Image: Is there a Bill in my room?
Image: Yup. A bill.
Image: Bill, as in human money?
Image: That would be it.
Image: It might, it might not... Heheheh...
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Image: No, I'm just asking because you're great company. OF COURSE I want a bill.
Image: You wanna cut a deal?
Image: Against my better judgement, yes.
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Image: Typical.
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Image: I can tell you're not interested in taking this transaction seriously. I wouldn't give you twenty Macca even if you promised to stick them up your ass.
Image: Heheheh... Well, of course. Then, there's nothing to talk about. Go home.

Well, that was a bust.

Image: Did I mention he's a jackass?
Image: I don't know what I expected.
Image: I REMEMBER SOMEONE SAYING THERE'S ANOTHER ENTRANCE TO THE BACK ROOM.
Image: Yeah, something to that effect. Are we up for a bit of breaking and entering?
Image: Me love breaking stuff! Also entering stuff!
Image: Snazzy. Let's go.

*: You can look through every nook and cranny around Ginza and not find that secret entrance. What you gotta do, is leave, and pay attention.

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That small building here is a third way in. It glows red like any other enterable building, but it's pretty dang small.

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There's usually a large Troll at the end of this corridor. He just turns you away if you come here before the appropriate time, but right now he doesn't appear to be at his post. I kinda expected a fight, but this'll do. The door is locked, but it's locked from this side, and we can open it.


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Man, that's swanky. I wonder why Nyx lets Loki have this room all to himself.

*: There's a Cube here, and three Mystic Chests, so we'll get into a few fights waiting on Kagutsuchi. We're on 5/8 rising, so it's not too long. We recruit a new Angel in the meantime, and we can open all chests in the same phase, netting us a sapphire, an emerald, and a pearl.

Ha, I got your 20,000,000 Macca right here, you drunk sumbitch.

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Not a lot, but it'll do.

*: The door is locked from the main bar room's side, so we have to go back the way we came.

Image
Image: Whuh-oh.
Image: What were you doing while I was gone!?
Image: I stole your boss' gems, then I took his money, then I teabagged all the wine glasses. What of it?
Image: Hmmmmmmmmm! It's time for you to die!

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*: Welp, there's that fight then. Analyze fails, so it's a miniboss.

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Zhen spends nearly all its MP casting War Cry, and it turns out to be weak to Nerve ailments and Bicorn's Plinpa panics him in the first round. He subsequently spends most of his rounds "seeming dumbfounded", though he manages to hit Sudama once for over half its HP, so I tag in Nozuchi to avoid risking the resurrection fee. I'm pretty sure he would have one-shot the little guy if we hadn't debuffed him.

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Haha wow, sucker basically paid for half of my next Magatama purchase. I'm tempted to stall the fight and see if he drops more, but with how hard he hits, I don't feel like taking the chance of having him snap out of it and start killing my dudes. In fact, we finish the battle in the following round.


Fairy Troll
Trolls originated in Scandinavian folklore, designating brutish humanoids said to live in small clans in remote wilderness areas. In Norse mythology the word is also used in certain contexts to refer to the Jötunn giants. Just as it is with goblins, kobolds, dwarves, elves, ogres and the like, the farther back you go, the less clearly-defined the actual legends were, and the harder it is tell various creatures apart and pinpoint when they coalesced into a form that our nerd culture, absorbing mythology through an alphabetized Monster Manual rather than oral tradition, would recognize and identify.


*: Before warping back to the Underpass, we go back to the lounge to flip Loki the bird. What's he gonna do, call his bodyguard on us?

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Image: Someone jacked up my room! Who did this!?
Image: Up yours, blondie! Booyah!

*: No further consequences! We zip back to the Underpass, and pick up Ankh from the trader, netting us another ticket. Now that he doesn't have Magatama to talk about anymore...

Image
Image: You mean, living in old tunnels?
Image: Shall we go inside and have a chat? *wink*
Image: Mmmmmmmaybe later.

Image

*: Stats-wise, Ankh is more tank gear than healer gear. And being weak to Death effects is a little bit worse than you think it is. Still, it'd teach us Dia for now, were we to ingest it.

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Image: Guess who's got good news!
Image
Image: Paper and ink and cocaine residue, all genuine!
Image: We had a deal, right? C'mon, c'mon! Oh, this is great!!!
Image: Never seen someone get so excited over 1000 yen. It's adorable.
> You handed over the bill.
Image: As I said, a deal's a deal. Hold on a sec.

It takes a moment.

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> You obtained the Manikin's letter.
Image: Well, if you say that's what's gonna do the trick...
Image: See you later... I hope you get to Ikebukuro safely.
Image: Heh, how tough can it be? See ya.

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Image
Image: Hu-tut-tut-tut-tut. Feast your eyes on this.
Image: ............ ...What's this?
> You gave the gatekeeper the Manikin's Letter.
Image: ...? A letter from him? ............ ............? ............! ............
Image: ............
Image: ............
Image: ...I got it. If that's the case, it can't be helped. ...Go ahead and pass.

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Image

Image

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*: He closes the gate behind us, but he'll hear us just fine if we want to go back.

Huh. I wonder what was in that letter that changed his mind like that. Oh well!

