Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:21 am

Image: This is quite the pickle.
Image: Give it a shot. He went through a lot of trouble to get you on board, he's not going to stomp you into paste for saving his life.
Image: Well then! Sir, I humbly recommend you reconsider... hmm?
Image: Ha!
Image: It's probably because I'm a new hire, but I'm unfamiliar with this hand signal.
Image: It means he thinks you're number one.
Image: I'm flattered but I don't see how this is relev-
Image: Oh, for... Step aside, this is no time to mess around.
Image: I'll drink to that.
Image: ZED! YOU ARE ENGAGING IN PHYSICAL CONGRESS WITH A SUCCUBUS. QUIT IT.
Image: Who to the what, now?
Image: Shut up!
Image: Are you going to leave me to deal with hell's own daycare alone now?
Image: WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?
Image: Long story.
Image: Oh crap, I don't know what got into me.
Image: It looked like a tongue.
Image: Heyo!
Image: I don't think anyone can cast a Posumudi strong enough to cure testosterone poisoning. My husband gets that way sometimes. It's kind of cute, when it's not impossibly irritating.
Image: So, that's it? You're just going to stop there?
Image: Yyyyeah, pretty much. I'm... sorry?
Image: Eh, this is the most action I've had since the Renaissance. And besides, I'm not giving up yet!
Image: Just use protection next time.
Image: Huh?
Image: Don't you have one of those bug things you eat all the time that'll protect you from that sort of stuff?
Image: ...oh! Right!
Image: Well there's no fun in it anymore, then.
Image: Wait, you actually want to kill me?
Image: You spent twenty-three thousand Macca to get me on your team, I thought you knew what we're all about.
Image: Hmm, fair enough!
Image: So, can I stay?
Image: Oh, dang, of course! I asked you to kiss me, what kind of scumbag would I have to be to kick you out because you did it?
Image: Okay okay okay everything's settled, nobody died, we're all good. Can we go check out Asakusa now?
Image: I... I want to ask Kamala about the next horseman. I really don't want us to get ambushed like this again.
Image: We're never going on this tour, are we?
Image: I promise you, if there's still an Asakusa the next time we return from the Labyrinth, we're gonna explore every last corner of it.
Image: So, will you be paying customers anytime soon, or did you just come here to make a spectacle of yourself?
Image: My apologies, miss Lady. Please, take my money.

*: We finally have a chance to recover. It's suprisingly cheap by now considering the money we're making, and we have 72084 Macca in our pockets when we leave.

Image: Oh, hey, Princess. A word, please, before we go.
Image: What is it?
Image: Thanks.
Image: Ha! Don't mention it. It was fun. You would have done the same for me, right?
Image: Yeah, I would have. I'm glad you stayed.
Image: I don't know for sure what was waiting for me back in Yoyogi Park, but it cannot have been more exciting than traveling all this way with you.
Image: Let's keep at it then, shall we?
Image: Wherever it takes us.

*: I'd like to buy Smoke Balls, which guarantee escape from battle, so I warp to all stores in succession to see if anyone sells them. I think Rag trades them for gems, but I'm not entirely sure you can't buy them for money elsewhere. However, when we get to the Great Underpass...

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Image: Oh dang. The next one's here.
Image: Does that mean we don't have to go see Kamala?
Image: I'm sorry, but after we're done beating this guy into bone salad, we'll still need to know where the next one is. Look, I want to check out the Manikin's handiwork at least as much as you do, but...
Image: I know, I know. Survival comes first. You're taking such good care of us!
Image: You do realize she's a catgirl version of me, right?
Image: Ladies, ladies, if I ever lose my mind again and decide I want to die in a whirlwind of lust and passion, I'm sure there'll be plenty of me to go around.



*: Okay, so. Terrorblade does physical damage and can cause Panic, Wind Cutter is force damage, and Bolt Storm is electricity, natch. Lessee... Zed getting Panicked would be devastating, so Iyomante is a must. I need Valkyrie at least to take out the Powers, and she still has Void Mind on. Kikuri-Hime and Succubus are also immune to Mind ailments, so if I wait until New K to fight, that should be damage and healing taken care of even if Valkyrie bites it. It doesn't give us any relevant elemental resistance, but I still think we can do this.



*: Aw man, I was hoping not to get enough exp to level up with a mastered Magatama on, but here we are. Oh well. The rest of the fight went a lot better this time though. Seeing as we know how to deal with Divine sidekicks by now, this isn't really a gimmick fight anymore, it's a question of crafting a party that can survive the Rider's offense. I didn't realize that Needle Rush doesn't autocrit from Dark Might, but the guaranteed 150 damage per turn still added up.

Divine Power
Ranked sixth among the orders of angels, the Powers are the scholars of Heaven, serving as advisors and planners. They are also mighty warriors, second-to-none in their loyalty to God... though it is theorized that Satan may actually have been the leader of the Powers before he fell.


Fiend Red Rider
"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." -Revelations 6:4


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*: This is still not enough to unlock the next Kalpa, so we're back to the shopping excursion. Aaaand no luck, it looks like Rag has a monopoly on Smoke Balls. I guess I kinda knew already, but I wasn't 100% sure. So! He asks for one Onyx and one Aquamarine for each; we have 17 of the former and 8 of the latter. Hmmm... I'll take two. We already had three. It'll have to do. You can get demons who know the Trafuri spell, which does the same thing, but we don't have much room to experiment with recruits right now.

Oooh, while I'm here, I pick up two Dekaja Rocks too, for a Garnet and a Coral each. Sarutahiko knows the spell but it doesn't hurt to have backups and I used up our only one to strip off the Rider's Tarukaja.

Alright, now that we're done, it's time to finish up some business in the Labyrinth.


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Image: I think you should stay away from there.
Image: The Third Kalpa? I can't even go down there yet. At least this means he's out of our hair for now.
Image: But, something's kinda weird... This one feels different from the others. I wonder why?
Image: Huh, it must be Dante then. How did he manage to get past the pedestal? Hmm. Well, anyway, thanks for the info, little lady.

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*: This is the vault in the First Kalpa. There are three Cubes in here. One has a Deathstone, one has an Attack Mirror, and the last one...

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Inventory screen says "A visor that allows its wearer to witness events of the past".


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*: If that's not our cue to revisit a Burial Chamber...

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This is Forneus' tombstone. Zed ingests Miasma, and our party consists of Mizuchi, Troll, and Gui Xian.


> You recall the battle against Forneus...

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*: Poor sap doesn't even get a turn.

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*: Two turns? That's odd. Hmm. In any case, here's the deal. Burial Chambers allow you to fight boss battles again. You do get experience and cash from them, but it's so little of either that it's essentially useless for grinding. The point is to try to kill bosses in the least amount of turns possible, as a sort of time attack. If you can beat a pre-determined record for every boss whose tombstone shows up, you get an extra turn icon in your New Game+ (meaning that the Demi-fiend counts for two icons, like most bosses). It's a huge bonus, but considering it has no effect whatsoever until we start a new game and make it all the to the first Burial Chamber again, I don't expect it's something I'll spend a lot of time worrying about.

Alright then, last order of business in the Labyrinth today.


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Image: Alright kid, wish me luck.



*: Well, that was an ordeal and a half. I really should have used more Smoke Balls, but I figured I had so few that I'd prefer saving most of them for the trip back.

Vile Tao Tie
The Tao Tie is ancient Chinese monster said to be one of the Four Evil Creatures of the world. It was known for its insatiable appetite and bottomless greed, so much so that even today its name is still associated with these concepts


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Image: Whoever you are, I hope you're worth the hell out of this.
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Image: I can't believe someone would really come all the way down here...
Image: What can I say, I like to live life dangerously.
Image: ...You see, I made a bet with a buddy of mine. If someone actually made it this far down, I'd have to give that person a prize. Looks like I lost. Here, take this.
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Image: ...!
*: ...!
Image: ...!
Image: ...!
Image: ...!
Image: God... damn!
Image: ...!
Image: Can I borrow-
Image: NO.
Image: I like you. Come back later and I'll tell you something you might wanna know.
Image: Mmmmmaybe.
Image: Who's a filthy bourgeois now, I wonder?

*: Well then. I... didn't quite remember what was down here. In fact I'm pretty sure I've never even remembered to come back down here, ever. Welp!

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Good Lord this feels like cheating. But it's not!

*: Time to hoof it back up. Fortunately there are one-way doors along the way, which are a mean trick if you don't watch your automap, but should help us get out of here with slightly less hassle.

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Image: Yeah so I haven't-
Image: I 'on't care!
Image: What's up with you?
Image: Dude I have all the money.
Image: Huh?
Image: I have all the money so hard that I'm pretty sure no one else has any money now. I don't think the universe can contain more currency than is in my possession. It would break a law of thermodynamics. I forgot which one.
Image: That... that's nice.
Image: No, you don't understand. I have all the money.
Image: I gotcha. Now if you'll just let me-
Image: I'll buy your hat. I don't even like your hat, but I'll buy it anyway. Here's ten thousand Macca.
Image: My hat's not for sale, kid.
Image: One hundred thousand Macca.
Image: I am in no position to spend any money you would give me, and besides, I'm not selling you my hat.
Image: You will rue the day.
Image: Yeah, yeah, never heard that one before.
Image: I don't think you get it. I have-
Image: Greed has brought low greater men than you, master.
Image: What are you talking about? I am physically unable of experiencing greed, due to how I have all the money. I don't think any of you realize how much of all the money I have. I have all of all the money.
Image: Okay, okay, I know what's going on. Princess, care to cast Me Patra?
Image: Ah, good idea! Let's see...
Image: Whoa, dang, what happened? I think I blacked out. What... what was I thinking about...? It vaguely feels... like I'm forgetting something... something important...
Image: Don't think about money!
Image: HOLY SHIT I HAVE ALL THE MONEY.
Image: Nice work, genius!
Image: No, I'm fine, I'll be fine. I have all the money, everything's gonna be fine.
Image: Well, that's great. Can we visit the Fountain now? All the money wasn't exactly free.
Image: Good point. I really should buy something and make sure I don't have all the money anymore. Get the economy going and everything. It's such a weight, such a responsibility. Let's go. Let's go make the world a better place, with money.
Image: And punching!
Image: Yes. Yes! Money and punching, the solutions to all problems. Glorious!

Image: Welcome...
Image: Did you know I have all the money?
Image: It's always something weird with you, isn't it?

*: We heal up, save, and hit the Cathedral. There have been a couple fusions I've been thinking about but was hesitant to proceed with on account of how I wasn't sure if I was ready to do without the ingredients, but since we have access to the compendium and (nearly) all of the money, that's hardly a problem now.

Image: Gui Xian, Senri, you're up.
Image: It'll be weird to be just one guy again.
Image: Boy, I can't wait.
Image: Already?
Image: Well, it's time. We'll still go looking around Asakusa, it'll just be a little different.
Image: I never really cared about Asakusa, I just wanted to walk around with you without worrying about fighting for a bit.
Image: Oh please.
Image: Come on, class it up a little, will ya?
Image: ...can do.
Image: Alright, it's been a pleasure, it really has been. See you on the other side.

Dragon Gui Xian + Holy Senri =

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*: We could have outright hired a Naga in Kabukicho, but not one decked out like this. This one's also one level below Senri's, but by the time he learns his last skill, he'll be three levels above and is going to evolve on top of that. Oh, and before I forget, Drain Attack is a passive skill that causes the demon's standard attack to absorb about a quarter of the inflicted damage as HP.

Alright, we're pretty close to being in an ideal position to make another fusion, but not just yet. Still, one free slot, that's like a breath of fresh air.


Image: Asakusa, here we come!
Image: The thought of it is strangely pleasant.
Image: Ha, I bet it is.

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Image
Image: ...But, we'll clean it all up, because it's our city!

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*: We could go further north up the alley, but there's this one door here that we check out first.



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Man, has this place always been this creepy?

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Image: Oh hey, good to see you!
Image
Image: ...Oh! It's you! It's me, remember? Y'know, from the Underpass and the Prison... Me!
Image: Absolutely, my good fellow. What's going down?
Image: ...I was thinking of opening a store here -- making use of all my experience. It's a mess now, so it'll be a while before I'll be able to open up. But, I'll hook you up, so come on by after I open!
Image: Oh absolutely. I still have most of the money, so it'll be my pleasure.
Image: Most of what money?
Image: Al-
Image: No, no no no no. It's a lot of cash, let's leave it at that. Goodbye!

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Image: Heyo, old timer.
Image
Image: ...Whoa! It's you! Do you remember me?
Image: How could I forget?
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Image: Oh it's been amazing. I have so much money now.
Image: I see, I see! We're doing well living in Asakusa. This is all thanks to Futomimi's leadership. Futomimi is in our holy land of Mifunashiro. Go and see him.
Image: Aight, that's the plan. Keep on keepin' on!

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*: There are two exits from here, west and east. Going west...

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Image
Image: Yeah, if you're gonna be people, that'll happen. Shame.
Image: He's ruthless, tearing the skins off other Manikins.
Image: Whoa.
Image: He might be around here, so be careful!
Image: Thanks for the heads-up!

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Image
Image: There goes the neighborhood.

Welp, death sure didn't improve their disposition.

*: The west gate here leads outside, but I want to check out the eastern side first.

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And we're outside again. However, there's only one other place accessible from here.


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Image
Image: But, looking at Tokyo as a whole, we see Nihilo taking over, and that's no laughing matter. Nihilo has no rival. Are we just going to sit here, watching Nikawa make his world of stillness?
Image: Well, I can't do anything about anything right now, but I got people looking into it.

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Image: She must have some guts.
Image: She sure does.

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Image: Oh, it felt sooooo good!
Image: ...huh.

Image: Well I'll be! A Puzzle Boy machine!
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Image: Hey kid. What's going down?
Image: You wanna know what games humans used to play?
Image: Ha, believe me, I know already.
Image: I already beat this game...
Image: So did I, actually. I bet I could do it again with my eyes closed.
Image: Well, you won't last a minute. It's over before it even starts. If you can win, I'll give you an insect-like thing.
Image: Oooh, can't have too many of those.
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Image: Watch a master at work, kid.
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Music: Puzzle Boy
*: This track is a remake of the SMT1 overworld map theme!
Image: If you have any questions, open up the menu and select Help. Are you ready? Then, let's start!

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*: So! This is a block pushing puzzle, kind of a fancied-up Sokoban. I'll be posting images of all stages, but for the solutions, well, this is really out of scope for this LP! I beat all the rooms myself a while back, but now that I know I could, I'll be using a guide at some point, because some of 'em are pretty damn mean and I remember nothing.

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*: To my own surprise, I haven't resorted to a guide yet. Yaaay!

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*: ...gaaaaaaaah I'm not made out of time, gamefaqs it is. Behold my failure, Internet!

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*: Man did I spend too much time on this.

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Image: I guess that means you beat it, right?
Image: Well...
*: Technically, yes.
Image: Ugh...... That's fine. You can have this insect-like thing.
> You obtained the Magatama Geis.
Image: You can come again, you know.
Image: That's-
*: NO THANKS BYE.
Image: Well, I've beaten it anyway.

*: If I never have to do this again, it'll be too soon.

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Geis is a well-rounded Magatama. Nullifying Expel without enduring any weaknesses in return can come in handy; the first skill it would teach us is Diarama.

On our way further inside, we run into Sudama, Shikome, Nue, and Pisaca. The place is not as safe as I'd have hoped.


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Image: What was it? The 'Nightmare System'?
Image: Hikawa has such a gift for names.

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*: A staircase and an exit take us to this area of the overworld, which only has a Cube with a Magic Mirror in it. Back in we go, to a fork with a dead end and another way out.

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That hill in the center must be Mifunashiro, but we'd need to go through one of the two buildings across the bridges to get there. Hmmmm... Let's say north.

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Whooops.


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Image: It'll be a while before you'll be able to get through here. Come back later.

*: South it is, then. I dig the little construction signs the Manikins are reusing. "Sorry for the apocalyptic mess! We're fixing it as fast as we can!"


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Image: He sees the future by meditating.

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*: There's a small terminal here, probably as a convenience.

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Apart from Valkyrie's Agilao, we haven't had any fire damage in a while. But the one we try to chat up takes some HP and a Bead, then leaves.

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These rooms contain an Attract Pipe (single-use Riberama), 3000 Macca (wow!), and...


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Image: What happened to the human boy at the Mantra's jail? Did he escape?
Image: Yeah, you could say that.
Image: ...That hat bugs me.
Image: I know!

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*: Almost there!



*: I call it "atmosphere", but there's actually a short melody kicking in after a bit and now I wish it was on the soundtrack because it's amazing. It really lets you know this is a sacred place. Whatever power resides here is not to be trifled with.

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And here's a large terminal.


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Image: Hello. I thought I'd pay you guys a visit. I like what you're doing with the place!
Image: Just as I foresaw, you have come to Asakusa. We are fated to meet again... Although, that is all I can say at this point.
Image: You seem like a square enough fellow, I look forward to it.
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Image: As much as I could, yeah.
Image: Everyone is doing their best to restore the city. This is the first city we Manikins have ever considered as our own, after all.
Image: I feel better about this than I expected, to be honest.
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Image: Though you may 'see' our land, you may not 'enter' it any further.
Image: Eh?
*: It's easy to miss, but Futomimi has a resolute, borderline threatening expression here.
Image: This is the holy land of the Manikins, Mifunashiro. Beyond here is our motherland, where we were born... Even if we owe you our lives, I cannot let you past here.
Image: Ah, I see. Well, I'm not gonna lie, it looks like an interesting place, but I understand your reasons.
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Image: No biggie, I was just being nosy anyway.
Image: Now, I must return to my meditations. I have to foresee our new future. I need to find out what I need to do to create a world where Manikins can live in peace.
Image: Sure, you're a religious leader, and, well, a leader in general too. I won't keep you from your duties.
Image: ............
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*: Back to a more relaxed expression.
Image: Beware of a Manikin named Sakahagi. He's a traitor to our cause, having committed various atrocities. He's probably hiding out somewhere in Asakusa... He might cause you some trouble, but please understand that he is not one of us.
Image: Yeah, I get your meaning. I promise I won't take offense. In fact, if he gets in my way I just might find myself... uh... solving him for you.
Image: ............ Now, I must be going...
Image: Well, it was good to meet you again. Best of luck with everything!
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I don't know what I expected. I'm not one of them, and he's not... one of whatever it is I am.

I don't belong here.

I didn't even realize that I thought I did, but now that I know I don't, it's like... it's like...

Hijiri's my only remaining lead towards Ms. Takao. Let's head back.

*: We hop through the nearby terminal back to Nakamise-Douri.

Image: Are you feeling better?
Image: Kinda. Any good news?
Image: Progress is being made.
Image: It'll have to do. Hey, uh...
Image: What?
Image: Your hat looks good on you. Very, um, very "style".
Image: ...thanks.

*: Nowhere to go but to the west of the main intersection here.

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Man I don't know how these tunnels could be any creepier. I wonder if the Manikins just like them that way.

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This is not good.

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I didn't mean that as a challenge!

User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:56 pm

In case the cursed corridor video is blocked for you (congratulations, you're American!), you may want to try this one instead.


