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Author Topic: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!  (Read 7132 times)

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Mothra

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2011, 06:16:30 PM »


Come in.  Don't just stand there.

KOME IN!!!!!!
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2011, 10:18:07 PM »



: I'm sure it's very fun for you, but it's kind of a dick move for all the endothermic creatures out there.
: Hee ho! Hee ho...? What, you want to stop me?
: Uh, yeah. Didn't slog it all the way here for an autograph.
: Then I'll freeze YOU! Hee! Ho!



*: Wait, this guy has graduated to Maou? Uh-oh.

Elise tries Jionga, Sudama and Cu Sith both put up Raku-kaja, Ocypete uses Taru-nda, and Hawke and Azumi start attacking right away. Everything works as planned, and King Frost gets Shocked before he can do anything. A few rounds later, we're all doing about 5-7 damage per hit (except Ocypete, who gets two 10 damage hits per turn), and King Frost occasionally gets a Bufu off. It's just a question of whether we can chip off its HP away before Elise runs out of MP.

...and we can. Whew! King Frost vanishes without a word, and Hawke gets a level!


Lv? Maou King Frost
What you see is what you get, really.




: Hey, we made it! And we didn't even lose anyone. Maybe I am a savior after all.
: Of course you are!
: Well, let's not break out the myrrh and frankincense just yet, we still have a bird to catch.

*: We eventually run into normal Jack Frosts.

: Alright, you idiots clear on right out of there. The king is dead, this party is ovah.
: Who are you?
: I'm Hawke.
: Ah! I've heard of you! You a hero? COOL!
: Ahem... Yes. Yes, I am.
: Then I'm Yellow.
: :oh:
: You saying that with my help you could do anything?
: Yeah, suuuuure.
: OK! Give me a Magic Stone! A Magic Stone!
: Here ya go.
: Thank you! I'm Yousei Jack Frost, ho! I'm yers to command!

Alright, we're done here. Let's go back outside.



That's more like it.

*: We run into Basilisk a few more times before we make it back to the overpass, but at last...



It's about freakin' time.

*: We follow the same strategy as for King Frost. However, Basilisk is much faster than Elise and Azumi, so we can't just shock it. The buffs and debuffs keep us mostly safe, though. It has a poison breath attack that hits about two targets for 8 damage and causes poison, but that's not such a big deal.

In the end, it costs us a bunch of MP and a few Dis-Poisons, but we are victorious.


Lv? Jaryuu Basilisk
Other than having graduated to boss status, it seems pretty much the same. I probably should count myself lucky it didn't turn anyone to stone.


Well, there we are. Mission complete!

*: We could go back to Center right away, but I want to check out the frozen building in the first area.



Looks like Valhalla. There are still demons inside.




Hmm. I hope there are survivors somewhere...













*: Nope. Two of the doors outside lead to the same area in the south, but the northeastern entrance takes us somewhere else.



Aw man, even the disco!



: Oh. You're still here.
: Don't act so damn happy, kid.

Well, we're here, might as well.

Sudama + Azumi =

Lv18 Chirei Dverger
"Dvergr" is the Old Norse word for "dwarf". D&D recycled the term for a race of bald, evil dwarves, but mythologically speaking there seems to be no difference. They look to be about the same as the original SMT Dwarves too, with Hanma and Raku-Kaja, but they have new tricks in Hell Fall, a strong physical attack, and Tetra, a spell that negates enemy spells and special attacks for the rest of the turn. However, their Speed is really quite terrible, turning the latter into a novelty at best.

Cu Sith + Jack Frost =

Lv16 Seijuu Unicorn
Still a decent fighter with great support magic, now sporting Lullaby and two special physical skills.








So much for saving people. I guess we've freed up some real estate, at least. Let's go home.

Or, first...


: Here is the latest news from Millenium... We have just received a report that Hawke, Valhalla's Colosseum Tournament Champion, was actually a resident of the Center all along.
: Oh wow. They didn't have to put that on TV.
: Why not?
: Hurts my street cred. Hmph.
: He has been given a new ID card and has returned to living in the Center.

*: Back to the Center area, I dismiss all my remaining minions. They were eating up about 10 magnetite per step, and there are no encounters anyway.


: driving the demons out of Holytown.
: I wouldn't call it "driving the demons out", but the big ones are gone, anyway.
: While you were gone, I debriefed Julia, and she told me about Hanada's death. It would seem the man had far too much confidence in his own abilities.
: That I'll agree with.
: With him gone, the only rebel left is Mekata... But where on earth is he, I wonder? He is a dangerous man, far more dangerous than Hanada was. If we leave him be, there's no telling what he might do!

*: By now I'm fairly confident Mekata is the old man we've been seeing in our flashbacks. The Church may consider him a threat, but somehow I don't see him as particularly Chaos-aligned. Or not to the extent Hanada was, anyway.





: What's going on?
: ...I see. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Hawke, it would appear that we have another emergency on our hands.
: No, really.
: Within the Factory district, there is a large excavation and mining project being undertaken underground, and the evil demon Betelgeuse has appeared there and has taken over the entire site. At the same time, and perhaps as a result of his influence, several of the Demi-Nandi that was have been breeding for food have gone on a rampage in the farming areas of the district.
*: Nandi is a divine bull, mount and guardian of the Hindu god Shiva. I can only speculate as to what a Demi-Nandi could possibly be, especially if they're treated like cattle. I wonder if Mr. Nandi at the casino is one of these in human form.
: The Factory is an essential part of our city, and both its resources and the workers there are in grave danger! Please, defeat Betelgeuse and the Demi-Nandi, and save the citizens of the Factory!
: Oy. I'll do what I can. Let's hope it goes better this time.
: You can get to the factory through an underground tunnel from the Center's southern exit. The passcode for the security lock to the Factory Area is 6191.

Looks like I won't be getting R&R this time either. Oh well. Let's get to it right away, maybe there'll even be survivors.

*: We traverse another nondescript transit tunnel with nothing in it. Well, there was a chest with a Maha-Jio Stone, which might as well be nothing.





Hey, this is different.
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2011, 03:37:55 PM »

When the Mesians talk about digging, they're clearly not messing around.

*: The encounter gauge is green and orange. I summon Dverger, Unicorn and Ocypete. If this place is harder than Holytown, we'll need them.

In fact, we first run into four Depths. The fight takes ages, and it makes me realize something: our demon allies are easily much stronger than the human characters. Hawke is focused on Intelligence first, then Strength and Stamina, and Elise is wizardy (if level 24!), but even then the critters we have now easily hit at least twice as hard as either. This is already quite different from the first game. I guess the loss of the 18 free stat points at the beginning makes a hell of a difference.



So there are multiple levels! I see the game's making good use of the isometric perspective.




: Heyo!
: You want me to join you?
: Not really, no.
>Butcher left.

*: Actually I did, but I did not care for another fight with Depths.

Lv? Mesian Butcher
Either these guys are in charge of putting down the Demi-Nandi rebellion and doing a terrible job at it, either they're actual butchers who've turned hooligan with their livelihood so threatened. In any case, they're unremarkably feeble fighters, with fearsome-sounding Hell Stab and Kaiten-(?) skills.




: Okay, whatever happened to you guys before, I'm sure we can come to a peaceful resolu-
: PUT DOWN YOUR GUN. THEN WE TALK.
: Er.
: Hawke...
: I like to think I'm a nice guy, but I'm not a damn moron.
: Ugg....!!
>Demi-Nandi growled and backed up.
: I WILL TAKE YOUR LIFE!
>It got kind of annoyed.
: You're already in enough trouble as it is. Calm down, and let's talk this out.
: SO YOU DO NOT WISH TO FIGHT?
: Not if I can help it, no.
: WILL YOU GIVE ME SOMETHING?
: Alright, what do you want?
: VERY WELL THEN... I WANT 37 MAKKA.
: No prob.
: THIS IS WORTHLESS.... WITNESS MY POWER!!
>Demi-Nandi started kicking up a fuss.
: You quiet the hell down! I'm not here to slaughter you, but you're really getting on my nerves here! Do you want your voice heard, or do you just want me to kick your ass?
>Demi-Nandi calmed down.
: SORRY... I AM DEMONOID DEMI-NANDI. I AM AT YOUR SERVICE!

...wait what.

...

Holy crap, look at me! Hawke, master negotiator! Booyah!

Lv11 Demonoid Demi-Nandi
Manufactured, sentient cattle, possibly derived from actual Nandi stock. That's... kind of creepy. I expected them to be dangerous creatures, but they have downright shitty stats. They do know Bash, Rampage and Crush, but their strength of 4 isn't doing them any favors. So, yeah, angry talking cows.


*: Huh. I was glad to have one aboard so I wouldn't have to fight them, but they're clearly quite feeble. No wonder they were being used as food.



That jumbotron broadcasts the same report as in Holytown. I could check out these buildings, but I want to learn the lay of the land first.




Hmm.


: Yeah?
: The people of this town are are working under the influence of the song being broadcast from there.



*: Must be that round thing you can kinda see in the upper left there.



But we can't get to it. Oh well!

Let's go to that church building then, I'll need to know where the healer is. I manage to pick up a Slave and a Butcher on the way.


Lv6 Demonoid Slave
Artificial slave used for the dig sites, probably. It's garbage.


