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Activity Boards => LP Hell => Topic started by: François on December 06, 2010, 02:01:37 AM

Title: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 06, 2010, 02:01:37 AM
In case you're coming into this thread late, you gotta know a ton of pictures are missing because my old hosting expired. I'm in the process of pointing all the links to the new location but there's no telling how long that might take. never mind it's done!

Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!

This is going to be a screenshot LP, mostly because I somehow still have bizarre recording issues and also because it's a grindy-as-hell dungeon-crawling JRPG with an insane encounter rate and iesus cristo I am not gonna find a way to fill all that time and also I am too lazy to edit the hell out of some videos.

I am doing this partially blind. I've played it a long time ago, up until a certain, err, [spoiler]catastrophic[/spoiler] event, and then the bugs just got overwhelming and I lost interest trying to salvage my game from them. I don't remember much of anything regarding the storyline except the broadest lines, and though I know how to actually play the game in terms of mechanics I have no recollection of dungeons or bosses or encounters so in essence it's gonna be mostly new content to me. I am using a guide, but it's only to know the effect of equipment and items since that's never actually detailed in-game at all. Everything else is me figuring stuff out. Unless I get really annoyed at something.

I'm running the AGTP translation ( on BSnes (, whose focus on accuracy even at the cost of performance seems to have fixed a number of obvious graphical glitches (in what I've tested of the early game at least) that at one time were unavoidable regardless of which emulator you used, so I'm holding reasonable hopes of a relatively bug-free experience this time. But who knows. In any case the game was reportedly completable even back when the translation was first released so I should at least have a decent shot at finishing it once and for all. In the end what I really want to say with this paragraph is that in the unlikely event that the game craps out beyond my tolerance again I might be done with it foreverrrrrrrrrr.

I'm writing this in first person, though I reserve the right to change my mind on that at any time. The hero is a silent protagonist, so you should know that when you see his portrait (( speaking, it's me being a bottomless sack of laughs. I probably won't put words in anybody else's mouths. Unless it'd make me giggle. Then I might.

Mr. Asterisk is the out-of-character comment. We'll probably see a lot of him. Like right now!

*: There's an alignment system in this game! It's not too important in the beginning but it actually gets all kinds of crucial and when the time comes to make a stand I will put it to vote. If that's even how the game works. I don't remember. But I'll probably put something to vote anyway because democracy fuck yeah!

Alright, that should be all I gotta say for now. Let's take our custom DeLorean back to the day before Halloween 1992, turn on our brand spanking new Super Famicom, and get ready to have our little dragon-slaying, princess-rescuing, airship-flying minds blown.

Shin Megami Tensei - Intro (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 06, 2010, 02:26:51 AM

This is the pinkest corridor I've ever been in. This alone would be worrying, but the walls are slowly undulating back and forth. Either I'm on drugs, or I'm just dreaming I'm inside a colossal cube of ham aspic.

This is eerie as hell. I step forward, that or I'm pulled forward, it's hard to tell. There are side corridors, but there's no time for those. I keep moving.

*: I'm not controlling anything here. I don't get to move anything else than a cursor for a while yet.



( He who does not state his name shall not pass! Identify thyself!

Mister Thou has issues with punctuation, but I'm not about to argue grammar with a giant glowing bald head growing out of a stone wall.

Anyway, I'm a Japanese teenager, but I have a French name because I was conceived in France while my parents were recovering from Paris Syndrome. I'm not sure how much sense that makes but for some reason I never particularly wanted to press the inquiry further.


( Thou sayest that thou art Francois?
( That's my name, don't wear it out!
( The one named Francois has dormant power. Divide 18 points among your parameters.

Uh, what?


Oh, right! Man, this is just like one of my Japanese RPGs!


*: I'm not minmaxing this. I probably should, this game is hard. Oh well.

I'm referring to a guide for the precise effect of stats though, because it's easy to make HORRIBLE decisions. For example, the main character never learns magic, and his magic stat is completely useless. Intelligence affects Magic Effect (the likelihood of hit-or-miss spells to actually hit) so it's easy to want to skip it as well, but it's also a crucial hidden stat in demon negociation. Stats each affect several things (like how Speed affects accuracy, evasion, battle order and escape probability), but are otherwise fairly straightforward.

( Francois... Beyond this door, both those chosen by God that follow the path of Law and Order, and those that rely on their own power that follow the path of competition and Chaos await you. Take care not to tip the balance between the two as you proceed....

The wall disappears. I'm free to go, and again I'm drawn further inside whatever this place is, through several doorways and around several corners. And then...


What's this...?


If I didn't know better, I'd say there's some sort of giant spinning cross flying towards me.



*: This scene creeped the hell out of me when I first played. It still does. It's so bizarre and unexpected. What does that imagery even mean?

I want to dodge, but fortunately the cross is content to plant itself right in front of me. Spheres of light converge towards the center, and a white figure suddenly appears, crucified, along with a creepy man in a blue robe. The robed man speaks:


( If you call his name, he shall awaken. Please call his name.

Here's my chance to be incredibly obvious. I don't take it.


Well, it's hard to tell from the naked, vaguely masculine silhouette, but that guy's also a Japanese teenager, and we haven't all been conceived between a baguette and a Bordeaux, so...

( You called him Kaneda?
( Yeppers!
( Ah, the one named Kaneda has dormant power! Divide 18 points among his-
( Yeah, yeah, I got this.


*: Kaneda learns magic someday, so I can't skimp on it.


( Beats me.
( I was trying to accomplish something, but I forgot what....
( To wear pants, probably.
( You saved me, didn't you? I sense that if I go with you, I'll remember what I was supposed to do... Please take me with you.
( Alright, but I'm not dropping the pants issue.

Kaneda joined the party! Together we go forward again. There's an awkward silence, the kind that can only exist when two dudes walk around a pulsating pink dreamscape, at least one of which has no pants on. (I don't have the guts to look down at myself and find out.) All of a sudden, more balls of light appear and merge before us, revealing some sort of goblin crouching on top of a lying figure.

( Whoah, whoah! I don't even care what sort of party this is, and I'm perfectly willing to pretend I never saw anything. Now if you don't mind I'll just...


( If you call his name, he should wake up. Go on, call his name!

Alright, so I can be obvious sometimes.


( So his name is Tetsuo, is it?
( Indeed, my kind fellow.
( He may be weak, but still has a good deal of strength left. Divide 18-
( Anything you say! Just don't hurt me!


*: Another potential magic-user. I seem to remember the human characters being pretty versatile, so I'm kind of going jack-of-all trades to be refined later.


( Rats, and I was having such a good dream...
( Whoah, dude! TMI!
( Damn. Oh well, let's get out of here.
( Yes! Let's!

Tetsuo joined the party!

Again along the corridor, and through yet another doorway. But this one's different.


Aw hells yeah! Now this is my kind of dream! I bet I wouldn't be having this in America!

( Who's there?
( Just three dudes, at least two of whom are naked. But don't mind us.


( How do you know my n---I mean, of course it's me, baby.
( My name is Yuriko.
( You didn't have to remind me, I totally remember you from that time we met, at that place.
( I've been waiting for you... as your eternal partner...
( That... That's cool... I'm cool with that right now.

And then, pink corridor again. What the what? Did I just blow it? Dammit, now my posse will think I'm some sort of loser. We keep moving.


Two naked dudes, a naked chick, and now my mom. I can already hear my therapist giggling.

( Just because you have today off doesn't mean you can oversleep! Come on, get up!


( Just because you have today off doesn't mean you can sleep all day! Come on, wake up!

Oh! Hmm. This really is like one of my Japanese RPGs. Weirdest wet dream ever though. Daaaaamn. I'm glad to be back to good old boring reality, where I have a gigantic bedroom by Japanese standards but also subscribe to the Raiden school of interior decoration. You win some, you lose some.

As is typical of young men of my generation, the very first thing I do upon getting up in the morning is checking my inbox.


Sweet! I love files!


*: DDS probably stands for Digital Devil Saga, which I faintly remember was some sort of novel, and was how this very ROM was mislabeled by many for a long time. And of course there have been two actual Digital Devil Saga games in this series since then. I'm honestly not very knowledgeable on how this all relates.

Hmm, I've never heard of this guy. The friend who usually sends me p... I mean, the friend who usually sends me files has several aliases, but Steven-san isn't one of them.

( >Humanity is currently in grave danger! Demons of legend from ages past have awakened from their long slumber. Soon, they will overrun the Earth! In order to compete with the demons and fight for our survival, we will need to utilize their power. Use this program correctly, and you should be able to! I pray that those with the courage to use it will accept it... To fight the demons that would destroy us, and to preserve humanity...
(>Downloading... >You received the Demon Summoning Program. >The connection dropped.

Wait, this is October 199X. Don't we have anti-virus software by now?


( Dammit, mom, I'm trying to decide if this e-mail I got from a random gaijin is spam or the key to saving the world from a demon invasion! Gimme five minutes!


Hmm, what will I do indeed...?

*: Next post: actual gameplay!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Envy on December 06, 2010, 07:07:38 AM
Edit: Alright cant wait to see this!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 07, 2010, 12:09:03 AM
Hot damn! An audience! *doffs hat* :8D:

*: When we last left our hero, he was debating whether to use to his computer, go back to sleep, or actually leave his bedroom.
( You make me sound like such a nerd.
*: Takes one to know one.
( Asshole.
*: Takes one to know one.

Welp, I'm leaving. I could use some fresh air.


( Even though the police sirens were blaring at all hours, you slept right through them. I barely got any sleep at all! For that many police to be involved, it must be a huge case...
*: I'm still not sure what's going on with mom's hands. Are those oven mitts? Or are they behind an apron?
( Ah, that's right. Here's your allowance for this month.
>Francois got 10000 yen.
( Wow! I love getting ten thousand of something! Thanks mom!
*: Rule of thumb: 100 yen is about one US dollar. Not quite exact but it gives you a basic idea. Our hero's getting a little more than three bucks a day.
( That's all for this month, don't waste it all too quickly!

I love having an history of wasting money. At that point, people only expect you not to waste it right away.

( Could you go down to the cafe in the mall and buy some coffee? Be sure to pay them in advance!
( I'd say your 10000 yen have purchased you an errand or two. No problem.
( Be careful, Francois. Don't be home too late!

I'm free to go!


*: Get used to this first-person view, we're gonna see it a lot. This is the interior of Francois' home. We've just come from the door on the left. There's a wall at our back. The doorway before us is the front door, and the passage to the left is a dead end. It's still worth visiting because...


*: Pascal rocks. He's even got his own awesome theme music. (It's not unique to him but it'll be a while before we hear it used anywhere else.) We're given the option to talk to him.

( Hi Pascal! Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?
( Bowwow! Bowwow!
( You're a good boy Pascal! Yay! Woo!

Alright, I could play with Pascal all day but I have to get my fetch quest on.


*: This is the generic urban exterior backdrop. Kind of plain, but it's alright because as soon as we leave...


*: Overworld map explanation time!

Well, it's self-explanatory, mostly. We're the blue pointer just east of the northern red house. We can only visit places with a driveway in front, so on this screen, we can access the second red house and the large yellow building to the east. The roads leading out of the neighborhood are blocked; we'll investigate that soon. The pink lines are the rail system.

On the UI front, we have money and magnetite (which we'll learn about later), the phase of the moon (very important, but, you guessed it, not right now), and the name of our current location. Apparently, we're in Kichijoji.

Kichijoji is an actual area in Tokyo, with an artistic, slightly countercultural reputation. (Thanks Wikipedia!) Landmarks include a train station, a covered street housing a shopping district, and a park called Inokashira, all of which are represented in-game and, from what I can deduce, in fairly accurate geographical relation. For some reason I find that all kinds of awesome.

There's a last thing I want to talk about right now. You can't see it on the picture, but our pointy avatar is quickly spinning back and forth, left and right. It's not obvious, but it means our current alignment on the Law/Chaos axis is Neutral. This is likely to change. There is another alignment axis, the Light/Dark one, but human beings are fundamentally Neutral, and this will not change. As of right now, we are Neutral-Neutral. I'll explain more about alignment as it becomes relevant.

The streets are unusually quiet, though there is a tension in the air. This is probably on account of several roadblocks cutting off access to the neighborhood. There's one just up the street, and out of curiosity I go see what's going on.


( We ask for your cooperation in not attempting to leave the area.

Wow, police state much? Sealing off an entire neighborhood for a murder investigation? Seems excessive. Fortunately, I don't have anything to do out there right now. Time to go be a mallrat!


*: The Kichijoji shopping district isn't too big. There a few dead end corridors and empty rooms, and several stores. Entering several locations triggers some dialogue, which is the main way of communicating with NPCs.

I have plenty of time, so I wander around the mall, trying to find something interesting to waste my money on. What I do find, however, is trouble.


( Alright, alright, I'm going! Please don't rev your scooters at me!

Well, that was easy. Moments later, I'm accosted by another, uh, trendily-dressed young man.


( Do you know, by the way? What kind of stuff he's REALLY selling there?
( Well, you're harassing a complete stranger about it. I can hazard a guess.


( Just like everybody else on there, I suppose.
( It was suspicious, though, so I deleted it immediately. These days you never know what kind of stuff the lunatics out there will send you... Seems everyone wants to send you unknown files these days. Have you checked your computer lately?
( If you ask me, lunatics tend to have the best stuff.
( What?
( What?
( What?
( What?
( What?
( Don't judge me!
( What?

Pfft. Loser.


( Need something?
( You got any, uh, stuff?


( You mean you're selling antiques.
( What do you think I'm selling?
( Antiques!
( Are you going to buy any?
( Uh, no.
*: None of that crap is any use. That I know of.
( Plus I'm not blowing a month's allowance on a hanging scroll. I like my walls like I like my women: beige and naked.
*: What?
( What?
*: What?
( Don't judge me!
*: What?
( I'm not selling to people that can't see the value of my wares!
( Dude, that buddha is made of solid gold! The value of your wares is completely obvious!

The old man points at the door. I leave, defeated. That's enough messing around anyway, I need to get some coffee already.


Man I love this cafe.

( Yeah. These things happen.
( They say that her murderer dismembered her too. Nasty!

Well, if he left her remains all over, that'd explain why the whole neighborhood is closed off.


You're a Japanese schoolgirl. Is there ever a single day that passes without giving you a very real reason to be scared of something?


( HOLYSHI---I mean, hi! Hello!
( It's like a dream, seeing you again in a place like this! Hehe...

Of course. I must have seen her here before. Did I introduce myself? I must have.

She's almost done with her coffee.

( Give me a moment to get my own, and I'll be right with you.

That's weak, but somehow I feel the need to compose myself for a moment. She only smiles. On my way to the counter, I overhear a conversation...

( Rumor has it the director of the hospital has been acting really weird lately. Someone even said he's been performing weird experiments late at night, but that's probably just made up.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the murder.


( Yes sir! Here's your money!
( Money? Don't worry about it, I'll bring it to your house and you can pay me then.
( Really?
( Seriously! It's all right! Don't worry about it!
*: Ha, he's so trying to get with your mom!

Ugh. Time to get back to Yuriko's table...


Well, crap. I'm done here.

( He's babbling about monsters or demons or something...

Normally I would stay far away from someone like that, but I remember the morning's strange e-mail. Maybe... maybe I should go see what's going on. Just for a quick listen.

( Oh, I will.

The back of the drugstore is a short dead end. I passed by a few minutes ago and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. The place still seems quiet... no, there's... there he is!


( Settle down, sir, I'm not...
( Come any closer and I'll cut you to... A... Agh, Agh... AAAAAARGH!



>The Gaki lunged at you!
>The Gaki ran away.
>An Attack Knife is lying on the ground a few feet from the dead man's hand.
>François took the Attack Knife.

*: That's the weakest weapon in the game, but it's better than nothing.

I'm okay. I'm bleeding, but I'm okay. It's just a scratch. What the hell happened?

*: I've actually taken five points of damage. That's a little less than a quarter of my health.

Suddenly I know what I'm spending my allowance on.


*: This survival shop sells basic armor, if you can call it that. I buy a Survival Vest and some sort of ill-defined Headgear, leaving me with 6000 yen. I can afford Leather Boots and Leather Gloves, but their effect is marginal, and besides I'll soon want a weapon upgrade that'll set me back 7000. I could and probably should hit the drugstore for some medicine but I'm going to wing it for now.

( Thank you very much. Our shop will be able to provide all of your survival needs. I guarantee it!
( I sure as hell hope that's all it's gonna take.

Time to go home.

*: The short walk is uneventful. Nothing else is out of the ordinary.

( Welcome home, François. Where have you been?

I'm hiding my bloodstained shirt underneath my new vest. There's no need to make a scene about a little... a little claw rake.

( I was just hanging out at the mall, mom. By the way, the coffee guy insisted on coming here himself. I'm not sure what that was about.
( Try not to get home too late, it makes me worry. But I suppose it's good for a boy your age to be active. Hey, Francois, have you heard? A girl from the local school was killed in Inogashira Park.
( Yeah, I heard about that at the cafe.
( It sure has become a lot less safe recently. I don't feel safe walking the streets at night any more...
( Well, the police seem to have started paying attention, at least. But if you need to go out in the evening, just ask me, I'll go for you.
( Oh, that's right! Be sure to take Pascal out on a walk occasionally.

I excuse myself. I'd like nothing more than a good night's rest right now, and that's exactly what I plan to get.

( Good night, Francois.
( G'night, mom.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 08, 2010, 01:29:58 AM




*: Once again, I'm no longer in control of movement in here.

( Alright, whatever. Let's see where this goes.


( I hope you're happy enough to stick around this time.
( Don't forget that I will always be by your side...

Supposing for a moment that this is more than just a dream, this girl is getting way too clingy with a guy she saw for all of ten seconds at the coffee shop. And, come to think of it, she's not ghostly white, and I never had to call her name. She's still hot, though.

In the blink of an eye, she's gone. Always by my side, my ass. We press forward, along the corridor and through a doorway.


Did I mention I was creeped out before? If I was, I was lying. Now I'm creeped out. What the hell is going on? It's a girl up there, but it's not Yuriko.

( What's the weird ceremony?
( Do you think they're trying to summon some sort of demon?
( ...Take this young soul, our sleeping dark master!

>They're trying to sacrifice the girl. Will you save the girl?

*: There's an actual choice here. The proceedings are mostly the same either way except for some dialogue from my companions, but I'm almost certain there's an alignment effect.

( Alright guys, I hope you brought your brass ones because we are crashing this party.
( Take a good look, the guy in the back has one bigass sword, and we're unarmed! We don't stand a chance!
( Dude, we're ghosts. The least we can do is give it a shot.
( Who dares interfere with our ceremony!

It's the punctuation police! What have you done to that question mark, you monster?

( Francois! You've come to rescue me! Quickly, call my name!


If you saw that coming, don't take a shot.

( What!? This girl's name is Kei!?

Not an Akira fan, I see.

( Yeah, that's right!
( Oh my god! If that's true, then... Aaaargh!

*: I'm not sure what happens here. The cultists vanish. My guess is that they run away, but "argh!" isn't a fleein' scream, it's a gettin' stabbed scream.


( Aw, shucks...!
( If I had gotten sacrificed, a terrible Demon Lord would have been summoned... Ah, I can feel the power that had been drained from me returning!


*: I vaguely remember her getting worthy spells, so I'm pumping up her magic. You may notice I haven't increased luck for anyone but the hero. I could have, there's some effect in combat regarding criticals and the like, but only the hero's luck counts in terms of getting first strike in battle and finding items afterwards, so I choose to distribute these points in a more visibly useful manner here.

( We will not meet until later in the future. And then it is our destiny to be separated again... Come see me some time...
( Alright, I will. That's a promise.


Huh. At least it feels like I managed to accomplish something this time.

( Just because you have today off doesn't mean you can sleep all day! Come on, wake up!
( I'm up! Gimme five minutes! I gotta check my e-mail!

( >You've received a file on your computer.


Err. O... kay?

( >Downloading... You got the Auto-Mapping Program. >The connection dropped.

*: It does exactly what it says on the tin. It's kind of a pain to use because it's buried under two menu layers, but it's still incredibly useful.

It's hard to justify it in terms of the "real world", but you gotta keep in mind that our hero's literally wearing a computer on his arm.


This is never properly touched in the game itself as far as I know. It's doubtful we've had time to prepare this in the day or so we've been playing, so we must have had it for a while. I don't want to be all "NERRRRRRRRRRD!!!", but...
( Screw you. We didn't have iphones in 199X. In fact, my rig's pretty damn awesome for the time.

( Francois, how long do you plan to sleep!?

Alright, I'm going. I don't need her to think she needs to barge into my room. Again.

*: We get the Computer/Save/Go to sleep menu again, but trying to use the computer results only in a dropped connection, and going to sleep results in a "too early" message. Off we go!

( Good morning, Francois!
( Hello mom.
( What happened to you last night? You were calling out to someone in your sleep.
( Oh, err... Well, you see, that is...
( I think it was a woman's name... The girl next door, Kei, was it?

I... what's wrong with me? Was she...? Is she the same Kei? I should have recognized her. I really should have.

( Eh? Why are you turning red all of a sudden? It can't be...
( Dammit mom, we are not having this talk again!

I start walking out.

( Be careful, Francois. Don't come home too late!

I run into Pascal on my way out. I briefly think of taking him along; he's no small dog, and to be honest I'd very much enjoy the company if nothing else, if it turns out that this is all in my head. But if it really is getting dangerous out there, I don't think I could stomach putting him at any risk.

( I've got a promise to make good on, Pascal. You watch the house while I'm gone, alright?
( Bowwow! Bowwow!
( See you soon, buddy.

The streets are empty. That's unusual. The police roadblock is still in place. I almost want to go ask them how long they'll be there, but I sharply remember yesterday's events and think better of it. I'm carrying a dead man's knife. If I got some of his gore on me from how that... that thing shredded his neck, they'll probably be able to detect it somehow, and then they'll try to pin the whole thing on me, and probably that girl's murder too! No, it's best I go about my business quickly and then lay low for a while. Hell, it's reckless just to go out right now. I hope I won't get Kei in trouble. I shouldn't even risk asking her about the dream, but I have to know.

*: Kei's house is the red house just south of Francois'.


*: Oh, huh. I forgot Pascal's theme plays here too. GUESS I WAS WRONG! :whoops: It's probably more of a "friends" theme then. It's still good! (Look forward to a music episode soon-ish, there's a lot to post in there.)

( Hello, sir. Is Kei home?
( My daughter's in her room at the moment. Hey, Kei! Francois' here to see you!
( Okay, I hear you!

*: I could have dropped by yesterday, but Kei wouldn't have been home. The good doctor would only refer to her as "my daughter" at the time, obviously. The game's not that creepy.


( Hi, Kei! Listen, uh. This is gonna sound weird but... Have you had an unusual dream lately? Like... with corridors and stuff?

She looks at me with a perplexed expression on her face. Man, this feels so wrong. I hope she doesn't think I'm about to confess my undying love or anything. She's pretty, sure, and we've known each other for a while, but we're really just neighbors. That, or I'm spectacularly dense.


( Eh? A dream? I didn't have any strange dreams like that.

It's kind of a relief. She doesn't make a big deal of it. In fact she clearly has something else on her mind.

( Argh... I was going to go on a date today, but with those stupid police, I can't go anywhere. This sucks!
( On a date, huh? Anyone I know?
( Eh? Who am I going out with? That's none of your business. I can go out with whomever I please, yeah?
( That's not what I meant! It's just... there's all the-

She pushes me out of her room and slams the door shut.

( -you know, the murders.

I don't think she heard me. Oh well. Deserted streets, here I come.

I should go home and wait this out. It's clearly all in my imagination. A guy slit his throat in front of me, I was high from the smell of the "stuff" in the antiques shop, so I grabbed the knife and cut myself and had a fucked up dream with talking walls, flying crosses, satanists, naked ghosts, a random chick from the cafe and a girl with the same name as a childhood friend. I need to rest. I need... I need...

I need to make sure I'm not being followed. Did I just see something move?

( Show yourself! I'm not afraid!

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on December 08, 2010, 08:31:07 PM
is pixie ALWAYS the first thing you run into in SMT games?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 08, 2010, 09:11:46 PM
Random encounters have been turned on ever since I've left home this morning, and I could have run into any of the exterior Kichijoji demons first; in fact, I've run two short test games prior to this LP to get emulator settings sorted out, and my first encounters were Mou-Ryo and Brownie. Pixies are pretty much always in the first batch of randoms, though, and if I remember correctly, in Nocturne one is always your first ally but never your first encounter.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 10, 2010, 05:57:59 AM
It's true, I'm not afraid. Afraid is not the right word, terrified is. Either there's something very wrong with me, or there's something very wrong with the universe.

That said, I could think of less pleasant hallucinations...

*: Yeah so I happen to own a Pixie figure, by fortunate accident. ::3:


*: This is the encounter screen. If I remember correctly, it precedes every random encounter in the game, except when hostile demons get the drop on you. Then it's straight into combat.

Again, much of it is self-explanatory, but there are a couple things worth mentioning. The Auto command enters auto-combat, a spectacularly useful feature that resolves battle in a few moments without player input, for good or for ill. It's not recommended for fights where strategy will be even a little bit required, but it does make wiping the floor with trivial enemies a breeze.

Also, you may notice the gray figures at the top of the screen. They represent the number and health of my opponents. In this case, there are two pixies here, at full strength. The game never displays more than one opponent at a time. The figures switch to a "wounded" stance when the appropriate creatures' HP runs low.

The Fight and Escape commands are obvious, and Talk, well...


( Hello, ladies!

Dang, look at the smooth operator!


>Pixie is taunting you.
>What will you do?
   -Act scared

( :kowhyee:
( You look weird! Yaah!

*: And by "yaah!" she means "i will kick your face in, you fucking creep!". The incredibly badass battle theme starts playing as I am returned back to the encounter menu, where trying to Talk again gives me the message "No time for talk, they're out for blood!"

I draw my knife, if a bit reluctantly. I really don't feel like stabbing two 4' tall women, but I don't want to be remembered by history as the guy who got beat to death by a couple of fairies in the first few hours of the demon invasion.


*: You can have both a melee weapon and a firearm equipped, so you have commands for either. Comp(uter) is the command to summon and dismiss allied demons in battle. (The human characters who will eventually join my party have a Magic option instead.) Seeing as I don't have a gun, an item, a friend, or a compulsion to cower while screaming "not in the face! please, not my beautiful face!", my options here are limited.

First round of combat, I hit one of the Pixies, and she goes down. Her friend casts Hapilma.

Hapilma is a status effect spell. It has a chance to cause the "Happy" status.


Normally this would be a lot of fun, but being engulfed in a feeling of bliss has a fair chance of causing you to herpderp a turn away as you bask in utter cosmic joy. This sucks more than you'd think.

Fortunately, I was so far in the dumps that it only perked me right back up to neutral. The pint-sized bitch managed to get a feeble hit in, but I had no trouble slicing her head clean off. I earned 32 EXP, which was enough to ding me to level 2!


For my troubles, I earn some HP and a single stat point. And by a single I mean one. Uno. Ichi. One single, solitary, agonizing stat point. I put it in Stamina.

On the plus side I only need 8 more exp to get to level 3!

I also loot 8 yen, a Magic Stone, and an Aquamarine. That's a cool haul for the first battle! I didn't think I was going to have to mention those so early.

A Magic Stone is a fairly common item from drops and chests, IIRC. It restores 25% of one's HP, but most importantly it is often requested as a gift in conversation. I don't think you can buy them anywhere, so they're an important resource to manage.

Aquamarine is a valuable gem used in trading at a specific location. It's not super rare, but it's still a really cool find.

And finally, as I plan on doing for every new encounter from now on, I'll talk about whatever creature we just met.

Lv2 Yousei Pixie
That's, well, a pixie, a cute little magic flying woman. She's a fairly good caster, able to use Hapilma, Dia (the basic heal spell) and Zionga (a powerful single-target lightning spell). Her strength is low and she's not exactly durable, but in these early areas that's not a colossal deal. I'm definitely going to try to recruit one.

And what's "Yousei"? Glad you asked! That's the pixie's family. All demons belong to a family, a group whose members have roughly similar natures, origins, worldviews and/or goals, and always with identical alignments. That doesn't mean that they're always allies, or even friendly with one another though. The Yousei are basically fey folk, sociable magical beings who tend to follow their own whims and fancies over anything else. They are Neutral-Neutral.

Oh, and, one last thing, while I think about it. You can't talk a demon into joining you if their level is higher than yours. Pixies are level 2, therefore my earlier attempt at conversation was doomed to failure in that particular regard.

I just killed the hell out of two pixies! This demon invasion is a good as beaten now! Rejoice, Tokyo, for your hero walks your streets! Please don't throw too many nubile young maidens at me at once!

Uh-oh. I don't get too far before two more Pixies show up. Well, I really have nothing to fear now, this should be a cinch.

*: For those of you who are worried that I'm going to write up every conversation in detail like that, allow me to set your minds at ease:  that's not gonna happen. I'll detail a few here and there because it's an important part of the game, but the vast majority of them I'm just gonna skip over. Anything else would be an insane amount of work.

( For your information, I literally just took care of two of your buddies.
( I'll have a little bit of fun with you, if that's what you want!
( That's pretty kinky, considering my knife is a quarter as long as you are tall.
( Can you kill demons in cold blood?
( Heck, yeah. Well, I'm more of a legitimate defense kind of guy, but you step to me, I bring the pain, white boy.
( No! Don't make such a scary face! What is it you want?


*: I've got her attention; the first step of conversation is over. Now I have to decide what I want from her. If I ask for cash or magnetite (not that I know what that is yet), she may or may not give me some, then leave. The amounts are random but usually higher than what I'd get from looting her corpse. I do have something more interesting in mind, though.

( Well, I have faced your kind in battle, and there I found a worthy opponent. Plus I have a thing for redheads. Will you come with me? Pretty pretty please?
( Give me 113 yen!

Oh. Oh! Oooh... So that's how it's gonna be, huh?

*: Yeah, deep down, demons are all business. It's worth noting that anything you give them from this point on is lost forever, even if the talks go south and you end up killing and looting them. Anyway, I give her 113 yen, she asks for 97 more. I give her 97, she asks for, err, 49 magnetite. I don't have any, but nothing is fucked, she'll take a Magic Stone instead. Well, it just so happens...


>Yousei Pixie became your minion.


Did I just score?

I expect her to sit on my shoulder or something, but she turns into ones and zeroes and disappears. What the whuh?

*: We've been using the Demon Summoning Program this whole time. We don't speak the same language; the computer is actually translating for us. For some reason I choose not to dwell on that too much and pretend we all gots the babelfish, yo. We do have a brand new pixie.exe file on our hard drive, though.

How does summoning work? I hit A to go to the main command menu, choose Comp/Summon Minion, and pick the ally I want to summon. It's not that simple, though. Summoning a demon to the material realm requires a payment. In this case, the Pixie asks for 64 yen every time I want to summon her (though she'll stay summoned until I dismiss her, it's not like I have to pay her for every battle). Stronger demons will ask for more.

There's another thing: magnetites. How do they work?

Magnetite is a glowy green ooze that must be consumed by demons to maintain their presence in this world. In game terms, every step you take, the demons you have currently summoned eat a certain amount of magnetite, according to their CP (consumption points?) stat. Pixies have a CP of 1, but stronger demons have proportionally higher CP. If you run out of magnetite, summoned demons gradually lose health and die.

Right now, I can technically afford to summon my Pixie, but she'll start dying right away. I'll first need to get magnetite by looting it, finding it, or extorting it.

Well, I'm suddenly emboldened. I want to find Kei, but I need some info first, and supplies. To the mall!

*: On the way there, I meet...


I try to be obnoxiously cheerful at him, and it disgusts him so much that he pays me 324 yen to get out of his sight.

This sets a dangerous precedent. :richiam:

Lv4 Akuryou Ghost
A ghost is a ghost, really.

Akuryou are the souls of dead humans who remain among the living, though they are not powerful enough to have physical bodies and can only manifest as shades or spectres. They are Dark-Chaos.

A few words on alignment are necessary here. Regarding the Light/Dark axis, demons only willingly associate with their exact alignment. As a Neutral, we can summon and command either extreme, but we can never talk a Light or Dark demon into joining us (though we can still negociate with other goals in mind). We must acquire their services through other means.

On the other hand, for the Law/Chaos axis, demons only refuse to work for their opposite alignment. As long as we are Neutral, this axis doesn't really matter, but if we shift either way, the other extreme will stop working for us entirely and be unavailable to summon. This can be a pain in the ass.

Finally, killing a Law demon nudges our alignment ever so slightly towards Chaos, and vice versa. It's therefore crucial to know what alignment the various families are. There's a Neutral buffer zone to cross before we officially switch, but it's still something to keep in mind, especially when grinding.

Alright then, to the mall, for real this time.

*: Split due to character limit. Huh. Continued soon!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 10, 2010, 06:14:06 AM
( Dude, this is a knife shop. The swords count, I guess, but these over there are clearly axes.
( I sell blades, okay? Are you here to buy a blade, or are you here to bitch about my display?
( Actually I could use a pair of tonfa. Do you carry those?
( Uh... yeah.
( :hurr:


( That replica sword is hella sweet... but... if I carry one in combat I will never ever get laid, for love or magnetite.

*: The unnamed katana (12 power, 7 accuracy) is arguably the best weapon here, but tonfa (6/2) hit twice per round and are a good value. I sell "my" attack knife and get the latter.

The male/female symbols indicate which gender can equip the item, and the capital A indicates that any alignment can use it.

( Thank you very much! Now don't use that to hurt anyone!

Moment of silence.

I laugh. He laughs. Good times!

Now, where do I find something to hurt?

*: I take this opportunity to revisit the shopping district. It's now crawling with creepy critters.


Lv2 Machine Kugutsu
Clearly an animated mannequin. They have high defense but aren't too difficult to kill anyway.

Machines are... machines. I can't find it in the guides or the manual but I bet they are Neutral-Neutral. I'm fairly sure you can't accomplish much through conversation with them. They'll summon help or attack or something.


Lv1 Shiki Zombie
A zombie! Their accuracy is shit and they occasionally choose to defend.

Shiki are animated corpses, your typical mindless undead. They're not much for conversation either. They don't have enough brains to form an opinion on the nature of the universe and are therefore Dark-Neutral.


Lv2 Chirei Brownie
Mischievous little gnomes from Scottish/British folklore. They can be friendly, inclined towards harmless pranks, or even somewhat mean. Here, they're annoying midget douchebags with a Happy-causing dance and Sukukaja (an accuracy buff spell, fairly pointless right now).

Chirei are earth spirits, or generally magical creatures who draw their power from the earth and nature. They are Neutral-Law.

We spend a while threatening to kick each other's asses. He thinks I'm bluffing. I -know- he's bluffing. Then...


Boy I'm glad my Pixie's not around to hear this.

( I... Err... I don't know if I can make any promises. Maybe?
( I can't even pick up a decent girl either...
( Wh... what? You goddamn fucking Smurf reject! Why don't you come say that to my face? I swear hot girls keep throwing themselves at me!

So, yeah. Killed him. Had to, really. Shame.

I know it's not the smartest move, but I decide to return to the alley behind the drugstore. It's the scene of the crime, but it's not really my crime. For some reason I meet a classmate there.


I'm not sure if he's making fun of me.

I head back to the cafe. Frankly I'm not sure there's even going to be anybody there.

...there are. Huh!

( Something big went down at Shinjuku, I hear. Whatever it was, it was serious enough to shut it off from the rest of the city. All the trains have been stopped until further notice! So we can't go anywhere... We're stuck here! What a drag!
( Hell, something big's happening right here too. I... I don't mean...! Please come back! ...Aw.

( Some guy called Ozawa was here earlier looking for Kei.

Uh-oh. That's the scooter gang jerk from yesterday. I'm not sure if he's talking about... Kei, or other Kei, but either way it's bad news!

( I wonder why that old Echo building by the south entrance to the station is still abandoned? It's in a nice spot. There're a million things they could do with it.

*: Technically I can go there now, but the doors are locked.

The barista now has actual coffee for sale, but I'm trying to save my money, and besides it only restores a few HP. Talk's free, though.

( You hear about the murder in the park? Talk about a shock! They closed the whole place down because of it, but I hear they're going to reopen it. Even after it was closed, there was some strange old man that was hanging around the entrance. Maybe he's a homeless guy?

A strange old man, eeeeeeh?

( The old empty store next to the survival shop has recently become a hangout for a gang of local punks.

I leave the cafe and run into some pixies.

( Oh I definitely will! You have no idea!
>Pixie left.

*: If you run into a friend of one of your current allies, they'll usually let you go without a fight if you give them a chance to, and sometimes they'll even give you presents. This is all kinds of useful. Many dungeons are much easier if you manage to befriend some of their more annoying denizens.

This is a good a time as any to mention that you can never have two identical demons with you.

I check on Ozawa and his goons, but they still tell me to make like a leave and tree. As much as it pains me to admit it, my next lead is... the mysterious old man. Who was looking for me. Le sigh. Let's go to Inokashira Park.

*: At this point I go back home to sleep off my few wounds first, but nothing new happens. It's just free healing now.

Ooh, no, wait, mom has something to say.

( Good morning, Francois!
( Good morning, mom.
( The daughter of the doctor next door has reached that age... There must be a lot to worry about with a daughter like that. I'm glad you're a boy, I have to worry a lot less.
( You mean you're not worried I'm gonna get some girl pregnant?

She smiles. I'm not sure if she's trying to hold back laugher, or if I'm just imagining she's trying to hold back laughter. Oy! I have half a mind to summon my pixie, but it'll freak her out. That, or she'll think I'm into lolis, and freak out even more.

Back outside, on the way to the park...


Lv1 Gedou Thug
A random mugger. It's hard to tell if he's possessed by a demon or if he's just an asshole. He's easily intimidated into cowardice and will pay you to leave him alone ("I didn't recognize you! Please, take this and let me go!"), but he's also an easy kill if you care for the single point of EXP it'll earn you.

Gedou are not a family so much as a catch-all term for assorted semi-intelligent abominations that know little but hunger, fear and hatred. In this game it's also the miscellaneous category for whatever doesn't fit anywhere else, including possessed humans like this Thug. They are Dark-Chaos, and IIRC the legitimately monstrous ones are impossible to negociate with under normal circumstances. In fact, in SMT: Nocturne, where alignment isn't an obstacle to recruitment, you can't even talk to Gedou without a special skill.


Lv2 Gedou Yakuza
A slightly tougher Thug. I don't remember if they have special abilities, but it can't possibly be enough to make them a threat.

*: I meet some Brownies under a full moon. Normally this wouldn't be worth mentioning, but it reminded me that the full moon drives demons crazy and they become impossible to talk to.

Alright, to the park! There's a roadblock in the way, but it's not manned by police anymore.



( I'm beginning to be just a little tired of strangers who know my name.
( Yes, yes, I see. Yes, you are quite special indeed.
( Sir, I've killed a brownie earlier today for less than that.
( Maybe you don't see it now, but it is quite possible that one day you will wield power beyond your wildest imagination.
( Alright, now you're talking!
( Light and Darkness, Law and Chaos... The delicate balance that this world rides on is beginning to tip. While the forces of Law and Chaos that are in motion now are still weak, there will come a time soon where they shall gain power and momentum, vying for supremacy over each other. However, it matters not on which side the weight falls. Either way, the result will be the same, a scale unbalanced. If you were in charge, which, if either, would you choose?
( I've played D&D too, sir. But... I don't know. The forces of Law and Chaos? What does that even mean? And why do I matter that much?
( Be mindful! No matter which path you take, there is no turning back once the decision has been made.

A moment passes.

( ...Why don't you show me what you're capable of for the time being?


('ll see, old man, I'm capable of... I.. what? What!? Why are you here? Why am I here? And why do you keep asking me like I know?
( Dreaming in the middle of the afternoon? Oy, now I'm really losing it!
( We're all losing it, buddy!


The walls have that familiar undulation to them, but this is not some sort of dreamland. It's a real place! I'm sure of it!

We're guided forward again, up several flights of stairs. This is some tall building. Four stories? Five?

( Mom!? What are you doing here?
( It's dangerous ahead! Don't any of you go a step further!

I try to protest, but it's like I can't push the words out. I know she's right.

( ...I know I can't stop you. But if you die, what will I do...?

She disappears. Dammit! What the hell's going on? Where's that old man?

There's a room marked "Terminal" up ahead.


( My brethren! Come forth from the depths of the Abyss!


( We're pissing in the devil's cheerios, that's what we're doing!
( As you have seen our ceremony, I cannot allow you to leave this place alive!!

We're shoved back into the hallway. The man follows us and... transforms.


( Were... were those your cheerios? By any chance? Look, I'll get you a new box. No harm done, right? Okay? Please?

This ain't gonna work. Just as I leap forward with my tonfa, I notice Kaneda and Tetsuo producing handguns. Suddenly I'm not so sure I'm the brains of this outfit anymore.

*: Kaneda and Tetsuo both plink Doman for 4 damage each, then it casts Sibabu, a spell that inflicts Paralysis. Tetsuo shrugs it off, but Kaneda and I are immobilized.

We're down but not out! This'll wear off... eventually.

I hope.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 12, 2010, 03:40:50 AM

Huh? I'm back in the...

( The way you are now, you don't stand a chance.
( Reluctantly, I am forced to agree with your assessment of my current ability.
( If fate so decrees, you shall meet that one again. Ready yourself before you rush ahead...

*: The demons we've met so far have been cakewalks, especially with my character's focus on strength and stamina. This single simulated round against Doman is the game's clever way to tell you that much harder times lie ahead. Sibabu was not too impressive, but I'm pretty sure the asshole can cast Maharagi instead, a spell that deals about 20 points of fire damage to everyone. We're out of his league.

Choujin are humans who have fused with demons. This is an extremely rare occurence; most human/demon relations end up in servitude or possession instead. Their alignment varies.

Before proceeding further into the park, I go back to the mall; I want to try to befriend a (sigh) Brownie.


Lv4 Gedou Moryo
Your basic earthbound human soul. They don't maintain enough personality to count as Akuryou. Rather, they're lumps of anguish and misery without any real memory of their former selves. Their claim to fame here is Tarunda, an attack debuff spell.


Lv3 Shiki Obatarion
I had no idea what that was, but it's apparently an undead middle-aged woman. It's one of the tougher Kichijoji enemies, for what that's worth. She can poison you, which does about what you expect.


Lv5 Yuuki Gaki
Ah-ha! That's the demon who killed that man earlier. Gaki (or Preta, in later games) are hungry demons, beings in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology that are a very low stage of reincarnation inflicted upon the greedy and covetous. They are absolutely wretched creatures, their stomachs distended with hunger but their necks too slender to swallow anything. They are more to be pitied than feared, but some are hungry for flesh and blood and can be dangerous.

Yuuki are foul undead creatures whose defining attribute is hunger for human flesh. They are Dark-Chaos.


Lv2 Shiki Lady Zombie
A slightly stronger zombie. This game is so progressive!

*: The people at the cafe have some new stuff to say!

( The police finally finished their investigation of the park, and we're allowed back in again.

( The other day, I saw the police arrest some guy. But instead of taking him to the police station, they took him to the hospital! I wonder why they did that?
( Sounds like police brutality to me!

( You know about the old abandoned Echo building by the south entrance to the train station, right? Rumor has it that monsters have taken over the place!
( Wow. You don't tell me. Monsters! How completely unexpected.
( At least that's what some squatters who were there claimed, but they may have just been high.
( Yeah, high on antiques, I bet.

( Oh, so that weird old guy was in Inogashira Park?

*: After I bit of trying, I finally recruit a Brownie. Negociations with a certain type of demon are more difficult if you've killed a bunch of them in the past. I've been slaughtering them left and right, so that probably handicapped me.

I'm going back to Inogashira, to the building at the end of the road.


It's not very large, as you can see. Two of the rooms contain treasure chests... or, rather, cardboard boxes.


( There's an odd box here! What's that box? Hmm, just a box.

Alright, enough of that. One contains 400 magnetite (score!), the other has an ointment.

*: Ointment is a mundane healing item, available for sale at the drugstore.

The third room is marked "Kaifuku".


( What business have you in the Healer's Dojo?

*: The Healer's Dojo is an unaffiliated (well, Neutral) location that offers all kinds of healing services, including status effect removal and resurrection. They're going to be the main source of healing throughout the game. They also have several magical healing items for sale, but they're a bit expensive right now. Interestingly, the cost of healing depends on how much HP and MP you need restored, rather than being a flat fee.

The last room is marked Jakyou.

( Whoah, what's with the giant dongs?
( I would appreciate it if you referred to the fusion pylons by their proper n... Oh, who I am kidding? Look, kid, don't ask, alright?
( Err, ooooookay.

*: This is where demon fusion is performed. This is a rather complicated process, but basically, you pick 2 (or 3) demons and merge them into a new one. The result of the fusion depends on the level of the original demons and their respective families. Fusing Family A with Family B will always result in a demon of Family C. For example, a Chirei and a Yousei fusion will always result in a Youki demon. If I put Pixie and Brownie in the pot, I'll get...


Lv10 Youki Azumi
I'm not entirely sure of the details, but I think we can go with "generic fishman". They have Zio, the basic lightning spell, and Me-Dia, which is a group heal spell. I... don't remember what "Wall of" is supposed to be.

Youki are warlike, destructive demons, acting according to their individual desires and emotions rather than obeying a leader or following a greater cause. They are Neutral-Chaos.

Clearly this is a major upgrade, and if I want a replacement Pixie I just have to go recruit another. Unfortunately I'm not level 10 yet and could not control the Azumi, so it'll have to wait.

An important element of fusion is that you can make Light or Dark demons out of some Neutral demon combinations, allowing you to get your hands on creatures that would never let themselves be talked into allying with you.

Well, that was instructive, even though I can't make much use of these facilities yet. I could go on and investigate the neighborhood some more, but I've taken a bit of a beating and really I'd much rather go home for a rest. I need to make sense of this.

On my way, I decide to investigate a roadblock again.

( Nobody can pass!

I don't like this, but... I suppose it's about time somebody started taking things seriously.


Man, I have the worst feeling. Pascal's still here, and he's jolly as ever, so maybe I'm worried about nothing. She probably just... went out with... the coffee man. Oy.

*: I go to sleep. Mom's still not back by the time I wake up.

Okay, this is crazy, I need to go out and find her. Someone must have seen her. Maybe Kei's dad saw her leave.


( Y... yeah.
( You're under arrest for murder! We found your bloody fingerprints at the scene!
( Oh shit!
( You sick little puppy, tearing out that guy's throat like that! Restrain and handcuff him, boys!


Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Envy on December 12, 2010, 04:04:20 AM
This thread reeks... Of KARMA!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 12, 2010, 07:48:36 AM

is that good?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on December 12, 2010, 10:20:03 AM
It is...
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on December 12, 2010, 10:29:32 AM
That... That's cool... I'm cool with that right now.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 13, 2010, 07:42:39 AM
( It was a Gaki! It was a fucking Gaki! They're crawling all over the mall, open your goddamn eyes!



( And screw it, I don't even care, I'll confess to whatever you want, but you need to find my mother! She's done nothing wrong!

Nobody hears me. Hell, I can't hear anything. It's like the whole building is empty.

Okay. Okay. I got to calm down. I can do this. I can find a way out. It's hard to break out of jail, but two days ago I thought it was hard to talk to a fairy. All I need is a plan. For the first time, I pay attention to my cell.

There's somebody in here with me.

( Wait a minute...! You're...

( Yeah, that's me! Who...?
( That wasn't just a dream then! I'm Kaneda! Do you remember me?
( Holy crap! Kaneda! I almost didn't recognize you with your pants on!
( Francois, you won't believe what happened to me.
( I doubt that, but try me.
( My girlfriend just sort of disappeared. While looking for her, I was attacked by demons... and when I killed them, the police arrested me! I need to find her... I'm worried about her! Will you help me look for her?
( I'm looking for someone myself. I think we can help each other out.
( Really!? Thank you!!

>Kaneda joined your party.

( My girlfriend's name is Kei.
( So you're the one...? I've got a neighbor named Kei.
( Eh? You live next door to her? Wow, that's a coincidence... Anyhow, let's try and think of a way to bust out of here.


*: This is Kaneda's equipment. His Machete is a sucker's weapon (500 yen cheaper than the tonfa, but has only 1 more attack power and attacks only once), but he comes with a decent Beretta 95F (22/15) and standard bullets. His armor is the stuff from the Kichijoji survival store. He knows the Dia (basic healing) and Zan spells (basic force-elemental damage).


I can't quite make out what it is. Anyway, I inspect the bars again.


Surgery? So they took us to the hospital like the others... The man opens the gate to take us away.

( Good man!
( Come on, now's our chance! Let's go!

We find ourselves in a cell block. There are other people in here!

*: There are several civilians behind bars. We can't help them, unfortunately.

( Why did I get brought to a hospital after getting arrested? Isn't the police station more the norm?

*: They even locked up one of their orderlies.

( The hospital director is conducting experiments to try and create invincible super-soldiers.
( That's what it's all about? Super-soldiers? When has that ever turned out well?
( It's only a matter of time before I become his next guinea pig...
( If you expect me to feel sorry for you, you can keep holding your breath.

( Steven-san! What are you doing here?
*: that who I think it is?
( A long time ago, I was working on a teleportation device... A network of Terminal Systems that would allow the user to instantly transport him or herself from terminal to terminal.
( An endeavour doomed to failure, no doubt.
( Oh, please.
( Heheh.
( But in the middle of one of my experiments I accidentally opened a portal to the Abyss and summoned a demon.
( This proved to be your un-doom-ing.
( Seriously? Are you gonna be that guy?
( Sorry, sorry. Please go on, sir.
( The demon seemed like it was trying to communicate with me, but I couldn't understand it, and it eventually became hostile and attacked me. I managed to defeat it, but not without sustaining terrible wounds first. The experience motivated me to develop a computer program that would allow people to speak with and befriend demons, making them into minions... Thus, I wrote the Demon Summoning Program. After learning that the terminals were connected with the Abyss, a man named Gotou began to summon and attempt to control them. Knowing that the demons would be coming in large numbers, I sent my Demon Summoning Program to as many people as I could. By increasing the number of people that have the ability to control demons, I was hoping to balance this out and keep any potential demonic revolts from getting totally out of control. Unfortunately, the program itself is harder to master than I had hoped and very few people were able to become full-fledged summoners.
( Yeah, no offense, but your UI kinda stinks.
( Do you understand me?
( I do.
( Very well. Then I shall give you this program to assist you. It is designed to capture and analyze data. It wil scan and analyze any demons that you should meet, and record their data into your computer's memory so that you can refer to it whenever you need to.

>Francois installed the Devil Analyze Program into his computer.

*: In gameplay terms, I now have a command in my non-combat and encounter menus that lets me see the status screen of all demons I've recently met, instead of just the ones in my employ. That's great news!

( If there is anything I can do to help you, please come back and see me.

*: Steven then offers to save the game for me, for some reason.

( Now, go to the director's office on the second floor. I've unlocked the door for you. There should be another switch inside. If you hit it, it should open the gate outside so you can get out of here.
( Thank you ever so much, sir. Before we go, I have to say, I'm a big fan of you and your work. I would have totally read A brief history of time had it only been just a little briefer.
( ...
( :facepalm:
( Okay thanks bye!

*: We're on the first floor of the hospital. The exit is only a few tiles away, but as Steven-san said, there's an electronic lock. I start looking around, but we're not alone.


Lv4 Chirei Knocker
The knocker is an underground-dwelling brownie from Welsh and Cornish folklore. They are named for the knocking sounds heard by miners before a cave-in; traditionally this is seen as a helpful warning to get the hell out of there before it's too late... but that's only a step away from believing them to actually cause the cave-ins themselves. Their Sibabu is of dubious utility on account of their low Magic Effect stat, but Zan is a decent spell and Taku-kaja is a fairly useful attack power buff. I'm going to try and recruit one even if only to keep them from killing Kaneda (the dude is level 1).

*: It's not too long before I reach the second floor.


*: There's one more prisoner here.

( Help me! I don't want to be operated on and altered like some sort of mad scientist's lab rat!
( We're gonna take care of this, just hang on.


*: Incense is awesome. It refills one character's HP and permanently increases one of their stats by one. Considering leveling up only gives you a single stat point, this is a lot. I'm probably going to use all of them on me, except the Magic ones. Using them on the spot is not a completely bad idea but I tend to wait until I need the healing.

( Just like Steven said. Let's go!

( No, but you're about to get some restructural surgery yourself. Of the face. Oops, we're all out of anaesthetic!
( Oh, I see. Then that means you're still evil humans who won't listen to my commands yet. Very well then, if you refuse to play along... I'll have to alter your bodies myself, until you're nothing but mindless drones that follow my every whim!

Wow, someone's got a warped sense of good and evil... and shapeshifting abilities.


*: Derp, I got caught with my pants down; neither of my demons are currently with me, and I need to spend the first two turns summoning them while Kaneda fights. Orias uses Plinpa, a confusion spell. It hits me, but I summon Brownie anyway and the confusion wears off right away.

Next turn, Brownie increases our accuracy, while I summon Pixie into the back row. Kaneda keeps firing, and Orias hits me for 18 damage. Next turn, Kaneda heals me, Brownie attacks, and Pixie spends over half her MP to cast Zionga for a colossal 36 damage. On top of that, Zionga sends Orias in a state of shock, temporarily stunning him. We're in good shape!

I mentioned the back row. There are six slots in the active party, and the last three are the back row. I don't remember the exact effects, but I'll be sure to mention them as I notice them.

Anyway. On the next turn, Brownie is killed in a single blow, but between Kaneda's 22 damage Zan and my tonfa's 7 damage twice per turn, the fight doesn't drag on. Orias puts Pixie and Kaneda to sleep with his Dolminer spell, but I strike the final blow immediately after. This could have gone much, much worse. Brownie's dead (OH NOOOOOOOOOO~), but everyone else is fine, and Kaneda gains 4 levels and the Mapper spell. (Mapper puts a 3x5 minimap overlay in the corner of the screen, which is really quite nice. I think it lasts until the next New Moon.)

( FUCK. YEAH. Who's your daddy now, asshole?
( What... What are you doing?
( You mean you've never heard of teabagging before?
( Looks like fun!
( Okaynevermindletsgo.

Lv8 Datenshi Orias
Orias is a Great Marquis of Hell, commanding thirty legions of demons. He presides over astrology and can change his shape at will.

Datenshi are fallen angels, who rebelled against God's rule and were cast down into hell as punishment. In SMT, Datenshi are taken from the 72 demons listed in the Lesser Key of Solomon, a fairly well-known 17th-century book on demonology. Surprisingly, they are Neutral-Chaos rather than Dark-Chaos. I think that's because the game's mythology emphasizes their role as quintessential rebels without outright condemning their revolution. That said, they are extremely dangerous creatures and care not one bit for mankind.

The "director" out of the way, we can release the entrance lock.

*: ... I just noticed my spoils have put me at exactly 666 magnetite. :>_>:


*: Aaaanyway. We go back to the entrance. The cells are now empty; I guess the lock release also operated the jail bars. Even Steven is gone.

On the way back, a Knocker drops an Orb, which is basically a better, rarer Magic Stone. It restores HP to maximum.


Hell yeah! Justice served, wrongs righted! That's us! We're Team Awesome!

( Great work, people! Coffee's on me!
( Thanks, I guess.
( Yay!
( Oh, uh, except you. Sorry, it's back to the drive for you. Magnetite doesn't grow on trees, you know.
( :;_;:
( Wow, she's needy.

*: Before going to the mall, I go get Brownie raised.

( Can you do something for the little runt? He did take one for the team.
( That'll be 300 yen.
( On the other hand, he's technically part of an invasion force, and who knows how many innocent civilians he would have terrorized had I not been there to put him back on the straight and narrow?

*: Ehhhh... I might have to spend a Magic Stone or something to get another one, so I might as well. 300 yen is just three spooked Thugs' worth of money.

On the way to the mall, I meet a Ghost who reminds me (against his will) that some enemies are immune to bullets, and it appears that some others are resistant.

Guns are interesting weapons. They don't need an investment in Strength to be effective, most of them hit several times (some up to 8!), they can be fitted with incredibly useful ailment-causing ammunition, and IIRC they don't have a problem with the back row. On the other hand, they require an investment in Speed to reach their full potential, and they're not effective on all enemies.

Alright, back at the mall to celebrate.


Lv5 Juujin Weredog
A weredog is a man who was bitten by a... Err. Hmm. Wait, people get bitten by dogs all the time, how could a myth possibly spring around that? That doesn't make a lick of sense. Yo, Google, anyone out there actually believes in weredogs?
( Yyyyyup. (
Oh. Alright then. There ya go, people. Weredogs! Whodathunk? Anyway, they're a rare but fairly tough opponent with Diarama (an upgraded healing spell) and a special bite attack.

And Juujin are lycanthropes (well, therianthropes). They are Neutral-Neutral.

As we wait in line for our coffee, we overhear a man talking.

( They looked really mad... they're probably going to beat the hell out of the poor guy.
( Kaneda, I don't know if I'm just high on the fumes of justice, but-
( Let's do this!

( Demons my ass! What the hell have you been smoking, you little punk! Rough 'im up a little bit more, boys!

>A single youth is being beaten up by a group of thugs that surround him.

( God, this is awful... I can't let this cowardice continue! Hey you! What do you think you're doing!? Stop that!!

Most of the goons quickly vacate the premises. It's probably thanks to our tangible aura of victory.

( Eh, no big deal. Don't try and fuck with us again, you little pissant, or you'll just get more of the same. Come on, boys!

( Hey, are you all right?
( Shut up! Don't mock me... If only I was tougher, I'd kick your asses...
( So now what, Francois? He's in a daze -- he doesn't seem to know what's going on, talking like that.
( ...H-hey... What did you just say? ...Francois... You said... Francois, right?
( Wait a minute, you look... familiar.
( Then that really wasn't just your everyday dream! And so if you're Francois... then you must be Kaneda, right?
( ...So you must be Tetsuo.
( Now I get it! You guys really saved my butt back there. Ahh... Shit! Damn it all! If only I was stronger... I'm so weak, I can't even handle a bunch of lowlifes like them by myself...
( Look, you were outnum-
( How am I going to beat the demons invading Tokyo when I can't even stand up to a bunch of thugs like Ozawa's gang? Guys! Please, let me come with you! Together we might be able to do something! Even if you say no, I'm still coming along!
( I wouldn't dream of it, man. Welcome aboard!

>Tetsuo joined the party.


*: The guy is well-equipped. His Spike Rod (8/5) is an okay weapon, and his MP5 Machine-Gun (34/3) hits 3-6 times. All his armor is one step above ours. He also comes with Agi, the basic fire-element spell.

It's getting late, and the adrenaline is wearing off. I suggest we head to my house to recuperate, and the others agree without hesitation. I do want to pay a short visit to Kei's dad first, though.

( ...
( It makes me feel better to know that a lunatic like that is off the streets!
( :oic:

( Oh, if it isn't Francois! Kei went out somewhere, but never came back.


Ozawa, you piece of shit.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 14, 2010, 02:37:26 PM
( Yes, of course.
( Kei left, saying she was going to go to Shinjuku, but...
( You look surprised. Didn't I tell you...?
( I was still hoping you were talking about a different Kei. She... didn't seem to know about the dream.
( Hmm.

Alright, let's go home for now.

( Mom!?
( I'm always so worried about you. I'm glad you came home all right in one piece! I'm so happy! Please, come over here to me...
( Where have you been? I thought... I thought you...
( What's wrong? Come here! I love you, always! Come on! Hurry!
( I don't like it. Something's strange here.
( I second that thought. There's something fishy here... it doesn't smell right!
( You... You're not my mother!
( No... No! You...!
( Aw, what's with that face! Come on, there's no reason to be sad. You'll see her soon enough... in my stomach! Until then, why don't you entertain me for a bit!! I hope you taste as good as she did!
( :rage:


*: A-N-S is a turtling bruiser with high defense who can boost it even further with Raku-Kaja, and also reduce our physical attack with Taru-Nda. Kaneda and Tetsuo use their Zan and Agi to good effect while I clobber him with puny tonfa blows. I could summon my allies but Brownie's got 2HP left from being resurrected and Pixie's MP is depleted. Fortunately we deal much more damage than we take, and the fight is over in a few rounds.

Tetsuo learns Patora, a recovery spell that nullifies all status ailments except Poison, Paralyze, and Stone.

We find an ID Card on the creature's corpse.

( Francois... I don't think there's anything that I could say that could provide much comfort, but... try not to feel too bad...
( "Try not to feel too bad!?" Damn, that was insensitive, Kaneda! For God's sake man, his mother just got killed! I know you mean well, but don't try to console him... Just give him a moment to himself!
( ...

( Pascal...

>Pascal the dog jumped toward you. It's almost as if Pascal is trying to get you to take him with you. Will you take Pascal with you?

( I'm not going to leave you alone, Pascal. There's nothing for us here anymore.
( Bowwow! Bowwow!

>Pascal came with you.

( Let's get what rest we can. Tomorrow we look for Kei, and I don't care who or what gets in my way.

*: The night is uneventful.

Jaki Ama-no-sakugami
I have no idea. He's not the last obscure Japanese mythological creature we're gonna come across, in any case.

Jaki are your typical angry, mean brutes. Where Youki are merely violent for violence's sake, Jaki are outright malicious and delight in the suffering of others. They are Dark-Chaos.

*: On the way to the train station, I take a few detours and manage to befriend a Weredog. I go back to the Jakyou Mansion to see what my options are. I could fuse the Weredog and Brownie for...


Lv6 Yousei Goblin
You all know what a goblin is, though it's more the ubiquitous traditional folksy type than the D&D greenskin. They've got three of the four -kaja (buff) spells and are decent physical fighters with surprisingly high MP to boot.

While the Master of the Mansion tells me the details I barely notice Pascal chasing Pixie around the place. It looks like they're having fun, so I don't pay too much attention.

...until the Master gets an alarmed look on his face. I turn around to see what he's looking at.


( What the hell is going on?
( They... they must have tripped the mechanism!
( Well what are you waiting for?! Get them out of there!

A strange fluid submerges Pixie, and she... dissolves before my eyes!

( I... I can't. It's too late.
( Too late? It's my DOG in there! He's not a demon! Get him out now!

The fluid begins to rise in Pascal's tube. He... doesn't seem scared. The Master shakes his head.

( If I stop the machine now, who knows what abomination will come out? There's nothing to it, we have to wait and see. I'm sorry, young man.
( Pascal!






What the...?

( Pascal?


( Astounding!


*: In other words...

Lv43 Majuu Kerberos
Here is mighty Cerberus, keeper of the gates of Hades. He doesn't get his extra heads in SMT, for some reason. Using his Special command in the combat menu results in either a bite attack or a spectacular no-MP fire breath. Samaricarm is the upgraded resurrection spell, reviving a dying ally to full HP.

Majuu are supernatural animals, magical versions of their mundane counterparts. Though they can speak, their intellect is an animal one, neither good nor evil. They are Neutral-Neutral.

*: Pascal can't be summoned, but he appears in the Mansion's lists as Dog Pascal. Fusing him with anything results in Kerberos. In gameplay terms, none of the above was accidental, but I wasn't about to try to justify willingly putting him in one of those vats in-character. In any case, Kerberos' incredible power comes at a high cost: he has a CP of 25 and costs over a thousand yen to summon. It goes without saying that he's an exception to the "can't have a demon whose level is higher than yours" rule.

( You are an extremely fortunate young man. I could try to replicate this fusion for the rest of my life and still never succeed. Your companion's desire to help and protect you must be very strong.
( Is... is Pascal in there?
( Both of them are "in there", as you say. Joined, forever changed, but somewhere, deep down, they know, and they remember.

I scratch Kerberos behind the ears; he's almost as tall as I am, but he nuzzles his head against my chest. For a moment, I can believe this is truly Pascal. Then I feel his scaly, snakelike tail coiling around my legs.

( Well, at least he got fused with a cute chick.
( Heh, yeah, I guess so. Alright then, your turn!
( :suave:
( :painful:

*: I fuse the Goblin, then leave the Mansion. I'm going to pick up another Pixie, then go to the train station.

( They are off-limits to civilians!

They're not kidding either. I know I said I didn't care who got in my way, but I'm not going to accomplish anything if I get myself cut to ribbons by an entire platoon's worth of assault rifles, Kerberos or not. I'm beginning to suspect at least some of them have been "operated" on by Orias, like the policemen undoubtedly were. I need to think of something else.

It hits me. I've heard at the cafe that the abandoned Echo building has been taken over by monsters. It's flimsy, but it's all I got, and for lack of options the guys can only agree with me.

The entrance is locked...


An ID Card, eh?

>You used the ID Card.


We're in. Now that's a lead.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 15, 2010, 04:59:10 PM
*: Oh wow. Sorry about the wonky picture cropping on this update, I somehow moved the emulator window out of the capture bounds and didn't realize it until just before uploading. It should be an aesthetic thing only, I don't think there's any real information loss... but still, yeah. I done goofed.

The place seems strangely familiar.


This is... this is where the old man sent us! There's no doubt, it's identical!

Will I meet Doman on the top floor? Can I take him on? I certainly feel much stronger, or more resolute at least. And I have Kerberos by my side.

I look at my companions. We're all thinking the same thing.

He's not stopping us this time. Nobody is.

*: The Echo building's individual floors aren't very large, but I find an elevator that goes to 5F. I'm taking the stairs though, I could use the exerc... I mean, the experience.


Lv6 Chirei Kobold
You may think of them as short, annoying lizard- or dog-faced men, but at the source they are more-or-less German Brownies. (Man those two words conjure up an unpleasant thought.) Here they are quick, decent physical fighters with a couple of buff spells. Nothing too remarkable.


Lv5 Jaki Gremlin
We're still in the domain of short, occasionally mean UK pranksters, but this one is a recent one! The Gremlin traces its origins to the British Royal Air Force, where it has earned a reputation for sabotaging aircraft, in which case we can stop talking about pranks and start talking about terrorism. They are extremely quick and can cast Zio, but they are also fragile with low defense and very little HP.


Lv8 Datenshi Andras
Another Great Marquis of Hell, commanding thirty legions of demons. He is known for sowing discord and attempting to kill those who would summon him, which would presumably make him one of the least popular demons out there. In SMT, he joins the ranks of the likes of Orias as an example of infernal nobility who undoubtedly got their position by being expert brown-nosers or the boss' nephew or something; he has unremarkable stats all over and only has high HP going for him. That said, he can cast Agi and cause Happiness and Bind (a less serious form of Paralysis), which makes him (them?) somewhat annoying to fight in numbers.

*: In other news, we meet many large groups of Goblins who leave us alone on account of their inside man in our little group, and we befriend a Knocker. Enemy groups are becoming bigger in general; we frequently encounter five foes together. Tetsuo's machine gun really shines here, to the point where I still don't need to summon anything.

This dungeon also introduces ambush spots, specific locations that trigger an unavoidable battle with an immediately hostile demon. Fortunately, here it's only Brownies, for some reason.


*: We start seeing legitimate treasure chests here. We find an Amethyst and some Luck Incense.

Overall this is much easier than I remembered. I succeed in talking my way out of most battles and come out with several items (including a Molotov Cocktail dropped by an Andras, for some reason) and almost a thousand extra yen. That's the benefit of high intelligence, I suppose. Kobolds keep getting me to give them cash and then running away though, so maybe I'm not that smart.

I almost feel like opening cans of whup-ass on Andras and Gremlins just for the EXP, but that's about where I remember that EXP you receive is relative to your level vs the level of your enemies, so there wouldn't be that much of a point to it.

I eventually reach the fifth floor.

( Yeah, I'm... Huh? Yuriko? What are you doing here? Have you been following us?
( With your power, you'll be able to do anything you put your mind to, so you should be OK.

She's gone again. She said she'd always be by my side, and I'm starting to believe it, even if I don't really understand.


This is it. This is my next trial.

*: I pop a Strength Incense to heal myself, and get Kaneda to top Tetsuo up. Then I summon Kerberos and Goblin. There goes my profit... I change my formation to put Kerberos in front (he's got 420 HP, durr) and the Goblin is in the back so he can buff us in relative safety.

There we go.


Whoa, déjà vu!

( My brethren! Come forth from the depths of the Abyss!


( ...back?

Wait, how does he know we've been here before? I thought it was just a dream!

*: The game asks us if we want to try to escape. I refuse.