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François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:21 pm

Aight, I'mma have to go off schedule for a bit, the holidays being what they are. Man but does Christmas sneak up on ya when you're having fun, doesn't it? Friends and family, amirite?

Image: ...

I mean, precious moments! Gotta treasure 'em!

Image: Nice save.

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

Postby Mothra » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:44 pm

I HAVE TIME AGAIN

Catching up

User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:45 pm

Image: Hey! Hey! Stay with me! What happened here?
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Image: It's Sa... Sakahagi... Th-That traitor, Sakahagi is going wild... up ahead...
Image: Alright, stay here, I'm going in. If he comes back, play dead. If that doesn't work... scream as loud as you can.

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*: There are hallways west and north from here. It looks like the blood smears are mostly on the northern path, but it's hard to discern a directionality and there are pools and stains at either end. Still, north it is.

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There's more corridor north but the blood seems to lead to this door. We run into Shikome, Orthrus and Nue; considering the latter two like to spam Fire Breath and Ice Breath, this would be a bad time to ingest Murakumo.


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Damn... he's gone already. I suppose he's smart enough not to pick a fight with me.

*: Given that he's up eight steps from where we're standing, it's hard to tell if Sakahagi is meant to be looking us in the eyes, but unlike Futomimi he certainly does have the typical Manikin twitch.

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Cripes, what a mess.

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I should probably go after... him...

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...huh.

*: The Cubes here are empty. We turn back to the main corridor and check with the Manikin by the entrance.

Image: Uh... Ugh...... ...Sakahagi left...

I might as well check out the rest of this place. Maybe there'll be some sort of clue.

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Image: He's an evil Manikin...
Image: If not an especially thorough one.

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*: Haven't seen these in a while!

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Image: ...Is Sakahagi gone yet?
Image: For now, at least.

*: Aaaaand that's it, that's all there is to see in here. We leave and return to Nakamise-Douri. Neither the spirits nor the Manikin at the entrance have anything new to say, about Sakahagi or anything else, so I presume he didn't come through here. We register, heal up, and head for the Terminal.



Image: Well hey, it took a while, but I have to hand it to you, you sure did find a good place to point me at. Let's get this show back on the road.

*: We warp to Ginza. We've been to this secondary entrance before, getting back there should be a cinch. I drop by Nyx's Lounge in case there's something new going on, but there isn't. We get outside, head east to the highway north of Harumi Warehouse, and go around crossing Rainbow Bridge towards Tokyo Tower again.

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This dome doesn't have the spinning drums of the Nightmare System, and it hasn't been messed up by the Mantra either.

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From the entrance, we can access a small empty room, and this express elevator to B15. It must be going to those other doors near the true core that we saw but couldn't reach from the main building.

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Someone forgot to pay the power bill.

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So it's more Nihilo-type dungeon but in the dark.

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We do know the core lies to the east, though. So we go the opposite way! What if there's loot?

...first Cube contains Medicine. Second Cube contains a trap that poisons our entire active party. No one knows Posumudi anymore, but we've accumulated 29 Dis-Poisons, so it's no biggie.

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Aaaand here's a good reason to have a Succubus in the squad.

Next up... A Tetraja Rock, an explosion trap that cuts our HPs in half, and a Bead.

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This door in the south is still lit up!

A fight earns Sarutahiko another level thanks to his Watchful skill. He learns Counter and maxes out his slots, but I want to level him up one more time so he can learn and pass down Focus.

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The power comes in sporadically in this hall, and it looks like water droplets are falling from the ceiling.

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As I suspected.

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There's an incredibly long corridor to the north here, but the encounter gauge is blue and we run into no further opposition.

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There's a convenient large Terminal here, and the ground floor exit.

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Oooh, this is new. We are now in the "top" section of the Vortex World.

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Ah-ha! That's the Lucky Find paying off! Lessee...

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Not bad!

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That's the Obelisk alright. The nearby Cube holds three Life Stones.

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We could head for the center right away, but I want to see how far I can explore beforehand. We run into Badb Catha, Principalities and Powers around here. They're easy to underestimate; one of them kills off Naga with Hamaon. Kikuri-Hime is again of inestimable value.


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Image: That's strange, I could have sworn you had all the money.
Image: Well, we've spent more than 10000 since, someone must have stashed some here recently. The Minister, I bet. He seems the type.
Image: Rrrright.

*: As we travel further, Naga finds a Bead. I never really used Lucky Find before, but this is pretty cool. I don't know if I'll care to pass it down over anything of combat value, though. We'll see.

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Image: His name was Lord Masakado Taira. He's probably watching over us, even now...

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*: This little gravestone is the only enterable building in this entire region, besides the Nihilo entrance and the Obelisk.

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Or, well. For some values of "enterable", anyway. There's nothing for us here. Back to the big cigar!


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*: Interesting. This is a Nihilo facility, but given all the squares, this is more like Mantra architecture. Except Mantra architecture looks sharp, and raw, like you'd cut yourself leaning against a wall, while this looks almost worn with age. Maybe the Obelisk would normally be an unaffiliated location, but the Nihilo have just taken it over. It does sit on the exact location of the north pole.

It's a subtle effect, but the atmospheric music here gets louder as we approach the pillar in the center of the room, and the stereo mix always makes it clear that's exactly where it's coming from. This isn't external soundtrack, that's what the real deal sounds like.


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Image: No, really.
Image: This is the closest you'll ever get to Kagutsuchi, in all of Tokyo.

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Looks like this is going a few stories down. I hope the building isn't as deep as it is tall.

*: There's a small terminal in the west here, connected to the big Nihilo terminal we were at a few moments ago. It'd already be a bit of a hike walking back here from a healing trip.

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Image: Jackpot, Hijiri.
Image: She is collecting Magatsuhi with her powers...

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Lv33 Vile Baphomet
Baphomet is a pagan deity that was actually made up by Christians during the Middle Ages. At first it was a demonization of "Mahomet", the latinized name of Muhammad, but it's most famous on account of how the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping it. In the early 14th century, King Philip IV of France was heavily financially indebted to the Templars, and the Church had grown jealous of their wealth and influence; Templar leaders confessed to idolatry and various other sins and crimes under torture, and some were executed when they later recanted their confessions. In the end most Templar personnel and assets were absorbed into the Knights Hospitalier, who presumably from then on knew better than to get too big for their britches.


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*: We go all the way around the room, and apart from a Dis-Mute in a corner, there isn't much to it left other than a lift platform in the north wall.

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This place looks serene enough, but I'm getting some pretty rough memories coming back...

This is 15F. From the center here, we can go south, west and east, visibly to more lifts. I'm not sure where to go first so, let's say, east. We run into groups of Eligors, along with Karasu and Dis; the Eligor themselves can be tricky as they'll use Dragon Eye when they're alone.

The lift east takes us to 18F, which has nothing but a Mystical Chest with a Jade inside.

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It looks like some device might bridge that gap and allow access west from here though. But that's all we can do here for now, so we go back down, then west.

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Yikes. Man I'm glad Zed still has Shock, but it's unfortunate that the allies I want to train for now are mostly ice-based. Still, Principality has Zanma and Mazanma, and Naga has Zio.

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Ah, so that's the other side of 18F. There wouldn't be a point in bridging this gap, then. Alright, back down, then to the south lift.


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Music: Mystery
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Image
Image: Just as Lord Hikawa predicted... It seems a rat as wandered in!
Image
Image: I assume you are here for that woman... but we three sisters are guarding the Obelisk... We are not like that useless Ose.
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Image: It'll be my pleasure, then.
Image: Well, if you can get to us in the first place.
Image: We'd all save a lot of time if you didn't have me exterminate all your mooks first, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I suppose.
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Image: Now... Come!
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I was almost worried this place would end up being guarded by someone who wasn't a total asshole.

*: We take the lift, up to 24F.

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We can go up or down from here, but my instinct tells me to clear the place out from the bottom up.


Image
Image: As long as they're here, you won't be able to catch even a glimpse of the Maiden.

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*: The stairs down turn into stairs up and take us to a dead-end balcony. Welp! So much for instinct.

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Image: You must control the flow of time. ...What does that mean? You will soon find out...

*: Oh hell, now I remember. Welp, nothing to it but to go forward. We take another lift, to floor 30.

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Image
Image: But, if you take too much time, the floor will crumble beneath you.
Image: What the hell is this bullshit?
Image: ...A malevolent device, fitting of the Moirae Sisters.

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*: Yup, I totally remember now.

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> Will you touch it?
Image: Here goes nothing.
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*: Apparently, altering the flow of time comes with a sweet drum beat.



So, here's the deal. Touching the sphere resets the Kagutsuchi phase to New. Stepping on a block advances the K phase by the number of square symbols on the block. And the gate opens only when the number of squares on its face matches the phase number. Here, there are four squares on the block, so we want to walk on the 3 block then the 1 block before we can cross. Of course this one is quite simple to make sure we get the mechanism, but it gets a bit trickier. Not Puzzle Boy tricky, fortunately.

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The atmosphere returns to normal as we leave the immediate area, granting us access to a Cube with two Chakra Drops and a lift to 40F.


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Image: You saw all that Magatsuhi being stored at the bottom, right?
Image: I didn't get a good look, no.

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*: Oooh, small terminal. Again, it's a long way back if we want to leave, but having the option is nice. Naga and Principality are about out of juice, but we have plenty of back-up, so we drop a save and keep going. There are four Life Stones, a Sacred Water, and... some other forgettable treasure.

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And another lift, up to 50F.

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We offially can't see the bottom floor anymore.

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Going east from here takes us to a strange glowy red floor, which is another type of lift. It lowers us one level below to a small room with a single Bead.

Principality has run out of MP, so we tag in Succubus. Naga is running low, but using his Trade skill allows us to cut some costly battles short, as a Berith or Arahabaki who gives us a Maragi Rock in exchange for a Life Stone and change doesn't get to take a turn and use Dragon Eye.


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Image: Oh come now, don't think you can just buy my-
> ...You received Great Chakra!
Image: ...um, err, what was I saying?
Image: ZED!
Image: Gah!
Image: Yikes!

*: A Great Chakra is a one-shot item that entirely restores the party's MP. Someone's trying to get on our good side!

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...aw hell. Two Baphomet. One Evil Gaze, one Maragion.

That's all it takes.

Good thing there are those terminals!

Boy I'm not out of the woods yet. I had Nirvana ingested because I want its next skill, and I didn't pay attention to its weakness to Death. We'll be on Anathema for a while then, but its next skill won't come until several levels later, so I hope I can remember to switch back.

...

Aight, we're back again.


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Image: Are you asking me if ugly people are important because how else would we know who is beautiful? Yikes. Well, I guess so, yeah.
> Succubus is content.

*: She gives us the schpiel about demon personalities during conversation.

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Oh joy.

The 8 gate leads to the lift, so I'll try the 4 gate first.

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Three, four, two, one, two, to half waning. Alright. What's our prize?

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Oh, dick move. There's no way you can come here at any other time than half-waning, so that's a cycle and a half of waiting. It's a good thing Naga has inherited Estoma, but that'll be the only time he can cast it on this run unless I spend MP items on him.

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Ah, alright then. Good.

Back to the time puzzle, lessee. One, three, four, to full K. Easy.

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This earns us the next lift, as well as a small terminal... and a way back to the lift down? Huh, I didn't notice this passage before, I guess it would have been a shortcut. Oh well!

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Ah, I remember this. There are five lifts at the bottom, and they each follow one of the pillars upwards, and switch between pillars through a horizontal path every time they encounter one. It's easy enough to see where each will take you, and clearly the next lift is one of the central destinations, but I take the second one from the right to the eastern platform to see if there's any loot.

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A chest here, and a lone spirit on the other side.

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There's another spirit across the room from the puzzle entirely, but I'm not sure how to get there. While we wait for full K, Naga runs out of juice casting Zio on an Eligor, so we tag in Troll.

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Oooh, nice. That one restores an ally's HP and MP to full.

It turns out the lift blocks already on this side are one-way trips to the other end of the room that I didn't know how to reach, so that's one mystery cleared up.


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Image: Do you hear it? The screaming of a woman, coming from above?
Image: N... No, I can't...
Image: ...It's creepy!

Yuko!

I'm coming!

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Image: The world of stillness is near...

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*: Divine Shot is a single-target physical move with high power, standard accuracy and medium critical rate. We haven't had a single-target physical skill since Lunge, so this one is a no-brainer. It's not easy to part with one of our current skills, though. Hmmmmmm... Heat Wave hasn't really been pulling its weight lately, since it scales off HP and I've been increasing Agility and Luck for the past few levels. We'll have better multi-target options coming up, so away it goes.

Taking the rightmost lift brings us to the other spirit we saw from the chest area.


Image
Image: Is there anyplace where I can overlook the entire area?
Image: ...yeah, there is. Heck, you could see it from right here.

*: We head back down. Mizuchi uses the last of its MP on a Mabufula to take out a bunch of Berith, but as if on cue, it levels up, learns Fog Breath, and...

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Image: Well then, I would say your time with the losers has clearly been of some benefit to you.
Image: I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW. THE RAIN IS GONE.

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Lv44 Dragon Long
Just like the demon called Gui Xian here is probably supposed to be Genbu, the black turtle of the north, this is likely Seiryuu, the azure dragon of the east, and not Long of the Four Benevolent Animals of Chinese myth. Or maybe not! It's hard to tell, really; one's a water-based blue dragon and the other's a water-based blue dragon.


*: This makes him our highest-level ally so far. And evolution restores all HP and MP, so this is 171 big ones to play around with right away. Huzzah!

Aaaand that's when I remember that we have an open ally slot. Hmm. Welp, maybe I'll pick up a Berith or something. We'll see.

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We're finally ready for the next floor. If we have to leave and heal up, at least I can take comfort in how most of the exploration will be done and it'll be much quicker to make our way back.

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So, 77F. A lift to the east near the entrance takes us to a terminal...

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...and a Cathedral? Huh. Well, fusion is one way to replenish MP, I suppose.


Image: I sure didn't expect to find you up here.
Image: We go where the client is. Always ready to serve!
Image: ...I've been to plenty of places where you were nowhere to be found.
Image: Maybe you didn't look hard enough.
Image: How many other people even make use of this place, anyway?
Image: ...That's... Err... I'm... This isn't customer-facing information, I'm afraid.
Image: Yeah, sure, whatevs.

*: Ooooh, wait, I was waiting until Zed was level 48, and there he is. I summon Senri from the compendium for an insignificant fraction of all the money, and...

...good Lord is Mazanma a pain in the ass to transfer.

Aight.

Fairy Troll + Holy Senri =


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Image: She's hot!!
Image: Heyo!
Image: ...?!
Image: Well, this is intriguing new information.
Image: I don't know what came over me! I couldn't help it... somehow! Please forgive me!
Image: Well, you're not mistaken, there is nothing to forgive.

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Lv48 Megami Sati
Sati is a Hindu goddess of marital happiness and longevity. Or, was? Story has it that she was born as a human, and was devoted in worship of Shiva, the god of destruction and transformation. Shiva consented to marry her, but her arrogant disapproved of the match. So Sati told her dad to go piss up a rope and went ahead with... Yeah, no, I wish. Sati set herself on fire and died hoping to be reincarnated as the daughter of a kinder man. Oh well. Still, she was reincarnated as the goddess Parvati, who became Shiva's second wife. "Sati" became the name of a practice in India where widows throw themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands (or are drugged and thrown on the pyres by greedy relatives); this was apparently fairly common (around 600 occurences per year, according to rare reports) until the British outlawed it in their territories in 1829, and the rest of the country gradually followed suit.


*: Normally I'd bench a new demon of the same level as our protagonist since they take so much exp to level up compared to our weaker allies, but, well, I'm making an exception here because let's just say I want this Maragidyne as soon as possible!

Aight, we save and get a move on.

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Let's go the the 4 block first. Two, one, four, one, four, to half waning. This earns us 8000 Macca and a block lift to a small dead end.


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Lv45 Vile Pazuzu
Pazuzu is an Assyrian/Babylonian demon king, master of the southwestern wind and bringer of locusts and drought. He's considered to be an evil and wicked being, but he can also scare off other malicious creatures and spirits. He was especially said to ward off the evil goddess Lamashtu's power, protecting pregnant mothers and newborns from her deadly influence.

Wet Wind deals force damage and may cause Stun.


*: The 8 block is next. Two, one, two, three, to full. For our trouble, we get... another block puzzle.

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Left three, right three, left three, right three, to half waning. Aaaaand a dead end with a Mystical Chest again. That's it, I use a Chakra Drop on Naga and get my Estoma on.

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Ah, good. Back to the puzzle. Three, one, three, one. We can access the next lift from here, but there's also a small lift block that would take us back to the Terminal and Cathedral in case we need to make a quick exit.

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Floor 90. How much higher can this tower go?


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Image: Yyyyeah, that's pretty damn clear.
Image: You never know... To him, even the Maiden may just be...
Image: A tool.

*: There are two Life Stones behind this guy, and I realize we have 99 of them. Yikes, I might as well use them for healing for a bit, maybe get back down to 70 or so. That ought to power some Divine Shots.

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By which of course I mean "some god-damned shinkuu hadokens".

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This floor is much smaller than the others. We must be getting close to the top.


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Lv37 Yoma Onkot
A monkey prince from Thai folklore, cousin to the more famous Hanuman. Legend has it he's a great general, fighting alongside his cousin against the immortal Ravana and the Rakshasa armies.


*: A trapped cube stuns our entire party, but that's okay, because...

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Is this what I think it is? There's no way...

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*: Holy crap. Nocturne, I love you. We get topped off for a couple thousand. Amazing! All along I was thinking, this can't last, I'm gonna have to go back and heal up before the boss, it'll take forever. But nope! Glorious. I get Naga and Principality back in, they got some experience to earn.

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I was wrong about the floor being smaller; we were actually in a small room entirely contained within a regular-sized floor.


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Image: But, no one who has gone looking for it has ever come back alive...
Image: Sounds like a challenge!
Image: Go upstairs if you have business with the Maiden.

*: Yup, there are stairs up here, but I'm pretty sure that nearby lift goes all the way to the basement.

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...or just to floor 85. Welp, we're here, and we're hoopy froods who know where our fountain is, we can check it out.

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Of course.

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Two, three, two, one, to full K. This takes us to a Mystical Chest that we can barely reach just before the phase changes again, for a Chakra Pot. And then, one, two, one, two, one, two, three, to half waning. This earns us another lift...

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...to the second basement. Ah-ha!

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Yup, this is right below the entrance. Let's see that treasure!

One Medicine, a mute trap... Have I been sold another bill of goods?

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!!!

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Oh this is amazing! I forgot this even existed! This item essentially casts Analyze, for free, and never runs out. Damn, had I remembered this, I would have discarded Analyze instead of Heat Wave. But it's no biggie, we'd have replaced it sooner or later anyway.

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It looks like there's another lift somewhere that goes even lower than this basement, but I can't seem to reach it from here. Alright then, back up we go. We recruit an Onkot on the way to the Fountain, and head back to those stairs we passed.

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So much for wishing for no triple-digit floor numbers.

Zed levels up and, well, learns Void Mind from Murakumo, replacing Analyze. It'll do for now.