*: On the other side we start running into groups of multiple Blobs. They resist physical and are weak to ice, but Zed's Ice Breath is our only source of ice damage, and at 9 MP a pop we can't just use it willy-nilly. The fights last forever, but at least Sudama learns Mazan and that accelerates matters slightly. In addition, the Blobs' own Mazan casts are nullified by the Hifumi Magatama, and that helps a lot.

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*: It begs for its life, but when I accept to spare it...


Image
Image: ShyaaaAaAaaaa!!

*: It gets a free turn. Yeah, that'll happen. Welp!

The tunnel gets a bit more complex on this side, and the first fork we take leads us first to a dead end. Taking the other side...


Image

Image

Huh. What's with this thing? Maybe it's... showing me the way? Or maybe it's a draft.

*: Hifumi teaches us Tornado. If I were a wizardy type, this would be a keeper for a long time. But as we are it'd take us about one third of our MP to cast it once, and we have more important stuff to spend it on. I discard it. Afterwards I let it release its energy, and our entire party recovers for free.

Image
Image: Whoa there, buddy. What's going on?
Image
Image: The... grim reaper? Where?
Image: Up ahead! Up ahead!

*: There's another fork, but again, one side is a quick dead-end. And on the other...

Zed doesn't know what's going on, but I do. I reform the party, taking along Uzume, Nozuchi, and Sudama. Deep breath. Let's go.




Image: Well hello there, golden boy.
Image: Man, what? Is this how it ends? That seemed a little...
Image: Anticlimactic?
Image: That's one way to put it.
Image: So it goes. One day you're king of Shit Town, and the next day someone kills you over a bunch of candles.

*: Yup. That's Matador alright. I knew he was packing Mazan, so I used Hifumi and chose only party members that at least resisted force damage. I knew he could max out his agility with Red Capote, so I made sure to keep Sukunda on Zed so we could hit him at all, ever.

But I forgot about Taunt + Focus + Andalucia.

Taunt applies two stacks of physical offense buff and two stacks of defense debuff to the enemy group, making it a bit of a double-edged sword by itself.

Focus multiplies the damage inflicted by your next physical attack by 2.5; however, if you use a skill with multiple targets, only the first target takes increased damage. Still, once we attain the necessary level, we will learn Focus and keep it forever.

And Andalucia, well, does what you've seen it do: it hits every target up to three times, like a powered up, extra reliable Berserk. Bosses typically get two turn icons to work with, so they can use Focus and a big ticket physical skill before you can do much of anything about it. Hence why I put so much importance on getting Vitality early, you see.

Wasn't enough, though.

Fiend Matador is the wake-up call boss I mentioned a while back. He's legendary for it. If you've never played before, this guy pops out of nowhere in the middle of a nondescript corridor, he dodges everything you throw at him, and he vaporizes you. Unlike many RPGs, there is an accuracy check for spells (somewhat more difficult than for physical attacks); with high enough Agility you can fairly reliably dodge magic, and Matador definitely gets high enough Agility. In any case, I neutered his spell damage, countered his ridiculous stat buff, and he still beat me.

Admittedly, I made a number of mistakes and wasted time finding out his immunities (not to mention I had a brain-fart and used Zan a second time, derp). So, let's give it another shot in the same circumstances right away, and see how it goes. I'm thinking I might bring in Zhen for a round to drop a War Cry and reduce his offense, but as you've seen, Matador knows the Dekunda spell that removes all debuffs, so it might not be as effective as we'd like. I suppose we'll see.




Image: Hot damn! Best horse ever.
Image: WELL FOUGHT.
Image: I... Wha!?
Image: Me kick ass!
Image: Huh, I almost thought...
Image: Bad skeleton man! No good for eating!
Image: ...hmm.

*: Right! It dawned on me that Sudama was dead weight despite his force resistance, and I remembered Bicorn inherited the accuracy buff spell. Matador couldn't cast Dekaja to take it away from us, and that's what clinched it. I'm honestly relieved I only died once to this motherfucker, even if I had to use up nearly all our Chakra Drops to do it.

Fiend Matador
It's... a skeletal matador. Not a lot of mythology behind this dude. Red Capote is unique to him, and applies four stacks of accuracy/evasion buff, which is the maximum possible amount of stacks.


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Okay, so. Okay. We have our second Candelabrum, and they're numbered ninth and tenth. We were returning to Ginza so we could revive Zhen and generally heal up anyway, so we might as well look into this Amala business on the way back.

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Image: Is the reaper still there?
Image: Took care of it, don't sweat it. Everyone's immortal now. You can thank me later.

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Image: ...
Image: Hmmm... Where's the switch to activate the watermark?

*: We reach the Fountain, and have to pay about 1500 total, mostly on account of the revival and the buttload of MP we're missing. And then...

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Yep, that's new. Let's go.

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Remember when we left the Amala Network and I pointed out a door labeled "Terminal" that we couldn't enter? That's where we're coming out of.


At least this time I'm here because I chose to be here, and I know how to leave.

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Image: Knock knock!

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Music: Lord of the Netherworld

Image: ...... Francois, you recovered the candelabrum from that Fiend... I knew I could count on you... even if the world changed.

...was she watching me... before...?

Image: I believed in you... that you would always be my strength...

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Image: Here is what my master has to say... The candelabrum that you acquired... It was part of his prized collection. The candelabra are flames of life that control the flow of Magatsuhi within the Labyrinth of Amala... But, they were stolen by terrible fiends.