( This is the place where my brethren in the Abyss are to be summoned. I cannot allow it to be defiled by your blood!
( If you do remember the last time we met,  I don't think I need to remind you how I mentioned defiling it with something else than blood.
( Get out!

*: We're pushed outside again.

( You won't get away this time! Those who stand in my way will be crushed!


Round 2! FIGHT!

*: Right off the bat I notice Kaneda and Tetsuo have learned Maha-Zan and Maha-Agi. These are group versions of their elemental spells though, so they won't be much use here. Anyway. I use the Extra command for Kerberos, which means he'll randomly use one of his no-MP abilities, either the bite or the flame breath. I attack with my tonfa, Kaneda fires his pistol (I'm saving his MP because he's my only healer this time), Kaneda is using Agi, and the Goblin is going to buff our magic and physical attack power. Let's see how this goes.

Doman opens up with his own Maha-Zan, dealing about 15 damage to me and the Goblin, and 7 to the others. I'm beginning to wonder if the Magic stat affects magic defense... This isn't a huge deal though, I got loads of HP.

The flame breath misses, and our physical attacks aren't so hot. Only Tetsuo got in some decent damage. Next turn, I order Kerberos to simply attack.


Oh! Hmm! Right then! Nice! New strategy: cheer on Kerberos while he does all the work. On the same turn, Doman casts Maha-Agi, and it bounces right off Kerberos. Of course he reflects fire, what am I, an idiot? Another claw swipe later, and the asshole goes down.

Choujin Doman
I... don't think Doman is a mythological figure. It's probably the name of the man who fused with a demon to become whatever he had become.

Suddenly, taking back Tokyo doesn't seem like such a difficult task anymore.

( See that, old man? A boy and his dog!
( Ahem.
( ...aaand his valiant comrades, of course. Couldn't, uh, couldn't have done it without you. Anyway, I hope you guys drank lots of water before leaving this morning, because we've got a ceremonial site to defile.



>Kerberos is growling at the machine. He leaps to attack it!

( Alright boy! Make a mess! That's the spirit!


( Kerberos? ...P... Pascal?

I don't like this. In fact I rather hate this. Let's see what that thing is.

( Those with valid COMPs may access at their leasure.

>What will you do?
   -Go outside

*: As per series tradition, terminals act as save points and travel hubs.

Transmit, huh? It probably just beamed him somewhere. Let's see if I can find out where he went.

>Choose a destination.

Not much choice then. Let's go.

( Teleporting to lab.

( Whoa!

( Teleportation complete.

It doesn't look like anything has changed, but let's see outside.

( Thank you for using Tokyo-Net Terminals.


Yup, we were definitely teleported. I can't see Kerberos anywhere, though. I'm sure he can take care of himself, but... I hope I can do the same until I find him again.

*: Tutorial's over, kids. :glee:

( Holy crap, you look terrible. What's wrong with you?
( So... what on earth is going on in the outside world?
( You know, the usual. Traffic, taxes, murders, demonic invasions. What about in here?
( I've been here working on our secret Terminal System project. I've had to transmit all the data from my experiments over the computer to the main center from here. Three or four days ago, we were attacked by a mob of demons. Everyone was either killed or turned into zombies...
( What... what about you?
( ...Hurry... Get out of here...

*: At first I thought the guy was merely malnourished, but no, he's in the middle of zombification.

In any case he wasn't lying, there are more of the Echo building monsters here. Unexpectedly, I run into five Goblins who don't care that I've got one of their buddies with me. It's kind of a tough fight because they keep buffing their attack power, but nothing we can't handle. I do wish I had, oh, say, a fire breath attack though.

...Oh crap, I permanently dismissed my Goblin instead of returning him, by mistake. No wonder I couldn't pacify that mob.

Along the way, Kaneda learns Parala-Di, a paralysis recovery spell, and Tetsuo learns Posom-Di, an antidote spell.

( Eh wot?
( Take it easy for a while. Get used to your new home. I'm sure you must be tired from your long trip from the Abyss.

I am given no choice but to reach the conclusion that Orcs are retarded.

( I see you've successfully changed into humans...
( Yyyyeah... That's right! Stupid stinky human body, huh? Hatin' it! Haha! Amirite guys?
( Err... Yeah! Yeah! Ha!
( What the hell are you guys talking about?
( Wait a minute, you ARE humans!!
( Great job, Kaneda. When this is over with, I'll make sure you get your Oscar.
( But...
( No time to argue, Brando-sama!


Lv11 Jaki Orc
Your good old pig-faced orc. Origins-wise, we're talking about vintage Tolkien here. The word has older, more obscure origins, but as far as the modern conception, we need go no further. They hit harder than any non-boss so far, and they know Dia. No match for us alone, but if I met a bunch at once I might be in trouble.

Oops, did I say Jaki were Dark-Chaos? They're Dark-Law. How'd I let that slip by me?

*: We're on the second floor of a fairly small building. There are a few Incenses downstairs. And...

( However, Gotou's influence has spread to here as well, and it is now under his control.
( Looks like Gotou's the man behind this, then. I wonder if Ozawa's working for him.
( So... Has my Demon Summoning Program been useful to you?
( It's been a great help, sir.

I ain't kidding. We probably wouldn't have taken down Doman by ourselves.

( Are you satisfied with the number of demons you can make your minions?
( Yeah, haven't run into any problems on that end.
( Really?
( Heck, I didn't even know there was a limit. Is it related to disk space?
( Oh. Well then, that's fine, I suppose. I was thinking I'd increase the number of demons you could keep as minions... But if you're satisfied already, there's no real need to do so...
( Yeah, that's fine, my machine is pretty good as it is.
( Are you satisfied with the number of demons you can make your minions?
( Err... yyyyyyeah?
( Really?
( Oh... Oh! I see! *ahem* I doth love thee with all mine heart, dearest Princess Gwaelin!
( Very well then! Give me that computer, and I'll increase its memory for you!

*: I'm not making that up, we're in a "but thou must" situation here. Steven will not let me go until I've accepted a computer upgrade.

( Done! You should be able to store two more minions than you could before. With this adjustment, my Demon Summoning Program should be even more useful.
( Err... Alright then. Thanks?

*: Back to the task at hand: finding a way out.


( A certain Scotsman helped me out. What do you think?

Idiot. Dead idiot. Man I loathe orcs.



I hope we're in Shinjuku, that would be so convenient. It'd make dramatic sense too, putting us right before our goal after all these obstacles. I got a good feeling!


Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 16, 2010, 01:07:19 PM
( Intermission! Hee-ho!

Now that we're done with what would probably be Chapter 1 if this game had chapters, there could hardly be a better time to get my miscellaneous on with a vengeance. So here are various things that wouldn't fit in the narrative, or that would have fit but that I didn't think of at the time.

First: music!

The music in SMT was composed by Tsukasa Masuko. I couldn't find much details on the man, but he's been responsible for composition and sound programming for video games since 1984's Star Force, his works including, among others, pretty much the entire Megami Tensei series since the two Famicom installments up until 1997's Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. He's still having a mark on newer games, having arranged versions (or even outright reproduced versions) of his tracks used for great effect in the likes of Nocturne and IMAGINE (the MMORPG). He was eventually replaced by Shoji Meguro (a collaborator on Soul Hackers), who's been working on the series since, and has very much preserved its unique feel and sound even through the different sub-series such as Persona and Digital Devil Saga. To be honest, for a while I didn't even suspect the series had more than one composer.

( (
This is the dreamscape music, the first piece that plays after the title screen. It's not something I'd listen to outside the context of the game, but I find it extremely effective at setting the tone for the strange and creepy events that follow.

( (
Music for the hero's home. It's kind of... I don't know, cheesy? At first, it seems unremarkable. But then your mom dies and everytime you go home it still plays and and oh god :loser:

( (
The overworld theme. When I think of this series' music in general, this is what I hear. It's modern and cool and still carries a feeling of intensity, of anticipation. It perfectly encapsulates the flavor of the series and manages to do so in a 15 second loop. We're not on a quest anymore, we're on a mission. That, my friends, is a masterpiece of video game music.

( (
The Jakyou Mansion's gorgeous organ piece is easily one of my favorite melodies of all time, all categories. I can't exactly put my finger on why. I just love it. Somehow it expresses the modern-day resurrection of mankind's ancient subconscious, the return of our fears and hopes personified in all their sinister glory. It could have tried to be scary, but it chose to be majestic. Apparently I'm not its only fan: there's an easter egg in Nocturne, where entering the Mansion with Orthros in your party replaces the regular music with this. (Strangely enough, entering it with Cerberus in your party plays the SMTII Mansion music instead.)

( (
The short ambience piece for the Terminal rooms. Another track that is absolutely perfect for its use. Terminals are the bridge between technology and the supernatural; when you look into one, you look into the Abyss. Literally. Doesn't it conjure up the feeling of the apprentice sorcerer sneaking a peek into his master's crystal ball?

( (
The normal battle theme. God I love that battle theme. Seriously, do I even have to say anything? Just listen to it. Daaaaaang. The final 15 seconds of the file is the short negotiation theme, the one that plays before combat in regular encounters and during negociation.

( (
Bonus: Because I can't get enough of the battle theme, here's the Nocturne remix of it. It's used while you're stuck in the glowy red Amala network. Somehow it's even more badass.

( (
And finally for now: Pascal's theme. It's a song for the natural inhabitants of the Earth, finding comfort and aid in their friends and allies while the world goes batshit crazy around them. It's a song for two buddies sharing a beer five minutes before the apocalypse. It's a song for a boy and his dog, standing before heaven and hell unleashed.
(Mighty sorry about the pops, but the song's not on the soundtrack and I had to convert it from SPC myself. I blame SNESamp.)

Second: random thoughts!

***: Take another look at the map to the building in Inokashira Park.


I never noticed it before, but those interior walls... that's a swastika! And I mean the good kind of swastika, the one that's about blessings and good fortune. Apparently, it facing left or right doesn't make much of a difference unless you're digging deep in the symbolism. In any case it makes total sense to be there. In a piece of NPC dialogue that I omitted because I received it at an inopportune time, a girl in the cafe mentions that the building in the park just appeared one day. In effect, it's a colossal piece of supernatural assistance that popped into existence just for the hero. That the building is marked with a symbol of blessing is certainly no coincidence.

***: Apparently, we're the only ones who picked up the Devil Summoning Program. There are clearly summoners in the game who import demons directly from the Abyss and negociate various terms with them, but as far as forming adventuring parties, we're a unique case.

***: There's something strange in that very few people seem to notice there's a large-scale demon invasion going on. Obviously, there are the demon's direct victims like the guy who got his throat ripped out by a Gaki, and there are the scientists and researchers involved in the Terminal Project, and then there's Kaneda, Tetsuo and Yuriko. And even then, you can argue that Kaneda didn't have a clue about the supernatural events until he got thrown in jail. This leads me to think that the hero's party is being singled out by demons, like we're fair game. At this point of the game at least, I guess this means that Gotou's forces are attempting infiltration and subversion, rather than direct conflict.

***: I honestly don't remember what's going on with Kei and possible other Kei, in case that's not obvious from how I've been handling things.

***: There are clues that the hero isn't just a kid with a computer, or at least that his reputation is growing. During demon negotiation, sometimes demons demand that you identify yourself, and if you do so they often recognize you and occasionally respect or fear you. This is even the case with Thugs and Yakuza in the beginning, though maybe they pretend to recognize you to justify their cowardice.

***: I've never really touched on what can possibly result from negotiation. There are several possible outcomes, some depending on family, including:
   -surprise round in your favor
   -surprise round in opponent's favor
   -opponent flees
   -opponent summons help
   -opponent gives you a gift, then leaves
   -opponent asks to become your minion

***: There are never multiple types of demons in a single encounter, though there occasionally are several encounters one after the other, sometimes with the same type, sometimes with a different type. And by "one after the other", I mean the next encounter begins even before you get EXP and loot from the first. You can kill a demon, immediately talk another group into fleeing, and then get EXP from the kill. Getting three encounters in a row this way is not a rare event.

Third: spells!

I'm getting a bit tired of mentioning the effects of magic, so I figured I'd explain spell nomenclature once and for all here. Spells differ slightly between games of the series, but they mostly follow a set of basic rules.

(This section is going to be dry, but I can't help it. Feel free to skip it!)

There five elements (more in other games), each of which is associated with a basic spell name.
-Agi (fire)
-Bufu (ice)
-Zan (wind or force)
-Zio (lightning)
-Dia (healing)

Additionally, you have the exorcism spells and death spells, repectively Hama and Mudo.

When these basic names come with a suffix, they are a stronger version of the spell. This gives us Agirao, Bufula, Zanma, Zionga, and Mudo-On. (Dia is a special case and comes with Diarama and Diarahan, which can be interpreted as midheal and fullheal. Hama is another exception: its enhanced form is Hanma.)

When the basic names come with a prefix (usually Ma-, Maha- or Me-), they are a group-targeting version of the spell. We get Ma-Hama, Ma-Mudo, Maha-Agi, Maha-Bufu, Me-Dia, and so on.

A spell with both the suffix and prefix is the stronger, multi-hitting version of the spell. Therefore: Maha-Bufula, Ma-Mudo-On, Me-Diarahan and so on.

The buffs and debuffs are little simpler. First you have four attributes:
-Taru (physical attack)
-Raku (physical defense)
-Suku (accuracy)
-Maka (magic defense)

And then you have a suffix, -nda for debuffs, and -kaja for the buffs. Therefore: Taru-nda, Raku-kaja, and so on.

I don't remember if they're in this game, but there are also De-kaja and De-kunda for removing said buffs and debuffs.

Well, I think that's about all the spells with simple rules. The rest is mostly miscellaneous utility magic and I think I can stand describing those as we go.



I thought I had something else to say. Hmm...


Anyway, that should do it for now. If I ever talk about something in an unclear way, or if you'd just like some more information on a particular topic, don't be afraid to ask. Next time, we rejoin our heroes, just coming out of the Terminal Project laboratory in Sendayaga. 'Till then!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 19, 2010, 04:30:31 PM
I have nothing to do in Sendagaya, but my only other option is to go back through the Terminal and wait for the Kichijoji station to reopen. No, we might as well look around here and see what we can find out. Who knows, maybe the trains are still running here.

*: Sendagaya is a green urban area, somewhat of a center for sports and the arts, boasting theaters, music halls, design workshops, the Tokyo Olympic Stadium and the Yakult Swallows' baseball stadium, among other such establishments. As is probably going to be the case for the entire game, there are geographically-accurate landmarks on the map!


Well, the area looks quiet enough, maybe the invasion hasn't...

Oh, wait. Never mind.


( Well, these don't look so scary. Time to turn on the ol' charm!
( Is... Is that wise?
( Hello ladies!
( I'm scared...
>Harpy is watching you warily.

Oh, right, the heavily-armed posse.

( Guys, would you please lower your weapons?
( I... Uh, I don't think...
( It's cool, I got this.
( Ahh! Come here, come quickly!
>Harpy is motioning you to come closer.

What's the worse that could happen? A booby-hug?

( What an idiot! Ha ha ha ha ha! Yaah!
>The Harpies suddenly attack!

Right, of course. A booby-trap.

*: The ol' charm fails hardcore. Some harpies use Hapilma (causes Happy) and Dolminer (causes Sleep) and neutralize half my team, the others have multiple attacks per turn. I try to run away twice, but it only gives them all the time they need to tear Kaneda to pieces and maim the rest of us. Did I mention the tutorial's over? I think I'm gonna have to show the death sequence sooner than I expected.

...huh! I hit the Talk command by accident, and they actually accept to hear me out again! I didn't know that was even possible!

( You... err... You've proven your might matches your beauty! We're quite aware of it now! Can we have a do over?
( Would you love me, even though I'm a demon?
( Yes! Yes! Of course! Anything you want! Just please kindly take your talons out of my friend's kidneys!
( Ha ha! I know you don't mean it, but I'm still happy to hear you say it! What do you want?

*: Well, as long as I'm being desperate, might as well go for the gusto. I ask her to come with me. She asks for a Magic Stone and some magnetite.

( Be gentle with me!
>Youchou Harpy became your minion.

Lv7 Youchou Harpy
The well-known bird-women of Greek myth, participating in Zeus' punishment of Phineas by stealing all his food before he could get to it. They were originally described as quite ugly, but it appears the passing of the ages has allowed room for interpretation. Here, they are very fast, with a special two-hit claw attack and basic disabling spells.

Youchou are intelligent, free-sprited bird demons, typically possessed of a curiosity that borders on greed. They are Neutral-Law.

Well that could have gone worse, but we all need some medical attention, especially Kaneda. I use a Stamina Incense and summon Pixie to patch the rest of us up as well as she can, but she's not gonna cut it forever.

*: Fortunately I don't meet other very difficult demons, only some Kobolds and Gakis. That said, I have Goblin and Knocker out just in case, and they're slowly draining my magnetite. I need Kaneda back.

Sendagaya proper isn't very large. The way south is blocked by the military, and just north is Yoyogi Park. The place is an important area in Nocturne, but it doesn't look like I can go there now. And just a bit further North...


Huh! I guess I should be more aware of my home city's geography.

*: Shinjuku's kind of a big deal. It houses the busiest train station in the world, Tokyo's City Hall equivalent, lots of corporate headquarters, a dense commercial district, and over 300,000 people of over 100 different nationalities.

So I have two objectives now: find Kei, and a place to get patched up. There are several buildings close-by, and I choose the big yellow one visible to the west.



*: The place is still infested by demons though.


Lv12 Datenshi Gamygyn
A Great Marquis of Hell, appearing in the form of a horse and commanding thirty legions of demons. He presides over the liberal sciences and is knowledgeable about those who die in sin and at sea. Man the Lesser Key of Solomon has some random-ass demons.  Anyway. He's a tough customer, with Zan and a fairly damaging physical attack. He's also the first demon we meet with Makajama (silence status effect) and Mudo (instant death).

*: The bastard kills Knocker before we can take it down. I didn't want it to come to this, but trying to explore Shinjuku right now is borderline suicidal. My party now is myself, Goblin, Harpy and Tetsuo. If I don't find medical facilities soon, I'm going back to Kichijoji.

Anyway, I try a small building north of here. I find about a thousand magnetite in a box, and...


Lv7 Yama Imp
Imps are small demons, originally from Germanic folklore. They serve as retainers to gods, or even to some mortals who deal in the supernatural. They tend to enjoy attention and despise being alone. Descriptions of their appearance varies, but they are mostly remembered as the prototypical diminutive winged devil, though they are not necessarily evil. Here they are quick and fairly effective offensive spellcasters, able to use Suku-nda, Zanma and Dolminer.

Yama are creatures of the night, among those closest to humans, whether by natural affinity or because they need to feed upon them. They are Neutral-Chaos.

( Well, directions to the hospital would be nice.

The man clearly wants nothing to do with us.

( Please don't mind the blood trail as I drag my unconscious companions away then. Asshole.

*: This is going nowhere fast. I head back to the Dojo of Healing.


*: Obviously I try to schmooze, but no dice.

Lv12 Yousei Dryad
Dryads are a specific type of nymph, that is to say, a nymph bound to an oak tree. In Greek mythology, nymphs are mortal divine beings, more nature spirits than goddesses, appearing as girls or young women and attached to a particular location. Here they are very good spellcasters, knowing Me-Dia, Marin-Karin (charm status spell) and a Happy Song special ability. I definitely want one, and not just because they're shapely.

*: I finally make it back and restore everyone. And while I'm here, I might as well drop by the Mansion and see what new friends I can make.

Goblin/Pixie + Harpy = Andras. Pass.

Goblin + Pixie =


Lv11 Seirei Aeros
An air elemental, basically. Average stats, inclined towards magic use. It knows Maha-Zan, Bufula and Hapilma. Not super remarkable, but a fair upgrade at the moment.

Seirei are Light-Neutral elemental spirits. That's about it.

What's really special about Seirei, however, is their use in fusion. First, fusing two demons of the same family always results in a Seirei. Second, depending on the family, fusing a demon with a Seirei will either not work at all, or result in a rank up or rank down fusion.

A "rank up" fusion is a transformation into a demon into the next strongest demon of the same family. If I fuse Lv2 Yousei Pixie with the appropriate Seirei, she'll become a Lv6 Yousei Goblin. This doesn't look spectacular now, but, for example, Aeros happens to rank up Youchou. If I fuse it with Harpy, I get the next strongest in her family, which is...


Lv18 Youchou Kokakuchou
In Japanese folklore, this is the ghost form of a woman who died in childbirth and was therefore denied the joy of raising her baby. They're quick physical attackers with, appropriately enough, the ability to put opponents to sleep with Lullaby.

I can't get her right now because my level is way too low, but it shows you what Seirei fusion can do.

That's all the fusing I'm gonna do right now, but here are the other new options I'm passing on.

Harpy + Knocker =


Lv8 Kyouchou Fukei
I can't find out what it is. In any case, it's clearly nothing to write home about; only Panic Voice looks any good.

Kyouchou are evil birds of ill omen, bringing news of misery and death, and occasionally indulging in a bit of douchebaggery themselves. They are Dark-Law.

And Fukei + Weredog =


Lv13 Gedou Slime
Your quintessential Gedou: a pathetic, formless creature. It's more a pile of half-sentient ectoplasmic goo than a legitimate mythological being. It has high Stamina, which makes it very durable in combination with its HP-draining Death Touch skill, but I can't see much use for it other than as a crude living shield because all its other stats are so bad. I don't remember if this game has fusion mishaps, but in games that do, they tend to result in Slime. Needless to say, I don't care for it... though they are gonna be a bitch to fight.

*: Anyway. I'm in better shape now. Time to go back to Shinjuku.


Lv10 Shiki Zombie Soldier
Zombies with body armor and machine guns. :ohshi~:

*: Yeah, I didn't stick around to fight these guys. They got two rounds and almost killed us.

It turns out one of the buildings on the map is actually a giant screen.

( Civilization as we know it has rotted to its very core! This is because its very roots are founded in the exploitation and abuse of this great planet, Gaia! Meanwhile, the hatred and mistreatment brewing between fellow humans eats away at our own existence like a cancer!
( Holy crap, it's like Greenpeace and Amnesty International were founded by Hitler!
( In such a world so filled with prejudice, poverty, and war, we need help, and so we have awakened the ancient gods known as "demons" to aid us! We have done so to help prepare ourselves for the true danger, a heinous scheme being plotted behind the scenes: the Japan Obliteration Project!
( Oh come on! If this was real they'd have picked a less obvious name!
( There are those who plan to destroy our country in order to lay the foundations for a new, totalitarian regime that will enslave humanity under the iron fist of a cruel dictator! In order to stop this mad conspiracy, the gods of old have lent their power to us! When it has been broken, they shall help us establish a new Utopia, where humanity and demonkind shall live side by side in happiness!
>The address continues...

I look around.

The street is deserted. We've just barely escaped a patrol of undead soldiers. Earlier today, a friend of mine was mauled half to death by harpies.

Yesterday, I foiled a Great Marquis of Hell's brainwashing plot and a demon ate my mother.

Fuck that guy.

*: Sorry about the plot-light update guys, but I didn't expect this area to kick my ass as hard as it did and I didn't have the heart to go in-depth about all the ways the new critters ravaged my hindquarters. You know, in most RPGs, when you come out of a dungeon, you can look forward to cruising back through the overworld to whatever town you came from (or sometimes, the next town) and then paying a small fee to be restored back to new.

Not here.

I definitely know where I'm going next time though. Somehow I managed to hit every place I wasn't supposed to go to yet, and, you know, process of elimination.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 21, 2010, 07:56:29 PM

*: When we last left off, we were in front of a large exterior screen, represented here by a yellow building. I can technically access Shinjuku Station, but it's under lockdown. The two buildings I haven't explored yet are both aboveground entrances to a large underground mall. This is where I'm going to investigate next.

Nothing is stopping me from going east to Ichigaya ward, but last I heard of Kei, she was in Shinjuku, and that's where I'll attempt to pick up her trail.

No sooner do we go down the stairs to the mall are we accosted by a religious fanatic. Some things never change, I guess.


I'm a typical native Japanese, so I'm technically a Shinto dude. That said, it just so happens I've recently crossed swords with several assholes from Judeo-Christian occultism, so not believing in God would probably count as pathological denial.

( Yeah, I suppose I have to.
( That's a good thing. You are an ally of our Mesia Church then.
( Whoa there, sister! I didn't sign up for no church!
( If everyone prays to God, he will surely send us a savior to rescue humanity.
( Well, that would be nice of Him.
( In these dark times, God is humanity's only hope... There is none other to whom we can turn to!

I want to say I've been doing an okay job so far on my own, but I should think about saving my neighbor before bragging about saving humanity.

( Little lost sheep, pray to God... What business do you have at the Mesia Church?

*: The Mesia Church is the Law-aligned equivalent to the Healer's dojo. I'm Neutral right now, so they don't mind healing me. Had I remembered they were so close, I wouldn't have returned to Kichijoji...

( I'm not sure why God would need money, but at least you're up-front about it... in a way.

*: The Church offers several items, including one-use Hama (exorcism) spell items, Indulgences (makes non-boss enemies leave) and Rosaries (resurrects you from death once if you're Lawful), but it's all fairly expensive.

( Martial law should be lifted pretty soon.
( What, you think things are just gonna fix themselves?
( Why don't they just let the coup d'etat continue? Opposing the coup d'etat forces is not only stupid, but dangerous! It only makes things worse for the general populace.
( Uh, okay, yeah. By the way, could you please ask me the time?
( What? Why?
( Just do it, please.
( Okay... What time is it?
( :wat:
( Heheh.
( :facepalm:

( The Resistance... fighting against the coup d'etat forces AND the American army... That's downright incredible!
( The... The American army?
( Whoever the leader of the resistance is, he or she sure must be smart -- and gutsy!
( So we're not alone then? I gotta meet these people!

*: If the Americans are here, suddenly Gotou's mention of foreign forces makes a lot more sense.


Heeeey, maybe Kei's got the dancin' fever and has been here all along!


( Because if you don't he'll have you eaten by demons, apparently.
( What happened to our civil liberties?
( Eaten by demons. Duh.

People better get used to stuff being eaten by demons around here.


*: He offers Vodka n Tonic, Fizzy Gin, and a mysterious "On the Rocks", which are all inefficient instant healing.

( Gotou, the American army, whatever... I just wish they'd stop trying to throw their weight around Shinjuku, doing whatever they damn well please!

( And exploding their own troops? That'd be a public relations nightmare, and I don't think that's Clinton's style.
( Ah, we're all doomed! Someone help me!

( ...has been pulling out all the stop searching for Kei, the leader of the Resistance.
( !!!
( But since nobody knows what she looks like, they're just using the shotgun approach and arresting every single person named Kei that they can find.

Mystery solved. They are many Keis after all. And if one of them's the leader of the resistance, then I need to find her too. She just might be... that Kei.

( There's a bar nearby that all the American soldiers go to when they're off-duty. I wonder what they're all doing here anyway?

*: I think what's going on is that word of the invasion starting in Japan got out, and the US doesn't trust the JSDF to handle it.

( At the moment, things haven't gotten messy yet...
( That's debatable.
( ...but if things get rough for the Americans, who knows to what lengths they'll go to in order to win? They might try to invade or conquer the country, or even drop nuclear bombs on it!
( Pfft. Nuking Tokyo? That's crazy. You're crazy.

*: I find some stairs going down in the club.



*: Well, I guess it makes sense, bizarre disco sewer and all. Fortunately, I remember they're weak to fire; Tetsuo's Agi does like 75 damage.


Lv7 Yuuki Oshichi
Yaoya Oshichi was apparently an actual person from the Edo period. One day, she took refuge in a temple during a massive fire, where she fell in love with an attendant. The following year, she started a fire of her own to have a reason to return to the temple and see her beau. Long story short, she got caught, they burned her at the stake, and people have been writing plays and novels about her story ever since. This here is presumably her ghost. It's fairly quick, immune to bullets, and it knows (of course) Agirao.


Lv8 Yousei Jack Frost
This adorable (?) little guy is Atlus' mascot. Well, technically he's more or less Old Man Winter, but screw accuracy, look at his widdle hat! So kawaii! ...right. Well. He's not much of a fighter, but he's got all the ice spells except the most powerful one, and a decent Magic stat to go with them. He's worth taking along, but you have to be careful because there are Jack o' Lanterns in the area and he's quite vulnerable to fire.

( I go awol when I heard that. That is too far!

Would the Americans really bomb Tokyo in this day and age? Hearing it from an actual US soldier... I don't know. I guess I need to fix eveything before it comes to that.

*: I guess the usage of italics indicates that the character speaks broken Japanese. That, or he speaks English and we can't understand him very well.

Anyway, there's nothing else in this basement. There are several empty rooms, but I find only demons and this guy. I manage to recruit an Imp, then I go back to the mall. On the way up, a Goblin insists on joining me. I'm beginning to be glad Steven forced an upgrade on me!

( Thank you very much! Please come back again!

*: I find some upstairs which presumably lead to an above-ground office building.


Lv9 Yousei Jack o' Lantern
The details vary, but by and large, it is said that Jack was a clever chap who somehow tricked the Devil, and either as reward or punishment (depending on the story) is never to be allowed into Hell. He was also lazy and greedy, and was therefore denied entry into Heaven. So he wanders the Earth, forever undying, holding his own soul in a lantern, or possibly a carved pumpkin, or a turnip, or maybe even his own hollowed-out head depending on whether the Devil took it to hell or not. Let's just say there's lots of variation to the tale. Game-wise he's Jack Frost, but with fire! That said there are lots and lots of fire-vulnerable critters in the Shinjuku underground, so he might be a just a mite more useful.


( Hey baby! I was wondering if you came from the Abyss, because that booty is out of this world!
( Ugh...
>The demon is ignoring you. What will you do?
   -Flatter it
   -Identify yourself
( Who's got two thumbs and has killed some of Hell's Greatest Marquises...sses? This guy!
( Oh, so you're Francois. Now I'm interested...
( O-of course you are! So, what will it take for you to hang out with the hero of the day?
( I want your everything! Here I come!
>The demons suddenly assaulted you!

Lv7 Shiki Bodyconian
Bodyconians are artificial humans inhabited by the souls of the dead. They're technically undead, even though physically they never really died, and they can behave like living humans (at least superficially) and hold a conversation.
( See? See? Anyone could have made that mistake!
Yyyyyeah. Anyway. They're fairly durable fighters and can paralyze you, but they are weak to fire and Tetsuo can make quick work of them.

*: I befriend a Dryad, at the cost of an Aquamarine and a few thousand magnetite. Kaneda and Pixie have done well, but I finally have have a real healer. Another Dryad I meet gives me an Athame Knife (22/14), which can only be equipped by women.

( You can get out of my way, for a start.

He does! Huh.

( If that weren't bad enough, now we've got demons popping up all over the place! They're all doing whatever they damn well please on MY turf! They're all deviants without the least bit of respect or honor! What's going to happen to Tokyo if we just let them continue on like this...?

The guy's just ranting. I'm not sure he even knows I'm not one of his goons. In any case, his heart's in the right place... if perhaps for the wrong reasons. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do for each other right now, though, so I go back to the mall.

*: Stay tuned for the rest of this colossal update in a few moments!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 21, 2010, 08:16:41 PM
( Who's got two thumbs and...
( :humpf:
( ...and that is Lord Lucifer!
( What the fuck?
( Okay, Francois, I admit it. I liked your answer better.
( In ages past, Lord Lucifer was the most powerful, most beautiful angel in Heaven. In order to bestow upon us the gift of wisdom, Lucifer sacrificed his position in heaven and descended to Earth. Furious at him for opening our eyes, God turned Lucifer into a demon and stripped him of his power. Even still, against overwhelming odds, Lord Lucifer continued to fight God and his army in order to save us from the fate of becoming his mindless minions. Lucifer sacrificed everything he had for us! Therefore we worship him for his courage...

I'm not on the up and up with Western religion but I think I know better than to listen to a dude in a black trenchcoat who encourages people to worship Lucifer.

( That which has form will eventually crumble. You who bring Chaos to this world... What business have you in this Temple of Gaia?

*: Meet the Chaos counterpart to the Mesian Church.

( Give us money, and we'll share our artifacts with you. They are all powerful!
( Now that's honesty!

*: They have a selection of miscellaneous one-shot items, including an Amulet which protects against traps and a Pentagram that reflects all spells for one turn. I could afford some but I want to upgrade my equipment before I even consider it.


Wow, I didn't know my gaydar was still working. Not since the... incident.

( At least that frees me from suspicion... If it was me, I'd be kidnapping men! Not that I'd do something like that in the first place, of course.
( Not that there's anything wrong with... uh... yeah, never mind.

( Th-the shadows... so many of them... Flying, flying... A great light, shining... I hear many people crying in pain... But the shadows don't disappear... No!... Aaaah! My head... it hurts so much...
( Ma'am? Are you alright?

She fainted. Yeesh.

( Some strange guy came up to me just now. "Are you Kei?" he said. Once I said no, he went to a girl standing nearby, and asked her the same question. I wonder who he was?
( A rapist with a very specific fetish. You should stay away from that guy and anyone like him.

( Those weird monsters are popping up all over the place now, and all the roads are blocked off to boot... There's no way I can get home like this. ...What should I do...
( If you paid attention to your spam folder you certainly wouldn't be in this situation.

( Both the military force that Gotou used in his coup d'etat and the forces of the American army that Ambassador Thorman ordered into the country are assembled en masse in Shinjuku. While obviously they're at odds with one another, so far there hasn't been any sort of direct conflict between the two of them.
( Talk about a powderkeg.
( If something like that happens, it's really going to be a mess!

*: I find a Terminal and another basement, but...


...and I don't.

*: At the stores, I splurge on a 20000 yen San-setsukon (12/15, hits 1-3 times), which is a three-part staff, AKA the kind of nunchuck that lets you hit yourself in the balls and the teeth at the same time. I finally get Rivet Knuckles and Rider Boots to fill my long-empty arm/leg slots. I could get better torso/head armor but those would be marginal upgrades. I'm left with about 3000 yen that I keep for negotiation. My teammates don't get anything new, but I tank for them and they rely on magic and guns anyway.

Next, I find the Jakyou mansion. I have a lot of options, but I think I'll skip on going in detail on all the potential new results because dang.

I do make a bunch of fusions though, because I'm about at full capacity and I could use the upgrades.

Jack Frost + Harpy = Gamygyn
Pixie + Knocker = Azumi
Azumi + Weredog = Kinnari


Lv15 Youma Kinnari
The Kinnari is a Buddhist/Hindu personification of absolute romantic and passionate love. It's... got the head of a horse. Look, I don't know. In any case, what love does for us here is cast mean-ass elemental spells, and also cause happiness. Fair enough!

Youma are intelligent magical creatures, often animal/human hybrids. They tend to be wise and principled, according to their role in their respective mythologies. They are Neutral-Law.

And last but not least...
Gamygyn + Dryad = Angel


Lv14 Tenshi Angel
The basic angels may be the bottom rung of God's hierarchy, charged with watching over humans as their guardians, but they are still glorious creatures in their own right. Here they have great HP and MP, excellent attack power, our first available exorcism spell (Hanma, actually the upgraded version of Hama), and group healing and status recovery magic. Pretty awesome! Unfortunately they have a less than awesome CP of 14 (!). Not something you summon on a whim at the moment.

Tenshi represent the rigidly hierarchized orders of God's angelic forces. As far as SMT goes, they're the ultimate fascists, responding violently and without mercy to even the slightest dissent. They are as Light-Law as you can get.

Yeaaaaah. We're in the big leagues now. Well, bigger leagues anyway.

*: Finally, there are three bars here, and I visit them all.

( Hi! We meet again!
( I won't even bother questioning this anymore. Hi, Yuriko. How's it going?
( I really like nice quiet shops like this. Want to have a cup of coffee with me?
( Sure, why not? I... err... Yuri... ko?

She's disappeared again! What the hell? Am I just crazy? Is that the problem at hand here?

( Haven't seen you around here before... ...Eh? You look familiar... Do you have a demon summoning program?
( No, I run around with a keyboard strapped to my arm because it drives all the chicks crazy.
( Really?
( No, yeah. I have the program.
( Do you think it's OK to just let the demons continue to run around unrestrained?
( Hell no. Most of them are right bastards, as far as I've seen.
( Do you think it's wrong to call on a greater level of power in order to restore peace?
( Well, we could use some help, that much is obvious. But if you're talking about nukes, then of course that's too much. Maybe all we need is more people like, say, me.
( I've got something I want to give to you. Take this. You'll be able to find the person you're looking for.
>You got Bar Matchbook.
( Uh, thanks?

On second thought, maybe that's what the kid in the basement wanted to see. Hmm. I'll check it out once I'm done with my pub crawl.

( Get out of here.

*: Next bar!

Hmm, this looks like the place where all the Americans hang out.

( Let's, uh, let's hope he doesn't push your trust to its limits... in bed.
( :facepalm:

( Gotou say he make ideal country summoning demons. We move out to protect against that!
( You could always use more protection... in bed.
( Come on! Are you trying to provoke them?
( What does it matter? They probably don't even understand a word I'm saying.
( He's got you there, K.

( Our American Ambassador Mr. Thorman saw disorder in Tokyo, he stand up to it. He is true justice!
( bed?
( Yeah, no, sorry.
( Oh well.

( The demons at Gotou's command have overrun our laboratory.
( Soooo, you went out for a drink?
( I only just made it out of there with my life! There was a man in a wheelchair there too... Poor guy, there's no way he could've gotten out of there safely.
( Okay, I stand corrected. You left a crippled man to die, then you went out for a drink.
( I wonder what happened to him.
( Don't you just wish SOMEONE had stuck around to make sure?

( There's an underground group called the Resistance that's been constantly getting in the hair of the American army. Though they don't seem to be working for Gotou...

The more I hear about these people, the more I like them.

*: Okay, last bar.

Oh hey, lots of Japanese Self-Defense Force soldiers in here. Right next door to the drunken Americans. That's so not a recipe for disaster.

( will only lead to the eventual destruction of humanity.
( Aren't we a little ray of sunshine?
( That worried Commander Gotou, and is why he started the coup d'etat.

( I really dislike Gotou's right-hand-man, Ozawa.
( You and me both, brother. He and his guys went from popping wheelies on their scooters at 11 in the evening to kidnapping schoolgirls for the junta.
( I don't know why Gotou would want help from a no-good punk like him.
( Maybe he's into scooters too.
( If you're looking for him, he's in the building that's right northwest of Shinjuku.

( The American ambassador refuses to even talk to Commander Gotou. Without even hearing him out, he just called in the American army from square one.

( It's not just the American army that's trying to stop Commander Gotou. There's this group that calls themselves the Resistance, and they're led by some woman named Kei.

( Are you the ones that have been looking for a woman around here?
( A lot of people have been looking for women lately... but yeah. You could say that.
( You should talk to J.B. then, he should know where she is. He hangs out at the disco a lot, you might be able to find him there.

*: We go back to the disco, but J.B. doesn't say anything new. Hmm. Alright then, we go back to the basement to see that kid. Somehow I didn't get following encounter pictures all at the same time, which explains the stat discrepancies.


Lv13 Youki Bogle
As far as I can find, the term is a catch-all for various folkloric UK critters with very little in common. Here, they are tough motherfuckers who come in large groups, can deal lots of physical damage, and know Dia and Zionga. It's the game's way of telling you to start spending some MP on group-targeting spells already.


Lv18 Datenshi Forneus
A Great Marquis of Hell, presiding over languages, with the ability to enhance people's reputation and good name. He commands only twenty-nine legions of demons, which means he's probably planning to murder the jackass who promoted Orias and Andras over his head. He is one tough son of a bitch, so much so that he was finally promoted to boss status in Nocturne. He knows Maha-Zio, his Fog Breath causes a severe accuracy penalty, and I'm pretty sure his Wall of Water temporarily protects from fire attacks.


Lv17 Yuuki Ghoul
When you die, you come back as one of these if your nightly habits included breaking into graveyards, digging up graves, and eating dead people. So if you were thinking about doing that, you probably shouldn't. True to their D&D counterpart, they can paralyze with a touch.

I walk up to the kid again.

( So, uh, yeah. I have these... matches. Does that...?
( ...Yep, it's good all right. Go on ahead.

( It wasn't easy, but I just had to meet you people.
( So, you must be the Resistance leader?
( Whoa, whoa, hold on there just a minute, chief! I'm not the leader, just a member. We can't just let outsiders meet our leader. It's not safe.
( Well, that makes sense. I hear you're earning some powerful enemies, after all.
( Don't take it personally, we just have to be careful about who we trust.


( Are you sure...? All right then. You heard the lady, she'll meet with you. She's right beyond the room here.

( Francois... Kaneda... Tetsuo... I've been waiting for you. I knew you would come.
( I promised you, didn't I?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 24, 2010, 10:39:19 PM
( Your name is Kei too?
( Don't you remember me? This isn't the first time we've met... Though it is the first time we have all been in the same place together. I remember you at least... from my dream. I was going to be made a sacrifice, when you came along and rescued me. And I've been waiting for you. I knew that eventually you would come find me for real, to help me again...
( I don't have the best track record for helping people I care about so far, but I know there's still much I can do.
( There are some matters I wish to discuss with you... As you may have heard already, the current regent in Tokyo, a man named Gotou, is summoning demons and using their power to try to create a world molded after his own personal ideals. Thinking that, if left alone, Gotou would become a threat, the American ambassador Thorman convinced the American government to send their troops into Japan to supress Gotou's coup d'etat and impose their will instead.
( I'm still not sure how he pulled that one off, but...
*: 9/11 hasn't happened yet.
( ...huh?
*: Never mind. Carry on!
( I cannot stop Gotou, nor can I halt the advance of the American army. All we can do is carry out minor acts of sabotage that pose little more than an irritation. The situation is coming to a head. If Gotou's forces meet head-on with the American army, the carnage would be overwhelming, and Tokyo would likely be reduced to rubble in the conflict. Please, lend us your aid!
( I was going to find something to do against these assholes anyway. Do you have a plan?
( The first thing we need to do is rescue all those poor girls who were kidnapped because they had the same name as I do...
( You know where Kei is, then!?
( ...... And also, while we cannot stop the coup d'etat forces entirely, we can destroy the gang of thugs led by a man named Ozawa, who recently struck a deal with Gotou and have been working with him to gather information and do his dirty work.
( Whoa, whoa! What did you say!? Did you say that Ozawa's gang is mixed up in this!?
( ...... Please, help us...
( I'd be happy to help do what I can. Especially if it means finding Kei!
( Any enemy of Ozawa's is a friend of mine! Count me in too!


( You have my impractical nunchuck!
( Thank you! I don't know how I could ever repay you!


That voice...


( Whoa, ladies! There's enough of Francois for everyone! No need to fight over me!
( I'll just be taking Kei with me to Ozawa...
( No, wait, this is even worse than I thought!

*: Yuriko teleports away with Kei.

( What the-!? What the heck just happened...?
( Your leader... err... just got a wee bit kidnapped. By someone else.
( WHAT!? The leader was kidnapped!? ...My God, this is awful! No time to waste! We've got to get out there and rescue her!
>The resistance members all left the hideout.

Dammit, Yuriko. Now I'll never be able to trust a naked dream woman again.

( Once we find out the location of our leader, all of the Resistance is going to meet up at our usual hangout, the Bar here in Shinjuku.

Well, we should look for her too. She's probably at Ozawa's hideout. Unfortunately, given how she blew off Kaneda when he asked if she knew where the Keis were taken, the Resistance probably doesn't know where that is either.

*: I go to fuse Jack Frost and Imp into a new Dryad, then I check out the disco and bars again. While I'm at it, here's the uncovered Shinjuku underground map. It's the biggest area yet by far.


*: Back at the resistance bar...

( God, this is awful! Our leader is going to be executed! They're going to publicly execute her in the plaza right in front of the Tokyo Government Office!
( WHAT!?
( Please, do something! Anything! We have to save her...

( God, I was so careless to let that Yuriko woman slip by me and kidnap our leader! Is this the end of the resistance?
( Not if I have anything to say about it!
( You be careful now!

Alright, so, new plan. We need to wreck City Hall's shit.

*: I guess that the Tokyo Government Office building is the large building that I first entered when I arrived in Shinjuku... and it is! Score! Before going very far in it though, I have a hunch. I go back to the building with the fat guy who didn't want anything to do with us. Maybe it's Ozawa's hideout and I'll see something interesting.


( So, I see you've graduated from that ridiculous scooter business.
( Ozawa! Some day I'm going to pay you back for that shit you pulled!
( Well well, if it isn't the little wuss we beat the crap out of back in Kichijoji.
( Until we showed up and you had realized you had left your balls in your other pants.
( You still running around playing your little demon hunter game?
( Why are you trying to kidnap Kei!? What have you done with my Kei!?
( Look, I don't give a rat's ass about Gotou or Kei. But Gotou's got a lot of political and military power, and I want some of that!! Eventually I plan to overthrow Gotou and take over myself.
( Are you even listening to yourself? You're a two-bit thug from Kichijoji!
( After all, I've finally gained the ability to summon demons myself! And I don't have time to waste on a bunch of snot-nosed lowlifes like you!
( What, your noob ass just picked up a Brownie or something? Give me a break, you're out of my league.
( Play with this for a while!!


Oh. Hmm. Okay, he's good.

*: It's over in two turns. It got off a Mudo (which failed) and took over half of Tetsuo's HP in a single hit with a critical, but it's weak to fire and both Tetsuo's Agi and Kaneda's new Zanma do decent damage.

Lv25 Yuuki Baykok
The Baykok is a malevolent spirit from Ojibway mythology. "Ojibway" as in the Native-American tribe. Dang but Atlus has done its homework. It's a skeletal figure that flies around and kills warriors by shooting them with invisible arrows, which more or less proves that a FPS player's profound hate of haxx0rs has deeper, more ancient roots than most people think.

>Ozawa has disappeared.

Alright, enough time wasted with that idiot. City Hall, here we come.


I suspect we're gonna have to bust some heads, so I summon Angel, Kinnari and Dryad.


*: There's room for a lot of people there:

( It's Kei! Hurry, let's rescue her! There's not much time!
( Hold it, Kaneda! Calm down! Don't be foolish, if we run out into that plaza now we'll be shot down before we get within 200 feet of Kei!
( The Resistance group, in its arrogance, has been continually opposing the plans of our great leader, Gotou! And after a long and arduous search, we have finally captured their leader, Kei! Gotou is a kind man, and has forgiven this woman for the many acts of sabotage and terrorism that she has organized against our great country!
( So... why is she strung up on that not-cross?
( However, that does not erase her crime of opposing him in the first place!
( Alright, that'll explain it I guess.
( Therefore, I sentence this woman, Kei... to death! Wait... I see we have some uninvited guests hiding over there! Come on out, little weasels! I've arranged special, front-row seats to this event just for you!

There are more guns pointed at me right now than I've seen in my entire life. I don't have much of a choice... but then again I was going to try and find a way to get close anyway. This is may be our chance.

( I'd rather say goodbye to you, to be honest. Once and for all.
( Poor Francois, don't you see? If only you had chosen me instead, this wouldn't have happened to her...
( Chose her? I was beginning to think you were a figment of my imagination! You couldn't string two sentences together without disappearing on me! And besides that, you're clearly a colossal she-bitch, so you can kiss my ass!
( All right then! Do it! Kill them!


...zombie cops? Frankly, I'm a little insulted.

*: Tetsuo strikes first with Maha-Agi, and seven of the cops go down; the remaining one survives only because he dodged the spell. Next up, Kinnari casts Agirao for 174 damage. I think living cops would have been more of a challenge. At least they wouldn't be so flammable.

Lv6 Shiki Zombie Cop
Pretty much what you think it is. Crappy stats, and a basic poisonous attack.



*: Uh-oh, Tetsuo nukes all of them instantly. God I am glad I pumped his Magic stat.


Okay, now we're talking.

*: You remember how I said you don't meet two types of demons at once? Well, clearly I was talking out of my ass. Sorry about that. I suppose that's how semi-blind LPs go. Anyway, Tetsuo incinerates the soldiers. Angel casts Hanma on a Lemure and...

Oh, Hanma actually hits twice. Nice! I think Hama spells cause a small amount of non-elemental damage, but most importantly they carry a chance of causing instant death (or banishment, technically). They are very effective against undead (Akuryou and Shiki, possibly Yuuki or some others), but they do have a chance to kill living things as well, therefore starting the SMT tradition of instant death effects being actually worth a damn.

Well in any case Hanma destroys two Lemures, and the rest of us beat the rest of them down. Victory!

Lv14 Akuryou Lemure
Lemures are formless ghosts in ancient roman folklore, generally vengeful or malicious. And I mean ancient; the myths' origins were long forgotten by the time poet Ovid wrote about them nearly 2000 years ago. They may be the restless spirits of men who died without proper burial, or possibly just evil, inhuman spirits of the underworld. They have Zan, Suku-nda, Makajama (silence status effect) and a decent Magic stat, but low HP, and are therefore no great threat if you can string a couple of group spells together.

( What else you got, huh?


*: She's pelting me with undead! It's almost funny. Angel kills both Ghouls with Hanma. Tetsuo cripples the Lemures even though they're not weak to fire, and Kaneda finishes them with Maha-Zan. We've literally not taken a single point of damage in any of these fights. (It looks like Tetsuo took 10 damage but that's because I had forgotten to screenshot this battle the first time around.)

( What's next, honey? Paper golems? Animated scarecrows? A kerosene elemental, maybe?
( It would seem that I've lost this time...

She disappears. Yeah, she better.

( Least I can do, babe. Here, let me get you down.

*: That's where I realize they were gonna burn Kei. Our pyrotechnics must have made her nervous.

( Alright, see you there.
( You should get out of here as soon as you can, too... Good luck!

I am officially King Awesome.

*: I go back to the bar right away.

( Thank you so much for saving our leader! I can't even begin to put my gratitude in words!
( Are Francois and his friends here?
( Yes, ma'am.
( Francois... Kaneda... Tetsuo... I owe you my life. Thank you so much! Not only did you save my life, but you saved our last hope of saving Tokyo from destruction.
( We're all in this together, honey.
( In thanks, I'll tell you everything that I learned. I hope it will prove helpful to you. Kaneda, the Kei that you are searching for is apparently in Ichigaya. The coup d'etat have been bringing all the people that they captured named Kei to their headquarters there.
( So that's where she is...
( Tetsuo, we have also gotten some information that had led us to discover the location of Ozawa and his gang. In fact, we are right in the middle of setting up a plan to attack his base of operations and capture him.
( Francois, I'm going to Ichigaya to rescue Kei. I need to hurry, otherwise who knows what they'll do to her!
( Alright man. Let me know when you find her, okay? Good luck.
>Kaneda leaves.
( Francois, sorry, but I'm going to join the Resistance in their plan to attack Ozawa's hideout. I can't just sit by and let him get away with what he's doing.
( Well, you really pulled more than your share back there, but I'm not going to stand in your way. Torch the idiot's scooter for me, will ya?
>Tetsuo leaves.
( Well, Francois, I guess it's just you and me now...
( Yeah, looks like our little fellowship got sundered.
( Please... let me go with you. I need your help!
( My pleasure.
( We need to meet with Gotou in Ichigaya, and the American ambassador as well. In order to save Tokyo from destruction, we either have to convince one of them to stop what they're doing, or get them to reach some sort of compromise. If they continue on their present course and end up in a war, Tokyo is as good as finished.
>Kei joined the party.
( The headquarters for the coup d'etat forces is located in Ichigaya, to the east of Shinjuku. The American embassy is in Roppongi... but with public transportation shut down, we'll probably have to use the underground tunnels south of here in Yotsuya to get there. Both installations are closed to the public, but to get in, we've readied this Fake ID Card. If we show it to the guards, they should let us inside.
>Francois took the Fake ID Card.
( Let's go! I'll let you decide which we'll go to first.

Alright, so we have a plan. Heck, we have two plans.

And I have to admit, I tried to keep on a straight face, but... but...



*: No I did not choose these names just so I could do this. :whoops:

Anyway. At this point we really can choose which way to go, so I'm gonna let you decide! I knew I was gonna figure out a way to let you guys vote on something sooner or later.

So! Do we go to the American embassy in Roppongi to try and get Ambassador Thorman to stop waving his nuclear dick in our faces, or do we pay a visit to Commander Gotou's Ichigaya headquarters to talk him out of his ridiculous demon-utopia ideas?

It may be a little while before the next update, holidays and all (though I'll probably put up at least one more before January), so you've got plenty of time to cast your vote. Until then!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on December 27, 2010, 06:37:58 AM
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on December 30, 2010, 01:48:51 AM
*: Well, by unanimous decision, we're going to see the Americans!

Before we go though, I should mention how the party has changed.


She's level 17, just like me. This is a nice change from getting Kaneda and Tetsuo at level 1. Armor-wise she has stuff that's much better than mine: the Sky Heels come with a +1 Speed, the Metal Crown with +1 Intelligence, and the Highleg Armor and Gauntlet are just very good. She has Tetsuo's machine gun, but comes with Nerve Bullets that increase damage and have a chance to cause Sleep. Finally, she has a Scorpion Whip (10/5, hits 3-5 times). I didn't give her much strength though, so she'll probably stick to her gun for now. (The Athame Knife I got from a Dryad some time ago has better attack power but only hits once, so I guess I'll just sell it.)

In terms of spells, she has Diarama (mid-heal), Mapper, Dolminer, Penpatora (group temporary status heal), Maha-Zio, Posom-Di (antidote) and Makajama (mute).

All in all, in terms of physical combat, I come out ahead, since she has great defense and an excellent firearm, and she's a much better healer than Kaneda was. On the other hand, I've lost all my force and fire elemental damage and her HP is much lower than the guys'. There's also the simple fact that I have one less person attacking per round.

Of course that's not counting my summons. Up until now I could feasibly rely on my human buddies alone to fight normal battles, but I suspect this may not be the case much longer. Magnetite has just become that much more precious.

I can fight demons, but I don't have a computer program to swat nukes out of the air. So we're going to take our chances with the Americans first.

Note to self: talk to Steven-san about anti-nuke software.

*: I check out Shinjuku again before leaving, see if anyone has anything new to say, but there's nothing noteworthy. I drop by the Jakyou Mansion to see if my level is high enough to have new hires available.

Aeros + Angel =
Lv67 Tenshi Cherub
Cherubim are the second highest-ranking angels, next to the Seraphim (which are their own race in SMT). Physically they're hard to pin down, having features of an eagle, ox, lion, and man, sometimes covered in eyes, sometimes wielding flaming swords, sometimes with four wings. What we have here isn't too bad an interpretation if you take everything literally, I suppose. Their job is to carry God's throne around (not to be confused with the entirely different Throne angels), and defend the Garden of Eden. Gameplay-wise, yeah, they're badass. The Toraest spell warps you out of the current dungeon.

Aeros + Imp =
Lv62 Yama Vampire
It's a goddamn vampire. It has a Charming bite attack, Maha-Zionga, and... whatever Blood St is. Blood Steal?

*: Yyyyeah, I forgot to mention something. If you use a Seirei fusion to rank down the weakest member of a family, it wraps around to the strongest member of the family. (This also works with ranking up, to make the strongest into the weakest, though I can't imagine why you'd want to do that.) Obviously this does nothing for me right now, but fusing a Seirei to a crappy demon can be waaaay easier than talking a high-level creature into joining you, so it's worth keeping in mind for later.

What I actually fuse:

Angel + Goblin =

Lv16 Megami Ame-no-Uzume
Ame-no-Uzume is the Shinto goddess of dawn and partying. The sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami once hid into a cave to escape her brother Susano's violent rampage, therefore plunging the world into darkness. Ame-no-Uzume, taking matters in her own hands, started dancing and stripping in front of the cave. The rest of the gods enjoyed this so much and caused such a commotion of revelry and laughter that Amaterasu couldn't help but peek out to see what the fuss was about. A bunch of other gods sealed the cave behind her and convinced her to stay.
( Best. Goddess. Ever.
Anyway. Here she has Diarama, Sexy Dance (charm status) and Happy Song, excellent HP/MP, and okay attack power.

Megami are powerful female goddesses, among the mightiest of their respective pantheons. Most importantly, they're some of the few Light-Law entities that are usually kind and benevolent towards mankind.

Kinnari + Dryad =
Lv18 Yousei Rusalka
Rusalka are Slavic water spirits, fairies, or the ghosts of drowned girls, depending on who you ask. Their activities consist mainly of brushing their hair, dancing, singing, and drowning men (dang!). One might think of them as fresh water mermaids, but more interesting below the belt. Here they're great healers and have enough Intelligence to make their Marin-karin (charm) spell fairly effective.

*: And I make another Dryad from Imp and Jack Frost.

Alright, now that half our party consists of attractive females, we can go. Kei mentioned that the tunnel we'd need to take was in the south, but it's not south of Shinjuku, it's south of Ichigaya. We literally walk right in front of Gotou's HQ on the way.

*: Appropriately enough, Ichigaya is notable for housing the Ministry of Defense headquarters.

Lv8 Jaki Donko
No idea! It's got Panic Voice and Suku-kaja, and okay attack power, but it's far below my attention by now.

*: And here's the Yotsuya tunnel. Or at least I think it's the Yotsuya tunnel. The game never gives you building/dungeon names. But it's the only building in the area.



*: The tunnel itself is fairly straightforward. We meet groups of Orcs, Zombie Soldiers, and Dryads, but Kei's gun and my melee attacks make quick work of what we can't intimidate. The Nerve Bullets are really quite effective. Orc drops a San-setsukon. There goes my 20 grand. Aaaand a third one. Wow. At least they're good to sell.

( This place is off-limits!
( Dangit I am so sick of hearing that.
( Psst, Francois. The card!
( Oh, uh, right! Right! Here we go. Proper accreditation and everything!
( ....Oh, you have ID Card! Go on inside!

*: A few more steps, and we find a staircase leading to an actual building. I think that's the Embassy!


Lv12 Chirei Fachan
A bizarre and particularly ugly Scottish/Irish creature with half a body: one eye, one arm, one leg. It has Bufu, Maha-Bufu and Panic Voice so you can treat it as a beefier Jack Frost sans the fire weakness, but I recruited one mostly to get its friends out of my hair.

Lv12 Majuu Cu Sith
Cu Sith are giant dogs, haunting the Scottish Highlands. They're known for being terrifying harbingers of death and kidnappers of women, which makes their appearance here as adorable flying puppies a little puzzling. They're unremarkable fighters with a special bite attack, but they know Dolminer and Toraest, the latter of which makes them incredibly handy to have around.

Lv14 Touki Spartoi
Spartoi are supernatural soldiers from Greek mythology. After a man named Cadmus killed one of Ares' pet dragons, Athena advised him to plant the dragon's teeth into the earth. The teeth sprang into an army of warriors, the Spartoi. Cadmus got spooked and threw a rock at them, but the none-too-bright Spartoi figured that one of their own threw the rock and they started killing each other until only five remained. They have Suku-Kaja and Taru-Kaja, very good attack power, and the Critical special skill. Basically, their Extra command in battle is a critical hit, no strings attached as far as I know. That's as awesome as it sounds. Fortunately the first Spartoi I ran into joined me for 700 yen. :goodnews:

Touki are militaristic creatures, humanoid and intelligent. They are definitely warlike, but unlike Youki, they tend to be disciplined and to fight towards a specific purpose. They are Neutral-Neutral.

*: Overall, this wasn't so hard. I managed to bilk Orcs out of a few thousand magnetite by intimidating them and then revealing my name, and Dryads kept giving me money when they found out I traveled with one of their friends. Ironically, the toughest things we meet here are... Angels.

Dark-aligned demons can't be recruited through conversation, but you can chat with them and convince them to contribute to your cause in terms of money and magnetite. But Light-aligned demons...


Yyyyyeah. Too haughty, too zealous, or both.

Anyway, here's what the place looks like.


The empty squares are stairways (or the upcoming boss room); they show up on the map when you enter them from their own floor, but not when you arrive from them on a new floor. There's treasure in several of the one-tile rooms; most notably, we find some Luck and Magic Incense. I'm going to give Magic Incense to the hero after all, given that it seems to affect magic defense and I don't like to see him lose half his health to one spell. I still don't regret his initial stat distribution though, he's strong where he needs to be.


( Alright, this should be the ambassador's office. He's clearly a war-mongering, cigar-chewing, fat, stubborn American politician, so I want everyone to be ready to kick his ass into next week once the talks go sour.

*: I was a colossal derp and forgot to take screenshots the first time around; I restarted from my episode save state and rushed straight there without exploration just to take that pic, hence the party lineup.
( Oh, err, hello. Please don't mind the skeletal warrior and the one-legged cyclops. I'm... pretty sure they're housetrained.
( I am Thorman, the American ambassador. I apologize my Japanese not very good. I hope you can understand me.
( I'm not sure what the U.S. goverment is thinking, sending an ambassador who's not perfectly fluent in Japanese, but, yeah. I understand you.
( I hear rumor about you! I give you big welcome!

This is really not what I was expecting.

( We bring out American army to save everyone from demons.
( I wouldn't say that was entirely necessary, but I think I can agree with your motives at least.
( But... we are not strong yet. Gotou... He want to call Maou Lucifer to Tokyo. We need to defeat him first. Lucifer want bring many imprisoned demons to world. We just soldiers, we not trained to fight demons. You can fight demons please help us, defeat Gotou. If Lucifer summoned, terrible, terrible for Japan! There will be no way to stop that many demons that he will free. If you defeat Gotou, peace will return to Tokyo. We will be able to bring back former era of peace. If you think about it rationally, I am sure you will come to right decision and decide to help us.

Gotou is responsible for the outbreak, for the kidnappings, and he's employing Ozawa. On the other hand, Thorman seems... sensible. He hasn't mentioned nukes, but I'm starting to believe those might have been just rumors. As harsh as I'm inclined to be towards the Americans, Gotou's at the root of the problem here. He's got a lot to answer for.

( Hmm. Well, we'll see what we can do.

*: The game's not giving us an option to fight the ambassador, and even if it did I'd feel bad about murdering the man, and it'd just make things worse anyway. I suppose this was all about getting his point of view.

In any case, we'll see Gotou next time. I guess the poll wasn't as earth-shatteringly important as I expected after all. :whoops:

And while I'm thinking of it...

Maou are major evil gods and demon lords, typically the main antagonists of their respective pantheons, so to speak. None of them are to be taken lightly. They are Dark-Chaos.


So I'm going back to Shinjuku to heal, and probably upgrade my head and torso armor since I've got cash coming outta my ears, and if everything goes to plan I'll meet you in front of Gotou's HQ.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on December 30, 2010, 05:11:59 AM
this LP is pretty awesome.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on December 30, 2010, 12:39:46 PM
He looks like he would be very good at holding things in his mouth.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on December 30, 2010, 04:09:03 PM
Like women.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 03, 2011, 04:19:27 PM
*: Before leaving Shinjuku, I hit the Mansion, in what is probably going to be routine for a while. My minion slots are beginning to feel very limited, and going into a dungeon, sometimes an empty slot is better than any demon.

Fachan + Jack o' Lantern = Bogle
Bogle + Dryad = Kinnari

Getting another Kinnari was kind of a hard decision, since Bogle is pretty good for its level, in both fighting and magic. That said, Spartoi is all the physical bruiser I need, Kinnari is my only source of fire and ice damage, and I don't need Dryad for healing anymore. Plus I'm going to use Aeros to rank up Kinnari as soon as I hit level 21, which is two levels from now. I think I'm in good shape.

To recapitulate, I have Aeros, Ame-no-Uzume, Rusalka, Kinnari, Cu Sith, and Spartoi. Not a bad team! My healers take a lot of magnetite but I've got a lot stockpiled from all the Orcs I've spooked into submission so I'm okay on that front for a while.

I did buy a Full Helm and Kevlar Vest last time, I'm wealthy enough.

And we rejoin our party before the Ministry of Defense grounds...

( Oh yeah?
( What? You've got an ID Card, do you? ...Okay then, you're clear. Go on in.

*: I'm fairly certain this is the legitimate ID Card we got off Ame-no-Sakugami, not the Resistance's fake. It wouldn't make much sense if the JSDF accepted the same card as the US forces.



*: I find an elevator soon after coming in. I'm going to explore the rest of the ground floor before taking it, but I like knowing that it's there.

We run into Zombie Soldiers, Andras, and our first enemy Azumi. The latter are a pain in the ass. They're fast enough to act before Kei, they're immune to bullets, and they occasionally use Zio to stun us and Me-Dia to heal themselves. Fortunately they seem to be weak to Mute, so Kei's Makajama works well when she can get it off. I'm already having more trouble than at the embassy; I'm definitely summoning some help.

Ooooh, turns out Rusalka reflects lightning damage. Man she's good. It's a shame the elemental vulnerabilities/immunities aren't detailed anywhere.

Huh, a Gamygyn asked me if there was hope for mankind. I told him there wasn't, to humor him... then he told me he was going to give me some. He joined for free.

( be-
( ...

...Dammit, I'm already whipped. How did I let that happen?


Holy crap, when they said they'd do anything, they weren't kidding!

( Hey guys, I know things look bad, but are you sure that's what you want to do with your life?
( Give me 481 yen.
( What? Are you serious? Is this a hold up or something? You guys are muggers on top of that?

>Suicide Squad is asking your opinion. What will you do?
   -Become my minion
   -I've no business with you
( Look, I'm here to talk to Gotou. We humans have enough trouble already without having to start murdering each other, right?
>Suicide Squad left.

I'm starting to like the Americans even more.

Lv15 Gaian Suicide Squad
Fanatical Japanese men ready to throw themselves at the US Army armed with nothing but swords and pathological jingoism. Their stats are crappy for their level and they have no spells or special skills.

Gaians are not demons, but human followers of Temple of Gaia, siding with Gotou's forces. They are Neutral-Chaos.

*: My ally slots are already full on account of Gamygyn and a random Pixie, so I quickly go back to the Mansion to fuse them into an Angel. I didn't expect to have old demons insist on joining me like that.

Anyway, here's the first floor. I'm checking out the basement next.


*: Oooh, there are Lemures in here. There are many cells; several of them are empty.

>Will you free her?
( Wow, I don't know how they figured such a young girl could be the Resistance leader. Alright honey, let's get you out of here.
( Yay! Thanks! I'm Kei! I was kidnapped!

( Uhhhh... yeah! Yeah! That's exactly what I'm doing. This place is awesome!

Who wouldn't want to join suicide squads, march alongside gun-toting zombies and keep little girls in underground jail cells?

( Please, get me out of here...
( There you go. Do be careful on your way out.
( Thanks! There was a man named Kaneda earlier, actually.
( Of course! He said he was coming here. What happened? Why are you still in here?
( He tried to free us, but a large group of guards chased him off before he was able to get us out.

Dammit, Kaneda, if you hadn't been in such a hurry we could have been doing this together. Where could you possibly be now?

( Please help me! I didn't do anything wrong!!
( I know, I know. Here, come out. Just follow the trail of demon corpses all the way out the front door. If living ones bug you, tell them you're with me.
( Thanks, I owe you one! There was actually another woman here with me earlier, but the soldiers came and carted her off somewhere.

That was Kei, no doubt. Well... duh, they're all Keis. I mean my Kei.


*: Basement completed, now to the second floor. There are Ghouls and Bogles here. I almost wish I had kept the latter. They're still hard, but between Kei's Makajama and Nerve Bullets and Rusalka's spectacular healing, we come out of these fights in fairly good shape. I summon Angel in case things get harder.

It turns out to be a good idea because we start running into small groups of Forneus. Rusalka's Marin-Karin works really well here, at least. It's single-target, but Forneus are beefy enough that it's completely worth it.


Lv9 Akuryou Shade
More powerful than your average ghost. They don't have much HP and their non-Magic stats are feeble, but they have Death Touch, Sibabu (bind status) and Plinpa (panic status), which can make fights last a fair bit longer than they have to. They're worth using Hama effects on just to avoid the attrition.

( Finally someone who has a hint of conscience! Listen buddy, if they hand you a katana, you need to get the heck out of here.

*: And there's the second floor done. The third floor is much the same.



*: I heal up. We're ready.


This is more horrible a sight than I could have expected. I ain't Miss Manners or anything, but when I had guests at home I had the decency to put on some freaking pants.

...most of the time.