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This entire floor here is one big lift. We must be close.

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There's another lift up there. Wow.

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Another small terminal. That's the fifth save point in the Obelisk so far.


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Image: Clotho is the 'spinner'... Um, what was Lachesis? Atropos is the 'inevitable'... Hmmm... One spins the thread, the last one cuts it... What goes in the middle?
Image: Lachesis is the one who measures. Duh.

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Image: AT. FRIKKING. LAST.
Image: I hope you enjoy being tortured to death...
Image: I should have brought along that Manikin fellow from Asakusa.

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Oh this certainly bodes well. Three gates, three sisters, I presume?

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Aight, once more unto the breach.

*: This is a pain in the butt if you don't know what's going on. There is indeed one sister behind each gate. You must defeat all three of them, in order, all in one Kagutsushi cycle. If you mess up somewhere, the floor disappears from underneath you and you gotta start over again. Clotho is on the right, Lachesis is in the middle, and Atropos is on the left.

You know, I remembered those puzzles to be a lot worse than they actually are. Must be memories from when I had to figure it out from scratch, but even then it can't have been that hard. Hmm... I have vague recollections of a giant dungeon floor filled with nothing but interlocking phase puzzles, but maybe I'm just remembering wrong.




Femme Clotho
In Greek mythology, the Moirae Sisters are the three deities controlling the threads of fate, and specifically the time of birth and death of all gods ands mortals. Clotho is the spinner who presides over the beginning of life. Unsurprisingly, she's the healer of the trio, but if that's all you expect, you can be in for an unpleasant surprise as she also knows Dekunda, Marin Karin and Mahama.


One down... sorta.



Femme Lachesis
Lachesis measures the threads spun by Clotho, and decides the length of time granted to all who live. Her specialty is buffs and debuffs, but she also likes to cast Tetrakarn and Makarakarn. Interestingly, if she's alone, she can use Tarukaja, since her only way to deal damage is through her basic attack; however, if she's encountered with a spellcasting ally, she will use Makakaja instead.


Beginning to see a pattern here.



Femme Atropos
Known as "the inflexible", Atropos cuts the thread of life once the length decided upon by Lachesis is reached. You'd think she'd be all geared up with Mudo-type spells, but she actually has high-powered single- and multiple-target spells of all four main damage elements.


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There's only one thing that can come next.

*: I use a couple Chakra Drops on Long, just to be safe.

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This is definitely near the top; we could see those large openings in the walls from the outside.

We're getting a "strong power" warning from the lift right in front of us, so we go all the way around to another block hidden behind the central pillar. Principality earns itself a level, learning its last skill, Heat Wave, and turning Mana Bonus into Mana Gain.

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Floor 135 appears to be a large mazelike chamber, with a Chest at each corner. Dang but we're gonna spend some time here. At least we can use Estoma with wild abandon.

Oh, wait, there are only two Chests, and also a lift down I didn't spot at first. And to think I was almost done with this place!

So, Balm of Rising and Bead Chain. Down we go.

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Holy crap, more passageways down here. We can't seem to reach those, though.

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We can only get to this door here in the back.

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Yikes. Even Dante wouldn't survive that one. Time to head back up and finish this!

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Zed ingests Geis, and we summon Kushinada, Sarutahiko, and Onkot.


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Image: Measure!
Image: And snip your fate!!



*: Zed levels up and learns Diarama, replacing... Eh, nah, we're good for heals, never mind.

Individually, the Moirae Sisters weren't too dangerous; Clotho's offense is unimpressive, Lachesis can do no real harm unless you let her build up a buff gap, and Atropos' magic damage is fairly high but nigh trivial to heal through. They also have no resistances beyond the typical Death/Expel/ailments boss immunities (though they also have no weaknesses). All together though, they're actually a balanced party with good synergy, stronger than the sum of its parts.

Your main goals are to survive Atropos' damage output, and cause damage faster than Clotho can heal it, and both of those goals are extraordinarily difficult to accomplish if you let Lachesis run roughshod with buffs and debuffs. Sarutahiko still has Dekaja, but we don't have a Dekunda effect at this time; any debuffs would have stuck, so I had to take out Lachesis first, even though conventional wisdom would have it that you prioritize the healer. Once she's gone, the trio synergy falls apart and the remaining two are no longer much more threatening than they were on their own.

A good precaution to take for this battle is to only summon allies who have no elemental weaknesses, because if Atropos earns her sisters an extra turn, that always means Clotho gets a second cast, and that can extend the fight a fair deal. Resistances to Charm and Expel are also handy, but if your damage output is consistent, Clotho will usually choose to heal her sisters instead of spending much time trying to directly harm you.

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Djed is a caster Magatama, which is appropriate, seeing as it protects from Mute (and Curse effects in general, though not from the Magatama's special Curse ailment). It teaches all -kaja spells, including Dekaja when mastered.

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I check the floor around the pillar in case there's something else hidden back there, but this pillar of light is the only remaining feature of this room.


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> Will you ascend?

Yuko. I'm here.


User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:44 pm

I don't know what I thought would happen.

Not this, not by a long shot, but...

Ms. Takao is... was... my teacher. I thought, or I hoped, that she'd give me what I needed to make sense of all this. That's what teachers do, right?

Maybe I was being selfish. She needed my help even more than I needed hers. And now that I've held up my side of the deal, it's clear she's in no position to give me anything in return. Her grasp on what's going on is even weaker than mine, and I hardly have a clue. She couldn't wait to find someone else to tell her what to do.

She meant well, from the beginning. I know she did. But how much does meaning well count in the balance opposite so much... so much of whatever this all is? And this Aradia, holy crap. I have to trust Yuko's judgement, and if she wants to serve then I won't claim any right to tell her otherwise, but, damn.

Still, I'm glad I could help. I'm glad I could help because it's the right thing to do, and because I know that if Ms. Takao could have helped me, she would have.

But I didn't know it was possible to be this glad and this damn pissed off at the same time.

It didn't even occur to me to come up with my own Reason. I guess I've been too busy punching the next asshole whose death would solve a problem to really think about it. But now that I've been told I can't...

Image: Whoa!
Image: It'll take more than a bit a plaster to fix that one.
Image: Ouch!
Image: Are you alright?
Image: I think I got a piece of stone in my eye...
Image: Oh hell, I'm sorry! I didn't think...
Image: You didn't think you could punch masonry so hard that it'd turn into shrapnel?
Image: First time's always a bit of a surprise.
Image: THAT IS THE POWER YOU HAVE GAINED. WAS IT NOT WORTH IT?
Image: I can't decide the shape of an entire new world anymore, but in exchange I can hit stuff really hard? That seems like a fair trade to you?
Image: YOU COULD NOT DECIDE. YOU COULD ONLY SUGGEST.
Image: It is those who have power who can truly decide. And power you have.
Image: I guess that's true. But... I'm still kinda pissed off. What good is following the path of creation if it has to be someone else's?
Image: Exactly how angry are you about it?
Image: ...why do you ask?
Image: Just curious!
Image: ...I don't know. Pretty angry. But... If I don't follow the path of creation, then what are the alternatives? Wouldn't I just be following the lead of the one who's responsible for making me into... into whatever it is I've become in the first place?
Image: There may be other paths yet. Beware those who would tell you there is only this option, and that option, and no others. Rarely do they have your best interests in mind.
Image: Huh. Yeah, good point.
Image: So, what's the plan?
Image: I gotta keep learning. If it ever does fall to me to decide in the end, the least I can do is make sure I'm looking at all sides with clear eyes.
Image: More info, then. We go see that Hijiri fellow again?
Image: Yeah, that's probably the next step. But I can't discard the possibility that he has his own agenda too.

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*: With Ms. Takao gone, it's clear that the Nightmare System's pillar has stopped doing whatever it was doing before. That's something we've accomplished, at least.

We can return to the top floor, but there's nothing left for us there. Time to hoof it back down to a Terminal.


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Image: Eh, once you get the hang of their time puzzle stuff, they're not that tough.
Image: ...Screw Hikawa, I should just follow you!
Image: I don't hate the sound of that, but if you can't fight, you should probably just stay here.

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Image: Lachesis is the 'apportioner'!
Image: Really doesn't matter anymore, dude.

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*: We ought to talk to Hijiri again, but I go see Kamala for now.

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Image: Hmm, thanks. I'll be careful.

*: I sure wouldn't have thought to go back there. Before we do though, we stop by the Great Underpass to get three pairs of Chakra Drops. This earns us a tenth ticket, but picking the white box "only" gets us a Balm of Rising this time. We visit Shibuya to pick up some ailment cures, especially for Stun and Mute, and we heal and register our squad while we're there.

Sarutahiko + Valkyrie =


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Lv35 Kishin Okuninushi
Okuninushi is the Shinto deity of farming, business, and medicine, and once was the patron of the Izumo province. Apparently he's Kushinada-Hime's son, but I guess Susano is not his father, because he ends up marrying Suseri-Hime, who is Susano's daughter. Man, I dunno. In his youth, he and his seventy-nine brothers traveled a long way to court the princess of a neighboring land. On the road they came across a flayed hare in a great deal of pain. Most gods told the hare to wash itself in sea water and dry itself in the wind, which of course caused it even greater pain. But Okuninushi, who was last in line because he was in charge of carrying everyone's luggage, instead told the hare to wash itself in fresh water and roll around in flower petals, which actually worked. The hare predicted the kind young god would win the princess' hand, and his other brothers took that so well that they managed to murder him twice. (He got better.)


*: There are lots of good skills that can't be all passed down for this one, but I figured that if I could at least keep Dekaja and Focus and avoid a less useful skill like Soul Recruit (which works best when used by Valkyrie herself), I'd be set. Hell Thrust will continue to be awesome, but I would have preferred Void Mind and Tetraja to Watchful and Lightoma. Oh well!

Principality + Kikuri-Hime =


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Lv30 Megami Sarasvati
Sarasvati is a greater Hindu goddess, presiding over knowledge, wisdom, learning, music, and the arts in general. She's also the consort of Brahma, god of creation. She's generally a big deal in East Asian religions, and there are versions of her in various Buddhist and Shinto traditions.


*: I mostly wanted to make sure I'd get good mileage out of her high Magic stat, so Mazanma and Zio will be good enough. Mana Refill isn't as practical for recharging MP as Mana Drain was, as it's based on walking around with her in the active party, but having both on would have been redundant.

So, that leaves us with four free slots, counting those Aradia gave us. We drop a save and warp back to the Shinjuku Medical Center.


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Ah. Memories.

*: We get no unusual Candelabrum activity, so it'll take a bit of looking around. I bet the next rider is in one of the two lobbies.

Image
Image: Now, there's a demon living in the annex even more frightening than Forneus! He looks like one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse! When will I ever feel at ease...?
Image: Soon enough.

Image
Image: Death is everywhere, buddy.

Image
Image: Give me a break, man.
Image: Said the oblivious to the Demi-Fiend.

*: ...waaaaait a minute.

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Oh wow. I must have passed by that door like three times when we were first here. It's not even hidden or hard to see or anything.


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Image

Image
Image: It's like they're competing for something...

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*: I bet I know where this leads.

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Yyyyyyep. A Mazio Rock, a Mabufu Rock, and 300 Macca. Le sigh. Welp, this isn't what we came here for either way.

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This is where we fought Forneus, but the Rider is nowhere to be found. Hmm. Maybe upstairs?

I check the room with the multiple morgue mumblers; two of them have old hat info about Deathstones and Kagutsuchi phases, but the third...


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Image: ...Demon fusion... Yoma... Fairy... Night... Tyrant... *mumble*

*: The only fusions that will ever result in a Fiend are fusions that would normally result in one of those four races.

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*: For some reason, at around this point, it occurs to me that only Kushinada has any HP healing spells anymore. Hmm. She's more than up to keeping us in shape, but I'd feel more comfortable with a back-up.

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Image: That's ancient news, kid.
Image: He's in the room over there!
Image: Uh, he's right here, actually.

Image
Image: Sure.
Image: Ah, forget it!
Image: Why I never! It was probably some crap old info anyway, I don't want to hear it.
Image: Oh, come on! Listen to me. I heard the guy on the black horse can seal your magic.

*: Guess who's glad he stocked up on Dis-Mute.

Image
Image: A demon that brings about famine lurks in the room ahead. You and that demon are fated to meet. Most regrettable...

Image
> The flames of the Candelabrum of Sovereignty are flickering wildly...



Fiend Black Rider
"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." -Revelations 6:5-6

The third rider isn't explicitly Famine, but those grain prices (originally in Roman denarii, not pennies) are several times higher than they would normally have been at the time. The prices for oil and wine, which would mostly affect the wealthy, are unchanged, which implies that the poor's end of the stick is getting unusually short. In any case it probably wouldn't have sounded very intimidating to call the guy Essential Commodity Speculation.


Haunt Legion
"And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many." --Mark 5:9

"Legion" is the collective name of a group of several thousand demons said to have possessed one unfortunate man in Jesus' time. They knew they could not resist being driven out, so they asked to be permitted to inhabit a vast herd of pigs instead of being forced to exist without a body. Their request was granted, but then the pigs all ran off the edge of a cliff into the sea and drowned because the demons were dumbasses I guess.


*: Unlike his fellow horsemen, the Black Rider has the good sense to summon Legions instead of angel sidekicks; Legions reflect Death effects, so you can't petrify them, and they'll just keep coming so it's hardly worth the effort to kill them. They also know Mamudoon and Hell Gaze, so any Death-immune allies you bring can help eat up their icons. And even then, they still know Tempest (group physical damage), Deathtouch, Makakaja and Tetrakarn, so there's a fair chance they'll be a pain in your ass for the duration. That said, they "only" resist ailments instead of having the full boss invulnerability, so it can be worth it to Mute and/or Stun them.

The Black Rider himself is no slouch. Soul Divide is a Curse-type effect that halves current hit points and can cause Mute; we've been fortunate that it hasn't actually silenced us more than it did. His Glacial Blast can be deadly in combination with the Legions' Tempest, but we were also lucky that it couldn't quite make it happen. The other notable aspect of the Black Rider is that he's our first real taste of Almighty damage. We've been dealing with Almighty damage for quite a while now on account of Deathtouch and Life Drain, but those aren't really intended to kill their targets. Megidola and Megidolaon are explicitly murder spells. They'll blow right past Makalakarn, but they are in fact affected by magic stat buffs and debuffs, so if they cause you grief, consider bringing along a Tarunda or Rakukaja user.

Finally, the Rider knows Dekaja, but not Dekunda, so a couple Fog Breaths will stick and improve your survivability a fair deal.


Image
Image: Hmm?
Image: Thanks for beating the demon in this room-- Wait... You're a demon too!
Image: Man, this again.
Image: You don't wanna eat me! I uh... I never bathe!

Image
Image: ...That includes you.
Image: I... uh. Hmm. Bah!

Image
Image: But, as strong as you are, you'll never beat you-know-who. I'm too afraid to say his name!
Image: Oh, uh, I, uh, totally know who you're talking about.

Image
Image: ...becomes the King of Chaos! Mister, are you strong?
Image: I guess I'm pretty strong.
Image: King of Chaos strong?
Image: Eh, why not. Haven't met someone I couldn't disassemble yet.

*: We return to the Terminal, and warp back to Asakusa.

Music: Hijiri

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Image
Image: Yeah, that sounds like me alright.
Image: I could tell from here that the flow of Magatsuhi had returned to normal. Well, with this blow to Nihilo, Hikawa won't be able to make his move for a while. I think we can take a little breather.
Image: After that damn climb, I can't say no to that.
Image
Image: I gave her her freedom back.

And then I guess she was in a hurry to give it away again.

Image: So, Hikawa was using her, huh?
Image: Yeah, pretty much.
Image: Who knows what she'll do now, but at least the Nightmare System is dead.
Image: All in a day's work, eh?
Image
Image
Image: Sure, hit me.
Image: Alright, listen up.
Image
Image: This idea is commonly referred to as a Reason. Now, to acquire a Reason, you must receive divine protection from a god, and this is where the Magatsuhi comes into play. You need a large quantity of Magatsuhi in order to summon a god. That's why Hikawa, a human, was collecting Magatsuhi.
Image
Image: Ah, right, I should have guessed you'd meet sooner or later.
Image
Image: Yeah, we go way back. From before.
Image: Yeah, that's what I thought. Anyways, about Isamu... He actually seemed to be doing okay in Amala.
Image: I'm surprisingly happy to hear that.
Image: If you're unlucky, you can get swept away somewhere, or even worse, you can end up being absorbed by the Network. Well, in a world like this... one life doesn't amount to much, and you're better off not getting involved.
Image: That's... one way to look at it.
Image: But if you want, I can send you to where I met Isamu.
Image: Hmm, I suppose I don't have anywhere else to be. Maybe he's settled down by now. I'll take five and get back to you.

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*: There's some strange rustling sound in here I've never heard before, and I'm mystified for a moment, and then I realize that Hijiri is spinning his hat around his finger and that's what's making noise. Huh! Maybe he's impatient about something.

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Image: Oh hey, I've never seen you here before.
Image
Image: Ah, nice! I'll have to take a look.
Image: ...But, we weren't the first ones here... Well, we're still pumped up. I'm going to help restore the city, too.

*: Going to the Amala Network to check on Isamu is clearly the next step in the plot, but I want to see the rest of Asakusa, and I got a couple hires in mind now that we have spare room. Besides, despite how I'm not sure whether I want to tackle the Network or unlock the Third Kalpa next, neither of these places have recruitable demons, so we might as well fill up here.

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Image: I want to open up soon.
Image: Looking forward to it.
Image: Well, better get back to work.

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> You obtained Soma x 1.
Image: Daaaang, nice find!

Image
Image: Strange things are happening at Ikebukuro and the Amala Network. Now, what's going to happen?

Hmm. I heard Chiaki is hanging around Ikebukuro still, and, well, Isamu's in the Network somewhere. That can't be a coincidence.

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Image: I wonder who.
Image: Isn't this bad for Nihilo?
Image: Eh, they had too much power. It's better in the long run, even for them.
Image: Do you really believe that?
Image: Haha, hahaha, no.

Image
Image: Ah, nice work.
Image: ...It's full of demons, though.
Image: Lemme give you a hand with that, then.

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Image: Er...!! You!
Image: What do you want?
Image: You, ever there! You! You! You!
Image: Holy crap, I hear you already! What is it?
Image: Chakra Drop... You have? Have?
Image: Yeah, sure, I just stocked up. I can get more, so I don't mind being generous.
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> Nue is happy.
Image: Er, question!! Question! Question!
Image: Eh, here we go.
Image: You take me? Me? Friend! Friend!
Image: Oh! Well, there's an easy one then. Welcome aboard.
Image: That good! Me, Wilder! Me, Nue!! Me, me, me help you, you, you...
> Nue joined your party.

*: I didn't plan on taking a Nue along, but hey, that's one more Wilder for the Compendium.

Image
Image: Oh, well. Futomimi should be ready to give his prophecy at Mifunashiro. I think I'll go there. Are you going?
Image: If it's at the entrance, I'd be happy to go. Otherwise, I don't think they'll let me in.