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Image: The candelabra grant to their possessors access to the Labyrinth of Amala. However, that privilege is not intended for just anyone. This place is strictly forbidden to all but those my master has permitted entry.

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Image: Is it possible for you to retrieve the candelabra -- the flames that light the floors of the Labyrinth -- and return them here?

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Image: ...to recover the eleven candelabra. If you are willing to accept the task, then you will be allowed to enter the Labyrinth of Amala. I believe that it is a fair offer, but it is up to you to decide.

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Image: I... can't make any promises, I have a few things on my plate right now. But yeah, okay, I'll definitely keep an eye out.

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Image: As long as you have your candelabrum, you will eventually come across the others.

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Image: I will reward you as you return them to their rightful places. If you hold your candelabrum to the spinning drum of Amala... the device referred to as a "terminal" in Tokyo... you will be able to enter and leave here freely. Please be careful. I wish you the best...

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Image: Let us see if our chosen Fiend will emerge victorious... if he is the one we have been waiting for.

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*: And the creepy gate that was blocking our way is gone.

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Behind is this room with five doors. Only one of them is open for now.




Image: Well that was something else I never thought I'd do.
Image: Can we go again? It was kinda fun.
Image: The free stuff doesn't hurt, either.
Image: Err, maybe later.

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That must be where I put the candelabrum. Can't hurt to try!

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Huh, this is different.

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Image: Not to be confused with the Amala Network, I suppose.
Image: It is a world completely different from the Vortex World which you came from. It is divided into several regions called Kalpa, and at the very bottom resides our master, the ruler of chaos... If your wish is to pursue the path of creation as a human... then there is no reason for you to stay here long.

*: Long story short, the Labyrinth of Amala is optional expansion content.

Long story long, well...

When Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was first released in Japan, it didn't have the Labyrinth of Amala. It also didn't have Dante, Matador or any other NPC fiend, it didn't have old man Lou and his nurse slash widow, and it had "only" five endings. Following the success of the game, an expanded version was released, adding all of that new stuff in, as well as a sixth ending; it was called Nocturne Maniax. That is the version that was released in English as SMT: Nocturne (or Lucifer's Call).

The five original endings follow "the path of creation", as this spirit just informed us. Decisions we make along the way inform which of these endings we will get. However, the additional sixth ending is on a parallel track.

The Labyrinth is split into five sections, called Kalpas, and you unlock each subsequent section by offering up a certain number of candelabra earned from Fiend battles encountered throughout the game, some of which are entirely optional. Therefore, progress in the Labyrinth is mostly tied to progress in the main story, though the Labyrinth itself is also entirely optional (since it wasn't part of the original game to begin with). However, once you reach a certain point down the Labyrinth, you are locked into the sixth ending, regardless of what other decisions you have made in the main plot. Similarly, once you reach a certain point in the main story, namely the point where one of the other five endings is locked in, you can no longer access the deeper Kalpas.

The Labyrinth itself is a huge dungeon, very reminiscent of the dungeons in the first two games, in that they're clearly set on a grid, and are intended to be much "mazier", with locked doors, switch puzzles, traps, teleporters, that sort of thing. The demons encountered are taken from the main game, but no conversation skills ever function here, and trying them always returns a "They're ready for action!" message. In essence, it's a combat-focused old-school endurance-test sort of challenge. There's good loot, it's great if you need to grind, and you get some really really really interesting plot revelations along the way. If this was any more my wheelhouse, it'd also be a roguelike, heh.

My intention for this LP is to explore the Labyrinth mostly as it becomes available, as long as we're sufficiently high level not to get destroyed by the locals. That said, if healing up from a trip down there is more expensive than the money we'd be earning, I'll be inclined to come back later. I know where the point of no-return is, and armed with the information we'll have acquired along the way, I'll let you guys decide if we follow the path of creation, or whatever other path the master of this place has in mind for us.

One last thing before we start. As I said, the Labyrinth is pretty much raw dungeon, so my write-ups are gonna be a little light on detail. Mostly I expect to mention the new demons and whatever interesting features the place might have, so it'll probably end up more like my earlier LPs.

For now, we'll delve in until we gotta go back to heal, and then we'll return to the Underpass and make our way to Ikebukuro as originally planned.


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Image: The demons are all here for a certain reason, so I doubt they'll join you. Prepare yourself well if you don't want to die.

Image
Image: ...huh.
Image: ...I wonder how it is for you, since you're both human and demon...

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Lv23 Yoma Dis
The Disir are spirits from ancient Norse mythology, alternately ghosts or goddesses, associated with fertility and fate. Individual dis were occasionally worshipped as protectors of the clan which they were said to have belonged to in life, so they might very well fit the "honored ancestor" archetype of human culture, with a distinctly maternal flavor. Their Makajam causes Mute, and Agilao is the upgraded single target fire damage spell.


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Lv28 Yoma Karasu
The Karasu are a subspecies of Tengu, the famous birdmen of Japanese myth. In particular, they're a smaller, more evil subspecies of Tengu, taking the form of crow-men, skulking around just out of sight of the living, and whispering malevolent words in their ears.