( I'm sure you've got a bone to pick with me about Kei, but hear me out, let me try to explain where I'm coming from.
( Tell me the best explanation in the world, or I'll eat your soul! And not just a tribute, either!
( While I wanted my subordinates to keep the resistance out of my hair, I certainly didn't want her executed. That was entirely their idea.
( Oh, the old "a henchman did it" excuse. I'd like to say I expected better of you, but that's about how I figured this conversation would go.
( Quite frankly, I haven't paid much attention to what they've been doing, as I've been busy with more important matters.
( More important than making sure there are no schoolgirls imprisoned in your basement?
( There's... a plan that's being carried out. Behind the scenes, very secretive. Only a select few know about it.
( If you start talking about your precious bodily fluids, I'm gonna have Spartoi cut off your balls.
( The gist of the plan is to create the "Thousand Year Kingdom" in the name of God. Maybe you've heard of it before, a lot of old religious texts mention it.
( ...can't say I have. I'm kind of rusty on my old Judeo-Christian religious text studies.
*: I'm not. Revelations 20:4 - "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
( The basic idea is that those that live in the Kingdom will be promised eternal peace and tranquility. A paradise on Earth, if you will.
( That... doesn't sound so bad.
( Problem is, there's a catch. It's like an exclusive club, and only those that worship God get a chance at membership. Anyone else? Well, they get the lovely runner-up prize of getting to be slaughtered at the hands of the American army, courtesy of God's orders.
( Oh.
( You may not be aware of it, but at this very moment there are nuclear missiles pointed at Japan to accomplish this end. The only thing that's keeping them from blowing us all away is a force field that the ancient gods have put up to protect us, and even they can't hold out forever... As far as we've come, we're still weak though. We need an ace in the hole. I think you'd be perfect candidates. I want your help.
( My help? You want my help? How about your pull the reins on your lapdog Ozawa and ask him to go after something that'll fight back for a change?
( I won't force you to make up your minds now though. I'll wait here for you to make your final decision.

*: We leave, but there's not much else to do. We've already talked to the other side in this conflict. I turn back and re-enter the room.


*: Here's an important choice. If we refuse to help him, he definitely won't let us leave without a fight.

I'm gonna be straight with you. My inclination is to give Gotou the finger and then deal with the Americans ourselves if they don't leave of their own accord. The man is a spectacular douchebag; everything is his fault, from the demon invasion to the brainwashing experiments to the murders and kidnappings and mom being digested. Hell, he's probably holding Kaneda prisoner somewhere right now. I want to see him cut into little chunks, eaten by Cu Sith, shat out, and then set on fire. And if we do have to rely on ancient gods to fight the Americans, who are they more likely to listen to? The goddess of dawn's traveling companion, or the guy who filled the streets of Tokyo with ghosts and zombies?

So I'm counting myself as one check mark in the "terminate Gotou with the extremest goddamned prejudice" column.

That said, this is "Let's play Shin Megami Tensei", not "Let's read about François playing Shin Megami Tensei to satisfy his bloated narrative ego". What say you? Aid? Kill? I'll make it work either way.

Until then, I'm leaving you with something that I'm not the type to make a habit of, but it's eerily appropriate and it's not gonna leave my head until I post it.

Bad Religion- American Jesus (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 03, 2011, 06:14:38 PM
So if you take both stories at face value, then your choices are to let Japan be nuked, or let Satan be summoned to Japan so everything can be nuked.  Sorry... raped, tortured, eaten, and then nuked.



Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on January 03, 2011, 06:50:20 PM
Gotou signed his death warrant the minute he appeared to us with no pants.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 03, 2011, 10:02:26 PM
Put me down for helping Gotou, and I'm not just saying this to be contrary.  Let's just say I'm savvy enough on SMT games to know that Lucifer's reputation of being the greater of however many evils there are is... exaggerated.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 05, 2011, 08:28:14 PM
( No.
( You dare to oppose me then? Well then, my friends, I'm afraid you leave me no choice but to kill you. Take care of them!


*: They're new creatures, but my party is a finely tuned killing machine. Angel destroys the Pishasha with Hama, and everybody else melees the Nue to death.

( That's all you got? That's what you're defending Japan with?


*: We have pretty much a repeat of the first round, except Rusalka healed some damage Angel took. Good thing too, because Baykok gets a critical in for 69 and leaves Angel with 1 HP. The fight againt Baykok drags on for a couple more rounds, and it crits every time. It has really high physical defense and is immune to Kei's Maha-Zio, so I resort to using a couple of the several Molotov Cocktails I got from dead Andras, which are one-shot Agi spells. Between that, Spartoi's Critical, and Rusalka's healing, the battle is over without much real expense.

( There goes your personal guard. That you even got where you are is preposterous.
( I see that the demons were no match for you after all.
( You have ghosts and corpses. I have friends and allies.
( If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!


*: He's a Choujin, a human/demon fusion, like Doman was. Doesn't that explain a lot?

First round, I decide to have Angel return to storage for now, which is a good move because Gotou almost kills her in one shot before she goes. I'll replace her with Kinnari to get my single-target offensive magic on. Spartoi buffs our physical attack with Taru-kaja, Kei fires her machine gun, and Rusalka attacks. We're doing pretty good damage.

Turns out summoning Kinnari was an excellent idea. Gotou seems resistant to elemental damage, but Bufula has a decent chance to cause the Freeze status, and Kei's occasional Maha-Zio can cause Shock status. We're keeping him stunlocked most of the time; Kei even puts him to sleep with her bullets once I decide to save her MP. Spartoi spends all his limited MP to buff us three times, and then joins me and Rusalka in beating him down.

In other words, we kick his ass. The fight takes a while because he's got a lot of HP, and he occasionally gets a solid hit in, but again Rusalka is more than equal to the task of healing us when he does.

( That one's for mom, you rotten son of a bitch!
( Your friends are in hell. Say hi for me.

*: Both the hero and Kei level up; Kei learns Me-Dia!

Lv19 Akuryou Pishasha
The Pishasha (Pisaca) are Hindu demons, haunting cities and eating the flesh of the living. They are also associated with possession and delayed-death curses à la Ringu. They have Death Touch and a Paralysis attack.

Lv15 Youjuu Nue
The Nue is a very ancient Japanese mythological creature, with the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki, the legs of a tiger and a snake for a tail; it is rumored to fly around in the shape of a black cloud. Legend has it that an emperor once was afflicted by recurring nightmares. One of his retainers noticed a black cloud over his castle, and fired an arrow into it, whereupon a nue fell dead from it. I killed it in one turn and for some reason it doesn't show up in my Devil Analyze function, so I can't say much else about it.

Youjuu are various animal-like demons, driven primarily by hunger but still of a fundamentally malicious nature. They are Dark-Neutral.

*: We fight our way out of the compound. Back on the world map, I notice something different.


My pointy blue avatar is slowly spinning clockwise instead of back-and-forth. I'm officially Neutral-Law. If I remember correctly, I think the speed at which it's turning indicates that I barely qualify for the change, but there it is. My alignment's not locked there, though, it can still shift.

Fortunately I don't have any Chaos demons in my employ right now so I don't immediately lose anything. Were I relying on them, I would be in trouble. They would remain in my "inventory" for fusion or dismissal but I could not summon them.

The next step is probably to tell Thorman the good news, but I need to get my MP refilled, and besides I'm curious to see if anyone in Shinjuku reacts to my victory yet.


Well, that's positive change already.

*: Out of curiosity, I check the various healers to see if they react to my alignment.

-The Mesia Church is offering me a discount. Recovering from my excursion is dirt-cheap.
-The Temple of Gaia priest says he should kick me out, but he lets me in if I pay him a thousand yen. It's not a one-time thing either, I have to fork over a grand every time I walk in the door. On top of that, there's a surcharge on actual healing services.
-The Healer's Dojo lets me in for free, but their prices are even higher than the Gaians'. I haven't done the math but it looks to be about double what the Church would charge me.

All in all, gameplay-wise, not being Neutral is a raw deal right now. But I did just break into the Chaos faction headquarters to assassinate their leader, so I'm gonna pay the price of my decisions and I'm gonna like it.

As long as I'm there, I buy a 15000 yen Rosary (if something kills me while I'm Lawful, it resurrects me with half my HP), some Holy Water for dealing with undead if I ever fuse Angel to something (Hama effect) and several Indulgences (avoids a non-boss battle). I'm filthy rich anyway.

Other than that it doesn't look like anything has changed. I drop by the Jakyou Mansion to see my options.

Aeros + Kinnari =
Lv21 Youma Apsaras
In Buddhist and Hindu mythology, Apsaras are beautiful female spirits of water and clouds, akin to Greek nymphs. They are skilled dancers, and are associated with art in general. Their duty is to entertain gods and fallen heroes in the afterlife. Here they are excellent defensive spellcasters.

You'd think I have enough White Mage types already... and I kinda do. But Taru-Kaja is a useful buff, I like having someone to cast Makajama so Kei can concentrate on gunplay, and 140 MP is damn near bottomless at this point. Plus to be honest I was getting tired of dragging Aeros around.

Dryad + Cu Sith =
Lv17 Seijuu Unicorn
Like you guys don't know what a unicorn is. Some ancient Greek writers were convinced it was real, and there's been the occasional hilarious hoopla about it ever since the King James' Bible translators decided that oxen were too boring for the Book of Psalms and far too many people started taking that seriously. It's kind of like having a second Angel, but with less healing, much more HP, and spectacular Luck for this point in the game.

Seijuu are holy beasts: wise, divine creatures taking the form of animals, offering advice and protection to the pure and innocent. They are Light-Law.

Alright, time to go to the embassy and say goodbye to the Americans. Crisis averted! Everybody go home safe and enjoy your evenings!

*: On my way, I meet one of the few lower level encounters I haven't seen yet.

( Alright buddy, I'm in a good mood because I just solved every problem ever, so I'm gonna let you enjoy the rest of your life, which I hope will be long and fruitful.
( I... uh... not really, no.
( You selfish bastard! I'll make you pay! Prepare yourself!

*: And then it died in one round. Remember kids, alcoholics shouldn't pick fights with demon summoners.

Lv8 Majuu Sanki
Can't find much in the way of details, but it's a sort of Japanese half-dog shapeshifter. It has feeble spellcasting stats, but it knows Zan, Taru-kaja, and Torafuri (guaranteed escape from battle) and could possibly be of some use if you get one early enough.

We return to the Yotsuya tunnel, and up through the embassy to Thorman's office.

( That pantsless bastard will trouble Japan no more. Now maybe we could discuss the US Army's withdrawal from-
( What the FUCK-
( :pop:
( You've done superbly. I am Majin Thor, and on behalf of God himself, I thank you and praise your good deeds.
( Thorman... was Thor. Disguised as a man. Mad points for imagination there, sir. Or... uh, majesty? Your Hammery Mightness?

I don't know the protocol for addressing a deity. With Ame-no-Uzume I've mostly been avoiding sustained eye contact and mumbling a bunch. I hope she thinks that's cute.

( Will you continue to fight in God's name?

*: Good question. Will we?

That's definitely another major alignment question right there. Do we accept Thor's offer of employment, or do we, uhh, politely excuse ourselves and return home?

Personally, as good as "worked under the Norse god of thunder" looks on a resume, I think I'd rather keep fighting in my own name. Plus, why even keep fighting at all? Gotou's gone. All we have to do now is mop up. And maybe I'll be knocked back to Neutral and I can forget all that fundamentalism nonsense.

On the other hand, Thor's really not a guy who takes well to rejection. I'm strong, but we're talking about the frikking god of thunder here. And, I don't know, maybe we do want to kick ass for the Lord! We could go even further down the Lawful road, and see what delights the Thousand Year Kingdom has in store for us!

Do we accept Thor's offer, or do we decline?

Oh, and, while I'm at it...

Majin are the big cheeses. They're among the major deities of their respective pantheons, if not the chief deities, and are generally worshipped for their power, glory and/or wisdom. They are Light-Law.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 05, 2011, 10:49:08 PM
I was going to comment about how silly it is that Thor is apparently under the employ of the US government, but then I remembered the Avengers.

Why he's also working for capital-G God is something of a mystery though.

I meta-vote for going along with it, if only because the game hasn't given you any better clue as to what the hell to do next (are we still bothering to look for Kei-Prime?  Do we have any damned clue where they shipped her off to?).  By meta-vote I mean, don't count that as part of a tally, but if there's a tie that's the direction I'm leaning in.  Honestly I don't have a real opinion on this matter, as opposed to DEAR GOD KILL THAT NAKED MAN.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 06, 2011, 01:19:32 AM
They're probably going to nuke Japan anyway.  Might as well go down swinging and/or raging against the heavens.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on January 06, 2011, 01:59:33 AM
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 08, 2011, 11:44:20 PM
Why he's also working for capital-G God is something of a mystery though.
*: In a typical real world Christian point of view, God is the only god. There is no other deity. He gets pissed when we pretend otherwise because then we're attributing His works to somebody (or something) else. But in SMT, there clearly are craploads of gods running around, so there can be no pretending they don't exist. And since God's the mightiest of them all by far, if you happen to be Law-Light and powerful enough to be worthy of his notice, then either you're working for Him, or you're trying to stay out of His way, because the Datenshi and some Maou are all the evidence you need to be convinced that bad things happen to His enemies.

I meta-vote for going along with it, if only because the game hasn't given you any better clue as to what the hell to do next (are we still bothering to look for Kei-Prime?  Do we have any damned clue where they shipped her off to?).
*: As far as we know the biggest part of the job is done, it's just a question of getting the Americans off our backs. That said, there are two loose threads: the fate of Kaneda and his Kei (whose whereabouts are indeed unknown), and Ozawa's plan to replace Gotou, if Tetsuo hasn't gotten to him yet. And presumably the Terminals are still functioning, so the invasion's instigator is gone but it doesn't mean the demons will stop coming.

( I didn't do this for God, I did this for the people of Japan. And now that the snake's head is cut off, we can fix the rest of this mess before it becomes anyone else's problem.
( ...Then you dare to defy my command!?
( Your command? Sorry, I don't usually take commands from pantless gaijin.
( Very well then. In punishment, I, the great Majin Thor, will take your lives!


*: I should probably have Apsaras out so she can buff our physical defense, but I want to see if Ame-no-Uzume has any chance to disable Thor with Sexy Dance or Happy Song first. Besides, we have three healers; we should be fine as long as nobody gets one-shotted. That's also a reason I have Unicorn instead of Spartoi, at least for a few rounds: Spartoi has less than half Unicorn's HP.

Thor casts Zionga a bunch, but it's not a big deal; he must not have a very good Magic stat. I'd like him to hit Rusalka with it, heh. We don't do a lot of damage though, about 10-15 each, except Unicorn's Bash that hits for 24. Yeah, Spartoi is in, and then I'll replace Ame-no-Uzume because her act isn't finding its audience. Could Thor be... in the closet?

Amusingly, Thor casts Maha-Zio. It does under 10 damage to everyone, but bounces off Rusalka, and...


The guy's apparently resistant to Charm and Happy, but not to Shock. I can hear Odin's "son I am disappoint" from here.

Okay, we start doing some decent damage now that Spartoi's here to buff us, and Apsaras' defense boost is spectacular. Odin is hitting for like 15. There's no way we can lose this. It's much, much easier than I remembered.


( Too... late?
( I have already brought my hammer down. Within moments, nuclear warhead-tipped I.C.B.Ms will strike Tokyo.
( You crazy asshole! Why would you do that? We had it under control! We could have taken care of this! I just proved it! You're stronger than any of the other critters out there, and we just beat your ass down without breaking a sweat!
( Tokyo and the demons will soon be no more... Glory to God and to his Thousand Year Kingdom...!
( You fucked up zealot bastard! Call them back! There's got to be some disarm code or something!

The god of thunder finishes choking on his own blood at my feet. If codes there are, he's beyond telling them now.


*: We get taken out of the room to an ominous 30 second countdown.

( Let's get out of here! Now! Move it!

I rush down the corridor, down the stairs. Everything's deserted. The rats are fleeing the ship.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I ask myself where I could possibly be going.

But running feels like the right thing to do. The only thing to do.


We hit a dead end in the corridors of the first floor. I can't afford this, I need this precious time to go... to go... Where am I going? WHERE AM I GOING?


The basement. If anywhere's safe, its the basement.


Dammit dammit dammit! Damn! God damn it!



An explosion. The ground is shaking.

The tunnel holds. Are we going to make it? Is this deep enough?


The rumbling dies down. There's a moment of quiet. The worst kind of quiet.


Another blast. So much closer. Louder.

A minute ago, I was struck across the chest by Mjöllnir. That was a love-tap in comparison.

I fall down. Can't catch my breath.

Everything is white.

Everything has always been white.

Kei! Kei! Where are you?

I'm so sorry.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 09, 2011, 12:35:18 AM
This is why you shouldn't judge people on the basis of whether or not they're wearing pants.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on January 09, 2011, 12:56:05 AM
its funny because i knew that would happen

(Japan gets nuked either way)
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 09, 2011, 03:14:45 AM
Aww man, I was enjoying this LP a lot more when I thought Tokyo had been wiped off the map because of our decisions.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 09, 2011, 06:55:23 AM
Well, that's that.  Good LP, François.  Little short, but hey.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 09, 2011, 07:43:48 PM

( Kei? Kei! What are you doing? What's going on?
( At the very least, I should get you out of here so you don't have to!
( What are you talking about? Kei!!
( There's no time! ...Farewell, Francois...


*: Toraport is a spell that returns you to the last Terminal you saved at. The last Terminal I saved at was in Shinjuku.





What the hell? Is that a nuclear explosion?



No... It's... not.



Holy crap!




I'm... I'm alive. What is this place? It's... strangely familiar.

( I am En-no-Ozuno.
( Err, hello.
( ...Let's see now, there are two more who have found their way here as well.

Two more? Are those...?

( You know them both quite well. Find them and return. When all three of you are here I shall fill you in on the details. If you are injured or want to rest, my minions Zenki and Goki will take care of everything for you. You can find both of them in the rooms next to me.
( Okay, I'll be right back.

I don't feel like bugging this strange bathrobe man any further, especially if I have friends waiting for me somewhere.

*: En-no-Ozuno is a famous Japanese mystic, born in 643 AD. He's the founder of Shugendo, an ascetic religion that incorporates many East-Asian beliefs, including Shinto, Buddhism and Taoism, among others. It is practiced even today, though the rituals apparently include a lot of sitting on top of mountains and not eating so I don't think it can be described as very popular.


Huh. This is the strange dream place where it all began, but this time it's not a dream. The walls don't even move anymore. I'm here for real.

*: So I'm all alone. My minions are gone; they must have been left behind. This isn't good news for my combat capabilities since all I can do is hit things with a stick and use items, but at least I have my inventory, with five incenses stockpiled for healing (four Luck and one Magic).


*: Literally one step later, I run into four of my strongest former ally. Ouch.

( Hey, maybe you've heard of me. I'm Francois! One of your friends helped me kick Thor's ass!
( I'll take good care of you, little boy!
>Apsaras is teasing you.
( Ooooh, I'd like that!
( Don't get cocky with me. You're a Devil Buster, aren't you?

I lower my weapon.

( I've... busted devils, yeah. But only, you know, bad devils.
( You've got guts, kid. Tell me what you want.

*: She comes with me for a Magic Stone and about a thousand yen.

( I'm all satisfied now. I'll do whatever you want me to do.
( :kowhyee:

*: I immediately run into three Azumi. Not as potentially dangerous, but they could easily Shock Apsaras and I. I try to make friends, but fail.

It's three rounds before can even summon Apsaras. By the time she arrives I'm at 25% health. A few rounds later she's healed me a bit with with Me-Dia, and I've managed to take one Azumi down, but I'm still in danger. That would have been a good moment to use an Indulgence... but it just so happens I had bought a Kodokuzara at the Gaia Temple: that's a Bowl of Insect Blood, which casts Mudo on two enemies.

It works. Woo! Yay for insect... blood.

...let's carry on.


*: I save and try to go get me some healing next door. A lone Kinnari tries to stop me.

This is where the difficulty curves hits a speed bump. Not only do I start my party from scratch, but most demons here are at least couple of steps tougher than anything I've faced so far.


*: Fortunately, there's free healing. I think I'm confident enough to explore, and it's not like I have anything else to do.


Lv16 Majuu Tangie
The Tangie is a shapeshifting water spirit that usually appears as a horse or as a merman, in Scottish folklore. That doesn't sound too scary, but it drowns and eats people. I'm not sure how it relates to the image here, but eh, shapeshifters, right? It hits fairly hard, but it's annoying to fight because of its ridiculously high defense. It can increase its rather low accuracy with Suku-kaja, put up a Wall of Water, and use a special Crush attack.

( Ah, Francois! It's been quite a while! I'm happy to see you again!
( The feeling is mutual, girl. Say, you want to come with me again?
( I am at your service...


...though... "It's been quite a while?" What is she talking about?


*: Oops, I forgot to take the in-battle screenshot. In any case, I try to chat because... you know... it's getting, uh, nipply in here. But it's the full moon. Dang!

Lv19 Majuu Nekomata
A cat that has obtained supernatural powers through old age or meeting some other requirement, such as tail length. It's got a bunch of wacky legends attached, but mostly it's said to kill its female owner and shapeshift to take her place. Even killing them can be dangerous as their ghosts are also very powerful. Here they are quick and versatile, with a two-hit Claw attack, Zanma, and a very effective Marin-Karin.
( Also, nipples.
Also nipples. I don't often mention particular animations, but Nekomata are winking.

( Well if it isn't Francois! I see you're still alive and kicking!
( Hey, am I glad to see you. Care to help me out with the kicking?
( I am at your service...

Man, thinks are looking up.

Lv19 Chirei Bucca-Boo
Bucca-Boo are Cornish goblin-types from ancient pagan religions of the area. They're excellent fighter-mage types with great attack power and Bufula, Maha-Bufu, and Raku-kaja. They're extremely dangerous to encounter, so I suggest befriending one as soon as possible.

Lv16 Chirei Tsuchi-Gumo
Tsuchi-Gumo are half-spider half-man creatures, apparently originating from legends about a mountain-dwelling people of the Japanese Alps now lost to history. They hit fairly hard and can poison or bind you; they can also cast Hanma, which isn't a big deal if you don't have undead with you. They're pretty tough, but they are weak to Zan, so you can put a Nekomata to good use.

*: We find some Nue here.

Lv15 Youjuu Nue
They hit hard and can paralyze or panic you, so it's best not to let fights drag for too long. Charm is fairly effective against them, so I usually have someone cast Marin-Karin, or get Ame-no-Uzume to Sexy Dance.


*: I get her back too. Man, if I'm getting all my old buddies back, I regret spending big bucks on that Apsaras. Though maybe I'd have died a bunch by now if I hadn't.

Ooh, there's a Jakyou Mansion. I'll see if I can collect anyone else before trying to fuse more.

( Kaneda! You made it!
( Who's there!?
( ....Francois!! So you're here too? What is this place...
( I was sent here by Resistance Kei. How did you get here?
( I was searching for Kei, when all of a sudden this blinding white light engulfed me... The next thing I knew, I was here. Anyhow, that doesn't matter now, let's try and find a way out of here!
( Excellent idea, my man. Let's go.
>Kaneda joined the party.

*: He's basically how we left him. Still, it's nice to have another party member. I can only summon three demons at once, but humans don't count against this limit, so even if he's a few levels behind he's still going to help a lot.

I run into a forced ambush with four Apsaras, but they give my 1680 yen because I'm with their friend. I wonder if that's where I would have found my old Apsaras had I not hired another already. In any case I made my money back, so I can't complain.

Wait, I do meet my old Apsaras a bit further on, but she doesn't recognize me. Oh well.

( Tetsuo! What's going on? Are you alright?
( Francois!? Is that you!? Thank God!
( First Ozawa slips through my fingers, then I get teleported to this weird place out of the blue...
( Ozawa got away? Damn it.
( Shit, this just isn't my day!! In any case, the demons here are pretty tough, and I'm really asking for it if I try to take them all on by myself. So, I'm coming along with you!
( Welcome back, man.
>Tetsuo joined the party.

*: I give both Tetsuo and Kaneda some of my spare San-setsukon, which are straight upgrades from their old Spike Rods.

Heheh, I'm getting the band back together. Feels great! I needed that.

All that's missing now is the cute female bassist.

...and Spartoi. Huh.

Lv15 Yousei Gandharva
Gandharvas are Hindu nature spirits, usually with bird or horse features. They are the husbands of Apsaras-
( :barf:
...and play the music to which their wives dance. They're not the toughest creatures here, with relatively low HP and stats, but they know Lullaby and Happy Dance so they can be fairly annoying.

*: Well, I've explored the entire map.


The two open exits at the north and south are sealed doors:


I hit the Mansion to see if I can get anything new. I did manage to get a Nekomata and a Kinnari to join up.

Kinnari + Unicorn =
Lv22 Jaryuu Worm
This might be a random giant worm, but according to its family, this is more likely a Lindworm, a sort of wingless, limbless dragon from various European folklores. It's incredibly strong, with a Constrict attack that causes damage and the Bind status, and a Tail swipe that hits an entire group of enemies. Unfortunately, it has low HP, low defense, and is weak to fire, so that power comes at a cost.

Jaryuu are evil, bestial dragons or related draconic creatures, predatory but not particularly wise or intelligent. They are Dark-Chaos.

*: ...Wait.

Jaryuu are Dark-Chaos. But I can still summon Worm.

Killing Thor balanced out killing Gotou. I'm Neutral-Neutral again.

I leave the Mansion, and immediately recruit a Tsuchi-Gumo. Hmm.

Tsuchi-Gumo + Nekomata =
Lv22 Seijuu Hakutaku
"Hakutaku" is the Japanese name of the Bai Ze, a strange creature from Chinese legend. It's a bizarre multi-eyed, multi-horned bovine (or lion) with the face of a man. It is believed to have met the Yellow Emperor (the legendary founder of Chinese civilization) and have revealed to him how to recognize and protect himself from every type of supernatural creature in the world. It's a very good physical attacker and back-up healer.

Alright, time to go back to En-no-Ozuno.

This update continues in a few minutes!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 09, 2011, 08:08:28 PM
( Very well. Let me start by telling you where you are. This is the Kongokai. From your point of view, it is a place much like the afterworld or the Abyss. As for the world that you were formerly in, it is no more. The destruction of Tokyo has sparked worldwide nuclear holocaust. Civilization as you knew it is gone.
( You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
( How did this happen? What is the earth like now? Is it destroyed?
( There is no reason to worry. Despite the scale of the destruction, humanity has somehow managed to survive.
( Then please send us back!
( Are you sure that's such a good idea? The world is not like it used to be. It might even be a worse place to be than the Abyss, with the destruction and chaos that runs rampant there.
( That only makes me want to go back even more, to defeat the demons and bring peace back to the world!
( I second that.
( If you insist, it is possible to return to your world. If that is what you wish, then will you hear my plea first?
( Of course. It's the least I can do. If your companions hadn't helped us then we'd be dead by now.
( Very well. There is a spring within the Kongokai. I would like you to retrieve some of the Soma that is flowing from it. If you don't hurry up, the spring will dry up, and you will have to wait for it to start flowing again. I have opened the south gate. I'm counting on you.

*: Soma is an ancient drink used in certain Hindu rituals, though its original ingredients are now unknown. One might think of it as a sort of ambrosia, a drink for the soul. Here it's basically an Elixir, restoring one party member's HP and MP to full.

We can open the south door now. Man this place is big.

*: En-no-Ozuno's image is flickering here, like some sort of projection.
( if it is you who is commanding the demons, binding them to your will, the demons you summon will still exert influence upon your alignment. Choose your minions wisely.

*: Hmm. I did not know that. Makes sense.

*: More illusions.


Ooh, there we are.

>Soma is flowing from the spring. Will you take some?

Heck yeah!

*: A bit later I find Spartoi! Yeah!

( Eh? A dream? I didn't have any strange dreams like that.

Just a memory, I suppose.

( You must decide your own path. You are the only one who can open the doors to your future. What is the right thing to do? What is the wrong thing to do? There is no one right answer to these questions. Each person must find their own individual answers. In the end, it is you who must decide what is wrong, and what is right. As you make these decisions, your alignment will change to reflect them.

( In these dark times, God is humanity's only hope... there is none other to whom we can turn to!

*: Four Nekomata show up. First round, they charm Worm. We almost die, and Worm doesn't survive. I may have my party back, but I still can't afford to let my guard down.

( How would you answer if someone asked you, "Do you feel like killing demons in cold blood?" Be careful of which demons you choose to kill.


*: We end up doing a lap around the area and returning to the south gate again. The funky doors in the corners are one-way passages, and the outer exit in the east is sealed.

( Alright old man, we gots the stuff.
( Oh, you've brought it with you! Thank you!
>You handed over the Soma. En-no-Ozuno drank the Soma.
( ...Hmm, that's still not enough. Could you go back and get some more for me?
( :oic:

*: I go back and get some more.

( Oh, you've brought it with you!
( Yyyyeah. Should I fetch your newspaper now?
( Thank you. I do not need any more Soma. You can keep that for yourselves.
( ...Thanks, I guess.
( By the way, there are two phantasms that live here in the Kongokai. I hear they carry rather powerful weapons. Go and find them, and bring them back here. All right?
( Yeah, sure, whatever, man.

I don't know how to get out of here anyway, might as well get on his good side. Plus, weapons sound good.

( I have opened the gate to the north. However, Francois must go there alone.
( What!?
( I have other tasks that I would like Kaneda and Tetsuo to do.

Alright then.

*: I find Angel again in a room on the other side of the north gate, but my party is full, I have enough Law demons already, and to be honest everyone else is stronger.



Holy shit, it's Dracula from Castlevania 2!

( It seems your alignment differs from my own! Then you must die here!


*: It opens with Maha-Agi, almost killing Worm. Dang. It seems resistant to physical damage as well. I replace it with Bucca-Boo to cast Bufula; it Freezes him but doesn't do a lot of damage. I try a Molotov Cocktail, but fire doesn't work all that well either. Daaaaang. I replace Hakutaku with Nekomata to try Zanma, but no dice either. This is a slugfest.

Whew, after like a dozen rounds, it runs out of HP and drops the Guillotine Axe. The weapon has a massive 40 attack power, 2 accuracy, and hits once. Only Chaos-aligned males can use it.

Lv? Choujin Phantasm
An illusion of some sort. There's not much to it. I don't know why it's even a Choujin at all.

We keep exploring.

( At the very least, I should get you out of here so you don't have to.

( ...


( It seems your alignment differs from mine! I cannot allow you to live!

*: This guy knows Maha-Zanma instead of Maha-Agi, but the rest of the fight is mostly the same. I summon Spartoi in the back row so he can buff our attack at least, and the fight is over much faster. We obtain the Kodachi of Light. It has 35 power, 28 accuracy, hits once, and can only be equipped by a Law-aligned male. Le sigh.


*: I go back to heal my wounds and present the weapons to En-no-Ozuno. That was a colossal area, especially considering I got at least one random encounter every 1-3 steps. This is the first dungeon where I've had to switch demons in and out as some died and others ran out of MP and such. On one hand, it's hard and takes concentration. On the other hand, I really really love this. It's extremely old school, the enemies are a definite challenge, I need to pay attention to elemental vulnerabilities and manage my items and use status ailments and buffs wisely and and and it's just so wonderful! :cake:

( I see you've returned, Francois.
( It wasn't a walk in the park, but I've got the weapons.
( I'm glad to see you made it back all right!
( Geez, you took forever! Glad to see you're in one piece though.
( Good job, everyone. Francois, this is for you.
>Francois received Mikazuchi's Tachi.

*: 30 power, 20 accuracy, hits 1-3 times, can only be equipped by Neutral males. It's more than twice as strong as my old San-setsukon. Score!

( Wow, thank you!
( You are now ready. It is time for you to return to your world, if you so choose. I have opened the east gate. You may return whenever you wish.

*: Kaneda and Tetsuo are back. Kaneda can equip the Kodachi of Light, and Tetsuo gets the Guillotine Axe. Whatever their tasks were, they've made their choices. Kaneda is the Law Hero, and Tetsuo is the Chaos Hero.

It's finally time to get the hell out of here. I've got some money, awesome new weapons, a full complement of powerful allies, and enough magnetite to be accompanied for a long, long time. Let's see what we can do for what's left of mankind.

( ...But first, you must defeat us! If you cannot defeat us, we will not let you pass!
( Another trial, eh? Bring it the fuck on!

*: I remember Goki being the healer, so I concentrate on him first. He mostly buffs their physical offense while Zenki attacks. And... what an attack. He hits twice for over 100 damage; Kaneda and Tetsuo die in the first two rounds and I lose a demon every other turn. Apsaras gets one turn alive to buff our defense, and that lets us survive one hit.

Eventually Worm kills Goki, so we turn to Zenki. Fortunately Bucca-Boo's Bufula freezes him reliably, so we chip away at his HP for a while.

Wow. The fight went a lot faster than the Phantasm battles, but it was a bloodbath.

Lv? Zenki & Goki
Can't find much on these guys. There's a manga about a certain Enno Ozuno using a demon named Zenki to defeat an evil goddess, but other than that I couldn't tell you.

( ...But don't be shocked when you see how much it's changed...
( What the hell, man? Your buddies killed half of my friends!

*: En-no-Ozuno vanishes. Kaneda and Tetsuo get back up, good as new.

Err. Alright then. I guess we passed the test.

Let's go.

Let's go home.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 09, 2011, 08:31:52 PM
On the plus side, it's marginally less bleak than 2200's California!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 09, 2011, 10:09:33 PM
Lv? Zenki & Goki
Can't find much on these guys. There's a manga about a certain Enno Ozuno using a demon named Zenki to defeat an evil goddess, but other than that I couldn't tell you.

I have no idea what this site is but here you go. (

Condensed: They're the original red oni/blue oni pair, husband and wife, whom Ozunu punked for eating too many people and so they became essentially his apostles.  Gotta admit, having two giant goddam cannibal ogres behind you is a lot more impressive than twelve fishermen.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 13, 2011, 08:03:32 PM
I have no idea what this site is but here you go. (
*: Wow, I don't know how I managed to miss that, they're kind of a big deal. I suppose I shouldn't have looked for them separately. Thanks!

Okay, so we're in Yoyogi Park. Or... what's left of it.

Well, there's no point in dwelling on this. Let's see if we can find survivors nearby.

*: We take the northern path out of the park, but don't make it very far.


I see some things haven't changed much.

( I haven't eaten anything in days! Come on, please!
>Will you give the man some money?
( Yeah, man, sure. Here, have 200 yen.
( Don't waste your money! He's probably just a bottom-feeder too lazy to get a job, and will just spend it on booze and drugs!
( Dang, Tetsuo, it was already hard enough for midgets before the nuclear apocalypse! Did Ozuno make you read Ayn Rand?
>Francois handed some money out to the man.
( ...What the hell is this shit? Give me some Makka, you cheap bastard!
( Makka? What are you talking about?
( You cheapass son of a bitch! I hope you get turned into one of Ozawa's Shinjuku slaves!
( Ozawa's... slaves?
( What, you don't know about Shinjuku? Go north of here, then head west.


*: The game actually displays your money and slowly reduces it, thousand per thousand, right down to zero.

( Wha... ba... huh?
( Get the hell out of here, you jerk!
( :painful:

Someone has had the time to institute a new currency. Just how long have we been gone?

*: From now on, the money symbol is the Makka symbol.

This is the last thing I clearly remember from when I played the first time. In fact the very first of many obvious gameplay glitches I encountered from this point on was that I actually got to keep all my money. Of course, it was harmless, but soon afterwards stats and spells got scrambled and some plot flags failed to turn on or something, and I got so annoyed trying to make sense of it all that I stopped playing. (Meaning, of course, that this is where this LP becomes legitimately blind.)

That said, it's a good sign for this run. BSnes has fixed all the graphical glitches so far, and the money glitch is absent.

I have to confess: I went on a shopping spree before going to see Thorman the second time because I knew I was gonna lose all my cash before long. I also kept the extra San-setsukon enemies dropped instead of selling them right away. I did lose all the cash I made in the Kongokai though, which amounts to about 15000 yen. I probably would have lost more had I been uninformed (because I mostly asked demons for magnetite instead of money)... but it still hurts. I have Bucca-Boo, Worm and Rusalka summoned already, but if I didn't, I couldn't afford to summon them. Ozuno resurrected Tetsuo and Kaneda, but Apsaras, Hakutaku and Ame-no-Uzume are still dead, and I can't afford to have them raised yet.

Aaaaanyway. We keep going out of the park, when...

>Francois heard a woman's scream.
( Where are you? Guys, let's go, quick!
( Hey, Francois, are you all right?
( ...didn't you hear the scream just now?
( What? A scream? I didn't hear anything...
>A woman's voice echoed within the recesses of Francois's mind....
( I... never mind. Let's get out of here.

Could it have been Kei? Did she make it after all?

Either way I have nothing to go on, but that beggar mentioned Ozawa. Let's find out what we can first. North and west, huh?




Lv27 Datenshi Berith
Berith is a Great Duke of Hell (apparently we've graduated from Marquis), commanding 26 legions of demons. He knows much about the past, present, and future, and can turn any metal into gold. He's also enamored of the sound of his own voice; reportedly, he once possessed a nun and proceeded to recite the name of all the demons possessing her with him, and when he was done he was so disappointed that he had nothing else he wanted to say that he started naming the saints who would be most helpful in banishing each and every one of them. He's a very good physical fighter with a decent Agirao, Plinpa, and the Critical skill. He's also immune to fire.

Well, so much for ridding the world of demons, huh. Great job, Thor.


This is what's left of Shinjuku. Not a pretty sight.

( Huh, that it is.
>A single Mesian's image fills the screen of the Auroravision viewer.
( ...Have faith in God!
( Wow. God's got some balls having his people say that sort of thing not one mile from a GIANT NUCLEAR CRATER.
( Heaven on Earth in the form of the Thousand Year Kingdom awaits you! Only those who have not forgotten their love for God will be allowed to go there!
( Oh please, spare me from this bullshit! I see that intolerant proselytizing is still alive and well. This is a waste of time. Come on, let's get out of here.
( Wait, maybe we can get some good information out of this. Lord knows we could use some help in getting our bearings here anyway. Let's hear what they have to say.
( As much as it pains to me admit it, you're right, Kaneda.
( ...Our job is to live faithful lives in dedication to God and do his will. We have seen the global devastation that the world has suffered since the great war 30 years ago.

*record scratch*

( What th... Did you hear that...!? Thirty years!?...
( Nope, I heard it all right! Is this really 30 years in the future? Did we spend that much time in the Kongokai!?
( The destruction 30 years ago was a test for humanity, sent by God himself. Through the efforts of those that show that they can withstand the trial, yet still not lose their faith in God, the world is truly giving us an omen of its being rebuilt! Belief in God is of the utmost importance, faith is everything...
>The sermon continues.


Let's go to Shinjuku, see if we can't hear real people talking for a change.


*: Shinjuku's ground floor got a real post-ap makeover. On the plus side it has extremely rocking new music. I should make another intermission post soon, there's a lot you gotta hear.

The ground-level area at the eastern entrance has a new corridor and location. We meet a Dryad on the way, which causes me some relief as it seems the game is no longer actively trying to rape me. For now.


( Uh. Hello? What's going on here?
( OK, here's the deal. "Item Exchange" is a one-for-one deal. You give me one gem, I give you one item. [He give you the list of items.] ...and that's it for Item Exchanging. "Seirei Exchange" is a three-for-one deal. You give me three gems, and depending on which gems you give me, I give you a different Seirei in return. [He gives you the list of Seirei.]
( So. You're a slaver.
( Pretty much. Cool beans, huh?

*: And that's the real use of gems. Three gems seems expensive for one Seirei, but some of them are kind of a pain in the ass to fuse, and doing so requires at least two empty demon slots. Of course, some of the items you can trade for are rare and powerful as well; for example, you can get a Soma in exchange for a Pearl.

I don't get anything right away though. We go downstairs.


*: Huh! Looks like this area wasn't that affected by the nukes. It's even still automapped.

( Well, I would hope so, after THIRTY YEARS.
( Our holy land, the Cathedral, is on the verge of being completed. It shall serve as the throne of God himself when he descends to Earth from the heavens! Once the Cathedral is complete, the Thousand Year Kingdom governed by God will become reality at long last!

( So Ozawa's really in charge now. Man, this feels like a Back to the Future situation. On the plus side, he's an old fart by now. And he probably isn't married to my mother.
( But is the trade-off worth it?

( He's the new Gotou, then.
( He defers to them, and in exchange, they cannot enter Shinjuku or attack it. It's like a classic service for protection exchange.
( So that's what they call rackets these days.

( Master Ozawa directly appointed me to this position himself. As long as I'm still here, Shinjuku will remain a safe place to live!
( Oh, I don't doubt it. Say, where are your deputies? You know, Indian, Telephone Worker and Biker.
( ...
( Or did they join the Ozawa Navy?

Hell, if that wimp is all the protection Shinjuku has, I bet even I could take over.

( With the kind of wares you got, maybe it's both.
( ...
( I kid, I kid. Now, what's your biggest weapon?

*: Guns! At last I can start packing some heat!

This is the first time I come across a gun shop, but apparently, the mysterious stuff the Antiques merchant in Kichijoji deals in is actually firearms, not drugs. That said, I have never figured out how to get him to sell me anything.

This guy sells a M16 Rifle (43/5, hits 2-8 times, male only) for 7000, a SPAS12 (55/8, hits 2-4 times) for 10000, plus Poison and Nerve Bullets. I have only 781 macca right now, but I'm gonna unload my ancient crap on him.

...San-setsukon are worth 1000 instead of 10000 as I expected, and the currently-useless Rosary (I'm no longer Lawful) I bought for 15000 sells for 380. Ha! Looks like I'm not beating the system after all. I can't even afford the cheapest gun at 7000. Nerve Bullets are only 350 though, so I grab some for Kaneda, Tetsuo and I (in advance).

( Actually, to tell the truth... some of them really WERE dug up. So yeah.

*: I can afford some of the stuff here, which is around the same grade as the equipment Kei had when she joined up. I kind of want to save up for the M16, but the Berith fight outside showed me that I could really use the defense upgrade if I want to continue tanking in the frontline. I get Jet Boots (4 defense, 9 evade, +1 Speed), Cyber Arms (5/2, +2 Strength), a Thunder Guard (14/3, I hope it protects from Zio), and a Fritz Helm (6/0). Kaneda gets my hand-me-downs because he still has Kichijoji equipment.

( Why don't we get cool new future stuff too? I know you've got some money left over.
( I hate to agree with Kaneda, but he's got a point.
( Hmm, you're right, guys, that's a little unfair. Let's discuss this. But first, it's a little chilly in here, and I'm still bleeding from our last battle. Give me a moment to quickly heal my wounds and then conjure up elemental forces to create some flames out of thin air.
( ...
( ...
( Uh... Err...
( Please enjoy your new equipment with our blessings, Francois.
( Thank you. That's very kind of you.


*: Heyyyy, I haven't shown you the old drugstore, have I? It didn't really have anything I wanted to buy, just some crappy HP recovery items. The junk store is the post-apocalyptic equivalent though, with items that cure Poison, Paralysis, and Stone. I'm probably gonna buy some of those sooner or later.

( But I can't... I'm afraid of what will happen to me if the private police catch me trying to leave town...
( I doubt they're all that interested in women, if that's your worry.

*: I just realized there really aren't any demons down here. Except for mine. That hasn't been the case for any place since the invasion started. Aaaaand my demons have been eating up magnetite for nothing. I return them to the computer, but with a heavy heart; they'll cost me between 400 and 700 makka each to get back.

( Power is everything! In order to conquer and overcome in this harsh new world, it is of the utmost necessity! But God does not have that kind of power! The only one with both that kind of power and the courage to use it fairly is Lord Lucifer!

*: We find the old Shinjuku terminal. It's in good working order and allows me to save, but I don't have any teleport destinations.

I check out the basement where the Resistance used to hang out before Yuriko found them out.

( Or did Ozawa send you here?
( Uhhh... yeah... yeah! He, uh, he thinks he might have lost his wallet here and sent me to look for it.
( Well, I don't care if you are! You're still not passing! The only one I'll let by is Ozawa himself!


*: Wendigo, huh? I bet it's weak to fire, and Tetsuo just learned Agirao...

Okay, yeah, first round, Tetsuo deals 277 damage. Ha!

Lv28 Jaki Wendigo
The Wendigo is a Native-American monster, specifically from Algonquian tribes. It's a malevolent humanoid creature associated with winter and famine, and whose most common attribute is antropophagy. In fact, it's sometimes said to be the form that humans take when they turn to cannibalism. They are giant creatures who grow in proportion to the size of their meals and are therefore never satisfied. They're tough bruisers with arguably lacking stats for their level, though they know Bufula and Maha-Bufula.

And in the spot where the Resistance HQ was...

( Ozawa arrests those who refuse to obey him, then tampers with their minds to brainwash them. I'm Psychodiver, and I'm the tool to which he achieves that end. When he learned of my psychic power, he more or less made me his slave. Day after day, he forces me to enter the minds of people and twist them to do his will. When I'm not doing that, I'm sitting here, caged up like an animal. But I can't say no, or else the demons Ozawa's all buddy-buddy with will kill me. Ah... God, I can't take this any more......!
( What a scumbag. I wonder if something made him snap, or if he was always like this. Maybe someone stole his scooter. Did you...?
( Don't look at me!
( Heheh, sorry to subject you to the whining, kid. I complain, but it's better than being dead.
( ...arguably.
( ...Hmm, Francois?
( What? Do you know me?
( Your aura sticks out like a sore thumb, kid! Talk about your abnormal vibes!
( Hey, I haven't looked at my porn stash in thirty...
( :wat:
( ...years... uh... You know, forget I said anything.
( I'm sure you're just dying to know what the hell is going on, so I'll clue you in. Your spirit is inseparably tied with that of another... your "destined partner" so to speak. And that partner is in some deep, deep trouble right now.
( Kei!
( You better go save her as soon as you can. If she gets any worse, your prognosis is not good either.

That voice I heard at Yoyogi Park, it really was Kei's! So she's still alive, somewhere!

...and thirty years older.

Aw, who the hell cares about that! I always wanted to chase a woman across time!
*: Really?
Well, no. But it's a cool thing to say!

*: Next time: we finish exploring Shinjuku and see if we can find out where Ozawa's holed up by (how else?) hitting the bars. Also, the booze of 2022 Tokyo: does it glow SCI-FI BLUE, or FALLOUT GREEN? Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on January 16, 2011, 08:57:56 AM
Ever since the nuke went off, I've been much more interested in this.  I hope you don't mind that I told the Talking Time kids about this.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 17, 2011, 01:06:05 AM
*: I can honestly say that I am not in the least bit bothered by publicity of any sort. Hello and good day to all Talking Timers and other such Talker Times!

Aaaaaand we come back to our party investigating post-apocalypse Shinjuku.


Now we know how he does it, too.

( So, business as usual, then.
( Heyo! :hi5:
( ...
( The building is teeming with them, and those foolish enough to venture inside couldn't take two steps before falling to the hordes within. Not only that, but I feel an incredibly strong presence from the top of each of its two towers. I wonder who, or what, could be up there?
( A wizard white, and a terrible flame-wreathed eye.

*: I find the Jakyou Mansion again, and for a moment, I panic. There are demons missing in my list! Did I dismiss them instead of returning them again?

Oh no, wait, they're just dead. Derp! Can't fuse dead demons. They don't even show on the lists. Whew! And while I think about it, I'll drop by the Healer's Dojo next door and see if I can get them to do something about it.



*: Okay, so... no. That fight against Zenki and Goki cost me a lot more than I expected. That's the drawback of having powerful allies, I guess. Man, if I was still Lawful I'd get hell of discounts at the Church.

The easy way out is to dismiss the corpses and hire some replacements. I haven't ruled out this solution, but I'd really like to keep Hakutaku and Apsaras if I can help it, and Ame-no-Uzume's Sexy Dance is rare and still quite useful. Plus, who knows how much it'll cost me to recruit new allies? Resurrection isn't cheap, but it's just money; new demons out there can ask for Orbs and even gems. I guess I'll have to check out what critters I can find on the surface before I make my decision.

That said, I go back to the Mansion and fuse Spartoi and Nekomata.

Lv23 Juujin Werecat
A... a weredog for cat people. I suppose. She's a quick little fighter with a two-hit Claw attack.
( And n-
...nipples, yes. Isn't that getting old already?
( Nope!

Spartoi was beginning to get a little fragile for my tastes, and Werecat can cast Taru-kaja too. I liked Nekomata for Zanma and Marin-Karin, but Kaneda and Rusalka can hold the fort on these fronts.

Okay, back to the investigation.

( Damn you Ozawa! I hope you die!
( That's the spirit!
( ...Uh-oh! There aren't any of the private police around here, are there? If they hear me talking like that, they'll cart me off and have me brainwashed!
( I don't think they'll try anything funny while I'm around, so feel free to speak your mind, kid.

( Since nobody who packed up from Shinjuku to move there changed their mind and decided to come back... at the very least it's not as bad as it is here, I imagine.
( Yyyyeah, you keep believing that.

*: Before hitting the bars and disco, I visit the old Yakuza offices. There are demons in the upper floors, including Lemures, Pishasha, Werecats, and...

Lv18 Shiki Corpse
I don't know what to tell you here. Corpses! Yup. They've got craploads of HP for their level and pack quite a punch, along with Death Touch and a Paralyze attack; they could make great allies if you manage to fuse them early. They are also the strongest member of the Shiki family, so that's probably the last we see of those. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the Seirei rank down Shiki, so you can't get one easily from a Lv1 Zombie.

...holy crap, the second head from the top... It's a creeper!

Lv24 Youki Momunofu
An ancient Japanese war god, servant and protector of the deity Arahabaki. These guys are old; we're talking about pre-Shinto times here, between the third and seventh century. They're pretty scary fighters right now; each of them hits almost as hard as Worm does but is much more durable. As if that wasn't dangerous enough, they know Suku-nda, Taru-kaja and Tetraja (which apparently protects from energy drain attacks).

Lv31 Datenshi Sytry
Sytry is a Great Prince of Hell, commanding 60 (!) legions of demons. He appears in the form of a winged leopard, is capable of causing people to fall in love like some sort of demonic Cupid, and... he can make people naked. There you go, the Lesser Key of Solomon lists a demon that specifically gets people to take their clothes off. I'm not sure what else I can add to that. Tells a lot about whoever wrote it, huh? Well, apart from that, Sytry is effin' scary. It hits extremely hard, has over 200 HP, and it knows a couple debuffs and Maha-Agion. Ouch. With its Magic score, it can easily one-shot anything that is weak to fire, and cripple anything that's not resistant. Too bad I can't have one yet, ridiculous nudity powers notwithstanding. If I meet more than maybe two I just use an Indulgence because seriously.

( Heyyyyyy-
( No good can come of this, but you've never listened to reason before, so...
( -yyyy baby!
>The demon is ignoring you.
( I know it's probably before your time, but I'm sure you've heard about Thor's ass being whupped by a mighty warrior. That... was me.
( Oh, so you're Francois. Now I'm interested...
( I'd treat it as a personal favor to me if you were to contribute to my war chest...
( What, so we're begging now?
( Shush, we're fund-raising. So what'll it be, dear?
( OK, here you go!
>Francois got 1760 Makka. Man-Eater left.
( Whuh? How'd... how'd that happen? She's an undead cannibal!
( Dude, the Earth has been through a nuclear apocalypse. Almost everyone's wearing these full-body cloaks; I bet most men over 15 got more wrinkles than a scrotum leather accordion.
( And we just happened to spend the last 30 years outside of time. We might just be the sexiest males in the world!

Kaneda doesn't have an answer to that. I think we broke his brain with awesome.

Lv22 Yuuki Man-Eater
Again, I don't have much to go on regarding mythological background. There's certainly any number of stories involving housewives telling their husbands not to cheat on them with strange hot girls because they're probably undead dong-eating monstrosities. Here, they hit hard, have a paralyzing attack, and know Sexy Dance, which can wreck your day. Fortunately, their magic defense is low and their HP is feeble for their level. It's exactly... 69. Oh, Atlus.

( Yeah, we're old friends of your boss. I'll think he'll be happy to see us.

We'll be happy to see him, in any case.

( Welcome to Shinjuku. My name's Ozawa, and I run this town. The only thing I care about is keeping this a place where everyone can live in peace without worry.
( You're Ozawa... THAT Ozawa, aren't you! Don't tell me you've forgotten who I am!!
( Sorry son, I don't have a clue what you're talking about... Now  if you'll excuse me, I'm a busy man. Come back some other time.

He doesn't remember us.

Why would he? He's met us twice, half a lifetime ago.

I expect Tetsuo to jump him, but he looks more shaken than enraged. He's not an idiot. Ozawa's a tyrant, but if he's the only thing that stands between the people of Shinjuku and the bedlam of the surface world...

Still, protection or not, if I find out that he's the one hurting Kei, I don't think much of his chances of survival.

*: The game doesn't let us attack Ozawa. He's a tyrant, but he's probably the least of our problems right now. I think my next goal is to investigate the Tokyo Government Building, but I still have the rest of Shinjuku to check out... the next post. Coming extremely soon!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 17, 2011, 01:22:28 AM
*: We get into a bunch more fights on the way back down, but the Nerve Ammo I bought is really, really helpful, even though Kaneda still has his single-shot pistol. It's starting to feel like the good old days, with my hitting things, Tetsuo burning things, and Kaneda fixing things.

Lv27 Gaian Hakai-zo
No idea. Going from an online Japanese-English dictionary, I can advance that "Hakai-zo" could mean something like "one who enforces the Buddhist precepts", and it'd make some sense, but I can't guarantee the validity of this theory. In any case, they are mean mofos. They have the unremarkable stats typical of humans so far, but their Magic is decent, and they know Zanma, Zionga, and a free, multi-hitting Fireball skill. Great spell-slinging allies if you can get 'em.

By the time I get back to the main level, I've made 10000 makka. I go back to the gun store and buy an M16 for myself. The M16 is weaker than the SPAS12, but it hits 2-8 times whereas the latter hits only 2-4 times.

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but when firearms hit several times, they hit only once per target; any additional hits are lost. On the other hand, melee weapons that can hit multiple times can hit the same target repeatedly, and are therefore much better for single-target damage. When I use my gun, it's because I want the ammo to cause a status effect, not because I care about the damage.

Alright, that's enough futzing around. Let's hit the bars. I start with the old Resistance hangout.

( Trying a stunt like that is risky though. If you get caught trying to skip town, the police will shoot you on sight!



*: Wow, either this is rotgut garbage, or makka is worth a lot more than yen used to. In any case drinks still aren't worth the cash; for example, Magical Fizz restores exactly 2 MP.

So, to answer last update's question: new names, same old brown crap. Man the post-apocalyptic future sucks.

( Well, at least I've still got this ratty old shop. Thanks for your patronage!

*: Next up, the old US Army bar.


( Yeah, I bet.
( That's quite something, considering that state of the world as it is now.

*: Roppongi's got many embassies (Thorman's office was technically there), but it's also known for its many restaurants, nightclubs, cabarets, hostess bars and other sundry strip clubs. Apparently the Yakuza are being driven out of there these days, but back when the game was released, they more or less ran the place.

( Under Ozawa's orders, we protect the peace of Shinjuku!
( At any cost, huh?
( If it weren't for us, you'd all be in a demon's stomach by now! I'm sure you're plenty grateful for our services, yeah? So bring us a drink!

( We're the police! We protect the people! We are your only shield from the demons! Thank us! Worship us!

( It's because of Master Ozawa that people can live here without being attacked by demons. So maybe he's abusing his power a bit, but who am I to complain? After all, it's better than being dead.
( I think my watch is broken. It's still coward o' clock.

( Damn those bastards, always drinking for free...... But I'm not about to stop them, what with the private police and the brainwashing that goes on here. Nobody in this town dares oppose Ozawa with the forces he's got under his control.

One way or another, that'll change soon enough.

*: And at the old JSDF haunt...


( The only reason I can sit here and drink my booze in peace is 'cuz Master Ozawa governs the town and keeps demons out!

( I've heard that there's this girl that came to Shibuya, who everyone is saying is the new Messiah. But recently I haven't heard a thing about her or what she's doing. I wonder what's up? Was it just a rumor?

That couldn't possibly be Kei... could it? Or Yuriko maybe? I wouldn't put it past her to fool an entire religion.

Or maybe it's a woman I've never met. Stranger things have happened!

( Is there something you want?
( Lots, but I doubt you can give it to me, old man.
( Oh wow! Is that what I think it is?
( Huh? Wha...?
( It is! You've got genuine Yen from before the great destruction! And in near-mint condition! Hey, will you let me have it? I'll pay good money for it.

*: :8D::8D::8D:

( Let me think about it for a minute...
( Come on, please?
( Yes take all of it take it all take take take!
( Great! Here's your makka! A pleasure doing business with you!

*: He gives me about 1500 makka, which is around one tenth of what I had "lost". Man, and I was thinking I was the clever monkey.

( Now my collection of ancient currency is even bigger!
( And my collection of modern currency has increased as well!
( I don't need you anymore, go away!
( Err, right, right. Goodbye.

( There used to be this drunk that hung out here. Said he could project himself into other people's minds. Kind of a weird guy, but his money was good.

That must have been Psycho Diver.

( Haven't seen him lately actually. Too bad, he was one of my best customers.

Note to self: if you spontaneously develop psychic powers, don't brag about it at the bar where the gestapo assholes hang out.

( Yaaaaah! I'm a COP!!
( Good for you, buddy.
( Suspicious guys, dudes who oppose Master Ozawa... I ARREST 'em!! People that try to escape, I KILL 'em! Yaaah!
( That's nice. I'm sure your mom's really proud of ya.

*: I guess that's where the game sums up the situation for the slow people in the audience. It's starting to turn up the "Fist of the North Star" dial something fierce. As long as I get to be Kenshiro, I don't have a problem with that.

Finally, the old disco.


Hey, it's Grace Jones!

*: It costs 50 makka to get in.

( Hey, come in and make yourselves comfortable. You heard about Roppongi, how everyone who goes there never comes back?
( Yeah, here and there.
( It's rumored because it's safe there, but I wonder. There was one guy who actually came back here after going there.
( My interest is piqued.
( The guy was white as a sheet and looked like he'd been to hell and back. He just escaped with his life, apparently. He was such a wreck, he only barely managed to say one thing... "The count fears the pot..." Dunno what the heck it means, he may have just been driven completely insane. But I wonder what's going down over there, you know?
( A Straight Edge convention, I guess.

( ...
( I'm surprised you're not saying anything.
( I just realized I have a hair fetish.

( The only way to survive in a world so overflowing with demons is to learn to coexist with them peacefully! In other words, Master Ozawa has the right idea!

( Yaaah! I'm a COP!! Suspicious guys--
( Yeah, yeah, heard you the first time. Are you following me?

( They say that there's an even bigger, better disco at Roppongi. Even so, I like it here in Shinjuku just fine! I don't want to be killed by demons! And thanks to Ozawa, I don't have to!

( Don't be fooled by the rumors floating around. Don't even go near Roppongi! People say it's a nice place to live, but it's just a city of the dead, teeming with zombies!
( That would seem to be more consistent with the general state of affairs, yes.

*: I go downstairs in the disco basement.

( You guys are from out of town, aren't you?
( Nnnnot really, but let's pretend I am, it's less complicated that way.
( Have you heard about Ozawa? He's the one that's running this town.
( It's hard not to hear about him.
( Did you know how he keeps his stranglehold on power here? It's not through upright and virtuous ways, that's for certain!
( I... gathered that.
( Essentially, Ozawa struck a deal with the demons, and is using their power in order to keep the town under his control. Rumor has it he answers to an even more powerful demon though.
( Hmm...
( In exchange for protection from the demons, the townspeople are forced to follow Ozawa's orders and not oppose his will. If anyone DOES try to disobey him, Ozawa's police force will cart them off and have them brainwashed. Well, actually, while they call themselves a privately hired police force, they're really nothing more than a bunch of thugs that are working as Ozawa's underlings. Ozawa pretty much leaves the town to them, so behind his back they do whatever they want... extorting the townspeople and causing disturbances themselves. ......Oh shit! One of them's coming now! I gotta get out of here! If we're both still alive, I'll see you later!
( Hey you! What was that man with you just talking about!?
( About respecting the authoritah, sir!

Asshole's too drunk to identify sarcasm anymore. And I was itching for a fight, too!

Oh well. In any case, the man confirmed that something is pulling Ozawa's strings. As much as I'd like to crack the fucker's skull, it'll just make things worse. If we're going to take care of the situation, we need to go after whoever he's dealing with. And my best bet to find out who that is, is to question Ozawa himself again.

*: Before going back to his office, I'm returning to the surface to make some money and raise all my minions if I can. I don't want so spend too much on summons, so I only get Bucca-Boo to help us out. There's lots of Gaian Suicide Squads out there, for some reason.

( Nice machine, man. The post-apocalypse always has the coolest bikes.
( Give me 961 makka.
( What? Hell no. You idiots should be bribing me.
( What are you doing here?
( Minding my fucking business, like you should.
>Executioner Rider left.
( Losers.

Lv20 Gaian Executioner Riders
Presumably, the assholes in charge of catching the Shinjuku citizens who try to make a break for it. They're fragile, but fast and actually rather strong, with a two-hit Bash skill.

Lv27 Youjuu Atsuyu
:shrug: They've got immense strength and know Agirao, but they're not particularly tough otherwise. Consider having your lower HP allies defend though.


*: Heh, there's what's left of Gotou's old HQ. Homey!

Lv28 Majuu Stonka
A bull monster from Bulgarian legend; its skin was hard as bronze and was so heavy its steps sounded like thunder. It had a habit of killing peasants and their horses, so a peasant disguised himself as a horse and stabbed it with a golden sword. I'm not sure how the horse disguise helped, but there you go. They're incredibly durable and strong, with a multi-hit Rampage skill and Bind Voice, and they would be a colossal threat if they weren't weak to fire and therefore vulnerable to Tetsuo incinerating them in one shot.

Lv30 Jaryuu Cocatrice
A strange creature from medieval European folklore, born of an egg laid by a rooster and incubated by a snake. Of course, bizarre misshapen chickensnakes aren't the most intimidating critters in the world, but touching one, or looking at one (or even being looked at by one) will get you turned to stone. Here, they're more like giant angry birds who, not content with having the expected petrification attack, boast the highest attack power of any random encounter I've seen yet. Fortunately they don't have too much HP and are weak to fire (whew!)

Lv23 Yousei Kelpie
A water spirit from Celtic folklore, taking the form of a strong black or green horse, perpetually wet and with kelp in its mane. They're said to entice people (usually children) to ride them, whereupon they capture them thanks to their adhesive skin, then run underwater to drown them. Here they're average fighters, remarkable mostly for their Sibabu and Makajama, with which a group of Kelpie can more or less disable your party in short order. They also know Toraest.

( Hey, so we still have Ren Faires, and in Japan, no less. Things can't be so bad after all!
>Temple Knight is watching you warily.
( Look, I don't want no trouble.
( Are you of the Mesian Church?
( I... uh... I can't say I've really made up my mind about it.
( Why not join the Mesian Church? You will surely find salvation!
( I'm not ready to enter a long-term relationship yet. It's not you, it's me.
( Are you an agent of the Gaians!? Die!
( Yeesh, jealous much?

Lv22 Mesian Temple Knight
Warriors in the service of the Mesian Church. Their stats are okay, with relatively high Strength and Speed for humans, but their spells are the real threat. They know Suku-nda and Taru-nda, therefore allowing a group of them to make your physical fighters more or less irrelevant; unfortunately, they also know Makajama and can shut down your spellcasters as well. It's best not to fuck around with these guys.

Mesians are the human followers of the Mesian Church, willing soldiers in God's army. They are Law-Neutral. I suspect "Mesian" should have been translated "Messian", on account of their hope in God's Messiah, but what do I know?

Lv15 Machine Bit Ball
I guess these are some sort of robotic drones keeping watch around Shinjuku. They didn't show up in the Devil Analyze and I took them all down with one clip of my M16 before they could do anything.

*: I finally have enough money to raise everyone. Whew! It was even more expensive than I expected because raised demons are returned with 1 HP and 0 MP.

Now I can go see if Ozawa has any answers for me. I hope I won't have to kill him to get them, not yet anyway, but I'm ready for anything.

( What can I do for you?
( Ozawa! You haven't changed a bit! You're as corrupt are you always were! You dominate and claim your power by suppressing the weak, just like you did 30 years ago!
( Ho ho, what kind of nonsense are you talking about, boy? Are you saying you don't like the way I do things?
( Have you gotten senile? It's pretty obvious we've figured you're still the two-bit scumbag you've always been.
( Think! Those who obey me can survive in this dog-eat-dog world without worry. What's the harm?
( Shut up! I'm not going to let you get away with this!!
( Foolish child, why won't you listen to reason? ...I suppose I have no choice then. Master Takeminakata, get these brats out of my sight!



Senile or not, the guy's been summoning demons for 30 more years than I have.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 21, 2011, 04:03:52 AM

*: Takeminakata gets the first hit in. He reduces everyone to one third of their max HP. Ow!

( It's no good! He's too strong! We can't beat him, let's run!
( Damn it all! And after finally making it this far...
( We're not making it any further if we stick around, man. We'll find another way.


We start going back to the mall, but...

( Good God, are you insane, Tetsuo!? If you fuse with a demon, you'll no longer be human any more! What good will defeating him do if you have to throw away your humanity to do it?
( Kaneda! You wouldn't understand... If you'd have gone through what I have, maybe you'd see my point of view...

The human/demon fusions we've seen up to now don't have the greatest track record for protecting the innocent... but I bet they were douchebags to begin with. I hate even contemplating the option, but seeing what happened with Pascal and Pixie, I can't help but believe that the sort of power Tetsuo's talking about would be the only thing that'd give us a shot against Ozawa's giant purple goon.

I sure wish there was another way though, that there was more time. Unfortunately, with every moment that passes, more human faces get stamped on by Ozawa's boot. Damn it! Maybe I'll think of something else on the way to the Mansion...



*: I don't seem to have much of a say here. There's nothing happening anywhere else.

( I want to disagree with you, to tell you that you're making a bad decision... but I've been using the power of demons all along. Not in the same way, but...
( I need more strength to defeat Ozawa... No... To fight and survive in this dog-eat-dog world! I'm going to fuse myself with a demon to achieve that end!

*: The fusion list shows up, but I don't control the cursor; it cycles randomly through all my allies.

( Jaryuu Worm! I choose you!
( ...are you serious?
( What do you mean?
( Of all the creatures available to share your existence with, you choose the giant snake-worm thing with teeth the size of your forearms and and and... and... you know what? Good choice!
( Are you ready to go through with this?
( Hit me up, doc.
( I'm not a doctor-
( Hit. Me. Up. Doc.
( Alright, alright! One half-human abomination, coming right up!
( Goodbye, buddy. See you soon.





Apparently, Tetsuo + Worm = Totally Sweet Ninja Warrior! I knew it!

( I've done it! I've finally gotten the power I've always wanted! Nobody will be able to pick o... defeat me any more!!


*: Holy. Shit.

Lv33 Choujin Tetsuo
Kind of an impressive stat sheet, eh? I had built him up to be a quick mage-type, now he's got more Strength and HP than me. He has new spells too: Estma (prevents encounters with demons whose level is lower than yours until the next full moon), Makala-karn (reflects all enemy spells for one turn), Maha-Agion (!), and Mudo. He's a beast, in more ways than one.

On our way back up to see Ozawa, he one-shots an entire group of Pishasha with Maha-Agion.

Okay, let's see if we can take on that thing now.

( Back for more, are you? It's always the same -- give them an inch, and they take a mile! You kids remind me of a group of troublemakers I dealt with a long time ago...
( "Dealt with?" Are you serious? You ran away every time we... you met!
( ...and you look like them to boot!
( Ozawa! You won't beat me this time!
( Why do you insist on opposing me?
( We don't have time to recite your list of crimes here, but let's just say you being a pissant idiot asshole for over thirty years has a lot to do with it.
( That's it, I've had it with you. I'm going to have Psychodiver brainwash you and turn you into my slave. Master Takeminakata, please capture these upstarts!
( Master Tetsuo, please open fire!
( Hah! I've got what it takes to take this sucker on now!