Image: Don't you dare cause any trouble.
Image
Image: We believe in coexistence, so there's no violence here.
Image: Let's keep it that way, then.

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Yup, couldn't get here before.

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Image: I heard someone saw Hikawa by the building that used to be the Mantra's headquarters.
Image: Huh. I wonder what he thinks he'll find there. Maybe he's trying to find who shut down the Nightmare System.

Image
Image: Hijiri? Yeah. Mellow enough fellow.
Image: Then, you should drop by once in a while, to check up on him. Take the advice of a long-time Asakusa resident!

Image
Image: THEN WHY IS THERE LIFE?
Image
Image: Yeah, I know. But I'm not telling anyone, it's too freaky.
Image: THAT IS GOOD.
Image
> Orthrus seems to be satisfied.
Image: I AM Orthrus THE Beast. I WILL TRAVEL WITH YOU.
> Orthrus joined your party.

Image
Image: You visiting them?
Image: Hmm, haven't checked out the Club in a while, actually. Not a fan of the music, but it would probably bear checking out again.

*: One corridor branch here has a small terminal and a couple Cubes, with two Life Stones and 2000 Macca.

Image

This would appear to be the final accessible area of this region of the Vortex World.

There's a T intersection with four doors here. One is empty, one has a Mystical Chest that we have to wait three quarters of a cycle for...


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Image

Image: Bah. So much for avoiding violence, eh? I thought you were on my side.
Image: What the hell? You want me to join you?
Image: You could be an ambassador of sorts. Or you could be homemade titan puree. Your call.
Image: I see...
> Titan is thinking.
Image: Is he really considering the puree option?
Image: I bet he thinks he can take us.
Image: NOT VERY SMART THEN, IS HE.
Image: Hand over 820 Macca.
Image: Haha wow.
Image: Sure.
Image: Uh, this ain't enough. You're really pissin' me off...
*: He asks for a Bead next.
Image: Dammit, I dunno what to do!
> Titan is unable to decide.
*: Hmm, I shoulda brought Succubus along for this.
Image: No... I want MORE.
*: He takes a Chakra Drop and leaves. I'm gonna have to find another one, because I sure could use a Lv49 ally.

Lv49 Jirae Titan
The Titans are divine creatures of immense power in Greek mythology, being the children and grandchildren of the primordial deities Gaia (the earth mother) and Uranus (the sky father). They overthrew their parents as rulers of the world, and were in turn overthrown by the Olympian gods, some of which were their children. The Titans themselves are by and large not worshipped, but instead feature in stories told about deities that did have an active following.

It's unclear which Titan is represented here exactly, but given his other showings earlier in the series, I'd say this is likely Atlas, the one condemned to hold the sky on his shoulders.


*: Sati levels up and learns Maragidyne at last. She also gives us a Magic Mirror, and shows signs of change. Maaaan, I already have Onkot and Naga trying to evolve, Succubus is two levels away from learning Life Drain, and I want to get Nue and Orthrus some skills too. Gah. Sati needs 19485 for her next level, I gotta bench her for now.

Full K rolls around, earning us a Diamond. The next room also has a Chest, and it's barely still ripe, earning us a Sapphire. Aaaand the last door...

Image

Aw come on. Le sigh. Welp, more chances to hire a Titan, I suppose.


Image
Image: Are you stupid or crazy? You see that pile over there? Titan puree! He did it! He actually did it! And you're next! What kind of idiot are you to hesitate over this?
Image: Shit, I can't say no to a lady.
> That seemed to work well.
Image: It's all good!! I'm Titan the Jirae. I'm itchin' for a good fight!
Image: Well hey, nice work.
Image: You can't let these morons walk all over you. All you need is to show them who's boss.
Image: Yeah, that's what you showed him alright. Exactly.

*: And full K earns us an Emerald. That'll all there is to this building; time to visit Mifunashiro again. On the way there, Naga finds a Bead Chain!

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Image
Image: I don't see him! Did I miss it?

Image
Image: They tell us what we should do.

Image
Image: Please be quiet!!

*: The door is still closed tight. It doesn't look like he's ready yet. Welp, we ain't got time to stand around; we use the terminal to warp to Nakamise-Douri again.

So. The Amala Network, or the Labyrinth of Amala?

Hmm.

Actually, let's go talk to Kamala again. If she has a lead on the Pale Rider, we'll go kick his ass, then we'll go see Isamu. If she doesn't, we'll go to the Third Kalpa.

Aaaaand she's back to talking about an unusual Fiend in the Third Kalpa. Welp, there we go then. We'll at least unlock the shortcut and take a gander at the opposition.

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Compassion, wisdom, and insight.


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More decay. What a surprise.

*: We first run into Trolls and Berith, and they're still pretty dangerous.

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Lv56 Deity Amaterasu
Amaterasu is the Shinto goddess of the sun, arguably the most important of the religion's expansive pantheon. She was born when Izanagi cleansed himself after escaping the underworld and his dead wife's wrath; she appeared from his left eye, and her brothers Tsukuyomi (the moon god) and Susano came from the left eye and the nose, respectively. Legend has it that the Emperors of Japan are directly descended from her. I'm not sure why she looks like a dude here, but hey, if she can be a wolf...

Godly Light is a group-targeting Expel attack that reduces current HP by 80%, and Prayer restores the entire party's HP to maximum, and cures most ailments.

The Deity race (that we knew as the Majin) include some of the most powerful Light-aligned demons, and represent mighty gods that are typically at the heads of their respective pantheons.


Lv46 Avatar Yatagarasu
Yatagarasu is a three-legged crow of Shinto legend. It's mostly acting as a messenger, transmitting the will of heaven to the Emperor, but it's also seen as a symbol of rebirth and rejuvenation and is often said to be the god Taketsunimi transformed.

Avatars are divine animals, similar to the Holy race, but they're usually actual gods taking the form of a beast.


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Lv37 Snake Raja Naga
"Raja Naga" literally means "Naga King". It's... a king of the Naga! Royal snake dude, and everything. Yup. Indeedy.


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Image: Life or death... You must choose... even if choice defies reason. I can see it. Your inclination is taking form...
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Image: Is it because my life was turned upside down in the blink of an eye?
Image: Imagine that you're in a desert...
Image: I follow you so far.
Image: A turtle walks up to you. You flip the turtle over, leaving it on its back.
Image: No, I don't.
Image: It struggles to right itself, but to no avail. For what reason did you flip the turtle? You did so because of the distress in your heart. The helpless turtle is you!
Image: What.
Image: If you look at things upside-down, of course they will appear inverted. Forget your worries and move on.
Image: Doesn't matter if you're right side up or upside down, I bet you're still spilling crap everywhere.

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Lv43 Fairy Setanta
Setanta is the original given name of Cu Chulainn, a warrior of Irish myth. He earned his new name, meaning "Chulainn's hound", when he killed a blacksmith's guard dog in self-defense as a child and offered to take its place until it could be replaced. There's a lot to the guy, to the point where it seems to me that he's a sort of medieval Irish superhero. He is said to have single-handedly defeated the armies of an invading queen, and to occasionally lapse into a fearsome berserker rage.


*: One of those Virtues expels Onkot. Only Sati has Recarm now, and she doesn't have infinite MP. We better not let that happen too often.

Image
Image: But, I heard some group stole it... I don't know the details, though.

Image
Image: ...where death conquers death, and fire lights the darkness... The words of the beginning shall be spoken. ...We all await those words." ............ I heard that from a demon in the Labyrinth. I wonder what it means...
Image: Sounds like cryptic bullshit to me!

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*: This looks like a bit of a hub. The battles are a little rough, but I suppose we can check out one branch at least. Let's try north, right up the middle.

Image

Yeeesh.

Image
Image: If you're unlucky, you won't even be able to set foot inside the room.
Image: I'm not sure if I count as lucky or unlucky, at this point.
Image: Even if you do manage to get in, there's no telling where you'll end up... So, tell me... Are you feeling lucky?
Image: Eh, things could be worse. I'll try it.

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> Will you try to open it?
Image: I wasn't instantly disintegrated like 99.9% of the Earth's population. Lemme in.
Image: Your luck is worthy of praise! You may pass.
Image: I can't believe that worked.

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*: We can see five doors from here, one of them with a mouth again. We go west, through a regular door, and it's a one-way leading to another room with doors. Joy! There's another luck door here.

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Well, crap.

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*: We're teleported to some random dead-end in the west. I can tell this Kalpa is going to be such a joy. At least we find a Chest nearby.

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Oh, good. I was worried we wouldn't run into random encounters who can just use Dragon Eye whenever they feel like it.

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Haha, glorious.

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...oh cripes I forgot I was passing time for a Chest, I opened a door, and we can't go back. Wheee. I hope the same luck door will teleport us to the same place.

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Kin-ki, Sui-ki, and Fuu-ki. Nope!

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The only exit from this area is down a ladder, into this corridor. If I didn't know better, I'd say this looks like the way to the next Kalpa.

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But of course it isn't.


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*: This isn't actually recurring traveler Heeho, just a rando Jack Frost saying "hee ho".
Image: I saw an awesome dude with guns and a giant sword mowing down demons, hee ho! It was terrifying!

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Welp!



*: Dante sets you loose in a bunch of hallways and rooms, gives you a head start, and then starts to follow you around. If he gets line of sight, he repeatedly shoots you with Ebony & Ivory, dealing modest damage per hit to your entire party. If he actually catches up with you, you have to fight him for a few rounds before he runs away. He's quite fond of using his Stinger attack that has an instant death chance attached, so you essentially don't want to fight him if you can help it.

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The exclamation points in the small rooms are the switches, and the ones at the ends of hallways are teleporters that bring you back to the entrance and are a decent way to get Dante off your nuts for a moment.

Anyway, once you've found the couple switches, a gate opens up to the next area, but then of course Dante just waits in front of it like a foul-mouthed 12 year old camper in [insert your favorite multiplayer FPS here]. You need to get close enough to him that he'll start chasing you, and then quickly turn back and run all the way around the area. It's trickier than it seems!

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And it's not over, we gotta indulge Dante again. There are three mini-mazes here instead of a big one, and they all revolve around identifying one obstacle you can lead him around like a cartoon character and trick him into following you to the exit instead of blocking your way out.

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He camps the exit again because of course he does. Same tactic applies.


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Boy I hope he gets tired of this soon.

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Image: Oh fuck off.

*: Dr. Dark is nearby too, and would charge 5000 again.

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Image: After this nonsense I'm certainly not gonna turn back!
Image: If you are, you better be ready. I saw a guy with guns and a huge sword walk in not long ago.
Image: HOW DID HE GET IN FRONT OF ME RAAAAARGHLGLGLGL!



Ow.

*: ...

Next attempt, we lose to two Showtimes in a row. Hmmmmm. Eh, one more try.




*: The second Dante fight is essentially a remix of the first, down to him getting serious once you've hurt him a fair bit. However, he picked up a few new tricks (or remembered a few old ones), half of which can make the fight easier, and the other half can make it harder. Whirlwind and Round Trip are group-targeting force and electric damage skills respectively, so you can bring along the appropriate immunities to eat up some of his icons. However, Stinger and Showtime are both Almighty damage skills; Stinger has a high crit rate and an instant kill chance, and Showtime just hits pretty damn hard. If you've had your defense decreased by Provoke, you need a hell of a lot of Vitality to survive two Showtimes.

Anyway, we got Chaos Blade (group-targeting physical damage, scales with HP, may inflict Panic), which is what we wanted from Murakumo, so we can switch to something else. Lessee...

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Ah. Right. There's the immediately obvious effect of being cursed: we can't switch Magatama anymore. Welp.

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Aight, let's take a quick look and then head back.


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Huh, this one might be the exit.

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And it is! Well then.

*: There is so much of the Third Kalpa we haven't explored yet. But it would seem a great deal of it is locked behind stat doors. Maybe we'll be more thorough later. In the meantime, let's collect on our information reward.


User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:00 am

So. Yuko's in trouble.

Again.

There's something inside of me telling me it's not my problem anymore. I'm almost tempted to believe it.

Either way it's not like I have a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.

*: We go down the tunnel in the back, which gives me an opportunity to shatter all previously existing definitions of "being bad at this game".

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Matador. Daisoujou. Hell Biker. The White Rider, the Red Rider, the Black Rider. Dante.

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The Pale Rider is still out there. And there are two more after him.

Better go back up and go bug Kamala some more. But first I have to find my way back out of the Third Kalpa.

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Image: For a broad enough definition of "safe".

*: On the first fight we run into, against Amaterasu and two Yatagarasu, Zed's Magatama curse acts up, and he punches Succubus in the face instead of using Chaos Blade. Whuh-oh. We end up having to run away, as Zed can't keep himself from hitting his allies long enough to overcome Amaterasu's Prayer healing.

Fortunately, this happens a few steps from Dr. Dark. I don't know if he can cure Curse, but if we want to make it out of here alive, it sure would come in handy if he did.

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Aaaaand he does. Whew! I wish I didn't have to spend that 5k, but it's not like we're short on cash. Still, since we got all our MP back, maybe I'll try to find that Chest I left behind again before we go and generally look around some more.


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Lv46 Fairy Oberon
Oberon's fairly famous for his role as the king of fairies in S-Peezy's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Being the upstanding fellow that he is, he slips a love potion to his wife Titania on account of a domestic dispute, causing her to fall in love with a donkey-headed weaver and causing all sorts of wacky mishaps and Jesus I am not summarizing this play to you any longer because seriously. That said, The Bard didn't come up with the name himself; it's apparented to Alberich, a figure from Medieval Frankish lore who also plays a major role in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.


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*: Near the ladder that took us to Dante's mazes, there's this golden door that we can't open yet. I suppose it requires a Sun Key.

The luck door that didn't let us pass the first time around sends us to the same spot it did before, so we can get that Chest without problems. It contains a Great Chakra!

Returning to the hub room, we take the western branch this time.


Image
Image: Well, I'll try.
Image: Dude, forget it. Only someone strong like me can go in there. A puny wimp like you won't be able to get in. There are more doors like it inside... Even I can't get through some of them! If you wanna get in, you better build some muscle. Right now, you're just a little girlie-man.
Image: Ha. No comment. Just watch.

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Image: Your strength is worthy of praise! You may pass.

*: I'm leery of normal doors in here because any of them may be one-way, but I find another toothy one quickly. It... doesn't let us pass, and teleports us back to the first room with the rude monkey dude. Maybe we can come back with Gaea equipped? I'm not sure if it takes into account Magatama bonuses.

Before we can get back to this particular door though, Geis teaches us Life Refill, which regenerates a percentage of your HP every so often as you walk around. I replace Counter with it. Back when we didn't have a good single-target physical attack, using up the Focus buff on a counterstrike was basically a free turn, but now, that means it's not spent on Divine Shot. Besides, there are better alternatives to Counter somewhere down the line if I change my mind.

Aaaand, nope, the +10 St from Gaea either doesn't count or isn't enough. Let's hit some regular doors instead.


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Lv25 Mitama Ara Mitama
According to some Shinto traditions, the spirit of all living beings, divine or mortal, is composed of one central governing element as well as four autonomous souls that embody various emotions, drives or inclinations. One among those four souls, the Ara Mitama represents the creature's aggressive side, driving it to valor and passion, but also to rage and jealousy.

Like Elements, Mitama are special fusion-centric demons. When fused with another demon, they increase two of its stats by 20% and pass along some of the skills they possess if there are free slots available, but otherwise leave the creature unchanged. You can fuse multiple Mitama to a single demon to increase its stats further, but Mitama fusion can't raise any stat higher than twice its base value. The Ara Mitama increases Strength and Agility.


*: In the surrounding western rooms we find a Deathstone, a Magic Mirror, and a Bead. Another strength door lets us pass, only to an area we had been to before, but I notice a door I missed the first time and find a Chest behind, containing a Bead Chain. Barring the one stubborn door, that's all the west side has to offer. I'll check out the eastern side now, but I have a bad feeling about what we're likely to find there.

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Image: You need a certain amount of strength, luck or magic to enter each door. The door up ahead is one of them. If you're going in, you better be prepared.
Image: Ouch.

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Image: Maybe I got so much luck that the magic door will let me pass!
Image: I cannot let one with such weak magic pass through!
Image: Welp.

*: Aight, time to check out the northern branch some more then. One of the luck doors there finds us wanting, and takes us to a dead-end in the eastern branch this time.

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Lv44 Yoma Jinn
Jinn are supernatural creatures originally from pre-Islam Arabic mythology, beings of smoke, shadow and flame who dwelt in remote places. They were not inherently good or evil, but it would seem that your typical ritual or offering related to jinn is to ensure that they stay well away from human beings. They were later incorporated in Islamic theology; some are of a wicked nature and are roughly equivalent to Christianity's demons, others are harmless or quite benign but still not outright angels. They're typically regarded as having a sort of parallel society to mankind and are also meant to follow the Qur'an.


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Lv52 Tyrant Loki
Loki is the shapeshifting trickster god of Norse mythology. He's a bit of a class clown, cleverer than the average god but not always quite as clever as he thinks. Sometimes he's a huge help, sometimes he's a harmless nuisance, sometimes he gets kind Baldr murdered, his son eats wise Odin, he leads the Jötunn giant armies in the war that destroys the world, and his daughter marches legions of dishonored dead against heaven and earth.


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Lv52 Yoma Efreet
The Jinn are separated into five types, of which the Efreet are one. Efreet are gigantic fire creatures, dwelling in caves and ruins. If you encounter an Efreet you've never met before, it's very safe to assume that they're going to be dangerous, cruel and brutal, but there are exceptions, and like all Jinn they are free to choose a path of virtue or a path of wickedness.


*: A few Chests surrender a Balm of Rising, and Attack Mirror and a Chakra Pot, before I realize that futzing around with one-way doors is something I have had just about my fill of for today.

Image: Aight, I've had it, let's see Kamala and get out of here.

*: Aaaaand she says there aren't any Fiends around right now. Ain't that the best news!

We reach the Terminal without further incident, and warp to, let's say, Shibuya. We heard mention of the club not too long ago, and we haven't been since we met Chiaki there. Of course we heal and register our crew while we're here, but something unusual happens!




If you go to a Cathedral of Shadows on a New Kagutsuchi with Orthrus in your active party, the music that plays is the Jakyou Mansion theme from Shin Megami Tensei II. It's not useful in any way but it sure is neat!

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More memories. It feels like it's been so very long since I've been here... but I have no way to know.

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Image: Could it be...? Might someone have bumped off Forneus?
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Image: Oh he's fine. Look, the very picture of health.
Image: Good day!
Image: Liar...
Image: Why I never!
Image: I guess it doesn't count.
Image: It was stupid to even ask you. Now, where's that Forneus...?
Image: Alright, you know what? I broke his spine. That's technically true.
Image: ...What!? ............ ............ Suuuuuure! A wimpy little nerd like you beating him up... Now where's that Forneus...?
Image: Welp, we tried.

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Image: Darkness has an effect on things.

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Image: That's what the guy at Rag's said.

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Image: They kept saying, "We'll summon a magnificent demon." Sounds... fishy.
Image: Full K, huh? Hmm. I'll look into it.

*: We certainly know of one place where strange ceremonies may be conducted.