I kind of wish I hadn't bothered. Everything is weak here, except for the Depths, and those are Akuryou and won't give us the time of day.

Okay, the church building has a working Church and Terminal; I'm feeling much more confident already. Now all I need is a Manor so I can get rid of my junky-ass demons.

Now for the other nearby entrance...






Whew, we're not too late!


: machine parts. But since demons have been showing up down there, I can't risk continuing. It really sucks not being able to work.


: meat and milk in the western farms and ranches in the Area. But recently the Nandis have been getting violent and attacking anyone that comes near.
: Don't you people find it weird to eat, you know, creatures that can talk?
: It's not like we eat them alive!
: I, uh, I guess not.


: I'm thuh epith..epit...epitomy of a laborer!


: Do they really enjoy working that much...?
: Beats starving, I suppose.

*: Outside the bar we find an appraiser and a door that leads further inside. However, there's a weird sort of slidy floor there that throws us a few tiles away into a fight with five Slimes and three Gremlins. When we're done, we can't even go back, it was a one-way door.

...no wait, there's another one-way corridor right next to it. Feels like an escalator, kinda.

Next up is a weapon shop, selling only guns and ammo. Most of it is far out of our price range. I almost buy a Dominator (70/18, one hit) for Hawke, but that'd cost 6000 of our 6005 makka, so I settle for two sets of Nerve Bullets (14/0) instead, which sets us back 1800 apiece and is a good upgrade over the regular Bullets (2/0) we have.

There's an armor shop as well. I get a Frog Helm (11/3) for Hawke and-


: What is this?
: What's it look like to you?
: Like... metal bunny ears.
: They're Iron Bunny Ears, to be exact.
: You can't be serious!
: But I am!
: That's horrible! Hawke, isn't that... horr...
: One pair of Iron Bunny Ears, please.
: Should I wrap these up for you?
: No, it's fine, she'll put them on right away.
: Hawke!
: Oh, come on, you're adorable. This is much better than that ratty old church-issue helmet anyway.

*: Yup, Iron Bunny Ears. A quick trip to the Appraiser tells us that they resist ice damage. The Frog Helm is strong against electricity, which goes against everything the X-Men have taught me but I'll roll with it.


: I'll gladly listen to your whining as soon as your job description includes hunting giant snowmen and poisonous birds and putting down cow rebellions.


: those that work hard!
: Who saves the saviors, though? You got an answer to that?

*: That seems to be the extent of what's going on here. Hey, can't say no to the first real shops since Valhalla. Alright then, let's go back outside and check out the buildings to the west of the watchtower.



This must be where the the Demi-Nandis were kept.



I can see why they ran away.

Well, that and the "being bred and slaughtered for food" thing.



*: This is a small area with a few one-tile rooms and no encounters. All of the rooms are empty, save one... which has a Code Breaker game hosted by a Mr Nandi. Yeaaaaaaah. Let's get out of there and try the buildings to the southwest, where we saw the lower levels.



Let's hope we find something of interest here, there's nowhere else to go.



*: In fact there's a down staircase near the entrance. We run into tons of Demi-Nandis and Slaves, but fortunately we can avoid fighting them. A Slave gives us a Corseca, which is a slightly better melee weapon than Hawke's old Slicer.



Oh, great, darkness. This particular area isn't so bad though, there's only one way to go, and we get back to the light soon enough.



Hmm, nothing else happens after the quake. We soon find an exit, though Elise's Mapper spell shows us there's more to this level.



This must be another short dungeon to reach the lower area.

...yeah, going in there takes us to the tunnels we saw with the Mapper spell, and we find more stairs. We consume about 10 magnetite per step at this point, but I don't dare unsummon my party because they'll cost me like 1500 makka to call again.



Welp, guess who's glad he didn't send his allies away? We get a surprise round, so I don't even waste time talking.

...holy crap, Elise actually gains her first level since we met her.


Lv15 Datenshi Gagison
Can't find much on this guy; it's possibly a middle-eastern god of plague. Or maybe it's meant to be Gusion, a Great Duke of Hell in the Lesser Key of Solomon with the generic "answers truthfully to all questions" demonic superpower. It's a mage-type with Jio spells and a Claw attack.

Lv15 Shiki Workaholic
Clearly a man who worked himself to death and who didn't let that stop him. He's fairly durable but has nothing else going for him.


We soon find another way out. There are two ways to proceed now.





I'll try the tunnel in the east first.



Okay, dilemma solved. Back to the descending tunnels then. On our way, a Demi-Nandi gives us a Kintan, which must be a massive stroke of luck because they usually give like a dozen makka.

We eventually make it another floor down, into more darkness.




Lv16 Jaryuu Worm
It's the the highest strength stat we've seen yet, but unlike its previous incarnation it doesn't come with the awesome tail swipe; it only has Bash, Raku-nda and Suku-nda. And it only has 16 MP so it's not like he can use the latter very much.


One of the worms one-shots Dverger, which is really bad news. I actually use a Kintan to bring him back; I have no room to recruit usable creatures unless I fire Butcher, Slave or Demi-Nandi, and I'm not sure I want to do that yet. On the plus side, they drop a Screw Lance (43/9, +1 speed), which only Elise can equip.



*: Another surprise round. I guess having Unicorn's immense Luck on our side is finally doing us some good! Again, I don't even try to negotiate.

Lv22 Jaki Ogre
Not a lot to say about that one; it's your generic large, brutish humanoid. In Medieval writings, King Arthur's domain is sometimes referred to as Logres, in accordance with the ancient belief that ogres were inhabiting the British Isles before they were settled by humans. They're basic but rather strong fighter-types, with Punch, Kick and Bind Voice.


The Ogre drops a Glamorous Axe (83/45, +1 stamina, +1 luck), which is kind of mind-blowingly powerful. We probably have Unicorn to thank for that one too.

: We've been down here so long I feel like I'm on the verge of forgetting why we're even here at all.
: Well, there's the Demi-Nandi business, as well as tracking down Betelgeuse.
: Hmm, right, thanks. Say, what does Betelgeuse even look like? How do we know what to look for?
: That's a good question, actually.
: Could it be, like, I don't know, some sort of giant ridiculous polka-dotted snake thing, with a shock of white hair, bat wings for ears, huge bulging eyes and teeth the size of your arm?
: That sounds a bit too silly. How do you even come up with that stuff?
: Err...


: Hello.
: ...
: Mmm-hmm.

*: Gah, the ugly motherfucker actually startled me; it popped right out of nowhere in a large dark area. We use the exact same buff/debuff strategy as for the King Frost fight, but this time Hawke and Elise have shiny epic new melee weapons to put the hurt on. Betelgeuse hits pretty hard, but between the two layers of Raku-kaja, the Taru-nda, and Elise's Media, we come out of the fight alive and well.

Lv? Datenshi Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse is the name of a star in the Orion constellation, originally an Arabic word but apparently no one quite knows what it means anymore. I suppose this here might be a reference to Beetlejuice, but I don't know much about that either. So, double dose of ignorance for you today! Don't say I never do anything nice for ye.



: Now I can finally work at full strength!
: You mean having a giant demon lurking in your dig site only caused you to tone it down a little? Hat's off to your work ethic, man.
: Working is my reason for living! Dig, dig, dig until I drop!
: That's the... that's the spirit! Keep it up!
: Recently I even dug up the Jupiter Pillar! I'll keep digging, and find all sorts of new things.
: Just between you and I, Elise, that guy's borderline suicidal enthusiasm is probably more terrifying than Betelgeuse was.
: I don't know why, it seems admirable to me.
: I... suppose. In a way.

Alright then, now to hoof it back up and find out if we can do anything about the cows.
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Ted Belmont

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2011, 04:14:41 PM »

Lv? Datenshi Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse is the name of a star in the Orion constellation, originally an Arabic word but apparently no one quite knows what it means anymore. I suppose this here might be a reference to Beetlejuice, but I don't know much about that either. So, double dose of ignorance for you today! Don't say I never do anything nice for ye.


I'm gonna go with "yes".
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2011, 06:49:16 PM »

*: Well hey, there ya go!  :themoreyouknow:

Betelgeuse must have had quite the influence here; the exterior's encounter gauge is now a quiet blue/green. The tunnels are still infested, but it allows us at least the discovery that the Screw Lance has a Sleep effect.




: You know, I don't have much good to say about the Mesians in my time, but at least most of them had some pretense of class. You wouldn't have caught 'em running around with a smiley face hood.
: You guys are late. I already cleaned up down here.
: Will you give a donation?
: What? No! I'm not funding your incompetent jackass chainsaw squad and that's final!
: Get out of here!
: Gladly!

*: We make our way back to the upper level without notable incident. However...



I just hope they're following adequate excavation safety procedures down there. This is getting scary.

*: I go to the church and save. We still don't run into any more encounters on the surface, but it feels like there might be something more to do here. I'll check out the bar area.

: Since you defeated Betelgeuse, I can finally go back to work. Thank you!

*: Hmm, I suppose that's all then. I go to the armorer to buy that Tang Lion Happi armor, whatever it is, and then find out it resists fire and ice.

I teleport to Valhalla to visit the relatively easy-to-access Manor there. It's by far the least out of the way, which probably tells a lot about what the Mesians think of the place.