*: We use our surprise round to buff up. Tetsuo puts up Makala-karn, just in case, Bucca-Boo uses Raku-kaja, and Werecat uses Taru-kaja. I do 18 damage per hit, Kaneda 10, and Rusalka 8. Next turn, Tetsuo's Mudo fails (I had to try, it would have been hilarious), Bucca-Boo's Bufula hits for 8 damage but Freezes the fucker, and the rest of us strike. We're doing fine, and I predict we'll continue to do fine as long as Bucca-Boo's MP holds up.

...and we do. In all six rounds, Takeminakata didn't lay a finger on us. Huh!

Kaneda and I gain about 11000 EXP, which dings us up three levels! (Tetsuo gains only 2300, since he's already much higher level now.) Takeminakata drops Bizen-Osafune (35/10, hits 1-3 times, anyone can equip it). It's a bit stronger than Mikazuchi's Tachi, but half as accurate; I think I'll just keep it around in case my alignment changes.

Lv43 Kishin Takeminakata
According to Shinto, there was a time where gods born in heaven (including Amaterasu Omikami) sought to unite the land under their rule, and were opposed by gods of the earth. Among those who fought against them were the god Okuninushi and his sons, among which was counted Take-Minakata. Long story short, Take-Minakata had the first sumo match ever, lost to Take-Mikazuchi, got his arms cut off, and ran away to get married to a lake goddess who, one can only assume, didn't mind doing her own yardwork. Apparently he still has his arms here, but in later installments of the series he is indeed Torso Boy. I wish I could tell you about his strengths and weaknesses, but we completely schooled the poor bastard.

Kishin are fierce warrior deities, associated with battle but mostly seen as guardians and protectors. They are Light-Chaos.

( god, you beat Takeminakata! I can't believe it......
( You were a nobody back then, and you're still a nobody now.
( Please, I'm sorry, I was wrong! D-don't kill me... Please!


( ...

*: Will we?

This certainly has an alignment effect, but I'm not sure how exactly. Sparing a man's life because he begs us to may seem like a Lawful thing to do, but Law-types haven't been paragons of mercy so far, and on top of that Ozawa himself has proved himself to be quite an agent for the Chaos agenda. I think it's best to answer honestly, according to whether we're the kind of person who would stone-cold kill an old man or not.

On top of that, I'm making this question a two-parter by tacking on a more general alignment question here. More and more we're being asked if we're Gaians or Mesians by random demons, and either way if we're going to start working towards an alignment, it would seem this is a good time to start paying attention to what I kill.

So, this is probably not a final decision, but at this point, judging from what we know, do we lean towards siding with God and the Mesians, or with the benevolent (?) demon overlords and the Gaians? Or do we tell both factions to go suck the proverbial genitalia?

Does Ozawa live or die? Do we pick a side?

Find out next time!

Or before next time if the voting comes to an obvious landslide, whatevs.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 21, 2011, 10:42:00 AM
I suspect the Minakata, strong as he is was, isn't the demon master that Ozawa was a douchebag on behalf of. If you've got any delusions of serious heroism you need to let him live for no other reason than to have him crawl back to his master and hopefully reveal him.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 21, 2011, 12:35:20 PM
I'd spare him, but then again, that's just me.

You said earlier that if you go Law/Chaos that you can't recruit demons of the opposite alignment, right?  Because if that's the case then it sounds like you're better off staying Neutral so you can hire demons from both sides.  Might miss out on items like the Rosary, yeah, but you can still use both factions' inn analogues and if you run into anything that you'd need the Rosary for you can just recruit them and talk to other demons while you have 'em to get out of fights, so...
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 21, 2011, 12:42:39 PM
If that is your strategy then [spoiler]killing him[/spoiler] is the best option because soon [spoiler]being a decent human being and using an item to release kaneda's kei from agony[/spoiler] definitely gives you [spoiler]LAW[/spoiler] points.

But iirc, there are lots of opportunities yet to swing your alignment one way or the other, and a late-game chokepoint where you have the option to confirm your path in whichever direction you want [spoiler]although if you're law you can't defect to chaos and vice versa.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 26, 2011, 01:26:52 PM
*: Alright then. So we try to remain Neutral for now, and...

( ...My sword is the sword of a god. Your blood's not worthy of it. Get out of here. If I ever hear about you again, I'll have you eaten.
( Hey, are you serious!? You're actually going to look the other way and spare him? Do you honestly think he's going to reform his ways after what he's done?
( Who cares if he does? He's been beaten like nobody beat him before. The people hate him, he's caused his overlords, whoever they are, to lose control of Shinjuku, and I doubt the Mesians would give him the time of day. We don't need to add to the pile of corpses.

Without another word, Tetsuo chops Ozawa's head clean off in one effortless swing of his Guillotine Axe, leaving a deep crack in the cement floor. Vive la révolution!


( Dude, what the hell?


( Congratulations, you've killed an old man.
( ...Francois! Kaneda! Listen, you guys are great, but let's face it. The world has changed, and you have to fight for your very survival.
( That doesn't mean you have to let the world change you! Don't you realize what we've got? How special we are? We don't have to play by the new rules!
( Your soft-hearted approach is at best going to slow me down, at worst get us all killed! With the power I've gotten through fusing with that demon, I don't really need to rely on you to survive any more either...
( What... what do you mean?
( I think it's probably best for me to go it alone from here on. See ya!


>Tetsuo left.


*: Yeah, that was bound to happen. It would have been out of character for Tetsuo to agree to spare Ozawa, and in terms of game mechanics, he was getting almost as broken as Kerberos was.

( I guess you're just gonna have to start learning how to beat demons instead of people. Crazy world, eh?

Man I hope the people around here are going to be alright. Ozawa was a bastard, but at least he made the trains run on time.

Err, I mean, he kept the demons out.

In any case, I'll look around to see how Free Shinjuku takes the news of its liberation, and we might as well get that Psycho Diver guy out of jail too.

*: Leaving the offices, we almost get murdered by a couple of Sytry. I miss Tetsuo already. Back to the mall, we're jumped by five Suicide Squad goons. Door's open, boys!

I go to the Dojo to heal up, and hit the Mansion.

Hakutaku + Werecat = Atsuyu

Atsuyu's stronger and tougher than Worm was, and its Agirao gives me a source of fire damage to compensate the loss of Tetsuo, even though its Magic stat sucks and it only has enough MP to cast it four times.

...As soon as we leave the Mansion, Atsuyu gets incinerated by four Fireball-spewing Hakai-zo. Dammit! The fucker at the Healer's Dojo charges me over 4000 makka to raise it and 500 to heal it to full, putting me in the poorhouse again.

I for one can't wait for Choujin Obama's health care plan to come to fruition.

( Yeah, anarchy! That's what this place needed!
( I'm going to avenge my friends!

*: A Suicide Squad asks me if I'm a Gaian. Technically, I'm not, but it turns out I hang out with Lawful demons all the time, and if I want to keep my Neutral cred I have to balance it out somewhat. In any case, he likes my answer and gives me almost 2000 makka. Gaians, fuck yeah!

...two steps later, four Suicide Squads try to kill me. Gaians, fuck no!

Oooh, I start meeting actual random Rusalka, in groups of at least five. This would be horrible if I didn't have one with me.

( That's right, kid! The secret police has no authority to harass you now!

Nope, no police, only hordes and hordes of mighty demons and gruesome shambling piles of rotting undead corpses.

Can't help but feel a little conflicted here.


( No longer will Shinjuku be safe from the demons!
( :painful:

( Well, it's now or never. Good luck!

*: We run into seven Momunofu, which I think is the largest single group we've ever seen, outside of the mobs at Kei's "execution". Fortunately we ambush them, and between my Nerve Bullets, Kaneda's new Plinpa, Rusalka's Marin-Karin and Ame-no-Uzume's Sexy Dance, four of them get charmed and the others are panicked or sleeping. What could have been a scary-ass fight is suddenly made palatable. God bless SMT for having useful status ailments!

I do get a later Momunofu to join me though, which is a welcome Chaotic addition to the group. Plus I won't get bothered by crowds of them anymore. And a bit later...


*: 55 power, 5 accuracy, hits once, only Neutral males can equip it. That's kind of an awesome weapon, considering I got it for free; it's better than the Guillotine Axe in every way. I don't think it matches Mikazuchi's Tachi in terms of maximum damage output, but at least it's going to be more consistent. I'll try it on for a while.

If there's a benefit from all the demons running around now, it's that I start making some real money at last. I even have enough to upgrade Kaneda's dinky Beretta to a SPAS12 shotgun. His Kodachi of Light is really not that great compared to what Tetsuo and I got from the Kongokai, and demons weak to Zan are few and far between, so he can really use the extra punch even if it has less hit potential than the M16 I got for myself. Plus, if I need him to disable several enemies, his Plinpa costs only 2 MP.

Visiting the bars...

...I guess that's comforting.

( Geez, all the money I spent in bribes to Ozawa has gone down the drain!
( That's what you get for supporting fascism, tovarisch!

( Yaaaah! I'm a NORMAL CITIZEN! I do HONEST WORK! Yaaaah!

( Since Ozawa died, the former private police don't dare set foot in here. What with all the money and booze they bullied off me and my customers, they realize there'd be hell to pay if they came back here!

( If they dare come around here again, I swear I won't let them leave my sight alive!

( Hah! Serves that damn Ozawa right! He finally got what was coming to him!

( Even if you tried to escape Shinjuku and go to Roppongi and Shibuya, there's a good chance you'll fall prey to a demon on the way. It's still dangerous to even try it!

*: At the police chief's old room...

( Does a Tsuchi-Gumo shit in the woods?
( Good question.
( Well, I... uh... Hmm. Let's just read the letter, shall we? "To Francois:"... huh? "I did some detective work, and learned that the police chief was the one who was doing all of Ozawa's dirty work, sending his officers out to bully and brainwash the people of Shinjuku. It's too dangerous to let someone like that live! So I took care of him. Don't worry about him any more." And... it's signed... Tetsuo!
( Damn, he doesn't waste any time.
( So much for squeezing a lead out of the guy. He did have it coming, though.

*: And finally, the disco.

( Eh? Master Ozawa's dead?
( Don't worry about it, there's a new powerful man of danger in town.
( So you changed your mind about hair?
( What? No! I was talking about Tetsuo! He's half worm, who knows what crazy shit he's into now?

( I had thought that Ozawa was on the right track, but...

( Hmm... Maybe I should move to Roppongi after all.
( Feel free to brave the atomic wilderness! Please mind the rogue biker gangs!

Alright, we're done here. Let's get Psycho Diver out of jail and move on. I just hope Tetsuo hasn't gotten to him first.

( I knew you guys were coming here. I could feel your aura from a mile away. Practically nobody ever comes down here, thanks to Ozawa. He keeps this place strictly off-limits.
( It just so happens Ozawa came down with a particularly virulent strain of that new "being the first against the wall when the revolution comes" disease that's been running around. Tragic, really.
( What? You killed Ozawa!? Hot damn! That means I don't have to sit in this stupid cell any more! Thanks, kid! 'Cause of you, I'm finally free after all this time! Wooo-hah! Man, I wanted a nice cold drink of some nice hard liquor for so long, it was driving me crazy! First stop: the bar! Time to go get smashed out of my mind!
( Watch out for the... demons...

He's gone. Hmm. Maybe we should catch up to him. The last thing we need is for some demon to get his hands on an alcoholic psychic brainwasher.

*: On our way back out...


Lv40 Gaian Oni-joro
Like the Hakai-zo, I'm not sure what they are, but "joro" returns hits for prostitutes, noblewomen, and... err... watering cans. (And "oni" is a generic word for demons/ogres but most of you know that one already.) So, "Demon Courtesan" is a good bet, I think. I'd like to tell you about their stats in detail but I ended up using a Smoke Bomb to escape the fight because they were absolutely raping me, and not in a way that I enjoyed. They have a multi-hit needle attack that does massive damage, a very strong single-target poison needle attack, a multi-hit "waves of electricity" skill, and even their normal attacks hit like a truck. I didn't even manage to kill a single one in three rounds, and I definitely would not have lasted a fourth one.

Needless to say, I want one. It's... not for a while, though.

Back at the bar...

( It's thanks to you that I can even be here too!
( All in a day's work, my good man.
( ...I'm never using my power to enter another person's mind again! I never really wanted to use it in the first place!

Aaaand he's just boozing it up. So much for hoping he had a lead on anything useful.

Well, here we are. We've changed the world a little. I don't know if it's entirely for the better, but at least things are moving, and given how bad things are, any change must be good, in the end. Plus Ozawa had it coming. I'm almost glad Tetsuo offed him.

So, there are three areas of interest right now. There's the nearby town hall, which apparently has been taken over by demons. There's mysterious Roppongi, whence no sane people return. And there's Shibuya, home of the Mesians.


Just a few hours ago I heard in this very bar about the female Messiah of Shibuya. In fact, the guy who told me about her is still here, talking about it to whoever is too drunk to get away from him.

If there's even the least hint of a chance that this woman might be Kei, then I have to check it out. I know she needs my help, and I haven't heard of other women standing out. She was leader of the Resistance; she had presence. She must have made an impression on people, and there's no way she would have just disappeared and let the world go to hell without putting up a fight.

To Shibuya, then!

Wherever that is.

*: By the way, the length of this update in no way correlates to the length of gameplay it chronicles. Exploring post-Ozawa Shinjuku didn't take as much time as clearing out the Kongokai did, but it was kind of in the same ballpark, and it was at least as hard. When I mentioned the ridiculous encounter rate in the first post, I wasn't kidding. It's a good thing I like the combat so much, because there's craptons of it.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 26, 2011, 03:20:21 PM
Hey man, guess what?
Gaian and Mesian foes? They're human enough that the demon summoning program doesn't work on them.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 26, 2011, 04:04:43 PM
Lv40 Gaian Oni-joro
Like the Hakai-zo, I'm not sure what they are, but "joro" returns hits for prostitutes, noblewomen, and... err... watering cans. (And "oni" is a generic word for demons/ogres but most of you know that one already.) So, "Demon Courtesan" is a good bet, I think.

You got a little screwed there because it should be jorou or joroo (I'm not assed to go back and see what this game's format is for long vowels... I think it's just ignoring them, with confusing resultsit should be jorou) but otherwise yeah, you're on target.

Note that it's courtesan to oni, not a courtesan that is an oni.  Meaning they're human ladies that made a certain... bargain for more power, and now you can probably roast a whole turkey in there if they don't rip your face off first.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 26, 2011, 04:47:19 PM
Hey man, guess what?
Gaian and Mesian foes? They're human enough that the demon summoning program doesn't work on them.

That makes all sorts of sense! Some of them keep asking me if I'm looking for a companion... but they do just take my money and leave. I guess that if the game let you recruit them, the ability to make Choujin at will would be pretty damn broken.

On the plus side I kind of don't want Oni-Joro(u) anymore.

...for a moment I figured that "Oni-Joro" was eight characters and they cut the off the "u" to fit some limit, but no, they had Ama-no-Sakugami and Takeminakata in there. Oh well!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 29, 2011, 09:38:30 AM
( Intermission!

Wait, where's Jack... Frost...

Oh God.

( :kowhyee:

Let's... let's carry on.

1- More music!

( (
Remember the new Shibuya music I mentioned? Here it is. I'm not entirely sure if it's meant to play where it does, since it's labeled "Ginza" on the soundtrack, it only plays on the ground level instead of the main underground level, and Rag says he's "Ginza's joaillier couture", whatever that means.

( (
This is the Kongokai track. I love the main melody of it. It has a mysterious feel, but it's not dark or scary; it reflects where the game really starts showing you that the invasion may be the deed of destructive entities looking for conquest and domination, but there are wiser, more peaceful, and maybe even benevolent forces at work as well.

( (
( (
( (
Respectively, the short Law, Chaos, and Neutral alignment themes. The Law theme (my personal favorite) has been used mostly for encounters with Kaneda and Thorman, the Chaos theme for encounters with Tetsuo, Gotou, Ozawa and post-betrayal Yuriko, and the Neutral theme for Steven, En-no-Ozuno, Kei and the Resistance, and the old man in Inogashira Park. I like how the Law and Chaos themes project an image that, in a way, is at odds with the Mesians and Gaians' respective goals, but still fits them entirely.

( (
The post-apocalyptic overworld theme. You'd kind of expect something sinister and hopeless, but no, it's quite the opposite. As bad as things have gotten, here we are. We're alive. It's a new beginning, a chance to make things right at last. And it's completely different from the first overworld theme.

( (
And because I like it so much, here's the arranged version of the new overworld theme found on the official soundtrack. Some of the arrangements on there are shitty beyond words, but this is arguably the best one, and it's pretty damn great.

( (
The Game Over music. More about that in the following section!

2- More random thoughts!

***: It's clear that the game doesn't think highly of Christianity, what with the Judeo-Christian demiurge being the series' primary antagonist and all. To a typical Japanese person who lives steeped in Shinto and Buddhist religious concepts, I guess Christianity is all about wiping out a nation's native belief system and replacing it with the One Jealous God. In general terms, it's always been a source of strife and conflict. It's hard to argue with this view, but on the other hand, by focusing only on the fundamentalist, militant aspects, you don't get to see Christian orphanages or hospitals or homeless shelters (though even those have been tainted more than their share, I suppose). Eh... I'm not trying to defend anything here or spark a debate on religion, I guess I'm reflecting on how the game may be justified in focusing on the negatives exactly because its creators haven't really been exposed to what positives there are.

***: It's probably obvious, but I'm spelling it out anyway: Tetsuo was a bullied kid. There's no two ways about it. Ozawa was not the first to beat him up. "Nobody will be able to pick o... defeat me any more!!" "If you'd have gone through what I have, maybe you'd see my point of view..." Yeah. And heck, look at him!


He's got a camo trenchcoat, he's packing a submachinegun, and when we meet him he's already wearing military-grade armor. I kind of don't want to go there, but it almost feels like he was this close to shooting up his school. In a way, the demon invasion probably saved his life.

***: The word "God" slips in as an interjection a few times in some characters' speech, which I find unexpected and I'm tempted to blame on the translation for it, but Kaneda does it so much that I'm led to believe he might be actually be Christian himself, like approximately 2% of Japanese people. It'd make a lot of sense in any case, with his alignment and all. And hey, while I'm talking about him, might as well get some artwork in too:


***: The Kongokai is an actual concept in Buddhist cosmology, as the dwelling place of the Five Wisdom Buddhas, each one an embodiment of one of the qualities of an enlightened soul. It's also known as the Diamond Realm, and is frequently depicted in mandalas.

***: The weapons in the first part of the game were mundane store-bought objects, but we're starting to get into some serious mythical territory lately. As far as I can tell, Mikazuchi's Tachi belonged to Take-Mikazuchi, the god who beat Take-Minakata in the first sumo match, and the guy was also one of the wielders of the legendary sword Kamudo. The Bizen-Osafune dropped by Minakata could be any of the swords crafted by a certain school of swordsmiths (established in the town of Osafune in Bizen province, natch), many of which are priceless national treasures today.

***: I keep being blown away by how much easier the game is than I remembered. All the bosses gave me ridiculous amounts of trouble back when I first played, especially Thor, but this time around they've been almost trivial, and the real threat comes from random encounters. I honestly haven't died once yet. I'm really quite careful now though, and I've had experience with later games in the greater series, especially III, so I kind of know what I'm doing more than I used to. I think stat distribution might have something to do with it too. I didn't invest so heavily in Intelligence the first time, so negotiation was much more difficult and I certainly couldn't have avoided as many battles as I do now.

***: To lose the game, all human characters must be dead, dying, or petrified. Alive demons won't save you, but as long as you've got any human still kicking, you're good to go. This is much less punishing than in Nocturne, where you got a Game Over if your one guy got punked by a random Hama or Mudo, but it still boots you to the title screen... in an interesting way. There's the music I've posted above, and then...






"Do not be afraid"!?

This is goddamn terrifying! Holy shit! It fades to white and returns you to the title, but to be honest back when I saw that sequence regularly I hardly ever let the game go this far because NO NO NO I DON'T WANNA GO THERE YET AAAAAAUGH LET ME GO BACK LET ME GO BACK NOOOOOO FUUUUUCK NOOOOOOOO

***: And that's not the only way the game can end. Whenever you save at a Terminal...





I usually saw that just before going to bed too, so it was kind of an extra dose of creepiness I could have lived without.

And on top of that, when you save and quit anywhere else (like with Steven or Zenki), the following text slowly appears, character by character, then disappears and repeats forever:



3- Ailments!

I've been mentioning various status ailments for a while now, and I figured it's about time I described exactly what it is I mean when I do. Like the spell section last time, this is gonna be somewhat technical. There's a lot of standard RPG mainstays in the list but most of them have some quirk of interest.

First off, there are the incapacitation ailments. Most of them can be cured with the Patora family of spells.
   -FREEZE/SHOCK: Can be caused by any cold or electricity attack, as long as they do at least one point of damage. They usually wear off at the end of the turn, but may last a little longer. If they're inflicted on a creature that has already acted this turn, chances are they will basically have no effect.
   -HAPPY: Usually lasts a few turns, but doesn't always prevent action. It's caused by the Hapilma spell or skills such as Ame-no-Uzume's Happy Song.
   -SLEEP: Usually lasts a few turns. I don't think you're guaranteed to wake up if you're damaged. It's caused by the Dolminer spell, or by skills such as Gandharva's Lullaby.
   -BIND: Very similar to sleep, but I don't think it lasts longer than the combat, and it probably works on a different resistance. It's caused by the Sibabu spell or skills such as Worm's Constrict.
   -PALYZ (Paralyze): It's either permanent, or so long-lived it might as well be. In addition to preventing you from acting, it causes you to take damage when moving around outside of battle. You need a Dis-Paral item or Parala-Di spell to cure it. No spells cause paralysis, but skills such as Man-Eater's Paralyze Kiss do.
   -STONE: Permanent. It's almost as bad as being dead, except you keep your HP and MP when you come back. It's caused by skills such as Cocatrice's Petrifying Bite. I know that in Nocturne it makes you extremely vulnerable to Force-element attacks, but I'm not sure if that's the case here. You need a Dis-Stone or the Petra-Di spell to cure it.

Then, the two death ailments.
   -DYING: Your typical 0 HP incapacitation. Dying demons are immediately unsummoned; this frees you up to summon another one right away, but it also means you can't resurrect them in battle (can't target demons not in your active party) and that you need to pay to resummon them. The Recarm spell family will cure DYING, as will several items.
   -DEAD: This one doesn't actually happen very often. As far as I know, it results from being hit by a Mudo spell (or similar death curse effect), or from using the Ricarmdora spell which sacrifices the user to restore the rest of the party to full. I faintly remember that it can also happen when resurrection effects critically fail, but this is extremely rare and probably depends on the moon phase. As for resurrection, the base Recarm spell never cuts it; you need to use Samaricarm (which still has a chance to simply not work) or visit a healer.

And the rest:
   -PANIC: Victims may act at random or skip their turn. Patora cures it. It's caused by the Plinpa spell or skill such as Fukei's Panic Voice.
   -CHARM: Victims always attack their allies. It often lasts a few turns. Patora cures it. It's caused by the Marin-Karin spell (notably the only ailment spell that only targets a single foe) or skills such as Ame-no-Uzume's Sexy Dance (which targets an entire group and can therefore be incredibly devastating).
   -CLOSE: Victims can't cast spells. It tends to last a long time, and will linger after battle. Patora cures it. It's caused by the Makajama spell.
   -POISON: Your standard "lose HP with every step" ailment. I think it's permanent; you need a Dis-Poison item or Posom-Di spell to cure it. It's caused by skills such as Lady Zombie's Poison Claw.
   -FLY: A rare curse; it cripples all your stats, but causes your evasion to shoot through the roof. I don't know much about it.
   -FROG: Another rare curse; like Fly, but without the evasion boost. Haven't seen it yet either.
   -CURSE: A generic curse from cursed equipment. It can have various effects.

Each ailment has a specific effect appplied to the enemy icons at the top of the screen, so you can tell who is affected by what. For example:


-The first on the left is for Panic and Charm.
-The empty gap on the second spot is Dead or Dying.
-The prone figure in third place is not an ailment, but tells you that the creature has low HP.
-The lying figure third from the right is Sleep.
-The figure second from the right is the default healthy icon.
-There is another icon not shown here, that represents Freeze, Shock and Bind. It's similar to the default but has its arms lowered.

Whew, I think I'm done for now! Next time, we rejoin our party at one of the Shinjuku bars, before they leave for Shibuya.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 29, 2011, 11:05:43 AM
Oh boy, another theology discussion I can dick up! :whoops:  But seriously though.

It's clear that the game doesn't think highly of Christianity, what with the Judeo-Christian demiurge being the series' primary antagonist and all. To a typical Japanese person who lives steeped in Shinto and Buddhist religious concepts, I guess Christianity is all about wiping out a nation's native belief system and replacing it with the One Jealous God. In general terms, it's always been a source of strife and conflict. It's hard to argue with this view, but on the other hand, by focusing only on the fundamentalist, militant aspects, you don't get to see Christian orphanages or hospitals or homeless shelters (though even those have been tainted more than their share, I suppose). Eh... I'm not trying to defend anything here or spark a debate on religion, I guess I'm reflecting on how the game may be justified in focusing on the negatives exactly because its creators haven't really been exposed to what positives there are.

Christianity, on the whole, has so many concepts which differ from Japan's native faiths that it's... well, alien and almost sinister-sounding compared to their own, which is probably the reason why they don't have reservations about using it as such (see also: Final Fantasy Tactics, Breath of Fire II, Vagrant Story, That One Game).  It's doubtful that it's done out of malice; they just needed a scary foreign faith that differed from their own.  If it helps, just see it as the Occidental equivalent of how western gurus talked about the "secrets of the Orient" in the 60s and 70s.

Plus I have it on good authority that the developers of the Megami Tensei series have said that "God is not the source of all evil in the MegaTen universe." Then there's the aspect of how it's "Law versus Chaos" and not "Good versus Evil;" both the Mesians and Gaians have good and bad points to make, all told.

Not sure how relevant some of that is to anything, but there you go.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 29, 2011, 02:31:47 PM
In the MegaTen series you get the impression that the devs have someone who "studied" theology and/or mythology on staff. The SMT YHWH is a lot more "old testament" than most Christians would imagine him. There is a good/evil (or maybe it was light/dark?) axis in the game, showing roughly where the various supernatural entities lie on the spectrum between gods and devils. In general a more god-like being is going to care for, or be interested in humans as other individuals. Though, what "caring for" means is up to their own alien precepts.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 30, 2011, 03:31:28 AM
Yeah, I see your points, guys. I mean, one can argue that God and his crew are ruthless fascists*, especially from game's absolutely syncretic point of view, but on the other end of the scale, we've got Ozawa's puppet dictatorship which is more or less the same thing but without the promise of a thousand year paradise. If Gotou, the prototypical Gaian, had gotten his way, I think it's fairly obvious that the entire country, if not the entire world, would have ended up like Shinjuku.

And still, even through all that, everyone wants to fix the world. They just happen to fundamentally disagree on how to do it. At face value, Gotou and Thor both wanted some sort of utopia for humanity; they only ended up as villains in this playthrough because we (I?) decided that either way, the cost was too high.

*: Especially when you consider that in Nocturne, the Tenshi are with Chiaki's Yosuga reason, the "might makes right, destroy all unnecessary things" alignment.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on January 30, 2011, 04:38:02 AM
I'm not really familiar with the series but isn't the point to prompt some hard moral decisions that are not themselves fundamentally right or wrong, only justifiable as being worth the cost?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 30, 2011, 04:59:49 AM
Yeah, basically, but here's what I was originally going to post:

The only one in the series who seems to care about humans and just wants them to be humans is [spoiler]Lucifer aka. Stephen Hawking[/spoiler], but any charity pronoun bestows is suspect at best.

Of course, YHWH really lightens up when in devil survivor [spoiler]he taps back from nuking shibuya to stem the tide of demons[/spoiler].
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 30, 2011, 07:52:25 AM
I can't argue for anime directors but game designers have one fairly obvious reason to pit the player against Christianity all the time.

The Judeo-Christian God is, by definition, the final boss of the Universe.

It's such an easy road to take that the only real reason Western designers don't do it too is because it's kind of a taboo over here, and even then they like to work around it (okay so Zeus is the leader of Greek pantheon; even though he's not technically peerless let's treat him as such anyway.)
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on January 30, 2011, 02:42:10 PM
Could've had Ialdabaoth (and they did in the X-Box SMT game), although Gnosticism doesn't lend itself well to the "Law versus Chaos" conflict seeing as, according to Gnosticism itself, the Demiurge is objectively wrong and misguided and the Serpent (whatever his name may be) was working on the true, unknowable God's behalf to bring wisdom to man.  That said... I don't know how they did it in the X-Box SMT game aside from that they did.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 30, 2011, 03:52:50 PM
*: I didn't know the way to Shibuya, but then I remembered I'm playing a game where I can get directions by pulling up Google maps.


Southwest it is, then. :perfect:

(Kichijoji is to the west along the rail line visible in gray/white, first exiting Shinjuku station to the north then curving west. Somehow I thought it was to the south, but I couldn't tell you why.)

Lv18 Mesian Zealot
The name just about says it all. They have mediocre stats, but they come in large groups and have passable attack power. They can also heal themselves with Me-Dia but ideally you don't let them live long enough to.

*: We run into large groups of Kokakuchou, the died-in-childbirth harpies I mentioned much earlier, but Kaneda can one-shot them with his shotgun. There are also groups of Wendigo.

Lv20 Kyouchou Furiae
The Furies are the Roman equivalent of the Greek Erinyes, being deities of the underworld in charge of punishing sinners, usually after their death, but occasionally before, in the case of oath-breakers. They are known to be cruel, but fair. They have a Venom Claw attack and a multi-hit wind-elemental move, but otherwise only have their Speed going for them. They're the first demons I've met who outright ran away from me during combat.

*: We pass Yoyogi Park and Sendagaya, and keep going south through where there once was a military roadblock. Soon enough, we reach northern Shibuya. There's an intact building in a forested area to the west. Hmm...

Looking at the map I posted above, it's probably the Meiji Jingû Shrine, dedicated to the deified Emperor Meiji and his wife, who presided over Japan's emergence from feudalism.



*: One round later...


*: Uh-oh.


Well, there we go. First death!

Lv52 Youma Tengu
The famous long-nosed birdmen of Japanese myth. They play many roles in folklore, from terrible and demonic to benevolent and protective, but they're usually said to be mighty in body and magic, and intelligent enough to be engaged in philosophical debate. I'd like to tell you about their prowess here, but about all I can say is, they's rapy.

Man I hope that's not where I'm supposed to go. I reload from where I saved at the Terminal before leaving Shinjuku, and decide to explore the area a little more instead of going to the first building I see.


Well, there really was more than one nuke, in case we had any doubt.

*: The ways west and east are blocked, and at the very south of Shibuya is a large desert peninsula that used to be Shiroganeda, Ebisu, and Meguro. Fortunately, I do find another building of interest in Shibuya proper.



*: There's a Terminal, a Healer's Dojo and a Junk shop next to the entrance, so at least I know I'm in a civilized area. The Terminal allows me to warp back to Shinjuku, which is nice.

( Kaneda! Can I? Can I can I can I?
( Like you've ever needed my permission before.
( Well, if I screw up with your accord, it's kind of not my fault, right?
( ...
( Hello! How's it going?
( Hey, don't you think I'm cute?
( Uh... Yes! Yes! Of course! Very!
( Even if you don't mean it, I'm happy to hear you say that!
( No, I swear, it's true!
( What is it you want?
( How 'bout you accompany me on my adventures? There's a wom... uhhh... a person I need to rescue.
*: She asked for about 3000 Makka, 800 Magnetite, and an Orb. Dang, high maintenance much?
( I'm all satisfied now. I'll do whatever you want me to do.

Lv28 Yama Lilim
According to Hebrew folklore, Adam had a wife before Eve, named Lilith. One day, Adam asked her to make one too many sandwiches, so she left Eden in a huff and later had sex with Samael, the angel of death. The children born of that union are known as the Lilim. As punishment for this transgression, it is said that God kills one hundred Lilim every day. Not a woman to take that sitting down, Lilith and her daughters take their vengeance by killing human newborns. In later Medieval folklore, Lilim grew to be associated with succubi. Here they are very good offensive spellcasters, with lots of MP, a high Magic stat, and Bufula. They also know Lullaby and Charm Bite, making them incredibly useful against any enemy vulnerable to either ailment.

( Are they, now?
*: Yyyyeah.
( Bonus! I just thought they were smokin'.
*: You would, wouldn't you.
( Can you blame me?


*: A bit further in, there's an unusual church.

( To tell the truth, it's mostly because of a rumor floating around that our Messiah has become possessed by demons.
( Yeah, I could see how that sort of slander could slow things down.
( It's a lie, of course, but because of it, trust in us has decreased and donations have been extremely low as a result. Please, in the name of God and those that seek his salvation, give us a small donation... Say, a thousand Makka?

I don't care much for the Church, but if these guys can establish a bastion of human civilization in the nuclear wilderness, then I think I can help out in this small way. And maybe I can get some info on that Messiah if I get on his good side.

Plus I bilked Temple Knights out of a few thousand myself, so eh.

( Oh, what dedication! God surely looks down on you with his divine favor! Thank you! We have taken one small step towards completing out church! May God's blessing be upon you...
( Now what about this Messi-

The guy goes back behind the curtains. Hmpf.

( When it is completed, God himself will descend from the heavens there, and bring an era of peace to the world... Long live the Mesia Church!
( That seems like an interesting place. Can you tell me where it is?
( Where is it? I can't tell any unbelieving heathens that.

Bah! Feh!

( Heyo, shorties.
( If you know what's good for you, you'll stay away from me, youngster!
>Dwarf is trying to intimidate you.
( Sorry, I can't hear you from up here. Care to climb on something?

There is a tense moment.

( Ha ha ha ha! You've got guts, kid! Tell me what you're after!
( I'm building a Dwarf army in Warhammer. Can you help a guy out?
( Arrite, take this.
>Francois got 521 makka. Dwarf left.

Like I can afford anything with that kind of money.

Lv26 Chirei Dwarf
They're freaking dwarves.
( Dude, just do the thing.
*sigh* Short beardy dudes from Norse legend, good with their hands, live underground, hate carp. Open a random book in a nerd's apartment and there's a 75% chance it's got either a dwarf or a spaceship or a dwarf on a spaceship. Happy?
( Marginally.
They're really strong and tough, and can boost their defense further with Raku-kaja; battles with large groups can take a very long time. They also know Critical and Hanma.

*: I soon find a Jakyou Mansion. Lessee...

Apsaras + Momunofu =
Lv30 Touki Yakshini
Yakshini are the beautiful female attendants of Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth. They are specifically described as shapely and busty, probably to make them appear as treasures themselves. They're generally considered to be peaceful and kind, but according to some traditions they're actually dangerous seducers who kill men and drink their blood. Here they are fast physical attackers with massive attack power and decent defense. If that wasn't cool enough, they know Diarama, Posom-Di, and Sexy Dance. It's their only skill, even, so it's always guaranteed to come up when selected, unlike Ame-no-Uzume, who has a chance to do Happy Song instead.

Bucca-Boo is getting outclassed now that I have Yakshini's monstrous strength and Lilim's Bufula and bottomless MP, so I fuse him with Ame-no-Uzume to make a replacement Momunofu.

Lv26 Yousei Elf
( ...
Yeah, alright, okay. Elves are semi-divine beings from Norse and Germanic mythology, often associated with fairies but also occasionally difficult to differentiate from dwarves or even goblin-types, depending on the story. The modern fantasy tall foresty elf is mostly a Tolkien invention, though certainly inspired by the old legends. Here, they are jack-of-all-trades magic-users, fragile but with a decent physical attack. They know Dolminer, Zionga and Diarama.

( Energy...?
( How on earth do they plan to do it, and where is that energy going to come from...

( If only I had that, I wouldn't need to fear them...

Wait, the crazy guy who returned from Roppongi mentioned something about "the count" fearing "the pot". Hmm.

( What with that forcefield surrounding Roppongi, I can't even get close.

( Teevee! Teevee! Teevee!
( Ozawa's tyranny has finally been put to an end!
( Holy crap, we made the news!
( Witness! This is an act of God! God has brought this miracle to show his worshippers that he has not forgotten them! He is always watching us from on high!
( What the HELL!? How did FOX NEWS survive the fucking apocalypse!?
( Cockroaches, man. Cockroaches.
( Le sigh.

*: My pain is eased slightly when I find Intelligence and Luck Incense in chests. I hire an Elf a bit further, and find some stairs up. This was the first floor:


A few steps inside and...


Darkness! Kaneda's Mapper spell still works, fortunately. There's probably an item that'll light things up, but I don't have one.

...the dark corridor leads to a small lit area that is the exit for a one-way door. I'm confused for a moment, but I realize there's a branch in the darkness that leads further in. I don't think I would have noticed that without Mapper.

( It's true. He's a friend of mine, actually.
( With that ability, maybe he can defeat the demon that has possessed our Messiah...

*: A little further, I stumble into a pitfall in a dead end. ...It returns me to the first level. Usually I'd be pissed off, but it drops me not too far from the Dojo and I could use the MP restoration.

On the way back up, a Rusalka gives me a Lotus Whip (25/19, hits 3-8 times, only females can equip it). That's... really spectacular! I hope I'll have someone to give it to soon.

( Not that I really care. Since I'm blessed by God, I don't need to worry.

*: We run into several large groups of Temple Knights, but most of the time, they end up killing each other over Yakshini, Rusalka and Lilim's affections. One of them drops a Plasma Sword (40/20, hits 2-4 times, can only be equipped by Lawful males).

( Kanedaaaaaa~?
( What is it now?
( Would you like a lightsabeeeeer?
( I always knew you cared! :8D:

*: It's a colossal upgrade, no doubt about it.

( This has to be the work of the Gaian church... It couldn't be anyone else!
( I'd like to tell you not to jump to conclusions... but you're probably right.
( Please! Save our Messiah!

*: And through the door next to that girl...

( K... Kei? Is that you, Kei?


>A woman's voice echoed within the recesses of Francois' mind....

She can't move. She can't even speak. I turn to my best healers, Kaneda and Rusalka, but they only shake their heads. We can't do anything to help her.

But I know someone who can.

It's time to collect on a favor.

One last psycho dive.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on January 30, 2011, 04:29:23 PM
I... you're googling those images, right?
I'm a little worried you're an even huger SMT fan than I thought.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on January 30, 2011, 04:56:14 PM
Yeah so I happen to own a Pixie figure, by fortunate accident.

That Lilim figure has a pretty good camel toe going there.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 30, 2011, 05:05:05 PM
Heh, I suppose a more detailed explanation may be in order.

A while back, my brother got into his head to have a full set of the SMT figures that were coming out at the time, because he loves the series too. Problem is, those came individually in opaque boxes, so you couldn't tell what you bought until you opened it. So he imported like a couple display boxes of each set to make reasonably sure he got at least one of each. Logically, he ended up with many duplicates. Given that he's a generally awesome bro, he offered to give me one of everything that he had at least two of.

I ended up with 24 SMT figures and (after a similar binge) 3 colossi from SotC. I'm not gonna go through all of them in the LP, most don't show up in the first game, or show up in different forms (I have a Thor, but it's the Nocturne design), but hey, when I have one that fits, I might as well show it. (Though I just realized I forgot to put up the Nekomata. She's got a top on, so no kung fu nipple action there, thank God.)

So when I say I got them by accident, it's entirely true!

Also, if that's a thing, I use the macrophotography setting on my camera, so maybe the figures look bigger than they really are. They're like 10cm tall, so it's not like they take up a lot of room.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on January 31, 2011, 03:03:45 PM
*: Before going back to the first floor, I complete the second floor map.


For every group of Temple Knights or Zealots I have to wade through, I run into a group of Elves or Rusalka or Lilim that just plain leave me alone. This place would be a nightmare otherwise. As it is now, it's tough, but as long as I pay attention I'm not in any real danger. I do notice my Rusalka's getting a little fragile though; she almost spends half her MP casting Diarama on herself.

I reach the Terminal soon enough, then teleport back to Shinjuku and return to the bar where Psycho Diver hangs out. Hopefully he won't have died of cirrhosis by the time we get there.


I haven't noticed anything special about the full moon, but I'll play along, I guess.

( Uh, yeah.
( Whoever's calling you has something that's invading their mind. Maybe another psychic like me, maybe a demon. At any rate, because of your connection, whatever is messing with her mind is affecting yours as well.
( I suppose that makes sense.
( Let's have a look-see.

A moment passes. I have to wonder if he's in some sort of booze trance.

( ............Looks like the voice you've been hearing is a girl in Shibuya.
( That's what I figured.
( You rescued me, now it's my turn to help you. Perhaps there's something I can do about this. I'm going to go ahead to Shibuya. You should come as soon as you can. If your minds are connected it will make a prognosis a lot easier to have you nearby.

...and he's gone.

While fighting the demons here in Shinjuku now, I notice they're not as dangerous as the ones in Shibuya, even without the Mesian patrols trying to keep a lid on things. The place may not be as safe as it once was, but it's still not nearly as bad as out there.

*: Before I go, I hit the Armor shop to modernize Kaneda's equipment. With all the fighting in Shibuya, I've made over sixty thousand Makka, and it'll cost about a tenth of that to bring Kaneda's stuff on par with mine. His defense is finally high enough that I don't have to hide him behind Yakshini.

At last, I warp back to Shibuya and fight my way to Kei's cell again.

( I had gathered that. What kind of help does she need, exactly?
( Someone, or something, has burrowed into the deepest recesses of her spirit. In order to free her, whatever it is has got to go. In thanks for saving me, I'll use my psychic powers to astrally project us into her mind. Let's go on in!
( Okay... Do I have to-


( -do anything... uh.
( ...Eh? Something's odd here... there's like a... a black mist floating in the ether around the center of her soul...
( Can you tell what it is from here?
( I can't do it! I'm too afraid to go any further! Sorry, but you'll have to go it alone from here.
( That's quite alright. It's the least I can do for her.
( Be careful, though! While at the moment you're just an astral projection, if you die here, so does your body back in the real world!
*: !!!
( What is it?
*: N... never mind! Carry on!
( I'll wait for you here where it's safe. After all, if I die, you're stuck here for good!

The thought of our bodies rotting alongside Kei's in that awful cell crosses my mind.

( If you want to go back to the real world, come on back and I'll take you out.

First thing we meet inside Kei's mind? Lilim! I did not expect that.

And then?


Dang, girl's kinky!

( Hey baby, wanna get metaphysical?
>The demon is ignoring you.
( I'm Francois. If you've been here a while, I'm sure you know about me already.
( Oh, so you're Francois. Now I'm interested...
( So, uh, is there currency around here or something? I'm not sure how that works.
( Instead of money, I give you terror! Here I come!

Lv33 Kijo Lamia
Lamia was a Libyan queen who fell in love with Zeus. Zeus' wife Hera didn't care for that, so she transformed her into a half-woman half-snake monstrosity, then killed her children; she also made her unable to close her eyes, so she couldn't sleep and therefore couldn't stop thinking about her dead children. Zeus, ever the kind and benevolent god, brought a measure of comfort by changing her back to... Haha, yeah, right! No, he just gave her the ability to REMOVE HER OWN EYES AND THEN PUT THEM BACK IN SO SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO SEE ALL THE TIME. What a sport! Anyway, Lamia kind of got fucked up by the whole ordeal and started kidnapping other people's children to drink their blood. Here, she has tons of HP, decent attack, speed and defense, and knows Zio, Raku-kaja, and Charm Bite.

Kijo are powerful females entities associated with war and destruction. They're often of divine origin, or even actual goddesses themselves. They are Neutral-Chaos.


Okay, this guy makes more sense.

Lv24 Yama Nightmare
Originally the nightmare is a (usually female) goblin-type creature that sits on people's chests while they sleep, giving an explanation for episodes of sleep paralysis; the word later evolved into the meaning we give it today. The creepy child with a knife isn't a bad way to depict it, I think. In any case, they are ANNOYING AS FUCK. They are fragile and don't pack much of a physical punch, but their Intelligence is fairly high, and both their Sibabu and Dolminer seem to last incredibly long. They also know Zanma, and have a fair Magic stat to go with it. Nightmares are not particularly dangerous by themselves, but they can put portions of your party out of commission for several later battles.

*: We run into seven Pishasha, and a botched conversation leads to them summoning an eighth, officially making them the biggest random group so far. A bit later we meet Lemures and several Yaskhini (!).


*: They hurt us so bad that I have to return Lilim to the computer for her own protection, and after three rounds Kaneda casts Torafuri to get us out of there. Wow.

Lv35 Datenshi Orobas
Orobas is a Great Prince of Hell, commanding twenty legions of demons. Appearing in the form of a horse or of a man, he answers truthfully to questions asked about events of the past, present and future, and can cause one to find favor among his enemies and friends. He is also said to be very loyal and protective towards whoever summons him. Here, he is a raw, mighty brute, with lots of HP, attack and defense. He also knows Taru-kaja, Taru-nda, and Plinpa.

I replace Lilim with Atsuyu; I haven't seen enemies use fire yet, and I want to take it for a test drive anyway.

A little further, we're attacked from behind by two more Orobas. I'm a little surprised that this is the first time I've been ambushed.

...Holy crap, it's not an ambush, I don't lose a round. It's just that my battle order is reversed. Rusalka is so screwed.

No, wait, I can spend my hero's round to reorder my party anyway. False alarm. We beat them.

I just realized that Atsuyu got Bound by a Nightmare the first round I had him, and he's stayed that way for the last several fights. What a useless lump. He better be damn amazing once he recovers, otherwise he's getting fused posthaste.

Okay, he's back.

...he gets Bound by another Nightmare right away. Oy! Then he gets put to sleep, and a Zanma takes half his HP away. Worst. Demon. Ever.

We meet a lone Apsaras. Huh. I hire her for a Magic Stone; I think I have something in mind for her. And maybe I'll need her to heal soon, because Rusalka's MP is running low and I'm not sure Elf will be up to the task for long once she's called in.

I find a crew of Man-Eaters, and while I try to avoid a fight as usual, she tries to intimidate me, and I glower at her.


Okay, that's a first.


We get a surprise round. Wow!


Huh... Is this a memory of hers?
( Oh my god! If that's true, then... ...Aaaargh!


( I'm still here. I'll do it again.
( I wasn't scared though. I had known for a long time that you were going to save me. I just knew it...

*: That happened in a little room with two exits, but it returns me back the way I came in every time. It won't let me reach the other side. Hmm.

A little further, down another path, we run into four Nightmares, and everybody gets bound except for me. I luck out and put them all to sleep with my rifle, twice. When that's done, I replace Rusalka and Atsuyu with Elf and Momunofu. And then we get mauled by some Furiae after half my party gets Paralyzed by Man-Eaters.


How far in am I, exactly?



...I need to get out of here.

I eventually reach the other side of the memory room, through another passage, and it boots me backwards from there too. Turns out the entire outer perimeter of the area loops back to the beginning, with several points of entry towards the center. I was worried I'd have to go the long way back to get out, but I just had to press forward a bit.

Just before we get back to Psycho Diver, five Orobas show up.


*: I spare no expense to kill these assholes. I even use Kaneda's new Maha-Zanma to excellent effect. I have to summon Apsaras to patch up what's left of us, but we kill them. Man that felt good.

( Let's just say this is a temporary setback.
( All right then, we're leaving her mind.

( It's only a matter of time before the demons in this girl's soul break down the last of her defenses and completely possess her body. They need to be defeated as soon as possible.
( Yeah, I know. It's just... Soon. Very soon. You hear that, Kei? I'll be back before you know it.

Dammit. I hate leaving her like this, but I'm no use to her if I die in there. I can't take any chances. I'll regroup, and then come back.



Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 02, 2011, 11:17:39 AM
*: Fair warning: I don't make progress in this update. It's all post-mortem and preparations. I personally love to read this sort of mechanical stuff so I figured I shouldn't skip it, but your mileage may vary.

Okay, so. Given that I have the best equipment money can buy, and that levels provide exactly one stat point each, I can only reach the conclusion that grinding isn't gonna solve all my problems.


It's time for a debriefing.

-Yakshini is my best ally right now. She hits hard, Sexy Dance is still incredibly useful, she can heal in a pinch, she's cured poison a couple of times, and she keeps the other Yakshini out of our hair. She stays.
-Rusalka's still a good healer, but she takes way too much damage and the only other thing she can do is cast Marin-Karin, which is a hit to her MP in a situation where lasting power is critical. I can't blame her: she's level 18. That she's even of any use at all by now is miraculous. However, there are occasional groups of Rusalka in Kei's mind, and I really don't want to have to deal with them. She stays.
-Atsuyu's pointless. He's got less HP than Rusalka and doesn't have much more defense, his magic defense is horrible, and he doesn't hit as hard as Yakshini. He probably has some elemental resistance or other to justify his level, but the only elemental attacks I have to deal with right now are Lamias' Zio and Furiae's weak-ass Wing-Flap. If I can't fuse him into something decent, I'm going to fire him.
-I overestimated Momunofu's effectiveness. He was deadly when I was fighting seven of him and half of them buffed the other half, but alone he doesn't have the power or the durability I require from a fighter-type. He's got to go, though I should be able to rank him up soon. Lessee... Yeah, the next Youki is level 34, which is about 2000 EXP away. I'll drop by Rag's shop and get an appropriate Seirei, then see how it goes.
-Elf is on the fragile side, but she hits hard for a spellcaster and her magic is very good. Unfortunely, Zionga costs 9 MP and she only has 110 to begin with, so it doesn't leave much for healing. I'm thinking I could fuse her, but on the other hand I might keep her in my pocket and unleash her on whoever the boss is.
-I don't care much for Apsaras as such, but the next Youma is also level 34, so I'll rank her up as well. An Aeros will do... and I can get that by fusing Elf and Rusalka! Those shouldn't be too difficult to recruit again. I think that's a plan.
-Lilim's easily my second most valuable ally; both her skills are always welcome, she can spend her massive MP on Bufula with no regrets, and there are lots of other Lilim around. She definitely stays.
-...hey, wait, that's only seven. I already have a free slot! Wow!

As far as recruiting goes, getting a Nightmare on board will be a priority. (Fortunately, Yama are Neutral-Chaos, so I'm glad that's even in the cards at all.) I cannot afford to have half my party sleeping or bound at any given time, and if I can use him to disable Lamia or Orobas, so much the better. Other than that, Orobas itself is out of reach for now, but if I have space to get my own Lamia as well, I think I'm in business. I might pick up a Dwarf too, just on account of how robust they are, but that's lower on the list.

Finally, I've had some trouble with Man-eaters causing Paralysis. Kaneda knows Parala-Di, but if he's the one afflicted then I have a problem. I'll stock up on items to remedy to that.

Alright, enough planning. First stop: Jakyou Mansion.

The only things I'm willing to spend on Atsuyu turn him into either a Slime (bah!) or...

Lv44 Youjuu Tamamo
Tamamo-no-Mae is said to have been a young woman of extraordinary beauty and intelligence, who served as Japanese Empereror Konoe's favorite courtesan sometime in the middle of the 12th century. One day, Emperor Konoe fell gravely ill. Many priests and fortune-tellers failed to find a cause for this illness, but an astrologer revealed to him that Tamamo-no-Mae was actually a nine-tailed fox working for an evil warlord and that she was the one making him sick (though Tamamo herself was supposedly kind). Tamamo-no-Mae ran away, but the Emperor sent warriors after her, one of which eventually killed her. Her body became a stone that killed anyone who touched it, until a Buddhist priest convinced her spirit to depart in peace; apparently one can still see this stone in the town of Nasu. It's hard to evaluate her abilities without comparing her to something, but given her very appropriate choice of spells, she's clearly a support spellcaster first.

Very nice, but far out of my league. I did say I needed one level anyway, so I'm gonna try to get a Dwarf to join me in the meantime; maybe a Chirei will make it into something I can use. If that doesn't work, then fuck him assways.

Before I leave to get my EXP, I fuse Elf and Rusalka (two Yousei) into Aeros. That way I start working on getting one back right away, and if negotiations turn sour, then hey, extra EXP.

So yeah, I do have to grind a little. But in Shibuya, I'm dominating enough that I can let the auto-combat do the heavy lifting most of the time, so it's basically painless.

...surprisingly, Atsuyu starts justifying his existence by dealing interesting amounts of damage with his Bash and Bite skills. Unfortunately that's against the Shibuya demons, who don't kill him in two hits. He's still fragile. Too little, too late.

Dang, both a Rusalka and an Elf literally throw themselves at me. So yeah, my Aeros was free, but I won't be able to hire a Dwarf until I level up and make some room. Oh well!


Woo, level 34, at last!

Aeros + Apsaras =
Lv34 Youma Isora
A Shinto god of the seashore, somehow related to the Azumi. It's got immense HP, good MP, and surprisingly high Speed, and therefore makes a decent healer and tank. Its attack power is merely decent, but it can hit several times, and it knows Zionga on top of that.

With my new empty slot, I warp to Shinjuku and drop by Rag's place. I give him my only Onyx, one of my three Amethysts, and one of my two Opals, in exchange for...

Lv8 Seirei Earthies
An elemental spirit of the Earth. It has buff spells and passable defense, even now, but let's face it: at face value, it's garbage. You only want him around long enough to fuse him to something else.

Speaking of which...

Earthies + Momunofu =
Lv34 Youki Phurski
Phurski (or Purski) is another name for Airavata, the flying white elephant who serves as steed for the Hindu rain god Indra. His task is to plunge his seven trunks deep in the waters of the underworld, and spray it into the clouds, where Indra transforms it into life-giving rain. He's a tough customer, a wee bit stronger than Yakshini, with lots of HP and okay MP. He knows Zanma and Diarama, though his Magic stat is only average; he's mostly remarkable for his Bind Voice skill.

Now we're playing with power. Both Phursky and Isora have a high CP, but I've had so many groupies throwing their magnetite panties at me in Shibuya that the stuff's coming out of my ears by now. (Haha, I'm kidding. Rusalka clearly don't wear panties and Lilim are in leotards.)

And looking at the fusion chart in the manual, fusing a Youjuu (like Atsuyu) to a Chirei (like Dwarf) will give me a Youki, which means either a Phurski or another Momunofu. I kind of wish I had thought of that before trading at Rag's, but eh, whatever, I've futzed around for too long already.

So I'm keeping Atsuyu around, but only until I get a Nightmare to fill my last slot. Right afterwards, with any luck it's gonna be goodbye useless green cow, hello nekkid snake lady.

Before I forget, I drop by the Junk shop to pick up eight Dis-Paralyze. They're 50 a pop, and I just broke the 100000 Makka mark.

I'm ready to go back to Kei. My starting party is Yakshini (for beatin' and charmin'), Isora (for healin' and tankin'), and Lilim (for charmin' and sleepin'), and I've got excellent backups for all of them.

We're coming for you, asshole, whoever you are.

Next time.

( Wait, that's it? I don't even get a line?
*: Actually, you get two.
( Huh? What's the... oh. Haha.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 04, 2011, 03:46:47 PM

*: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

In the second encounter...


*: He asked for stuff like six times, but it amounted to about 500 magnetite and 3000 makka. Small change!

In the next few encounters, I run into 18 Nightmares total.

It's the full moon.

I have to slaughter all of them.

By the time the waning moon comes around, everyone is bound except Isora.

A bit later, an Apsaras drops Tomoe's Naginata, a female-only weapon that's not nearly as good as the Lotus Whip.

A Lamia insists on joining me, but my party is full. Hmm. I'm thinking about getting rid of Elf so this won't happen again, but the girl's got tons of MP and I can't afford to just throw them away. I summon her for healing instead of Isora, and replace Lilim with Phurski. Once she's out of MP, I'll let her go.

I thought there were several paths into the central area, but it turns out all of them were dead ends, except one. Well, that last one's also a dead-end, but it's also a teleporter.


For a moment I mildly freak out because I figure it sent me to another floor, but no, it's a different area on the same floor. Whew! Relief!

On the other hand, teleporters. Oh crap. Can I even go back to the exit now? I want to turn back and check if it's two-way, but by the time I think of it, I really don't want to backtrack. I gotta forge on ahead. I will never be more ready to do this than I am now, so screw retreat.

( I'm getting closer, Kei. Hang on!

*: We run into tons of Lilim, Nightmares and Yakshini. I don't know how'd I go through this without them on my side.

Another teleporter takes us to a new part of the pink area.


I wonder if the map design is supposed to look sort of like the folds of a brain. It'd make sense, given that we're inside a mind and all.

Aaaand back to the blue again. I'm getting closer.

( This is... This is Kei as a child!
( You were born specifically to become the Messiah that will save this torn and sundered world. It is your destiny to become the Messiah and lead the people in the name of God. Like it or not, that is the path that you must follow...

So Kei was raised to be the Messiah? It doesn't make sense, she fought Thor at my side!

Maybe this isn't really a memory, maybe it's just some Mesian brainwashing or memory implant that happened after the war. I don't know why they'd pick her to be the Messiah, though.

*: And finally...


This should be it.

I'm surprised that Elf still has half her MP left. Daaaang, the girl earned her keep. She can stay. I even have Kaneda restore some of her MP with his Makatora spell (costs 10 MP, restores 10 MP to someone else) so she can Zionga whoever comes next.

All things considered, we're in spectacularly good shape. The real threats came from large groups of Kelpies, Lamias and Orobas, and whenever things were starting to get even slightly out of hand, I had Kaneda use Torafuri. It's costs 2 MP, and it's not like he hasn't had it for a while.

That's where the game's balance strikes me as even more impressive. The escape spell is incredibly useful, and not in a way that breaks the game; if I used it for every encounter he'd run out of MP before long.

Alright. I still have Phurski, Yakshini and Elf out, and my other allies are in tip-top shape. Let's get this ordeal over with.

( What. The. Fuck.

*: Okay, that's all kinds of wrong.

( But... uh... never mind that. I'm Francois. And I don't care who you are, I'm not about to let you keep hanging butt-webs all over my girlfriend's head.
( Humans? Well, that's certainly not what I expected. I was just about to get this girl under my complete control. I won't let you interfere at the moment of my triumph!
( I think you underestimate our chances!


*: She opens up with Maha-Zanma, causing 30-40 damage to everyone. That barely dents most of us, but Elf is hurt.

Elf casts Zionga and shocks Arachne, but only deals 4 damage. I use a Hell-Soul (an attack item that casts Agirao), but it also only does 4 damage. Looks like we're meleeing this one.

...Arachne casts Marin-Karin on Francois, the same turn I decide to return Elf and get Isora instead. That does not bode well.

Kaneda gets Charmed as well. Arachne proves she can melee decently too, and she hits up to four times. Ouch. Yakshini dies.  For like five turns, Phurski keeps the three of us alive with his weak Diarama while Francois and Kaneda bonk each other over the head for the love of a naked woman hanging from the ceiling by her anus silk.

Never change, SMT.

Francois snaps out of it, and summons Isora and Rusalka. We're back in business. Man I wish I could cast Marin-Karin on my own allies, but no such luck. I'd need a Patora spell to get rid of Charm, but I haven't seen anyone who knew that since Tetsuo. At least when demons get charmed I can just replace them.

At last, Kaneda returns to his senses just in time to deliver the final blow.

( Eat lightsaber, bitch!


( You gonna teabag this one?
( Ha! I think I'll pass.

*: We both get enough EXP to ding up two levels. Sweet!

Lv? Kijo Arachne
In Greek mythology, Arachne was a weaver of extraordinary talent, who claimed that not even the gods could match her skill. Athena, goddess of, among other things, weaving, took offense at this, and challenged Arachne to a contest. Athena made a tapestry of herself beating Poseidon; Arachne wove an epic tapestry depicting several of the gods' legendary acts of infidelity committed while transformed into animals. Athena was outraged at the subject matter. After all, it was about her buddies and relatives yiffing mortals behind their wives' backs. But she was also jealous of Arachne's work, so she broke her loom and cut up her face and turned her into a spider. You know, you can say whatever about Old Testament-era God, but the Olympians were some grade-A douchebags themselves.

( I'll be right along! Don't go anywhere!


*: There's a nearby teleporter that brings us back to the an earlier pink area, but we're not quite to the exit already.

...I thought I'd have to fight my way out, but all the demons are gone! Finally I've done something right! :8D:

( P.Divvy my man, it is time to take us home.
( All right then, we're leaving her mind.

( Thank you ever so much! Goodbye!

( Well, what do you know? Turns out I really would do anything for a pretty face!
( It looks like... I was reborn into this world again. My memories of my past life are all but gone. However, the one thing I remember was you.
( ...but I haven't forgotten. I remember how you saved me. I thought you had sacrificed yourself! And, in a way, that's just what you did.
( My fate is... inseparably intertwined with your own. I must accompany you on your path, wherever it may lead.
( I'm happy to have you back by my side, Kei.
( No matter where you go, I will follow, and be there with you.
>Kei joined the party.

*: Haha, wonderful!

Now let's see if the Mesians are going to let us elope with their Savior.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 06, 2011, 04:59:57 PM
*: So, Kei!


She comes in at level 36, which again matches Francois'. It's a shame I didn't get to choose her stat gains, but it looks like the game upgraded her to keep the balance I had chosen at the beginning. I would not have increased her Luck like that and I probably would have put some of that Intelligence into Stamina because her HP is rather low, but all in all it's not too bad. Her Intelligence gives her an acceptable MP pool for a human and I'm certainly going to put that massive Magic to use.

Speaking of magic, she knows Mapper, Dolminer, Marin-Karin, Makajama, Penpatora (yes!), Posom-di, all Zio spells except Maha-Zionga, Me-Dia, Diarama, Diarahan (!!!) and, as she demonstrated during the nuclear strike, Toraport.

Her equipment is the same as when we last saw her. Her machine gun is on the weak side now, but I can afford to remedy to that soon; I'll probably buy her a SPAS12 like Kaneda's since it's gonna be her main source of damage. Finally, I give her the Lotus Whip, which would make her into a beast if she had higher Strength, but right now is only decent.

I've given some thought to the memory with young Kei and the nun, and from that I figured that when she later said she was reborn, she meant it literally. Her new child self must have been taken in by the Mesians after the war, and they saw in her whatever it is that makes her so special. Or at least that's my theory.

Plus, there's no way that's a fifty year old woman.


Alright, now to escape from Shibuya. I've got to get Yakshini revived, too.

...wait. Kaneda learned Samaricarm after the Arachne fight! It costs 24 MP but that's still a great deal!

Okay, that's taken care of. Let's go.

( Look, I have no doubt Kei's Messiah material, but I don't think she's the one you've been waiting for. Just don't give up yet.

( Huh? Oh, you must have met Psycho Diver on his way back. Yeah, he sure can put away a lot of drinks for such a little dude.

*: We run into Zealots and Temple Knights on our way out, but they don't seem to notice I'm smuggling out their Christ figure. Oh well. Other than that, we can just walk out of the place.

Where to next?

I've heard a lot about Roppongi, but apparently there's some sort of forcefield around the place. It still might be worth checking out. According to Google maps, it's far southeast of Shinjuku. Before we go there though, I want to check out the old city hall, since it should be closer. Hmm.

Well, either way I'm going to Shinjuku first, maybe I can upgrade Kei's stuff. I could warp there, but eh, I'll travel overland, see if I can get a feel for the area, if I missed anything.


Back to Shinjuku, everything is how we left it, except that Psycho Diver is back to his old bar. As far as equipment goes, turns out Kei's armor is still state-of-the-art, except for her Gauntlet, which I upgrade to Cyber Arms. Alright then, we're done here. I hit the Healer's Dojo and the Terminal, and we're away.


It turns out the city hall is inaccessible. Looks like we're off to Roppongi then.

A Fury tries to join me in the desert area between Shinjuku and the old American embassy tunnel, which reminds me that I still haven't fired Atsuyu yet. I don't know what my problem is. Well, that's done.

The tunnel that went under the railway in Yotsuya is gone, but, of course, so is the railway.


On the other side, we meet our first enemy Worms. Still mighty, but still fragile.

Finally, a bit further south...


Well, this about where Roppongi should be, and this strange area here is impassable. It must be the force field. I'll look around some, see if I can find someone to talk to outside.

The enemies around here are the Stonkas, Worms and Cocatrices we've met before, as well as large groups of Bucca-Boo, Furiae and Kelpies. We take some lumps, but I have a great team out. Phurski's Bind Voice is especially effective. I guess having a seven-trunked elephant screaming at you must be a traumatizing experience. We get Bound a bunch too, but Kei's Penpatora is the solution to all my problems.


There's this isolated building just northeast, but it's inaccessible from here; looks like I must be coming from the shielded Roppongi proper to get there.

But just a little southwest...


There's nowhere else I can go; this must be it.


As long as I don't get mauled like in the Meiji shrine, I should be alright.

...actually there doesn't seem to be anyone else in here. And it's just a short U-shaped tunnel leading to a second exit.



That's some foolproof defense right there.

*: I can't get out of the force field, so there's no way to reach the northeast building at the moment, but at least there's somewhere to go inside.

Alright, here we are. Let's see whether this is a refuge for mankind, or a city of the dead.



Wow, haven't seen those in a long time. Huh.

We find a Terminal in a dead end not too far from the entrance, so at least there's a hint of civilization. There are several empty rooms, and... some not so empty!

*: The Black Baron!?


*: Right, probably not.
( They sound like classy guys.
( But I don't get why they act so high and mighty, what with all the time they spend around that little girl...
( Okay, forget I said anything.
( I wonder if they're just dirty old men, molesting her or something!
( Kaneda, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
( God no.
( I meant that we may have just found another injustice to correct!
( Oh! Of course! Yes!
( What did you think Francois was thinking about, Kaneda?
( Haha nothing I'm sure let's go let's go let's go!

( With that forcefield up, the demons can't get in. That's why this place is free of them.
( I hate to point out that sort of thing, but I did just walk in. Either this plan is stupid, or the demons are.
( Okay, that question is settled.

That said, other than those Bodyconians earlier, we still haven't had to fight anything. Hmm. Maybe things aren't so bad here after all.


I am the Chosen One. All right. Let's dance!


( I really didn't expect it to be this nice in here.

( That I'll believe when I see it.

*: The bartender here has pre-war drinks.

( This is Roppongi. It's an oasis of peace within the violent land that is now Tokyo!

( I bet she ain't having so much fun.
( Her name was... Kei, I think that was it.
( Wait, what?
( Poor kid's been possessed by a demon. They had to lock her up, otherwise she'd go on a rampage and tear up the place. I feel sorry for her, but there's not much else they could do about it.

Are they somehow talking about our Kei? I doubt it. Maybe it's Kaneda's Kei. Or some other Kei? Now I really need to find out what's going on.

*: In the back room of the disco...


( ...!
( That's... That's Kei! My Kei! She... She's alive! It's a miracle! But... why hasn't she aged? She looks exactly the same as she did before, but thirty years have passed since then! How could this be...
( Kaneda... Is that you, Kaneda? Kaneda! You're alive!
( Kei! Kei! I...
( No! Stay away! Don't come near me!
( What's going on? What's with that story about you being possessed?
( Even though I look the same, I'm... not. I didn't survive the bomb. I died in the blast. I know, it doesn't look like it. This town is nothing but a town of corpses... the dead, reanimated and kept alive by the Red Count and Black Baron.
( Dammit! I knew it was too good to be true.
( I, too, was one of the revived, turned into a Bodyconian.
*: That explains the earlier encounter. Bodyconians are artificial bodies powered by the souls of the dead.
( But unlike the others, my memories of my life as a human remain... That's why they've locked me up in here. Since I'm a Bodyconian, I cannot die, and am trapped like this...
( Is... is there anything we can do?
( Soul Incense... If only I had some Soul Incense, I could be freed. Please, kill me...
( I... Hmm.

Kaneda's not saying a word. Poor guy. I don't know what to say either. Of all the horrible things we've seen so far...

*: I think Soul Incense is a rare item that casts Samaricarm. I don't have one, but Rag will trade them for diamonds, and I do happen to have one of those.

Well, I think the best thing to do first is to ask around about an alternative solution.

( We can't help you right now, Kei, but if there's a way, we'll find it. And... and if that's what it comes down to, I have the means to do as you asked. So don't worry. We're all here for you now.

In any case, I may not have the first clue about freeing the dead from an eternity of misery stuck in a mockery of their old lives, but if I've proven anything by now, it's that I know a thing or two about kicking the ass of tyrants.