Tyrant Mara
In Buddhist tradition, Mara is a demonic creature presiding over desire and temptation; where the Buddha would lead mankind to an enlightened existence free of want and suffering, Mara symbolizes every wordly attachment that would bind a soul to the wheel of reincarnation. He once attempted to tempt the Buddha himself by parading his daughters in front of him, but this is the Buddha we're talking about here, so it didn't amount to much. In the series he's most often represented as some kind of giant penis monster, but of course in Nocturne the summoning ritual that brought him to the Vortex World was flawed, and he only appears as a colossal, vaguely phallic blob of slime.


Image: Let us never speak of this again.
Image: Deal.
Image: Mmm-hmm.
Image: Speak of what?
Image: ...oh well.

*: Man I could not be more chuffed about how this went. Mara's a trick boss, and the trick is that he always uses Diarahan at the start of his turn, restoring his 2300 HP to maximum. There are basically two ways to kill him: one way is to be able to deliver 2300 damage in a single turn. The other is to drain his 3000 MP so he can't heal himself anymore.

As you might guess, one way is significantly quicker than the other.

Of course, Mara isn't just a meat shield and won't sit still while you're trying to set up a damage spike or sucking off stealing his MP. The biggest immediate threats are Hell Thrust and Hades Blast (a high-power group-hitting physical skill), as well as Dismal Tune, a Curse-element attack with a Mute chance attached. He also knows Mazanma, Marin Karin (...!), Makajamon (chance to Mute all foes), and Dekaja, so any buffs are temporary at best.

What clinched it so quickly for us here was bouncing all four hits of a Taunt-powered Hades Blast off Onkot's Tetrakarn, causing over a thousand damage to Mara after his customary Diarahan had taken effect, therefore putting his remaining HP well within Divine Shot's kill range.

It's quite important to choose a party that can survive Mara's offense (dude is level 85, with 30 Strength and 40 Magic); Zed had ingested Murakumo for the physical resistance, Onkot and Raja Naga naturally resist physical damage, and Titan has a boatload of HP. It's pleasant coincidence that these gave me all the tools I needed to play "why are you hitting yourself" with the dicklord.

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Muspell is another Magic-inclined Magatama, though no-strings-attached resistance to ailments is a pretty good deal for anyone. The first skill it would teach us is Tentarafoo.

Now I said I was done with the Labyrinth for today, but looking at my fusion options, I find myself with a good use for Orthrus, but only if I get one more level on him. And the Labyrinth is earning us a ton of experience for our time spent, so I'm gonna explore the northern branch just a bit further.

As if to reward this wise decision, Onkot levels up, learns Stone Hunt (conversation skill for obtaining gems), and gives us a Vitality Incense.


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> ...You received Ruby!
Image: I already had one, but thanks anyway.

*: We run into plenty of Kaiwan for some reason; they're still worth a chunk of experience and they keep calling for reinforcements, so it goes faster than I expected. And I gotta say, hearing their pitiful "HELP ME!" dying cries never gets old.

A Chest gives us a Magic Incense. This is sure turning into a pleasant trip all of a sudden.


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Night Loa
Loa are powerful spirits of the Voodoo religion, acting as intermediaries between humans and their version of God. Some of them have been given the names of Catholic saints by slaves in Haiti and Louisiana, who wanted to be able to hide their true worship from their Christian owners. They are a diverse group; there is no one Loa. Some of them are kind and benevolent, others may be more dangerous but are also said to be more fun to be around, presiding over sex and such. The famous Baron Samedi is a leader of the Ghede Loa, the spirits of the dead; he is the one who makes corpses rot in their graves so they do not rise and become zombies.

Judging from popular culture these last several years, he may have been slacking on the job.


*: Orthrus levels up and learns Fire Boost. Now we're talking! There's still more of the Third Kalpa to explore, but I've had double enough by now. We warp to the terminal in Asakusa, go to the Cathedral, run around until New K, summon Sarutahiko for 17400 Macca, and...

Orthrus + Sarutahiko =


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Image: Haha! I am the Fiend White Rider! Behold my overflowing power!
Image: It's free to overflow all you want, as long as you remember who turned you into an unwholesome additive to hand-tenderized horse meat.
Image: ...please don't hurt me.

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*: Yeah, when I saw Orthrus about to learn Fire Boost, I remembered Prominence and decided there was no way I could do without. The level of the ingredients doesn't really matter when fusing Fiends, so we could have used Titan for the fusion, or we could have used other Jirae like Hua Po or even Kodama, but I figured it would be nice to pass down some useful skill Sarutahiko had. I wouldn't have said no to Watchful, but Focus and Counter are going to make good use of his 23 Strength and give him a purpose even if a given opponent is resistant to fire and expel.

At any rate, that's enough stalling. It's time to go... online.


Image: Aight, Hijiri my man, I need your IT skills.
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Image: Yup. I can't say I'm ready enough, but I'll never be, so I might as well take the plunge now.
Image: Here we go. By the way, tell Isamu not to spend too much time in there.
Image: I'm not his dad.

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Oh boy. And to think I dared to believe I'd never be back here again.

...cripes I hope that Specter dirtbag forgot about me.



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More of this. Woo.

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This isn't too terrifying by now, at least.

*: It's like three crossroads before we reach a door marked Anomaly.

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Image: Nope. This would have been way too simple otherwise.
Image: He may be up... ahead. When you... find... him... get yourself... out... The terminal's... acting... up... It's not... like it... should be...
Image: Tell me it's not the Nihilo tracking us down.
Image: ............
> You cannot hear Hijiri's voice anymore.
Image: Well. Crap.

*: A bit further we find stairs up to B1, not that this means much around here.

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Image: Geez, we've been having a lot of visitors lately! A human kid came in and began living here not too long ago. Well, I don't care who comes, as long as they don't bother me.

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*: These guys are weak to Expel, so having Sarasvati's inherited Hamaon is a huge help. I could probably use God's Bow too but we can manage without for now, and White Rider doesn't regenerate MP.

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Lv15 Element Aquans
It's... a water elemental. Mmm-hmm.


Lv20 Element Flaemis
So, what's going down in your neck of the woods nowadays? It's hella snowy up here right now.


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Image: How's it hanging?
Image: You seem friendly, but I'm not in the mood for chatting. "Believe no one." "The truth is within you!" You've heard it all before, right?
Image: That does sound familiar.
Image: So, keep it to yourself, would you?
Image: Eh?
Image: ...Um, I'm babbling, aren't I?
Image: Only a little.

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Image: No one likes to be disturbed... And if you try to force your way through, you'll run into even more trouble!

*: Well, there are two side passages here, maybe we can check out that central path later.

Oh, one's a Hall of Records. The other...


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Image: Heyo.
Image: How many times you plan on comin' here? I don't want to talk to no one! I'll heal you, so just go home... Pest.
Image: Maybe if you stopped performing a valuable service for free, there would be fewer-
Image: Now is not the time for teaching, dear.
Image: No matter how many times you visit me, I'll heal you. Anything to make you go away!

*: And this leaves us with only one way to go.

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Another maze area, with six visible hallways, and a door. Hmm. As we reach the first branch...

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The door behind us just turned into a wall.


Image: What the hell? You want me to leave, and then you cut off my way back? What kinda idiot are you?

*: A bit further...

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Image: Leave...

*: And it blocks a path that led to a Cube. An obscured corridor teleports us to the entrance of this maze.

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Image: Oh I've never heard that one before.
Image: I don't need anyone else!

*: It looks like wherever we go, this creature blocks off the path directly in front of us. I can work with this.

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Image: You need to create your own future...

*: Going directly north to the door ends up with three walls blocking the sides. Hmm. This does let us reach the Cube I saw earlier by retracing my steps, but it only contains a Life Stone.

Image: I do what I like. No one tells me what to do...

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*: East, north, west, west, north, east, north. Whew.

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We get the maze music again. Yay, Amala Network. It turns out to be more trial and error: east, north, west, north, north, east, north.

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More maze zones? Those are the more typical black hallways though.

A tough fight where Phantoms successively used Mazionga, Kamikaze and Last Resort nearly causes a wipe, but Zed manages to survive. Boy am I glad I've been increasing his Vitality lately.


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Image: I don't think Descartes would approve of you quoting him to justify fucking around with a perfect stranger!

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Mitama Nigi Mitama, Kusi Mitama, and Saki Mitama
Those are the remaining three Mitama aspects. The Nigi Mitama is the rational, moderate inclination; it's opposed to the Ara Mitama, but without the latter there is no impulse or motive, and without the former, nothing of value may be accomplished. The Kusi Mitama is a spirit of logic, wisdom and observation; it is also the source of inner supernatural power for beings which possess it. And finally, the Saki Mitami is a spirit of kindness, representing blessings, growth and prosperity, aligning one's actions towards the greater good.

Nigi Mitama increase Magic and Luck, Kusi Mitama increase Vitality and Agility, and Saki Mitama increase Vitality and Luck.


*: Alright, this part wasn't so bad; the western path leads to a couple Cubes (one trapped, one with a Mirror that I didn't think to note) and the eastern path leads to the next area. Right in front of us is a Hall of Records and two other hallways, but no Healing Room.

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Image: Eh? You got a lot prettier than last time.
Image: ...That's what a demon I just met over there said.
Image: Whew, gave me a start there for a moment.
Image: But, he was much madder... and fiercer...

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Image
Image: Aw hell. You don't learn, do you?
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*: Good Lord that didn't have to take so long. I really should have been using Divine Shot every time I used Chaos Blade. Oh well.

This incarnation of the Specter knows exactly three skills, apart from Gathering which it only uses at the start of the fight: Mana Drain, Megido, and Dekunda. Each Specter starts out with 29 MP, and Megido costs 30, so their strategy revolves around stealing your MP and using it to blast you. They have less than 1000 HP each, so I really wasted a lot of time back there. They nullify nearly all magic, so depending on your build and party make-up it might prove difficult to deal a lot of damage to them, in which case showing up to the fight with depleted MP gauges is a viable tactic. At that point you only have to deal with the Specter's physical attacks, and though it may drain your healing item reserves it's a fair sight better than being battered with several instances of Megido every round.


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Image
Image: What is it now?
Image: ................................. ........................Hmm?..... ..........................
......................
Image: Seriously?
Image: ................Hmm... ......................... ............................
Image: ...
Image: ...............You...... ...You......
Image
Image: ...yeah.
Image: ......I see...... ................................... ......................................

Well that's increasingly irritating.

Image: .................................You......
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Image: I'm Francois.
Image: ......I see................ ...You're... Isamu's... ................................
Image: Yeah.
Image: ..............................
*: Good Lord someone's trying to break the world record for ellipses.
Image: .........................You...... .........Solitude...................
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Image: Ehhhh... It's alright, sometimes. In moderation.
Image: .....................You...... ......Understand.... maybe... ......................Cool...... ..............................
Image: So how about letting me pass, then? So we can be out of each other's hair?
Image: ......Can......... you.........
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*: Let's serve Mister Social Skills here a dose of his own medicine.
Image: ............
Image: ..................................... ...Talk to... Master Isamu... ...We all... live on our own... ...You are............ me......
> The shadow disappeared.



*: I haven't seen a lot of love for Isamu so far, but today's decision is not about how many sweet make-outs we want to do with him. In fact, if he gets his way, it pretty much guarantees we will never have to deal with him again.

If everyone could create and live in a world of their choosing, it sure would solve a lot of problems. Just imagine, having your own little universe in a bubble! No one to get in your way, no one to tell you what to do, or how to do it. Nothing that exists without your approval, without you having deliberately put it there. Everything for a reason, or for no reason whatsoever if it pleases you. You're in charge, regardless of how weak or strong you are, regardless of whether you want noise and clutter or silence and harmony. Everyone gets everything they could ever want.

Or, well. Almost everything. You can enjoy anything in any way you choose, as long as you enjoy it alone. You can find any manner of happiness, as long as you're fine with not having anyone to share it with.

How much does that matter? If at all?

Are we even qualified to decide?

Kagutsuchi is watching.

Angry Beaver
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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Angry Beaver » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:06 pm

My world has people in it that care about me, and that I care about in return. We wouldn't of come down this hell hole if we didn't care about Isamu, whether he cares or not. Hand him a kite and tell him to fly it.

Does anyone around here have a reason that's not completely shit?

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

Postby Classic » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:59 pm

I don't want to dignify this guy with an answer. Jeez.
Just "I don't know" everyone who annoys us.

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

Postby François » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:56 am

Man, nobody cares about Isamu, haha. He'd probably like it this way though.

I'll be honest, while to me Yosuga and Shijima are gross from top to bottom, I have to admit that for Musubi, I'm like 1/4th "man that would be kinda rad" and 3/4th "nope this is abominable beyond words". I'd be okay with a sort of opt-in Musubi that you could pop in and out of whenever you pleased, but at this point I'm just wishing for a holodeck.

In any case, I highly doubt a horde of Isamu fans is going to crawl out of the woodwork and make itself heard in any reasonable span of time, we got a bona fide landslide on our hands, and I'm comfortably locking it in already. I can't say I'm surprised, but it's good to see my faith in humanity confirmed.

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

Postby François » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:37 am

Image: Isamu, we've known each other for so damn long. I liked you. Hell, I still kinda like you, even now, because I haven't forgotten who I am. And after all this time, after that hat, after that belt buckle, after you told me what to wear even though you knew I had already left home, after you thought Ms. Takao would go to jail for you, you've never been quite as dumb as you've been in the last thirty seconds. Are you even listening to yourself? Everyone gets to jerk off for hundreds of years until they get sick of it and make themselves a cliff to jump off of? That's your paradise? Give me a break. People are a pain in the ass sometimes, and we're not wired to give a shit about everyone we pass on the street, but everyone alone, all the time, until the next damn Conception? I think I'm gonna puke.
Image: ...I had a feeling that you wouldn't understand. I guess it doesn't matter to you, since you're not human anymore.
Image: Fuck you.
Image: As for me, I'll prove I'm right by creating the world of Musubi.
Image: Yeah, we'll see about that.
Image: You should spend some time alone, Francois... Then, see what you think.
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Image: Holy crap, talk about going for the nards! What a little turd.
Image: If Kaneda had spoken to me like that, I'm not sure even God could have brought him back after I was done with him.
Image: Guys, if I ever start talking like him, kill me.
Image: Not it!
Image: Not it!
Image: Nope! Nuh-uh!
Image: It falls not to your allies to guard your thoughts, doubly so if it would put them in danger.
Image: Yeah... Yeah, I'm sorry. That's too much to ask.
Image: Are you really so close to a change of mind?
Image: I don't think so, but... I wouldn't have thought Isamu would ever say that sort of thing either.
Image: Don't worry, I'm sure we could find a way to get some sense back into you.
Image: I volunteer if any slapping is required!
Image: Without it coming to blows.
Image: If you think slapping is only ever a gesture of violence, I pity you.
Image: Brahma and I have done things that would vaporize your mind, you little-
Image: Haha, alright, alright, alright, I get the picture. Besides, as long as I have the lot of you by my side, I'd be surprised if I forgot how good it feels to have friends around.
Image: YOU REJECT YOUR HUMAN FRIEND, YET IT IS THE COMPANY OF DEMONS THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR HUMANITY?
Image: Huh. I... guess so. Is that weird?
Image: ONLY FASCINATING.

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Well, that was a colossal waste of time. Let's see if we can find a place to contact Hijiri from and get the hell away from this den of cretins.

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Or we can just walk out. That works too.

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Image: Yeah, it's pretty hard for me to track him in there. And he's got lots of degenerates who think like him all over the place blocking the way, too.
Image: I'll go after him. You don't have to go inside Amala anymore.
Image: Huh. Well, I can't say I disagree with that course of action. Do be careful, but you have my blessing, if I have one to give. You got any idea what I could go after next?
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Image: Ah. Alright then, I'll find my own way. You've certainly been a big help so far.
Image: If there's somewhere you want to go, don't wait for me. If not, why don't you check out Asakusa? Who knows...? Maybe you'll find something new...
Image: Oh, I've been all over the place already. Maybe I'll see if the Collector has set up shop yet, but it doesn't look like he works very fast. Anyway, I won't keep you. Smell ya later!

*: We heal up, register, etc. I pick up a few Mahama Rocks at the Junk Store, earning us a tenth ticket, but choosing the white box only gets us another Balm of Rising. Still, that's not too bad.

The Collector Manikin is still not open for business yet. Maybe Futomimi is ready to give his prophecy by now?

Aaaaand he's not. Good thing Mifunashiro is only an Amala Link away. Let's go to the Labyrinth next, maybe Kamala has a lead for us.

Aaaaand she does not. While we're in the neighborhood, we might as well finish clearing out the accessible areas of the Third Kalpa. I'm getting pretty ace at the very first tunnel minigame by now! But I'm still terrible at the others.

I finish exploring as much of the eastern Magic branch as we can access, but it yields no further loot. There should still be parts of the northern Luck branch to check out.


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Lv61 Beast Cerberus
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is the monstrous dog guarding the gates of Hades, mostly keeping the dead in, but occasionally called upon to keep the living out, though the stories about that latter occurence usually involve him failing at his task; Orpheus put him to sleep with his mad lyre skillz, and Hercules pretty much just wrestled him to the ground with the aid of nought but a wooden club and a lion skin because Hercules is basically Superman. He's usually described as having three heads, but very ancient sources tell of fifty or a hundred, while others give him only two like his brother Orthrus, or even just the one. Roman Philosopher Seneca the Younger ascribes to him a Gorgon-like mane of snakes, but also a single snake tail, the latter of which is represented here.


*: We come up empty-handed. Everything that's left of of the northern branch is behind a luck door. I haven't exactly neglected Luck, not to the degree I've neglected Magic, so maybe we're not far off from being approved of by one of the remaining doors. I think I'll increase it from 12 to 15 in the next few levels.

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Lv46 Genma Hanuman
Hanuman is a famous Hindu deity, born to a tribe of monkey-people; looking at his legendary accomplishments, one could mistake him for a sort of shapeshifting Chuck Norris. He once was told a particular medicinal herb could only be found on a certain mountain; he went looking for it to save a friend's life, but could not tell which herb was the correct one, so he lifted the whole damn mountain and took it back to the healer.

Genma are Light-aligned and tend to be semi-divine in nature, but what primarily sets them apart is that they are legendary heroic warriors. There are only three Genma in Nocturne, and they can only ever be obtained through evolution (or through Compendium summoning if you've evolved them before).


*: In a final bid to try and squeeze some more loot out of this trip, I huff up the two Strength Incenses we have and make an attempt at the last remaining strength door.

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*: Well hey, whaddayaknow. This took us to 26, but I'm inclined to believe the break point is at 25. In any case, this proves conclusively that the bonus stats from Magatama do not count for these doors. They didn't count for the door in the Mantra basement HQ either.

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This one seems... shinier.

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*: Ah, that one's an alignment check. A while back I mentioned alignment rarely had an effect; well, this is one. We have five mastered Magatama so far: one Light (Iyomante) and four Neutral (Wadatsumi, Hifumi, Kamudo and Murakumo). So we're still Neutral, and the door's off limits. We have Dark-aligned Muspell on right now, and it will surrender its last skill soon, and we have a few more Dark Magatama that are one skill away from being mastered, but I'm not sure I want to dedicate our next several levels to earn the likes of Anti-Fire or Mamudoon instead of working towards skills we'd actually use. Oh well!