For irony's sake I check out what Demi-Nandi and Butcher would fuse into, but that would be a worthless Chon-Chon. Yeah, no thanks.


Demi-Nandi + Slave =


Lv9 Seirei Earthies
They're pretty good for level 9, with Taru-kaja, Raku-kaja, Suku-kaja and Diarama (!), but now... eh.


Earthies would rank up Unicorn once or Dverger twice, which is about the most use we could possibly get out of the two worthless Demonoids I made it out of. Unfortunately I can't actually do either until at couple levels from now.

As a Mesian, the Butcher fuses into a random demon, and as a low-level creature he only fuses into garbage, so...


: Good news, man. You're not getting in the tube.
: Oh, really?
: Yeah.
: To be honest, I was kinda looking forward to it.
: Nah, you're terrible for it. Seriously. I'd put you in with an entire cow, and all that'd come out would be a pink disembodied head. I'd expect a badass minotaur with self-loathing issues, but no. You literally make things worse.
: Hmm. Alright then, I suppose we'll have to keep fighting side by side, as humans! Come brother, let us-
: No, actually, this isn't working out. You're just taking up room, I have to let you go. You're extremely fired.
: Is... is that fired enough?
: More than.
: :painful:
: Come on, get out of here.
>Butcher left reluctantly.
: I wish I could say I didn't enjoy that.

*: Back at the Center...

: Please, defeat Betelgeuse and the Demi-Nandi, and save the citizens of the Factory!
: But I... We just...

Hmm. Musta overlooked something. Gah, let's go back.

*: I hit the Terminal again and warp back to Factory. I have no idea where to start looking; the tunnel blocked by Temple Knights is still off-limits, the gate to the tower is still locked, and the northwest pens are still empty. And I can't find any more Demi-Nandis running free.



*: Oh, I didn't realize those little raised tiles are actually NPCs. Let's see if anyone can help us.



: It's where we produce all the commodities that the residents of the city need to survive.

*: Yikes, while we run around, we meet four Bodyconians. One of them charms Elise, who  proceeds to stab Hawke until he falls asleep, and then almost kills herself. I had returned Dverger and Unicorn to storage to save on magnetite, but now I'm not so sure it was a great idea.

We also fight Slimes pretty often, which would be a chore... if we didn't have Ocypete's Wing Flap on our side. That skill was absolutely worthless in the first game, but here it's a multi-target force-elemental attack that costs a small amount of HP instead of MP, and it's actually pretty damn good.



*: So you can actually enter these pastures. Huh. Man I keep assuming things about this overworld map...



: Ah! You'd better not get close, it's dangerous here!
: I don't know, they struck me as pretty damn weak.
: Aaaah! They're back!
: Alright lady, step aside while your savior does the work.



: So this is what being the opposite of terrified feels like.

*: We get boss music for this one Demi-Nandi. It's tougher than the others, but Elise and Ocypete deal about 50 points of damage to it and it falls right over, dropping a Kintan.

: Thanks to you, the other Demi-Nandis have calmed down.
: Yeah, they better.
: We really owe you one!
: Eh, get me a good steak next time we meet and we'll call it even. Just make sure you grill all the soul out of it, it kinda leaves an aftertaste.

*: Okay, let's see if the bishop is satisfied now.


: citizens of the city. Thanks a lot, I don't know what we'd do without you!
: I hope you're just trying to flatter me, because if you really mean it, it kind of says a lot about the rest of the temple knights.
: By the way, there's something I've been meaning to show you for a while. Head to the Arcadia area. Arcadia is an experimental area of the city we've been working on to try and create and ideal world for the coming of the Thousand Year Kingdom. It's got special environmental controls, technology, and... well, you should see for yourself.
: I wouldn't mind a little hi-tech sightseeing. That's almost kind of sort of almost as good as a vacation, right?
: Anyhow, Nathan is there. Do you remember him?
: Oh, right, Nathan! From the... yeah! I... err. I don't, actually.
: If you still can't, maybe you should go see him. Maybe he'll jog your memory!
: Good point.
: You can get to Arcadia from the eastern gate in the Center. The passcode to get in is 9103.
: Alright then, I'll go right away. See you!

*: I was afraid they'd send us on another errand, but this sounds like a nice change of pace.

The eastern tunnel is much like the others. A few steps in...




This is definitely worrying. Even if this is just the Factory diggers being reckless, which I doubt, this probably shouldn't be felt all the way over here. I hope there isn't something big digging under Millenium...

*: There are four chests here. Two contain 16 magnetite each, which isn't enough to feed Ocypete for the time we spend looking for them, and two are weak explosion traps.

Finally, behind the passcode door...



: Yeah, of course.
: Please connect your Arm Terminal to the port in front of you and access the computer for authorization.





Daaaaang. Now that's the kind of reward worthy of a tournament champion.

...speaking of which...


: Ha, are you still wearing the robe from when you posed for that statue? Way to hang on to past glories, dude!
: It is only fitting that such a strong, beautiful man such as myself be chosen to live in Arcadia!
: Let me guess. You trained under Haneda, did you? I mean, literally underneath him.
: Look! Look at my beautiful body!
: Whoa, hey! Settle down, will ya?
: My rippling muscles, my exquisite face... aah!
: Come on Elise, let's get away from this creep. Is there a way we can have him put on special knight watch or something?
: What? Why?
: Imagine the MNN headlines on the jumbotrons all over the place: "Noted champion found dead and naked in front of mirror in his Arcadia home; temple coroner theorizes he might have masturbated to death".
: That's offensive to even think about. But, still...
: Not that far-fetched, huh?
: I'll put in a word next time we see the bishop.
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Saturn

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2011, 11:45:26 PM »

The classiest mesian is the crusader who will show up later if memory serves
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2011, 12:08:10 PM »

*: Arcadia was (and still is) the name of a Greek province. In Antiquity it was renowned for its forests, mountainous terrain and sparse population, and the name eventually became synonymous with idyllic, unspoiled wilderness. In Greek mythology it was said to be the home of forest god Pan, of his host of dryads and other nature spirits.

It may be a bit presumptuous of the Mesians to call their experiment by the same name... but it is much nicer than anywhere else.

The church building nearby is exactly the same as the others in Valhalla and Factory, down to the floor layout and the Terminal. At least they're consistent.

I'm not sure where to go next; I guess we'll just explore. Like, say, to the northeast.






Well ain't that just downright posh.


: and it's all thanks to Lord Nathan!
: Lord Nathan? Wow, now I'm not sure I even want to remember him.
: Lord Nathan is truly our Savior.

Okay, I wasn't sure I was completely okay with this "I'm the Savior" business, but now that someone else is cramping my style I have to admit I'm a little miffed.

: Lord Nathan is in the mansion at the end of the path that runs through the trees.



*: Huh. Where the people of Valhalla were lucky to have a single-tile room to call home, that girl has a whole mini-dungeon to herself.

In the next house over...



: This is truly an ideal world!
: That's easy to say when you don't have to deal with giant demonic snowmen and poison chickens and angry cows.

*: That's it for this path. Let's go southwest now.



The MNN jumbotron still broadcasts our return to civilized society.



: worrying about any of the tragedies in the outside world. However, we still cannot escape death.

...I don't like where this is going.

: If we can find the secret to immortality, then we will have nothing left to fear.

Wow, that cannot end well.




: we can live here happily in complete freedom. However, there are still some people here that crave immortality.
: Yeah, that sounds a bit selfish to me, running after immortality while everyone else outside your little green bubble is being eaten by demons.
: Humans sure are greedy! They always want something more. Me, I'm pretty happy as I am.
: I'm just glad there are still some of you in here who know how lucky they are and how much they have.

*: Hmm, wait. I've been everywhere. Except for...



Hmm.



Of for... Gah! It's not even that the entire forest is passable; this is just a thin invisible trail. I guess that's what that woman meant by "the path that runs through the trees". At least it didn't take me ten minutes to figure it out this time, and there aren't any random encounters.





: It's been quite a long time, Hawke. It's me, Nathan. Do you remember me?
: I heard your voice in a virtual battler somehow, but... no, I don't.
: So, what do you think of the Arcadia Area?
: Well, it's, ah, certainly pretty.
: While you were gone missing, I was put in charge of this area, and have built it into a microcosm of a future utopian world. As I'm sure you already know, Millenium is trying to bring the Thousand Year Kingdom into reality. The Arcadia Area here is an experimental test case in an isolated envoronment, to see what kind of world we can create once the Thousand Year Kingdom becomes reality. So far it's been a great success.
: As long as you don't pay attention to the egomaniacs hunting for eternal life.
: Here there are no demons and hence no need to fight, and interpersonal conflicts between individuals have been eradicated as well... Everyone lives in peace and harmony. Once the entire world has been made like Arcadia, we really can say that the Thousand Year Kingdom has come!
: I'll believe it when I see it, but... I suppose that would be an improvement.
: Hawke, if you like it here, you can come back whenever you desire.
: Okay, it is a great vacation spot, I'll give you that.
: You are always welcomed here in the halls of Arcadia. All right then. Please go back to the Center and tell Samuel that Arcadia has been an overwhelming success.
: Alright then, see you when I see you.

We leave.