*: Other long story short, these last guys are about 10 levels higher than us and we get near enough murdered that I decide to turn back immediately. We'll come back later! Even as we run out we get in a couple fights with groups of four Yakas and it's pretty dang tough. At least Zed gets to level 20 and learns Counter from Marogareh, which does pretty much what you think it does. We abandon Lunge for it; it's not so much better than our regular attack that it deserves the HP expenditure any longer. Counter isn't going to remain with us forever, as enemies that reflect physical damage cause it to be actively harmful to us, but those are far enough away that we'll still get good mileage out of it.

We also get another shot at the tunnel minigame on the way. The room with five doors connects to individual Kalpas you have already unlocked, and each offers a version of this minigame with increasing difficulty and rewards.

Anyway, we go to Ginza, heal up, and hit the Cathedral.


Wilder Zhen + Divine Angel =

Image
Image: ...you have got to be shittin' me.
Image: Haha, hahahahaaaa! Who's the boss now, huh?
Image: Fuckin' 'ell.

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Yoma Isora + Jirae Sudama =

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*: Nozuchi is now our lowest-level member, and we have three open slots. We can finally get this show back on the road.

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*: Whoa dang I didn't even remember Nozuchi could evolve. He's staying the active party for the foreseeable future, then.

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*: A Blob joins us in exchange for a Life Stone in here. I'm tempted to level it up so I can sacrifice it later, but I also want my real party members to get experience.

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Aaaand another open room. Man, this place is big. There's a Mystic Chest right below where we entered, but it's 1/8th rising. Running around to pass time, a Chatterskull asks for a Life Stone and joins up. Considering it's level 20 just like Zed and Forneus, that's kind of a big deal. Good thing I freed up those slots. We also fight groups of four Sudama accompanied by a Nozuchi, but Heat Wave and Bicorn's new Maragi end those battles pretty quick. Mana Aid almost pays for one free Maragi per fight, so it's economical too.


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Image: We're still on the right track, then.
Image: If you're going back to Ginza, head east.

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Image: You can use it to return to the parent terminal.

*: Before we can reach said terminal, we are ambushed by three Nozuchi. Toxic Cloud is a bitch, especially now that we don't have access to Posumudi anymore. Zed levels up again, learning Fog Breath from Wadatsumi. It's equivalent to two stacks of agility debuff, so we replace Sukunda with it.

It's easy to go back and forth in this area and waste a lot of time trying to get to every door and cube and chest, but if you look around carefully and plot a path in advance you can get through with a minimum of backtracking. I'm definitely digging these newfangled 3D dungeons. In a display of good game design, you can get a feel for how these rooms are arranged in the relatively safe Manikin hideout before you get to jump in the deep end with tons of poisonous encounters.

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And another one.


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Image: Yup.
Image: Ikebukuro's right there after you get out of this hall.
Image: Excellent news!
Image: But, there hasn't been a single being that's escaped the Mantra's clutches once they've been caught! ...Gozu-Tennoh isn't a pushover. You'd better be careful.
Image: It's not like I'm going in there to overthrow him. Worse comes to worse, maybe I can convince him I can help fight his enemies.

If that's what it takes to get me closer to Ms. Takao and her answers...

Image: Would ya look at the legs on that one!
Image: I wonder why I ever felt bad for even a second about pulling your guts out through your asshole.
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Image: Well, demons with a gift for gab have skills that calm opponents down when they get upset. A smooth talker like that would be popular with the ladies!

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Image: The world's gonna get even more destroyed?
Image: This place'll be toast in no time.
Image: Oh, right, this Underpass specifically. Yikes, not a good time to be a Manikin.

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*: Another small terminal. We could turn back, but, nah. We must be close to the exit.

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Yeah, that's the way out alright. Can't wait to be away from here.

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Not the most auspicious place to emerge from, but I'll take it.

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There's Magatsuhi emanating from those dirt piles. Man I don't want to think about what's under there.

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*: A hidden chest in the back gives us our first Incense! It's for Magic so it's not the best for us, but it'll still increase our max MP. It also refills our HP to maximum, so I'll hang on to it until we need the healing. Unlike in previous games, we can use Incense on our allies, but incense is rare enough that unless you've got something real specific in mind, I wouldn't recommend doing so.

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Image: All the Mantra demons are there. May their souls rest in peace...

Huh, he speaks as if they were already dead. Strange. Nihilo supporter, maybe?

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You bet.

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Mothra
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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Mothra » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:28 am

Still slowly making my way through this when I'm on the train. Just past HIGH PIXIE and the NIGHTCLUB.

That song is a far cry from the pulse pounding disco of SMT's past.

Mothra wrote:Yeah I've been trying to think of ideas too. Our LP's are what drew in people from TT, I imagine it'd do just as well with a larger audience.

For now at least, you COULD copy-paste this each update to SA to get into the LP Archive. I wouldn't do anything till after we switch servers, though.

Okay yeah, I checked with the guy from LP Archive and he said they only archive SA LPs. I, personally, think it would be worth it to copy+paste there to get it into the Archive + get more eyes on this, but I have no idea what that'll do to your Altervista host.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:02 am

Mothra wrote:That song is a far cry from the pulse pounding disco of SMT's past.


Dang, you can say that again. Dead people have the worst taste in music.

Mothra wrote:Okay yeah, I checked with the guy from LP Archive and he said they only archive SA LPs. I, personally, think it would be worth it to copy+paste there to get it into the Archive + get more eyes on this, but I have no idea what that'll do to your Altervista host.