Whatever comes next, someone's paying for this.

*: Next time, we finish exploring Roppongi!

And just for fun, here's an approximation of the path we've traveled these past few episodes. That I can even do something like this is surprisingly cool; I can only imagine how I'd feel about it if I was actually from Tokyo myself.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 08, 2011, 06:15:58 PM
We leave the disco and continue exploring Roppongi.

( ...

*: We find Weapon, Armor and Junk shops tucked away in a little corridor, but...


( Err... Hello? Anyone? I've got more money than common sense, somebody sell stuff at me! Come on! Capitalism ho and all that!

Nope, there's no one here. All the shops are empty. This isn't going anywhere, let's go.

*: There are stairways up and down, as well as an elevator that goes from B1F to 3F. I'll keep checking out the ground floor first, as usual.

This is just creepy. Other than the disco, and a few rooms near the entrance, the place is deserted. It's not even ruined, you can see the buildings are intact on the overworld. But there's nobody. Not even demons., wait.


*: Okay, someone turned up the creepy dial.

( I'm... well... I'm from Kichijoji, I guess. My name's Francois.
( Hey, hey, Mister Francois, do you like this town?
( It's... quiet. That's a nice change, I suppose.
( I want a friend. Will you be my friend? Pleeeease?

*: :ohshi~:

( Err... Ssssssure, why not?

*: :ohshi~::ohshi~::ohshi~:

( You know, this town, Mister Red and Mister Black made it for me!

She must have been the little girl we've heard about. It wasn't Kei.

( Oh! I know! You should meet Mister Red! I'll tell him to let you in!
( That's awful nice of you, Alice. Thank you!


*: Okay, that's the ground floor done. Let's check out the basement next.

Two steps in, we run into a trap that poisons me, Isora and Kaneda. It's not a big deal, Kei can cure us, but if there are many more of those, it might become a problem. I use one of the five Amulets I bought in pre-war Shinjuku; they're supposed to prevent damage from "Damage Zones".

And it works. There's a white flash when you run into a trap, but they don't have any effect.

I find a Gushing Jar in a chest. I don't know what it does, but I don't think it's the Pot I heard about because you can get Gushing Jars at Rag's place.

The next chest I find...



I freak out for a moment, even more when I notice my party now has less max HP than current HP. Did that chest reduce our maximum? But no, it... overhealed us. Wow.

Another chest explodes. I'm not even sure what happened exactly.


We lost a bunch of health, but now everyone has more MP than their maximum. What a weird-ass place.

There aren't even any demons here, just traps, chests, and trapped chests. This is bizarre. I'm spending magnetite for nothing, but I don't dare return my summons just in case I get jumped by something.


This isn't a random encounter. A small room has this one Corpse in it.

Is this... is this raw material for the Bodyconians?

( Oh, it's... very nice, sir.
( Everybody here lives happily, just like they did before all this troublesome mess started.

*: Somehow I look at this guy and think of Morgan Freeman, soothing voice and all.

( The Red Count and I initially rebuilt this town for Alice, but the others here enjoy it as well, so it turned out quite well for everyone!
( You've managed to create the coziest little nook in all the wasteland. Keep up the good work!

In reality I am just getting more and more creeped out, but I don't see a point in antagonizing the man. Yet.

*: In any case, we're done on this floor.


On my way to the elevator, I run into many more traps. It's a good thing the Amulet lasts until I leave the floor.

Okay then, 2F. There's another poison trap, so I use another Amulet. It's a good thing I'm rich, those cost me like 5000 yen a pop.

( I wonder how much it's worth?

I need to get my hands on that jar.


*: A door in front of a 2x2 room in the middle of the floor. I bet the jar's in there. I have no idea how to get in, though.

Anyway, I find a Speed Incense and nothing else. We're done here.


Now for the third floor.

There doesn't seem to be floor traps here, though I find another chest that trades my HP for MP. Half my team are competent healers, so I don't worry about it.

( Huh?
( Oh, err, thank you!
( Mistress, you have my deepest apologies, but I have direct orders not to let anyone in.
( You won't listen to me!? No! No! No! No! NO! NO!
( Geez.
( Ah...... Very well, please wait here while I look inside.

A moment passes.

( The Red Count says that he will see you. Please, go in.
( Isn't that great!
( That guy sure knows who the boss is.
( OK, I'll go on ahead, I'll see you later!


*: We're in a large room with four small rooms at the other end. One holds a Strength Incense, two are empty. The fourth...

( To be honest, she wanted us to meet you as well. Though I do enjoy the opportunity.
( She's quite a lovely girl, that Alice.
*: ...
( We built this town and put a forcefield around it so that she could live in freedom, without the fear of being attacked by demons. Bringing that girl happiness is my one true joy. That's all I want in this world.

Did these guys reanimate all these dead people so Alice wouldn't feel lonely?


( There are less noble goals out there, I suppose.
( Now, I apologize, but I am an extremely busy man. If you'll please excuse me...

He leaves.

( Mister Red is pretty busy, you know.

Busy with what, I wonder?

( Hey, hey, can I ask you a question?
( Sure thing, kid.
( You know, I'd like a Hiranya. Hey, can you buy me a Hiranya?

*: I'm not sure what a Hiranya is. One guide's item list says it restores HP and MP for one party member, so I guess it's sold at the Healer's Dojo and I just forgot about it.

In any case, it probably would be wise to remain in Alice's good graces, and I'm still rich, so I might as well say yes.

( No problem, Alice. I'll go get one right away!
( Yaaay! I'm so happy! Come back with one soon!
( Alright, see you!

( You're leaving? Good bye.

That did not go the way I expected it to. Might as well go back to Shinjuku, and get a Soul Incense from Rag's while I'm there.

*: ... Okay, so it turns out I was thinking of "Hamaya", not "Hiranya"; the former is a Hama item. There is a HP/MP restoration item, but it's an Omikuji, which is something else entirely. Hmm. I'll hit the other healers and stores here.

Oh, so the Junk store has them. That's funny, I could swear they didn't have them before. Well, there we go. I stop by the Temple of Gaia to stock up on Amulets. Everything is much cheaper in Makka than it was in Yen; Amulets are just 480 now. Nice.

Finally, I get a Soul Incense for Kei, then return to the disco in Roppongi. I kind of want to walk there and get some magnetite from the overworld encounters, but I've got an unusually large amount of MP right now and I don't want to spend any of it on easy random battles if I can help it.

In any case, I don't have a clue regarding Kei. We haven't met anyone who knew of her, or of anyone like her. I guess the Incense is the only way.

I'll give her what she wants.

Wherever it is she's going to next, it can't be worse for her than what she's got here.


I unwrap the little cube of precious incense.

( Are you sure you want to go through with this?

She nods.

I almost let Kaneda do us the honors, but he doesn't look like he could handle it.

*: The Law theme is playing. I've always liked it, but I don't think it has ever felt more genuine than now.

I light it up.


( Kei! Kei! Are you alright? What's going on?

*: Her sprite starts flickering.

( Thank you. Now I can finally die.
( ...
( I feel... at peace right now.
( Kei... I wanted to see you once more... But... not like this...

*: And that's it. We're returned to the corridor behind the disco. Going back to the cell reveals nothing of further interest.

I'm now Neutral-Lawful. A quick trip outside reveals that my icon is very slowly spinning to the right, so I can't be too far in. Looks like I'm going to deliver some nasty beatdowns to Law monsters in the near future, and be unusually chummy with the Gaian chumps. Turns out the Chaos demon I have (Lilim) remains summoned, and Neutral-only Kamudo's Sword doesn't jump off my hand or anything, which is nice.

I could get the Plasma Sword off Kaneda. I'm not that much of a dick, though. I just euthanized his girlfriend, I'm not about to take away his lightsaber too.

Maybe the Count and Baron did all this for the happiness of a little girl, but that doesn't excuse what I just had to fix. Let's get that Hiranya to Alice and hope we learn something interesting.

*: We return to the Red Count's office on the third floor.

( Hey mister, have you brought what I wanted?
( Ye're darn tootin', missy!
( Hooray! Thank you!
( Glad to be of service.
( Hey mister, I have another question for you.
( What is it?


I knew this was going too well.

( What? No!! How could you even ask such a thing?

( Mister Red, listen! That big boy was so mean to me!
( There, there. What's the matter Alice?
( You see, *sniff* I... *sniff* ...asked the big kid... *sniff* to die... *sniff*... But he wouldn't do it!! *sniff* Waaaah! I wanted to be with him forever! Waaah! I asked him nicely! Waaah!

Holy shit, she wanted me to die so I could join the rest of the immortal zombies in here! That's so fucked up!

( Finally, a voice of reason!
( Mister Red will see to it that you get your wish!
( Wait, what?!


( Oh shit!


( Huh?


Way to keep your one weakness in your basement, free for any idiot to take, Belial. Demons are idiots.

*: So the Gushing Jar really was the rumored Pot, then.

( Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!...


What the hell?

( YOU! You should be dead!
( Though still, it's not right to make a little girl cry like that.
( Don't start talking to me about what's right.
( By the way, I'd like to take that jar you sealed Belial in off your hands, if you wouldn't mind. It's dangerous for you to be toting that thing around. Give it to me, I'll take care of it.


( Like hell, bitch! You want a maou-in-a-jar, you get your own!
( *sigh* Why won't you listen to reason?


( There we go. Just give it over to me. Thanks, I'll take it from here!





Timesplitters Future Perfect: The Dammits (

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 12, 2011, 03:05:10 AM

( Let's... let's get out of here, guys.

We can hardly move, but we manage to drag ourselves out of the Red Count's apartments.

Or... nearly out.

( I didn't do crap! I just refused to die! Is that so hard to understand?
( You have just crushed the meager dreams of a little girl under the heel of your boot!
( I'm sure there's another little girl who would have liked to have her dreams fulfilled, but you cursed her and put her in jail!
( Belial and I... We only wanted to see her happy.
( Are you even listening to me, you monster?
( That's why we gave her eternal life... so she would never have to stop smiling...
( But in order to do that, how many people did you have to kill!? How many souls did you have to imprison!?
( Them? So long as they remain here, they get to live eternally, in peace and tranquility!

That almost sounds tempting, but... not this way.

( Eternally...

*: The music suddenly changes from the Chaos theme to the battle theme.

( Indeed! I shall give you the same gift, that of eternal peace and tranquility!
( Ah! Look out! Get back!




*: Holy shit these hands are some nightmare fuel.

( Kaneda!!
( Hmph, only one then? Very well, I suppose. The soul of Kaneda is mine now.
( Let him go, you bastard!

I still can't move! Aaaaaargh! Dammit!

*: The Black Baron leaves with Kaneda.

After him!


*: Well, looks like we're exposed to random encounters again. I hope this one isn't too tough, we're all still bound.

...whew, Isora takes one hit, then Kei shrugs off Yuriko's spell and casts Penpatora. We're back.

Lv23 Akuryou Larvae
"Larva", aside from its modern meaning in biology, is Latin for "mask"; in a mythological context, the word apparently designates either the same ghostly entity as "lemure", or a closely related one. They've got unremarkable stats, and know Death Touch, Sibabu, and Devil Sm(ile?), the latter of which I have no idea as to what it does.

*: My goal is probably the basement, but I'll check out the mysterious door on the second floor to see if Belial's sealing affected it any. On the way there, we meet Man-eaters, more Larvae, and large groups of Baykok.


Heck yeah!

( Dang, that must have sucked!
( ...
( ...
( Okay, okay, just this once, I apologize.
( He's gathering souls here, and turning them into energy. It's only a matter of time before my soul gets turned into energy too! Help me!
( Don't worry, we're getting there real soon!

( My body should be somewhere in town. My unconscious body is being controlled by the Black Baron like a puppet. Unless you defeat him, I'll probably be confined here forever...
( That bastard! Sit tight, Kaneda, we're gonna take real good care of him.

*: I go back to the elevator and return straight to the basement.

*: I took the battle screenshot, but ghost-type enemies tend to flicker and I caught a frame that didn't show it.

Lv29 Akuryou Phantom
A synonym for ghost, coming from the French "fantôme". Yeah. It has caster stats, but very little MP. I think it's the first we see of Tentarafu, which is a powerful and unusual spell in that it inflicts panic and causes a sort of magic damage which is affected by panic resistance. It's a better Plinpa, and is the only upgraded ailment spell.

And then, after hordes and hordes of Pishasha...

( I think you'll understand if I want to do for my friends what you would do for Alice.
( Well, I hate to disappoint you, but he is already dead, and his body is no more.
( ...!
( Though I must say, having you come straight to me certainly saves me quite a lot of time! More fresh, healthy young souls for me! Ho ho ho ho ho....


*: We have shitloads of MP, so I don't mind unloading the offensive spells right away. Isora's Zionga isn't too effective but successfully shocks Nebiros, Phurski's Zanma does alright, and Lilim's Bufula is nullified.

Lilim's not gonna be of much use in this battle, but I'm reluctant to part with one of my only two Chaos demons (the other being weak-ass Nightmare).

In any case, both Kei and Isora are faster than Nebiros so there's a good chance we can keep him shocked for the entire battle while Francois, Phurski and Lilim wail on him.

In one round, both Zionga spells miss, and Nebiros gets a hit in. Or rather, three hits, each for over a hundred damage. Yikes!

The very next turn, Lilim uses Charm Bite... and it works. Huh. Then Nebiros... casts Mudo... on himself.

It fails, naturally, but still. I take back what I said about Lilim, she probably just saved somebody's life. The following turns, Nebiros whups his own butt with Maha-Zanma and keeps trying to Mudo himself. The girl's got it going on!

The rest of the fight takes a while, but it's more of the same. We shock him a lot, charm him again once it wears off, and eventually kill the fucker.

Lv? Datenshi Nebiros
Nebiros is the greatest Marquis of Hell, commanding nineteen legions of demons. He bestows upon men knowledge and talent in all arts and sciences, and can restore lost honor and dignity. He appears as a three-headed dog, or a three-headed raven, and may or may not be actually a sort of Cerberus expy.

( We...needed their life energy... to project this illusory town... For Alice... It was all for Alice...

But Alice... Alice was Yuriko all along, wasn't she?

That woman has a hell of a lot to answer for.

( How was what we did wrong? What's wrong with putting everything into pleasing the one you love?
( ...

( Kaneda!
( I am forever indebted to you. Thank you... Now I can continue on to the afterlife...
( Don't talk like that! There's still so much left to do here!
( It is time for me to go. Farewell...

*: Kaneda's spirit disappears... but is immediately replaced.

( You again! Who are you?
( I will carry Kaneda's soul to heaven. Weep not, for he shall serve God in happiness forever.
( ...

They're gone.

Well... He must be with Kei now. I suppose he got what he needed my help for in the first place.


...oh no. Oh crap.

Oh no.

( :;_;:
( I'm sorry for your loss, Francois. He was a good friend, I know it...
( Yeah, he was... but...
( What is it?
( ...

I'm never going to see that lightsaber again, am I?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on February 12, 2011, 07:13:08 AM
Trying to find a sketch on the internet.  It was something like "International House of Terror in 3D" or something like that, just this ridiculous trailer thing for a movie about a haunted IHOP where everyone kept shoving things into the camera like Baron Colored there.  I think it might have been Kids in the Hall, not sure.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on February 12, 2011, 04:47:15 PM
Alice wasn't Yuriko

Alice is Alice

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: LaserBeing on February 12, 2011, 07:05:06 PM
Dr. Tongue's Evil House of Pancakes (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on February 13, 2011, 03:47:26 PM
Aha, it's Second City.  Easy mistake to make!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 14, 2011, 02:31:55 AM
Alice wasn't Yuriko

Alice is Alice

I thought that because Alice suddenly disappeared and then there was Yuriko... Would it be the Alice then? Hmm! I'm so used to looking in the ancient past to identify elements in this game that it didn't even consciously occur to me that it could include such more modern mythology, so to speak.

Dr. Tongue's Evil House of Pancakes (

Okay that just about took the edge off, heheh.

I kind of regret not making a gif of that sequence. The game really doesn't have much animation (therefore being an unusually good fit for a screenshot LP), so those hands took me by surprise in more than one way.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on February 14, 2011, 02:36:40 AM
I think Alice was just some girl who actually lived in Tokyo when the nukes hit. I'm sure EVERYONE ELSE KNOWS THIS ALREADY but she's kind of a recurring character in the series, usually along with Red and Black there.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 14, 2011, 02:57:50 AM
well there probably ain't too many japanese girls called alice but i guess francois don't got no business making a thing of it  :nyoro~n:

I say I'm a fan of the series, and in terms of esthetics and concept that's entirely true, but on a game-specific basis it's more accurate to say I'm mostly a Nocturne/DDS fag because I haven't played SMTII very far (tried the patch when it came out but postponed playing it for reals until I got around to finishing the first game) or any of the Persona games at all. So yeah, given that there's stuff that's perhaps clearer in the light of the games I haven't played, one might say this LP is extra-blind. Blind deluxe, if you will.

Oooh, now I vaguely remember Alice showing up in IMAGINE in some fashion, but that must have been a little after I stopped playing.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on February 14, 2011, 04:02:50 AM
As far as I can tell from some cursory poking around the Internet, she's just a girl in this game. [spoiler](Obligatory Ninja Gaiden reference)[/spoiler]

In later games she shows up as a summonable demon, often with a unique skill called "Die for Me". So do Nebiros and Belial. They really should have a TEAM ATTACK but I doubt that's ever the case.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on February 14, 2011, 05:44:43 AM
You can fuse Nebiros and Belial to get Alice in Persona 4, though, and having them both at the same time in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army leads to a quest chain that lets you fight her (and possibly get her as a demon, I'm not sure).  That... might be all the special things there are for those three.  Still, continuity nods.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on February 14, 2011, 02:01:26 PM
so those hands took me by surprise in more than one way.

If I had a nickel
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on February 14, 2011, 02:35:24 PM
You can fuse Nebiros and Belial to get Alice in Persona 4, though, and having them both at the same time in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army leads to a quest chain that lets you fight her (and possibly get her as a demon, I'm not sure).  That... might be all the special things there are for those three.  Still, continuity nods.

You get requests from "uncle red" and "uncle Black" in Raidou 2
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 15, 2011, 06:13:56 AM
*: We return to the Roppongi main floor. I'll explore it again, though I have no real hope of finding anyone. There are random encounters, so the force field is probably down. That or the demons figured out the *ahem* secret passage.

I suppose the "humans" are gone now that their creators have disappeared, but what the heck, I'll check out the disco anyway. Maybe I can score some free drinks.

( Oh! Huh, hello.


Huh, so the fake souls are still there, but their bodies are now revealed for what they are.

*: Everyone's saying the same things they were before, but they're just Zombies or Lady Zombies, which really makes me feel that allowing Kei to die was the right thing to do. We occasionally fight those, but mostly there are Baykoks and Larvae and all the stuff that flooded the other floors. We get Tentarafu'd by Phantoms more times than I'd like, but it's still not too difficult.

( Just got here, huh? Yyyyyyeah, good luck, buddy.

*: The shops are still empty. I don't know why I had hoped they wouldn't be, but I had to check.


So the force field really is gone. And the intact buildings were an illusion. Oh well.

It feels like any place I go to has a decent chance of being fucked up all to hell by time I leave. All I have to do now is find out where Yuriko is hiding and then exist in close proximity to that area until my luck happens and something blows up.

That, or track her down and spank her until she dies of it.

*: I could go back to Shinjuku to regroup, but I still have way more MP than my maximum so there wouldn't be much of a point. Unless I want to try my luck with the Tengu again, that leaves me with one place to go.


It conveniently opened up when the field came down, so I might as well check it out.


So, a tunnel. It's promising.

*: First two floors don't have much but Roppongi demons, a bunch of dead ends, and down staircases.


I can see on the Mapper spell display that the third floor is not a square, but a winding tunnel. Now I'm getting somewhere.

( I'm glad to see you, but your dramatic death scene is gonna be blunted if you keep popping up like that.
( Come on, I'm speaking to you from beyond the grave while God's got his back turned. Can you stop being a smartass for five whole seconds?
( Yeah, of course, sorry man.
( Within the former police headquarters, there's a small army of robotic police. It's apparently been dormant for years, but someone's activated it again.
( You've got to be shitting me. It's like we're getting the Apocalypse Variety Sampler. What's next, a meteor?
( No, that's alright, I-
( You stay the hell out of this! Seriously!
( Please stop whoever is controlling them! I'm dead and no longer have a body, so I can't do it myself. If you go a little further, you'll run into an intersection. If you turn right at that intersection, you will end up in Ginza. If you keep going straight at the intersection, you will arrive at the former police station. Please, Francois, you're the only one I can ask...
( Yeah, I got this, buddy. Thanks for the directions. Say hi to Kei for me!
( Hi, Kei.
( Wha-
( Hi~!
( Oh.
( Ha!
( Alright, alright, good one. You go back to carving clouds into little baby angel statues or whatever it is you do up there. See you not too soon I hope!

Oh, that Kaneda, what a card.

He didn't tell me what was on the left-hand path though. Lessee...

( Hey, Steven-san! Daaaang, did they outfit you with an adamantium wheelchair or something?

Also he doesn't look thirty years older. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

( Are the programs I gave you helping out?
( You could say that.
( By the way, I bet you find it inconvenient only being able to summon three minions at once, don't you? Wouldn't you like to be able to control more at a time?
( Sure, Gwaelin, that would be swell!
( I thought so. That's why I developed this special upgrade to your summoning program. Let me install it in your computer, and you will be able to summon four minions simultaneously.


( Hey, thanks!
( I'll see you later.

Wait a minute, that's not a software update, he just changed a line in the .ini! What a doucher!

*: Oh hey, this incredible upgrade is in a room exactly one tile inside the one corridor you're not told about.

Anyway, I get Yakshini on board. I have a full party again!

( Heeeey! If it isn't Mr.T! How's wormness treatin' ya, homes?
( I've been training myself, and have gotten a lot more powerful.


I size him up. He's just the one guy and I know he can be shocked and frozen. Might be fun!

( Alright dude, let's have a spar. We can have a little Ryu and Ken thing going on! You can be the cool loner, and I'll be the handsome one with a girlfriend.
( Ha ha, come on, I'm only kidding. I gotta warn you about something though.
( Oh, heh, way to back out of it. But okay, fine.
( This passage here behind me leads to Ikebukuro. But whatever you do, don't go there! I can't tell you why, but I'm telling you this to protect you, so please do what I ask. It's for your own good!

To protect me? There's still a good guy in there.

( I... yeah, okay. I trust you, man. I got other business to take care of anyway, so yeah. I'll see you when I see you!

*: I figure that when SMT bothers to tell me "don't go that way, you's gonna get raped", it means the hell out of it.

So I go back to the intersection and go south towards Ginza. Maybe there's a settlement there. There's an upstairs at the end of the corridor, then more stairs, taking us back to ground level.


Ginza houses several corporate headquarters, but is mostly known for being a very upscale shopping district, for clothes and jewelry and electronics and whatever else rich people need to spend their money on.

Heeeeey, so that's where the rockin' Ginza music belongs. There's a Terminal right in front of the entrance, so yeah, this place is probably civilized. I cannot wait to find shops!

In the meantime, I do find plenty of demons. Yakshini, Phurski, Lamia, Hakai-zo, Baykok, Dwarves...

Lv32 Black Ooze
A glob of incarnate malevolent energy that almost became a demon, but failed to attain any sort of coherent shape or true intellect. Their stats are mostly awful, but their above-average Strength and Stamina coupled with a colossal 450 HP means that they are kind of a bitch to kill. They're weak to electricity, but even then, casting enough Zionga on them to kill them takes a lot of MP. Since they seem quite susceptible to Bind, I usually set up a thing where Phurski uses Bind Voice and everybody else uses physical attacks, and then hit the Autobattle function. Like the Slimes, they know Death Touch, but they also have a Venom Breath skill that causes damage and inflicts poison.

Lv36 Yousei Hobgoblin
"Hobgoblin" is more or less interchangeable with "goblin", or designates a very similar creature. I don't think there was much of a definite dinstinction between the terms until D&D came along. Here they are fighter-mage types with okay Strength, but their threat comes from their large groups and their ability to buff each other with Taru-kaja and Maka-kaja. They also know Maha-Agion, which can be very dangerous despite their low Magic stat if they've had the time to use Maka-kaja a few times. I could see these buffs coming in really handy for me, so I might get one.

Lv37 Mesian Magus
Some sort of spellcaster affiliated with the Mesian Church, probably named after the Three Magi from the nativity story. They're fairly tough, with high HP and MP, but their stats are all in the 12-15 range, with Magic curiously being the low end of that. They know Zionga and Diarama, but the real worry comes from their Rimudora spell, which sacrifices the caster (only to Dying status) to deal massive damage.

Lv35 Chirei Kwanca
A demon presiding over disease, from the Hindu folklore of Nepal. Not usually a cheery sort, as he serves Shiva (god of destruction) and Kali (goddess of death), but with the right offering and mantra he is said to actually protect people from illness. Sounds like a typical racket to me but what do I know? Here they are white-mage types with okay Strength and just a little too few MP, knowing Hanma, Diarama and Parala-di.

( It was even bigger than the island at the mouth of the Sumidagawa river! I'm serious!

Hmm. That could be the Cathedral.

*: Yikes, a Baykok succeeds on using Mudo on Isora. Goodbye 300+ MP. On a similar note, Kei gains a level and learns Mahanma. Good girl!

The Hakai-zo won't give me the time of day because I'm Lawful, but I attack Magi and other Law demons on sight without a chat in an effort to correct that.

A Phurski gives me a Tokkosho (73/3, hits once), a sort of stout club with a short blade at the tip, wielded by some Buddhist guardian deities. It's strong, but it can only be equipped by Chaotic males and I probably won't get to use it.

( But you know, to me it really looks like nothing more than a power struggle. I think they're just rallying for support to make taking over easier!
( That would be consistent with their actions so far, yes.

( Yyyyyeah...
( Nobody knows for sure, but there's a rumor going around that the island actually floated there from somewhere else. Now where it floated from -- that's a good question!

( As to what it is though, that's anyone's guess.

*: The Kusanagi-no-tsurugi is a possibly-mythical sword, part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan along with a mirror and a jewel; one might say it's the Japanese Excalibur. Legend has it that storm god Susano-o found it in the corpse of the demonic serpent Yamato-no-Orochi (a tale familiar to those of you who have played Okami) and offered it to his sister Amaterasu, probably to apologize for the cave mishap that ended with Ame-no-Uzume's antics. Even today it is said to actually exist, but since it's supposed to only be shown in a closed ceremony when a new emperor takes the throne, it is likely that only the imperial family and their close retainers know the truth of it.


( Apparently, a demon summoner from Shinagawa saw them with his own eyes!

( Ueno's just north of here, but since the destruction of Tokyo, the very landscape has changed so that you can't get there as easily as before. I've heard that you can get there via Ikebukuro, but is that ever one long shortcut! Talk about a detour!
( ...
( Were you going to say something?
( Useful information! I'm moved to tears!



For a while I was getting worried my colossal fortune would not suffice to the task of updating my stuff, but no, it's gonna be plenty.

For Francois:
Dark Crown (10/3, +2 Stamina)
Tetrajammer (20/9, +1 Intelligence)
Kishin Gauntlet (7/5, +1 Strength)
Metal Boots (12/0, +1 Speed)

For Kei:
Demoneater Helm (10/5, +2 Strength)
Tetrajammer (20/9, +1 Intelligence)

I have to skip on Haou's Armor (28/8 +2 Stamina), which is Chaos-only. Oh well. On the glove front, I can pick from upgrades that give +1 to Strength or Stamina, but I have to give up the Cyber Arms' +2 Strength. Francois' the tank and he uses a single-hit sword, so it's not too bad, but for Kei's multi-hitting whip, every point of Strength is important and the defense on gloves isn't that significant, so she keeps the Cyber Arms.

For the boots, Kei already has the Sky Heels on sale. The Metal Boots have no evasion, but have a good bit of defense on my old Jet Boots.

Also, apparently dudes get a crown and ladies get a helm, which goes against everything Phantasy Star taught me.

A bit further I find a gun store, which also has some really good stuff: the M249 Mini (68/10, hits 2-8 times, a straight upgrade from the M16), the Browning M2 (72/0, hits 1-8 times, good if your natural accuracy is good) and the Pauza P50 (110/25, hits once, easily the most powerful single-target anything I've seen yet). There are also Blessed Bullets (9, no effect), Cursed Bullets (20, curse effect), Silver Bullets (16, no effect) and Uranium Slugs (25, no effect).

I'm almost tempted to buy Kei the Pauza, slap Uranium Slugs in it and call it a day. Hell, at 20k each I could afford six of them. But I'd have to give up the free multi-hit Sleep effect, which is still useful. Hmm.

Of course, I have very capable ailment-inflicters on my squad right now, and Kei can cast Dolminer for cheap. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Oh wait, girls can't equip the Pauza. In fact all of the new guns are dude-only. What, are there only dong-activated triggers in the future? Bah!

Okay, so. I get a M249 because my Speed's not too hot, and I keep the Nerve Ammo. But I also get a Uranium Pauza because I want to shoot a boss in the face with it. There's a drawback in that it's gonna take up two slots in my very limited inventory, but it just might be worth it.

And I pick up Cursed Bullets for Kei's SPAS12. It might not be a definitive upgrade, but maybe Curse is worth it, I dunno.

Right out of the shop I try my cool new toy on a Dwarf's notoriously soft, tender skull. It does 131 damage. I'm in love.

...Curse Bullets do Curse-type damage, which apparently doesn't work on the likes of Black Ooze and Baykok and who knows what else. Yyyyeah, I'm going back to Nerve Ammo. Or... I'll try Blessed Bullets, see if they're Super Effective or not.

Nope. Back to Nerve.


*: The Law theme is playing. More Fox News? ...Yeah, they're repeating the dead Ozawa broadcast. Man, you'd think the Shinjuku people tore down a statue of the guy or something.

There's a Rag's shop here too. Is the guy franchised?

...oh fuck, there are Oni-Joro here. That's an awful time to learn that Phurski is weak to electricity. I'm suddenly glad this game isn't on the Press Turn system.

Well, we beat them, but it wasn't easy.

( Only the chosen will be saved! Everyone else will die!
( Eh, I wouldn't worry about it. They tried to kill everybody last time, and as we can see it didn't work too well.

*: There's a staircase behind this guy, but we run into more Oni-Joro.

We're running low on MP, Isora and Rusalka are dead, and I haven't found any healers yet. I think it's time to call it a day. I have Kei use Toraport, and I warp back to Shinjuku to lick my wounds and maybe hit the Mansion since I got a few levels just wandering around here. Ginza hits that sweet spot where the fights are often challenging, without having me limping from encounter to encounter in despair and terror. We'll keep exploring it next time! costs 5100 makka to raise Isora from the Dead status, and that's with the Law discount at the church. Daaaaaang. Good thing I'm rich.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 18, 2011, 11:31:52 AM
*: Before going back to Ginza, I hit the Mansion in Shinjuku. I have interesting options, but some of them are Chaos and I don't want to give up useful Neutrals for them, and I can't rely on Law demons too much if I want to neutralize my alignment.

Hmm. There's an option in the Jakyou Mansion I haven't mentioned yet: the 3 demon fusion. There's kind of a good reason for that. I don't know how it works. The manual barely mentions it and the guides I have don't go into any detail.

I wonder if it's similar to Sacrificial Fusion in Nocturne, where a third demon is sacrificed to transfer experience into the newborn... but Nocturne has a system where demons actually level up and I don't see how that would affect things here.

In any case, I fiddle around some, and find an interesting result.

Rusalka + Nightmare + Isora =
Lv37 Youma Watcher
As far as I can tell, these guys are basically Beholders. Maybe. They could also be another name for the Grigori, a race of fallen angels decribed in the Book of Enoch, an ancient Hebrew religious text that is only biblical canon for the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches... but I don't know how those'd fit what we have here, plus fallen angels aren't exactly Law types. In any case, they are okay offensive spellcasters with a good Magic stat and high MP, but their main attractions are their two-hit normal attacks and Petra-Eye, which is a single-target petrification attack. Petrified enemies are basically bound forever, so it's just as good as instant death.

It's a Youma just like the Isora; in fact this is basically a rank up. I considered ranking Isora up with an Aeros (Rusalka + Elf again), but I'd rather give up Nightmare than Elf.


Well, there we are. I gave up two obsolete demons to upgrade Isora (to another Law demon, unfortunately). Not too bad, but when I go back to Neutral I'll have more interesting things to do.

You know, as long as I'm Law-aligned, might as well get as much benefit from it as I can. I go to the Church and buy a Rosary, which is now a very affordable 1500 makka. If I die, Kei can take over until she can drag my body to a healer, but she can't talk to or summon demons. I have massive HP and good defense, but all it'd take is one Baykok getting a lucky Mudo off.

Alright, enough of that, let's return to Ginza. We've still got a fair bit to explore.


I return to the room behind the Gaian propanga dude and climb the staircase behind him. It leads to a tiny square floor with a Gaian Temple and an exit to the overworld.


Hmm! I bet the second floor is divided into sections, each of which has an outside exit, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were controlled by different factions.

...I just realized that when I stopped last time, I was like five steps away from a healer. Oh well!

I go back in through the northwest entrance; there's a Mesian Church near the door. Yup, factions.

( Shinagawa is the the south. Go there, and visit the Head Church of Mesia!
( Thanks for the info. But... Err... Hmm. How do I ask this?

What does God need with a starship (

( ...
( Don't be mean to her, you know these types can't handle that kind of question!
( Right, right, sorry. I'm... I'm sure it'll be a very nice starsh... err... Cathedral. Good for you!

*: I hire a Hobgoblin on my way out of the Mesian quarter. I find a down staircase nearby. Hmm, so there's more to this place than I thought.


...much more.

( Holy crap what the... err... I mean, hello! Good day! How's it hangin'?
( Why, you! Just whom do you think I am! You are in the presence of the great Datenshi Leonard! How dare you speak to me so familiarly!
( I don't know, you struck me as kind of down to earth and friendly. For... uh... for a giant horned bat thing with hooves.
( If you have something to say to me, come here!
>Leonard is motioning you to come closer.
( Well... okay.
( I don't think that's such a good idea-
( Look, there's one of him. If he tries anything funny, we can ice him.
( Ha ha ha ha ha! Gullible fool! You're too soft! Taste my power!

*: He gets a suprise round and... hits Kei. I AM NEVER GONNA HEAR THE END OF THAT, AM I.

We do kill him though. You can never trust a god damned (literally) Datenshi, I suppose. Man I hope it's okay to be racist against hellspawn.

Lv39 Datenshi Leonard
Leonardo isn't in the Lesser Key of Solomon; rather, I gather he might be an aspect of Baphomet, the supposed object of worship of the historical Knights Templar. He's a three-horned goatman, overseeing the orgies of demons and transforming his disciples into incubi, werewolves and other monstrous animals. He's fairly strong and durable, with extremely high MP and the Hapilma and Marin-Karin spells. He also knows Sabatmao; I don't know exactly what it does, but it is probably an upgrade of Sabatma (which summons one of your minions into battle so you can do something else with your turn). It costs 20 MP instead of 8, so it must be good.

Coincidentally, the picture I took of Leonard's stat sheet for my own reference is named SMT0666.png.

Lv36 Kijo Taraka
Apparently Taraka was a shape-shifting demon from Hindu mythology, who started ravaging the countryside after a hero transformed her into another sort of demon. Yet another hero tried to kill her, but he was reluctant to kill a woman, so he only cut off her arms, nose and ears. What a gentleman! Here they are fast physical attackers; they know Maha-Zio and Raku-nda, but their Magic stat is feeble. They also have Makatoranda, which is a very effective MP-stealing spell. If I had one I'd probably have her cast Maha-Zio every turn, even if only for the shock effect. I've also learned that they reflect petrifying effects, which would have pissed me off had Watcher been vulnerable to its own gaze.

Lv38 Youki Ibaragi-Doji
There's not a lot of information for this one, but apparently he was one of five oni who were terrorizing the Kyoto area around the year 990. He's a very strong and fast warrior-type, with relatively low defense but high HP. He knows Dolminer, Makajama and Raku-nda, and is definitely a hoopy frood who knows where his towel is.

*: A Lamia drops Brionac (60/20, hits once), a female-only weapon. It'd be cool if I had built up Kei as physical attacker, but right now the Lotus Whip regularly outdamages anyone else in the group so I'd be an idiot to give it up.

( Oh hey, fancy meeting you here.
( I have to say, you're quite the impressive one! You haven't been possessed by any demons yet, despite getting your hands messy in that department.
( Pfft, I'd dare some demon to try to get in my head. Idiots don't have any idea about how messed up it is in there.
( ...
( I'm... just kidding! Ha! Ha ha ha! Ha... Oh boy.
( It appears my judgement of you was right!
( It's that obvious, huh?
( By the way, have you ever wished you could stock more minions?
( Only every moment of every day, from the instant I wake up until I go to sleep!
( Install a Memory Board in your handheld computer, and you can increase the number of minions it can stock.
( Wow, nice!

A few seconds pass.

( So...?
( So what?
( You mean you're not gonna give me one?
( Where would you get such an idea? I'm not made out of Memory Boards.
( :painful:

I leave and come back.

( How are you doing? Have you found a Memory Board yet?
( Sir, I was gone for like five seconds. Are there any just lying around nearby?
( I wonder if perhaps with the scale of the destruction, maybe there aren't any left?

Hmm. Maybe there's some at the police department, if they were building robots.

Lv35 Yama Chulruk
No idea. Some sort of fire spirit, I suppose. Its stats are kind of average, with okay Magic, but it's got lots of HP and amazing MP. It knows Maha-Agi, Mudo, and Maha-Agion, making him into a straight-up fiery death machine.

*: I find some stairs back to the main floor, but I want to finish the basement first. I've found several Incenses yet, so it's worth it even if just for that.

( Not especially... but I like to keep my options open, if you know what I mean.
( 10000 Makka. Cough it up, or no dice.
( Pfft! Blow it up your ass, troll.
( Oh, so you think you can get through here for free, eh?
( It's not like you could stop me, small-time.
( Well now, I guess I'll have to rough you up a little then. Pishasha! Show this punk some manners!
( Pisha... pffffhahahahaha!


*: We destroy them, obviously.

( Hmm, you're not as weak as you look! But I'm just getting warmed up! Next I've got some Baykoks just spoiling for a fight! Think you can beat them?
( Look, I stopped counting how many Baykoks I had to kill just to get here. Heck, I was probably killing Baykoks before you were born. Why don't you just save yourself the expense? This beatdown isn't worth ten grand.



*: Between the nerve ammo and Kei's Makajama, we beat them without too much trouble.

( That's it! Now you've really made me mad! Time to break out the big guns!
( You want to see a big gun? Let me pull my Pauza out of my backpack. Otherwise we're just wasting each other's time.
( You don't stand a chance against my Lakhes!


Oh. Hmm! Okay.

*: They were quick and strong enough to kill Lilim in the first round, but then Phurski, Watcher and Yakshini had a turn and they all got either bound or charmed or petrified.

Unfortunately I can't summon Lilim again, so I get Hobgoblin to help us put the smackdown. This could have been ugly, but I had the right team with me.

Lv37 Jaki Lakhe
It's some sort of creature from Nepalese folklore, but I couldn't find much more than that. It's a strong and fast physical attacker, not much more than the other bruisers around here in terms of stats, but it has a strong Bite and a powerful multi-hit Rampage skill, which caused me a lot of trouble. It also knows Zanma but given its abysmal Magic stat I'd much rather see it use that than its other skills.

( Y-you beat my Lakhes!
( Looks like the apparent underdog beat the Fist of the North Star mook reject. Anyone surprised?
( H-holy crap, you're good... Can I call you Boss? Can I? Let me be your apprentice!
( Whatever, kid. Just don't get in my way again.
( Ah, Boss! You want to go through?
( Yeah.
( Please, please, go ahead! Don't let me get in your way!

*: I find some stairs behind the guy, but they lead to a sort of tunnel area, presumably leading to Shinagawa. I turn back.

( Oh! If it isn't Boss Francois!
( Yeah, uh, I didn't really want to go there in the first place. I just didn't like your attitude.
( Please, please, go ahead! Don't let me get in your way!


*: I explore a bit more, and find more stairs down. Dang! How big is this place?

Lv35 Yuuki Sawobak
Another obscure Nepalese demon, apparently. All its stats are weak, except for its extremely high Magic, with which it can cast Maha-Agion and Agirao to devastating effect. It also knows Happy St(?), which I suppose is a happy-causing skill of some description.

Lv41 Youma 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 well-known 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. Here they are good spellcasters with decent Strength and immense HP and MP. They know Mudo, Samaricarm and Toraport.

Lv45 Kijo Dakini
Important figures in Tibetan Buddhism, the Dakini are female embodiments of the drive towards enlightenment. They are teachers and protectors, and in the shared mythology with Hinduism, they serve the death goddess Kali and carry the souls of the dead towards the afterlife. They are mighty warriors, fast and durable, and know Death Touch, Sexy Dance and Maha-Agion. I'll probably want one to pick up the slack for when Yakshini needs a replacement.

*: Those Dakini almost murdered me, so I used in Indulgence. Being on the receiving end of Sexy Dance is no fun. Maybe I'll explore this floor later... It looks like it isn't very big, though. Eh, I can always Toraport out, as long as Kei doesn't kick the bucket. I keep going.

( Hey, you're that old man who kind of got me to meet Doman!
( While you were in the Kongokai, thirty years passed... Have you gotten used to the post-apocalyptic world yet?
( Are you kidding? I'm a bona fide Kenshiro over here, except that instead of making heads explode, I tell my friends to make heads explode for me.
( I've heard quite a few rumors about you... You're quite the active ones, aren't you?
( We haven't succeeded at fixing much, but we're doing stuff, at least.
( Hmm... You seem to be set upon your chosen path, but do you really believe what you are doing is right and just?
( I'm doing my best. But yeah, not all that we've done has had the result I would have liked.
( What is justice? Look deep into the recesses of your soul, and you will find the answer. Whenever you feel you have lost sight of the road ahead, come see this old man again. If it helps, I will look into your soul and give you what wisdom I can.

That's quite possibly the most comforting thing I've heard in a long, long time.

*: I see on the Mapper display that there's a corridor extending behind the old man's room, but I can't seem to get there. Hmm. That's all of B3 I can access right now, so I return to B2.

I find another up staircase, and finally complete the map. Dang, that was epic.


I return to the main floor, and find another up staircase there, leading to small floor with a Mansion and an exit outside. I'm almost done.

...a Dwarf gets lucky and manages to Hama my Phurski. Aw crap. Goodbye Bind Voice. I've been using that skill almost every battle, now I won't see it again until I switch alignment.

Huh, an Oni-Joro drops Raiden's Whip (37/14, hits 3-6 times, females only), which is 12 points stronger than the Lotus Whip, but hits up to 6 times instead of 8. Hmm... I'll give it a try.

( Robotic drones would protect the station and keep people out, but... I wonder if the thing is broken by now?
( Man, don't I wish.

*: A Kwanca uses Hama on Elf and Hobgoblin. I only have four members in my party now; all I have left in storage is Lilim, and I can't summon her.

I guess now's as good a time as any to mention my save state policy. Basically, I never cheat. I only use saves to make sure I can correctly screenshot story bits in case I miss some animation or some auto-scrolling text. Anything that happens, happens. I'm not saying I'm never TEMPTED, but no, that's not how I roll. This playthrough is 100% legit.

Whew, here's the main Ginza floor.


One last upstairs area...

I guess I'm really close to a Healer's Dojo, so when I meet five Hakai-zo, I have Watcher use Rimudora. To my surprise, it doesn't die of it. Maybe there's only a chance of death?

Aaaand yeah, Healer's Dojo, just like I suspected. It costs 15000 just to revive my people, and about 8000 to restore everyone. MP is really expensive.

Literally, the only allies I can summon now are Yakshini, Elf, Hobgoblin and Watcher. This is not ideal; it's barely a full party, and Elf is long obsolete.

I have Kei Toraport us back to the Terminal to save. The cost was high, but at least Ginza is done now; the only places I didn't explore were the Shinagawa tunnel and the corridor behind the old man. It doesn't look so bad just looking at the maps, but this took a crazy long time. I didn't count, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out I had over a hundred random encounters here; I gained four levels since I arrived, which is kind of nuts. God bless the autobattle function.

Next time: we go back through the tunnel we came in, and follow Kaneda's directions to the police station and its rogue army of murderous lawbots!

(In other words, we'll actually accomplish something! :8D:)
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on February 19, 2011, 04:28:35 AM
Watcher is probably Ichimokuren (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on February 19, 2011, 10:09:37 AM
Remember, the demons under your control effect your alignment. Having a zillion law demons will make you more lawful.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 19, 2011, 11:13:30 AM
Yeah, that's kind of a pain in my butt, since the fusions I had my eye on last time I was at the Mansion were all Law. Watcher is my only Law summon, and if I wasn't borderline shorthanded I'd find something else to use. I've been killing all the Law creatures I encounter on sight (Magi and Dwarves, mostly), but I think that's counterbalanced by the sheer number of Chaos demons in Ginza who are outright dangerous to talk to, like Phantoms and Black Ooze.

I've got a few free slots, so I'm seriously thinking of going back to earlier areas and fusing a couple of decent Neutrals off-screen, so to speak. I could probably go to Shibuya and slaughter me some Mesians while I'm at it. Besides, if I'm heading into a place crawling with Machines, it's not like I should expect to find much to recruit there.

Watcher is probably Ichimokuren (

Hmm, that'd make sense, Zanma and all. Nice!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 21, 2011, 04:41:57 PM
*: I know I said we were going to the Police HQ, but my party is in too sad a shape to risk going somewhere new right away. I checked the fusion charts, and there are a couple critters I could really use, so I worked on getting those first. One of these options included fusing a Majuu demon, so that meant going back to the desert east of Shinjuku to recruit a Stonka. That said, I also met...

Lv35 Majuu Tammuz
Tammuz is a Sumerian god of food and plant life, who dies and is mourned at the summer solstice, and is then reborn six months later. I'm not sure where the giant scorpion comes from though. It's reasonably strong and has a fair amount of HP, but it also has remarkable Stamina and very high defense for its level. It knows Critical, a Paralysis Needle attack, and Parala-di. Unfortunately it seems weak to lightning and has poor magic defense.

So yeah, it'll do. It's a fairly tough Neutral demon on its own, so I might actually go back and get another once I fuse this one. The other good news is that now I know I can get two different Majuu at the same place, so that means I can easily make a Seirei Flamies if I need one to rank something up.

At the Mansion, it turns out I got a lot of options since I haven't had a Majuu in a while. The strongest one available to me is...

Yakshini + Tammuz =
Lv41 Juujin Werewolf
It's a goddamn werewolf. Great HP, immense Strength, great speed and decent Stamina. It has MP, but no spells, though it has a two-hit Claw attack, a strong Bite, and the Critical skill. A mighty brute, basically.

*: Yay Team Jacob!
( I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm suddenly filled with an intense sense of shame.

*: So yeah, I lose Sexy Dance, but damn, look at that! I haven't had a demon who could hit that hard since Kerberos, and Kerberos didn't have Critical. There are Yakshini in Ginza, but I've more or less explored all of Ginza anyway so they won't be much of a problem. And as it happens, Werewolf is the highest level Juujin, so I'm never going to have to think about ranking him up.

Also, it's been a while since I've worried about magnetite at all, but 10 CP is dirt cheap for a level 41 demon.

Alright, now to get another Majuu. I pick up another Tammuz, and a Werecat joins me on the way back to the Mansion in Shibuya. Perfect!

Tammuz + Phurski =
Lv39 Touki Gozuki
A sort of minotaur from Hindu myth, whose duty it is to guard the gates of the underworld against sinners trying to sneak out. It's very strong and durable, and reflects fire damage on top of that. It knows Sibabu (though its Magic Effect is nothing to write home about), but the main attractions are its free multi-hit Fireball skill, and the mighty Rampage skill, the latter of which caused me so much trouble against the Lahkes.

I didn't want to give up my Phurski, but Werecat and Lilim fuse into one. Aaaand I go pick up a third Tammuz, just because they're tough mofos. I'm glad I never met them before; I never had the chance to slaughter them by the dozens, so they join me pretty easily.

So, my lineup for now:
-Werewolf (Neutral-Neutral)
-Watcher (Neutral-Law)
-Hobgoblin (Neutral-Neutral)
-Gozuki (Neutral-Neutral)
-Phurski (Neutral-Chaos)
-Lilim (Neutral-Chaos)
-Tammuz (Neutral-Neutral)

...which is enough to make an entirely Neutral team with Watcher as back-up if anyone croaks. We're light on healing but I got Magic Stones and Orbs coming outta my ears, and Kei is extremely competent in that regard anyway.

Before I go back to the Ginza area, I make one last change. I give up Kamudo's Sword and equip the Bizen-Osafune that Takeminakata dropped way back when. I have good Strength, and I hope the additional hits will make it count more. If I really need high single-hit damage, I can always equip my Pauza.

Alright! I teleport to Ginza and go down the stairs right in front of the terminal, which is the way I came in originally, then go north when I arrive at the crossroads where I saw Kaneda.

( I know it looks harmless, and that it's got to be a trap... but I have to. I'm sorry Kei, I just have to.
( I'm not going to try to stop you. It's...
( ...the only way I learn?
( What? No! It's what I like about you!
( Oh. Uh, wha...? Oh! Hey! Okay, nice! Thanks! It's... what I like about you too!
( You like the adorable way I give everyone and everything a chance despite how I usually end up helplessly blundering into trap after trap after trap?
( ...
( ...
( Look, I'm just gonna...
( Please do.
( Heyo, how's it-
( Such a strong will... Is this truly a human?
>Decarabia is watching you warily.
( Uh... yeah. Yeah! Of course! I got the bellybutton and everything, see?


( :wat:
( Ha ha ha ha ha!
( I... I'm just going to pretend you didn't say that.
( Foolish human, you don't know your own limit! En guarde!!

Lv42 Datenshi 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. Here though, they're assholes. They have high HP and MP, excellent Strength and okay Magic, and seem to resist fire damage. They know Maha-Zanma and Tetraja, and are the first demons we meet who know Tetra-karn, a spell that reflects all physical attacks directed at the caster's party for one round.  Considering my current party is specializing in physical damage, this is kind of a pain.

( Who's got the stupid face now, huh?

*: That was kind of a tough battle, especially for a random encounter. Next up is a group of Worms, and... a Werewolf. Oh well.


*: Oooh, a fancy elevator. This must mean we're under the police station.


I... guess this is darkness?

No, it must be smoke.

Lv21 Machine T93F
A basic type of robot, with mostly horrible stats but acceptable Strength and Stamina. That said, they have 60 HP and no skills. I just autobattle them. They drop Hand Grenades, a one-shot Zan item.

*: Wait. Waitwaitwait. Devil Analyze says Machines are Lawful! :cake: It's robot-bustin' time!

Lv32 Machine T9SD
Easily the most dangerous robot here. Their stats are downright feeble (with their excellent Speed excepted), but they're annoyingly durable and always hit everyone with their normal attacks. That is irritating as fuck. Fortunately, they're weak to electricity and, for some reason, vulnerable to sleep. They can drop the Dragon ATM, which is a one-shot Maha-Zanma. Some type of missile launcher, maybe?

Lv25 T9SC/P
They're fast and hit several times, but they're nowhere near as irritating as their green cousins because they only have 80 HP. I autobattle them with no regrets.


*: Oh crap, I did not expect that. I have nothing that cures Stone. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

No, wait, never mind, I still have my Watcher, they leave me alone. Whew!

I find another elevator that tells me there are five floors here, plus the basement. Luckily, if the basement is any indication, these floors aren't too big anyway.


That said, I take the stairs.

First thing I find on the ground floor... is an exit.


That reminds me I really haven't explored the Ginza overworld.

...I go just a bit east.


...oh wow. You've got to be shitting me. It was right there. That'll teach me not to explore!

Might as well hit a healer before going back to the police station.

Turns out there's not a lot to the station. I'd recommend taking the elevator straight to the top floor, but there's an Incense on the third and two on the fourth. Otherwise, it's smoke and pitfalls and trapped chests and hordes of robots. The hardest bit has been fighting seven Watchers on a Full Moon; we almost died on account of Zanma and Rimudora, but we managed to avoid getting petrified.

In fact it cost us so much MP to survive that I take the elevator to the ground floor and go heal up before tackling 5F.


Aw crap. I've explored this place from top to bottom, and I didn't find no ID Cards. Unless it was carried by a robot, in which case it's probably been torn apart.

Huh? Wait...


I can just push these open! Alright!

*: Only one room left. I equip my Pauza and slap in a fresh magazine of Uranium Shells. Let's do this!


Holy shit, that's Doctor Wily! Where's Rockman when you need him?

( The Control System for the robotic police force is working! With the robots under my command, I'll slaughter the humans, the demons -- Everyone! I'll send every last living thing in this city to Hell! Heeeeeheeheehee!
( Doc, I hate to break it to you, but even just the demons in Ginza could level this place by turning over in their sleep and not even wake up.
( ...What are you doing here!? You're not trying to stop me are you!? I won't allow you to interfere with my plans!!
( Dude, you're a roadbump. I'm only here because it's my dead buddy's last request. Or... his last request until the next time he asks me to do something, at least.
( Take care of them, my robot sentinels!


( Oh, please. If I had kept the scrap metal from every one of these I've had to break to get here, I could build a house. Can't you send an ED-201 after me or something, just so I didn't bring my huge gun for nothing?

*: Yeah, this took two rounds. No sweat.


Of course I'm gonna destroy it. I don't have the time to foil some mad scientist' plans every weekend.



( Proceeding with extermination of invaders!


*: So Shodan is a dude here. I can dig that, I guess.

Kei's Zionga does 14 damage, but at least it's not immune to shock. But it is immune to firearms. Dang!

I guess we're just gonna have to bash at the screen; at least Hobgoblin can buff our physical attack through the roof. Heh, Werewolf keeps using Bite on the thing.

Oooh, for one round I decide to have Kei attack instead of castion Zionga, and the System does 75-100 damage to four people. Yeeeesh. I'm glad Kei is fast enough to act first.

A few rounds later, we're done. By the end I was hitting for around 120 damage per round.


Holy crap that's a lot of EXP. I only gain one level, but it's gonna take a trivial amount to level again. Kei levels up too, and learns Maha-Zionga!


...oh. I use the last of one of my Magic Stone stacks, then come back.



( Ehhh... I'm doing you a favor, buddy. These things would be no match for the horrors outside. You should just make yourself a fembot or something and spend the rest of your days here.

I leave the poor guy to his (broken) devices. I've got a computer of my own to take care of. Let's get back to Steven-san.

( Do they look like... THIS!?
( Oh, that's a Memory Board that you have! To think that there'd still be any left...
( I bet that's the only one left in the entire city, and I managed to find it. I'm beginning to suspect I'm awesome.
( Give that over to me, and I'll install it in your computer immediately.

I watch to make sure he doesn't stick it into his wheelchair or something.

( ..................Done! Now You can stock another two minions in your computer! My Demon Summon Program has gotten more convenient in that sense!


*: I leave, then return.

( How are you doing?
( Err, great! Well, fine. But great.
( I wonder, is 10 minions enough for you?
( It's better, but ideally, a bigger number would be best. Maybe around the vicinity of infinite minions.
( Have you found a Memory Board yet?

Oh. Oh well. One step at a time, I guess.

*: That's it for now. Next time, we'll...



It's off to see the Mesians in Shinagawa, or through Ikebukuro to the Gaian HQ in Ueno. Though I guess nobody's ever warned me against going to Shinagawa, so it might be the best place to start, plus I still gotta balance my karma by killing tons of Law dudes.

Now that I think about it, I'll probably explore the overworld around Ginza first though, just so I don't somehow derp it up again.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on February 22, 2011, 04:16:46 AM
You should probably give us a reminder on what your alignment is.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on February 22, 2011, 05:09:23 AM
In Raidou 2, Decarabia and Ichimokuren have a scripted conversation the first time you meet one with the other in your active party. It's basically "Hey, you look funny! You have only one eye!" "Shut up! You have only one eye, too!" "Hey, you're right! Let's be pals!" And then you auto-recruit.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 22, 2011, 08:22:44 AM
You should probably give us a reminder on what your alignment is.

Well, I've been Law ever since I gave Kei (neighbor) her eternal rest; that said, I figured that the rough consensus was to aim for Neutral. Plus I hear it's the canon ending that leads into SMTII, though that alone isn't weighty enough a consideration to make or break the deal.

Looking back, the one thing I'm unsure of is whether accepting Tetsuo's "offer" of a fight pushed me further into Law or back towards Chaos. At the time, duking it out with a friend on a whim to see who's the strongest felt like a very Chaos thing to do, but I don't know if the game interpreted it more as "I shall defeat you in the name of God, you abominable monster!"
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 24, 2011, 07:03:39 PM
*: Alright, it's time to get explorin'.

Before we go, I visit the Church to get some Indulgences, in case I run into more trouble than I can handle. Several Magi have dropped more Rosaries, so I think I'm well-equipped to face anything now.

According to what I heard, Ueno is north, but the way there is long and risky and it's best to get there underground, through Ikebukuro. Shinagawa is south, and I have already unblocked a tunnel there, though it can possibly be reached overland as well.

There is a third location of interest: the mysterious island that appeared at the mouth of the Sumidagawa river.


If my Google-fu is strong, that island shouldn't be far away by foot; just a little bit south and east, I think. It'll be my first destination. Plus, if Ueno is Gaian, and Shinagawa is Mesian, maybe the island was flown there by Neutral forces.

The geography has changed since the blast, but I can usually cross-reference the names in the Location field with Google maps to follow my general progress, so I don't think I'm in much danger of getting lost. Plus I can always Toraport back to Ginza if I need to.

First encounter in the wilderness is a group of Executioner Riders with some T9SC/Ps. We cut off the source of the machines, but yeah, there still are some running amok in the city.

Hmm. For some reason now, when Francois is hit by Makajama, he always takes 1 damage but is never affected. Bizarre.

You know, before I go too far south, I'll go north just to see what makes the overland route to Ueno so bad. You don't see it on the map, but the supposed shortcut through Ikebukuro would take us northwest, then east. Ikebukuro is really out of the way.

And soon enough...



Yeah, Kanda isn't even halfway to Ueno, and our path is blocked by collapsed highways and post-war rivers. Alright, that's what we wanted to see. Let's go back towards that island.

A bit southwest of the police station, we run into Tokyo Tower.


Miraculously, it's still standing, but it's now right next to a river. I'm curious. Let's check it out.

First encounter is some Magi, Bucca-Boos and Dwarves. This is nice; I was almost expecting Meiji Shrine-levels of rape. In fact the small ground floor is entirely populated by various Chirei and Mesians. There is the stench of Law about this place.

And about me.

Hobgoblin takes more damage than I'm comfortable with, but enemies here seem to drop Magic Stones pretty often, so I can't complain.


Ha! I thought I'd have to hoof it to the top, but this is nice.


More Mesians and Chirei here, trying to stop me from getting in with all the effectiveness of a strongly-worded letter.


Oh hey, there's that TV station. Makes sense. I'm technically on their side right now, so I don't expect much trouble.

( The one and only. You need me to fill in on your talk show or something?
( I've heard that name quite a few times. We broadcast your exploits over the news quite often.
( Well, that's nice. Of course, now the big shots know exactly who to assassinate to put a stop to all that bothersome change... but... hey, I'm on TV! Yeah!
( Since the world crumbled into ruin, the remaining people live in fear and shadow. That's why we will save them through the teachings of God. If we broadcast our message from here, we can teach many, many people his blessed message!

You know, everywhere I've been so far, the Mesians have been the underdog. Even their stronghold in Shibuya is overrun with Lilims and they couldn't even fund their church there. I know they're probably gathering their forces en masse, but if they can bring some hope and peace to the now lawless (no pun intended) inhabitants of the places I've been to so far, then I don't think I'd want to stop them.


( By the way, I see that you're not just any demon summoner. You're a human that fights on the side of Law, just like our Mesia Church.
( Err... well... I suppose you could say that.

The dozens of mangled Zealots and Magi corpses I've left in my wake to get here would probably disagree.

*: If I was interested in going further into Law, I'm sure I could have talked all of them into letting me in, but I didn't even give them a moment to speak.

( We are working our hardest to spread the blessed teachings of God to as many people as possible.

Can't help but think the resources spent here would have been better used to topple Ozawa and the Roppongi nobles, but what do I know?

*: that's weird. Look at my Mapper display.


Then at the automap:


How do I even get there? Maybe I missed a spot on the ground floor.

Nope, my map's complete there too. I guess there must be another way in, maybe a Terminal. Well, we're done here anyway. I get out, and keep going southwest.


Ha! So close, yet so far. Looks like it's the Ginza tunnel or nothing. I couldn't even see the mysterious floating island on my way here; it must be further east into Tokyo Bay, or maybe north-east, depending on what exactly the people meant by "the mouth of the Sumidagawa".

I explore a bit more to make sure I haven't missed a way to some other place, but no, I've seen everything. I Toraport back to the Ginza terminal, save, and head towards the Shinagawa tunnel, behind that pissant demon summoner idiot.

( Oh! If it isn't Boss Fran-
( Yeah, yeah, whatever.

A bit into the tunnel, we meet a few Temple Knights. Normally this wouldn't be worthy of mention, but I managed to find another Plasma Sword.

( :8D:

*: Francois' melee attack power is relevant again. Huzzah!

The tunnel is a bit long, but straightforward. The most threatening creatures here are Isora and Wendigo, and those aren't much trouble. Wendigo are occasionally fast enough to freeze everyone with Maha-Bufula before we can act, but all it takes is for Hobgoblin to get one Maha-Agion off to kill them all instantly.


Ooh, this is the other side of that isthmus were we had to turn back! Nice. I befriend a Stonka here; it's gonna be fusion fodder, to make a Seirei Flamies if I can use one, or whatever else.

I find a building just to the south.


I think that bridge to the east is Rainbow Bridge... but it's broken and leads nowhere.


So this should be the home of the Mesian head church. Let's check it out.

There's a regular Mesian Church, a Terminal and a Jakyou Mansion close to the entrance. Excellent!

I fuse Lilim and Stonka into Tamamo, the blue she-fox I mentioned earlier. Tamamo only has 54 MP, which is low for a caster, but she has 499 HP and okay defense, so she can tank better than anyone else in my party. And even if I was still Neutral, Lilim's very low HP would make her obsolete by now.

Next up is an Armor shop with some very cool stuff, the most interesting of which are Law-only, but there still are several nice upgrades for everyone.

For Francois:
-Dragon Helm (13/8, +2 Strength, plus mad Alucard-stylezzz points)
-Dragon Mail (30/15, +2 Intelligence)
-Draupnir (arm slot, 8/7, +1 Strength, also with Alucard points)
-Dragon Boots (4/10, +2 Speed)

For Kei:
-Crimson Armor (34/5, +2 Magic)
-Crimson Gauntlet (10/5, +2 Strength)
-Crimson Greaves (10/21, +2 Speed)

The Law-only Robe of Law (duh) can be equipped by males and females (I think Kei's alignment always matches yours); it has relatively low defense (12/12), but adds 2 to all stats. Technically I could get one (or two), but I think I'm more comfortable with unaligned equipment right now.

The Crimson Helm available to Kei is has better defense than the Demoneater Helm she already has, but its bonus is to Magic instead of Strength, and her Magic is already pretty good as it is.

The Dragon Boots are only marginally stronger than the Jet Boots I gave up for Metal Boots in Ginza, but the Speed bonus is better.

Man I love how you're not always looking at straight upgrades for equipment, there's often a strategic choice in play. All that stuff cost a pretty penny, but it barely dented my fortune. I'm only about 20% poorer than I was.

Okay, what's next?

A Junk shop and a Healer's Dojo. Huh. I'd have expected a gun store, what with all the God types around. Maybe it's further inside.

There are Phurski, Lamia, Loa, Sawobaks, Lakhes and Chulruks around. Looks like the Mesians have their own problems.

Lv41 Ryuu-ou Raja Naga
The Naga are a race of serpent deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism, often described as having either snake or human bodies, or a combination of both. Apparently they're often douchebags, but their motivations and dispositions vary, and some are quite benevolent. That said, what we have here is Raja Naga, the king of the Naga. I don't think there are regular Naga in this game, but they do show up later in the series. Raja Naga are strong and durable fighter-mages, with Zionga, Raku-Kaja and Wall of Water; they also reflect lightning damage and seem resistant to fire.

Ryuu-ou are mighty Neutral-Chaos snake deities, often related to dragons; as far as fancy reptiles go, they typically are more intelligent and less cruel than the bestial and predatory Jaryuu, but not as wise or as powerful as the Ryuujin (which we haven't seen yet).

*: ...a Loa punked Werewolf with a lucky Mudo, so I summoned Tamamo as a replacement. One fight later, against some Chulruks, I realize that HOLY SHIT TAMAMO NATURALLY REFLECTS PHYSICAL DAMAGE :8D::8D::8D::8D:

( I think I'm in love.
( Huh, so you are into that. Is it the tails, or the blue hair, or...?
( What? No! I'm not a... No! Look, if you slit her throat, you're the one that bleeds out. How is that not awesome? I say we put her in front and let everyone have a go!
( :gasp:
( Don't give me that face, you know what I meant!
( All too well. All too well.
( :painful:
( :itsmagic:

*: Later on, more Loa kill off Hobgoblin and Tammuz. I can already tell, this place is gonna be a joy. Loa are Neutral-Law, but I guess I can't afford to have them on the Kill-On-Sight list; maybe I should leverage my alignment to get one to join and have them out of my hair permanently.

I return to the Church and get my people revived, which costs me a lot because there's a surcharge when they're Dead instead of Dying, and Mudo'll kill you all the way.

Well, I can tell exploring Shinagawa will take me a while, so I think I'm gonna call this an update. 'Till next time!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Amuro Ray on February 26, 2011, 01:15:02 AM
Awesome LP! I remember when Sharky did things like this. Good times!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 26, 2011, 04:38:01 AM
Glad you like it! I just hope you won't mind too much if I have to kill a Majin Loki sometime.  :whoops:
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on February 27, 2011, 08:10:54 AM
*: Alright, we're ready to explore Shinagawa, ostensibly the Mesian HQ, at least until their Cathedral is complete. Maybe we can get our hands on some juicy info here.

My current summons are Tamamo, Werewolf, Gozuki and Hobgoblin. I thought about replacing Hobgoblin with Tammuz, but the former has much better magic defense and no electricity weakness, and Taru-kaja is just incredibly handy to have.

...yikes. A fight against four Sawobaks is an awful time to learn that Werewolf is weak to fire. I'm gonna have to be careful around these guys.

*: "follow the", I suppose.
( The halls themselves are designed to attack unbelievers that try to walk them.
*: Well, there's another advantage to being Lawful for ya.
( Though apparently a Core Shield can negate the traps' effects...
( Wow, that's one foolproof test of faith.

*: Core Shields protect from traps until the next full moon; you can trade them for emeralds at Rag's. I got a stock of Gaian-made Amulets that should work just as well, though.

We find another TV room that announces our victory over Ozawa. Has nothing else of note happened since then?

( Oh, right, I heard about those! They were built by an American company, weren't they?
( However, the Americans directly targeted it, and the shelter took a direct hit by a nuclear missile. Everyone inside it was burnt to a crisp.
( Maybe that one was a Chinese knock-off.

( We'd need a metric asston of these apples, then.
( But one of the Gaians took it and brought it to Ueno. Apparently they intend to feed it to the monster that lives in the sewer -- perhaps they're trying to pacify it?

Hmm, so the Gaians are having monster trouble. Good to know!

( It must be one of the four that we've heard about.
*: It means we must be near the south end of the map.
( The priest said that it's already eaten several people! Oh God, protect me!

( Okay, that sounds like a familiar story set in a new location.
( I hope he's all right, but I fear the worst has happened....

( God needs all the strength he can muster from his followers! Sacrifice your all to his divine glory!

*: The game asks us if we want to keep listening to the sermon. I kind of don't want to miss important information... but sitting here and listening to this sounds like the kind of thing that would make me more Lawful. Hmm...

( Let's get out of here, people. I don't think I can stand that sort of preaching much longer.

Sacrifice, my ass. You stay home and talk. Meanwhile I'll be out there, making sure you don't have to make up the good news you broadcast on TV.