: Elise, did I hate this guy? I mean, you know, before.
: Not that I know of. Why?
: Ehhhhh... I'm not sure. Never mind. Let's go back.

*: We warp back to the Center.


: I've been gone for like a couple hours, and you people have already dropped the ball? What is it now?
: I haven't got time to explain, go talk to the Bishop!

*: He's not kidding, we have an angry red and yellow encounter gauge on the main floor. Fortunately we don't run into any fights yet.


: The demons have finally managed to break into the Center! And what's worse, the Anti-Messiah has also shown himself!
: The Anti-Messiah? There's a damn Anti-Messiah?! Why does no one tell me these things? That sounds like some pretty damn critical information to me!
: This false savior is deviously manipulating the innocent populace! If we let him continue, Millenium will surely fall into a state of utter chaos! We have been receiving reports of the Anti-Messiah's activity from both Holytown and Valhalla, but we don't know exactly where he is at the present time. For what reason is he claiming to be the Savior? Please, try and find out.
: Fine!

*: Let's try and find out any information we can here before we go.



: They say that the Savior went to Valhalla.



Lv20 Youjuu Nue
They now have Media and a new "Tobi-Gel(?)" physical attack.


*: That was harder than I'd have liked, so I call back Unicorn and Dverger.

At the bar...


: This is awful! A false Messiah has appeared! And of all the times to appear and start causing trouble, now, when the Center is being overrun with demons!
: Ain't that a coincidence, huh?

: I can't believe that the demons managed to break into the Center.... No way I'm sticking around here to get killed by them!
: Like anywhere's safe right now.
: Well, there's Arcadia...
: No one knows how to fight there, except maybe King Muscle, if he even counts. If the demons broke in, it'd be a massacre.

*: On a hunch, I go to the weapons lab on the second floor. Maybe they'll let us take out a prototype now.


: stolen. It was the Stalkers that took them!
: Gah! Assholes! Damn but I wouldn't want to be in their shoes when I get my hands on them!

*: And in the bio lab next door...

: A mob of demons invaded the lab and stole all the items we were developing!

*: We're not getting anything useful here, it's time to go. I'm kind of tempted to put our destination to vote, but it's not like we have a lot of info to go on, and the LP is already going slow enough as it is. I'll keep that for more important decisions I think.

So, Valhalla or Holytown... Heck, I don't know anyone in Holytown, and there can't possibly be more people there now than in Valhalla. Let's take care of our old hood.

We warp there and run into Zombies and Garms right away. Maybe this isn't so bad yet. Let's see how Okamoto is doing.



: Call me whatever feels right, old man, it's no big deal.
: What's this I hear about you stepping into the ring again!?
: What?
: Where did this decision come from all of a sudden...? You could have let me know....
: This is bullshit, I'm not...

Wait a minute... In my flashbacks, there was another...



It's gotta be him. These Mesian idiots have manufactured their own antichrist.

: Sit tight, coach, I gotta make this right.

*: I could go to the Colosseum right away, but I'll check out the rest of the town to make sure everyone's okay.



This place is really going to hell, isn't it?

: Even though there are demons about, there is nothing to be afraid of. The demons cannot raise their hands in violence against those that believe in God!
: Elise, do you believe in God?
: Of course!
: Have you been wounded by demons lately?
: Um... yes?
: ...
: Yeah, sit on that and let it stew, man.

: Hawk! They say you're going to fight again!?
: You say that like I ever stopped fighting.

: Even though demons have been cropping up around Valhalla lately, I'm sure that Lady Madam will do something about it. With her around, we don't need any Messiah or anything!

: I hear that the scientist that ran away from Madam's manor is responsible for all the demons that have been popping up in Valhalla.

*: At the bar...

: All the buzz in Valhalla these days is about the upcoming special match in the colosseum. The Messiah, Janus, against the Champion, Hawk, or Hawke as he's called now!
: I knew it!
: It's going to be one hell of a fight!

: That Janus guy sure has it out for you! Beat him down but good, Hawk!
: All right, so just who is the real Messiah? You, or this Janus guy?
: Whoever crawls out of that pit with the most organs intact, that's who.

: If you're looking for Janus, he already went to the Colosseum.


: You guys have no business here! Get out!
: I'm Yousei Jack o'Lantern! Don't forget it!
>Jack o'Lantern fled!

*: Apart from that, nothing has changed. Even the Disco's the same, and Madam is still too busy to meet us. Only one place left to go!

We get another earthquake on the way. These are becoming more and more frequent.

Oh hey, there's a new MNN show.


: There have been a great many reports lately of a hero running throughout Millenium, saving the people and performing valiant deeds. Many suspect that he may be the Messiah. He is currently at Valhalla Colosseum, and hopes to fight Hawke, also rumored to be the Messiah, in order to prove that he is indeed the Savior of prophecy.
: That son of a bitch is cheating in on my glory! He is getting such a whupping!



I hoped I'd never have to be back here, but now... Now it's personal.

*: I take the time to go through the Hall of Champions, just to see if they got me in yet, but nothing seems to have changed.

...except...




: ...
: ...
*: ...
: I'm gonna fix the hell out of this god damned mess even if it kills me.


: Where's the impostor at?
: You're gonna fight Janus here in the ring. You know all about it, right?
: Yeah, I haven't lost my memory again.
: All right then, go on in. Janus is already inside waiting for you.


: Come out! Come out now and get your ass kicked! Where the hell are you?
(Voice): How dare you deceive the people the way you have, extending a false hand of salvation to the people!
: I'll show you false! Come out!
(Voice): Just like the prophecy foretold, you are indeed the Anti-Messiah!
: I don't give a shit who's the Messiah! Come the fuck out!
(Voice): For the fate of the world, and the fate of humanity...
: You damn drama queen windbag! Shut up and fight me!
(Voice): I cannot let you live!



: These walls won't save you for long!

*: We have the exact same map as before, and it doesn't look like the chests have been refilled. We should be able to go straight to the fight, apart from the random encounters.


(Voice): The false savior, the Anti-Messiah!
: We'll see about that!


: Hmm. You look different.
: Maybe I'll listen to you. Go ahead, tell me what you want!
: You should remember how strong I am. Join me or get out of my face.
: Don't be ridiculous! Geez, this is a waste of time!
: Whatever. I got bigger fish to fry.
>Betelgeuse left.


: when you could have run like a scared dog so easily.
: I'm the damn champion, slayer of King Frost, Basilisk, and Betelgeuse. I'm not in the business of running away.
: But it is God's will that you be struck down! Prepare yourself, Anti-Messiah!



*: Elise puts him to sleep, while we pile on the buffs. He falls in two rounds.


: I don't care if you are!
: In the name of the Messiah, I shall defeat you!
: You want more? Come and get it!

*: We have to fight him again. He gets in a fairly powerful shockwave attack once, but he still goes down in two rounds.


>Janus unleashes a brutally powerful attack!

*: Hawke is taken down to 23 HP.

: You're pretty tough, but this ends here!



: ELISE! NO!















: Y-you BASTARD!!
: :rage:





: I'LL END YOU!



*: We're at a point where Janus can easily one-shot Hawke. I spend three turns defending while my allies pile on Taru-nda and Raku-kaja so I can survive long enough to use an Orb on myself; my HP gets cut in half every time, so this isn't exactly overkill. I wish I could call on Earthies to heal up but I can't not defend even just once. I end up at 4 HP, but Janus hits Unicorn and this gives me the time to get back in the fight. By the time we manage to off him, he was only dealing about 4 damage per hit, so the rest was smooth sailing.

Damn that was scary.



: I'm supposed to be the savior, yet I lose... How can it be......?

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Angry Beaver

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2011, 06:36:09 PM »

Six that son of a bitch.
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Brentai

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2011, 10:57:02 PM »

Ehh.

I think this deserves an interrogation.


...I'm going to pretend to believe that the next choice will be "Will you waterboard him?  >Yes  No"
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2011, 07:35:16 PM »

*: I suppose that counts as a draw. Hmm.




: Don't kill him!........



*: ...gah!

I...

I guess I'm giving Elise the tiebreaker then.


: You reconsidered.... Thank you... ...... It's... too late... for me... so... I want him to live... and... you, too... ...... My purpose is to save... you... ... It was only a short time, but... b-being with you... made me very... hap... ppy......



: D-Damn! I won't... forget... this... e... ver... ...!



I suppose that's how a real Savior is meant to act.

*: The crowd cheers.


: Savior for himself, has been defeated! Just as God foretold, the Anti-Messiah had appeared, and was defeated by the hand of the true Messiah! Hawke is the true Messiah! At last, at long last, God has given to us a savior!

...even Janus cared about Elise more than these clowns did.




: Eh? Thanks, kid.
>The child gave you a note. Upon the note was written: "I need to tell you the truth about what's going on. Come meet me behind the Gaia Temple on the first floor of the slums and I'll tell you everything. ---Mekata"

Everything, huh?

Pff. Right.

*: Before I visit the slums again, I'll see how the people of Valhalla take the news.


: You've really risen to greatness... Far beyond the reach of this old man...
: Hey, I wouldn't be here without you, so cheer up, will ya?

: This is Okamoto Gym -- it's a really famous gym, as it's the one that the Messiah, Hawke, used to belong to... A-ah! Y-y-you're the Messiah!
: Apparently. One that needs saving, though.