Yeah, I poked around their LP forum a bit and tried pasting an update into their test site to see how it turned out. They don't seem to do colored text (or they do it in a different way?) and you can't embed youtube videos (to avoid the thumbnails spoiling anything), so it'd take a bit of reformatting, but I could probably get it done alright. I think I'll give it a shot, probably catch them up with an update every two days or so to make sure I don't just dump the whole thing so far on them all at once. The only thing that bugs me and is pretty much unfixable is that I'm referencing my other SMT LPs a bunch (and only describing demons in any detail if they're new or significantly changed); all I can do about that is link them up to fossilized and cross my fingers that they don't get too offended about it. I could copy the old descriptions but I'm not entirely sure that wouldn't be more work than just making up new ones.

On the plus side, they may already have a Nocturne LP, but going through their rules they don't seem to mind multiple threads about the same games. The other one is from 8 years ago, and it'll be significantly different in feel.

Of course, for a long time I've taken pleasure in occasionally reminding myself that I've never given a cent to Lowtax, so that'll have to be the end of that, I suppose.

As for altervista, it was always intended as a temporary solution until the brontohosting situation got settled, in case I wanted to work on updates during whatever downtime would happen, so I don't foresee it being a problem. I'll only need to do a bunch of search/replace on my posts so far to point to the correct address, which I've done for my entire SMT1 run before when I switched away from Dreamhost. It's simple and I only have like 9 updates to go through this time, no sweat.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Mothra » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:17 am

Yeah I mean, if it goes well, could COULD conceivably repost the SMT and SMTII LPs there as well, but yeah, until then, pretty sure they're not gonna mind linking to the old boards.

I don't think I never quite appreciated how much work it is to format an LP until I tried doing my XCom one. All refreshing the preview and finding out my comments were off by two pictures somewhere near the top. Lordy lordy.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:52 pm

Yeah, there's always something that's just a bit off the first time around; if it's not an incorrect link or an image in the wrong place, it's a misplaced color end tag, or a loud pop in one of the videos and you hope to God it's just the encoding or uploading that messed up and you won't have to re-record the whole thing. Just thinking about the time I'll spend to get through this sucker makes me a little dizzy. I'm pretty sure I would have beat the game by now if I spent half the time it took to craft this LP so far just straight playing it alone instead.

So I don't think about it! One step at a time, and the rest is Future François' problem! :D

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:24 pm

*: Before we go, I'd like to point out something.

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We're looking southeast; on the east side, to our left, over the wall, there's a nearby cliff face. Far south, to the right of the cliff, we can see the zen garden desert rising up in the distance.

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That geography is reflected in the overworld map. Once again, someone was paying attention.

Of course, Zoshigaya Cemetary is a real place in Tokyo.

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It's also quite a bit larger than what we see in the game, given that it's roughly ten hectares packed with thousands and thousands of dead people on some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.

Speaking of geography, looking at the region indicator, we're now in the "front" section of the world, directly opposite the Shinjuku Hygienic Hospital.


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Image: ...Some of them'll attack just for talking to them!
Image: Yeah, that sounds like the sort of people who oppose Nihilo's silence policy. I'll consider myself warned.

*: We fight a few Angels and Nozuchi while looking around, and Bicorn learns Bright Might, a passive skill that causes all of the demon's physical attacks to crit as long as Kagutsuchi is full. That's pretty damn strong, and borderline broken if you watch the Kagutsuchi phase before getting in a boss fight. However, in the same level up, Bicorn tries to change a skill, and I allow it: Bright Might turns into Might, which raises critical hit chance regardless of the current phase. It's more broadly useful, if much less exploitable.

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I can see smoke rising from a few spots in the city. Did Nihilo really attack while we were in the Underpass? Or are the Mantra just into burnin' stuff?

*: Before entering Ikebukuro proper, I look around a bit to get the lay of the land.

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We're encountering groups with similar compositions to the Underpass enemies, but there's more of 'em.

Oh crap, all the Sudama are using Kamikaze, sacrificing themselves to deal a lot of damage to a single target. One of them leaves Zed with 8 HP. And then a Nozuchi uses Toxic Cloud.


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Image: Didn't expect to see you back here so soon.
Image: Aw crap. These were jabronis! I was murdering them by the dozens like fifteen minutes ago! What the hell happened?
*: We're long past the point where there is such a thing as a jabroni, my friend. Welcome to the Vortex World.

So, fast forward from the Terminal to where we were. Bicorn learns Bright Might again of course, and I let him change a skill in hopes that Maragi will upgrade... But it still picks up Might. Oh well. In any case, last time I swapped out Bicorn to give Blob a chance to pick up some experience, but Maragi still destroys groups of Sudama, so I keep it around for now, just to be safe.

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This is south of Ikebukuro; you can see the cemetary in the northeast corner. I have no recollection of how you get to that little island.

I don't think it's explicitly stated what those strange red pools are, but I suspect it's Magatsuhi in liquid form. The Mantra demons must be collecting it like the Nihilo are. We can walk through it, but we take damage as we do so.

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And this is as far southwest as we can go. There's clearly another section of overworld to the south, but again, no obvious way to walk there.

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And that's back northeast, behind Ikebukuro: a little dead end. That'll be thorough enough, let's let ourselves in and maybe find a Fountain.


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Hmm, broken glass on the floor, defaced signage. Yeah these guys are clearly less tidy than Nihilo.