*: An Isora drops Shichiseiken (77/30, +1 Intelligence, 1-2 hits, males only), a weapon so mighty it's borderline erotic. It's twice as powerful as the Plasma Sword, and 50% more accurate, but with only half the number of hits. That said, with the way defense works, instead of hitting 2-4 times for about 40 damage per hit, I hit 1-2 times for about 100 damage per hit. When enemies have low defense, it's more effective to hit more often, but by now having higher raw power is starting to be more and more attractive.

Wow, we step into a trap that deals around 100 damage to everyone who isn't Law-aligned, and that means everyone but Francois and Kei. I could replace someone with Watcher, but screw that, I'll just use an Amulet.

A bit later...


( Before you try anything funny, you should be well aware that I lost a lot of money on account of what your friends did to my friends the other day, so you need to act proper around me or I'll find where your asshole is and pull that snake out through.


>What will you do?
   -Stop it from leaving
   -Leave it alone

( What, that's it? You're just gonna give up? I won't let you get away that easily!
( Who are you? Identify yourself!
( Don'cha know? I'm the baddest O.G. mofo left on this piece of dirt, the one and only F-man!
( W... what?
( just roll wiv it, babe
( ...what?
( Whaat? YOU'RE Francois? What is it you want?

*: One Orb and one Magic Stone later...

( I am Loa. I am at your service!
( How did that even work?
( I'm not sure myself, to be honest.

( Yeah, there's nothing scarier than a big ol' church.
( Indeed, it will serve as a maker for when God descends to Earth and incinerates them all in the holy fire of his wrath.
( That's exactly what we need! More incineration!

( Hey, Francois, is it just me or is this statue not the spitting image of Kaneda!?
( ...huh. It... kinda is, yeah.
( Even if it's just a random coincidence, the similarity is downright uncanny!
( Creepy, more like. He's a good guy, but I'm surprised they'd start to worship a guy who got ganked by a demon.

( Wow. So it really is him.
( Master Kaneda sacrificed his own life to save his friends, and was brought to the foot of God.
( If you put it that way, yeah, he picked a pretty heroic way to punch out.
( And God granted Master Kaneda new life, reviving him as our Messiah!

*: So that's what that dream was about, in the very beginning, with the cross and all. Kaneda's a Christ figure, sacrificing his life to save others, and then returned from the dead. I'm not sure I want to think too much about what that means for Tetsuo.

In other news, things have been going surprisingly well on the combat side. I think I was trying to be too friendly before; I manage to avoid most fights with Lamias, Lakhes, Sawobaks, Chulruks and Raja Naga by being intimidating and standing my ground when they try to intimidate me back, and basically calling their bluffs and showing no fear. The Law demons aren't too hard to kill, and Loa of course now leave me alone. I make so much money from demons trying to appease me that it entirely covers my recent purchases.

A Sawobak drops a Sonic Blade (44/5, hits 1-8 times, +1 Strength, males only). I know what I said about attack power earlier, but 8 hits... that's tempting. I'll give it a try and see how it performs. Now that I have these kickass swords, the single hit Pauza P50 just doesn't look so useful anymore. I think I'll just sell it.

About five tiles before I can complete the map, I run into two Loa on a full moon. Kei manages to silence one, but the other gets a Mudo off and kills Francois and Werewolf. Dammit!

Now either Rosaries don't protect against Mudo, or I'm back to Neutral. Hmm. Either way I'll have to Toraport back to the beginning, so I might as well go outside to check it out.

...I try to use a Rosary after the fight. One is spent, and the message goes "The Rosary is protecting Kei!" So apparently you have to use them beforehand. Whoops!

I kind of want to look ahead to see if those five squares are worth going all the way through Shinagawa again, but now that I can't talk to or summon anyone, that would be borderline suicidal. So it's back to square one. At least I've already checked out all the dead ends along the way, so it won't take as long.

Okay, yeah, the Sonic Blade's low accuracy really works against me. My Speed's not awful, but it's not really high enough to keep me from missing all the time. If I had built my stats another way this would be a different story, but as it is now, the Shichiseiken is just more reliable.

Alright, made it back.



Oooh, okay. So I still have a lot left. There are stairs to the third floor right next to where we come in on the second, but I'll explore first. We start meeting Decarabia and Taraka here.

We step on lots of weird spinny tiles that rotate the way we're facing. I don't see much of a point to those. There are also craploads of pitfalls, which of course suck beyond belief, and teleporters that take you to another place on the floor. It's annoying all around.

That said, one of these teleporters takes me to an unexpected surprise.


...okay, so this is kind of a big deal.

*: The Kusanagi-no-tsurugi has a power of 40, an accuracy of 10, can be equipped by anyone, adds 1 to your Intelligence, and hits the entire enemy party. Daaaaaang. I'm not sure how it fits in my equipment strategy, though, since that's not so hot if you're just trying to kill one guy. Gah, now I regret selling my Pauza. Oh well. I think I'll give the Tsurugi to Kei for a while, see if it's better for her than Raiden's Whip.

...nah, she just doesn't have the Strength to make it worth it; she needs to hit the same target multiple times to be effective, so she keeps her whip.

You know, for such a legendary weapon, it's not in a very secure location.

...wait, no, scratch that, that was the most annoying floor in the universe.

...wait, no, scratch that, that was probably only the most annoying floor I've seen yet.


Dang, what is it with me and great weapons lately? A Raja Naga drops Kuchinawa's Sword (58/8, hits 3-6 times, +1 Strength, anyone can use it). I give it to Kei; it's only slightly less accurate than Raiden's Whip, but much more powerful.

Okay, next to the third floor. Again I find stairs to 4F nearby, but I still want to explore first.

This level has an outer ring of one-way passages, four sealed doors leading inside, and four regular corridors also leading inside. Hmm.

...a Taraka drops Higyosanko (87/5, hits once, +2 Magic, males only). Fortunately I don't need that one.

Turns out three of the corridors are dead-ends. The last one...




( Holy crap, Kaneda! You're like... King Pope or something. Plus, you're alive!
( Through the miracle of God's power, I was brought back to life.
( As a... giant white taco? Man, Christians are weird.
( And he granted me his wisdom, teaching me the ideal of the great Thousand Year Kingdom! If established, the Thousand Year Kindgom will bring peace to the Earth...
( Err, buddy... You weren't with me back then, but the last time time a guy talked to me like that, he nuked Tokyo and then I killed him.
( After learning of the plan, I became resolute in my decision. I will fight for the establishment of the Thousand Year Kingdom, as God's chosen messiah!

Dang. Tetsuo fused with a Worm, and he still didn't feel as changed as Kaneda does right now.

( ...But even with the blessing of God himself, the demons are too numerous. Even I lack the power to defeat them all by myself. Therefore, I have a request of you, Francois.
( Well, you know I'm all about granting requests, so let's hear it.
( The Jaryu Echidna has taken up residence is eastern Tokyo, and I would like you to defeat her. In her unthinkable arrogance, she opposes our divine plan, scheming to destroy the Cathedral and establish a fragmented society of many gods and their followers. Such a society divided against itself cannot stand! We need the people unified under one God! Do you think it is right to let the demons gain any more influence? Think of how many people have already fallen to them. Should they gain power, do you think anything will change from the way it is now?

He's got a point.

( The toll in human lives should Chaos get its "might-makes-right" system in place will be immeasurable. That is why we need God -- he wishes to create a society where humanity will not suffer, will not have to worry about being overtaken by those stronger than them. He will show us the way and give us all the guidance and support we need. Please, join us -- fight with me in the name of God!
( I... suppose I can think about it.

*: The game doesn't ask us an explicit question here. I guess we'll give our answer by killing Echidna or not.

In any case, I still don't know how to open the sealed doors, so I might as well check out the next floor.


The fourth floor is small, but annoying too; it has several teleporters that send us into small rooms with traps and one-way exits.

( Well, yeah. You can see my posse. How perceptive.
( I bet you think your minions are the strongest!
( I-
( But you're wrong about that. How do I know? Because my minions are the strongest! Come on out to play, Sir Nue!
( Nue? Are you for real?


Bitch please.

*: The fight ends predictably.

( Oh, you're pretty good. I'm happy to see that you put up some resistance! OK, next up, it's your turn Sir Sawobak!


*: A little meatier, but no sweat. It could have been tough, but Kei's Maha-Zio neutered them. And they dropped a second Sonic Blade.

( I appear to have underestimated you! No more pulling punches! I shall fight you with all my strength!



*: We're running low on MP. I hope I don't take too long figuring these guys out. I can't pull punches here either.

Fortunately, they quickly reveal themselves to be ice-aligned; they use Bufula, are clearly weak to Hobgob's Maha-Agion and Gozuki's Fireball, and take normal damage from Kei's Maha-Zionga. They have high defense, but can be put to Sleep. Yeah, we're good.

Lv45 Jaki Barbegazi
Barbegazi are Swiss gnomes with long hair and giant feet, which they use to ski barefooted down snowy mountains. Their name comes from the French "barbe glacée", which means "frozen beard". Most of their stats are weak, and their HP is low for their level, but they have decent Strength and high Stamina, providing them with incredibly high physical defense. They know Bufula, Maha-Bufula, and Venom Bite.

( My... My beloved demons... Y-you won't get away with this...!

*: The asshole drops the Four-door Gem. I suppose I can open the doors on the third floor now, but I don't know if I have enough MP to... to...

Huh, Kei levels up, so she gets her MP back. Alright then, we're good to go!


The rest of 4F has a couple of Incenses in the middle. Back to 3F... but I still can't open the doors. Hmm. Oh well.

I Toraport back to the Terminal, go heal up, and sell my extra crap. All-in-all, this wasn't a bad place to loot, with lots of incense and weapon upgrades; we met Kaneda again, found the legendary Kusanagi-no-tsurugi, and learned of a quest.

And I can't forget the greatest reward of them all: we got to shatter the dreams of a Pokémon trainer wannabe. Werewolf, I choose you!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on February 27, 2011, 09:42:24 AM
I like the implication that the vaguely Christian guys apparently went and jacked Japan's greatest treasure from Nagoya after the holocaust.

...and then let some kid with a computer strapped to his wrist go swinging it around everywhere.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on February 28, 2011, 04:28:27 AM
Raja Naga's Rakukaja.

Try saying that three times fast.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 02, 2011, 12:04:28 PM
*: We're done in Shinagawa, but I haven't explored the surroundings yet. Let's get to it.

Turns out this is a fairly small peninsula, but...


This must be where one of the four oni lives. The building looks like the Meiji Shrine... Maybe that was also an oni's lair, which would make it the western edge of the map.

It's probably super dangerous, but hey, I'm fresh off the Terminal. Let's give it a shot!


( Oh, uh, hi! How's it-
( If you know what's good for you you'll stay away from me, youngster!
( I'm 100% for doing exactly that. Now if you'll just-
( You seem reasonable for a human... Come over here.
( ...
( ...

He looks like one bad mother.

( Actually... I'll just be on my way if you don't m-
( Spineless slug! Prepare yourself!

*: Wow. Good thing there was only one of him, he's kind of a beast... though not as much as I feared. He tried to hit Kei a few times, but her Crimson Greaves give her so much Evasion he only struck her once.

Lv49 Shuten-Douji
Remember Ibaragi-Doji? This guy's his boss. There's a fairly famous folk tale about how a warrior cut off his arm and put it in a chest so the oni couldn't get it back. Shuten-Doji took the appearance of the warrior's aunt and talked the guy into showing "her" the arm, whereupon he of course took it back. He's a tough fighter with high Strength and HP, with Rampage, Taru-Kaja and Raku-kaja.


This must be Tall Mofo Central.

( You definitely saw what happened to your buddy at the other end of this corridor, so you know we can kick your ass and make it look good.
( Ho ho! So, you dare to challenge me? You shall regret that decision!
( Alright, let's see what you got, beanpole!
( Taste my power!

*: Kei put him to sleep on the first round, so he only got a Zionga in.

Lv52 Touki Yaksha
The Yaksha is the male counterpart to the Yakshini, being a nature spirit watching over treasures hidden in the natural world. Just like Yakshini, they are usually depicted as benevolent, but also sometimes as brigands and bloodthirsty killers. They are very strong fighters, with Maha-Agion, Zionga and Parala-di, but mediocre MP and Magic.



( Hi, I'm... No, you know what? Screw you and the horse you rode in on, I'm done playing United Nations in this den of assholes. Eat Shichiseiken, douchebags!
( :ohmy:

*: It's hard, but we still win, and get mondo EXP for our trouble. If this place is not too big, I might clean it out yet.

Lv48 Jaki Rakshasa
In Hindu and Buddhist lore, the Rakshasas are a race of humanoid creatures, usually quite evil but not always; it is said they enjoy the taste of human flesh, and like to desecrate graves, possess people, and generally making dangerous nuisances of themselves. They are warrior-types, very strong but with low defense and HP for their level. They know Fireball, Panic Voice and Critical.


Lv40 Yuuki Sanni Yaka
Sanni Yaka are Sri Lankan demons, ruled by a king who is forbidden to kill humans but doesn't let that stop him from causing disease and various disasters. Unlike other demons, who are born fully formed as such, they once were human beings who were somehow transformed. Most of their stats are pretty bad, but they have okay Strength and very high Speed, which makes their Parala-Eye, Venom Breath and Blood St(eal?) skills all the more annoying.


Lvv44 Youki Turdak
Somewhat similar to Kwanca, Turdak is a Hindu/Buddhist lesser deity with the power to cure and cause illness; in some traditions he is also in charge of taking the souls of sinners to hell once they have been sentenced. He's a fairly balanced fighter-type, with relatively low HP but decent MP, which he can use to cast Diarama, Petra-di and Ricarm.



Wait, wait. We're much stronger than we were. We can do this. I just have to treat this as a boss battle.

Whew, okay, it's not so completely awful. Tamamo's innate physical reflection and her Marin-Karin prove invaluable. Kei does healing duty, Hobgob buffs our attack, and everyone else goes all-out. Our Nerve Ammo works a couple of times, not for long, but long enough.

It goes alright for a moment, then Kei gets Bound and Werewolf is killed. I won't make a habit of it, but I call in Loa to help out. Mudo proves quite effective, and we finish the fight in a couple of rounds.





...I talk them into giving me an Orb, and they go away. Whew! I use Loa's Samaricarm to bring Werewolf back, then restore my line-up.

Alright, there are a couple of dead-ends, but there's one branch near the entrance I haven't explored. I Toraport back to Shinagawa, then return to check it out.

...or at least I would if Kei wasn't still bound. I manage to fight my way back out without incidents, though. That's lucky!

I go heal and save, then come back. If there's a staircase to another floor, I'll leave it for later, but if I'm almost done then I'll try to finish it now.


Ooooh, so that's what it's good for.

( Hey, I guess I am. Cool!


( Oh, uh... I believe you!


Wait a minute, that's no oni! That's one of the Four Heavenly Kings!

Well, crap.

*: Tamamo uses Taru-nda to lower Komokuten's attack power, Hobgob uses Taru-kaja to increase ours, and Kei tries Zionga to see if it'll work. Fortunately, it does, but the guy gets a Zanma off first. It's not so bad, I might have a chance if I keep up the buffs and debuffs and can Shock him reliab-


I beat him on the third turn. That definitely can't be all.


I get EXP and level up. Did I really beat him?

...I didn't screenshot it, but he turned back into a statue and I left the room. Hmm. Let's try again.


Oh. Okay then. Whew!

Lv57 Kishin Komokuten
"He who sees all", Komokuten is one of the Four Heavenly Kings who preside over the cardinal directions (his is the west) and whose duty it is to defend the Buddha, Buddhists in general, and the realm of the quasi-divine Devas. If you've heard the term "Shitennou", well, these guys are the original ones. He's an extremely strong fighter with surprisingly high Magic; he knows Maha-Zanma, Zanma, and Sibabu.

Other than the EXP I don't seem to get anything from this fight. I suppose I have to take care of all four of the Heavenly Kings before something happens. In Nocturne, dealing with these guys is an optional sidequest that unlocks what is easily the most powerful equipment in the game (to put it simply), so maybe they've got a similar thing going on here.

You know, I might as well go back to the Shibuya area and check out the Meiji Shrine again.

I get there without much incident. Turns out the enemy roster is basically the same. A Rakshasa drops Renki-no-ken (98/30, 1 hit, anyone can use it), which is attractive enough to try using. We run into more Tengu, but I use an Indulgence because seriously.



( The guy who just made your fellow King his bitch. Wanna try me?

( If by "fairly and honorably" you mean six-against-one, then I'm all for that,


*: Using basically the same strategy, we kill him in two rounds. He also turns into a statue. Two down, two to go!

Lv55 Kishin Zochoten
"He who enlarges", Zochoten is the Heavenly King of the South. He's about as strong as Komokuten, and much faster, but his Magic isn't too hot. He knows Maha-Zionga, Taru-kaja and Suku-Kaja.

You know, the fact that I can see the Kings' stats in my Devil Analyze menu means that they're not actually bosses, and in fact I could probably get them through fusion someday. That explains why they seem wimpy in comparison to the random encounters in their lairs... but I sure wouldn't mind having them with me anyway.

In any case, that leaves us with one place to go: Ueno, the Gaian HQ. And that means going through Ikebukuro, the place Tetsuo warned me about.

That said, I hit the Mansion first. I got a few levels since the last time, plus a random Rusalka joined me while I was passing through Shibuya, and I just recruited a Tangie in Ginza; I want to see if I can get anything useful from those.

...there's a new option in the mansion.



None of my minions seem to combine with it, though. Hmm! Interesting.


Watcher + Loa =
Lv14 Seirei Aquans
A water elemental, Magic-inclined and a fair healer but really not so hot by now. They know Diarama, Me-Dia and Zionga.

Aquans + Hobgoblin =
Lv40 Yousei Senri
In Japanese folklore, Senri are extremely old mountain cats who somehow turn into succubus-like creatures who seduce men to steal their lifeforce. They have fairly balanced stats, though none are particularly remarkable for their level, except their ridiculously high MP. They know Plinpa, Maha-Zanma and Dolminer.

I could fuse Gozuki and Werewolf to make Takeminakata (the very same demon Ozawa used against us in Shinjuku), and I would, but the dude's Chaos. Oh well.

Phurski + Tammuz + Tangie =
Lv38 Seijuu Kirin
Depictions of this mythological Chinese animal vary, from deers with dragon heads to hooved tigers to short-necked giraffes. They are righteous creatures who attack only the wicked; they can walk on water, and step on grass without bending the blades. Here they are durable if otherwise unremarkable fighters, though they do know Estma, Ricarm and Hanma, all useful and fairly rare spells.

And finally...

Kirin + Senri =

( :victory:
*: You know it's not Pascal, right?
( ...right. But... still...
*: Yeah, I understand. It's fine. You deserve to be happy again. It's what he would have wanted.
( Dude, don't gay this up for me, will you?
*: Okay, okay! Forget I said anything! Dang.

Well, that'll be it for now. I'll tool around Ginza some more to get a replacement Hobgoblin, then I'll call it a day.

Next time: the road to Ikebukuro!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 02, 2011, 12:31:13 PM
Does MAG actually do anything for the MC in SMT?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 02, 2011, 12:47:37 PM
I thought it didn't, and a guide told me it didn't, but I eventually noticed that characters and demons with low Magic take way more damage from spells than caster-types, so I'm fairly sure that it affects magic defense. I've been using all the Magic Incense I found on Francois, and he does seem to get hurt less from spells than he used to at the beginning.

I'd say it still isn't worth focusing on with your level-up points though, because once you get it just high enough that you don't get completely raped by spells, it becomes more useful to put points in Stamina to get more HP, or anywhere else, really. But yeah, I got in more than a few close calls back when I only had the minimum 5 Magic.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on March 03, 2011, 04:04:21 AM
In DS2, you got randomly attacked by the Riders, who were Fiend-type demons based on the horsement of the Apocalypse. The lowest of them was Pale Rider, who attacked when I was around level 18 or 20, I think, and he was level 55.

After a grueling fight, I won.

Next time I had a fusion "accident", it turned into Pale Rider. Still level 55. The next chapter or two of the game was pretty easy, especially when I used Pale Rider to win the fight with Red Rider and fused him into my party too.

Anyway. Maybe now that you've beaten a couple of Heavenly Kings, they're available for fusion now?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 03, 2011, 05:31:17 AM
Hmm, that'd be worth trying. I'm not sure if I can even get the right "ingredients" yet though; I know Juujin and Youki fuse into Kishin, but Werewolf and Gozuki would only make Takeminakata, which is the level 43 Kishin, and I'd need to rank him up twice to get Zochoten because there's Lv46 Kishin Nagasunehiko in the way. And for that I'd need to get my hands on two of the high-grade Seirei, either Undine or Salamander,which itself is no small task. I'm gonna keep an eye out for other ways, though.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 05, 2011, 08:07:31 AM
*: In Shinagawa, we learned of Echidna, a leader of the forces of Chaos who is supposedly planning to attack the Cathedral. She's supposed to be somewhere in the east of Tokyo... but we don't seem to have a way to go any further east than Ginza. All that's left to do is to go to Ueno to the north, through Ikebukuro, which is northwest.

I exit Ginza the same way I did when I wanted to go to Shinagawa, but take the west branch of the underground crossroads this time. We meet Tetsuo again, and he says exactly the same things he did when we ran into him here before, challenge and all.

Behind him is a staircase taking us one floor up to a small square floor with Sawobaks, Hobgoblins, Lilim and Dwarves. I get yet another Sonic Blade, and find another way up, to a long winding tunnel with an exit to the outside.


Zoshigaya is just southeast of Ikebukuro, so I must be close. To put things in relation, we're quite a way due north of Shinjuku, and far to the west of Ueno.

( I appreciate your concern, but I just bumped off two Heavenly Kings. To be honest, I'm feeling seven flavors of badass right now. I can take care of myself.
( I didn't want to have to be forced to take you in myself... *sigh* Oh well, there's no sense worrying about it now.
( What are you talking about?
( ...Come on, it's time for you to be judged.
( What the hell, Tetsuo? Are you actually working for the idiots in charge around here?

So he's changed too. Bah!

*: We're instantly taken to a building of some description.

( That your new boss? Dammit Tetsuo, Kaneda's the freaking Messiah now! And you're a random toady? What happened to you?
( Here, accused of maliciously manipulating demons, the trial of Francois -- in other words, you -- will be held. Be sure to mind your manners around Lord Yama!
( Look, I don't want to make you look bad in front of your beloved demon overlords, but you have to know that if I have to make a scene and bust out of there, I will.

( That's weird, I expected more kangaroos. Or, more Juujin Werekangaroos maybe.
( Francois, you cannot deny that you have been using a demon summoning program to summon, control, and bind demons to your will. The evidence is plain as day.
( How perceptive of you. I'm only wearing it on my arm all the time.
( Doing so is in flagrant disregard to the contract signed between demons and humans since time immemorial.
( Fffffwhat? I didn't sign anything.
( Furthermore, not only do you flagrantly use demons to do your bidding... but you cast your lot with the side of Law, that wishes to destroy demonkind!? Forcing your demons to work toward the undoing of their own race?!
( Okay, that one's just a misunderstanding. You see, I only helped a neighbor of mine -- nice girl, you'd like her -- to escape-
( Outrageous!! I sentence you to death, your execution to be carried out at sunrise! Get this miscreant out of my sight!
( Your Honor, I would like to appea- hey! HEY! Hands off the merchandise, buddy!


( You get to live until tomorrow morning.
( Hey, that's my line!

Bah! Fie! Bah!


*: Okay, so. A small cell on a fourth floor. In Ikebukuro, presumably.


( This isn't my first cell. I'll think of something.

*: The cell is three squares: the empty center, the bars, and the end where Kei is. Every time I enter Kei's square, she says something different.

( What should we do...
( Hmm. WWKD?
( Huh?
( What Would Kaneda Do?
( ...

( Don't just sit there, help me think of something!
( Dammit, I can't seem to come up with plans that don't revolve around a goon coming in to gloat at us.

( Eh? Someone's here!

*: Checking out the bars again, the gate slides open.

( Had I known it was because you would sell me out, I might have watched my back a little more carefully!
( Look, I owe you one, so I'll let you out of here. But whatever you do, DON'T go to Ueno. Listen to me this time!
( Seriously, what happened to you? You used to be cool, but now you're all licking the Man's boots. Or, err, the Demon's boots. Whatever.

Well, okay, it's a stupid question. Worm happened to him, clearly. He leaves without a word.


*: We run into some Chulruks, Turdaks and Sanni Yakas right away, but I talk them into paying me. Looks like we're busting out of here after all.


Lv40 Touki Mezuki
This inverted centaur is Gozuki's colleague, also making sure sinners stay in the Hindu underworld. A strong and quick fighter with Zionga, Suku-Kaja and Critical, but very low Magic.

*: I manage to recruit one. I wonder if it'll make anything interesting if I fuse it with Gozuki.


Lv43 Chirei Sarutahiko
Sarutahiko is a powerful Shinto god, notably the patron of martial arts. He once was the ruler of the earth gods; when the heaven gods (led by Amaterasu) invaded his realm, he was convinced to give it up by none other than Ame-no-Uzume, whom he later married. He's kind of a cleric-type, a decent fighter with acceptable Magic and the very useful Maha-Agion, Diarahan and Mahanma.

*: I recruit one of them as well.


Lv43 Youma Ongkot
A monkey prince from Thai folklore, cousin to the more famous Hanuman. He's fast and decently strong, but his other stats are not very good. He does have Maha-Zanma, Raku-kaja and Taru-kaja though, with lots of MP to cast them with.

*: And that's a third recruit, just to pacify them.


Wow. I don't even know what to say to that. Plus it's probably true.

( Yeah, God wants nothing more than a bunch of dead followers. You do that.

( I only wish that I could have looked upon the Cathedral in all its glory before I died...


*: If I had a mirror nearby, I could see what a man looks like when he's glad he doesn't have to fight a couple of Tamamo.


So this is the floor; it must be the top, since there are no up stairs. The Mapper spell tells me there's something in the middle, but it must be accessed from another floor. Just out of curiosity I try Kei's Toraport and Toraest, but they don't work. I guess it's so we don't warp out of jail. I wonder if they'd work on other floors. Anyway, onward to 3F!


At first I'm surprised to see him here, but he wrote the program I got in trouble for using, so it makes sense.

( The head of this place, Yama, is judging and sentencing all sorts of people.
( Yeah, I had gathered that.
( The judgement is indeed fair...
( :wat:
( ...but it is based on the ethical standards of Chaos, so if you don't hold the same values, you could be in real trouble.
( When in Rome, watch slaves kill each other, I guess.
( If you ever need help from me, feel free to come back and see me.

*: Steven heals us and offers to save our game. Huh!

( If you defeat Nio, you should be able to get out of prison.
( Alright then, he's as good as dead. See you later!

( I follow you so far.
( What's the matter with stealing a little to do so?
( :facepalm:

*: The encounter rate feels more irritating than usual, but fortunately I've befriended the tougher demons around and I can reliably intimidate the others. Man am I glad I've invested in Intelligence!

( You know, I'm beginning to understand why the Gaian courts are so overzealous.
( I was captured, but God will surely bless me for fulfilling his will!

( I was right, and I'm not afraid to admit it!

*: I don't find down stairs, but this time there's a path to the inner area.


( And that's why you will die.


*: Nio's a hard-hitter and targets two people at once, but a few rounds of Taru-nda remedy to that. He can use Sibabu, but as long as Kei doesn't get Bound then it's not a problem. The guy's got high defense though, so I replace Gozuki with Hobgoblin to accelerate things.

...we get enough EXP to level both Francois and Kei three times; Kei learns Ricarm. Sweet! By this point, Francois has almost 600 HP and is easily the hardest single-target hitter in the party.

( If I was a demon, I'd want myself.

Lv? Kishin Nio
Nio are incarnations of a Buddhist protector deity, said to have traveled with and protected Buddha himself. If you see two statues of massive musclebound angry guys at the entrance of a Buddhist temple, they're probably Nio.

*: I go back to Steven to heal up... but he's already gone. Huh!

The central area has up and down stairs, and an elevator going from 1F to 4F. I'm in good shape still, I can check out the rest of the top floor.

( They say that's it's been like that there for a long time. One person I met said that there used to be a "planetarium" and an "aquarium" there... but what are those things? I've never even heard of them before.

As pleasant it is to think of the apocalypse in terms of what survived, it's best not to linger too much on what didn't.

*: There's nothing else in 4F. Oh well. The second floor it is, then.

Teleportation spells are still no good.

Well, we find Luck, Magic and Stamina Incense, and are ambushed by a single Hobgoblin. Not bad! There are still lots of encouters, but with the exception of the odd overconfident Chulruk or Turdak, I don't actually have to fight anything. Heck, walking around here is downright profitable; I break the 400000 Makka and 70000 Magnetite marks, and random Gozuki and Mezuki give me several Agirao and Jionga Stones.



Heh, if might makes right, then I'm King Right. I'm gonna make my appeal yet.

( Look, you people got a thing or two to learn about due process. Allow me to enlighten you.
( Such insolence cannot be tolerated! I will destroy you myself!


*: Yama does nothing but strike a couple of targets per turn for over 120 damage each. He's immune to lightning, but Kei's fast enough to Diarahan anyone who gets close to death. Hobgob buffs and Tamamo debuffs, as usual.

Overall it's a brutal slugfest, but we outlast him, earning two more levels' worth of EXP, almost three. I have a feeling that if I had been just a little less strong, he would have wiped the floor with me.

...oh man, that must have been, like, super Lawful. Hmm. I wish I had thought of that before I murdered the guy.

Lv? Tenma Yama
There are a couple fairly different versions of this guy floating around Eastern mythologies, but this is definitely the Japanese one. He is the judge of the dead, deciding whether the souls of the recently deceased can become honored ancestors or are sent directly to a hellish afterlife without passing Go or collecting 200 Makka. He's also Gozuki and Mezuki's boss.

Tenma are mighty Light-Chaos gods, known for being especially strict, inflexible, and even sometimes aggressive and violent; one might associate them with retribution, righteous vengeance, or necessary destruction.

( Look. I kill self-important douchebags. It's what I do. You can't possibly have brought me here expecting something else to happen.
( ...So I guess this means Yama wasn't so tough after all... Hmm, this looks even worse for us than I expected! I'd better get out there and make myself even stronger if I'm gonna survive.
( Yeah, you could take your chances and do that. Or, you could-
( See ya!
( -come... with... Whatever, dude. Whatever.

Let's get out of here.

*: Oh hey, I just got four encounters in a row in the same square. That's new.

Anyway. I take the elevator to the ground floor.

( ...but nobody's been up there to either confirm or deny the report. It's rumored that there's an expert in demon fusion imprisoned up there.
( Oooh, sounds like someone I gotta meet.


Hmm. I wonder if it might be a Heavenly King.

( Makes me feel better knowing we're protected... but I sure wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley!

I don't have the heart to tell him I might have to kick the guy's ass.

*: Oh hey, a Jakyou Mansion! Lessee...

Gozuki + Mezuki =

Lv30 Seirei Gnome
The gnome, at its origins, is a concept of an earth elemental, introduced in 16th century alchemy. The word was later appropriated by folklore and fairy tales into more or less a synonym for "goblin". By now they're not much use in a fight, but they are the first of the four high-grade Seirei, required to rank up the stronger demon families.

Not technically the special fusion I expected, but now I know where to get an easy Gnome! I decline getting this one now though, because I don't exactly need it at the moment.

Werewolf + Sarutahiko =
Lv46 Yousei Troll
Originally an insulting name for mythological Norse giants (otherwise called the Jotun), the wordhas evolved into the multitude of usages we know today, though it generally designates large, dim-witted ogre-types. Here they are acceptable fighters with very high defense, but they are most remarkable for their relatively high MP. They know Bufula, Maha-Bufu, and Diarahan.

Troll's not as strong as Werewolf, but he's tougher, more resistant to magic, and he's my first source of ice damage in a long, long time. Plus it's nice to have someone who can back-up Kei on the healing front. Diarahan always heals up to the maximum, so the Magic Power stat is a non-issue.


*: Oh hey, new junk store owner. He sells one-shot offense items. The only things kinda worth looking at are Dragon ATMs and Hiko-bari (poison needles that have a chance to kill one target), and I don't really need either.

( Err...
( Shhh!
( Right.
( Evildoers and Mesians alike are all sentenced to death.

( Yes please! :cake:

*: The guy sells Pauza P50s, but the main attractions are the Explosive Gun (80/10, hits 2-8 times) and the Golden Gun (95/30, hits 3-6 times). Both can be equipped by anyone, so it's a long overdue upgrade for Kei. I buy her the Golden Gun for the extra punch, and get Francois an Explosive Gun for the additional targets.

On the ammo side, we can get Plutonium Shells again, or Magic Shells, which... can cause... Charm. Oh my. If the hit percentage is even remotely decent, this could be borderline overpowered. I just have to try them.

( So you're saying that Yama didn't have what it takes either?
( ...!
( Ha!


*: Nice! Let's see...

For Francois:
-Circlet of Knowledge (15/11, +2 Intelligence)
-Hakuma's Armor (40/17, +2 Stamina)
-Musha Greaves (14/6, +2 Speed)

For Kei:
-Circlet of Knowledge
-Powered Suit (20/20, +2 to all stats)

The Powered Suit has lower defense than Kei's old Crimson Armor, and much lower defense than the Panzer Suit I can buy here, but it gives her even higher Evasion, and the +2 to all stats is kind of a big deal; that's 12 levels' worth of points. Francois could get one too, but since he's the frontline guy I'd rather give him the huge defense boost of Hakuma's Armor. He's kind of a brick by now; if Tamamo didn't reflect physical damage, I'd put him in front of everyone.

All in all, this shopping spree leaves me with a little under 300000 Makka.

I find a Terminal and a Gaia Temple nearby.

...according to the save screen, the place where I last saved with Steven actually was Sugamo Prison! I didn't see anyone who knew about fusion... Hmm.

I finally get to see the light of day again.


*: I think my blue icon is spinning clockwise a little faster now; I probably am getting more and more Lawful. But I didn't kill Yama because he was Chaos-aligned, I killed him because he was an asshole!

Oh well.

At this point I think I might as well embrace my alignment for now, in terms of the minions I summon. It'd really free up some options at the Mansion for sure, and I'm sure I'd find a way to help some non-douchebag Gaians sooner or later...

And hey, if there aren't any non-douchebag Gaians, then fuck 'em.

Well, I'm calling this an update for now. Next time, I'll explore the Ikebukuro neighborhood, and maybe check the Prison again to make sure I didn't miss that fusion specialist I've heard about.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 08, 2011, 05:50:55 PM
*: I went back to Sugamo Prison to look for the fusion expert, but I couldn't find a trace of the guy. I'm beginning to think the rumor might have been about... me.

I had the opportunity to field-test the Charm-causing Magic Ammo, and it's phenomenal. I don't know if resistance to charm is common, but if it's not, this might be the last type ammunition I ever need.

I also recruited another Sarutahiko. My current party is still all Neutral, but seeing as killing Yama sunk me even deeper into Law I'm not going to fret too much about the alignment of my minions anymore. My return to Neutrality will come through plot events, or it won't come at all.

Alright, so! We're before the entrance to Ikebukuro, ready to explore the surrounding wasteland, and maybe to find an overland route to Ueno... even though Tetsuo told us not to go there. I also want to see if I can find the Kishin who is said to protect this area, since he's probably a Heavenly King.

Dang, there's lots of new cryptozoology out here!

Lv34 Youchou Badb Catha
Badb Catha is one of a trio of ancient Irish war goddesses, along with Macha and Morrigan. Taking the form of a crow, she bears witness to battles and announces doom for one side, and sometimes even causes disorder and disturbances to grant victory to whoever is fortunate enough to be in her favor at the time; if a sudden gust of wind blows your archer's projectiles off target, you know who to blame. She's very fast, but fragile and relatively weak; she has a Claw attack, the multi-hit force elemental Flap-Wing, and, appropriately, Panic Voice.

Lv51 Jaryuu Basilisk
The Basilisk is the king of reptiles, a creature so deadly and venomous that grass burns and stones break in its wake, and a horseman striking one with a lance would die along with his horse from the poison traveling up his weapon. It is also said to turn living things to stone just by looking at them, just like a cocatrice. It's fairly strong, but its other stats are merely acceptable. The real danger comes from its skills: Paralysis Bite, Petra-Eye, and Venom Breath.

Lv43 Jaryuu Wyvern
The wyvern is a composite reptile from European folklore, often seen in heraldry; it is usually described as having the body of a lizard, the head of and wings of a dragon, and the tail of a scorpion. It's strong, fast and reasonably tough, but dumb as a box of rocks. It has a Bite attack, Flap-Wing, and Fire Breath.

Lv51 Datenshi Marchocias
A Great Marquis of Hell, commanding thirty legions of demons. He appears in the form of a winged wolf with a snake's tail, and is mostly known for being good in a fight, as well as having the generic Goethian demon power of answering truthfully to all questions. He has good overall stats with great MP, and can perform well in any role; he knows Agirao, Bite, and Charm-Bite. He's also immune to fire.

Lv38 Majuu Orthrus
Orthrus is Kerberos' underachieving two-headed brother, most notable for getting punked by Hercules, who was attempting to rustle his master Geryon's red cattle in order to accomplish his tenth labor. A fast figher-type, with Bite, Estma and Toraest.

Lv 42 Kyouchou Gurr
In Sri Lankan Buddhism, Gurr is an evil, carnivorous eagle demon; he might actually be a dig at rival Hindu god Garuda, who is also an eagle, but also far less of a douche in his original religion. He's got a mind-blowing 30 Speed, but all his other stats suck hard. He knows Claw, Flap-Wing, and Mudo, the latter of which might be his sole redeeming feature.

Lv40 Rakcarango
A demonic bull from Tibetan folklore, usually depicted as entirely red from the blood of its victims. An average fighter with okay Strength, it knows Bash, Wall of Water, and Rampage.

Lv47 Chirei Giant
It has huge guts! Giants have average Strength for fighter-types of their level, but great Stamina, HP and physical defense. They know Rampage and Critical.

*: I quickly see the exit of the Ginza tunnel, to the southeast, just as I thought. There's someone standing in the spot where were intercepted by Tetsuo...

( But before that, it used to be called Sugamo Prison even earlier. And that older name's back, and is what the place's called now.

*: Sugamo Prison is an actual location in Ikebukuro, built in 1920 to imprison political prisoners. It was taken over by Allied forces at the end of World War II, but was then used to incarcerate war criminals, and some of them were executed on the premises. It was closed down in the seventies, and the Sunshine 60 skyscraper was built on its site in 1978; it was the tallest building in Japan at the time.

I occasionally hop back to the Mansion to see if the new hires around here can fuse into anything interesting. And it turns out that they do!

Badb Catha + Rusalka = Sytry

Sytry + Hobgoblin =
Lv40 Tenshi Power
Ranked 6th 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. Here they are decent fighters with good defense and excellent MP for their level; they know Mahanma, Taru-Kaja and Raku-Kaja.

Level 40 is a little low, but it turns out that Gnome (Gozuki + Mezuki) ranks up Tenshi, so...

Gnome + Power =
Lv46 Tenshi Virtue
Forming the fifth order of angels, Virtues are tasked with watching over and maintaining the movement of stars and planets, and therefore making sure that the cosmos is working according to God's will. They are fighter-mages, very durable but a little low in Strength, with Maha-Agion, Me-Diarahan, and Ricarmdora. Me-Diarahan restores the entire party's HP to full and costs only 14 MP, and is therefore incredibly valuable.

That's pretty damn cool, but the next Tenshi is level 52, and I'm level 54. :glee:

Gnome + Virtue =
Lv52 Tenshi Dominion
The fourth order of angels, Dominions are basically the managers of the heavenly hierarchy, making sure everyone below them does what they need to do. They rarely have contact with humans, but where lesser angels are charged with watching over individual mortals, Dominions preside over entire nations. They are strong, durable fighters, with excellent overall stats; they know Zionga, Taru-nda, and Marin-karin.

I also see that Gnome ranks up Chirei twice, so I pick up another Gozuki/Mezuki pair to get...

Gnome + Sarutahiko =
Lv50 Chirei Atlas
In Greek mythology, Atlas is the titan who holds up the heavens, charged by Zeus to make sure Gaia (the earth) and Uranus (the sky) never hook up and get it on; the whole "holding the planet on his shoulders" thing is a later addition. Rumor has it he considered giving up his duty when he became associated with a particularly ridiculous philosophy, but it turns out he was made of sterner stuff, and merely shrugged it off. Quite appropriately, he's durable and crazy strong. He knows Suku-kaja, Diarahan and Rampage, the latter of which is incredibly valuable, given that it is his only Extra skill and is therefore guaranteed to come up at will.

So yeah, my party's kind of a death machine. On top of that, I'm going to try and get a couple other Tenshi now that I know how and have just enough free slots to fuse them; I want to know if their Seirei can help me out.

Badb Catha + Senri (recruited outside Ikebukuro) = Leonard

Leonard + Elf (recruited in Shibuya) =
Lv34 Tenshi Archangel
The eight order of angels, the Archangels are footsoldiers (well, wingsoldiers) and messengers, primarily charged with fighting fallen angels and communicating God's will to mortals. They're excellent fighters with good overall stats; they know Agirao, Hanma and Diarama.

(Badb Catha + Rusalka) + Hobgoblin = Power

Archangel + Power =
Lv25 Seirei Sylph
Sharing origins with the gnomes, sylphs are invisible spirits of the air, referred to in alchemy but later recycled in folklore and such. They're fast, but long obsolete by the time you can get them.

*: I do get a couple of good choices, but something else catches my attention. Every time I got a new demon, I checked the Sword Fusion menu to see if I had just happened to find out a working combination, but nope. Until now.


So it wants a specific Seirei! Infusing the sword with elemental properties would certainly make sense. Let's see how this goes.

( the Kusanagi-no-tsurugi is a double-edged broadsword. Huh.


Futsu-no-mitama, eh? Lessee... 80 power, 3 accuracy, hits 1-3 times, anyone can equip it. I dunno... It's only 18 points weaker than Francois' Renki-no-Ken, but the accuracy is bullshit. That said, I've been increasing Francois' Speed the last few level ups, so maybe it's gonna be worth using. I'll give it a shot. Renki-no-ken appears in the Sword Fusion list now. So I can fuse that too! Hmm. And so does Futsu-no-mitama! I can't do anything with either now, but I'm gonna keep my eyes open.

Alright, I should be done with fusion for a while. Recruiting all those demons did cost me a bunch of money, magnetite, Magic Stones, Orbs, a few random gems, plus it took a long time. I got mad upgrades but it definitely wasn't free.

So, now I have
-3 free slots

And now I'm gonna explore for real, instead of just trolling for Badb Catha outside the front door.

There's a big desert in the west, but it's dead end. The north and south are blocked by massive cliffs and a river, respectively. That leaves the east. I don't find an overland path to Ueno, but...



There's the usual Heavenly King assortment of random encounters, so yeah, this is the next one.




Hoooly crap, this isn't the third one, it's the big cheese himself!

( Well I just cooked up a bunch of new friends sooooo maybe?



*: I have Tamamo debuff his attack, and Ongkot buff our defense, then our attack. Guy's vulnerable to Shock and Freeze. He does get a couple of hits in... but either hits Tamamo, or uses Maha-Bufula, which Freezes most of us but only delays the inevitable.



Aaaaand that makes three more levels. One King left to go!

Lv75 Kishin Bishamonten
Bishamonten is the leader of the Heavenly Kings, presiding over the North. In Japan, he is regarded as a mighty war god, which is somewhat at odds with his pacifist Buddhist origins; there he is also counted among the Seven Lucky Gods. Here he is an exceptional warrior, with an almost maxed out Strength and mostly excellent stats besides. He knows Diarama, Maha-Bufula and Mahanma.


*: He turns back to a statue.

Taira-no-Masakado was a 10th century samurai who led a rebellion against the central authority in Japan at the time. The revolt was quelled and the man decapitated, but it turns out his head was buried in a small village which would later become Edo, then Tokyo. He's been basically deified since, and it is said that the prosperity of Tokyo is in direct proportion to the respect paid to the shrine that was built in his honor, and the place is a big deal even today.

Unusually, there is a second exit to the shrine. It's to the east; that must be the way to Ueno. On my way out, I actually convince a Tengu to join me (at no small expense).


Whew, we made it. That was quite the detour!

Alright, next time, we start looking around the Gaian mecca for a demon worshipper in need who's worth helping out. Mission impossible? Maybe!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 08, 2011, 06:24:56 PM
Quote the Kusanagi-no-tsurugi is a double-edged broadsword. Huh.

Supposedly yeah. (

It's odd to think that Japan might have actually had a bronze age at some point with typical short swords instead of just running around since the Neolithic period killing each other with that trademark curved steel design, but yeah that is the sort of sword that would predate recorded history.

It's pretty funny to see how disposable this game treats that particular weapon considering that possession of it would basically make you Emperor of Japan.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 09, 2011, 03:38:33 AM
I dunno, to me it feels like the KNS is deliberately downplayed. It's a safe bet to say there's not much of an Imperial Family left; heck, there's barely even a Japan left. Humans are either Mesians and answer to God, or they huddle in unsafe shelters under whatever local demon managed to bully its way into leadership. If we paraded around claiming divine right to rule on account of a sword, maybe some people would follow us out of desperation, but mostly we'd be laughed out of town.

...unless we started busting some heads of course, which we're doing anyway. We did just beat up three literal god-kings.

On the other hand, the Futsu-no-mitama isn't exactly a no-name weapon itself. It is said that it was Take-mikazuchi's sword, until Amaterasu ordered him to give it to the legendary first Emperor of Japan to help him in his conquests. The Isonokami Shrine is actually dedicated to its deified kami.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Koah on March 09, 2011, 04:36:34 AM
If it's the actual Kusanagi (and considering what's happening in the world, it's entirely reasonable to assume it is), having it just be in a chest with no fanfare honestly kind of makes sense: The real one was lost, misplaced, stolen or otherwise not where it should have been for centuries ( and it certainly doesn't look like it's of earth-shattering importance, least of all to people whose experience with Japanese gods entails either fighting them or hiding from them.  The Mesians could have just killed the person (or demon) who had it without knowing what it was, then just tossed it into a storage room.  Or they could have looted it from a shrine when they were off doing Mesian things, e.g. fighting anything that's not a Mesian.

...and/or the relative lack of fanfare upon getting it could be a sign that the world is not as it was.  I'm probably reading into things too much.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 09, 2011, 04:58:51 AM
I like the mental image of the Mesians giving it the old Indiana Jones Ark of the Covenant treatment. It was just lying around in a nondescript crate on a floor that consisted almost entirely of storage closets.

...and/or the relative lack of fanfare upon getting it could be a sign that the world is not as it was.  I'm probably reading into things too much.

That's how I see it too. A lot of things simply don't matter any more, least of all mere human politics. If the sword was of value as a powerful weapon, it would probably have been more contested despite the loss of its symbolic value, but even if you take into account its unique ability, it's just not very effective in battle. Which does make sense, it being ridiculously old and all.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 09, 2011, 02:58:22 PM
To be fair it would be a ridiculously powerful weapon if people were still in the habit of engaging in mass warfare.  When the description says "hits all enemies" they really do mean it hits all of your enemies.

Against small groups or solo war-gods though... yeah, it's pretty much just a very old bronze broadsword with a wind enchantment.  Besides, nukes have clearly proven to be more effective at decimating shit anyway.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 09, 2011, 03:39:46 PM
I wonder if a MegaTen game set someplace other than Japan would sell.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 11, 2011, 03:51:06 PM
*: We're finally in Ueno.


Just south of Bishamonten's shrine is Tokyo Dome City, an entertainment complex including a baseball stadium, and amusement park, a hotel, a martial arts arena, and various other such venues. It's kind of a shame we can't get in.

( Aw.
*: What, you wanted to see some demon baseball?
( Kinda, yeah. Wouldn't you?
*: ...maybe.

East of the Dome is a small building enclosed by trees.


There was one of those on the way to Shibuya, but I didn't think of mentioning it. Hmm.

Anyway. I explore further east, and find an area densely littered with ruined buildings. Two of them are the type that we can enter, but at the eastern extremity...


Well, there we go. Let's clear out this place first and see if we can get anything for it.

Yeah, it's definitely the fourth Heavenly King shrine. The first thing I find is a second exit, though.


Kanda, eh? That's north of Ginza. We were there earlier, but our path was cut off by collapsed roads, so this must be a separate area. I'll check it out later.



( Fabled? Hell yeah! I'd ask if you've said your prayers, but I'm not sure if that's the sort of thing you guys do.
( We are the guardians of the four borders of Tokyo, working under the guidance and direction of our guardian deity.

( I wish everybody felt that. It'd sure make it easier to get around.
( Indeed, it elicits a feeling of excitement and anticipation within me!
( Er... let's... let's not get carried away here.
( For the first time in centuries, one with the strength to provide a good fight has arrived!
( Yes! Fight! A fight! Of course!
( Come, show me what you are capable of!
( Bring it!


*: Buffs, debuffs, freezing, shocking. His icon switched to the wounded stance after two rounds, and he got an Agirao off on the third, hitting Kei for 16 damage. Then he changed into a statue.

Lv59 Kishin Jikokuten
"He who maintains the state", Jikokuten is the Heavenly King of the east. He has immense Strength and Stamina, but his others stats aren't so hot. He knows Agirao, Taru-kaja and Diarama.

Well, there we are. We beat all four. Nothing special is happening... but I guess we should track down Taira no Masakado next. Where's his shrine again?

Wikipedia says he's worshipped at Kanda Shrine. Well, that's convenient! I should probably go to Ueno and do my business there but I'm in a sidequesty mood right now, plus I'm still good for MP.

Back in Kanda, the only way is south.


Hmm, I remember seeing this bridge from Ginza.


( ...!
( I can't let you pass!

Is that...?


( Is there something wrong?
( I'm not sure.
( Should we force our way through?
( I... Nah, let's ask around to see if anyone knows anything about this bridge first.

*: We aren't given any options. All we can do is turn back.


So yeah, there are two accessible buildings in Ueno. I take the northern one first.


What a dump.

Lv46 Touki Nataku
Nataku is the Japanese name of Nezha, a Chinese trickster deity. Legend has it his mother was pregnant with him for over three years, and he was born as a ball of flesh that was so unsettling to behold that his father tried to kill him with a sword; the wound merely opened up the ball, and Nezhu jumped out a full grown boy. Later in life he killed a prince of the sea dragons, and flayed and disemboweled himself to spare his kin from the dragons' vengeance. I suppose that explains his Frankenstein's monster-like appearance; concept art depicts him as all stitched-up. He's a fairly strong fighter, immune to ice, but not too smart. He knows Suku-nda, Rampage, and Critical.

Lv44 Yama Ni Chalong
Ni Chalong is a terrible witch in service to Rangda, a demon queen of Balinese folklore. Though she herself was ugly as sin, she had a beautiful daughter, which no man dared to approach because, well, witch's daughter and all. Eventually, a legendary hero's brave pupil actually married the girl, and with her help he found out Ni Chalong's secret weakness, which allowed the hero to slay her. She's got lots of MP and fairly well-rounded, if unremarkable, stats; she knows Zionga, Dolminer and Parala-Eye.

( Disneyland? Yeah, of course!
( No, Destinyland.
( Oh... Err. No.
( You haven't? Then I'll tell you... if you give me 100 Makka.
( I don't know if it's worth that much to me. Let me see if I can put such a sum together. Atlas?

With a sigh of relief, the mighty titan sets down the comically bulging sack of money he's been carrying around for me; it springs a leak and spills approximately seventy-five thousand Makka on the floor without giving any sign of running out anytime soon. I motion for my other companions to help pick the assorted bills and coins back up.

( ...
( You know what, here's your hundred. Don't spend it all in one place.

Atlas hoists the sack back on his shoulders, straining slightly under the weight.

( There's... there's an island down to the south, and they say that people that go there get blessed with good luck. Enough luck to change the course of your fate, even.
( Interesting! I can always use some good luck!
( like you haven't already had more than your share you filthy bourgeois douchefuck
( Did you say something?
( I... uh... no. Not at all!
( Good.
( The only problem is that recently a demon has taken up residence by the bridge, and has clearly lost its mind.

That might just be the Kerberos we met. Hmm... I heard about Gaians stealing a Golden Apple in order to pacify a beast before.

*: We find a Terminal and a Jakyou Mansion next. Excellent!

Oh, hey!






155 attack power, 5 accuracy, 2-4 hits, anyone can use it.

Holy crap. That's worth an investment in Speed all by itself. And Atlas knows Suku-kaja, which should help my accuracy a great deal if I need it.

Francois went from 109/33 total power and accuracy with the Futsu-no-mitama to 184/35 with the Fuujin-ken.


It doesn't look like it can be upgraded further like the FNM can, but I'm not sure why I'd need to, really.

Anyway, that's all the fusin' I need to do right now. Let's carry on.

( Gah! What the-
( Some angel came to the Tokyo Tower and has been broadcasting footage nonstop, trying to brainwash more puppets into following their god, and it was statrting to piss me off.
( G... good for you!


Dang, she wasn't lying.

( Don't we all?
( But there's no way in hell I'd try and get past that huge dog-monster guarding the entrance!

Good thing my own Kerberos isn't summoned right now.

Lv48 Datenshi Ose
A Great President of Hell, ruling over three legions of demons. He appears in the form of a leopard, presides over the liberal sciences, answers truthfully yada yada yada. More uniquely, he can make people insane. Specifically, he is said to make people believe they are the Pope. He must be a hoot at parties! He's a strong fighter-mage with fairly good stats over all; he knows Sibabu, Marin-Karin and Maha-Agion.

( Look, I don't know what you could possibly want with me, but I think you'd better stay out of my way.
( Ho ho! So, you dare to challenge me? You shall regret that decision!
( You know exactly what it is I'm going to cut off if you bug me for one more second.
( Your luck is at an end, running into me!
>Incubus is laughing at you.
( I'm not in the habit of taking guff from your kind. Get out of my sight.
( Taste my power!

Lv49 Yama Incubus
In Christian folklore, an Incubus is a male demon who seduces women and has sex with them to steal their souls. Most notably, according to some traditions, Merlin's father (of Arthurian fame) was an Incubus. Here they are mostly spellcasters, though their physical stats aren't entirely garbage. They know Death Touch, Sibabu, and Demon's (?).

Lv39 Kijo Gorgon
Nasty female monsters from Greek mythology; they are usually depicted as half-women half-snakes, but some are said to have wings, tusks, or claws. Medusa and her sisters Euryale and Stheno are the most famous Gorgons by far, and depending on who you ask, they are in fact the only three in existence. In most cases, they are quite venomous, and are ugly enough to turn anyone who looks at them to stone. They're good fighters for their level, with good defense and HP. If that wasn't enough already, they know Makala-karn, Petra-Eye and Me-Diarahan.

( Ooooh, that's precious. Doctor Doom's Mini-me survived the apocalypse!


Man, why is every demon summoner but me a complete asshole?

*: It's impressive how Corpses can still take a beating, but they sure can't dish it out anymore.


*: Dealing with Tentarafu eight times per round could have been a pain... but Kei used Mahanma on all of them. NEXT!


*: Oh. Hmm.

Well, Kei came through for us again with a swift Mahanma, taking out all four Legions. Sanni Yaka are nothing new, fortunately. One Ongkot has got his Taru-kaja off, Francois kills at least two per round by himself.

Lv44 Akuryou Legion
Their name is Legion, for they are many. A vast congregation of demons, notable for being cast out of a single man by Jesus Himself; since they had nowhere else to go, they possessed a herd of swine and threw themselves off a cliff. Of course, we know they went on to become one of the coolest video game bosses of all time, so hey, that sure beats possessing a random schmuck. They're fairly strong and durable, but otherwise they don't have much going for them... though they know Death Touch and a mysterious "Road to(?)" skill which might make up for it.

( Listen, chucklenuts. I'm the best at what I do. When will you idiots learn?




( Well, you just purchased yourself a new lease on life, my friend. Make me proud!

*: I hope Steven returned to his room in Ginza. I'm not sure how to track him down otherwise, though I guess he has a habit of finding me.

We find a junk shop. It has a wide selection of one-use Stones that cast elemental spells, but I don't really need them, plus my inventory's tight enough as it is.

Next up is a second exit. It leads out to... Akihabara. That's the second building I noticed when I was exploring outside. Good to know!

( Those Gaians are something else, living right on top of a monster like that without breaking a sweat!

I hope this guy doesn't open the door to his room too often. It's not like the place isn't swarming with monsters anyway.

*: We find an armor shop. They sell all four pieces of male-only Jagd equipment, which seem to be some of the best stuff money can buy.

We buy:
-Jagd Helm (24/10, +2 Int)
-Jadg Armor (50/12, +2 Str)
-Jagd Gloves (11/6, +2 Str)
-Jagd Leggings (12/15, +2 Spd)

Next door is a gun shop. They have the male-only Gigasmasher (100/8, hits 1-8 times) for 80000 Makka, and Kunitomo's Gun (110/40, hits 3-5 times) for 100000. They're both completely better than what we have, but for once, I'm hesitant about the price. It wouldn't put me in the poorhouse, but buying one of each would cost me half my money.

Aw, to hell with it. Francois gets a Gigasmasher, and Kei gets Kunitomo's Gun.

Ammo-wise they have Medusa Shells (28 power, causes Stone) and Antimagic Shells (25 power, causes Close). They both sound nice, but I'm gonna keep my Magic Shells for the moment at least.

We find a down staircase nearby; it certainly leads to the sewers, but I'll finish things up with the ground floor first.

Next up is a very welcome Gaian Temple. We weren't exactly close to death but I do use up some MP in fights around here, mostly for Taru-kaja and the occasional Maha-Bufu and Maha-Zionga.

( Louis... Cypher?

Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

( But please, call me Louis, all my friends do.
( What can I do for you, mister Cypher?
( I actually have someone here who's been dying to see you. She says you know her quite well, actually.

Couldn't be...

( Hey, you wanted to see Francois? He's right over here...



( I'd like to say I did not want to see you again, but since you took something of mine last time we met, I was actually quite looking forward to this.
( This didn't turn out right... I was supposed to be the one to be your partner. But you chose that woman, Kei, instead!
( So I picked the girl who wasn't a bloodthirsty psychobitch. Big surprise there!
( ...Or perhaps more appropriately, you were chosen by her... I tried to take you away from her... But I failed...
( Look, if you want to make amends, you could always start by giving me Belial's-
( If I can't have you, no one will!


What the f-

*: Francois actually takes some damage here.


( Well you kind of ALREADY DID!
( Farewell, Francois....
( You're not getting away that- dammit!
( Oh my. This was certainly unexpected. My apologies -- try not to think too badly of her.
( Are you for real? Do you have any idea what-

...he's gone too.

So Yuriko is... Lilith?

*: The plot thickens!

Next time, we finish exploring Ueno. Maybe we can track down that Golden Apple and clear up the business with the unusual Kerberos, and also find out why Tetsuo didn't want us to set foot here.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on March 14, 2011, 09:21:57 AM
Later incarnations of the Incubus are little tiny flying imps with massive phallic codpieces that look like they're made of animal horn or something. Certainly much better than the ones here.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 14, 2011, 09:26:54 AM
They remind me of penis gourds ( actually, link surprisingly safe for work!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 14, 2011, 06:45:20 PM
Yeah, the imp-like incubi are clearly designed to be comical and ridiculous, but the horrible goat-men here are ten kinds of creepy. If I wasn't already fairly certain that Succubi are going to be legitimately smokin', I'd be a little worried.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Saturn on March 14, 2011, 07:57:10 PM
both Incubus and Succubus are pallet swaps of other demons in SMT

Succubus is a recolored Lilim and Incubus is a recolored Leonard

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 15, 2011, 04:22:51 AM
*: Momentous revelations aside, we still have a good chunk of Ueno to explore, not to mention the sewers. Let's get to it. With a little luck we'll learn about where Yu... where Lilith has run off to.

( Err... okay. Thanks, kid.

That guy seems way too nice for the company he keeps.

( Rumor has it though that the Gaians are preparing an assault on it to try to take it over.
( I don't have much love for the Gaian agenda on principle, but considering what the Mesians have in store for them, I can't blame them.

*: There are two completely unexpected damage traps on a corridor hugging the north end of the area. That kinda sucks.

...that corridor leads to nothing but a Rag's franchise. What a doucher.

( Do the Gaians even have baptism? Maybe they turned you away because you wanted them to perform a Christian ritual on you.

*: We find an up staircase behind that last guy. I guess the Gaian leaders are there, since I've cleared the ground floor and haven't found them yet.

This is the ground floor, by the way.


I'm just glad the map designers resisted the temptation to make everything fill a 16x16 grid.

Before we check out the second floor, I want to see the sewers and this Ladon creature I've heard about. In Greek mythology, Ladon is the guardian of the Garden of the Hesperides, where Golden Apples grow; if I want to pacify the rogue Kerberos, this is my best bet.

Back to the down staircase we go!


Oh, great.

First encounter is an Atlas. Boy am I glad I'm already friends with him.

( H... Hello!
( :facepalm:
>The demon is ignoring you.
( What's a pretty thing like you doing in a sewer like this?
( Starting now, you're my slave!
( I'm afraid I have to decline. I'm already spoken for.
( Boooring!
( Actually I'm anything but boring. I'm sure you've heard of me by now.
( Hee hee hee hee... Here I come!
( I hope you don't mean that liter-OW!

Lv54 Yama Succubus
The famous infernal temptresses. Depictions vary quite a bit, from outright monstrous demons in early tales to the modern flawless supermodel types, and everything in between. They've been held responsible for things as harmless as nocturnal emissions, but are dangerous enough to absorb men's life energy and even steal their souls. In some traditions, Lilith is said to have been the first succubus, and her myriad daughters, the Lilim, walk in their mother's footsteps. Here, Succubi are quite fragile for their level, but have high Intelligence, even higher Magic, and enough MP to cast their one spell over a hundred times. They know Death Touch (made devastating by their Magic Power stat), Demon's Kiss (causes Charm) and a very effective Dolminer.

In the same encounter, an Ose drops Deathbringer (90/15, hits 1-3 times, only for Chaos males), which isn't a shitty weapon by any means but doesn't compare to the Fuujin-ken.

We run into some poison traps. It's amulet time!


Hmm, that's an unusual floor, and it's not very large either. Let's keep going down.


And that's another short floor littered with traps. Only one square left to explore!


Holy crap that thing is ugly. Let's kill it.

*: Oh hey, it's vulnerable to Shock and Freeze. With Francois dealing between 500 and 1000 damage per round with a couple layers of Taru-kaja on, the fight doesn't last long.



Lv? Jaryuu Ladon
In Greek mythology, Ladon was a fierce dragon who guarded the apple tree in the Garden of the Hesperides, a magnificent garden tended by nymphs. According to some stories, it was taken down by Hercules on one of his twelve labors like so many other Greek critters, but in some others, it is actually so terrible and mighty that Hercules has to trick Atlas into picking one of the golden apples for him.

*: I could hoof it all the way back, but eh, I just have Kei Toraport us to the Terminal. We haven't even spent enough MP to make it worth going to the Gaian Temple, so we set out for the brige.



( What am I doing here...?
( Pas... Pascal?
( Y-you're Francois...! I'm glad you're still alive!
( :8D:
( The last thing I remember clearly is getting teleported by that strange machine. It garbled my senses and I lost my memory. I wandered around aimlessly for a while, until I finally ended up here as a guard dog for this place. Would you be so kind as to let me join you again?
( What, are you kidding? Of course! Welcome back!
( Very well, then I shall come with you. I am at your service...
>Kerberos joined the party.

*: Woo! I wasn't even sure we'd ever see Pascal again, but there he is. Of course Kerberos isn't all that useful anymore in combat anymore, though it's nice to have access to Samaricarm.

Alright, now let's check out this Destinyland.

( it is Disneyland. Huh. I think it should be a bit further east, but if Jikokuten's shrine is the eastern end of the map, then maybe it was put here just so it would fit at all.


Well, isn't this cheery.

*: There's a Gaian temple and a Terminal right next to the entrance. Nice!

( Oh, it's you. Heyyyyy. So what's going on in Gaian land these days? Any more attempts at a judicial system?
( I've joined up with the forces of Chaos and am fighting with them to crush the sinister plans of God!
( Well, everyone needs a hobby. In other news, who's the hottie? You gonna introduce us or what?
( Oh yeah! I got myself a partner too! Her name's Rie. Rie, this is my friend Francois.
( Hello, Rie!
( Hi!
>The girl says nothing, but smiles at you.
( Never figured you to go for the quiet type, but I guess it makes sense.
( Francois... Look at yourself, look at what you're doing. Do you really believe that you're doing the right thing?
( ...
( Can you answer me?
( Look, people have been assuming a lot of things about the way I go about my business, but there's really more to it than-
( As much as I'm sure you'd like to believe otherwise, you're doing exactly the same as I am! Yes, my hands are bloody, but so are yours!
( I've never claimed otherwise.
( The only thing different... is that I do what I do to survive, and you say you do what you do for God!
( What? Dammit, no, I-
( No... I take that back. You're committing travesties, but excuse it by slapping God's name on your actions as if that will justify them! And that you claim to be doing "justice"... It makes me sick! You hypocrite!
( Dude, will you shut the hell up and just listen for one damned second?
( Rie! Stand back! I'm going to tear the sheep's clothing off this wolf and expose him for what he truly is!


( As I thought, you're pretty good... But the next time we meet, I won't let you off so easily.


( Why the fuck is everyone in the world a freaking zealot except for me?

( that you mention it...
( When I look at her, my skin crawls. I don't know, maybe it's just me...
( ...

Oh crap, I bet that's Lilith. It's gotta be. Damn, if he's listening to her, who knows what she told him about me?

Gah, this is making my head hurt. Let's just keep going.

Lv47 Youjuu Manticore
An evil beast originally from Persian folklore, said to eat people whole, clothes and possessions and all; it was blamed for mysterious disappearances. Descriptions have varied across the ages, but it usually has the body of a lion, the tail of a snake, and the head of a human with nasty pointy teeth. Here they are strong and quick fighter-types with a trio of colossally annoying skills: Paralysis Bite, Bind Voice and Petra-Bite.

>This is a place where you can test and find your destiny! How will you fare? You're a lucky one! For those with good luck, life is paradise!


*: You know, before we get too far into this place, I think I'll teleport back to Ginza to see if I can find Steven. It'd free up the inventory slot occupied by the Memory Board, and maybe I'll want to hire some of the creatures here.

( I don't think I'll ever have enough. Heck, I think my computer's outdated; I ran across a few summoners with 24 minions.
( Have you found a-
( Yyyup.
( Oh, you found another Memory Board? I guess there were quite a few left!
( Well, I wouldn't say that exactly...
( ......Done! Now you can stock another minion in your computer!
( ...Just the one?
( My Demon Summoning program has gotten even more convenient now!
( Err... yeah... thanks.

*: When I try to re-enter the room, Steven's not there anymore.

Oh well. Back to Destinyland! Fortunately I can Toraport straight to the terminal there.

( Huh?
>Gwaa! Lucky little bastard! Gwa! Gwa! Gwa! Gwa! Gwa! Gwa!
( What the fuck? This place is so weird!

Lv50 Youma Choronzon
A sort of demon, most remarkable for its importance in famous occultist slash crackpot Aleister Crowley's philosophy slash religion, though its name originally comes from 16th century occultism. Also named the Dweller in the Abyss, it seems to be a sort of personification of the last spiritual obstacles standing in the way of a magician's final enlightenment, and is given a form only so it can be vainquished. Here they are powerful spellcasters, a bit on the fragile side defense-wise but with high HP and decent Strength; they know Agirao, Maha-Agion and Toraest.


*: Again with the "lucky ones speech". Hmm. Another random room calls me a lucky bastard. There are a couple teleporters and dark rooms, but they're mostly harmless.

After exploring the eastern half of the area, I Toraport back to the entrance to heal up. When I return to the central area, I get the usual "test and find your destiny message", but this time...



*: Francois has the "Curse" status effect. Yikes! I am definitely not waiting around to see what it does; I turn back and get the Gaian priest to cure him. It costs 3480 Makka.

I return to the entrance, but have "good luck this time". Huh.