*: On my way, I meet a High Pixie who asks me my name. I tell her who I am, and she says "That's an unlucky name. That's the Messiah's name." We also get another earthquake. It might be just me, but it feels like the screen shaking animation is more intense.

: At long last, the Messiah has come! Messiah Hawke! Please, save us!

: So, you were the Messiah all along, eh? I thought there was something out of the ordinary about you, I guess my intuition is keener than I thought!

: I'm so mad! If you're really the Messiah, save me from the pit of debt I've fallen into!
: There should be a dying warrior running around here somewhere, why don't you go save his life?

: All right, if you're the Messiah, then go and kill all those demons that have been plaguing us!

: So, Hawk, you were the Messiah all along? I had a feeling you weren't just any ordinary person!

: Our Messiah has finally appeared! He has granted us his presence in the Valhalla Colosseum. His name is Hawke! There, he defeated Janus, who was also claiming to be the Messiah recently. "...When the false Messiah arrives, the true Messiah will defeat him..." Just as the prophecies of the Mesia church predicted, the true Messiah, Hawke, has come to save us at last!

They act as if that means I'm stronger than ever, but now I'm alone.

*: In more practical terms, Elise was our sole reliable healer, and we've also lost her equipment.

Anyway, that's enough messing around. We head to the slums. Aaaaand we get another earthquake.

We got a few levels since the last time, so I drop by the Jakyo Mansion there, to fuse Earthies and Unicorn. I kind of wanted to keep the former to rank up Dverger, but I'd need to hang on to it for more than 10 levels to do so.




Lv20 Seijuu Apis
Apis is an Egyptian bull god, probably the result of early man's general tendency to worship cow deities. It filled a lot of roles in its long history, including as a god of harvest and fertility, as an incarnation of Ptah the demiurge, and later still as an aspect of the death god Osiris, putting it in the unique position of being associated with both food and funerals. It's a very durable healer-type with okay combat stats. Its MP isn't so hot, unfortunately. I'm not sure about the difference between Sacrifice and Explode, but I suppose one of them heals and the other destroys.


: You're the Messiah? Bollocks! The center is just saying that because it's convenient.

*: And finally, on the exact tile behind the Gaian shrine...


: I had a feeling you'd turn up sooner or later. Like going back to a crime scene, huh?
: It's me... but you don't remember me, do you?
: Not in any meaningful way, no.
: I've heard quite a lot of rumors about you and your exploits. You are even more powerful than I had thought you would be. Have you regained your memories?
: ...some. But, not really.
: No? I thought not. In a way that's a good thing.
: For me, or for you?
: No, don't worry, I'll explain everything. About you, who you are, why your memories are gone... the truth about everything. As difficult as I fear it may be, you need to know, and the time to tell you has come. But first, I have a request of you. Do you remember the woman that came from the Center to find you?
: You mean Julia, right?
: She has been imprisoned and is being held in the Factory.
: What!?
: Would you please free her? Since she left the Center to look for the missing child, she was convicted by the Center of going AWOL. Please, Hawke, rescue her... break her out.
: Yes, of course.
: Once you have done so, bring her with you and come to me. I will tell both of you everything... she will need to hear this too. Security is extremely tight at the Factory, and the holding cells are cut off from most of the rest of the area, so you will need to go through the Underworld to get to where she's being held.
: That sounds like a cheerful place. I hope you don't mean it literally.
: Go to the road connecting Valhalla and the Center, and talk to the man guarding the western intersection. He will know to let you by. Please, you're the only one I can ask this of...

*: This is getting interesting. We've been a Mesian errand boy for far too long. Of course I'm not ready to pick sides yet, but it should be nice to get another side of the story for once.

Just out of curiosity, I go see if the Center Bishop has anything to say right now.


: I am sure you have noticed, but recently there has been a great deal of earthquakes that have been affecting Millenium.
: Dang, it'd be hard not to.
: It would appear that the source of the earthquakes is coming from somewhere underground, but we cannot pinpoint the exact location at the moment. Also, we have received several reports that the fugitive Mekata has been hiding out somewhere in the Valhalla slums. We should do something about that soon.
: That'd be too obvious a place, I think. Well, I'll keep an eye out for him.

*: Back in Valhalla, we follow Mekata's instructions.


: Just so you know, there are three passcode protected doors beyond here. Their passwords are 1213, 1834, and 9192. I don't know which door has which password, but I guarantee that those three are correct.
: That almost doesn't sound like a pain in the ass.

*: We take stairs down to a lower section of the tunnel. I won't take any chances here; I summon Apis and Dverger.

Hmm, there's an elevator right away.



B7? I think I'll clear B2 first. Man this is gonna be a pain without Elise's Mapper.



: Weirdo!
>Stare, or say your name?
: :proceed:
: Hee hee hee hee!
Lamia wants to fight!

*: Ocypete gets her ass kicked, and I decide this fight may be too expensive than I'd like by the time we kill just one of the three Lamias. I try talking again.

: Are you the Messiah?
: Hmph. Not right now, no.
: Time's a wasting! See you! I'm tired of this!
>Lamia left.

*: We soon run into two more.
: So, what do you think about demons?
>Alluring, terrifying, or just a threat?
: I wouldn't have beaten Janus without my allies, so I suppose you're all pretty hot right now.
: Really...? What is it, big boy? What d'you want with me?
: Well, there seems to be a lot of you guys down here, so I could use a guide.
: You're honest-- stupidly so! Aah! Boring!
: Oh, come on, I thought chicks dig honesty!
: What do you think about demons?
: ...alright, alright, demons are alluring. Is that what you wanted to hear?
: OK then... Well then, how about me?
: Yeah, sure, whatever.
: I'm glad! OK then! Come on a bit closer!
: Uhh... sure.
: You believe me, right? I'm glad! *kiss*
>Lamia left.
: What the hell just happened?

*: Turns out B2 was really tiny and had nothing going for it. At this point I'm getting worried about the strength of the critters down here, so I figure I should go back to Factory the regular way and pick up a better weapon, probably a multi-hit gun so I can make use of my Nerve Ammo.

In fact, I do so. I hit the Factory bar on my way.


: From how on, I will work for the rest of my life! For the sake of Sir Hawke and for everyone else!

: You're Sir Hawke, the Messiah! It's like a dream being able to meet you....

: There'sh nobody ash good a laborer ash I am! I'm sherioush! I don't washte my time with women or gambling, and I barely drinksh at all too. I work hard!

*: We get another quake on the way to the gun store. It takes a bit of grinding, but I manage to afford a 12000 Makka M16 Rifle (46/29, hits 2-4 times). And then after a bit more grinding I scrounge together the 3200 we need to have Ocypete revived. Most enemies in the Factory overworld give less than 300 Makka per fight, but a group of three Bodyconians is worth about 1700, so it's not so bad.

Alright then, back to the slums.

No, wait, I just thought of something...



Ha! I guessed it!


: Ah, so I see you're still alive. Very good, very good. I would imagine by this point you might be feeling that the number of demons that you can stock in your memory is a bit low.
: I do, actually.
: Therefore, let me give you this upgrade to the demon summoning program. It should allow you to stock up to nine minions. I was able to work out a compression algorithm to reduce the size of minion data within your computer. Using it you can stock more demons in the same amount of space.
: Hello, what's this called? ...666zip?
>Hawke's Minion Stock became 9.
: I'm still tinkering with the algorithm, and I think I can compress the data even more. When I do I'll give you the upgrade, so look forward to it.

*: Booyah! Now we can go take that elevator.





*: Wow, and I thought Valhalla looked like a Doom level!


: YOU!
: Time to pay you back for what you did to me at the Colosseum!!
: You asked for it! No one's gonna save you this time!



*: Janus hits hard enough that I return Ocypete to the computer for her own safety, but Hawke, Dverger and Apis are more than tough enough to withstand anything he throws at us. With Apis' Media I even feel confident to use Bash and Hell Fan, which accelerates the proceedings greatly. We come out of this without much harm.

: Dammitall!! You'll pay for this!!
: Give up! Your plan failed, no one will believe you anymore! If you keep at it I'll make you wish you'd never left that damned tube!
: I'm still not giving up yet!
>Janus dropped something as he fled. You got Mars Pillar.

*: Hmm. I don't know what that is. The digger behind Betelgeuse mentioned finding a Jupiter Pillar though, so there must be more.

Anyway, the path is free, and the exit is nearby.



The Underworld... is old Tokyo.
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McDohl

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2011, 02:49:25 AM »

Hey, maybe we can visit Kaneda and Tetsuo's old digs!
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Classic

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2011, 08:05:47 AM »

Hey I don't remember, did you get XP for that Janus fight?
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2011, 08:41:55 AM »

Hmm, I guess I've overwritten the save file I had before this latest fight, but checking a much earlier one from before the colosseum fight, we did get 320 exp that time.
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Classic

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2011, 09:22:04 AM »

If he gives you XP, you should spare him for more XP. obvs.
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2011, 12:01:15 AM »





*: Vast stretches of the ruined city below lie engulfed in nasty opaque fog. What's going on down there?



The train station and the baseball field can't be entered, but the small red shrine can.



Might as well.




>A statue of the Kunitsukami Kotoshironushi is here.