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*: Looking up through the ruined ceiling, we can see a tall building not too far away.

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Image: I just got here. Any restaurants to recommend? My dudes are starving.
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Image: I sure didn't arrive here randomly, it's a hell of a schlep. I'm actually going to meet your boss.
Image: Whoa! You've got some balls! But, that just ain't gonna cut it! Guts don't mean shit if you ain't got the power to back it up!
Image: Then allow me the honor!

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*: Dude's weak to Nerve; the Panic ailment from Bicorn's Pulinpa is a Mind ailment, but it still lands. The Oni gets a couple Berserks in anyway, but the fight is over quickly. It's enough to level Zed up. He learns Dia from Ankh, and it replaces Life Bonus. It's good to have high HP, but for physical skills, the more max HP you have, the more HP you end up paying for each use, so having an entire skill slot devoted to increasing max HP by 10% is beginning to feel less attractive than it used to be.

Lv25 Brute Oni
Still your traditional Japanese ogre, though here they're wielding heavy fauchards instead of the usual iron clubs. They resist physical damage and have only War Cry to spend their MP on, so if you don't disable them with some ailment or another, you can expect long, expensive fights.


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*: And that was a fight to the death, the Oni is gone.

Hopefully someone was watching our fight, because I'm not looking forward to crushing the entire Mantra army on my way to ask for their leader's assistance.

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Yup, this is right messy. These guys just don't give a shit.

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Image: What is it now?
Image: We're not as easy as Nihilo, so you better watch your back!

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I need to make use of some very subtle and nuanced diplomacy here.

Image: Some jerkhole gets in my way, I kick his ass. That's all that matters! You think my squad follows me because I do nice things for them, treat them well and offer them my gratitude, esteem and respect?
Image: What a load of old toss!
Image: UNENDING LABOR. WE ARE WORKED TO THE BONE. OUR SPIRITS ARE BROKEN.
Image: wHAt YoU guYS TaLKinG ABout?? mE HaVIng BEsT tIme--
Image: SHHHHH!
Image: Woe is us! Such tyranny! Such... irresistible power! We have to serve him, or be destroyed!
Image: That's right! They follow me because I'm hella strong!
Image: You know your shit, buddy!! You look weak, but you'd make a great addition to the Mantra with that kinda attitude!
Image: Well done guys, Life Stones for everyone!
Image: yAAYyyYYyYyyYyyYYYyYY!

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Image: Yeah, I got a notion.
Image: They're a group of ruffians that have nothing but brawn. Their boss is Gozu-Tennoh. He's in the headquarters.

I bet that their HQ is that tall-ass building outside.

*: Behind those escalators at the entrance is a convenient little area with a Junk Store, a Cathedral of Shadows, and a Large Terminal.

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Image: Oh hey, another one of you guys. How's the alternative lifestyle going with all those macho numbskulls wandering right outside?
Image: ...Don't tell me... You think I'm queer, too!?
Image: Err, I, uh, wouldn't dare presume.
Image: ...Yeesh.

*: This totally-straight Manikin shopkeep carries basic medicine, a bunch of ailment cures, several one-shot attack items, as well as Light Balls and Float Balls, which light up dark areas and protect from traps, respectively. No new Magatama this time, which is certainly a relief for the pocketbook. Light Balls cost 600 and Float Balls cost 400; together that's 1000, which is the minimum purchase required to earn a Lucky Ticket. The items'll come in handy later, so I pick up one of each, leave, pick up another pair, leave, and buy and leave once more, earning us three tickets.

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Image: Not a clue, my good fellow.
Image: It contains information on all demons in existence, but only those that the reader has made a pact with can be viewed...
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Image: From now on, use this compendium to your advantage.
> The Demonic Compendium is now available for use.

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*: And so we unlock the last feature of the Cathedral of Shadows. The Compendium allows us to look at every demon we've ever traveled with. Additionally, we can summon them again from here them again, for a hefty fee. They initially come as the base non-leveled form we would recruit in the wild, but we can also "register" any demon in our active party to make them available in the future as they are at registration time, levels and skills and all, but at an increased price. It's usually good practice to register your entire party every time you visit a Cathedral, but you can only have one version of a given demon in the Compendium at any time, so you want to be careful to avoid overwriting an experienced, well-bred demon record with a weaker version of itself you may have recruited later.

As a kind gesture on the game's part, any demons that we have obtained as a result of fusion so far have been pre-registered as their custom form with all the extra skills and levels that were passed down to them.

There's also another use for the Comp-


Image: Oh wow, Uzume has eyes!
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Image: I don't know what you expected.
Image: ...were you trying to look up her skirt?
Image: Err...
Image: ...
*: ...
Image: ...no?
Image: Really?
Image: I swear!
Image: Aw, that's too bad. Tell you what, pay the old crew a visit next time Amaterasu throws a fit, will you? I'll tell Sarutahiko to let you in.
Image: ...you're still the best goddess ever.

*: So, yeah, model viewer. Neat!

In other news...


Beast Nekomata + Megami Uzume =

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Lv21 Holy Unicorn
It is... a unicorn. I made sure to give it Sexy Gaze just in case we meet any bronies.


*: There doesn't seem to be a Fountain nearby, so we use the Terminal for a quick round trip to Ginza.

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...okay I might qualify for legally blind at this point, it was right by the entrance.

