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Author Topic: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!  (Read 39462 times)

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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #140 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.
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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #141 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.
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Pacobird

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #142 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.
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #143 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!
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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #144 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.
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Classic

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #145 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.
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Brentai

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #146 on: March 26, 2011, 03:57:03 AM »

I think it's a game about collecting legendary creatures in post-apocalyptic Tokyo.
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Pacobird

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #147 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?
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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #148 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...
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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #149 on: March 26, 2011, 08:29:33 AM »

Oh, you're talking about Nocturne from '96.

MAYBE??
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #150 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.
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #151 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!
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #152 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.

What.

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...



FFFFFFFFF-

*: 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.
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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #153 on: March 28, 2011, 11:06:08 PM »

: Rumor has it that Lucifer himself is coming to help us!
: Oh. Wow! Okay then!

:slow:
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #154 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.
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #155 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...



Ah-ha!



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.

Anyway...

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.

...aw 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.



...wow.

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:
-Takemikazuchi
-Abaddon (summoned)
-Hariti (summoned)
-Pendragon (summoned)
-Senko
-Lich
-Fleurety (summoned)
-Ravana

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.
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McDohl

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #156 on: April 05, 2011, 03:20:14 AM »

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Mothra

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #157 on: April 05, 2011, 06:56:56 AM »

:getbent:

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.


Wh-
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François

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #158 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

Wh-

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:
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Pacobird

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Re: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei!
« Reply #159 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.
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