: ...of the what?
*: Kotoshiro-nushi-no-kami, also known as Ebisu, is one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Shinto folklore, presiding over fishermen, luck, and protecting the health of small children.
: Sounds like a square enough fellow.



*: We did find a De-stone item from a fight sometime recently, would that do the trick?

>Hawke searched his inventory for a De-Stone, found one, and used it.



*: Well hey, it did! Score one for ordinary healing items!

: Thank you for breaking my curse and reversing my petrification! But I'm still having a little trouble moving around... I guess I haven't fully recovered yet.
: Oh, okay. Well, I'm glad to be of service anyway. I'd like to tell you I'll be back to check up on you sometime, but this is kind of out of the way.

*: Back outside, we run into Cu Sith, one of which joins us for a pittance.



Now if I had to guess, I'd say this connects to the facility guarded by Temple Knights that we couldn't enter back when we were exploring the Factory dig sites.



I summon Ocypete again and our latest Cu Sith. They're not exactly cutting edge, but there's safety in numbers.



Oh, right! Lessee... The third code given to us by the guard in the Valhalla access tunnel gets us in. There doesn't appear to be any consequence to entering the wrong code, so I'm not sure what's the point.

There's a Repair Garage near the code door, so I get everyone healed up. It costs us more than I'm used to, though, which is somehow what makes me suspect we've been counted as Neutral-Law since the beginning, if the spinning overworld icon is still any indication. It makes sense, given that we're basically an experiment by the Mesian Church.



Long story short, Hawke barely had the time to realize Man Eaters are immune to firearms before he got Charmed, then he hacked his summons to pieces with his axe, and got paralyzed, and...










Huh.

: Hey.
: Uh... hello?
: Hi!
: Didn't expect you to join us so soon, to be honest.
: W-what happened?
: You got man-eaten, kid. Not a pretty sight.
: Well, that sucks.
: At least I had the decency to wait until I wandered into a sidequesty mega-level area until I bit it the first time. What kind of a protagonist are you?
: Oh, shush. You've had problems with various cannibal bimbos a few times yourself, if I remember. I'm sure Hawke here just didn't have your ridiculous luck.
: Say, have you seen Elise pass through here?
: Can't say I have. Given her inclination, I think I'd have to ask Kaneda, but...
: UP YOURS, HEATHEN!
: ...he's come down with a bad case of the fundies.
: So, what's next?
: Well, you can stick around, if you like the featureless blue decor and tend to enjoy moderation in all things. Or I guess you can go back down there, and, I dunno, do your freaking job or something.
: I didn't realize that was an option. What's the procedure?
*: Terminal save.
: But don't we have another-
*: Nope. Terminal save.
: Aww.
*: Don't pull a Shining on your teammates next time, okay? Save us both some trouble.
: :painful:

*: Fortunately I hit the Terminal in Factory after I bought my gun and revived Ocypete, so it's not that much trouble getting back here. Janus gets whupped again, what's-his-name gets stone-to-flesh'd again, and so on. The one big difference is in how we don't see or hire any Cu Sith on our way back in.

That, and we run into a different first encounter.



: Boy am I glad to see you.
: Brave one! Tell me thy name.
: I'm... Hawke. You... you know. The Messiah. Rings a bell?
: I see after all... You... Show me just how much power you have!
: Wait, what?
>Archangel wants to fight!

*: We put two of them to sleep, but they still manage to use MahaAgi once and do about 20 damage through Ocypete's Taru-nda. I try to talk again.

: So that's how much power I have!
: Who are you? What do manchildren like you want from me?
: Just let us through, we're on the same side!

*: She asks us our name again. She won't let us go without a fight. Hmph. Maybe we can...

Nope, they beat Ocypete and Dverger to a pulp, we fail to run away, and...


: :disappoint:
: :nyoro~n:

*: Alright then, I'm gonna try to put a more capable party together. I recruit a Cu Sith for the form, then head to a Jakyou Mansion.

Hmm. Try to fuse a Chaos demon now gives us a "Your alignments clash" message. We really are Law, but we haven't always been, and I'm not sure when we changed.

Anyway...


Jack o' Lantern + Cu Sith = Unicorn

Knocker + Benu + Ocypete =



Lv21 Megami Ame-no-Uzume
She's retained her Happy and Charm ailments, gets a better healing spell, and now has Raitei-(?), a rather strong two-hit physical skill. It doesn't make her into a fighter, but she's not harmless anymore.

Megami used to be Light-Law, but are now Light-Neutral. Maybe this time Uzume won't be the only one ever see.


Okay, so two garbage demons upgrade our borderline obsolete Ocypete into a spectacular healer. I think we can work with that.

This leaves us with Dverger, Apis, Ame-no-Uzume, and Unicorn. It's better, but still not the clear winner I'd need, and with Elise gone that's not even a full party. I'm gonna go explore places we've been before and try to recruit uncommon demon races just so I have room to experiment. And if I pick up a couple levels on top of that, bonus!



: Heyo.
: Thy eyes are beguiling!
>"Enthralled!", or "Avert gaze"?
: I'd rather not fall for that again.
: Dost thou think I am alluring?
: I wouldn't go for the purple skin, most of the time, but yeah. Yeah. I do.
: Thou art a trusting one. Take this. Take this as a reminder of me.
>Hawke got Scarlet Nagamaki. Hannya left.

*: That's a new spear (42/38, hits twice, 1 Strength, +1 Speed), but Hawke can't use it, so I suppose it's for females only.

Lv19 Youki Hannya
The Hannya is what you might call a stock character in Japanese Noh theater, represented by a red mask. It's a woman transformed into a demonic creature by her own jealousy and greed. The mask itself is designed so it expresses threat and malice when viewed from a certain angle, and sorrow and regret when viewed from another. Here she is a straightforward fighter, with several physical skills and a Panic-causing Soundwave move.


*: Man, we're having a bit of trouble even just fighting the random Nue and human-form Betelgeuse infesting the Center grounds. I have even more catching up before me than I thought.

...holy crap, we run into more Hannya, they put everyone in Panic, Unicorn and Ame-no-Uzume actually unsummon themselves (which costs me about 1000 Makka), and Apis gets murdered (which costs me 4000 later). I figured I just needed to update my squad, but it's beginning to look like I have some straight-up leveling to do.

Hmm. It's a shame the Virtual Battler doesn't go above level 4...

On a whim, I decide to check out Holytown again. Rumor had it that Janus might have been hiding there, so maybe there's been some repopulation.

Well, at least, the access tunnel has been populated...




Lv15 Yama Nightmare
Pretty much the same, except they now have the basic Zan in addition to their old Zanma, Doluminer and Sibabu.


In Holytown proper, we meet four Onmyoji who promptly kill Unicorn. It's a good thing they're decent experience, because this is turning into an expensive expedition.

The northern section with all the empty shops now has a few NPC tiles around.



: They wanted to build a huge church and get everyone to move here. The area was a colossal failure though.
: What happened?
: Eh? Why did it fail? Well, why listen to boing sermons nonstop here in Holytown, when you could live in a place designed to make things fun like Valhalla? People chose the Casino and Colosseum over church services in overwhelming numbers.

*: We keep hearing about the Casino in Valhalla, but we've never been. I don't even know where it is. I'll try a more in-depth search next time I'm there, it's probably behind/under some building somewhere.

: Those Stalker guys have been busting things up looking for treasure again.

: Thanks to you, beating back the demons like that, people have moved here and we have been able to create a new town.
: So this wasn't all for nothing after all! Man am I glad to hear that.
: Now I have people I can spread the Mesian religion to! Thank you so much!
: Yaaaaaaaaay.
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2011, 12:06:09 AM »

*: And inside...

: To think that Janus was a false Messiah... He was such a nice guy too...
: I must admit I find that difficult to believe.



: What? You're the Messiah! Then save me from my poverty!
: That... that's not how it works!

*: God help me, I think I'm turning into a Republican.

: They say there are plenty of chances for profit in the Underworld... But those Stalker guys won't let anyone use the tunnel in the Great Church, so nobody can get down there to see! Damn!

*: Ooooh, so there's more to the Underworld than just the small area we visited. That's good to know.

: Not that I mind being here, but I just don't have any motivation any more... I wonder... Should I leave the warrior life...?
: This isn't the best time to become a harmless civilian. Don't hang it up just yet.

: Ya know, lately.... *hic* Evr'one 'round these parts are such bassards... *hic* Lossa them that can' hack it here in Muhllennium be goin' down them sewers er sumsuch... *hic*

*: The sewers, eh? There might be even more to this place than I thought.

: I overheard some guy saying that he was going to go to Abyss from someplace near here. Something about dolls in the Great Church or something... I didn't hear too well, and I didn't understand what I did hear.

Hmm. I still have Hanada's four dolls on me. Might have to keep it in mind.

*: The Junks store reopened. Normally I wouldn't mention it, but I sold an extra Glamorous Axe dropped by a Betelgeuse, and when I tried to leave...


: in thanks for your patronage. I hope you come back if you ever need anything else!
>You got Mercury Pillar.
: Thanks.
: Err, thank you.

*: Wow, that was random as hell. I'm getting curious now. I'm guessing this is a collection sidequest or something.

The weapon and armor stores are open as well, but they don't seem to have anything interesting.