There's a doorway leading east, towards the skyscraper, but I decide to explore the other floors first. Let's go up.


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Image: Yay, slavery. Huzzah.
Image: Hyahahahahaha! Might makes right!

*: And right behind this pleasant gentleman...

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Image: But, if you get too close, you'll be arrested.

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I know they're not human, but...

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Image: Woe is me! Life's too short...

I'd better think carefully about who I throw my lot in with.

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Lv13 Beast Inugami
Like the Shikigami, the Inugami is a manufactured spiritual being, brought into existence by a sorcerer of some description. Except it's not made out of paper. You make an Inugami by tying up a dog, leaving some food and water just out of its reach, then letting it starve to near-death, at which point you decapitate it, bury its head under a street, and perform a black magic ritual over its remains.

Image: Okay, that might be the most messed up one yet. And to think I felt bad about what happened to Pascal...
The Inugami, birthed in fear, anguish and rage, is an instrument of murder bound to the will of its summoner, capable of using terrible magic and of possessing humans. But it remembers who is responsible for its tormented existence, and is always looking for an opportunity to break free and avenge its own death.

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Lv20 Brute Momunofu
Still an ancient warrior deity of the pre-Shinto Japanese pantheon, guardian and retainer to the god Arahabaki. They're sturdy and reliable physical fighter types, somewhat unexciting and one-note but very effective at what they do.


*: And now for the basement.

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Image
Image: Aw hell, not that shitlord again.
Image: Thanks to him, the Mantra finally look like an organization.

*: I bring in Chatterskull because I'd like it to learn Dekaja next level, but it immediately gets near-murdered by two Yakas getting lucky crits on Venom Claw so I bench it until the next Fountain visit. This is a rough neighborhood.

I also notice that Kamudo is going to teach us Focus on the next level, so I ingest it right away. The physical resistance will come in handy against the punch-n-stab types around here.


Image
Image: ...Isamu!

I hope he's not on his own in this den of assholes.

*: Apart from a bead in a cube, that's it for the basement. The place is just wrecked. We've cleared the west hall, so we're heading east.

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Okay, that's sufficiently ominous.

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Image: How did I guess.
Image: You shouldn't go near it.
Image: I have to, but maybe I'll gather some more information first.

*: We go east again, to the East Hall.

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This side isn't looking great either.


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Another pile of dirt with Magatsuhi emerging and floating away. That never stops being disturbing to think about.

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Hmm, nothing of interest on this side of the room. But there are other entrances, let's go around.

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Image: ...I can't wait!

Huh, now that I think about it, the Nihilo really haven't attacked yet. The place is just wrecked because it's inhabited by place-wreckers.

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My interest is piqued. Now how do I get there from here?

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Image: A lot of my friends are being drained right now.

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Image
Image: But, they made Thor angry and were kicked out. I hear they've become thieves! Those four were real strong. ...Ever heard of them?
Image: Nope!
Image: Heck, I've met them.
*: But you don't count.
Image: Bah.

*: During a conversation with Momunofu after which he took a few hundred Macca and still hesitated...

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Nozuchi tried to use its Flatter passive conversation skill...

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...though quite unsuccessfully. The Momunofu asked for our last Chakra Drop and got pissed off when I refused him.

Oh hell, after the fight I tried using Forneus' Dia to heal up, but I picked Riberama by accident, increasing the frequency of random encounters. We're on 1/8th rising Kagutsuchi too, so it'll be an entire cycle until it expires. I better hurry back to the Fountain and wait there, there's no way I'm exploring this area with Riberama on.

At least this is good EXP. Zed levels up again, and we replace Berserk with Focus. We also manage to recruit a Momunofu after several failed attempts. I really want one of these guys because I remember their evolution is something special.

Now that we've got one on board...


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Image: ...!!!

*: And speaking of evolution...

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Lv24 Dragon Gui Xian
The tortoise called Gui Xian is one of the Four Benevolent Animals of Chinese myth, dwelling in the gardens of the Yellow Emperor. However, it seems as though there was a goof in translation, because given the snake tail, the creature we have here would be in fact known as Xuan Wu, or Genbu, the Black Turtle, guardian of the north. The two myths do seem to be closely related though, along the whole Four Heavenly Kings myth, and historically there seems to be a lot of overlap. In any case, this particular fellow is associated with winter, and it will go on to learn various offensive ice spells.

The Dragon race is, well, dragons. We knew them as the Ryujin, and they're the divine and wise sort.


*: At long last, Kagutsuchi rests for a moment, and Riberama expires. We should be safe to go back.

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Ah, there we are.

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Image
Image: That's pretty much the only way on foot.
Image: Ah... Is the hideout still okay?
Image: Your people were fine when I left, no worries.

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Image: Aw hell, come on you guys. Don't make me do this. In fact, why don't you come with me? I'll take you home.
Image: You want me? I'll be your friend. Friend... Friend???
> It seems the Manikin has no clue what you are talking about.

Must be a... defective one somehow? Yeah, no, we're not doing this. I'm sure they can't run very fast anyway.

Lv13 Corpus Manikin
Weak, human-like creatures. They seem to exist solely to experience emotions and generate Magatsuhi, making their lot in life rather unenviable.

"Corpus" is Latin for "body", which is sadly telling of their role in the Vortex World.


*: We retreat.

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Ah, just in time!