In any case, that's as much as we can explore until our Luck gets higher, so we retrace our steps back to Asakusa, where we heal up, save, register, and consider our options.

In terms of fusion, I have a bit of a long plan in mind, but I like the sound of it, so we warp to Ginza and trade a Jade and an Amethyst at Rag's for a Nigi Mitama. It'll need to earn four levels to learn the skill I want, but it's only at 29 so it won't take an obscene amount of experience. Besides, once it's maxed out, it'll be in the Compendium and we can get another any time we please.

Alright, so the wheels are in motion on that front. But where do we go next? We've nearly run out of directions, but one of the Manikins in the newly cleaned up Asakusa areas mentioned something going on in the Amala Network and the Mantra HQ. We've just dealt with the Network, which leaves only one clear way to go.


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Image: A human guy was here, too.

*: We earn a few Lucky Tickets stocking up on various elemental attack Rocks. You never know when those'll come in handy, even if it's only to avoid just Passing a turn. And heck, in the end I pick up a few Light/Float balls to get another tenth ticket. The white box earns us a Strength Incense!

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*: Dang, I'm not too keen on a dinky little fun-size update like this, but I only dare stretch it so far before it risks feeling like padding, and all the optional stuff I could think of went to the pre-Isamu update. (Or... uh, almost. Something occured to me in editing, but, it would have been very quick anyway.) Still, it's major decision time again!

We don't have a non-committal response this time. This reflects Hikawa's zealous, uncompromising nature; now that he finds us worthy of his attention, either we support his ideal, or we become his enemy.

So! Shijima. Strong, weak, doesn't matter, all have their place. And everyone's working together side by side. No war, no pain, no greed, no cruelty, no crime or pollution, no loneliness or abuse, just a luminous, harmonious whole where all know their fate and walk its path until contented rest comes to them.

Wouldn't that just be so sweet?

Wouldn't that just have made it worth it to murder billions?

Kagutsuchi is watching.

Angry Beaver
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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Angry Beaver » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:31 am

This is the first reason to come along that doesn't seem like a steaming pile. But fuck Hikawa. He doesn't even get a kite to fly.

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

Postby François » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:57 am

For the other decisions, there are have been a couple votes for the "I dunno, wait and see" type answers, but with that one taken away, it's pretty much unanimous. I'll be getting started today!

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

Postby François » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:34 pm

I turn my back to Hikawa, doing my best to wipe all these Amala Drums from my sight. I can still feel the heat of the Mantra brasiers burning nearby.

Image: Nue. Come.
Image: Me eat?

The mountain of muscle and teeth and claws climbs up to reach me. Cautious. Ready.

Image: Nah, not right now. Sit with me.

I sit down, and Nue curls up next to my leg. I pet the flawless fur of its shoulders. I've seen how that thing fights. How does it stay so clean?

Image: I had a stepfather. We... didn't have a lot in common. He didn't try too hard to get along with me, but I mostly liked it that way. He made mom happy. It would have been rude to ask for more.

Nue purrs. Why am I surprised it sounds like a cat? It has tiger legs.

Image: We used to fight some, every once in a while, when he wasn't too tired from work. Honda main. I'm more of a Ken guy myself, but there's no accounting for taste, right? We were pretty evenly matched, I like to think. It was pleasant enough.

I scratch the beast on top of its head, where I imagine its ears would have been. I can feel its tail snake coiling lazily around my leg.

Image: The man had a daughter. Different mother. She had her circles and I had mine. But I could tell she was smart. And bold. And... kind. We argued, a lot, but I liked her. We were family, you know? Despite everything?

Deep breath.

Image: Mom... My mother... That's one memory I'm keeping for myself.

I lean back a little. Nue climbs a step and nuzzles up to my side. I put my arm around its back. So warm.

Image: Hikawa. Do you know the best way to kill an Oni with your bare hands?

He does not answer.

Image: You'd think to go for a sharp blow to the back of the neck, but their spines are crazy thick, you'd need an axe or a saw or something. No, the best way, it's to grab their big horn with one hand, and their jaw with the other... I know what you're thinking, they've got teeth and all, but they never see it coming, and they're pretty slow to begin with, so you usually have a couple seconds before they think to bite down. So you just stick your fingers in there and put your thumb under their chin, and you pull. I'm not gonna tell you it's easy, but it's easier than you think. You give that jaw a real good tug, with their horn as leverage, and it pops right off its sockets. Then you can just tear it off, and it usually comes away with most of their throat. Quirk of anatomy, I guess. At that point you can just wait them out. It takes them a couple minutes to realize they're choking on their own blood. I didn't say it was the quickest way. They're tough sons of bitches, and maybe they're too dumb to know when they've lost. But it's over.

I stand up and face Hikawa again. He's still there; hasn't moved a finger. Nue gets off the ground, stands on its hind legs, and growls.

Image: You did this. This is your fault. All of it. This... this sun. You put it there. I don't lose my shit when it shines, like everybody else, but there's something in my brain that feels like burning, and it's like... It's like I lose a name or a face. Or a voice. I don't like to think about it, but by now the worst thing about it is that it hurts a little less every time it happens. Still, I can't let it get in the way, you know? I could be worrying about getting in a good university, but instead I gotta deal with every asshole who comes along, trying to turn this fucking nightmare into an even worse one. And it's all on you.

He remains silent. Of course he would.

Image: And for what? For silence? You want silence? You've got plenty of money, buy yourself some earplugs and leave the rest of us alone, you miserable twit!

I put a hand on Nue's back for an instant, and it settles down again.

Image: You spared me once. I'll do you the same courtesy. We're even now. But I'm afraid I must decline your request. I haven't met anyone I want to see win yet. But you, I want to see you lose.

Image
Image: Says the mass murderer.
Image: I was wrong to think that you would understand my ideal.
Image: You're the only one who makes sense, and everyone who disagrees is just too stupid to understand, right?
Image: ...It is now time for us to part. I will not feel at ease until all this is over. Do you not sense something wicked in the air?
Image: I sure do.
Image: Someone is scheming to ignite the ember that still glows within the remains of Gozu-Tennoh.
Image
Image: It is I who will create the new world!
Image

*: When the light fades, Hikawa is gone.

Image: I... I'm sorry. I had no idea.
Image: Eh? You don't have to apologize for not knowing something I didn't tell you.
Image: Do you wish you could bring them back?
Image: ...
Image: What a useless question.
Image: There is no need to torment him with the impossible.
Image: ...my apologies again.
Image: No, no, don't...
Image: Are you going to be alright?
Image: ...yeah. Yeah, I am. Nothing has changed. We don't have any new problems.
Image: Other than whoever is messing around with Gozu-Tennoh's corpse.
Image: If that's not Chiaki, I'll eat Isamu's hat.

So then.

What's my next move?

Image

*: The doors to the Mantra HQ are locked. I do a quick check around Ikebukuro, just to see if there's anything new.

Image
Image: Heheheh... I'm glad I stayed here.

Image
Image: You... probably don't want to get too comfortable.

Image
Image: There's a rumor going around that Gozu-Tennoh's regaining strength.

Image

Gozu-Tennoh was affable enough when we met, but if he's coming back and Chiaki can talk him into supporting Yosuga, which sure isn't gonna be hard, that can't mean anything good.

*: We've done all we had to do here. Let's check on Hijiri for now.

Image
Image: You could say that.
Image: I heard you can't get inside Mantra's headquarters right now. ...The Manikins are worried.
Image: All true. Some real sketchy stuff's going on in there by now, I bet.
Image: Former members of Mantra could be involved, but most likely, they wouldn't try anything without a leader.
Image
Image: Maybe those Manikins are up to something themselves...
Image: Well, I'm sure they think they can't be the world's butt-monkeys forever. No offense.
Image: I'm more offended that you thought I'd be offended.
Image: Aight then, I'll be on my way. Good hunting!

Maybe Futomimi's ready to speak.

*: We warp directly to Mifunashiro.



Image: Yoyogi Park, eh? Isn't that where the fairies set up shop?
Image: Don't look at me! I haven't been there in so long!
Image: Nah, I understand, don't worry. Is just... evil power? The fairies? Really?
Image: IT WOULD NOT BE OBERON AND TITANIA'S FIRST CRUEL JEST.
Image: There may be something or someone else there by now.
Image: Can't discard any theory, I suppose. But either way, we'll find out when we get there, I'm sure.
Image: The doors were locked, if I recall.
Image: There's more than one entrance to Yoyogi Park. Maybe there's some way to go around, or maybe someone unlocked the door since we've been there, who knows. Besides, if the Manikins can find a way, we ought to be able to follow them. It's not like they don't owe us a solid.

Image

Image
Image: He was pretty insistent on it, too.
Image: There must be something important there.

Image
Image: I need to restore the city! I need to rush back!

*: Maybe Hijiri can hook us up for transportation. Let's go back to Asakusa.

Image: I've got no updates on Isamu. Is he playing dead or what...? Oh well, he'll give himself away eventually. ...In the meantime, why don't you go find out about Futomimi?
Image: Oh I already... eh, never mind, just focus on tracking him down.

Image
Image: Oooh, glad to hear it, thanks for the heads-up.
Image: He's got a lot of things, from weird drinks to insect-like things.
Image: Glorious!
Image: It's up ahead on your left. ...But sometimes I feel a strange presence around there. It's kinda scary.
Image: Hmm, alright then, I'll be careful.

Image
Image: Now, it's out turn to enslave the demons!
Image: Yikes!
Image: ...That's the mindset we need to be at.

Image
Image: Use it if you're going to Ueno or the Asakusa Tunnel!

The Asakusa Tunnel... I suppose that doesn't mean the one going to Ikebukuro. Maybe that's how the Manikins are going to Yoyogi.

Image
Image: ...good question.
Image: ...No, we have Futomimi! It must be possible! We'll make it... A world without humans or demons -- just Manikins.

Ouch. I guess I might have to decide if I'd be okay with that, too.

Image
Image: I wish that were the case.

Image

Image
Image: Hope nothin' bad happens.

*: We're done checking out the Nakamise-Douri area again, so it's time to head down to where the Collector was working.

Image
> The flames of the Candelabrum of Sovereignty are flickering wildly.

So that's what that Manikin was going on about. Must be the Pale Rider. Welp, gotta collect the set!

Image
Image: But, we worked together to build this city. We'll beat down that evil power!

*: A bit further down the hallway, Zed levels up and masters Muspell, learning Xeros-Beat, a group-targeting physical attack that may inflict the Bind ailment. I discard Chaos Blade, since Xeros-Beat doesn't scale with HP and is therefore benefitting more from our high Strength.

Image

We've gained a Dark alignment point, and while it's not enough to make us switch from Neutral, it bumps us up to the next tier of titles. We are now Master Francois Hawke.

Alright then, time to find that Rider.




*: Okay, that's rough chuckles. We should be able to do better right away though. Let's try ingesting Miasma so we don't get ravaged by Mabufudyne.

...nope, Zed gets petrified and shattered. Another try. Maybe with Muspell on, to resist ailments, and we can count on Nue to void ice damage.




Fiend Pale Rider
"And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." --Revelations 6:7-8

He sure managed to kill us with death a couple times.


*: The biggest problem in this fight is the Loas spamming Debilitate, which applies one stack each of Tarunda, Rakunda and Sukunda. Of course it doesn't have to be such a problem if you have Dekunda available, but... yeah. They also know Mamudo, Mamudoon, Dormina, Tetraja, Venom Bite, Stone Gaze and Last Resort, but Debilitate's 48 MP cost can run them out of juice before too long. Of course they're immune to Death, Curse and Nerve, but they only resist Mind, so it might be worth it to use any Charm or Panic effects available to you. Charm is an iffy proposition though, because if one Loa kills the other, the Rider will summon a replacement, and the replacement will have its full complement of MP. A Loa brought to low health will gladly use its Last Resort, which the Rider is set to actually absorb, and can lead to the other Loa following suit and putting you at real risk of instant party wipe.

The Rider himself is more into direct offense, but with a couple nasty twists. Mabufudyne is straightforward enough, and Blight is a multi-hit attack with a chance to inflict Poison. However, he also knows Eternal Rest as well as Pestilence, which inflicts Almighty damage and instantly kills all poisoned foes. That's why you saw me take a turn to use a Dis-Poison on Kushinada back there. Of course, on top of the poison from Pestilence, you've got the Loa throwing Dormina and Venom Bite around.

I brought White Rider and Nigi Mitama along primarily for their outright immunity to all ailments. Fortunately, they were able to contribute plenty more than that, since White Rider packs quite a punch for a dude with no special physical attack skills, and Nigi's Rakunda casts did much to offset our Debilitated offense power. Neither the Pale Rider nor the Loa know Dekunda either, so Fog Breath and Nue's War Cry also did a lot of heavy lifting to keep us alive. And we could hardly fail to benefit from Nue nullifying ice and death effects.

Anyway, that was that for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We heal up and save before we go any further.


Image
Image: It's him. Definitely him.
Image: Hmm?

If they know who it is, maybe they're talking about Sakahagi.

Image
Image: There's a giant hole there. We call it the Asakusa Tunnel.

Image

Image: Heyo!
Image
Image: Wow, you're sick of it already?
Image: ......
Image: Well I sure didn't expect this.
Image: Hahahahaha! I'm sorry, I always wanted to say that.
Image: Ha... haha... good one.
Image: You remember me? I'm the Manikin that collects all sorts of junk.
Image: Of course I remember you, nobody else is wearing that mask.
Image: I finally opened my own shop! Take your time and look around. Since you helped me out before, I'll sell to you at wholesale.
Image: Mighty kind of you.

Image

Image: I don't just collect junk. For example, I sell Magatama as well.
Image: Not for long!
Image: I thought they would be useful to you... It took me awhile to find them.
Image: I appreciate it.
Image: I have no clue how to use these things, but...
Image: Trust me, you don't want to know.
Image: It's super gross.
Image: Feel free to buy them, if you'd like.

Image

*: The Collector Manikin sells mostly stuff we've seen before. Wagtail Plumes attempt to Charm all enemies and are sold nowhere else yet, but we got a bunch of them from Succubus drops back in the Obelisk. Of course, we're really here for those three Magatama. It's fortunate that we still have most of the money, because they're crazy expensive. And imagine, in Hard mode, all store prices are tripled; Sophia alone would cost 360000 Macca, which is more than what the Efreet who lost a bet gave us.

We buy all of them right away, but it still only earns us three tickets. We came in with 464547 Macca, and we leave with 224547.


Image: It's great having my own shop, but... I want to go search for something that nobody's seen before... I wonder if I should join your party...
Image: Sorry broseph, you gotta be able to hold your own in a fight.

Image

*: Kamurogi is a fighter-type Magatama with decent stat bonuses, but weakness to magic is a horrifying drawback. It would teach us Blight.

Image

Vimana is another warrior Magatama, with a slightly more balanced stat spread. Immunity to Nerve ailments is pretty rad, so it's a lot better to keep equipped at any random time than Kamurogi. Its first skill is Endure, which brings you back to life (with 1 HP) once per battle, regardless of what it is that kills you. It's tempting!

Image

Sophia is a healing Magatama, with decent bonuses to non-damage stats. It's also the only one we have that nulls Expel effects with no accompanying weaknesses; the first skill it would teach us is Thunderclap.

Aight, time to go.


Image
Image: But, you can't get in, so there's nothing to see.

Image
Image: He went down the hall.

*: There's a small Terminal next to the exit, so I quickly drop a save.

Image

Oooh, right, that's another part of Asakusa we couldn't reach before.


Image

Image

Image

Image
Image: But... What's a 'Kimon'?
Image: Oh, that's an old superstition. Or, well, maybe not such a superstition, in the end. "Kimon" means "demon gate", and it refers to the northeast direction, from where demons and other evil spirits come. If this place was still flat, the Imperial Palace would be southwest from here, and they must have built this temple to block the bad northeastern vibes and protect the Emperor from evil influence.
Image: Hmm! You sure know a lot about that stuff.
Image: I... learned from a good teacher.

*: I assume this temple is based on a real place, but there are tons of temples in Ueno and I couldn't quite say which one we'd be talking about.

Image

Image
> The temple is sealed with a powerful spell.

*: We can't go any further; the screen turns white and we're forced back to the overworld. Raja Naga levels up after the following battle; he learns Shock, replacing Lucky Find, and I let him change a skill, turning Counter into Retaliate, which is a counterattack with increased damage.

Image

We find Yushima Station at the very southwestern end of the area.


Image

Aw hell.

Image

Yeah, that's definitely Sakahagi.

Image

Image

That one's dead too.

Image

Great, in the dark with a skin-taking psychopath on the loose.

*: We no longer have a Lightoma caster, but we did stock up on Light Balls a while back.

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Image

*: Raja Naga are tough customers, they can come in groups of three, and they all know Retaliate (making it near suicidal to just punch 'em), so I'm extra glad we got one on our side. We also run into Shikome and Ikusa, but Xeros-Beat is performing admirably here, and with Life Refill we don't even need to bother Kushinada for heals every other battle.

Image
Image: Th-Th-Thank goodness it was dark...

*: There's another dead Manikin and more blood in the southwestern tunnel, so we go to the northwestern one first.

Image

Lots of damage floors in here. One hallway leads to a dead end, another to 8000 Macca, and the last one to... two Medicines. Yay. Back to the southwest we go.

Image

Three ladders down, huzzah. The western one leads to a short dead-end, so I have to assume there's a hidden pitfall right above.

A small room underneath the middle ladder contains a Mute-trapped Cube, a Soma Droplet, and a fixed encounter with three Titans.

Image

Image

It's not too tough a battle.

A bit further in, we find a ladder up to B2. We're getting pretty far for the initial set of three ladders, so I resolve to just go wherever this tunnel takes me, then come back some other time to clean the place out.

Image

In fact it's not too long before the path we're following breaks into another train tunnel.

Image

Though it turns out to be a continuation of the initial northwestern dead end we encounterered.

Image

We reach another station, just barely in time for the Balls to run out.


Image
Image: After that, a female human passed by. It's usually quiet here, but...

A female human...? Chiaki's busy in Ikeburo, and even if she had any business in Yoyogi Park, there's no way she would have passed me. So either it's Ms. Takao, or another woman survived.

Either way, I hope she's safe.

Image

*: This tunnel is a lot shorter than I expected. I suppose that other ladder back there led to a dead end with some treasure. It still means I'll go back to make sure before long, but I'm okay with that.

Image

Gaien-Mae Station is just a bit east of Yoyogi Park, so we're almost there.


Image
Image: That vicious Manikin won't be able to do anything just by himself.

Image

Image

*: We have returned to the "back" section of the Vortex World, where the hospital was; in fact I think we can see it in this picture, all the way north. The only area we haven't been to yet is the bottom one.

Image

Image

Yup, this is the other side of Yoyogi Park alright. It's where we first met Hijiri, forever ago. And of course Hikawa's eyesore of a tower is still there, though it doesn't look like the fairies were too keen on picking up the construction work where it left off.