So they have one here too.

: Head to the cashier and exchange your Makka for Coins to play the games!



*: Ten Makka buys you one Coin. The prizes vary from a mysterious Jipanium Leg for 50000 down to a Metal Card usable at Mr Nandi's codebreaker game for 10.

Ehhh. What the heck, I'll buy 40 coins, just to check it out.



: fortune, the Slot Machines! They're pretty tough!



*: There's a kind of "hold" function where you can keep some wheels from spinning from one try to the next, but I don't get anything after spending five coins so I try something else.


: This is Big and Small, a Big Hunter Chance! Hunter Chance! Yer ball!
: ...what?



*: The game rolls a d10-1, you bet on whether it lands on 0-4 or 5-9, and every time you win you can go double-or-nothing. Man I could cheat the hell out of this with save states... but I end up playing three 10-coin games and winning only 20 back. Man, gambling is so dumb.


: Meh.
: ...Bastard! Laugh at my joke!
: Haw. Haw.
: YAY!
: ...

*: Well, it's Keno.



...I bet 5 and win 60 coins!

Alright, time to quit while we're ahead.


: Go ahead and pronounce it "Keh-no" if you want though, I don't care.
: I'm partial to "Kano wins, fatality!", myself.

*: We don't qualify for any other prizes, so I get a couple Metal Cards and leave.

Hey, the disco's open! Woooooooo!

*: Lots more furious dancing in here.




: Err...
: ...oh yeah, I'm not working today!
: To be honest, I'm surprised you're even flesh and blood, I thought you were some sort of hologram!




: Check out my Magic-power 9 dance! I'm gonna be the star attraction at the next rave party! I can't wait until the next full moon!

Hmm?


: the full moon.


: the pillars" or some crap. Wonder what the hell he was talking about? He was probably just insane...
: Of course.
: He said he was a messenger from the planet Jupiter, too!

Oh, great. Now aliens.

Well, I'm curious about this rave, but we're only at waxing half moon. I'll check out the rest of the place to kill some time.

: The Messiah rescued my older sister from a demon in Valhalla! I was so relieved!
: Huh?

...could she be talking about Janus?



Lv16 Yuuki Ghoulette
Much like Ghouls used to be. With the addition of... Diarama? Huh.




*: Alright then, rave time!



: It's the night of the full moon! It's time for the Moonlight Rave! Daaaaaaaance Madness! LET'S DANCIN'! Let's start the Dance Contest! Starting from Number 1... LET'S DANCIN'!



: Even if you didn't register, you can jump in at any time and participate! We don't care! Great prizes are waiting here for you! Anyone wanna dance!?



: Aw shyeah, you guys need to witness the Messiah Shuffle!
: Yes! You, that man over there!! LET'S DANCIN'!!
: LET'S DANCIN'!!



: ....Now it's time to announce the results of the contest! And the winner is... Entry number.... 2!!! Congratulations!
: Screw you guys, I'm going home.

*: Man what's the stat I need to work on to win a dance contest? Speed, or luck?

Anyway, that's all for this part of Holytown. Let's see what happened with King Frost's old lair.




Lv21 Machine Junk
Pretty much what you think it is. It's got a gun attack as well as a poison shot and a strong physical Crush skill, and it's got a ton of HP, but its Intelligence, Speed and Luck are rock-bottom.

And it turns out Machines are Dark-Law.


You know, the random encounters here are pretty tough, but they're nothing like in the Underworld tunnel. I suspect the intended game progression is to come here looking for Janus first, instead of going straight to Valhalla.

In any case, we make it to the church without more casualities.



: Even just a little bit of your Makka is enough. Please, use it in the name of God. One donation is 1000 Makka. Please donate.
: Yeah, no, sorry, but I'm on a budget myself.
: Then please donate later.
I'll try to talk to the bishop but I can't promise miracles.


: Still cold this place is. A refrigerator I will make it.
: You better make yourself useful either way, or I'll come back for you.



*: Those stairs are behind a door that used to be frozen solid. We find a couple chests with a decent amount of cash and magnetite up there.


: Huh?


: Kinda, yeah.
: Too bad. I won't tell you!
: Douche.

*: We find more stairs.



Whuh-oh.

>Will you use the four dolls to open a gate to the Abyss?

Uhhhhh. No? That sounds like the worst idea.

: A decapitated head, in the rubble I found. Really gross it is, sell it I cannot.
: ...I wasn't asking.
*: I just realized that everything a Stalker says, I hear in the voice of a Volus from Mass Effect, assisted breathing and all. I'm not sure why, Yoda would make more sense.


: Pass yet you cannot!

*: Nothing to it but to hoof it all the way back down. I'm getting annoyed at how crappy the demons are in here, with the likes of Gakis and Jack the Rippers and Zombies. We came in with about 11000 Magnetite and come out with 7700.

Anyway, before I call this an update, I hit the Jakyou Mansion once more.


Unicorn + Frankie =


Lv20 Majuu Nekomata
They gained MahaZanma and a new Tobi-Ge(?) physical skill.

Cait Sith + Jack o' Lantern = Unicorn


Whew. Again this game surprises me. I think I'm in for a spot of mindless grinding, but then I spend most of my time exploring what's almost a new area, and it turns out to be balanced for my level, and I get a long-ass update out of it.

Next episode: we take another shot at freeing Julia!
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Saturn

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2011, 01:59:49 PM »

I can't remember, but I think the planet pillars are required things, not a sidequest.
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Brentai

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2011, 03:30:43 PM »

I'd say getting a key item at random from a nondescript shopowner is a little strange, but so far this game seems to be revelling in its disjointedness.
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McDohl

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2011, 04:24:18 PM »

Let's dancing, guys.
David Bowie - Let's Dance
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François

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Re: Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse!
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2011, 04:11:50 PM »

*: Now that we got a full party of relatively recent allies, we should be able to last a bit longer in the Underworld facility a bit. Or at least manage to survive a single fight, I hope.

On our way back there...



: Hey, you don't look so dark to me. Maybe just a bit armor-y.
: Ooh.... Don't stare at me!
: As you wish.
: Hmph! You're soft! Way too soft! Softer than a pillow!
: A pillow? What? That's what you're going for, a pillow? How does that-
>Dark Elf caught you by surprise!

*: We take a round of attacks, taking a failed Doluminer, a weak MahaJio and several fairly hard physical attacks.

: Okay, you made your point, you're dark. That just means I won't go easy on you now.
: I'm scared...
>Point gun, or approach?
: And you should be. Put 'em up, and don't try any more funny business!
: Aaah!
>Approach, or ignore?
: Alright, now we're gonna have a chat like civilized people.
: So, what do you think about demons?
: By now I'm beginning wish they'd stay out of my way.
: I like you.
>Dark Elf left.

Lv? Yousei Dark Elf
The modern fantasy Dark Elf is a D&D invention, but old Norse legend tells of "black elves" who dwell underground, by contrast to the "light elves" who live in their own heavenly abode. It's quite probable that what they describe as black elves we would today identify as dwarves, or perhaps even goblins or kobolds, as they were only vaguely differentiated at the time.




*: Okay then, let's see if third time's the charm.

We make it a little further inside, and find a Temple of Gaia near the Repair Garage.



The Gaian priest is again susceptible to bribery donation, but we only have 8000 Makka on hand and the Garage is nearby, so I don't see the use right now.




Oooh, maybe the lower-rank Angel will be more amenable to discussion. I just hope the other won't formali-

: How dare you ignore an angel such as myself!
*: Balls. I guess the dev team thinks of everything.
: How contemptful!
>Apologize, or look angry?
: I was talking to your friend! Who the hell do you think you are?
: Who are you? What do manchildren like you want from me?
>Archangel wants to fight!

*: At least there's just the two of them. It takes a while, but we do take out the Archangels without harming the regular Angels... much.

: I feel sorry for you. I know all about how the church hierarchy works, believe you me.
>They look pretty bored. Will you do something?



: Will this heartfelt rendition of Handel's Hallelujah suffice?
>The song reverberates loudly...
: That's the best I can expext from a manchild... That won't work against us angels. I shall take your soul!
>It got kind of annoyed.
: Oh, come on, it doesn't have to end this way! I'm just passing through here to get some answers about my past!
: So you mean to say you do not wish to fight?
: That's right! If I wanted to take you down, I would have already. You saw what just happened to those two!
: You want me to turn against God!?
>"It'll be worth it", or "you won't have to betray him"?
: I'm not here to oppose God, I just want to find out the truth. If your people have been honest with me, then you have nothing to lose.
: Very well. I am Tenshi Angel. I pledge my loyalty to you as your guardian from now on.
>Angel became your minion.

Lv21 Tenshi Angel
They don't seem as spectacular as the used to be. They come with Zan, Pen-patora, Media and Hanma, all useful spells, but their Magic stat is quite poor and they have little MP. They have decent Strength and Luck though.

Lv28 Tenshi Archangel
These guys feel much tougher than before, with high HP and good Stamina. They come with a Heatwave physical skill, Raku-kaja, MahaAgi, Hanma and Media.


*: Whew, there's one threat neutralized.