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Chakra Pots restore one ally's MP to full, that's a great find. Aaaand that's all of Ikebukuro cleared out. Except of course...


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Image: I'm jealous.

*: As we near the top of the stairs, I realize there's a sort of mezzanine up there, so I suppose we weren't all cleared out after all!

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Image: That's some skill those Nihilo demons have.

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Image: And he's got lots of it, that's for sure.

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Image: I eAT thEM aLL!
Image: So you eat trash then. Clever.

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Image: They're just whimpering dogs! Those pathetic puppets!

Image
Image: ...huh?
Image: Let's take everything he gots.
Image: Oh this ought to be good for a laugh.

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*: Chatterskull and Forneus stun the both of them in the first round. We take two War Cries to the face so the fight takes a while, but they never really had a chance.

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One cube with two Beads, one cube with a heavy damage trap, and a Mystic Chest with Strength Incense. Glorious!


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Image: I don't need stupid Life Stones, I want that! You know, that!
Image: I... don't think you can get that at the Junk Store.

*: Alright, back on track at last.

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Image: Don't ask how I can tell, but this little dude seems familiar.
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Image: ............ But, I'm too scared to go in, hee ho! The fire's hot, too...

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Classic » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:03 am

I'd kinda thought you'd want to START with those previous LPs.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:06 pm

I thought about it, but... From their rules thread...

Don’t dump or re-post previously-completed LPs.
Barring a high-quality LP, posting a finished LP is frowned upon.


I assume it would be extraordinarily bad form to start with doing so. In-thread audience interaction is half the point, and given how I've already taken votes and generally discussed with you guys during the process, I couldn't even fake the goons having a say in what's going on in SMT 1 & 2. At least Nocturne hasn't reached a major decision point yet so I'll be able to catch them up without robbing them of influence. Also, reformatting the first LPs to fit SA would take a lot of time that I don't have, I'd have to put Nocturne on hold for a while.

As for being high-quality, well I'm hardly the most appropriate judge of that, but as much as I still like what I've done on it, there's no getting around the fact that SMT 2 was abandoned.

There are two dozen LP threads that have been posted on today just on the first page of the forums, and I'm sure there's hundreds of jackasses flaunting their rules at any given time. Trust me, I'm really the first guy who wants to share my stuff with more people, but the last thing I want to do is hop in there and act like they need to start making exceptions for me from the get-go. I mean, I've been here for more than fifteen years, but to them I might as well be SoraCross for all they know.

I don't know, am I ridiculous here? Maybe I'm just being too careful, and they're more laid back than I suspect? I have absolutely no idea! :D

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Classic » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:39 am

I did not even care to check out their rules thread.
I mostly wanted to get the choice completed stuff (i.e. including other LPers youknowwhoyouare) into the Archive, just in case of severe-double-fossilization happening. Which is why I thought about petitioning the archive directly. Having started the thread on SA might help give some reason for including them in the archive, but I don't know that it's particularly stronger.

I assume you've at least back-linked to our LPs and given a primer on how you're roleplaying the various MCs from the previous threads.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:05 am

Oh I haven't started yet, but I definitely won't give them the same cold open. There'll be a first post with links to fossilized (and, well, to here of course) and a basic explanation of what's going on for sure; I'll make sure everything's on the table from the beginning and anyone with half a brain will know exactly what I'm doing. Having complete transparency is gonna be the guiding principle in general.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:32 pm

Welp, there we are, fingers crossed.

I hate to do this after that kind of cliffhanger, but I'll be putting this side on hold until they're caught up (should take about ten days). Don't worry, I ain't forgetting my brontoroots. In any case, I really don't want to maintain two different versions of each update, so from now on I'll be using italics instead of colored text, and the videos will be linked rather then embedded. Cosmetics, amirite?

Whew.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Mothra » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:18 am

Nah, that's awesome. I'm still slowly working my way toward catching up when I'm on the train, so 10 days is not a problem.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Mothra » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:28 pm

Dannnggg okay, great response so far. I'd call it a success.

Also how many posts does it take till they let you switch the newbie avatar?

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:28 pm

Yeah I'm overall pretty happy with how it's going. For the first several hours I had plenty of folk looking but not saying anything, and I was like "okay, I'm a village boy just arriving in the big city with tall dreams and a little suitcase, what was I even expecting", but I was being dumb, it's definitely picking up steam. Dang but I miss my colored text though. When I started using it for SMT1 I was afraid it was going to be garish, but now that I'm in black-and-white it feels kinda boring to look at. Even now I'm still fiddling with the format; I'm trying quote tags for demon descriptions today to signify that it's an aside of sorts.

As for the avatar, I don't think it's postcount-related; either you buy it (5 bucks), or someone buys one for you (10 bucks). Might be wrong on that though!

I gotta say, it still feels strange to look at that forum, and it's all, oh hey there's a thread by Slowbeef and Diabetus, and there's Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus doing Watch_dogs, and there's [insert other LP legend from some of the first LPs I ever watched well nigh a decade ago], and here I am, FrankZP, right next to 'em, making ghost fart jokes. :D

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Mothra » Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:09 pm

Wh- you gotta BUY an avatar? Feh. Feh!

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:37 pm

Well, it's like the old saying goes: money makes the world go rounder.

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Classic » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:27 pm

I'm going to pretend my current lack of avatar is in solidarity with you.

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