Oh hey, there's a gun store in the west wing. Didn't expect that. They sell the Gigasmasher and Kunitomo's Gun, but also a L134 Minigun (125/0, hits an entire group, male-only). Seeing as I've been increasing Francois' Speed for several levels now, it seems like an excellent investment. It's 150000 Makka, but I've been getting lots of cash from the demons around here and I can afford it.

( You know, when this all began, if someone had tried to convince me I would eventually get my hands on a minigun that shoots magic bullets that make people fall in love with me, I probably would have punched them in the liver.

*: They also have Flash Slugs (30, causes Bind) and Happy Shots (35, causes Happy), the latter of which is apparently the single most damaging type of ammo in the game. In fact, it's more than twice as strong as the Magic Shells we're using right now. Unfortunately, Happy isn't exactly the most useful status ailment. If the Magic Shells stop being useful, I think I'll replace them with Flash Slugs instead.

I found an staircase to the second floor, but there's an entire section of the ground floor I haven't even touched yet. Let's get to it.


( Who, me?

There's no one else around.

( Pick your path through the network of rooms we've got here, and you will be led to your destiny! What will it be? Well now, that's up to you! It will be interesting to see how things turn out!
>It costs 5000 Makka to enter. Will you pay?
( Well, we've come all this way. Why not?
( All right then! Just go on through. There are four doors to enter the ride, pick whichever you'd like!


That's unusually thrilling!

*: Next time: we find out what the heart of Tokyo Destiny Land has in store for us!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 15, 2011, 08:03:45 AM
Like any good religious organization, the gaians also monetize divine favor and forgiveness. So give them money until you're a better person.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 19, 2011, 04:27:04 AM
*: Alright, let's try our luck. The four doors before us are one-way, so there's no coming back. There doesn't seem to be any indication whatsoever as to what awaits us behind any of them; the Mapper spell displays a similar row of four rooms each leading to a one-way door further north.

( Eeny meeny miny... oh never mind that, I'll just take the first one on the left. It's not like I can't afford to do this four times.

*: More rooms. We can move freely east and west, but north is always one-way. As if on cue, the New Moon rolls around and Mapper expires. When I try to consult the auto-map...


Well, dang. I'll just keep going north then. I just hope this isn't some sort of teleport maze.

There are random encounters, the same as in the rest of Destiny Land; I can talk most of them into giving me stuff. Most of the demons around here respond well to intimidation, but I've had more success with Giants by being friendly with them.

Oooh, Francois and Kei hit level 59, and Kei learns Megido, a non-elemental damage spell.

Eventually we reach a room that only has a north exit. We must be getting close to whatever is supposed to be found here.

( Well aren't you mommy's favorite little psychoanalyst. Now where's my prize?

*: We're teleported somewhere. Hmm.


Heyyyy, we're next to the entrance of this section. What the deuce?

I get back in, and the guy gives me his schpiel again. Let's try once more.

( Yeah, they do that.
( So, you've finally come to kill me, eh? Well take your best shot! I won't give up without a fight!
( Wait, what?

*: It's a fight against a single Gurr, and is therefore barely worthy of mention. What's going on here?

Again, we get teleported to next to the entrance. This is weird.

I go back in. There must be two spots I haven't been to yet. On my way to one of them, I recruit a Choronzon and a Giant.

( You are destined to become a messenger and bringer of that light. It is indeed that light in your soul that brought you to me.
( Wow. You should say that to the guy next door, m'am.

*: Warped back again. Once more unto the breach!

( Look, there is no way this can end well for you. Why don't we-

*: Another trivial fight, and we're teleported again. Hmm. Just to see if anything changes, I'll try to revisit one of the rooms. It costs me 5k every time, but I make that cash back in two encounters.

( For the love of whatever deity won't offend your personal beliefs, can anyone tell me what's going on in-


*: This is going nowhere, literally. Hmm. Well, there's still a second floor here, maybe we'll get an explanation there.'s a long corridor that leads to a pitfall.

A pitfall that drops to the third floor.

( How... how did that even happen?
*: Don't look at me, man!

There's another corridor, leading to a room with a Luck Incense and a dead end with another pitfall. It takes us to the fourth floor, where we find another Luck Incense and another pitfall back the the third floor.

( WAAAAAAAALT! :khaaan:

*: The pattern repeats several times, flipping us between the second, third and fourth floor and occasionally offering us more Luck Incense. Eventually we start running into Kerberos and...

Lv51 Jaki Cyclops
Giant humanoid creatures from Greek mythology, notable for their single eye. According to some ancient writers, they were talented blacksmiths, but in general they're said to be brutish and frankly quite dumb. In Homer's Odyssey, Ulysses manages to trick the cyclops Polyphemus into believing his name was Nobody, so that when the cunning sailor blinded him, he would call on his kin for help saying that Nobody poked his eye out. Here they are very strong fighters, though their Intelligence, Magic and Luck are laughably bad. They know Rampage and a rather ineffective Maha-Zio.

( Yeah, it's pretty neat! You're into vintage stuff, I suppose?
( You just leave that here with me, and maybe I won't kill you...
( Ha! Hahaha! Good one!
( Heh, I can see that you're not willing to part with it. No big deal, then I'll just take it from you by force!


*: Kei takes out the mysterious Vetara with Mahanma, and the Sanni Yaka haven't been a threat in a long time.

( Man, and I was hoping you'd put up an actual fight too.

Lv46 Yuuki Vetara
Vetara are evil spirits from Hindu mythology, who haunt graveyards and manifest by possessing corpses. They sometimes said to come to the defense of villages in times of need, but by and large they are wicked creatures who delight in the chaos and misery they can inflict by manipulating the remains of the dead. They're decent fighters, and quite durable for their level, but they don't have much HP and their Magic is very low, making them vulnerable to spells. They know Death Touch, Venom Bite, and Paralysis Bite.


*: A bit harder, but judicious application of Magic Shells and Maha-Bufu allowed us to come out on top.

Lv37 Jaryuu Wyrm
Basically, that's the Old English term for "dragon", though here it's really not the majestic modern fantasy dragon, but rather the bestial, ugly and evil medieval one. Their stats are not impressive by any means, though they are quite fast and probably would have made decent fighters had I met them when I was also level 37. They know Constrict and Bite.


( ...that's your third wave? These old critters, seriously? Well, whatever you say!

*: We've been slaying Manticores by the bucketload lately; the Rakshasa were surprisingly tough to kill but they barely hurt us.

( I suppose these terms are acceptable.
( But it looks like you killed all of my minions!
( ...whose fault is that, do you think?
( Fine, fine, take my magnetite!
( Pffft, whatever.

*: We get 10000 magnetite.


Yikes, that busted the magnetite counter, and the makka counter too for some reason. I hope that's just a visual thing.

Aaaaanyway. We keep going through another pitfall and end up before one final room, on the fourth floor.


Holy crap, she's frikking gigantic. Kaneda wants me to kill that?

Of course, if anyone's got a chance, I do. But still...

( Uh, hi!
( In ages long gone by, I gave birth to many creatures to test the worthiness of heroes.
*: She's not kidding. In Greek mythology, Echidna is called the mother of all monsters; she gave birth to Orthros, Kerberos, Ladon, the Lernean Hydra and the original Chimera, among many others. I'm almost surprised that I can't find any stories about someone hunting her down to make armor out of whatever her uterus is made of.
( I stay here, guarding Destiny Land with my life against those who would destroy us. You may not be aware of it, but those that worship YHVH, the God of Law, are scheming to impose their yoke on the entire world, conquering it totally. While they spit out venomous lies about wanting to save all of humanity, their true aim is to summon the God of Law to Earth so that he can conquer it. The Cathedral they are building by Tokyo Bay is being constructed for this very reason -- it is there that they will summon YHVH. If YHVH gets his way, comes to Earth and conquers it, humanity will suffer even more than it does now, oppressed under the tyranny of his iron fist. He is not satisfied with anything less than total submission -- mind, soul, and body -- and will make everyone swear an oath of loyalty to him in the name of "faith". They will become nothing more than mindless drones, in psychological slavery to him. The Thousand Year Kingdom is for those who submit themselves totally to the God of Law in this fashion, and for nobody else... Those who refuse will be killed or sent to Hell to be tortured for all eternity. That is the true nature of their plan. The God of Law originally came to power in ages past by turning any gods that opposed him, including myself, into demons... casting us into the Abyss, and having our worshippers slaughtered by his. Through his mad quest for power and total domination, the age where the ancient gods and humans lived in peace side by side was brough to an end. Is it right to allow such a tragedy to repeat itself?
( ...
( The Gaia Church believes that this cannot happen again. They worship the ancient gods and goddesses oppressed by the God of Law, and with our help, are trying to take over the Cathedral. I came here to Destiny Land to provide aid to them. In order to complete the Cathedral, the Mesians are sending laborers from Shinagawa. They make them work until they die, saying that those that do will go straight to God upon their death. The mastermind behind this plan is an angel in Shinagawa. The first step in stopping this madness is to kill that angel. Do you wish to hear my story again?
*: Lady, there's an owl I'd like you to meet.
( Err... no thanks m'am. I'm good.
( Will you undertake the task of defeating the angel in Shinagawa? Will you dedicate yourself to our cause?

*: Will we?

This is certainly a chance to shake off our current alignment and finally shift towards Neutral, or even towards Chaos maybe; conversely, I suppose refusing Echidna might seal our deal with Kaneda, since she sure as hell won't let us get out of here alive if she can help it. I'm fairly confident we can defeat her, if it comes to that.

So, what'll it be? Who dies next? The mother of all monsters, or the mystery angel?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on March 19, 2011, 05:22:06 AM
Working people to death is a bad thing, even in the post-Cyberpocalypse. 

Punch that 'angel' in the nose!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 19, 2011, 10:08:22 AM
"Both" would be my ideal vote, but you're gonna have to pick some sort of order here.  I'd like to hear the (oddly unnamed?) angel's spiel before killing anything though.  Which I suppose means you're going to have to barge in to his house under the pretext of killing him.

Plus Echidna's been the first Chaos being we've met who's any sort of reasonable, even though she's probably lying right through her fangs.  And she's kind of smokin' for a gigantic snakebitch whose vagina has seen more horrific monsters pass through it than... well than Friday's.

So yeah, say "yes" and let's hope our mystery angel doesn't get his white robes in a bunch about it.  If he does that'll just prove he's kind of a disposable righteous fuckwad anyway.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on March 21, 2011, 06:07:42 AM
Yankee needs to start listening when we tell him to go home.

Really, this LP is making me appreciate Devil Survivor a bit more (if it were even possible for me to appreciate that game more than I aready do) in that it at least tries to present the angels/Amane's path as slightly less evil than becoming the King of Hell and destroying the world.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 22, 2011, 02:39:42 PM
As much as I resent the demons for the cascade of horrors they've inflicted upon us, I must admit that the idea of the Mesians exterminating everyone who doesn't agree with them fails to sit well with me.

( Fine. If things are as bad as you say, then they're the bigger threat. I'll get answers out of that angel, even if I have to beat them out of him.
( You will!? You'll do it!?
( Yeah. Yeah, I'll do it.
( Ah, thank you! I knew I was not mistaken in choosing you for this task! I'm counting on you.

She better behave while I'm gone, else I'm coming back for her. Hell, I might come back for her anyway.

*: There's still a branch of the Destiny Land upper floors I haven't explored yet, so I'll finish it before I leave. Fortunately the "pitfalls" seem to work both ways.

...hey, the makka/magnetite counter has unborked itself. That's a relief. Magnetite appears to be capped at 99999, but I guess the event with the demon summoner didn't check that cap. My current party eats up 11-12 magnetite per step, so it didn't take me too long to fall back under the limit.

Anyway. We find some more Luck Incense, which I actually give to Kei. I might start doing that with other Incenses now, because Francois' stats are getting ridiculously high. None of them are at the hard cap of 40, but I have to account for equipment bonuses if I don't want incense and levels to go to waste in the future.

...alright, that's all the chests. We Toraport back to the Terminal. Now we could go to Shinagawa straight away, but I remember that I still haven't checked out the upper floors of Ueno. I thought Destiny Land was a sidequest area; I certainly didn't expect to find Echidna there. So yeah, I warp back to Ueno and find the up staircase again.

( I can't just sit here and let the Mesians do whatever they damn well please!
( That's the spirit! Finally someone besides me is going to take action!

( To keep undesirables out, there are traps set all around that will damage anyone who isn't aligned with Chaos.
( Well, thanks for the advance warning!

Never leave home without your amulets, is what I always say!

( To either build -- or take over -- something of that size would require massive amounts of energy. Where are they going to get it all from?

The last people I met who had any significant reserves of energy were the Red Count and the Black Baron. I hope the Mesians aren't getting theirs the same way.

*: Huh. A Nataku drops a Headhunter Spoon. That's just bizarre. It's 120/25, hits once, and can be used by anyone. It's also cursed. I don't know what the curse does, but I don't think I want to find out.

The second floor has a couple of annoying teleporters, but that's no big deal. We find a sealed door and a staircase to the third floor.

Gah, more frikking teleporters. Getting around is becoming pretty irritating.


( So you're Francois, eh? You've become quite famous, you know.
( It's getting to be a bother, really. You have no idea how hard it is to go from point A to point B with all the demons trying to get my autograph. Fortunately I can charge them whatever I want.
( I've heard plenty of rumors about you... You're creating quite a stir, you know.
( Good! I mean to do nothing else!
( Francois, welcome... or so I would like to say, but I can see that you don't have what it takes to be allowed in here. Until you truly believe in our philosophy, I will have to ask you to leave.

Normally I wouldn't let some pissant little high priest talk to me like that, but this is not the time to make a scene, especially since Echidna believes I'm here to help her out.

*: Well, it looks like we're done here. I warp directly to Shinagawa. I don't know where our quarry is, but maybe Kaneda can hook us up. Before I go find him though, I hit the convenient Jakyou Mansion here. I got lots of demons with a level way lower than mine, so it's time to upgrade.

As nice as Tamamo's physical reflection is, she hasn't been doing much damage herself for a long time, and her MP is far too low for her spells to be consistently useful. So...

Tamamo + Senri = Manticore

Giant + Choronzon + Kerberos =
Lv54 Jaryuu Serpent
The word "serpent" and its synonyms shows up about as often as you'd think in mythologies around the world; most notable in our culture is the serpent of Biblical Genesis, the physical form taken by Satan to tempt Adam and Eve with forbidden knowledge. However, given its appearance here, and its classification as a Jaryuu, I think it's a good bet that this is a sea serpent, your basic giant sea monster that sailors have been afraid of since men first put a hollowed out log in the water. They're decent fighters-types, if not entirely remarkable. They know Constrict, Rampage and Tail, which are all very powerful abilities unfortunately hampered by the fact that you don't get to choose which one gets used.

Troll + Serpent + Manticore = Zochoten

And nope, I can't summon Zochoten after all. I have the level, but not the alignment. That said, I'm keeping him around anyway, because Kishin are hard to come by and I may want to fuse him even if I can't go back to Neutral. Plus, I like how Pascal ended up as part of a Heavenly King. :glee:

Unfortunately, I find myself shorthanded. My minions are Zochoten, Dominion, Atlas, Gnome and Ongkot; if I absolutely wanted a full party, I'd have to summon Gnome, which wouldn't be the smartest idea. That said, I'm about to search Shinagawa anyway, so I'll just shangai a Loa or whatever else I can find here to fill in my ranks.

Ha, I dropped by the Junks store to sell my extra crap, and the guy gave me 10 makka for the Headhunter Spoon.

Alright, enough dilly-dallying, we got to see a man about an angel. The trip to the third floor is mostly uneventful; I do recruit a Loa, and also a Werewolf, just because.

( I heard bad things about your people, Kaneda. And I'm afraid I can't take you on your word anymore, not the way you are now. I had to come see for myself.


( Alright, that's quite enough using us to do your dirty work! Show yourself!
( Ah!... That voice is...

( I am Tenshi Haniel, servant and messenger to God himself! For your unremorseful heresy, there can be only one punishment! I shall throw you into the flames of Hell myself!
( Ha! You're out of luck! The gatekeepers of Hell all work for me!


*: Haniel is very fast, knows Maha-Zionga and can hit four times, and that could be pretty scary, but all my people have good physical defense to begin with so he can't one-shot anyone, and Ongkot can boost our defense enough that Kei can Me-Dia away the damage we take. He uses lightning so I don't want to risk using Zionga on him, and I fused my frost damage caster away, so I have to duke it out fairly this time.

Fortunately we don't need any tricks. The Fuujin-Ken shows its power again, and Ongkot's Taru-Kaja allows everyone to hit for decent damage. Loa deals the final blow, and we earn 40k EXP for our trouble, dinging us up two levels.

Lv? Tenshi Haniel
Haniel seems unique so far, in that he is a Tenshi with a name; I would have expected him to be a Seraph, but it turns out he's counted among the Dominions, which is pretty funny because I have one of his colleagues on my squad right now. In any case, I can't find much in the way of details, but apparently he's from ancient Jewish lore and may or may not be a part of the Seven Archangels listed in the non-canonical Book of Enoch.

( Some saviors you guys are. Can't even defend yourselves from a kid with a computer.
( You are abusing your power, using it to bring wicked ends!
( You're one to talk! I've been to the jails in Ikebukuro, I've seen all the fanatics there who stole and murdered because you let them believe that's what your God wants!
( Continue on this path, and you will only bring about your own destruction...
( Pfft. If your boss wants a showdown, he knows where to find me. I'll be waiting.

It's a shame it had to turn out this way.

Oh well.

Time to get back to Destiny Land and see exactly how grateful Echidna is going to be.

*: Wait a minute... Lessee...


Ah-ha! See what I did there? :8D::8D::8D:


[spoiler]If you didn't notice, yeah, that's Zochoten in my active party. We is Neutrals ag'in, ma![/spoiler]

Before I go, I return to the Jakyou Mansion. Now that I'm level 61...

Gnome + Dominion =
Lv61 Tenshi Throne
Thrones form the third order of God's angelic forces. They are the conduit of God's will; what He decides, they make known to angels and to the rest of the universe. In some traditions they are also called the Ophanim, and are literally the living wheels under the throne of God, or are even the throne itself. They are spectacular fighters, with immense HP and MP, unusually high Luck, and excellent, well-rounded stats otherwise. They know Me-Diarahan, Estma (prevents random encounters with demons of a lower level than you until the next full moon) and Ricarm, all incredibly valuable spells.

That is sexy; she's got almost as much HP as Francois, and almost as much MP as Kei. Of course she comes with a CP of 42, but that's not a problem for us. The next (and final) step up the Tenshi ladder is the badass Cherub we saw a long time ago when I was explaining rank-down fusion. It's not for a while yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

We transmit back to Destiny Land. It's kind of a long way to Echidna, but Throne's Estma is gonna make that so much more pleasant! fact I don't even run into any random encounters at all. This is GLORIOUS.

( Honey, I'm hooooo~ome!
( I heard that you successfully disposed of the Tenshi Haniel. Good job!
( Aw, it ain't no thing!
( Well then, our next order of business is the Cathedral itself. The Gaians are just about ready to undertake their plan to invade and conquer it. Francois, will you lend your strength to the invasion effort?

*: And here's another undoubtedly crucial choice. We become card-carrying members of the Gaian Church and help lead their assault on the last bastion of pure human resistance, or we cut off the head of the snake-lady right here and now.

Of course I have an idea of how's it's gonna turn out, but hey, who knows, maybe the boards are going to receive an influx of satanists or wiccans or who knows what else before my next update. :whoops:
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: LaserBeing on March 22, 2011, 03:43:43 PM
The difficulty is knowing just where on the Neutral spectrum we are. Is killing Echidna just going to tip us right back into Lawful or did killing Haniel give us enough of a buffer to soak up some more demon slaying?

I still think aiming for Neutral as much as possible is the way to go, it adds an extra bit of tension that committing fully to either side wouldn't have. But ultimately I'd rather not become the enemy of all humanity...
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 22, 2011, 05:52:44 PM
It took a little longer than usual but we've inevitably reached that point where I tell the single-axis alignment system to go suck a dick.

Were this a stand-alone decision I'd know the answer without even thinking.  Help take out the douchiest bunch of humans who ever douched up a douche, or murder the only really reasonable being left in this backwards-ass world who incidentally I would love to make a few legendary monsters with if you get my meaning?

Problem is, serving Echidna like a happy little consort puts us in with her wayward children, who to a T need to get the hell back to Hell.  Baby Mama is pretty lacking in her nurturing skills, honestly.  Also, let's not forget, one of those fuckers ate Francois' mother, which... what would that make him, anyway?

Fuck it, I'm pretty transparent about my inclinations.  I vote we keep trying to get into the giant snake's pants.


Or whatever.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 22, 2011, 05:53:06 PM
AN alignment update would be good.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on March 23, 2011, 12:36:12 PM
Appropos of nothing, has it ever been explicitly confirmed that the SMT games are an allegory for Japan's relationship with the rest of the world?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 23, 2011, 03:56:42 PM
AN alignment update would be good.

Err, we had been Law for a long time from when we gave the Soul Incense to Kei, but killing Haniel just got us back to Neutral. I'm not sure if there's more I could tell you.

Appropos of nothing, has it ever been explicitly confirmed that the SMT games are an allegory for Japan's relationship with the rest of the world?

Not that I know of, but that's certainly a conclusion one could reach, going from this game in particular. That said, I doubt it's the case for SMTIII, or not to the same extent anyway; at its heart, Nocturne is really more of a personal story about flawed people finding out who they are and what they want from life. Though I suppose it can be read in many other ways.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 23, 2011, 07:33:06 PM
I am with Brentai on this one. You've got the choice between flawed celestial order and the anarchy of a deity power void. I'm not saying Echidna is not pure evil, but she's been pretty forthcoming with her abyssal wombspawning business and at least with her we know where we stand.

The wages of sin are really cool monster summons and some slightly more interesting quests.

That said, they ate your mother.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: patito on March 23, 2011, 08:15:10 PM
That was like, 30 years ago man, way to hold a grudge.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 23, 2011, 08:36:50 PM
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 23, 2011, 08:43:58 PM
Thanks to SAVESTATES, you could do a multi-ending run.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: LaserBeing on March 24, 2011, 01:57:29 AM
don't do that. that's stupid
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 24, 2011, 10:23:31 AM
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 24, 2011, 07:12:31 PM
Psycrow's School for Nefarious Space Villianry (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 24, 2011, 08:48:27 PM
The world has changed.

It did not break. Had it been broken, it could be fixed. But it merely... changed. As it was always meant to. There is nothing to it but looking forward, to the future.

And the future is full of demons. They're not going anywhere. As horrible as they may be, as some of them may be, we're going to have to share our world with them. Probably forever. And I'm not kidding anyone; if it wasn't for them, I'd have been killed a long time ago.

I'm not Gotou. I'm not Ozawa, or Lilith, or even Tetsuo.

But I'm beginning to see what they saw. To want what they wanted.

Maybe deep down, what they did was for the best. Not how they did it, certainly not, but...

( Kei, what do you...
( Francois...?
( No. Never mind. I can't put this on your shoulders.
( ...
( I know you've been raised by the Mesians, so I'll understand if you disagree with what I'm about to do.
( I said I'd follow wherever you went. I meant it.
( Thank you.

Deep breath.

I've been taking down tyrants and despots ever since this insanity started. I'm not about to stop. I haven't changed.

( Hell yeah. Point me at some Mesians and take cover. It's not gonna be pretty.
( Then it's settled. We'll build a bridge to get to the cathedral and invade at once. Head to the south to get there.
( Aye aye, ma'am!

*: Kei uses Toraest to take us outside. For the first time, our avatar is spinning counter-clockwise, and pretty damn fast too. We are seriously Chaos.

Might as well go the the main Gaia Temple in Ueno and see how the High Priest treats us now. And I think I'll run around and pick up some Chaos demons to see if I can fuse anything. Throne, Atlas and Ongkot are still with me at the moment, but their loyalty is only going to last until they die or I unsummon them.


Outside, I also notice something new: there's a bridge to the south now. That must be the way to the Cathedral. At least we won't have to search for it.

On the way to Ueno, a Basilisk drops Yatsuka's Sword (115/5, hits once, anyone can use it). I'll give it to Kei for a while, to see if it makes her more effective than Kuchinawa's Sword, though I doubt it. I also hire a Shuten-Doji, a Gorgon, a Marchocias and a Succubus (natch).

I went to Shinagawa to get a Raja Naga, and just for kicks I tried to enter the Mesia Church there. The priest just kicked me out, no bribes or nothing. Oh, and I sold all my Rosaries; I don't think I'm gonna have a use for those anymore.

Alright, with that Raja Naga, I have 11 minions. Let's hit the Mansion.

Werewolf + Succubus =
Lv54 Yuuki Lich
The idea of evil sorcerers who bring themselves to a sort of sentient undeath is not a recent invention, but the label of Lich has not been specifically applied to them before the AD&D Monster Manual came along. The word itself is Old English for "corpse", and even in modern German "liche" means the same. They are predictably spectacular spellcasters, with an incredibly high Intelligence, adequate Magic, massive HP, and surprisingly low MP. They don't have much Strength, but their basic attack does hit 3-4 targets. Their immense Magic Effect stat makes their Mudo-on (group instant death) a force to be reckoned with, and their Maha-Zio is nothing to scoff at. They also know Devil Sm(ile?), which I'll tell you about as soon as I figure out what it does.

Loa + Ongkot = Aquans

Aquans + Marchocias =
Lv57 Datenshi Samael
Samael is an unusual figure in Judeo-Christian lore, in that it's not entirely clear whether he is good or evil. That may be due to his status as the Angel of Death. Some put him among God's faithful, a grim but glorious angel charged with doing Heaven's dirty work; others put him on the side of Satan, even to the point of accusing him of being the one to seduce Eve in the garden of Eden, and of being Lilith's consort, the father of the Lilim. He may or may not also be responsible for the sinister happenings in a certain little town on the fog-shrouded shores of Toluca Lake. Overall, he's a well-rounded fighter with considerable MP; he knows Mudo, Mudo-on, and Samaricarm.

Atlas + Throne =
Lv59 Yousei Cu Chulainn
Cu Chulainn is a warrior of Irish myth; he earned his 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. Here he's a fair fighter, with high Strength and balanced stats. He knows Mahanma, Taru-kaja and Makajama.

In other words:

I've got a lot more ranking up to do, but I'll need a Flamies and several Gnomes. I warp to Ikebukuro to get some Gozuki and Mezuki; while I do that, a Turdak drops the Present from Hades (90/15, always hits twice, only for Law males).

Gozuki + Mezuki = Gnome

Gnome + Cu Chulainn =
Lv51 Yousei Senko
Can't find much on these guys, but apparently Senko are high-ranking kitsune, the magical, shape-shifting fox spirits of Japanese legend. They're quick spellcasters with ridiculously high MP and mostly decent stats overall. Their low Strength is balanced by a multi-hit attack that I've seen target up to 4 enemies. They know Marin-karin, Maha-Zanma, and the mind-blowingly useful Tetra-karn (which reflects all physical attacks directed at the party for the rest of the round). Tetra-karn is especially cool because of Senko's high speed, usually ensuring that they can put it up before any opponents get to act.

Gnome + Raja Naga =
Lv46 Ryuu-ou Yurlungur
Yurlungur is a serpent deity from Australian Aboriginal folklore, presiding over rain and the life that water brings forth. It is said to once have been awakened from a deep sleep by the smell of a woman's menstrual blood, which it later ate, then regurgitated.
( :oh:
No further comment here! It's a very strong fighter for its level, with Venom Bite, Constrict, and Venom Breath.

Gnome + Yurlungur =
Lv53 Itzamu Na
A Maya deity, a sort of sacred lizard associated with the sun and creation. We'd probably know more about it if the Spaniards hadn't destroyed every bit of Mayan writing they could get their hands on. Thanks a lot, conquistadores, that was swell of you! In any case, here they are mighty brutes, extremely strong and quite durable. They know Fire Breath, Rampage, and Crush (which I don't know about at all).

Can't stop here. Ryuu-Ou are some of the most powerful Chaos creatures and I know I can get the strongest one right now.

Gozuki + Mezuki + Itzamu Na =
Lv61 Ryuu-Ou Pendragon
Meaning "head dragon", Pendragon is a name given to a few legendary British kings, most notably King Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon. That said, what we have here is apparently a more literal interpretation of the word: a huge-ass dragon. It's crazy strong, its basic attack always hits two targets, and it knows Bite, the group-hitting Tail attack, and Fire Breath.

Awwwww yeah.

Now I'm not sure how this happened. Between Lv53 Ryuu-ou Itzamu Na and Lv61 Ryuu-Ou Pendragon, there's supposed to be Lv57 Ryuu-ou Yamato-no-Orochi. I figured the triple fusion would let me skip the Gnome step, but it actually ranked up twice instead of once. Well, I'm not gonna complain about it!

For the next fusion, I'll need a Flamies. Time to pick up a couple of random Datenshi; I go to Shinjuku and get a Gamygyn and an Andras in the area outside Rag's place.

Flamies + Samael =
Lv60 Datenshi Abaddon
In Revelations, Abaddon is the archangel whose duty it is to control access to the pits of Hell, and who releases Satan during the Apocalypse in order to allow him to wreak havok upon what's left of mankind at the time. Biblically, he's completely obedient to God, but in some occult traditions, he's actually a terrible demon himself; his name does mean "place of destruction". He's strong and has okay stats overall, but he's most remarkable for his three breath attacks, including the spectacularly rare Ice Breath. He's tricky to use because of how random he is, but free elemental damage (and Freeze status) is hard to pass up, especially if you pay attention to enemy weaknesses.

Not the strongest Datenshi, but the next is level 63, and I'm only 61.

And then, just to free up some slots...

Gorgon + Turdak = Nataku

Shouten-Doji + Nataku = Atlas

Succubus + Atlas = Legion

Kind of a waste, but these "ingredients" are not hard to come by, and I want to know what Legion's "Road to" skill does. Plus, Akuryou are quite rare, and maybe I can fuse it into something interesting later.

Finally, I liked Samael so much I ranked up another Marchocias, and I picked up a Succubus and a Gorgon. Whew! It took me a while, but I finally put together one mean-ass Chaos squad.

My current line-up:
-Zochoten (summoned)
-Abaddon (summoned)
-Senko (summoned)
-Pendragon (summoned)
-Gorgon (not so hot, but she has my only Me-Diarahan)
-Succubus (she can rank up to a Vampire in three levels)

Ususally, I'd rather have more empty slots before heading into a new area, but this is gonna be Law HQ and I'm under no illusions that I'll find anything to recruit there.

Alright, now we go to Ueno.

Heh, on our way up, a Nataku and a Ni Chalong insisted on joining us for free. I guess they want a piece of the action.

( Hmph. I suppose he'll be happy to see we're on the same side again.

*: Then the guy he repeats the same "you don't believe in our philosophy yet" line. And I endured the freaking teleports in here for that?

Oh well. I warp to the Terminal in Destiny Land, heal up, and save. Let's head across that bridge.


Huh. This is definitely not original Tokyo landscape.



Lv50 Majuu Griffon
In medieval legend, the griffin is a cross between a lion and an eagle, therefore made from the king of animals and the king of birds. It's usually said to be a noble creature, majestic, loyal, and honorable; accordingly, it's often seen on heraldry. It's a fast fighter-type, like most bird creatures seem to be, but its skills are nothing to write home about: Claw, Bite, and a weak Maha-Zan.

Lv53 Kyouchou Hresvelgr
A giant in Norse mythology, taking the form of an eagle. He sits at one end of the world, and the flapping of his wings causes wind all over the land. His Speed is almost maxed out, but the rest of his stats are frankly terrible for its level. It knows Bite, Flap-Wing, and Ice Breath.


This island just screams Law. It's pretty, though. I'm kind of sorry I'm here to mess it up.


Bah, what am I talking about? It was built by slaves in honor of the asshole who triggered the nuclear apocalypse. It needs to go.

*: The only entrance is the yellow building to the north.



*: Next time, we raid the Cathedral! I know there wasn't much going on in this update, but basically remaking my entire party took me a lot more time than I expected, and I don't think I have a whole dungeon in me right now.

Oh, and, regarding a possible multi-ending run... well... I dunno. I've thought about it, but it feels like it'd cheapen the impact of our decisions here. Hell, as much as I love Nocturne, I've only ever completed it once (though that playthrough was really quite complete), because I so loved the ending I got that I don't think I could stand to get another. I barely even want to know what the others are. It is like A Perfect Thing.

That said, I'm not ruling it out! I do have a Terminal save right before our first encounter with Echidna. Maybe I'll take a break once I'm done and then get back to it. I really haven't decided yet. Don't get your hopes up, but... maybe!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 24, 2011, 10:45:19 PM
The Neutral path is worth taking because... [spoiler]imagine you also have to fight all of the chaos forces as well as the hordes of angels you're going to fight[/spoiler]
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on March 25, 2011, 08:16:01 AM
I'm used to thinking of Abaddon as a King, since the most recent SMT game I played was Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon. I guess everybody has to start somewhere.

Pendragon looks like a pretty nice addition to the party.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 25, 2011, 09:20:14 AM
Every once in a while, you get a landmark creature that makes you feel like you've really stepped up in the world, that's a couple notches higher than anything you've seen so far. Pendragon looks like one of those. Most demons with multiple attacks have had them to compensate for a low Strength, like Lich, but Pendragon gets multiple hits and is the strongest summon we've ever had. If I get him to use Tail on a large party, he easily outdamages Francois several times over, and that's saying a lot. I can't wait to see what he can do with a couple layers of Taru-kaja on.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 25, 2011, 10:02:07 AM
Oh god Samael and Izamu Na are fucking awesome

Pendragon is The Business. That accuracy worries me though.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on March 25, 2011, 12:40:30 PM
Not that I know of, but that's certainly a conclusion one could reach, going from this game in particular. That said, I doubt it's the case for SMTIII, or not to the same extent anyway; at its heart, Nocturne is really more of a personal story about flawed people finding out who they are and what they want from life. Though I suppose it can be read in many other ways.

I always saw Nocturne as being an allegory for a rapid and artificial cultural assimilation breaking down identity and giving rise to solipsism; the common thread of all three Reasons is they assume the cause of suffering is other people, and the goal they all seek is the elimination of the need for (or in Chiaki's case, just the existence of) trust between individuals.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 25, 2011, 01:53:48 PM
Hmm, that's an insightful way to look at it. Personally I tend to make every effort to step inside the main character's shoes (in games that allow such a thing), to make him act as I would act, and attempt to immerse myself in a point of view that's very close to the ground, so to speak, and I wouldn't be surprised if it happens to make me miss the occasional finer aspect of the big picture. The way you tell it makes a lot of sense though. Very interesting!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 25, 2011, 09:26:27 PM
a rapid and artificial cultural assimilation

I get that in SMT this refers to the forces of order/chaos wiping clear the human system and imposing their own (supposedly higher) one, but for the Japanese what is this allegorical of? Post-imperial Japan?

I wouldn't say the culture we imposed was so radically different from their own that it would really relate.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on March 26, 2011, 02:08:08 AM
I think to some degree it was because it came from foreigners on the foreigner's terms.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on March 26, 2011, 03:57:03 AM
I think it's a game about collecting legendary creatures in post-apocalyptic Tokyo.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on March 26, 2011, 07:28:44 AM
I think to some degree it was because it came from foreigners on the foreigner's terms.

Yes, and in one of the most traditionally xenophobic cultures in the world, no less.

Also, Brent, why can't it be both?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 26, 2011, 08:13:49 AM
Honestly, now that I think about it, the internet. Arguably in its initial form, the structure of any culture that formed on the web came from us.

Although, this came out in 1992 so... maybe not so much...
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 26, 2011, 08:29:33 AM
Oh, you're talking about Nocturne from '96.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 26, 2011, 09:02:34 AM
Well, our protagonist almost certainly got the Demon Summoning Program from a BBS, so I suppose it could kinda work for both.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 28, 2011, 09:57:53 PM
You better hang on to your robes, Mesians, 'cause Francois and his crew are coming for you.


What the...?

*: Hey, so I guess we really aren't alone in trying to take over the place. That's a nice touch!

( Hiya! It's nice to see we're on the same side for once.
( Hey, don't you think I'm cute?
( Well, now that you're not trying to kill us anymore, you're beginning to look a lot better!
( Even if you don't mean it, I'm happy to hear you say that! What is it you want?

*: Hmm...

( How about coming with us? You know nobody else in this raid is gonna have as much fun as we will.

*: About 3000 makka later...


*: Well, wouldyalookadat! I got a Gaian in my party after all! How'd that happen?


I almost got this guy to join too, but I don't have any more room. I'll just dismiss the random Ni Chalong and Nataku we got and hire one next time I meet one!

The thing is, I expect that many of the encounters in here will be able to use Hama spells, and I know humans are especially resistant to those, so they might make a nice backup in case my demons get wiped out.

( Some really powerful, legendary demons joined the forces of Chaos and helped participate too.
( You mean like my buddy Abaddon here?
( Rumor has it that Lucifer himself is coming to help us!
( Oh. Wow! Okay then!
( This info comes straight from the Founder -- I overheard him talking to someone about it!

The Founder? Hmm. Who might that be?

( I'm still suprised how unprepared the Mesians were for our attack! We took over the bottom half of the Cathedral so quickly it was hard to believe!
( Dang, it almost looks like we're late for the party.


Wait, we've already got people setting up shop in here? These Mesians are total pussies!

*: The guy sells some attack items, as well as Dis-poison, Dis-paralyze, and Dis-stone.

( No matter what the cost, we must stop the Mesians and bring this Cathedral under control of the Gaian church!
( Well, clearly we're about halfway done, so it's only a matter of time.

*: Also close to the entrance is a Jakyou Mansion. I suppose this place might count as a regular town if you happen to side with the Mesians.

There's something I've never seen before, though.


Question marks. Huh!

Well, it turns out that fusing a Gaian with a demon doesn't make a Choujin, but it does make a random demon. Or at least, it looks random. Picking the same combination several times gives different results every time. That's how it works with Neutrals on the Law/Dark axis, at least. If I try to fuse Oni-Joro with Legion or Lich, I always get Ghost or Slime, respectively. Dark demons seem to operate by their own special fusion rules, in general.

( Alright, all my cute girls who aren't named Kei, come here. I need to have a word.
( ...
( You mean me?
( Ooooh, I've been waiting for this moment!
( I'm here too!
( ...
( ...
( ...
( *sigh* Alright, I get it. :sadpanda:
( Wow. Anyway. How do you feel about each other?
( Huh?
( I'll try anything once!
( I... Uh...
( Aw, come on babe, this can't possibly the most unusual decision you've ever had to take.
( I suppose you're right.
( Excellent! Master, you ready to get this done?
( You've made an old man very happy this day, child.

*: Oni-Joro + Succubus =
Lv56 Ryuujin Vritra
Vritra is a dragon-like Asura from early Vedic religion, the predecessor of Hinduism. Asura are more or less evil gods, rivals to the kinder and wiser Deva; Vritra here is the embodiment of drought, and is said to have been killed by the water god Indra as a punishment for blocking the course of many rivers. Here he's an okay fighter, very fast but not very durable. He knows Venom Bite, Venom Breath and Tail.

Ryuujin are mighty dragon gods, always Light-Chaos. One might say most of them are relatively benevolent, but as it often is with Light creatures, this is not always the case, and it depends on your definition of benevolence. It's their divine nature that sets them apart from the other two dragon families.

( I think you've just created the sexiest dragon in history.
( You know, I was beginning to feel slightly creepy about this, but compared to you, I'm not so bad.

Vritra + Senko =
Lv62 Shinjuu Barong
In Balinese folklore, Barong is a powerful magical spirit, embodying all that is good and kind. It is said to protect humanity against calamities, and is locked in eternal struggle against the demon queen Rangda. It's usually depicted as a stylized lion, though different regions of Bali see it as different animals. Here it's an excellent fighter with decent combat stats; it knows Fire Breath, Bind Voice, and Penpatora.

Shinjuu are Light Neutral divine animals, or gods taking the shape of animals, typically the strongest among the animal demon families. Some of them aren't actual gods per se, but you can usually count on them being of fairly high rank in their respective pantheons.

*: It's a shame that Barong looks so boring here, because it's really one of the most colorful and distinctive demons in the entire series:

I wasn't sure whether losing Senko's Tetra-karn was a good idea or not, but Bind Voice might prove very useful again, and it's hard to say no to 140 attack power. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if Barong was resistant to Hama. And besides that, ranking up Yousei is not very difficult, so I should be able to make another Senko if it'd really help.

( given the ad hoc nature of this town. Unfortunately, when I got here, all the good spots were already taken.

( If ya want it, I'll sell it to ya later.

What was that about? I wonder if turtles are still in danger of extinction nowadays.


Of course. It's that kind of turtle.

( Please, help me! I'll do anything you say...!!


( I know what it's like behind bars, so I'd have to be a total douche not to let you out. I'll see what I can do.
( You'll save me? Thanks!



( I'd like to see you try to stop me, pipsqueak.
( S-say now... that's quite a nice weapon you're brandishing there... *gulp*
( Isn't it, though?
( A-ahahaha!! Did I say you couldn't take the turtle? No, no, that's not what I meant!! You want to have that turtle?
( In a manner of speaking.
( P-please, go ahead, go ahead! Take it, take it with my compliments! Phew!

Huh. I'm beginning to see the benefits of this "might makes right" philosophy. Well, that'll teach this idiot not to sell slaves in a war zone.

( See you! I'm going back to the ocean!

*: We obtain a Turtleshell Bell. This might prove to be useful!

Oh hey, we meet a Lich right outside the cage. Boy am I super glad I've got one!

( Hey, nice floating trick there, buddy.
( I'll take good care of you!
>Yami-Hoshi is watching you warily.
( Look, we're here for the same reasons, so let's not fight amongst ourselves, alright?
( Are you a Gaian?
( I... Uh, yeah. Yeah.
( Really? Good luck then! Here, take this...

*: He gives us 4171 Makka. Not the outcome I was hoping for, but hey.

( I'll make them wish they never set foot in this Cathedral!


*: The guy sells the Minigun, Medusa Shells, Antimagic Shells and Flash Slugs, which I think we've seen before. He also has the Rail Gun, which seems to be the strongest gun in the game (150/35, hits 3-8 times). At 200k a pop, I can only afford to buy one, but females can use it and it's a big improvement for Kei, so she gets it. Francois has his sword for raw damage, and his Minigun always hits the entire group, so I think he might keep it.

Next up is an armor store. It has the whole set of female-only Sturm armor, as well as the Argama Suit (66/16, +3 Magic), which is apparently the best body armor money can buy. It's all very expensive though, and... and I'm starting to run low on funds. All this recruiting last episode cost me a pretty penny, and that Rail Gun didn't help. Hmm.

The Sturm stuff is good, and in general better than what Kei already has, but there are some pretty harsh tradeoffs, especially regarding Evasion and the Powered Suit's stat boost. This is a genuinely difficult call to make.

I think she'll keep her current equipment for now. Maybe things would be different if I had more money, but for now I think she's good. Francois can really use the Argama Suit though; it's a big boost in Defense, and even though I lose the Jadg Armor's +2 Strength, the Magic bonus should help with magic defense.

Wow, I can't even remember the last time we've had less Makka than Magnetite, but there we are.

Other than that, we find a Healer's Dojo, a Gaian Temple, and a Terminal. Boy those Chaos types don't waste any time.

Ooh, and I recruit an Assassin.
Lv56 Gaian Assassin
Well, it's a... you can guess. Really. I'm unreasonably amused to think that they're fighting the Mesian Temple Knights in the name of freedom. Their power is kind of low for their level, but they're incredibly fast and have immense Luck. They know Critical, Paralysis Needle, and a mysterious Deadly S(?) skill. Oh and hey, I just noticed, Gaians have a CP of 0, which makes a lot of sense.

( I kind of wish you guys had waited for me, but I guess it couldn't have been too hard of a battle either way.
( We made it just in the nick of time! If we had waited any longer, the Mesians would have completed the Cathedral. But we won't let that happen, no matter what! We've managed to get legions of demons inside here to fight the forces of Law. With our constant raids and sabotage, they're in no position to be summoning God. Once we finish killing off those mischievous little mindless minions of God, we can turn the Cathedral into a castle of Chaos!
( Yeah... that... err... sounds super. Woo, bloodbath. Amirite?
( ...What the hell?

*: The ground is visibly shaking.

( Holy crap, what the hell was that? You heard that, didn't you? It sounds like something big just went down outside. I need to stay here, could you go outside and check to see what happened?
( Yeah, I don't mind making myself useful. Watch your back, alright? The Mesians are certainly plotting something.

*: And we leave.


What the... what's happening here?

*: The water in Tokyo has always been flat and featureless, but now we're getting a north-to-south wave animation. What's going on?


Holy shit! The bridge to Destiny Land! It's underwater! What the hell?


*: It's hard to see, but that's the Tokyo Tower area to the northwest. It's underwater too!

Tokyo is being flooded! Holy mother of fuck!

*: Oh man. That could hardly be worse timing. Wow.

Wait. Waitwaitwait. Let's calm down.

I've got an idea.


( Gladly, buddy. Let's go find out what's going on.


*: Huh. Our avatar is upside down now.

Okay, so we can leave. But... where to? Hmm. I'll just look and see if anything didn't get submerged.

*: We run into some Yurlungur on the water. Makes sense, I suppose.


Oh my crap. This is nuts. This is fucked up. This is beyond fucked up. Everyone lives underground! Or... used to. Dammit! Dammit! I can't even... Who could have survived this? Did everyone drown, except the Mesians left in the Cathedral and the Gaians who took part in the assault?

Motherfucker! Dammit!

*: This update continues in a few minutes!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 28, 2011, 10:11:10 PM

Of course Tokyo Tower itself is mostly still dry. And that's where the Mesians were broadcasting from.

Someone's gotta pay for this.


*: So that's how you get to the rest of this floor. I would never have guessed!


We're attacked every step of the way, but it's the same wimpy Chirei and Mesians that have always been here. There's a second elevator here; it only goes to the 45th floor, and we start running into Decarabia, Tamamo and old T95Ds up there.

Lv49 Kijo Scylla
Scylla was a Greek sea monster, a six-headed grab bag of assorted animal parts, including octopus tentacles, shark teeth, a cat's tail, and half a dozen dog heads growing out of her waist. It lived on one side of a narrow strait, the other side occupied by its sister Charybdis, who if anything was even more abominable-looking. Ulysses was advised to sail this strait on Scylla's side, because then he would only lose six men to her maws, instead of his entire ship to Charybdis'. Here her level is way too low to be worthy of mention, but she's got fighter stats, mostly. She knows Constrict, Diarama, and Wall of Water.

Lv44 Jashin Mishaguji-sama
To put it bluntly, Mishaguji is the pre-Shinto Japanese god of fucking, which explains its rather phallic appearance here. It used to be said that leaving offerings to it would increase one's sexual ability, but as Shinto became dominant, the figure was more or less demonized, and it came to be believed that only adulterers and philanderers worshipped it. It's incredibly strong for its level, but its other stats aren't too hot; it knows Zionga, Maha-Zionga and Mudo.
( I... I think I need to take a shower.
*: Well, it's not like you're in danger of running out of water anytime soon.
( Yeah, fuck you too, buddy.

Jashin are evil gods, usually presiding over disease, famine and other such disasters. They are by far the most powerful Dark-Law family, and are only second to the Maou among the Dark demons. Interestingly, Echidna is a Jashin, despite her Gaian affiliation.

Lv55 Youma Kinnara
Kinnara are the half-horse husbands of Kinnari, and there's not that much more to them. I'm not sure what justifies that they're level 55 while their wives are only level 15, but hey, what are ya gonna do? They're decent fighters with fairly high defense, and know Maha-Agi, Suku-Kaja and Raku-Kaja.

Lv53 Mesian Scanner
They seem to be psionics-capable Mesian troops, undoubtedly named after :scanners:. They don't have great physical stats, but their Intelligence and Magic are actually quite high. They can attempt to explode heads with Zanma and Maha-Zanma, and also know Ricarmdora.

*: I tried out Legion's "Road to" skill, and it turns out that it's a free Mudo spell. Not bad! It's not worth a minion slot by now, but maybe it could have been.

And as we approach the final room...

...we find out it's a terminal.


It's a regular terminal, in every way.

Hmm. Oh well.

Kei takes us outside, and we start looking again. What could be above the water...

Maybe City Hall.

We run into more new critters outside.

Lv46 Youchou Siren
The Sirens are bird-women from Greek myth, who sang sweetly to lure sailors to their island, where the poor saps' ships would break upon the rocks. In later traditions they were given half-fish bodies instead, and are often difficult to tell apart from mermaids; in fact, in French, the word for "mermaid" is "sirène". Here they have high Speed and Magic, and are surprisingly effective utility spellcasters, with Lullaby, Marin-karin and Me-Dia. They have low Strength, but can hit several times.


*: Just out of curiosity, I try to go east to check Destiny Land, but there are stronger currents that block our path. Looks like we're not gonna swim off the map or anything.

If I remember correctly, City Hall should be far west and a bit north, so I go in a generally northwestern direction, with a few detours to check out if anything is accessible.


Kohkyo, eh? What's this?

Oh... Oh! Kohkyo! That's the Imperial Palace! Wow!


*: Alright then, let's check it out.

After several small U-shaped floors littered with traps, we start running into groups of Senko and Kinnara.

Lv61 Kijo Hariti
Hariti was a proto-Hindu demon, who was later made into a symbol of fertility and child-rearing. She was said to have a hundred children, but also to steal and eat the children of others. The Buddha kidnapped her youngest son and hid him under his rice bowl; when Hariti came to him for help, he helped her realize that the pain she felt was a pain she had inflicted on many mothers, and she vowed to change her ways and start eating pomegranates instead of babies. She's a great fighter with unusually high Speed and the ability to hit multiple times with her basic attack, and she knows Death Touch, Dolminer and Diarahan.

Lv51 Majin Arahabaki
Another pre-Shinto Japanese god. I'm not sure what it was the god of, but since it is attended to by Momunofu, it's probably a warrior deity of some description. Its worship was outlawed as Shinto took root, but its distinctive appearance at least is still part of Japanese culture, and you can see it pop up in the most unlikely places, such as an enemy in Dragon Quest. In Nocturne it has a very unusual set of resistances (reflects ice, immune to physical, expel and death, weak to everything else), but it doesn't seem to be the case here. In any case it has immense Strength and Stamina for its level, an absolutely massive MP of 732 (!!!), and knows Mahanma, Dolminer, and Maha-Zionga. It can use Mahanma 73 times. That's crazy!

So it seems the game is starting to throw in Majin as random encounters; the last one we met was Thor, way back when.


Ooooh, I like where this is going.

Behind the door is a set of semi-annoying winding corridors with one-way doors and lots of darkness. There are lots of encounters with the old Heavenly King shrine critters, and Tengu are still surprisingly difficult to beat. Fortunately, with one Taru-kaja on, Pendragon's Tail hits everyone for 288 damage; in groups of seven or eight, that's a lot.


Whew, at last. That was more of a workout than I expected. Let's finish this.

( It was I who led the rebellion against the greedy Emperor so long ago.
( I've heard a lot about you, sir. I'm glad to make your acquaintance.
( For over one thousand years, I have served here, watching over and guarding the fair city of Tokyo. However, it would appear that my time is coming to a close. Tokyo has become the battlefield of the forces of Law and Chaos, who have all but destroyed it. As much as it pains me to admit it, to attempt to defend Tokyo in its current state would be a worthless endeavor.
( ...
( And since one such as you has appeared, perhaps it is just as well... Your power surpasses even that of the four Kishin to whom I had left the defenses of the borders of Tokyo.
( Yeah, I am pretty awesome.
( The arrival of one as powerful as yourself is an omen, one of the end of this bloody conflict, and of the dawn of a new age. May you claim victory over both Law and Chaos, and return the city to the balance it enjoyed for so long.

The balance, huh?

( I shall give you my blade. It has served me well, but as my duty is now over, I need it no longer. It shall serve you better. Take it.
( Oh, err, okay then. Thank you!
( Farewell!
( Goodbye!

*: Oooh, lessee...



*: So yeah. Masakado's Katana is 190/15, hits 1-3 times, and can only be equipped by Neutral males. It's quite a bit stronger than the 155/5 Fuujin-ken, except the latter hits 2-4 times instead.

( Oh well. Please, Kei, take us out of here.

*: Alright, that's it for now. This update really didn't go the way I expected it to; I was gearing up for a massive dungeon, but it looks like the game's not out of surprises yet.

And... wow. Looks like the world has ended twice. Eat your heart out, Kefka.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on March 28, 2011, 11:06:08 PM
( Rumor has it that Lucifer himself is coming to help us!
( Oh. Wow! Okay then!

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on March 31, 2011, 09:34:57 PM
*: We wander around for a while, mostly westward. Interestingly enough, there are parts of the map that you can't get to on foot and in fact would never even see at all if it wasn't for all the water. In a way, we kind of got our airship. Unfortunately, pretty much all I do find are craters and rubble, with the location names in the UI little more than laconic epitaphs for all the places that used to be.

All the overworld enemies are now either sea monsters or flying creatures, which makes a lot of sense. In addition to Yurlungur and Sirens, we run into more Badb Catha, Serpents, Griffons, Scylla, Hresvelgr, and...

Lv51 Youjuu Kraken
Stories of monstrous squid have been around since the Middle Ages at least, and unlike most of the critters you've seen described in this LP, they have a pretty solid basis in reality, as gigantic cephalopods do exist, and though they are rare on the surface they are still occasionally encountered by sailors. They are very fast, but not particularly strong for their level; they're only a threat because they can strike an unusually high amount of times (I've seen 5) with their basic attack. They know Constrict, Crush and Wall of Water.

Eventually we make our way back to Shinjuku, the first neighborhood we visited once we came back from the Kongokai.


Well I'll be! Those sneaky Mesian sons of bitches went and rebuilt City Hall while I had my back turned!


*: We come in at the 32nd floor; the actual Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has 48, so there's still a ways to go. The first demons we meet are Corpses, Dakini, Dwarves and Hobgoblins, strangely enough.


There's a Terminal and two elevators, both of which go to floor 45. That said, due to the building's design, I bet they are still different areas:


The only available destinations from the Terminal are Tokyo Tower and the Cathedral. Somehow I still had hope some areas would have been sealed up enough to be accessible, but no. In any case, I go to the Cathedral to heal up, then return to City Hall and take the elevator up the west tower.

We start running into Vritra, Kinnara, Vetara, Yaksha, Ongkot, Senri, Rakcarango, and...

Lv60 Youma Ganesha
Ganesha is the famous elephant-headed Hindu god of arts, sciences and wisdom, among many other things. He's also known as the Lord of Obstacles, who places them before those who deserve them, and removes them from the path of the righteous. He's an unremarkable fighter, though he's got incredibly high defense and has lots of MP to cast Mudo, Diarahan and the mysterious Sabatmao spell with.

Lv63 Youma Hanuman
A popular 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. He's a strong fighter with fairly high Speed and a two-hit basic attack; he knows Maha-Zan, Taru-kaja and Toraport.

In later games not so shackled by sprite recycling, Hanuman looks quite a bit more interesting:
Also he's apparently a bitch to dust. :nyoro~n:

Overall we're doing well. The Vritra are easily the worst encounter around; they are Light demons and therefore refuse to listen to us. The Vetara could be pretty bad too, given their ridiculously high physical defense, but it turns out that they're weak to fire and have extremely low magic defense; the three fire-breathers in my party can make quick work of even large groups.

At one point a Ganesha managed to kill off Barong with Mudo. I kind of got pissed off for a moment, then I remembered...

( Yo, Sam?
( 'sup?
( Yeah, so a god just ripped Barong's soul out of its body. Can you help a dude out?
( Sure thing, bro. Just a sec.
( Huh? Is it dinner time already?
( A'ight buddy, thanks!
( No prob. Stay healthy! Or don't.
( Hahaha! Good one!

Man, being friends with the Angel of Death rocks so hard.

*: Of course Barong returns with 0 MP, but its only spell is Penpatora so I'm not too broken up about it. Summoning Samael then Barong again costs me about 3600 Makka total, but on the very next encounter I squeeze an Ongkot for 3k, a Kinnara for 4k and a Vetara for another 3k.


And that's floor 46. Unfortunately there was absolutely nothing of interest in any of these rooms. For such a small floor, this took me a lot longer than I would have guessed. Meeting four groups per encounter is becoming distressingly common. Anyway, I'm playing it safe; I Toraport back to the Cathedral and heal up.

And hey, while I'm here, I'm going to see if Tetsuo's got anything new to say, and I'll hit the Mansion.

( Man I don't even know how I managed to even think about siding with that asshole.
( I guess the Four Guardians' protection was doing something after all -- without it, there was nothing stopping him!
( Oh, uh, yeah. I... Uh. I wonder what happened to them. :>_>:
( If we hadn't invaded the Cathedral, we would have been sleeping with the fishes, along with the rest of Tokyo... If that wasn't bad enough, I've received yet another troubling report. One of our generals, Tenma Ravana, is stationed at the government office in Shinjuku. There, he's working to prevent God from coming to Tokyo.
*: Oooh, so that's how you learn to go there. At least now I know I'm actually meant to.
( However, the forces of Law got wind of his presence, and sent his old arch-nemesis, Majin Vishnu, there to kill him. The fight has been going on for some time, and has reached a stalemate. Even if Vishnu doesn't kill him, if Ravana's strength drains enough he won't be able to keep up his defenses for long. Help him! Kill Vishnu!
( I'm working on it. Literally.

*: As far as the Mansion goes, my current party is still about as good as it gets, and I bet I'll need a few more levels before options open up. But that's fine, it's not like I feel even a little bit underpowered.

Back in City Hall, I'm thinking I might try to go to the east tower instead of going further up the western one. Maybe that one is under control of Chaos demons instead of the buttloads of Youma in the other, and if that's the case then Ravana is probably up there.

...yup, we run into Dakini, Scylla and Yami-Hoshi right away, and I recruit the latter. This should be easier going.

Lv52 Gaian Yami-Hoshi
As far as I can tell, this translates pretty accurately as "Dark Buddhist Priest", though it probably should have been spelled "Yami-Houshi". They're basically wizards, with fairly high MP and good Magic; they know Maha-Zanma, Raku-kaja and Makatoranda.

Fortunately the floor is clearly a mirror image of the other tower, so I don't waste any time exploring it all and go straight for the staircase.

Wait a minute. The Magnetite counter broke then fixed itself again, but now I only have 100k Makka instead of the 250k I should have. Maaaaan. If I didn't make about three thousand per enemy group this'd piss me off. I absolutely can't let Magnetite get above 99999 again.

I speed through the 46th floor and find the next staircase, but also a treasure chest with Magnetite in it. Hmm. Maybe I should come back and explore thoroughly later.

We run into a grab-bag of older demons like Sanni Yaka, Turdaks and Rakshasa, and I recruit a Hariti on the way.

...I've been everywhere on the 47th floor and found nothing but stairs. Heh. On to the top floor!

Aw dammit, a Yami-Hoshi gave us Magnetite, and it reset my money at 100k again. Then I start seeing absurd stuff like:


Man I hope nothing else gets borked.

Anyway. We get to the final room of floor 48, at last.


( That shouldn't be a problem, sir. Or, err... Sirs?
( I will happily become your minion. Let us join forces, fight side-by-side.
( Oh! Alright then! Welcome aboard, all of you!
( Together, we will fight to crush the sinister plans of God!


*: Holy crap I did not expect that. Wow! Did I make the right call in coming here first or what?

Lv53 Tenma Ravana
Descended from a complicated line of various deities, Ravana was an exceptionally pious guy who cut off his own head ten times in sacrifice to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. (He got better.) To reward his dedication, Brahma gave him his heads back, and granted him a boon of his choice. Ravana asked to be made invulnerable to the attacks of pretty much everything, except of humans, which he had nothing but contempt for. I suppose you can guess how he met his end. In any case, Ravana did the only logical thing afterwards: he borrowed his grandfather's army and conquered the entire world, submitting to his will both gods and men. Eventually he was taken down by the god Vishnu, who exploited the obvious loophole by incarnating as a human. Here he's an okay fighter with multiple attacks, but unremarkable stats; he knows Zanma, Maha-Zanma and Diarahan.

...wait a minute. He kinda blows. Well, he's really good for level 53, but the random Hariti I recruited on my way up here is much stronger. I'm beginning to think I may be a bit overleveled. At least Tenma are very rare; he should fuse into something interesting.

I warp back to the Cathedral, heal up, then return to complete the west tower.

Wow. I just fought four groups of 6+ Kinnara, four tiles in a row, on a full moon. That's about 100 Kinnara. Jesus. I knew this game was a lot of things, but I didn't expect it to turn into Dynasty Warriors. Pendragon eats so much horse meat I'm gonna have to start worrying about his heart.

Oh hey, a Yaksha drops another Renki-no-ken; that's the sword I made into the Fuujin-ken. I wonder if anything else can be fused onto it. Hmm. Kei could sure use a Fuujin-ken of her own, but I'd have the assiest time trying to get another Tengu.

A few battles later, I get a third Renki-no-ken. I guess all the Luck Incense I huffed back at Destiny Land is paying off.

Finally, after much, much fighting...


( Are you retarded? God destroyed the world twice by now, and he's not even here yet. Besides, I'd kill you just for making me hoof it all the way over here. Do you know how long it takes to hack through a freaking elephant god? Fifty times?
( Are you an avatar of Ravana, perhaps!? No... I would sense it if you were. Mere humans, standing in my way! Absurd!
( Ravana's a chump. I'm not even afraid to say it to his face. You really have no idea what you're getting into, do you?

*: Without further ado, we do battle.

Vishnu casts Mahanma in the first two rounds, and manages to bump off Zochoten and Abaddon. Losing my Taru-kaja sucks, but I didn't expect either to do much heavy lifting in this fight anyway. I replace them with Ravana and Samael. Other than that, Vishnu has a multi-hit physical attack that hits for over a hundred damage each time, and is immune to Zan and Zio. We keep hitting him/her in the face while Ravana heals us and Kei casts Megido over and over again.


We get two levels for our trouble.

Lv? Majin Vishnu
If Hinduism had an equivalent to YHVH (which it arguably does), it would be Vishnu. The guy is literally everything; he creates all, he destroys all, he supports, maintains and governs everything in the universe. In other traditions he is "only" part of the trinity of supreme gods, where he is the one who maintains, Brahma is the one who creates, and Shiva the one who destroys. In either case he's kind of a big deal.

( To think... To think that my defeat would come at the hands of neither God, not a demon, nor even an avatar of Ravana... but at those of mere humans...

Well, that's done. Good riddance!

*: Samael raises the dead, then we teleport to the Cathedral. When we return to the spot where Tetsuo was standing...


Looks like we have access to the rest of the Cathedral. The Gaians must be making their final push on the last Mesian refuge (that we know of). I kind of wish they had the courtesy to wait for us this time... but I'm sure there are more surprises in store for us.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 05, 2011, 02:17:04 AM
*: Before we go any further up the Cathedral, it's probably a good idea to hit the Mansion. I got maybe three levels since the last time, I only have one free slot left, and I'm anxious to see what I can make with Ravana.

Oh hey, I have two Kijo, Hariti and Gorgon. I wonder what Seirei they make.

Lv30 Seirei Undine
A water elemental from early alchemical concepts; like the other Seirei, they've been repurposed for mythology and folk tales, this one as a sort of water nymph. They're still not great to have around, but they know Diarahan and Me-Diarahan and could be used as back-up healers in a pinch.

Heyyyyy, I thought Undines were beyond my reach, but if I can get more Kijo, then they'll come in handy; Undines rank up a lot of things. That said, I don't know if I can find more Gorgons around here, and Hariti don't come cheap.

Anyway. I could rank up Zochoten or Abaddon, but lessee...




The Ame-no-murakumo is 180/0, hits once, and can be equipped by anyone. In terms of raw power it's the second strongest weapon we've ever seen (next to Masakado's Katana), but I think Francois is still better off with Fuujin-ken. It's a big upgrade for Kei, at least; her Yatsuka's Sword is a one-hitter as well, but it's only 115/5.

Oooh, and it shows up in the Sword Fusion list again. If the past is any indication, I bet I'll need to get my hands on a Salamander, the final Seirei. Rag used to trade for them, but he asks a diamond for one, and I haven't seen one of those since we got the Soul Incense for Kei. Plus, Rag's probably dead, so, yeah. Shinjuu should fuse into Salamander, though. I've already got one (Barong), but they're Light-aligned and I'd need to fuse for another. Normally this wouldn't be a big problem, but my recruitment options are severely limited, what with all the, you know, the water. Hmm.

Anyway. Ravana could get me a couple new demons, decent ones too, but I'd have to give up either Zochoten or Pendragon for the better ones, and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that yet. I think I'll just keep him around for a while; if nothing else he's got Diarahan and tons of MP.

Wait, wait, wait. If I want more Undines, I don't need to go on a trek to find Gorgons, there are cheap Kijo Scylla at Tokyo Tower, and I remember seeing Kijo Dakini at City Hall! Heck, I might be able to rank up Zochoten four times for peanuts. That's totally worth going out of my way for! I gotta do it.

Hmm, the first critter I run into at Tokyo Tower is an Abaddon. That's good to know. And there are Decarabia in Tokyo Tower and Forneus in City Hall; that means I can get easy Flamies to rank Abaddon up. I have more options that I thought!

Wow, per hit, Kei hits harder than Francois. Of course, Francois hits 2 to 4 times per turn, but that's still impressive. I also got around to using Lich's Devil Smile; I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it causes several enemies to get the "disabled" icon, which means that it's some sort of Bind effect, or perhaps even Stone. It's really nice, in any case, and more than makes up for Lich's crappy Strength.

In any case, it seems the "bottom" floor of City Hall has a random assortment of older demons, like Kerberos, Werewolves and Lilim. That's actually all kinds of helpful.

Okay, I got a full roster. Back to the Mansion.

Decarabia + Forneus + Samael =
Lv63 Datenshi Fleurety
Can't find much information on this guy. The name might be a deformation of "Flauros", but Flauros is actually the next Datenshi in line. Even stranger, "fleurety" looks like "fleurette", which is a French word derived from "fleur"/"flower", which is used to describe a sort of superficial romantism. In any case, it's a pretty good fighter-mage with high MP, decent attack power and powerful ice spells. It's predictably weak to fire.

Again, using a triple fusion to skip the Seirei step seems to be worth two ranks, since it gets Samael to skip Abaddon and go straight to Fleurety. It'll probably work to get Abaddon to skip Fleurety and become the final Datenshi, but my level is too low for that right now.

Now all I need is a bunch of Kijo.

Scylla + Dakini + Zochoten = Jikokuten

Jikokuten + Scylla + Hariti =
Lv66 Jashin Orcus
Orcus was originally a Roman god of the underworld, punishing oath-breakers in the afterlife; he got mixed up with other Mediterranean infernal gods like Pluto and Hades, and later was recycled as an outright demon, usually quite monstrous in appearance. The word "ogre" gets its origin from him, and of course the later "orc". He's a very powerful fighter with a decent Magic stat; he knows Agirao, Sibabu and Makala-karn.

Wait, what? Holy crap! So there's still something about triple fusion that I don't get, apparently. Daaaaang, it's too bad Orcus is a Jashin, because it looks like I could use the fat bastard.


Hariti + Scylla = Undine
Undine + Jikokuten =
Lv63 Kishin Hinokagutsuchi
Kagutsuchi is the Japanese god of fire, the last "natural" son of the primordial deities Izanami and Izanagi. His mother was so badly burned while giving birth to him that she died shortly thereafter, and his enraged father cut him in eight; his eight parts became volcanoes, and more gods were somehow born from the blood dripping from Izanagi's sword. He's a very strong fighter, fairly fast and durable; he knows Maha-Agion, Agirao, and Wall of Water for some bizarre reason.

And here we see Pendragon dethroned, in terms of raw power. But I'm not done yet. More Kijo!

Undine + Hinokagutsuchi =
Lv65 Kishin Takemikazuchi
Remember how Take-minakata got his arms cut off after a sumo match? Here's the guy who did it. Curiously, the two gods were brothers, so there must have been some tension at later family meetings. Also, the Futsu-no-mitama used to be his personal weapon, until Amaterasu told him to give it to Emperor Jinmu. He's a very fast fighter with immense Strength, but he hits only once and lacks any sort of physical damage skill. He knows Zionga, Maha-Zionga and Toraest.