We run into some Nue who almost kill Nekomata, so I replace her with Angel. We also meet more Man Eaters, who turn out to be harder than any boss yet save perhaps that last scrap with Janus in the Colosseum, but we do manage to beat them at considerable expense. They have a paralyzing attack, and only Dverger can cure us from that.



Hmm. That's one dead-end, but there's still much to explore.




Lv14 Yuuki Ghoul
Awful fighters with the life-draining Death Touch skill, and still surprisingly, Diarama.


There are tons of Ghouls around here, but we have four party members with Hanma, so they're never a big deal even in large groups.

After a bit of exploring, it strikes me just how big this place is.



We've found several Incenses and some Magnetite, so I wouldn't say it hasn't been worth it, but we're fighting for our life every step of the way. If I wanted to turn back and go to the Garage to heal up, I honestly don't know if I could make it. At least the random encounters aren't too frequent, and Archangels tend to show up with Angels, which allows us to avoid them. Now that I think about it, this just might be the first legitimate dungeon of the game!

We manage to avoid a big Man Eater fight by recruiting their accompanying Nightmares. Whew!



: ...what?
*: We're getting Okamoto's theme here for the first time in a while, which almost keeps me from having an Alice flashback.



Well, even if only to take her out of here safely...

: Alright kid, you can tag along.
: Tee-hee, you'll let me become your minion? Thank you!
>Yousei Nadja became your minion.
*: Oh, she's a Yousei! That makes slightly more sense.
: You want to go to the labor camp, don't you?
: Yyyyyeah... How did you-
: Well let me give you a juicy tip then!

*: Huh, it looks like she teleported us...



She did! We found her in the room just south of where we are now, and she took us through the north wall, just in front of the room with barred gates we found earlier.

Hmm, before we do anything else...



Holy crap, she's kind of a beast. Her stats don't seem too special, but all those spells are useful, and she has tons of HP and MP. As far as mythological origins go, I haven't the faintest.

I suppose Nadja's going to open the bars for us, but before we proceed further I'll go heal up and try to explore the few dead-ends I left behind.

Oh hey, there's a Jakyo Manor near the Garage!


Nekomata + Unicorn =


Lv25 Shinjuu Nandi
More than twice as good as Demi-Nandi, to be sure. They have low Stamina but high HP, great caster stats and decent Strength to boot. They also come with a bevy of cleric-type spells and the typical quadruped attack skills.


Unsurprisingly, Nadja can't be fused into anything. That'll be it for now.

We find a passcode door nearby as well, but none of our codes will open it.

Once we're healed, I decide to go out on the Underworld overworld (if that even makes sense) to perhaps recruit a Cu Sith, just to have Toraest handy in case we run into more than we can handle. I'd also like to grind for magnetite a bit, because we're consuming it at more than 20 per step and I really wouldn't want to run out.




Lv18 Youju Mandrake
The mandrake is a plant in the nightshade family, with a peculiar root that may appear vaguely similar to a human figure. A variety of legends surround it, including references to it in the Old Testament as a "love plant", and the myth that it emits a piercing, deadly scream when pulled out of the ground. One story in particular instructs the would-be gatherer to have the root pulled by a dog, so that the animal catches the brunt of the scream and dies instead of its master... which... isn't physically... yeah. Here they are pure support spellcasters with high Intelligence and Magic, as well as Taru-nda, Doluminer, the panic-causing Soundwave, and ailment cures Parala-di, Posum-di and Patra. They have low physical defense stats, but are still difficult to harm with melee attacks, so I suppose they have an inherent physical resistance that doesn't show up numerically.


Okay, I do get a Cu Sith, and another Ocypete for good measure. I go back to the Manor and...

Dverger + Ocypete =


Lv25 Yousei Banshee
In the original Irish legends, the banshee (or bean-sidhe) is a fey woman whose mourning wail can be heard throughout the land moments before the death of an important person. The appearance varies, running the gamut from beautiful young woman to withered old crone, and by now, depending on who you ask, they may also scream after the death of a notable, or actually kill people by screaming at them. Here they are fair offensive casters with Maha-Bufu, Mudo, and several decent support spells.


You know what? I saw my options, and I need to go back out for another Ocypete.



Lv21 Youchou Kelaino
Kelaino (or Caleano) is one of Ocypete's harpy sisters, noted for her gift of prophecy. She's a quick and fragile spellcaster, with fair Magic and Speed. She knows Jio, Raku-nda, Mudo, and the typical harpy claw attack.


Alright, got it. Back to the manor...

Apis + Ocypete =


Lv22 Reichou Phoenix
The Phoenix is a mystical fire bird found in several mythologies all over Europe and Asia. It's always said to have a lifespawn of several centuries, and sometimes even to be immortal, depending on whether you believe that the stories of it being reborn from its own ashes imply the resurrection of the same individual creature, or merely the birth of its offspring. Here they are quick spellcasters, with a stat distribution similar to Kelaino, but generally stronger and with much stronger spells; Mahanma, Deka-ja and Ricarm are worth the detour by themselves.


These two fusions give us a source of ice damage and a source of fire damage. That bumps our magnetite consumption to about 23 per step, though. We're down to about 4500 total, and those dead-ends I wanted to check out seem so far away... There might be Incense in there! Gah!

Let's go find Julia right away instead. If she joins us then I'll be able to return a minion to storage, and it should be more cost efficient. I mean, if I meet, say, seven friendly Nightmares, and slaughter them anyway, we get 192 magnetite. That doesn't fuel us for long.

Angel gets mauled in an encounter with Man Eaters, and before we can heal her, another Angel in the next encounter tells us she's worried about the health of her friend. That's a nice touch!



: Want to?
: Of course, that's why I'm here.

*: The bars slide open, revealing an elevator that takes us up to B1.



Yeah, that's Factory alright. Let's go.

*: We're right in the middle of the holding cells too. We find plenty of empty ones.



I suppose everyone's hard at work right now.



: Samuel. You know this is not right.
: Sorry, but I'm not going to let you free Julia! Julia left the Center unauthorized, and for this crime was put in jail. I understand her reasons, but she broke the rules, and the rules are absolute. All of the rules the Center made must be followed. Breaking them is a crime. All crimes must be punished. Therefore, Julia must be punished. If you too want to break the rules by freeing her then I must fight you. I do not want to disobey the orders of the Center!
*: We're not given a choice here.
: This is too important. Millenium is falling apart. There's something real stinky going on, and if you don't have the guts find out what it is, or to leave your little comfort bubble where you have someone else to think for you all the time, then you don't even deserve to stand in my way.



*: Sam's got a decent two-hit physical attack, but Banshee's Raku-kaja neuters him. It takes us about four rounds to take him down.


: You're no match for me.
: I guess that's to be expected, after all you're the Champion of Valhalla. You certainly seem to be resolute in your decision to free Julia. I guess I can see where you're coming from. And seeing your resolve in that fight has convinced me, too.
*: Huh. That's surprisingly sensible of him. Could it be that he's not so Lawful-Stupid after all?
: All rules must still be followed, but any rules that are wrong must be corrected.
: I'm glad to hear you say that. That was what you've been thinking all along, wasn't it?
: The Center's motives are right, but the way they do things is wrong. I won't follow them when they go too far. As for you, you should free Julia. But I need to warn you, she's not in her right mind.
: What do you mean?
: I think it'll be harder to get her to leave than you might think.


: Julia, there you are!
: Who's there? Hawke?
: That's right! I'm busting you out of there!
: I don't need anything from you, go away.
>She doesn't seem to want to leave. You can hear Nadja's voice...
: I... I can save this girl...

*: We're taken out of the cell with no further instructions. Hmm. I return Angel to the computer, actually summon Nadja, and try again. We get the same speech, but...



: It's pretty clear you've been brainwashed by whatever it is that makes the Factory workers so damn happy to work themselves to death, but you know what? I need you to meet Mekata with me, and I'm taking you to him whether you like it or not.
*: The bars slide open.
: What are you doing? Stop it! I want to stay here! Stop it!



: Nah, we hardly know each other, to be honest.
: But you like her, don't you? I can tell! ... ...
: She had it in her to act on her own because she knew it was the right thing to do. How could I not like her?
: I... ... I guess I can't win your heart after all. ... ...
: W-what?
: All right then, if I give Julia my power, it'll solve everything! ... ...
: Give her your... What do you mean? I don't like where this is going!
: If I'm part of Julia... then if you love her, you'll love me too! ... ...
: Hey, wait a minute there-
: OK! That settles it! I'm going to give her my power!

*: The Jakyo Manor's music starts playing as Nadja slowly floats towards Julia, then disappears.



Aw hell, that's all kinds of terrible!



*: Somehow that makes it even worse!

: ...Eh!? Wh-what the... Where am I? What am I doing...?
: You've been sent to the gulag and brainwashed. Did they damage your memory too?
: I remember them bringing me to the Factory, but after that it's just a big blur... I almost feel as if something else has been controlling me, and I've been asleep... You came to rescue me, didn't you?
: Yeah, you might say that.
: Thanks, Hawke, I appreciate it! But how did you know where I was?
: I don't know if you're gonna believe me, but it was Mekata who sent me.
: ...What!? You found Mekata!?
: Well, more like he found me, but-
: Hurry, let's go back and talk to him! He should know everything about what's going on, and have the information I'm looking for too...
: I'm ready whenever you are.
>Julia joined the party.
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