Image

Image

Whoops, there's a minor goof here. If we look up into the distance, we can see the distinctive descending circular terraces of Asakusa, with Mifunashiro in the center. However, we see them to the west, not to the east where they should be. This exact skybox would be accurate for the western entrance of Yoyogi Park (with Asakusa still being across from the entrance), so I guess they re-used it without minding the orientation.




For the home of the fairies, this place sure feels eerie.

Image
Image: Everyone went crazy!
Image: Crazy?

Image
Image: He locked the door, so the fairies that were outside are in a panic.
Image: Oh no!

Image
Image: That Sakahagi messed everyone up and slipped right inside...

Huh. I guess he's not just strong for a Manikin, but also strong in general. I'll have to be on my guard.

*: The nearby door is locked, just like its equivalent was on the western side. We'll have to find another way in. There are still northern and southern paths here, so we go south first because why not.

Image

Image

Image

Music: Reunion with Master

Image
Image: Uh-oh, I think I stumbled on the teachers' lounge by accident.
Image: Well, hello. ...I knew you'd come.
Image: There are so few of us left who haven't completely lost their minds... I figured we'd run into each other again sooner or later.
Image: You heard about what's happening here, right?
Image: Yeah, I heard the Manikin leader talk about it.
Image: The existence of a power that can change the world...
Image: Never mind that. How are you? I... was worried.
Image: ...I'm sorry that I disappeared after you saved me. It was my god who did that; I couldn't do anything about it...
Image: I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I don't feel super great about that.
Image
Image: But, my god has been protecting me since then, and I'm doing much better now.
Image: That's good to hear, at least.
Image: Hikawa won't be able to take control of me again.
Image
Image: What he envisions is a world where the thread of time is spun unerringly, without change... You can't call that a world. It's just wasted space, totally devoid of power.
Image: I'm not gonna pretend all the peace is completely... unattractive. But, yeah, what good would a place like that really be?
Image: To restrain the reborn world like that would be unforgivable.
Image: Not to mention all the blood on the man's hands, too.
Image
Image: The world cannot remain in a state of chaos, nor can it fall prey to Hikawa's ambitions.
Image
Image: I know where that line of thought is going.
Image: My god has spoken to me, but she has yet to reveal the Reason.
Image: I don't know how this stuff works, but... I don't think that's how it works.
Image: ......
Image
Image: The mess with that Manikin serial killer?
Image: Well, it's all because of the Yahirono Himorogi.
Image: Let's pretend I don't know what that is.
Image: The Yahirono Himorogi is a stone that contains an enormous amount of Magatsuhi. It grants tremendous power to its possessor.
Image: Again with the Magatsuhi, huh?
Image: Word spread that the stone is somewhere in Yoyogi Park, and now everybody is trying to claim it for their own.
Image
Image: Ah, now I get it.
Image: Once I have that power... I'll be worthy of receiving the Reason from my god.
Image: Okay, you've lost me again.
Image
Image: I'm not sure who, but I can sense a strong, evil power. Their power is so strong that I wouldn't stand a chance against it... But I think you would.
Image: If anyone can, right?
Image: If I promise to give you the Magatsuhi contained inside it...
Image

*: This is one of those sorts of semi-minor decisions where in normal circumstances I'd be thinking "no need to cut the update short for something like this, I'll just go with whatever feels most in character", but here, well, we're coming up to a natural break point and I figure I might as well get a feel for what The People are thinking. Yuko's certainly much kinder to us than anyone else has been, but despite how Hikawa lied to her about her role in the Vortex World, she still willingly participated in the Conception with full knowledge of what it would entail.

If the Lady in Black has been honest with us, we probably know more about Aradia than Yuko does. Odds are we're going after the Yahirono Himorogi either way, or after Sakahagi at least, but do we trust that our teacher knows what she's doing? And even if we don't, would we deprive her of our support?

Here as always, the Devil's in the details, and Kagutsuchi is watching.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:38 am

Aight, that one ain't getting reversed anytime soon. The Internet likes ladies and hates douchebags, breaking news. Time to dive back in. Glorious!

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François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:06 pm

Image: Yeah, of course I will. Whatever your god comes up with can't be any worse than whatever Larry, Curly and Moe have been dreaming up, right?
Image
Image: Don't mention it. I know you'd help me if our places were reversed.
Image: By the way, you couldn't get into the park before, right?
Image: Right, that's a bit of a problem.
Image: Here, take this. It's the key to that locked door.
> You obtained the key to Yoyogi Park.
Image: Oooh, thanks.
Image
Image: No problem. But this better earn me some extra credit!

*: I've just learned that there's an interesting nuance in Yuko's request that was changed in translation. From the dialog we've seen, it would appear that Yuko wants the Yahirono Himorogi because she believes her obtaining the stone will prove that she's worthy of receiving a Reason; it's barely a step removed from "maybe Aradia-senpai will finally notice me". However, in the original Japanese, her plan is to use the stone's god-controlling powers to outright force Aradia to give her a Reason. That certainly makes her seem less wishy-washy.

Image

Before we use the key to enter the construction site, I remember we haven't visited the northern building here yet. We run into a couple fights on the way, all low level Fairy clan critters like Pixies and Pyro Jacks. Aaaaand there's a large Terminal up here!


Image
Image: Is that human in the southern room in cahoots, too!?
Image: I know you have no reason to trust me when I say this, but she's really not a danger to you.

*: Alright, time to tackle the entrance.

Image

Image



Image: Holy crap, this place has no business sounding this terrifying.
Image: With an upstanding fellow like Sakahagi on the loose, any place has business sounding this terrifying.
Image: ...touché.

Image
Image
Image: Ah, whatever... Pixies, deal with him!
Image: You've got to be kidding.
Image
Image
Image: You're nothing to us! We'll chase you outta here!
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Image

Image

Image
Image: If they're picking a fight with me, they must be.
Image: If you get too close to one without thinking, you'll be teleported somewhere else!
Image: Ah, not a fight then. I should've guessed.

*: Before we get in much more than a couple steps, we run into a fight with Setanta and Oberon. If we had any ally slots open, it might not be a bad idea to recruit them.

Image

Image

Walking underneath the right-hand catwalk here prompts a Pixie to descend from it, tell us "Leave!" or "Get lost!" and teleport us to the entrance. Not the end of the world, but...

Image

The automap notes the "trapped" catwalks for you with exclamation marks when you get caught, so it's likely you can bumble your way through if you gotta, as long as the Fairy encounters don't do you in too bad.


Image

Image

Lv57 Fairy Titania
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania is the Queen of the Fairies and wife to Oberon. The fairy queen archetype existed long before Shakespeare was a glint in his father's eye, but it typically consisted of delicate, meek creatures, while Titania is strong, proud and easily her husband's equal in power.


*: There are many of the punier Fairy-type critters around, but they're easily dealt with and will often run away. Only Trolls, Oberon, Titania and Setanta are any real threat.

Image
Image: There's a platform in each one, so try climbing it. From there, you will be able to see the entire section and where the shining Pixies are hiding.

Image

Image

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*: Ooh, how convenient. Man I'm glad I can just take screenshots; I'm sure the other sections will be more complicated.

Image
Image: It's hard to miss, yeah.
Image: That's where that Sakahagi is. But, you can't get into that section from here.
Image: Lemme guess. I need to work my way around all four sections first.

*: ...oh hell, of course they gave Setanta Dragon Eye. Why wouldn't they?

Image: Hey, can I have a minute?
Image: Hmm?
Image
> ...You received Dis-Mute!
Image: Uhh. Okay, sure, thanks. I'll just, um, put it on top of the pile, that way I'll use it first.

Image

*: Having seen the catwalks from above, the rest of this first section is a cinch to navigate.

Image
Image: Yeah, sure, let's go with that.
Image
Image: I hope that you do not bore me. Pixies! Play with him!
Image
Image
Image: I think they got the wrong protagonist there.
Image: Oh you shut up.
Image

Image

*: Hmm, there are three identical doors here.

We're currently northeast of the central tower. I expect I'll have to take a roundabout way, so I go south first.

Image

The platform's over there, lessee if I can get to it from here.

Image

We can't, but it's not all bad news.

We run into a fight with a Titania and two Trolls, so I assume that the jabroni Fairy types are gradually being replaced by the heavyweights. But I'd rather encounter Titania than Oberon, because then I can just Xeros-Beat my way to victory.

Zed levels up and would learn Endure. Maaaaaan this is a toughie. I'm giving up Mana Drain. It served us well when we had low MP, but by now it restores less than 30 a shot, we have a pretty decent MP pool (183, with a Magic Stat of three, counting Vimana's +1), Shock only costs 9 MP, and while Fog Breath is still expensive I can just pop a couple Chakra Drops if I run low. If we were a caster-type I wouldn't dare drop it, but being able to survive the occasional blunder is going to serve us better.

Vimana stuns us, but that's easily cured. Aaaand the Chest contained a Balm of Rising. Let's try the northern door this time.


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*: Okay, I'll want to take the western door afterwards to meet that spirit there.

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The path to the next section is pretty clear, but I want that Cube first.

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The Cube only has a Chakra Drop, but there's a Chest with a Sapphire next to it!

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We then proceed west and south towards the spirit we saw from above, but there's a pool and another Chest (Luck Incense!) in the way, so we have to go around.


Image
Image: ...was?
Image: Sakahagi used that to summon a powerful demon.
Image: Aw hell.
Image: ...It reflects physical attacks.
Image: Aw double hell.
Image: *sigh* How did it come to this?

Image

*: One more section over with. Geographically, we're halfway there!

Image
Image
Image: My troops shall entrap you as you move! This falls out better than I could devise!
Image: Does this douchebag ever shut up? Is that a "king" thing?
Image: I dare hope not.
Image: Oh, right, yeah. Nah, you're cool.
Image

Image

*: First order of business: finding the way to that platform.

Image

Oh! Well then. A door just to the north leads us to glorious convenience.


Image
Image: The High Pixies changed positions?
Image: So that's their new trick then.
Image: That gonna count as triple hell?
Image: Yyyyyup. That'll do it.

Image

*: There's another Chest down there, so we'll have to explore for sure.

Image

Image

Image

One of the High Pixies blocks the path to the Chest, so I hope they do move. Maybe it's related to the K phase? I spend a few phases running around up here and they're not going anywhere. Maybe they'll switch if we get caught.


Image
Image: Alright! This time, let's try to cross-formation!

*: Ah, I see, they switch when you pass under an unguarded catwalk. Going back to the platform, I realize that the catwalks are arranged in a square, and the High Pixies are now guarding the sides instead of the corners, which must be what "cross-formation" means. This is easy enough to work around. Indeed, when we reach the area with the Chest, they switch to "X-formation", which means they return to the corners.

Nue and Succubus learn their last skills following the same battle, respectively Mamudo and Tentarafoo. They're ripe for fusion by now, so I switch in White Rider and Titan because their skill lists are looking pretty sparse while everyone else has either full skill slots or nothing more to learn. This place is actually pretty good EXP!

...I get so enthusiastic about running around waiting for full K that I skip it by accident, so it's another cycle's worth of combat coming up. I decide to make liberal use of Raja Naga's Estoma just for now.

Thanks to Watchful, Okuninushi levels up and learns his last skill, Beckon Call, which summons a random ally to the fight. This is of dubious utility most of the time, but it can be a life saver if the Demi-fiend is afflicted by some ailment that prevents him from replacing dead teammates.

Zed has a chance to learn Tempest from Vimana, which causes physical damage to all enemies. It costs a fair bit less HP than Xeros-Beat, and apparently it even does a bit more damage, but XB's Bind effect has been very helpful so far and Life Refill takes care of the HP cost, so I prefer hanging on to it for now.

I finally get my hands on that Chest, and it contains a Bead Chain.


Image
Image: Yeah, I figured that one out already.
Image: There's a cross-formation and an X-formation. Try checking them out from a platform.

*: We run into a group of three Trolls, which gives us an opportunity to try out White Rider's Fire Boosted Prominence. He one-shots two of them and maims the third. Overflowing with power, indeed.

Image

And that's the third section done. Almost there!


Image

Image
Image: That Manikin Sakahagi went into the communications tower site!

Image
Image: By punching really hard. How else?
Image: Rascals! You grow bolder with each passing day!
Image
Image: Aw man what.
Image
Image: Quadruple hell!
Image: And not just that... An entire legion of my best troops awaits you!
Image: I'm here to take out Sakahagi! Are you really so keen on him that you'd want to stop me this hard?
Image: Now, you will die...

*: We start running into battles with both Oberon and Titania for the first time, which makes it a bit more irritating to hit them all at once since one resists magic and the other resists physical damage. But it's still no great danger. In fact, despite Oberon threatening us with his best troops, at level 57 Titania is the strongest Fairy demon in the game, so we've seen everything they could possibly throw at us.

Image

Hmm... This is the west side. I wonder if...

Image

Image

Ah-ha!

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*: Well, isn't this familiar! This is the western entrance plaza. We could hoof it all the way to Shibuya to save and such, but there's a Fountain right here that'll heal whatever ails us.

Image
Image: They locked the door, so we can't get in...
Image: Ahem.
Image: ...That's what I was going to say, but you came from inside! So, what's in there?
Image: Obnoxious fairies and boring construction stuff. This door was practically better off locked; sorry to disappoint.

Image
Image: Absolutely.
Image: You know... She's so hot!

Image
Image: Yeah, it looked pretty grim and occulty, that's for sure.
Image: Gaea cult, was it?
Image: Or Hikawa's perversion of it, in any case.

*: We heal up and return to the last section of the construction site.

Image

There's another set of three doors here, and I can see more catwalks. Welp, gotta pick one.

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The far one takes us to a Cube with two Lifestones, surrounded by catwalks. Going under the northern one alerts a regular Pixie who teleports us to the center of the area. Yay, a teleport maze. At least those don't move around.

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There is a path you can take that will let you reach the other side without having to be teleported even once, and if you pay attention to your map it's not too difficult to discern through trial and error.

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That said, there's clearly a chest in the northeast corner, and I want it. After a bit of experimentation, it turns out the middle of the three easternmost Pixies will send you to it.

Nigi Mitama learns its final skill. In addition to its natural Rakunda, Persuade and Analyze, it now knows all four elemental Boost skills.

The Chest gives up its Bead of Life (restores all HP and MP for the entire party), and we can be on our way again.

Image

That's the way in, at last. But there's another door to the southeast, and it seems easy to miss if you beeline for the central tower without paying attention.

Image

That's a Bead, a Revival Bead, and another door, leading to a small Terminal. We gotta be close.

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Welp, that was some maze. All in all though, it went a lot smoother than I remembered, and it really doesn't come close to the episode of sheer bliss that was Dante Tag.

Image

Strong power warning, eh? I back off and try to remember...

Hmm. Zed ingests Anathema, for the immunity to Death. We summon Okuninushi, Kushinada, and Sati.




He had a big pet, but I guess even a strong Manikin is still just a Manikin in the end. Shame about the Magatsuhi, though. I may no longer be qualified to use it for what it was meant to be used, but it would have made amazing leverage.

Vile Girimehkala
In Sri Lankan mythology, Girimehkala is the mount of the demon lord Mara. It has a single eye, and curses all that look into it. It could well be a demonized version of Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god of wisdom, art and science.


Corpus Sakahagi
What you see is what you get, for now at least.


*: For whatever reason I was expecting Girimehkala to use Death effects, but in fact it does not, so I used Anathema for nothing. Physical resistance would have been more useful, though only Gaea and Murakumo don't come with weaknesses that would have crippled us. And yeah, no, I didn't actually want Okuninushi to use Hell Thrust back there, but my finger slipped. On one hand, that eventually killed him (dig that moment where he starts his turn poisoned with 4 HP left and I take a few seconds to realize I've painted myself into a corner), but on the other hand, replacing him with White Rider was incredibly helpful. Oh, and you may have noticed that by any sane measure Zed should have been killed towards the end. The Endure skill saved our bacon for the first time, and certainly not for the last.

So, Girimehkala. He has the typical boss immunities, and reflects physical damage on top of that. His typical turn procedure is to open with Beast Eye, use the half icons to Dekunda himself and cast either Tarukaja, Sukukaja, or Rakunda, then fish for a Blight critical hit on his remaining full icon to slip in a second attack. He also knows Panic Voice and Toxic Cloud. Zed couldn't do much to him, so it was mostly a question of using him to put out fires with items; Fog Breath was essentially a wasted icon and I'm disappointed in myself that it took me so long to learn that lesson. In these circumstances, having a buff spell instead of a debuff would have been vastly more useful.

Sakahagi can be a bit of a mean surprise and may finish you off if Girimehkala left you in a sorry state, but he's not actually all that threatening. His only skills are mid-tier attack spells of all four main elements, and he has like 50 MP to cast them with. Mostly he just made me feel like a million bucks for finally being able to unleash a Focused up Divine Shot with impunity.


Image
Image
Image: Come back to your senses, have you?
Image
Image
Image: In my dream, I was a bad demon, hee ho!
Image: No, it was not a dream.
Image
Image
Image: ZedPower, I ask you to forgive our discourtesy...
Image: Huh. Isn't that a bit convenient? But I can give you the benefit of the doubt.
Image: You may take the Yahirono Himorogi as you please. It is a sign of our gratitude.
Image: You're, uh, too kind.
Image: By the way... Before we were cursed, a human girl came here. She was beaten by Sakahagi, yet somehow survived and limped to safety, but...
Image: ...!
Image: I felt an evil power from her heart. Something even stronger than that of Sakahagi. That girl is not an ordinary human...
Image
Image: We shall take our leave. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please put the Yahirono Himorogi to good use...
Image

Image: It would seem gratitude is in order.
Image: Hmm? Oh, right, that's your old crew we just pulled out of the fire. Well, no biggie.
Image: If you had let me go back then, I would have returned to my kind, and then lost my mind like the rest of them. But traveling with you... I couldn't even begin to dream back then that it would grant me the opportunity to rescue my friends.
Image: We sure built the daycare into a force to be reckoned with, didn't we?
Image: We've come such a long way.
Image: I don't know where this road is taking us much more than I did back then, but we've walked it side-by-side since the beginning, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

*: Looking at the map, we can see that the exclamation marks are gone. We must be free to go wherever we please. But there are only two places we want to go to right now: the Fountain, and the Small Terminal that will take us to the other side of the Park, where Yuko is waiting. There are still random encounters with the same Fairy types as before, but we reach our destinations without incident otherwise.

Image
Image: Those that were locked out went back inside.



*: We have two questions this time. The conversation proceeds exactly the same regardless of our choices, but what we say here today may turn out to be of immeasurable importance.

The burden of plague, pain and ridicule. Suffering and humiliation. Do we fear?

A life of betrayal, rejection and defeat. Deceit and torment. Do we fear?

Fear can be an obstacle, and we must move forward, no matter what lies before us. What is our pain, compared to the pain of the world? But is it not also foolish to never feel the fear? To never heed caution and trudge along without minding the cost, to us and those close to us, present or future?

It's up to debate whether Aradia is listening, but there is no doubt that anything we tell anyone, Kagutsuchi hears.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1011
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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:58 am

Recklessness takes the day by a mile, because of course it does. I'll be getting started momentarily!