That's right, it's Ozawa's old master. Are we moving up in the world, or what? The next Kishin is Nio (the Ikebukuro jail warden) in three levels, and then there's Bishamonten at level 75, which isn't exactly soon.

I'm almost done. I picked up a Werewolf at City Hall, and if I can find a Majuu, I should be able to make a Shinjuu to fuse with Barong. Fortunately, there are Majuu Griffon outside, so it shouldn't be too hard. crap, Juujin and Majuu make Seijuu, not Shinjuu. I misread an abbreviation in the fusion table. I think a Kijo and a Majuu will do the trick, though.

Scylla + Griffon=
Lv52 Shinjuu Narasinha
Narasinha is a half-man half-lion Hindu deity, known as the Great Protector. Legend has it than an Asura named Hiranyakashipu petitioned Brahma for a boon: he wanted to be invulnerable to god, man and beast so he could take revenge on Vishnu, who had killed his brother. He impressed Brahma with his piety and his request was granted. However, in what should begin to sound like a familiar story, Vishnu incarnated as Narasinha and killed Hiranyakashipu, since apparently being half-man and half-animal makes you count as neither man nor animal. The moral of this tale? Vishnu's a gigantic troll. Don't give him an excuse to turn into the one thing that can kill you.
( Unless you're me.
*: ...right.

Barong + Narasinha =
Lv40 Seirei Salamander
Salamanders are fairly mundane real-world amphibians, similar to lizards but physiologically related to frogs. That said, some species occasionally sleep in hollow logs, which they obviously flee if the log suddenly happens to be on fire. If don't notice the salamander coming in and only see a salamander coming out when you light up your evening fire, it's only logical to assume that this is some sort of magical flaming lizard, right? In any case, they're fairly unremarkable combatants, with Agirao, Maha-Agion, and Estma.


Oooooh, just as I thought. Losing Estma again breaks my heart, but you gotta do what you gotta do.


Say hello to my new best friend. It took a while, but we've fused the Kusanagi-no-tsurugi into the best sword in the game. 200 power, 20 accuracy, hits 2-4 times, adds 1 to all stats, anyone can use it. It's so special, it has a two-frame animation.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Hinokagutsuchi the sword and Hinokagutsuchi the demon. It might be the god reincarnated as a weapon, or possibly the sword that Izanagi used to cut his son to pieces.

Either way, Francois' attack power climbs to a mind-blowing 233, and Kei inherits the Fuujin-ken, taking hers to 168.

In other sword fusion news, it turns out I could fuse a Renki-no-ken with Takemikazuchi to make the Raijin-ken (170/3, hits 1-3 times), but only males can equip that one and there really wouldn't be much of a point. In fact it's arguably worse than the Fuujin-ken.

Whew, okay. I make a last trip to City Hall to get a Hariti, and this time it's just because they're pretty strong.

Alright, our current line-up:
-Abaddon (summoned)
-Hariti (summoned)
-Pendragon (summoned)
-Fleurety (summoned)

Now we can go to the rest of the Cathedral.


Oooh, I won't have to rank up a Succubus after all!

A bit further on the ground floor, we find a down staircase. Not exactly what I was expecting, for sure. I'll check out the rest of 1F first, thought.

Actually, there's another set of down stairs at the end of a long winding corridor. There's no way I'm turning back now, I'll just go.


This place just gets classier and classier, does it?

Well, I've been at this for a while, time to call it an update. Fusing stuff always takes much longer than I think it will, heh.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on April 05, 2011, 03:20:14 AM


Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on April 05, 2011, 06:56:56 AM

Lv40 Seirei Salamander
Salamanders are fairly mundane real-world amphibians, similar to lizards but physiologically related to frogs. That said, some species occasionally sleep in hollow logs, which they obviously flee if the log suddenly happens to be on fire. If don't notice the salamander coming in and only see a salamander coming out when you light up your evening fire, it's only logical to assume that this is some sort of magical flaming lizard, right? In any case, they're fairly unremarkable combatants, with Agirao, Maha-Agion, and Estma.

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 05, 2011, 07:49:16 AM
are you guys telling me to get bent or is that something that i'm a horrible person for not getting


Well of course the idea of a salamander as a mystical fire creature grew in the telling, and it developed into its own mythological thing. Apparently even the Talmud mentions using the blood of salamanders to protect oneself against fire. Like the other advanced Seirei, it was later co-opted by alchemists (oh, Paracelsus, you wacky funster, you), but unlike, say, Gnome, it was inspired by pre-existing folklore, rather than being something that they made up of whole cloth to fit their quadripartite elemental worldview. I didn't really awaken the potential of a legendary weapon by throwing a harmless slimy animal at it.  :whoops:
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Pacobird on April 05, 2011, 09:38:36 AM
Take-Mikazuchi is the Persona of a Persona 4 character who says "get bent" sometimes.

Maybe he says it a lot in combat; I wouldn't know because physical characters are garbage and I never used him.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on April 05, 2011, 10:18:57 AM
He never really says "GET BENT" outside of the cutscene when he's interviewed on television.  Kanji is a rough-and-tumble kind of guy.  First-year student at the high school.  Has a reputation of being a thug, but he's really got a heart of gold.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 05, 2011, 10:29:56 AM
Also maybe he likes men? It's ambiguous.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on April 05, 2011, 12:50:16 PM

Nah he is one hundred percent gay, make no mistake.

Although he does get turned on by [spoiler]Naoto[/spoiler], but it's when he thinks she's a he, so
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 05, 2011, 09:40:36 PM
He also gets turned on by basically any risqué scene involving any of the female leads.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 08, 2011, 01:42:34 PM
*: Looks like the first basement of the Cathedral is already under Gaian control. The creatures we run into down here are Itzamu-Na, Assassins, Succubi, Vampires, Liches, Abaddon and Samael. There are as many random encounters as ever, but at least most of what we do meet is usually quite friendly. Every once in a while a Samael or something gets it into its head to try and take us down a peg, but Fleurety's ice spells come out faster than anything else, and then it's just a question of letting our melee beasts do their thing.

A bit further we start running into Gorgons, Choronzon and... Rusalka? Huh. Choronzon are Law-aligned but they know better than to pick fights with us.


The place is a pain in the ass to navigate. I find an up stairs leading to a section of the ground floor I haven't explored yet, but I don't know if it's worth going up there because I'm not sure if it's only accessible this way or if this is just one of multiple entrances to the basement. Hmm...

Eh, I'll keep going.

...never mind, my current path in the basement is a long winding dead-end. Back to the ground floor!

Lv62 Jashin Tezcatlipoca
A major Aztec god, presiding over a whole laundry list of things, including obsidian, sorcery, the night sky, beauty and war. He's usually depicted as a humanoid figure with its right foot replaced by a snake, so I guess that's close enough. He's said to collaborated with Quetzalcoatl to create the world, at a time where there was nothing else in existence but the sea and a gargantuan crocodile monster. Tezcatlipoca used his own foot as bait to capture the beast, and the two gods made the world out of its body. He's a pretty scary fighter with a high Magic stat; he knows Devil Smile, Mudo and Mudo-on, but doesn't have a whole lot of MP.

Okay, that's a Jashin. I must be on the right track. In fact, we start running into Scanners and Ganesha.

( Young humans... Do you not think that no matter how much you resist, there is nothing you can do to stop God from eventually destroying this world?
( I've stopped everyone who needed stopping so far. I don't see how God's so special that he'd be an exception.
( To resist even when you think you have no chance is truly to live. When we demons die here, we merely return to the Abyss... You resist even though you only get one chance. I think I shall lend my aid to you...
>Yousei Tam-Lin became your minion.

Lv55 Yousei Tam Lin
Tam Lin was a mythical Scottish lad who fell off his horse in the forest of Carterhaugh. The local Queen of Fairies rescued him and nursed him back to health, but it turns out that these particular fairies owed a sacrifice to the Devil and he was afraid they only helped him so they could kill him when the time came. Long story short, he met a virgin human girl in the woods, got her pregnant, and she managed to rescue him from the fairies. He's got passable fighter-type stats for his level, but he's most remarkable for his Raku-kaja and Raku-nda.

Lv50 Ryuu-ou Quetzalcoatl
The famous feathered serpent god from the Aztec pantheon. He's known as the Lord of the Morning Star, and is said to have invented the Aztec calendar and to have given corn to mankind, which may not sound like a huge deal but actually is one. It's an average fighter for its level, and doesn't seem to have much going for it; it has Bite, Shock and Tail.

Lv53 Jaki Girimekra
In Sri Lankan mythology, Girimekra (or Girimehkala) is the elephant mount of the demon lord Mara, an evil being who exists to tempt the Buddha with earthly pleasures. It has a single eye, and curses all that look into it. Just like Gurr may be a demonized Garuda, Girimekra could well be a demonized version of Ganesha. Most of its stats are pretty bad, but it has very high Strength and HP for its level. It knows Parala-Eye, Venom Breath and Panic Voice, but it's most remarkable for reflecting physical damage. That is definitely one demon you never want to use Auto-fight on by accident.

There are so many places we can go, it's getting exceptionally difficult to try and explore everything. I find another way back down to another area of the basement.

We meet a couple of Cu Chulainn, and they manage to Mahanma Hariti, Fleurety and Abaddon away. Kei raises them, but the first two lose their MP and are therefore all but useless for now. If this happens much more, I might have to Toraport and start over. Besides, I can't have Kei spend all her MP on Ricarm.

After entering a door in the basement, we meet Brownies, Lady Zombies and Gaki... In fact all we see here are the full complement of Kichijoji demons! That's weird. It's a nice breather, but it's weird.

I return to the ground floor again. Looking at the map, I can't help but do a double-take.


The place is at least 24x24. The biggest areas we've seen before were 16x16; frankly I thought that was as large as they were gonna get. Wow.

Back to the basement. This corridor leads to a one-way door. Hmm... Well, this place is big, but it hasn't been too difficult so far. If it takes me back, it's not the end of the world. We keep meeting older demons, like Orobas and Elves. If I want to fuse stuff, I may have more options than I thought.

Alright, found more stairs.



That was just a long convoluted one-way loop! Who's the retarded Mesian architect who came up with this? Bah!

I backtrack to the nearest fork and keep going. Eventually we return to the ground floor, before a one-way gate that leads to the north-east corner, which we haven't been to yet. It looks like we're making progress.

And then we get taken back to the basement for good measure. I hope I won't have to do this again, it's gonna be all kinds of confusing.

Okay, we reach an area with apparently very few random encounters.


One of the corridors here leads to a sealed door. Feels like we're almost getting somewhere.

A little further ahead...


We're asked if we want to go inside.

( Ehhh, I'm not so su- ha! Who am I kidding? Let's go.

( Well, God did resurrect him. If anything, Kaneda is the type of guy who repays his debts.
( He's finally managed to activate the Cathedral's central nuclear reactor.
( And if that wasn't bad enough, the Archangel Michael's arrived on the 8th floor of the Cathedral, bringing a small army of high-ranking, powerful angels along with him!
( To be honest I'm more worried about the reactor. I still haven't learned how to kick the ass of a nuclear explosion.
( Those Law types don't even care that we've got the Asura Lord holed up right here in the Cathedral!
( Who?
( They're hell-bent on summoning God, no matter who or what is here in the Cathedral to oppose it! We've got to stop them! We have to kill Michael before they get that chance! Come on, Rie! Let's go!


( :oic:

*: For some reason we get moved to the square just east of the Heart of the Cathedral, with no way back. Oh well.

Whew, after switching between the ground floor and the basement so much I've lost count, we find a staircase that takes us to the second floor. I hope it's not going to be an ordeal like that all the way up to the 8th floor.

Okay, so the floor is a maze, but at least it's content to not send us up or down.


Already? Alright then.


Yikes, this guy is so tall the camera has to pan upwards to show all of him. It must be one of the powerful angels Tetsuo was talking about.

( I'm not even going to try to reason with you. You're just as bad at this whole good-and-evil thing as Orias was, it's just that your skin is a different color.
( Begone! I shall purge you from the earth myself, along with the rest of the darkness!
( Just try it, Papa Smurf.


*: He hits hard and manages to Bind Kei halfway into the fight, but I replace Lich with Tam Lim, and the latter reduces Uriel's defense with Raku-nda until Francois hits for over 1000 damage per turn. That's one Seraph down.

( If he even shows up at all, it's gonna be the Five Minute Kingdom.

Lv? Seraph Uriel
His name meaning "Light of God", or "God is my Light", Uriel is one of the few angels with a known name, though he's apparently never named in typical Judeo-Christian canon, only in apocryphal scripture. Interestingly, when he is named, it is usually along with Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, as a guardian of the cardinal directions, just like the Heavenly Kings.

Seraph are the highest ranking angels, and the beings who are the closest to God, naturally Light-Law. They're technically the same family as Tenshi, but Seraph are all unique individuals, not to mention spectacularly powerful.

*: Right next to Uriel's room is a staircase to the third floor. We're still in good shape, but I'd feel much better about this if I still had Hariti's and Fleurety's MP fully charged. Oh well.

The third floor is more of the same, a vast maze. I got nervous for a while because Kei stayed bound for most of it, and I need her to cast Mapper, or even Toraport if it comes to that. Fortunately she recovers before we meet...

( I've killed a lot of people, and even more demons, but nowhere near as many as you lot. Don't talk to me about depravity.
( There can be but one penance for your sins -- the sting of death! And I shall be the one to deal it!
( How about a taste of your own justice?


*: Ow, Gabe knows Makala-karn, Bufula and Maha-Zionga, and is immune to physical damage (but not to firearms, fortunately). This is already a trickier fight. Many of my demons are capable of dealing some type of elemental damage, but Gabriel has high magic defense on top of that. I do most of my damage by summoning Cu Chulainn to use Taru-kaja, then unloading with Francois' and Kei's guns. I recruited that Cu Chulainn to get him out of my hair, but he's really coming in handy.

Eventually, I have the good fortune to Charm Gabriel with Kei's Magic Shells, so that about seals the deal.


Lv? Seraph Gabriel
Gabriel, "the Strength of God", is already a bigger deal. He visited the prophet Daniel, announced the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, and in Islam, he's the one who gave the Qur'an to Mohammad on God's behalf.

We get two levels for our trouble, and the way to the fourth floor is open.

Lv57 Ryuu-ou Yamata No Orochi
A legendary eight-headed serpent beast from Japanese mythology, said to be as big as a mountain. Legend has it that it demanded a yearly virgin sacrifice from a couple of earth deities. When they were down to their eight and last daughter, the storm god Susano-o showed up after being expelled from Heaven for being a douche to his sister Amaterasu. Susano-o turned the girl into a comb, hid her in his hair, then got Orochi massively drunk and cut the beast to pieces. In what's probably the most important part of the tale, Susano-o is said to have found a magnificent sword in the beast's lair, a sword which is none other than the Kusanagi-no-tsurugi. Orochi's fairly fast and durable, but its Strength is low for its level. Appropriately, it has a multiple-hit basic attack, plus the Bite and Crush skills.

There are damage traps here, but that's nothing I'm not equipped to handle. We find Bullets of Light in a chest (40 attack power, Law-only), which I'm never going to use, so I throw them away.

This floor also features many asinine teleport traps that take us all over the place. It only delays the inevitable, though.

( The last guy who talked to me about defiling some place got his Cheerios peed on. Just so you know.
( You, foolish one! Do you insist on continuing your wicked, murderous crusade!?
( YES!
( Accursed child of man, covered in the blood of the righteous! Francois!! I shall put an end to your crimes myself!
( You. Can. Not. Stop. ME!


*: Raphael has a very strong physical attack that can hit the entire group, but I'm the clever monkey here. Senko puts up Tetra-karn every turn, and I can just sit back and play "why are you hitting yourself" with the mighty seraph. Every once in a while Raphael strikes before Senko acts, but Ravana and Kei are more than equal to the task of fixing us up. It's over in a few turns.


That's three more levels. Wow!

( Whatever.
( There is nothing you can do to stop it! You will fail... it is only a matter of time before you and your heathen allies are destroyed...
( ...

Lv? Seraph Raphael
Raphael, "Healing of God", is only named in the Book of Tobit, which is only canon for Orthodox and Catholic Churches. He travels alongside the titular character's son to recover a sum of money stashed somewhere in Iran. He's associated with healing, but mostly on account of curing Tobit's blindness, at the end of the trip.

*: I suppose one of the perks of being a Seraph is that nobody has the stones to bug you about how ridiculous your hairdo gets.

I expect a staircase, but...




Well, that should be a good chunk of the Cathedral done right there. For next time, I think I'll warp back to the entrance, heal up, check out the Mansion, then come straight back here.

It's kind of strange. None of the Seraph so far have been in the way, they just happened to be in rooms right next to staircases. I could have passed right by them. But where would I get my fun, then?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 11, 2011, 04:36:37 PM
*: Before I do anything rash, I have to try something on a hunch. I go back inside the way we just came through, I have Kei use Toraport to take us to the Cathedral Terminal, then she uses Toraest to take us outside.


Excellent! We're returned to the last exterior building we've entered, so we've essentially got ourselves a checkpoint. As long as we don't go to the overworld by any other entrance (like, say, coming out of the main entrance to the north, or using a Terminal to go to Tokyo Tower and then leaving with the friendly turtle), we should be able to Toraest back here anytime we want to. That's great news!

Alright, now for the fusions.

Senko + Takemikazuchi + Abaddon =
Lv69 Kijo Kali
In modern Hinduism, Kali is often seen as a goddess of time and change, but as the consort of Shiva, the god of destruction, she's better known as the bloodthirsty, warlike goddess of death. Even today there are still rare stories of human sacrifice committed in her name, whether ritualized in some remote region, or as the act of some deranged killer acting on his own. That said, for all of her darker attributes, she usually acts for the general benefit of the universe, and when she enters the field of battle in person, it's usually to combat the evil and the abominable. She's an outstanding warrior with immense Strength, decent Speed, and a basic attack that I've seen hit five times. She's got Tentarafu and Mudo-on, and her Death Touch and high Magic stat considerably increase her durability. She's really worthy of being the mightiest Kijo.

That was a ? fusion so maybe I got lucky there. Abaddon and Senko can be recruited again, and to be honest Takemikazuchi wasn't pulling his weight; his electricity spells overlap with Kei's, and his one-hit attack just doesn't cut it.

That leaves me with two slots, which is just enough to pick up a Scylla and a Dakini so I can make an Undine.

Undine + Fleurety =
Lv66 Datenshi Flauros
A Great Duke of Hell, commanding over thirty-six legions of demons, appearing as a terrifying leopard. Like other Datenshi are wont to do, he answers truthfully to all questions, but only if appropriate magical precautions are taken, or else he lies and misleads and cheats. If you need some people set on fire, he can do that for you as well; he'll even torch other demons if asked nicely. He's a well-balanced fighter mage with high MP and respectable attack power. Appropriately enough, he knows Agirao, Maha-Agion and Wall of Flame.

I heal up, save, then Toraest back to the center of the Cathedral island.

There are two buildings we can enter here. I don't think I have any indication as to which is which. Eh, let's go to the eastern one.

Hmm, wait.


There's a fourth entrance I hadn't seen, and it even looks like I missed a building further to the south, near the shore. I think I could have reach the place by swimming. Hmm.

Well, whatever. I still go to the east entrance.


We're still on the fourth floor, which makes sense. Right away there's a one-way door leading inside; whatever our way back will be, this won't be it. Now it's just a question of finding Michael and Kaneda, and ending this madness.

We run into some pretty serious damage traps, but again that's nothing Amulets can't handle.


Err... I'm trying to reach the 8th floor. Hmm. Well, maybe the nuclear core is underneath us, so we might as well check it out.

Checking the map on the 3rd floor...


Hey, I've been here. That's odd. I suppose it's all the same third floor no matter where you come from. I return to the fourth floor.

Lv62 Youjuu Fenrir
The son of Norse trickster god Loki and of a giantess, Fenrir is a monstrous wolf who had been prophesied to kill Odin when Ragnarok, the end of the world, came. The other gods sought to prevent this by capturing him, which they accomplished, though it cost the god Tyr one of his hands. Unfortunately that precaution was entirely in vain, as when Ragnarok came, Fenrir broke free, fought with and ate Odin, then went on to devour the moon. It took the intervention of Vidarr, god of vengeance and son of Odin, to finally put Fenrir down by tearing off its jaw. It's a very good fighter-type with high Strength for its level; it knows Claw, Bite and Ice Breath.

Aw, frikkin' teleporters again. Dang.


Huh. So I've been everywhere here. That's odd. I didn't notice the two exits either. Well, we came in from the east, let's the try the north one. I wonder why I didn't even see it while exploring...


Wait, what?

Oh, wait. So these must be two exits from the same area, that's why the north exit was on my minimap even though I didn't even see it while exploring: I had already taken it when I arrived here the first time. That's more confusing than it needed to be. Anyway. Let's go west this time.


Okay, I think I see what's going on. This west entrance won't be any help, it's just gonna be a mirror image of the eastern one. Let's hope the southern building will take us somewhere useful.


Whew! Alright, we're back in business. Fifth floor, here we come.

There are more traps here. Francois gets hit for almost 300 damage, so they're serious business. The rest of the floor is fairly straightforward. I don't explore everything, because I'm not sure what I could really find that'd be worth it now that I've got some of the best (if not the best) equipment I'll ever have, more money than I'll ever need, healing items up the wazoo, and a quantity of magnetite that's literally game-breaking. Anyway, on to the sixth floor.


It's unusually wide-open, which makes me expect teleporters or pitfalls or invisible walls or something. There are certainly more traps, though. Craploads of them, even. I don't know how we'd survive this without Amulets or Core Shields. The stairs up to the seventh floor aren't too hard to find, though.

I can take about a dozen steps on 7F without running into any encounters, which for a moment gives me hope that there won't be any... but...

Lv71 Jashin Totetsu
Totetsu is the Japanese name of the Taotie, an ancient Chinese monster said to be one of the Four Evil Creatures of the world. Appearance-wise it was said to be a sort of predatory, vaguely humanoid sheep, with prominent horns and sharp teeth. It was known for its insatiable appetite and bottomless greed, so much so that even today its name is still associated with these concepts. It's a decent fighter, fairly durable, but it's most remarkable for its high Intelligence and Magic, wih which it can cast Tentarafu, Maha-Agion and Death Touch.

( Well, you certainly look out of place.
>The demon is ignoring you.
( Just so you know, either you go through the meat grinder like everything else in here, or we talk this out like civilized people.
( You are foolish, Francois! I tire of seeing your stupid face!
( Wow. If you've heard of me, you should know better than to front like that.
( Do you think a mere human could scare me?
( Haha, "mere human"! You really the king of fairies, or are you the court jester?
( Now you've done it, you've made the great Yousei Oberon mad... En guarde!!

Well, I tried.

Lv64 Yousei 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. He's a fast caster-type, not so weak that he can't fight, but much better suited to using his massive MP on Hapilma, Maha-Zionga, and the ever-so-useful Makala-karn. He's the highest-level Yousei in the game.

*: I later recruit a less ornery version of Oberon, for enough magnetite to drop me below 90k, which is great news. Can't say no to a Makala-karn user! We also start running into loose Pendragon, which obviously aren't a problem.

( No. Don't lose confidence in yourself, Tetsuo. You have the power. Calm down, surely there must be some way to get it open. Let's just think for a moment.
( Hey, Mister T, what's up?
( Oh! Hey Francois! So you made it here too, eh? As you can see, we've pretty much hit a dead end. And after all this way too!
( Wait, after all this slaughter, we're being kept out by a freaking door?
( The path to Michael's command center is beyond this door, so if we could only open it, we could get there, kill him, and end this conflict once and for all...

*: There's nothing else on that floor. I must have missed something on the way. Well, that's typical. Let's fine-tooth this mofo.

Whew. After a long bout of revisiting, I find a down staircase near the Heart of the Cathedral on B1F. Man that took a while to find.

Lv54 Kijo Rangda
A demon queen of Balinese folklore, leading armies of witches against Barong and its allies. She also rules over the Leyak, horrifying creatures that resemble floating heads with entrails and organs still attached. She's is usually depicted as an ugly, half-naked old crone with bulging eyes. If something goes wrong somewhere in the world, it's probably her fault, directly or indirectly. She's an okay fighter for her level; she knows Sibabu, Happy St(?) and Marin-Karin, but doesn't have the Intelligence to back them up. Her true threat lies in her physical damage reflection.

There are a bunch of annoying teleport "puzzles" here on B2F, but after a bit of fiddling around...


Well, that's new and exciting and almost a little creepy!

*: Next time, we explore further down into the bowels of the Cathedral!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 14, 2011, 09:20:16 PM
So. Either the Mesians have hired a new interior decorator, or the Gaian leadership is already set up down here and has been doing a bit of pre-emptive remodeling.

Can't say I'd blame either.

*: Our computer doesn't work in here, so no reinforcements, and no automap. Even Kei's Mapper is scrambled.

The area doesn't seem too complex, though. It has several corridors and doors, and they all seem to lead to dead-ends of various lengths.


I walk to the end of the red platform. This isn't just darkness. It's an empty dark void.

( Kei, how do you feel about doing something crazy?
( You mean, crazier than usual?
( Good point.

I jump off.


Well, that was anticlimactic.

( It's safe to come down!

*: Still can't use the computer, but this seems like a new area. Nowhere to go but forward!

There are Basilisk, Choronzon and Manticore, plus more of what we've been seeing down here so far. Nothing to worry about, in any case. That's good, because there are still buttloads of 'em. At least there are way fewer four-group encounters than at City Hall.

I find an up staircase before long, but that's probably the way back. We need to go deeper.

( That's us alright. Say, is there any chance we could talk you into putting on some bottoms? Looks like you're making yourself a little too much at home here.
( It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to one as powerful as he! Truly, your actions are to be admired! That you have been victorious in your battles so far is a boon to our cause!
( Hence, it follows that I'm important enough that one should put some pants on when I visit.
( If you continue on your winning streak, then perhaps there is a chance that one day I will be able to discard this hideous body of a Maou that God cursed me with, and return to my true form as the beautiful goddess of fertility, Ishtar! Ho ho ho ho ho ho!
( :wat:
( Courageous little ones, do not fall prey to the deceptions of the minions of God! The law and order they espouse only serve to bind you! Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!
( I kinda wish they would.
( I think he said "bind".
( ...right. Well, mister madam, please don't let us keep you from whatever it is you're doing down here!

Wow. At least that snake had two eyes.


*: So yeah, I don't keep all of those on display. How'd you guess?

Lv? Maou Astaroth
Either a Duke or a Prince of Hell, depending on who you ask. He's represented as a nude man with dragon limbs and angel wings, riding a wolf and holding a serpent; he comes to the aid of accusers and inquisitors, and is apparently capable of seducing men. His shpiel about Ishtar checks out, by the way, so he really was a Babylonian fertility goddess before he got demonized.

And close to Astaroth's room...


I bet Astaroth is an equivalent to the Seraphs we met, but for a Law-aligned character. Anyway, B4F!


Aw balls. There are invisible walls in the darkness, too. I never did find a torch or something, have I?

We start running into large groups of Fleurety down here. Flauros can put up a Wall of Fire to defend us from cold and then whup them with Maha-Agion, but that's only if he doesn't get frozen before he can act. I had recruited a Succubus to get them out of my hair (so I wouldn't have to deal with their paralyzing kiss), but Fleurety are much more dangerous, so I might get one instead.

After a bit of searching, I find Bullets of Darkness (40 power, Chaos-only). I think I'll try them out, but I don't expect them to be more useful than my old Magic Shells.



Gah! This is going nowhere, slowly. Eh, what the hell: I have four Fuma Bells, which are basically an Estma cast each. Rag trades those, but he's exclusively dealing with fish these days, so unless something drops 'em, they're the last I'll ever see. But this darkness is just too much of a pain to backtrack through. if on cue...




Oh my.

I don't think words can properly express the...


( Yyyyyeah.

One one hand, I'm glad we're on the same side. On the other hand, what the fuck have I gotten myself into?

( You are indeed gallant and true -- most humans take one look at us and do not even try to understand our cause, believing us to be wicked and evil!
( don'tstareatthegiantvaginamouthdon'tstareatthegiantvaginamouthdon'tstareatthegiantvaginamouth
( Are you staring at my giant vagina mouth?
( :ohshi~:
( ...
( ...
( I, err, I wouldn't dare! Please carry on!
( Continue on your path, be true to yourselves, and fall not prey to the wiles of God's minions.

Someone sounds like a self-help booklet.

Or, an atheist self-help booklet.

With a giant vagina mouth.

Lv? Maou Arioch
Arioch is the name of a couple of biblical characters: a king who opposed Solomon, and the man whom Nebuchadnezzar put in charge of executing the wise men of Babylon. He was later repurposed as a demon by grimoire scribes in lack of inspiration, I suppose. He also appears as a fallen angel in Milton's Paradise Lost.

*: There are stairs nearby. B5F! And no wretched darkness this time! The place is trapped, but that's not a problem.

The path winds on itself a bunch, but it's straightforward, and I'm still high on the beautiful sound of the Fuma Bell, so I reach the stairs to B6F without problems.


That's another wide-open floor with tons of traps.

( I could ask you the same, but I'll be gracious. We're looking for a big mean battering ram from Hell.
( Let me assist you. I have some information that might prove useful to you. The demon Maou Beelzebub has arrived at the island to the west. If you make him your minion, he will prove to be a strong ally, and will make your fight significantly easier.
( Hmm, that is helpful. Thank you.
( I doubt that he will refuse to cooperate with you, but on the off chance that he does, tell him that I sent you.
( Alright then, we'll pay him a visit.

Well well well, what a man of wealth and taste! And he was pleased to meet us, too. I didn't even have to guess his name!


*: There are stairs to B7F just behind big man Lou. Still no encounters for the moment!

( Maybe he can give us a hand with that door.
( Oh yeah, that's right... Rie said she needed to talk to you about something. Hey, Rie! Francois' here!


( No, really? You mean the strange new girl suddenly appearing at my comrade's side is actually the girl who had just made a scene at me for not being with her? Somebody help me, it's like my world is falling apart here.
( This isn't the way it was supposed to work out.
( I dunno, I'm feeling pretty good about it on my end.
( You and I were supposed to be the new Adam and Eve, and start a new age together.
( what
( But... I was kept away from you. That's why I... Why I tried to take... the one you had chosen instead of me. I wanted to be your partner so much... But it just didn't work out that way.
( ...
( I'm sorry. Please forgive me for what I did. I won't ever bother you again. Farewell, Francois...

You know, for a moment, the murderous bitch almost made me feel sorry for her.

( Oh, wow, Tetsuo. You still kinda deserve better than this. I don't know what to tell you.
( Damn, so all this time I was just a fill-in for you? That kind of pisses me off.
( What can I say? Chicks, man, they crazy.
( :oic:
( Present company excluded, of course!
( Eh, no big deal I guess.
( Rrrright.
( Anyhow, the Asura Lord wants to meet you. Go on already.
( Are you gonna be alright?
( Me? I'd... kind of like to be alone for a while. See you.


*: We're let through the door not one moment too soon. I guess this is where Law characters get blocked off. There's the staircase to B8F soon afterwards.


Lots of doors here. At least the three before us, and three more behind, including the staircase. Let's go right ahead.


( Pleasure's mostly mine, sir.
( I am Tenma Asura Lord, though before I was turned into a demon by God I was known as the god Ahura Mazda. I am the general of the army of Chaos demons.
*: Ahura Mazda is the Zoroastrian demiurge, their equivalent of the Judeo-Christian God. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion as well, so he's about as big a deal as it gets.
( I led the invasion of this Cathedral, in order to crush the plans for the establishment of the Thousand Year Kingdom. Our original intention was to destroy the Cathedral entirely, eliminating the possibility of its unleashing the havoc that would come should God be summoned. But the invasion went so much better than planned -- we have already gained control of half of the Cathedral.
( Good job on that, by the way. I was expecting to be knee-deep in angel feathers by now, but this is nice. Or, well, nicer. I suppose.
( Destroying it would be easy enough -- we control the lower floors so it would only be a matter of collapsing its foundations. However, I have decided to go for the extra push and not destroy it, but conquer it entirely instead.
( I don't know if that's such a good-
( Once the Cathedral falls fully under our control, I plan to hand it over to the Gaians, who want to convert it into a Grand Gaian temple.

You know, Gaians are humans, mostly. To think that a demon general would just hand this place over to us, well, I think I can get behind that.

( The Cathedral will become a sanctuary to the ancient gods who have suffered for so long, after being turned into demons and imprisoned in the Abyss by the God of Law. It will tower of Tokyo forever as a symbol of the friendship between humankind and demonkind.
( Even when I was nominally on their side, the Mesians never talked about friendship. They mostly talked about slaughtering everyone. I kind of like where this is going.
( However, there is one obstacle left in the way of our conquering the Cathedral --  the general of God's army himself, the Archangel Michael. If he does not die, we will never be able to win.
( Wait for it... Waaaaait for it...
( This is admittedly a huge task, but I would like you to undertake it, Francois.
( How'd I guess?
( You have been a beacon of hope to our forces so far, and I can think of none other who would be better suited to take on this responsibility. Will you do it for us?
( Well, it's nice to feel needed. Yeah, what the heck, I've come this far.
*: We don't get a yes/no option here. Well, we've already punked three Seraphs, it's not like they'd take us back even if we apologized.
( In order to make it to Michael, you are going to need the Belial Pot, Arioch's Fang, Astaroth's Feather, retrieve Surtr's Claw, and return here.
( Alright then, I'll go pick up your stuff for you, whatever. And hey, if you see Echidna, tell her hi for me. She doesn't call anymore, I wonder what's up with that.

*: Well, we got our game plan. I have a good idea of where to find Arioch and Astaroth, but I don't know where Surtr is, and I have no clue where Lilith took the Belial Pot. Hmm. On top of that, we might want to find Beelzebub; I wouldn't mind having a Maou in my squad. An island to the west, eh?

Looks like there's more to this game yet!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on April 15, 2011, 03:28:48 PM
Taotie is adorable in DS2. Arioch and Astaroth haven't changed at all.

But, uh...

You have to get one of Arioch's fangs? You know where those things come from, right?  :ohshi~:
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on April 17, 2011, 05:40:53 AM
Abaddon noooooooooooo
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 18, 2011, 06:59:47 PM
*: We could get out right away, try and find Beezelbub, then make our way back down here while collecting assorted Maou bits... But hey, we're here already, might as well explore the rest of this floor first.


Okay then. There's literally nothing here but the Asura Lord and the staircase we came down from. Eh, it's just as well, it spares the duration on my precious Fuma Bell. I Toraport back to the Cathedral Terminal, heal up, and check the Mansion. If Beelzebub is to come with us, I'll need a minion slot to put him in, and I'm already at capacity.

...oh hey, I have 12 allies now. How did that happen?

Tam Lin + Cu Chulainn + Ravana =
Lv64 Megami Lakshmi
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of prosperity, wealth, wisdom, fertility, generosity, courage, charm, grace and beauty... among other things. She's basically the major positive female deity, and is in fact Vishnu's consort; she's the Kali to his Shiva. She's an excellent healer, with a high Magic stat and Me-Diarahan, Samaricarm, and the rare Petra-di.

Lakshmi + Fleurety =
Lv67 Tenma Indrajit
Indrajit is Ravana's son, originally named Meganada. Known to be a mighty warrior, Meganada captured and humiliated Indra, the Hindu king of the gods, and was thereafter known as Indrajit, "conqueror of Indra". Brahman offered him a boon in exchange for Indra's freedom. Indrajit asked him for complete invicibility from everything, and he got it, at the condition that he maintain a Yagna, a sort of ritual burnt offering at an altar, to a local fire goddess; so long as he did this, he would never fall in battle. Eventually the hero Lakshmana destroyed his altar and prevented him from performing the sacrifice, therefore removing the source of his immortality. And yes, according to some traditions, Lakshamana was an avatar of Vishnu (who else?). Indrajit is a very powerful fighter with decent overall stats and a multi-hit basic attack. He knows Zio spells, but his MP's mostly valuable for Makala-karn.

Essentially, I ranked up Ravana twice by spending three common demons. Lakshmi would be pretty damn sweet to keep, especially since we haven't seen any Megami since Ame-no-uzume, but such a thing was not meant to be.

Alright, so. An island to the west, eh? It saddens me to leave and lose my sweet Toraest checkpoint, but I'm sure it'll be worth it. Let's go.


Oh hey, there's the south Heavenly King shrine.


Eh wot?


( Hey, that looks nice!
( Yeah, but it doesn't fit. Oh well!

I toss it back down. Who needs an old piece of junk like that, anyway?

*: A bit further west...


This may be one of the hills of Shirokane district, a quiet residential area mostly known for being one of the greenest in Tokyo.


( I am the Chosen One. Alright. Let's dance.

( Yeah, and so was everyone else whose asses we kicked. You in?
( However, I still have a duty to carry out Louis Cypher's request. If you wish, I will join you, and become your minion.


( Does Kaneda take a deuce in the woods?
( Very well. I am Beelzebub, I am at your service......
( ...
( That's what I'm supposed to say now, right?
( That would be the norm, yes.
>Beelzebub joined your party.

Huh. I thought I would have to fight him to prove my worth or something, but it looks like Cypher has him on a tight leash.

*: Let's see his staAAAAAAAAH HOLY SHIT

Lv99 Maou Beelzebub
Originally Beelzebub was a major Philistine god, whose name meant "lord of heaven", but he was demonized by Israelites, and his name changed to "lord of the flies", which as I understand it had a very similar spelling or pronunciation. He was later recycled by demonologists, who made him into a Prince of Hell who used to be a Cherubim before the Fall; he is the master of all false gods, and presides over either pride or gluttony. Here he is obviously a spectacular ally, most interesting for his massive Strength, but with other stats that could easily put him among the best specialists in any other domain. He knows Tentarafu, Maha-Agion, and Mudo-on.


Well, I'd say that was worth the detour. As far as I can tell, he's the only recruitable level 99 demon in the game. In fact, the next strongest is apparently Lv96 Seraph Gabriel.

Alright then, let's get back to the Cathedral.


You know, as long as I'm out here, I might as well check out the south entrance.

( Yeah, that's probably for the best. I hear the top angels are being taken out one by one. :whoops:
( But if I fake belief in their God, they let me into this town without question -- not a bad tradeoff for some safety. And I'm not the only one either. There are a lot of people here faking their belief too.
( I hope you guys are ready to become apostates pretty damn soon.

*: This must be the Mesian half of the Cathedral!

( Could this have ben the will of God himself?
( Yeah, when your house burns down and you survive by hiding in the fridge, it's only appropriate to thank the fire.

( Those who are lucky enough to be here will be able to witness the coming of God with their own two eyes!

They clearly don't know who I am. That's for the best, I think.

*: There's a Mansion and several shops near the entrance. The stores have a wide selection of recent and older stuff, clearly meant to make up for all the shops that got sunk. Hey, maybe there's a Rag's somewhere in here! That would be beyond awesome, I've got gems coming out my ears!

( :painful:

( That's such a measured and reasonable response! Glory be to god!

( Err, yeah, keep that dream alive, kid.

*: Anyway, they have a Mesia Church, a Healer's Dojo, and...



( I never thought I'd be so happy to see your ugly-ass fucked up mug again, Rag.
( The feeling is mutual.
( Haha, normally I'd kill you for that, but I'm in too good of a mood right now.


*: As I said, coming out of my ears.

I'd like a Salamander, just for their Estma, but they're the only Seirei that require a Diamond so that's out of the question. I'll have to settle for trading my two Amethysts for more Fuma Bells; Amethysts are only needed for Earthies and Flamies, so it's no big sacrifice.

Next up, I trade Pearls for Soma. Pearls required for Aquans and Undines, but the latter need Aquamarines too and I only have two of those, so I don't mind unloading a bunch of Pearls.

Well, that should be all for now. Let's go.

( Our savior, Master Kaneda went in towards the heart of the Cathedral, but hasn't returned yet.... I won't tell you not to go, but please, be careful....


*: That's the south end of the Cathedral ground floor we know and love. That makes an awful lot of sense. Well, we're here anyway, might as well go back down and find Astaroth and company right away.

Hey, a nearby staircase takes us fairly close to the Heart of the Cathedral; I'm gonna have to do slightly less backtracking than I feared.

I resolve to explore a bit more thoroughly this time, since I don't know where Surt is... and it pays off on B2F.



( Yeah, we're almost done here.
( You two have done magnificently. Your strength, conviction, and dedication to the cause are truly admirable!
( Wow, thanks for remembering Kei. She doesn't speak much, but I don't know where I'd be without her.
( You humans are naturally passionate creatures, full of desire, ambition, and an inner fire. What good is a peace that is obtained by repressing those qualities? If you have to sacrifice your freedom and happiness for it, does that not merely defeat the purpose?
( Couldn't agree more, sir.
( You two are true to yourselves, and for that, you should be commended.
( You know, I'm glad to you hold us in such high esteem, because... we... err... we kind of need one of your claws.
( I see... So, you wish to deprive me of my claw?
( If it's alright with you.
( Hmph! Such an inappropriate request!
( Look, I know it sounds crazy, but you need to take it up with the Asura Lord.
( ......However, I can tell that you intend to use it for good. Very well. I entrust my enchanted Surtr's Claw to you.
( Well, alright then. Thanks.

*: That's another guy I thought I'd have to fight. Man those Chaos people are, like, super reasonable.

Lv? Maou Surtr
Surtr (or Surt) is a jötunn, a mighty Norse giant, guardian of Muspell, the realm of the fire demons. When Ragnarok comes, he is prophesied to lead the hordes of Muspell in battle against the gods, personally slaying the fertility god Freyr, and later engulfing the entire Earth in flames. He's basically the great fiery warlord of the apocalypse.

I find a nearby staircase to B3F; looks like I didn't have to go through that weird red and black area. Hmm.

Anyway, finding Astaroth again is no trouble.

( Err, hello again, ma'am. We're in an errand for the general. Turns out we need one of your feathers.
( So, you want one of my feathers...
( Well, not so much want, but, yeah.
( How could I deny the request of one who so bravely opposes God? My feather is yours! Ho ho ho ho ho ho!
( Okay, thanks.

*: That's two in the bag.

And we're back on the dark B4F. At least now I kind of know where I'm going. I think. Fleurety are much less dangerous now that I have Indrajit to put up Makala-karn quickly, and I found out that they're weak to Panic (and therefore to Kali's Tentarafu), so I don't feel like using a Fuma Bell.

( ...
( ...
( Look, I try not to be prejudiced and everything, but... you could wear a skirt.
( ...
( Okay, never mind that. I'm here for one of your fangs.
( What? You want my Arioch's Fang?
( Err, that's one way to put it.
( Very well, it is yours. Take it!
( do i have to
( Francois!
( Well, it is for a good cause.
( No, you need not explain -- I can tell that you will use it to do the right thing.
( No, yeah, believe you me, I wouldn't do this without a good reason.

*: A bit later, on B6F...

Lv60 Jaryuu Fafnir
In Norse mythology, Fafnir was a strong prince of the dwarves. One day, his father and his two brothers captured three gods and held them for ransom, at which point the trickster Loki paid them with a cursed treasure (consisting of gold, and a ring that created gold) that he knew would cause the death of its owner. Overtaken by greed, Fafnir, who had been left at home to guard his family's hoard, murdered his father, stole the treasure, and fled into the wilderness. He was so taken by Loki's cursed gold that he transformed himself into a fearsome dragon and poisoned the land around him, so no one would come and take it away. He was later slain by the hero Sigurd, wielding the legendary sword Gram. As the highest-level Jaryuu, it's a fairly strong fighter, if not an entirely remarkable one. It knows Makala-karn but doesn't have high enough Speed to make it worthwhile.

On B7F, we run into Kali and Flauros. I had the Bell on last time I was here, so this is a first.

( Yyyup. It was a hassle, but at least I didn't have to take them to a cold room, then to a hot room.
( Very well, I shall turn them into Devil Ring for you.

*: Huh, what about Belial's Pot? That's weird.

( With the power of this ring, you should be able to open the way to Michael with no trouble whatsoever.
( It's about time.
( However, keep in mind that the Devil Ring allows full access to the source of power from which all demons get their strength. If you overuse it and try to take too much, your body will not be able to take the strain, and could easily kill you. Take extreme caution and use prudence when using an artifact of such incredible power.
( Don't worry, I read all about these sorts of dangers. I should be fine as long as Jashin Sauron doesn't show up.
( I'm counting on you, Francois.

*: Well, we got a lot done today. It's beginning to smell like endgame! I might get one last intermission in next time, and then we're gonna be knocking on Heaven's door. Or, kicking it in, whatever works.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 21, 2011, 08:53:26 PM
( Intermission. *sigh* Hee-ho.

So, what happened to your-

( You fused her into a dragon, remember?

I'm kind of surprised that sort of thing would stop you.

( I'm made out of snow, you hee-ho jackass.

...oooh, right.

1- La music!

We've already been through my favorite tracks. What's left, well... I don't care much for it. It's alright I suppose. Anyway, for the sake of completeness: enjoy! :whoops:

( (
That song first played in the US embassy building, and I think it was used again in Shinagawa, and maybe in a few other places. It's actually not completely bad, but with the encounter rate you almost never hear more than the first ten seconds or so unless you need to heal up between fights or something.

( (
Huh. I don't know if that's a glitch or if this piece was extended for the soundtrack release or what, but the game only ever loops the first 40 seconds, which gets old pretty quick. The rest is actually kind of badass, now that I actually listen to it.

( (
Here's the Cathedral's unique dungeon music. Again, the game literally only ever plays seconds 2 through 10 over and over again, so yeah. You know, I said I didn't care much for these tracks, but these complete versions are beginning to do it for me.

( (
( (
( (
While I'm at it, here's the rest of the arranged tracks, and by that I mean "the ones that aren't crap": in order, that's the dreamscape music, mom's theme, and a gorgeous string version of the Mansion theme.

( (
( (
( (
Oh, what the heck, here are the awful ones too. I'm sure a couple of you are gonna be all "how is it that you're still breathing? you're too wrong to live!", but no, no, I'm sorry, you are ridiculous. So ridiculous. And now everyone knows it. Good work.

2- Les random comments!

***: The inventory in this game is... interesting. Everything stacks up to 9 in a single slot, but that in itself is not a limit; if you acquire a tenth (or nineteenth, or twenty-eighth) copy of an item, it starts a new stack in a new slot. If you build your party so that you generally don't need to rely on Orbs and Magic Stones for healing, they can start taking up more space than you're comfortable with. Everything you get shares the same inventory space, too, from quest items like the Four-door Gem and the Maou bits, to restoratives to attack items to gems to currently unused equipment. It gets to a point where you have to make some difficult choices; normally Magic Stones are the first to go, but you need to keep some around for negotiation.

***: Experience rewards from combat scale to your level; this could have been a mess, but it actually works alright. Since I built a talky main character who went through most of the game by avoiding battle as much as possible, I was afraid I'd get underleveled and that I'd have to grind, but it so happened that I got most of my EXP from bosses, and that was more than enough to let me keep up with the difficulty. In fact, as we've seen, talking our way out of trouble gave us game-breaking amounts of money and magnetite. I'm beginning to think that building one's main character for combat first is actually kind of a dumb idea. If I had a recommendation to make, I'd say to focus on Intelligence and Constitution until your survivability is acceptable, then to start picking up Strength, Speed and Luck depending on how you want to play.

***: I probably could have returned to all the Heavenly King shrines to pick up the rest of the Masakado equipment, but I still couldn't have used any of it so I didn't bother.

***: It turns out that the patch glitched me out of a couple of things. The Antiques dealer in Kichijoji does eventually start selling firearms at one point... in the Japanese version. What's more unfortunate, however, is that I never officially became a Gaian, and therefore was locked out of the ultimate Chaos equipment. Normally, if you're Chaos and at least level 65, you can go to the Head Gaian Temple in Ueno, get your "baptism" or whatever, and then the sealed doors open up and give you access to the Tenma set of armor, which is about equivalent to the Masakado set. But the game never acknowledged either my level or my alignment, so it never let me in. Had I known that at the time I could have used my save file on the unpatched Japanese version, got my baptism, and picked up the armor... but by now Ueno is underwater and it's far too late. Oh well!

***: Hey, I haven't shown you our stats in a long, long time, have I? Here's how they look, now that we're (probably) near the end of the game.
We can clearly see the difference all those Incenses have made. It turns out none of Francois stats are close to maxing out, so I didn't have to worry about that. Further level ups will probably go to Intelligence and Speed. I think Kei's going to get more Magic and Speed, and possibly Intelligence. Her Powered Armor's defense stat is pretty bad, but since she's always in the 6th party slot she almost never gets hit by physical attacks, she's got extremely high Evade anyway, and she has her Magic to protect her from spells.

***: If I have a complaint to lodge against the battle system, it's that elemental magic is not strong enough, even when used by specialized spellcasters. It gets good when you can hit an elemental weakness, but otherwise magic damage is usually quite low. Unusually, status effect magic is where the money is.

***: So that's my only complaint about the battle system itself, but I have a bigger overall complaint against the encounter system in general. I don't know if I've made it sufficiently obvious, but god damn are there fuckloads of them. In the beginning, getting two groups in the same encounter was unusual and almost cute in retrospect. But now we're getting an encounter with 3-4 groups every 2-4 steps. That's crazy. I still love the game for a lot of reasons, but I can't in good conscience try to hide the truth: it's getting a bit of a pain to play. Fortunately I got a few Fuma Bells now so I won't be stingy with them in what I suppose are the final sections; I don't see it being a problem from now on, but honestly, where before I wanted to finish the game just to know how it ends, now I also want to be done with all that fighting.

***: You know, being Christian myself, there are probably people out there who would wonder if certain elements of this game would put me in a sort of personal spiritual quandary, especially given the path that we ended up following. But that's a non-issue for me. I mean, it's fiction. I can read about Greek gods without making a statue of Poseidon and burning a cow in front of it. And yeah, the game's using, you know, God's name, but it's a different entity; it doesn't reflect my beliefs, and as such, it doesn't feel even a little bit offensive. Of course, if I was a warmongering American fundamentalist, this would be a different story. :whoops:

3- Les weapons!

We've run into quite a few legendary weapons on our travels. Some of them I've already talked about, but mostly I figured the demon descriptions were already interrupting the flow enough so I decided to put them up all at once here in intermission.

Alright, that's should about do it. Next time, we pay a visit to the remaining Archangel, keep taking over the Cathedral, and hopefully step over all the flowers in Kaneda's atomic garden.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 26, 2011, 12:28:05 AM
*: Making our way back up, we defeat a Flauros who drops a Soul Blade (160/40, hits 1-2 times, +3 Intelligence, females only). It's stronger than the Fuujin-ken and hits fewer times, but that +3 is worth it.

I could Toraport right away, but Francois is like 10000 EXP away from level 74, and getting there should allow us to fuse at least one last interesting ally. The demons I can easily beat here give like 150 EXP per battle, but fighting large groups of Fleurety, Kali and Flauros (which is surprisingly dangerous) gets me about 1k per encounter, so it doesn't take too long. We lose a few allies to Kali's Mudo-on, but Beelzebub, Indrajit and our own Kali are fortunately immune to that.

I also learn that the Vampire's Blood St(?) skill actually causes the Curse status effect, unfortunately because it bounced off an enemy Kali and the poor sap inflicted it on himself. I'm still not sure what that does, though.

When we finally do level up, I return to the Gaian-controlled area of the Cathedral to heal up. The priest seems to have trouble actually lifting the Vampire's Curse, though. He takes my money (3750 makka), but a buzzing sound is heard and a garbled error message appears. Hmm.

Either way, it's not too big of a deal, because back at the Mansion...

Hariti + Pendragon + Vampire =
Lv74 Ryuujin Ananta
Ananta, also known as Shesha, is a primordial serpent creature, on whose countless heads rest the entire universe. When he coils up, time passes and history marches; when he uncoils, the world ends. He's also used as a bed by Vishnu, the cheeky fellow. He's got the most Strength we've ever seen on anything, and that includes Beelzebub. His other stats seem unremarkable by comparison, but they're not actually that bad. He knows Paralysis Bite, Tail, and a Rampage made devastating by his immense attack power.

And with that we obtain the strongest Ryuujin, which is one of the strongest Chaos families. I think we're ready to take this fight all the way up at last.

I also fuse a random Rangda and a Succubus to make Samael, just so I never have to worry about resurrection. I guess I could go hire one instead, but I only got Rangda and Succubus because they kept getting in my way on the lower levels, so it's no trouble. Plus, I want the free slots because I'd like to pick up more Tam Lin and Cu Chulainn on my way up.

So, our line-up at the moment:
-Kali (summoned)
-Ananta (summoned)
-Indrajit (summoned)
-Beelzebub (summoned)
-3 free slots

I wouldn't say no to a Hariti, just for Diarama, but I've got Orbs coming out of my ears. We should be fine.

I make sure I have a full stack of Amulets just in case, then I go save.

Let's get this done.

*: I remember the Mesians have easier access to the Heart of the Cathedral, so instead of going through the long-ass passageways from the Gaian zone through the ground floor and the first basement, I go outside and ride the friendly turtle around the island to the south entrance.

I'd use a Fuma Bell, but as I said I want a Tam Lin and Cu Chulainn, so I endure the encounters until then.

Oy, the Girimekra are getting as annoying as the Rangda were, but they're Jaki so I can't hire them. Bah!

I met a Tam Lin early on, and got my Cu Chulainn halfway through 2F, so we should be good from now on. I use one of my five Bells; it's just a question of getting to the top floor as fast as possible.

One might say I'm kind of cheesing through this, but we've been here before. Hell, we took down three Seraphs on our way, and we might have been able to take care of the fourth if it hadn't been for that door. And we're even stronger now than we were then.

We make it to the overworld on the fourth floor, and start meeting demons again. I suppose the Bell stops working outside. But that's not a problem, I just use another once I'm back inside.

Aaaand we make it to the seventh floor without further incident.

( Read 'em and weep, my friend.
( Oh! You got the Devil Ring!? Let me borrow that for a sec! That might be just what we need!
( Huh, wha-? Hey, wait, don't-


As much as I'd like to play the Gandalf here, I'm actually kind of relieved I won't have to put on that ring myself.

( Wh...whoa, this... Oh! Wow! This is incredible! I can feel the power surging through my veins!!
( Are... are you okay, man?
( Hrm, raagh!


( Well, aren't you a little glory hound.
( This is fantastic! I feel so strong! It's as if I've tapped into an unlimited well of power!
*: Looks like he finally got what he's been looking for all this time. For good or for ill.
( I have enough power to do whatever I want! Wa ha ha ha ha ha!
( Dude, would you cut it out with the laughter? I'm getting creeped out over here.
( Ha ha ha ha ha! This is... ha ha ha!...this is great!
( Seriously man, settle down.
( Ha ha ha! Now nobody... Ha ha ha!...nobody can beat me! My power is virtually unlimited! Ha ha ha ha!

I lay my hand on the pommel of Hinokagutsuchi. I hope it won't come to that.

( I'm even more powerful than God! I can do anything! Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha!
( You gotta take it off, Tetsuo! The Asura Lord warned me about this! I don't care how much worm you got in you, you can't possibly handle this!
( Eh? W..what's this? Wait a minute body! Th...the power won't stop! It's too much! body won't...Aaaagh!



( How dare you say that, you son of a bitch? He was our friend!
( It's too bad, but it's only natural. After all, he continued to oppose the will of God. And so he suffered the fate that will befall all the others that refuse to follow God.
( Just come right out and say it to my face.
( Now...It's your turn, Francois. You too oppose God's will. Therefore you too must die.
( ...
( As God's chosen savior, it would be most fitting for me to be the one to carry out your sentence. It's truly a shame that it has to come to this...
( You should have stayed dead the first time, Kaneda. I don't know how bad it was to have your soul ripped out of your body by Nebiros, but I have it on good authority that my sword ain't no picnic either.
( This is goodbye forever. Farewell!


*: On the first turn, everybody attacks, except for Indrajit who casts Makala-karn, Kei who casts Makajama, and Ananta who returns to the computer. I'll summon Cu Chulainn to replace him so he can buff the rest of us.

Kei silences Kaneda before he can act, then he tries to cast a spell. Francois hits for 110 damage twice, Beelzebub for about 80, and Kali for 50. Yeah, I can use a Taru-kaja or two.

It turns out Kaneda's not immune to Zio, so Indrajit can almost stun him indefinitely. The guy does get a couple of attacks off, hitting three times for about 110 damage each, but with Cu Chulainn accelerating our physical damage, the fight is over before we get really hurt.


Wow, that's impressive. Francois and Kei both level up twice; most notably, Francois' HP reaches the 999 cap.

( God wants martyrs, Kaneda. He wants blood, and blood you gave him.
( Wasn't I... Wasn't I to be God's chosen one... One who offered his everyth...!!
( I think it was meant to be me...
( So that's it... Now I see. I was nothing but a sacrifice. Nothing but a mere pawn to accomplish God's ends... to be discarded at any time...
( It was meant to be me, Kaneda. He wanted me to be in your place. But I said no, because I could! Just like you could have! It wasn't worth coming back for this! It wasn't worth it!

He's gone.

Damn it!


*: It's only a short walk to the next staircase, and the eighth floor is very small. We find the final door without problems.


( You should have saved everyone a lot of grief and showed up before my friends had to die.
( What kind of a pathetic excuse for a savior are you!?
( ...what? What!?
( In his compassion, God has extended his hand to humankind to bring them peace in the form of the Thousand Year Kingdom... And yet you stand in his way, selling your soul to demons and dedicating your life to opposing his divine will... even going so far as to slay your friend, Kaneda!!
( ...
( Are you perhaps trying to claim that you are better than God!? You are but a mere human! Who are you to challenge his will!?
( I'm Francois, from Kichijoji. You've heard about what I do to those who want to do my people wrong. Get out of my way.
( It is he that decides what is right and what is wrong, not you!! It is not possible to be more arrogant!!
( Ha!
( I will cast you into the flames of Hell myself, where you will burn and suffer for all eternity!


*: On the first round, I put up Makala-karn and Taru-kaja, but Michael strikes five times for about 200 damage each. We're tough, but we can't take that sort of abuse forever. My plan is to exchange Kali for Senko and Cu Chulainn for Tam Lin. The former will use Tetra-karn and the latter will use Raku-kaja until we can survive without healing every turn, then I'll start using Raku-nda and trade Senko for Cu Chulainn to boost our attack again.

Things go as planned for a while. Michael knows Critical, and it can bypass Tetra-karn, but it only hits once for 200-300 damage, which is about what Kei's Diarama can cure so it's not actually a major threat. He can also cast a relatively formidable Maha-Agion, but it hits only for 40-80 damage, and Beelzebub is immune to fire.

...whoops, he can also cast Megidoraon, which is the upgraded Megido. It hits everyone for 80-150 depending on their Magic stat. I start having Indrajit put up Makala-karn again as well instead of attacking.

After a while, Tam-Lin's Raku-nda starts letting us put a serious hurt on; Francois and Beelzebut hit the hardest (Francois for 300 damage per hit, and that's without Taru-kaja), and occasionally Kei when she's not healing somebody. If Mike has run out of tricks, it should be smooth sailing from now on.

Eventually I bring Cu Chulainn in, and with a few Taru-kaja, Francois starts doing 600 damage per hit, and Beelzebub about 500. And the fight goes on and on. Michael must have absolutely ludicrous HP.


...but not infinite. We get one level for our trouble.

Lv? Seraph Michael
Michael is the commander of God's Army, the patron of warriors, police officers and soldiers. He's possibly the most important named angel, being mentioned in Daniel, Jude and Revelations, in the latter as the one who leads the final battle against Satan during the apocalypse. His name means "Who is like God", which is usually interpreted as a rhetorical question implying that nobody is, rather than actually likening him to God.


*: Well, I guess that if you're supposed to be the strongest warrior in existence, you kind of owe it to everyone to stay in shape.

( Forgive me for being so weak... Forgive me for failing to fulfill your will... for failing to summon you here on Earth... For failing to bring your divine compassion to all those that seek it.........

Could it be? So I'm not too late? Did we really prevent him from summoning God here?


*: We're taken to a new area of the 8th floor. There's only one way to go. What could be waiting for us up there?

Let's Play Shin Megami Tensei - Chaos (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 26, 2011, 12:31:15 AM
( (

Well, there we are. The war is over. Of course it doesn't mean we can rest, but... who else is there to challenge us? As long as I'm here, humans have nothing to fear, be it on Louis'... on Lucifer's word, or just because all the demons have good reason to be afraid of me.

Could I have done things differently? Maybe. I'm still not entirely at ease with the allies I've made, and I'm not sure I liked Lucifer's speech about the strongest and the most beautiful or whatever... But in a way, those demons, the Datenshi and the Maou and who knows what else, they were wronged, long ago. I'm their savior too. Now that they've got their original forms back, maybe they'll show some gratitude. Some of them were even honorable, so who knows?

And when I'm gone?

Taira no Masakado was only a human, and he became a god because he led a failed rebellion against a regular old human emperor. I successfully foiled God's genocidal plan by taking down his highest ranked servants and his new messiah. What would that get me?


Kishin Francois.

I rather like the sound of that.

It's not "Doctor Francois" or anything, but I still think it'd make Mom proud.

( And I can't forget Kijo Kei.
( Aww, you're so cute when you're trying to flatter me.
( I know you told me people are gonna come back, but how about we get a head start on that whole "repopulating the Earth" business anyway?

*: This concludes my Let's Play of Shin Megami Tensei. Again, thank you for reading and watching and listening and voting and weighing in and commenting, and frankly thank you for providing a motivation to keep going while I was fighting my hundredth random encounter on any given update. It always bugged me that I had never finished this game, and I can finally put it behind me.

I don't know if the format was right, if the colors were too garish or whatever. I mostly made it up as I went along, which must have been quite apparent. But if I had to do it again I'm not sure what I would change so maybe it's not so bad.

You know, when I started this, it was like "I should do a LP of SMT", and I didn't even give it a second thought, it just happened. Later I saw there was already one on, and in fact a second one popped up there like a week ago. But yeah, it didn't even matter, I did it blind, and I did it to find out if I could keep it up until the end.

And it turns out that I could.

( Hey, uh, aren't you forgetting something?
*: Eh?
( Kei and I! Are we making out? Don't leave me hanging here!
*: Dude, I stopped watching you two like five minutes ago! Why haven't you made your move already?
( Wait, what? Wow, okay! Okay then! Goodbye everybody! Thanks!
*: Farewell!

Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: McDohl on April 26, 2011, 06:19:25 AM

Congratulations on the LP, Francois.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on April 26, 2011, 08:46:56 AM
Awww yehhhhhhhh
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on April 26, 2011, 10:16:35 AM
Which one was the ending you really liked that you mentioned earlier? Neutral?

Also kind of surprised they never put you up against the big guy himself.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 26, 2011, 10:19:28 AM
Gotta save some things for the sequel.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 26, 2011, 05:47:49 PM
Which one was the ending you really liked that you mentioned earlier? Neutral?

Well, I never finished this game before, so I couldn't tell you. :nyoro~n: I had never made it much further than the Kongokai, on account of severe emulation glitches.

(Speaking of glitches, I heartily recommend bsnes ( for SNES emulation. It's very resource-intensive so you probably don't want to put it on a phone or something like that, but on SMT it kept going where others choked so it gets a big thumbs up from me. Sure, I lost some money when I broke the magnetite cap, and I got locked out of the Chaos equipment, and there were some harmless text window overflow issues (as you can see with the "all..." in the screenshots for the final encounters with Kaneda and Tetsuo), but seeing how smoothly the rest of the game went, I'm inclined to blame the translation patch for those.)

The ending I mentioned liking a lot is one of the Neutral ones in Nocturne. [spoiler]In that game, all along my line of thought was "I know the world used to be fucked up, but I loved it anyway; this whole destruction/rebirth thing is a horrible crime and I don't care who wins as long as Hikawa loses because that son of a bitch has to pay for what he's done". When the other Reasons appeared, I decided they were abominable too, so I fought against them as well. And just before the end, I was beginning to get worried: I had broken all the Reasons. The world was about to be created, but all those who had the ability to give it shape and direction were dead by my hand. At this point, the game has two possible endings, which depend on how you answered Aradia's questions: either the world is more or less aborted and stuck in its embryonic, formless state for all of eternity, or it is restored to the way it was before it was destroyed. Fortunately I got the latter, and that made me about as happy as a video game ending ever could.[/spoiler]
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on April 26, 2011, 08:57:00 PM
If you feel uncomfortable about all the survival of the fittest stuff you were left off with, just remember who is undoubtedly the strongest person in the world is at that point.

Anyway, congratulations for beaten Xenogears!  I mean SMT!  Why did I say Xenogears!
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 27, 2011, 08:14:28 AM
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: R^2 on April 27, 2011, 09:29:55 AM
Next time, beat the last boss with a Magikarp Pixie.  :whoops:

Masterfully played, sir.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 27, 2011, 09:44:53 AM
Now that you've saved tokyo DisneyLand, what are you going to do next!?
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on April 28, 2011, 12:04:10 AM
Otoh I just realized we plunged the world into Libertarianism.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 29, 2011, 06:20:59 PM
Next time, beat the last boss with a Magikarp Pixie.  :whoops:

Just a Pixie? I don't think so. With a Pixie alive at the end of battle? It might be possible, if you can give Incense to demons, and I'm not sure that you can. Anything Michael does will one-shot a Pixie, but if Indrajit (or Oberon) and Senko have enough Speed to go before he does every turn then they can defend against everything he can can do. Unless he uses Critical on Pixie. Or if Megidoraon blasts right through Makala-karn, which it might, I'm not sure. But I suppose it could be done!

If you're crazy.

Now that you've saved tokyo DisneyLand, what are you going to do next!?

Thinkin' 'bout SMTII, and then bitch-slapping myself for thinking about SMTII. Then thinkin' 'bout SMTII some more, etc. etc. This circle is vicious, painful and circular.

Otoh I just realized we plunged the world into Libertarianism.

For my money that's still better than theocracy.

Going into SMTII, I hear that the Neutral ending is canon, whatever it is exactly. But the backstory still goes something like "peace was achieved for a time, but then the Mesians took over and built the Thousand Year Kingdom anyway", so I think we got the only ending that makes SMTII impossible, and therefore we can only assume everyone lives on happily ever after. :>_>:
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 29, 2011, 09:34:41 PM
The lawful ending to SMT is not quite what you picture. Think a second apocalypse only the bomb is YHWH.

As far as I can tell, in the neutral ending you basically decide against joining any existing power structures and establishing your own. Also, all of those chaos demons you got for free? You slaughter them instead.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on April 29, 2011, 11:16:51 PM
-Law = everyone dies
-Neutral = things are okay for a while but then they get so bad it takes a sequel to fix them up
-Chaos = :imagination: forever

I can get behind that.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on April 29, 2011, 11:33:47 PM
Everyone who doesn't believe in YHWH and his laws dies.
Chaos= Strength is everything. Your strength is the only thing preserving the world.

Actually, if you do play SMT2, law is the only ending that's impossible to be canon for reasons that would be spoilers.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on April 29, 2011, 11:49:33 PM
Ok well according to YouTube the Law ending of SMT1 is basically some guy telling you "You're Jesus now, go preach to people until the entire world is Christian."

I suspect the untold epilogue to the Chaos path is the world maintaining some sort of anarchist equilibrium for about a decade until someone deciding to nuke it again settling the fuck down because seriously it's just a series of tiny islands now thanks to that jerkass JAVA.

The Legend of Zelda : Windwaker "Ocean" (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on May 02, 2011, 01:55:40 PM
oh my


flip two letters and


Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Brentai on May 02, 2011, 03:32:01 PM
You went full cowboy on his ass.

After he went full frontal on yours, of course.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on May 02, 2011, 04:38:27 PM
Of course, what the US military isn't telling us is that he was on the verge of completing the summoning ritual to bring Majin Allah into this world.

i almost said jashin allah but that would have been over the edge wouldn't it
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Classic on May 02, 2011, 04:50:06 PM
I've often wondered what kind of a game the SMT team would make if they had to talk about being American.
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: Mothra on May 16, 2011, 07:18:54 AM
Shin Megami Tensei (SNES): Creepy reset glitch (
Title: Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
Post by: François on May 16, 2011, 11:28:27 AM
Oh hey, I'm glad I'm done with this game so my subconscious doesn't have to worry about that happening randomly while I play.