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François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:13 pm

I'm alive.

Suffering, humiliation, deceit, torment.

Compared to dying in the Conception... Compared to following Yosuga, Musubi, or Shijima...

Four blessings.

I may not be able to create the new world myself, but if it's in my power to prevent it from being made abominable, then I'll pay any cost with my head held high. I owe that much to those who have died, and to those who will live.

Image: She's gone again.
Image: Wouldn't it have been nicer to invite her to come with us?
Image: No, I don't think so. She needs to see everything with her own eyes. Besides, if her god has any sense, she'll be protected anyway.
Image: I hope you're right about that. This Aradia doesn't seem very reliable, and we're running low on humans.
Image: I know what you mean, but I have to trust that Ms. Takao knows what's best for herself. Otherwise I'd just be some jackass telling her what to think.
Image: I AM CURIOUS. WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HER TO THINK, IF IT WERE YOUR PLACE TO DO SO?
Image: Oh, heck, I don't know. I haven't really... I have more productive things to think about, you know?
Image: Speaking of which, have you decided on our next step?
Image: Ah, I have. We're going back to the Labyrinth.
Image: To see Kamala, right?
Image: Yeah. The Fiends are an immediate concern for now, seeing as they seem to delight in ambushing us.
Image: What, did you expect us to just sit around waiting for you to exterminate us at your leisure?
Image: That's odd, I seem to remember your red and black colleagues waiting for us in completely out-of-the-way places.
Image: Calling both of them the Yellow Riders would probably get pretty confusing.
Image: Well, I, uh, you see...
Image: Alright, alright, you guys can stop picking on the incarnation of death, we'd be here all day,
Image: I hate reminding you of this, but while we're down there, we could visit the Efreet again.
Image: Gah, yeah, I'll think about it. Maybe we can actually fight a battle or two while we're there this time, we're much stronger than we used to be. Speaking of which, we ought to visit the Cathedral before we head down.
Image: Should any of us be worried about...
Image: Welp, time's a-wastin'! Let's go!

*: We head for the nearby Terminal.

Image
Image: Hmm?
Image: ...Heard she looks nice from behind, if you catch my drift!
Image: If you're talking about the Lady of the Fount, you're at the wrong end of the park.

*: We warp to Shibuya. At the Cathedral, the first thing I do is fuse Nigi Mitama to Nue.

Image

Nue keeps all its skills and experience, gains Force Boost and Rakunda, and receives a point of Magic and Luck. The stat bonuses will be lost when I perform a regular fusion with Nue again, but I wanted it to have a full skill list so the result will inherit as many as possible.


Image: Aight sweetheart, you're up.
Image: ...what? After all we've been through together? Really?
Image: Well it's not like I'm showing you the door. Besides, maybe somewhere down the line we can get together without you turning me into a California Raisin.
Image: Oh, fine then. I was halfway expecting to be sacrificed anyway. Who am I hooking up with for now then?
Image: You'll love this. Yo, over here!
Image: Awoo?
Image: You have got to be-
Image: Press the button!
Image: You are such a glorious cad, young man.

Nue + Succubus =

Image

Image

Image: You really gonna hit that?
Image: Haha, hahaha, haha hahahaaaaa... No.

Lv 54 Beast Sparna
Sparna (or more accurately, Suparna) is one of the many names of Garuda, either an eagle-like creature or a winged, beaked humanoid. It has two somewhat different versions in Hinduism and Buddhism, and given that there is another demon in Nocturne called Garuda, I'm inclined to believe this one here is meant to be the Buddhist one, which actually refers to a race of semi-divine beings who are rivals to the Naga and are so huge they create hurricanes when they flap their wings.


*: That's all we're fusing for now, but I have plans for the very near future, and in fact I summon a Bicorn from the Compendium in preparation. This leaves us with one open slot, and I want to fill it right away. We warp back to Yoyogi Park.

Image

Image

Image
Image: What are you smoking? You can't throw a Preta around here without hitting a god.
Image: Good day, sir.
Image: Well then!
Image: Hmph.
Image: Hell, I'm related to a bunch of gods, I probably count too.

Image
Image: After you went inside, the sky lit right up. It was like magic!

Image
*: That's right, Titan is recruiting Titania.
Image: Why don't you ditch these losers? You'll never travel with a more awesome crew than ours.
Image: My goodness! Do you plan on taking me with you? If that's the case... Could you endow me with 1280 Macca?
Image: ...boss?
Image: Just pay the lady.
Image: *frown* This is still not good enough.
*: She asks for some more small change.
Image: It is still not enough. I am NOT that cheap. Would you be so kind as to give me 1 Amethyst?
Image: Alright, here-
Image: Actually, no. We don't have 200000 of those.
Image: You heard the man. That a deal-breaker?
Image: Would you be so kind as to give me 670 Macca?
Image: Now we're talking.
Image: Just a little more...
*: More cash.
Image: Then before joining you, I shall ask for your opinion.
Image
Image: Hell, are you kidding me? If I hadn't swallowed my pride, I'd be homemade titan puree by now. This is loads better.
Image
Image: Yeah, well, I'm still breathing, and I'm kicking ass besides.
Image: You know, love... You have been quite a bore.
Image: Are these the manners of fairy royalty?
Image: ............ Well, it would go against my values to leave without permission.
Image
> Titania seems to be satisfied.
Image: I am Titania of the Fairy lineage. I will serve you gracefully.
Image: Ha! Excellent decision!
> Titania joined your party.

*: Titania is now our highest level party member. She only knows Glacial Blast and Pester right now, but she'll lean Mediarahan on her next level and generally turn into a spectacular healer before long. It's hard to say no to Expel/Death reflection and general magic resistance, too.

Now that this is settled, we go heal at the Fountain, and take the small Terminal back to the eastern entrance, then leave on foot towards the east. We missed at least one area in the Asakusa Tunnel and I want to make sure there's nothing important down there.


Image
Image: She was still in high school, you enormous creep.
Image: I think he might be talking about someone else.
Image: Ms. Takao? Okay, that's better.
Image: No, someone else, even.
Image: Do you know something I don't?
Image: Oh, err, hmm. Of course not!
Image: ...right.

Image

Image

*: Aaaand that's it. At least it makes up for one of the Chains I used in the Girimehkala fight. Time to head back out. Bicorn has leveled up three times and learned all its skills by now, so we return to the Cathedral.

Raja Naga + Bicorn + Deathstone =


Image

Image: There will be more blood before this is all over. Trust me.
Image: Heyo.
Image: Fancy meeting you here!
Image: If you can't beat 'em, right?
Image: Oh absolutely.
Image: It's adorable how you schmucks pretend you had a say in this. I'll allow you to keep it up.
Image: Yes sir.
Image: Thank you sir.

Image

*: Welp, Titania wasn't our highest-level ally for very long, eh?

Alright, that's enough for now. Next stop: the First Kalpa.


Image
Image: Huh. We were just there, I can't believe we missed it. Welp, thanks.

*: We go the Third Kalpa next. We have 17 base Luck now and I want to see if we can open more doors, preferably before we get mangled by the cursed corridor.

Image

Ah-ha! We can in fact open this door at least.


Image

Image
Image: Well hey, that does sound pretty rad.

Image

Image
Image: How about you? Would you be interested in buying it? This stone, called a Deathstone, is supposed to bring death to you. But, who knows? Maybe you'll find a use for it. You can have it for the bargain price of 100000 Macca. Well, how 'bout it?
Image: Yikes, no thanks.
Image: That's fine. If you change your mind, feel free to come back anytime.

*: There is only a finite quantity of Deathstones you can find in Cubes around the Labyrinth, but this guy sells as many of them as you can afford. Once you master all Magatama, your alignment is guaranteed to add up to Neutral, so you're never permanently locked out of this place.

Image

Image

Lv58 Fallen Decarabia
A Great Marquis of Hell, commanding 30 legions of demons, who appears in the form of pentagram but can transform into a man if asked politely. He knows all there is to know about herbs and precious stones, and can take the shape of any bird and sing as they do. As far as fallen angels go, this one seems like a nice enough fellow.

Image: He's so unbelievably rude, though.
*: He's hardly the only demon who said you had a stupid face.
Image: ...you never forget your first.


Image

*: Another Luck door takes us to an unexpected location.

Image

That's 100000 Macca saved right there.

Yet another Luck door denies us passage and sends us back to the main area. That's about all we can do here right now. Final stop in the Labyrinth today: the Second Kalpa.

Zed levels up and learns Deathbound, Gaea's first skill. It targets random enemies like Berserk and scales off HP like Heat Wave, and it's purely a physical damage attack. I still prefer Xeros-Beat right now, even if only for the Bind chance­.

Image

Welp, no sense putting it off any longer. Zed ingests Anathema for the immunity to Death, and we summon Titania and both Riders.

...yeah no, the corridor damage makes it ridiculously impractical to heal up between fights. We unsummon all our allies and Zed makes a run for it on his own. Let's just say Endure comes in repeatedly handy.

Image

And we make it on the second try!


Image
Image: But I... That's... I don't... Oy. You don't have a table I could flip, do you?
Image: Nope.

...

I need to punch something.

*: Which is to say, it's Fiend-clobberin' time! We warp to Shibuya and walk to Yoyogi Park, since that's less hassle than going to the park's Terminal and fighting our way to the other side.

Image
Image: A woman?
Image: ...She's probably a monster here to eat us! That's another bad thing that's gonna happen to me...

A woman... Is the next Fiend a woman? Hmm. There's no reason that shouldn't be possible.

Image
Image: Can't blame them, I suppose.
Image: But even then, they got dragged into the way over Magatsuhi...

*: As we enter the small room to the north of the entrance...

Image
> The flames of the Candelabrum of Sovereignty are flickering wildly...



Fiend Mother Harlot
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." --Revelations 17:3-6

In Christian eschatology, the Mother of Harlots is a symbol of the sin and consummate decadence that would characterize the era just before the end times. The beast she rides on represents a kingdom or empire that brazenly defies God and stands in opposition to the few faithful and righteous people left on Earth; its seven heads may in fact stand for the seven hills of Rome.


*: The Mother Harlot is a tough cookie. On top of the usual boss immunities, she reflects physical damage (which I learned at White Rider's expense) and absorbs electric damage. Her signature moves are Death Lust, which inflicts special Mind-element damage and has a chance to inflict Charm, and Beast Roar, which is a powerful Almighty attack that also restores 10% of its user's HP. She also knows Dragon Eye, Makajamon, Maziodyne, Bolt Storm (electric damage, random hits, basically a souped-up Shock), Focus, and Dekunda. Notably, her basic attack hits seven times, but if one is dodged, they all miss.

One might be tempted to use Magic Mirrors or Makarakarn in this fight, but reflecting Maziodyne or Bolt Storm will trigger the Harlot's electricity absorption, so it's best to bring along resistant demons instead if you got 'em.

That said, this time I preferred to try avoiding the Charm ailment as a priority; Sparna and the Riders nullify all ailments, and Iyomante protects Zed from Mind effects. Of course, the White Rider taking himself out, not to mention the discovery of the Harlot's physical reflection, required a change of plans. I figured I'd have Sati bring him back for Prominence while the remaining Rider and Sparna played support, but then I figured I might as well let Agidyne and the Force Boosted Zandyne see us through. Once the Black Rider was done with stacking Sukukaja, Long wasted a few turns on Makarakarn before I realized I ought to be using his Makakaja instead, and that was the end of that.

Oh, and before I forget. The question the Beast asks us before the fight seems really important, but it has no mechanical or story effect.


Only one more to go.

Image
Image: ...I heard an incredible woman appeared at Ikebukuro! Now something bad IS gonna happen to me!

*: That's our cue. We walk back to Shibuya, do the usual town stuff, then warp to Ikebukuro.

Image

Door's open. Let's see what's going on.

*: The place is no less deserted than when we were here last. But maybe something's going on on the top floor.

Image



Image: Chiaki! CHIAKI! What the HELL!? Open up!

Image

Image: DAMMIT!
Image: What a horrid child.
Image: IF SAKAHAGI IS THE ONE WHO TOOK HER ARM, SHE MUST BE TRULY STRONG TO HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY BACK HERE.
Image: That damn psychopath... If only I could kill him a second time!
Image: Why are you angry at him? Is she not your enemy?
Image: If he had finished the job, it would have saved us a bunch of trouble.
Image: That's not what I... Ugh!
Image: I'm sure our master is finding it difficult to rejoice about bad things happening to his friends.
Image: Bad things? She doesn't seem too broken up about it by now.
Image: I suppose it got her what she wanted.
Image: In any case, it would have been much simpler to eliminate her when we had the chance.
Image: If you're going to start suggesting I go around murdering unarmed women in case they grow into threats...
Image: Boss, I don't mean to interrupt, but if a bunch of Yosuga types are coming here, maybe we ought to make ourselves scarce.
Image: Gah! You're... probably right. Let's get moving.

Image

*: The brasiers' flames here have turned blue. Things are definitely different now.

Image

Angels in the Mantra HQ, that's new. In fact, all encounters around here are now against various Divines.


Image
Image: ...What a splendid idea!

Image

*: The whole HQ's color scheme has changed, too.

Image
Image: ...But, since I agree with the Reason of Yosuga, I shall protect her.

The angels are flocking to her side. Man, if I thought she had a big head before...

Image

Image

Lv50 Divine Dominion
Being the fourth order of angels, the Dominions rarely interact with humans, and are instead tasked with overseeing the works of all lesser angels and transmitting them God's will. They're a bit middle-management-y in the end and tend not to play a major part in theology.


Image
Image: No. Fuck off.
Image: ...Hmph, what a bore.

Image
Image: There's a demon at Kabukicho claiming to be an Emperor... That's what I hear. The world only needs demons of Yosuga... Quite annoying.

It bugs me that someone's taken the place over, but at least it's not Chiaki's people. Maybe we should take a look once we're done here.

Image

Image
Image: Err, no.
Image: I hear there are two men struggling for Magatsuhi, using the terminals. They must be fond of terminals, I reckon... Quite amusing, if I do say so myself. After all, the world will soon be Yosuga's.

Huh. I guess Hijiri tracked down Isamu at last.

Image
Image: Hmph... Yosuga needs no jails!
Image: ...
Image: Why, you ask? ...Because the weak will die.

*: Sati levels up, and replaces Recarm with Samrecarm, which revives a demon with full HP. One more level to go before she evolves!

The rest of Ikebukuro still has its old encounters, but there are new NPCs around.


Image
Image: Not bad...

Image
Image: There is nothing to worry about...

Image
Image: When Yosuga takes over the world, cleaning the city should be top priority...

Image
Image: ...It still feels like home, though.
Image: Dude, just find a way to go to Asakusa, alright? Do me a favor.

Image
Image: ...I'd be the first to go.

Image
Image: Uh-oh... I'll be picked, right?
Image: Better get started on your training!

Image
Image: She's inherited Gozu-Tennoh's power. ...It's time to rock!

*: That's about it for Ikebukuro. We heal up, save, and warp to Kabukicho.

Image

Image
Image: ...This is all the Emperor's doing.

Things seem different here too. But as long as the mirage isn't back, we shouldn't have any trouble finding this Emperor.

Image
Image: I'd go whoop the boy, but I'm too cold to move! He got lucky... this time...
Image: This all feels... strangely familiar.

Image
Image: He's in Mizuchi's room acting all big. Is he an ex-Mantra?
Image: Doesn't matter. If he's an asshole, he'll be an ex-Emperor before long.

Image
Image: The Emperor is Kabukicho's number one, hee ho!

Image
Image: Yeah, I'm! You want a piece?
Image: ...Wait up! I'm not dumb enough to go against you.
Image
Image: I'm listening.
Image: ...Have you ever seen a Jack Frost named Heeho?
Image: Oh, yeah, sure, I remember him. He used to run a store in Shibuya, before he left on... on a trip. To get stronger...
Image: YOU DON'T THINK...?
Image: Hmm.
Image: I hear he has something to do with the Emperor...
Image: Well, he seemed like a nice enough fellow. Maybe we came here for nothing.

*: We drop at save at the fifth floor Terminal. Zed levels up soon afterwards. He passes on learning Kamurogi's Life Gain, but does earn an extra +1 Vitality!

Image

Image

Image
Image: Hee! Ho! Hee! Ho!

Image



Image: Poor, dumb little guy.
Image: He got so far too! What a shame.
Image: If he had come with us, maybe it would have ended differently.
Image: I sure would have put the kibosh on any plans to become evil. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you, I guess.

Night Black Frost
A Jack Frost... turned evil. Somehow. Yup.


*: Black Frost can be a right pain in the butt. Offense-wise, he's nothing we haven't seen before; he only knows Mamudoon, Mabufudyne, Berserk and Diarama. You might think he's weak to fire damage, but he in fact reflects it. He also reflects Death and ailments instead of merely nullifying them, absorbs ice, is immune to Expel, and has a special type of physical resistance that reduces physical damage by 90% instead of 50%. You can essentially only hurt him with Force, Electric or Almighty damage.

Fortunately, Sparna is still a Force-type killing machine. On top of that, Black Frost knows neither Dekunda nor Dekaja, so there's a license to neuter him hard. And with Miasma, Long and the Black Rider taking care of ice damage, the biggest threat was from Mamudoon, and we got a little lucky there.

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Satan is a strong caster-inclined Magatama judging from its stats, but it comes with an odd grab bag of skills, the first one of which is Jive Talk, which allows the Demi-fiend to converse normally with Wilder, Haunt and Foul demons at any time. That's kind of neat, but I can't think of any real build that'd let it use up a slot.


Image

The Jack Frosts are gone. I suppose they were mostly harmless, but there's no telling what Heeho was going to do from here.

Image
Image: Problem solved!
Image: ...I see.
Image: Heeho's training paid off, in the end, even if only for a short while.
Image: So, the Emperor WAS Heeho!? Wow!

Image
Image: But, how did a run-of-the-mill Jack Frost get so much power? Did he get a bunch of Magatsuhi from somewhere? ...Weird.

Maybe it was the Magatama he had. I better hang on to these.

Image
Image: A lot has happened here, but now it's finally quiet.

*: We reach the Terminal and save. It would appear our next lead is Hijiri again. It might be hard to find him if he's in the Network somewhere, but I suppose Asakusa is as good a place to start as any.



Oh for... Dammit, Hijiri! You used to be the sensible one!

Image: ARE WE GOING AFTER HIM?
Image: Yeah, but not right away, we need to hit the Fountain first. And besides, maybe one of them will take out the other and it'll be that much less hassle for us.
Image: So it's fine when someone else does the murdering?
Image: They're both butts, who cares.

User avatar
Classic
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:53 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby Classic » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:40 am

No! We can't let him die just because he went a LITTLE crazy! We've been tolerating so much more crazy shit from our other "friends".

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François
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Postby François » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:58 pm

Dude's a grown-ass adult, if he feels like telling us "I'mma do this on my own without further help from you, kind and friendly and impossibly powerful Demi-fiend", who are we to disagree? It's only respectful to allow him to fly with his own wings!

Fight, Hijiri! Fight for everlasting justice, you glorious shining diamond!

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