Part 1: I've been searching for a man, all across JapanUpdate I: Ive been searching for a man, all across Japan
Song Reference: Butterfly Aqua
Ill be skipping over the opening cutscene. Theres a mini update I have in mind where I will discuss the weirdness involved with it, among other things that will be noticed in this update. For the time being, lets just focus on the mountain of exposition and world setting that is about to happen.
Just after selecting to start a new game, were asked to customize our protagonist a little. Leaving the naming of the protagonist up to the thread would be ill advised, so Ill leave it as the default: Itsuki Yuge. We can also choose his birthday and blood type, although this doesnt have any impact on gameplay as far as I know.
His birthday will be the start date of the LP (its November 8th where I am), and I change his blood type to O for no particular reason. Im not familiar with the implications of our protagonist having O type blood. I know its a Japanese thing, but I dont care enough about divination or whatever it is to bother researching the details.
Also, the English release of this game has the Japanese swimsuit DLC pack included, which is nice, I guess? I suppose it beats having to pay for it for the people that care about that.
No, were not using this option. It looks stupid and out of place. It also removes nearly all of the design elements of the maidens.
???: Mahiru Konatsuki. The girl I grew up with, and my childhood friend.
???: She gets high marks in academics and sports. Shes always taking care of others. Shes what youd call the popular girl at school. Three years ago, my parents died in an accident
Really checking off those protagonist boxes, arent you Conception?
???: Now I live with her family at their house.
Getting flashbacks to Narikas route in Conception II here. Maybe we should just pretend like we never got the text.
Never mind, were throwing caution to the wind.
Thank you for coming
This is Conception Plus Mahiru. Why do I specify it like that? Well, in the process of remastering this game from the PSP version, the developers decided that Mahiru needed an attitude adjustment. I wont derail the update with it right now, since we only just started. Ill discuss it in more detail in the mini update. Its strange.
Sorry for calling you out here even though were in the middle of exams.
Its fine. Even if I went back, I wouldnt have anything to do besides studying.
Also, that was Itsuki talking earlier. No idea why they kept it a mystery, since its obvious who it is.
Then again, I didnt do so good on the English exam today.
Thats your fault for playing games instead of studying.
Anyway, its rare for us to meet at school like this.
Yeah Theres actually something I wanted to talk to you about.
You invited me to the roof, dont tell me youre asking me on a date.
No way You play too many games
Hey, it could happen. There has to be some basis for the idea. Besides, we used to play those games together all the time.
That was a long time ago. We have to prepare for college exams next year so theres no time for that.
Oh, right entrance exams Thats So, what was that stuff you wanted to talk about!? Something you dont want your mother to hear?
Yeah Not really
We occasionally get the option to choose what Itsuki will say. It doesnt change much except for a line or two of dialog, at least in main story scenes. Bonding scenes will be different. Ill make sure to point out any particularly amusing choices.
I see So what did you do?
Nothing really, but
Well which is it? Did something happen or not?
Itsuki, please listen carefully.
Im suddenly not feeling so great about this.
Im going to have a baby.
While Is it mine? is tempting, its also pretty stupid to say considering the detail a character will blurt out a little later. I dont intend for LP Itsuki to hit that level of idiot.
Youre messing with me, right?
Why would I joke about that? Itsuki, Im sure you want nothing to do with this. You probably just want to go home, eat chips, and play video games.
That sounds really good right now, actually.
Right, that was probably the wrong thing to say. Sorry, I guess I still dont believe it.
They say fact is stranger than fiction But anyone would be surprised if they heard something like this.
A-Anyway, maybe we should go talk about this inside. Its cold out here.
Well, cold weather cant be good for the baby, right? Isnt that a thing?
Uhhh . Guys? I think reality is collapsing behind you.
Shit, is it an earthquake?!
Itsuki, look up!
Wh-What the hell is that?!
*Both Mahiru and Itsuki get sucked up into the crazy sky hole*
So that happened. Oh well, better add this spot to my map of Tokyo. Need to know where all the dimensional rifts are so I dont accidentally stumble into one. Im going overseas to study next year and that shit costs serious money. I dont have time to be farting around in the Feudal Era or Soul Society or Cephiro or the Digi World or wherever the hell our protagonists are about to wind up.
Oh god, where are we? What happened?
You doing alright?
Yeah, Im fine It doesnt hurt anywhere.
Good to hear.
I thought we were at school Where are we now?
This is a creepy place. I dont want to stay here
I dunno, I think it looks kind of cool. Its like an old school RPG dungeon.
Okay, okay. I was just trying to make it less spooky. Come on, it looks like theres an exit over there.
Alright, we have control now. Not for very long mind you, but we do. Standard camera controls are in play. You could rotate the camera with L and R, but the right stick just gives you complete control so why would you bother with the shoulder buttons?
Also, Itsuki has a goofy run cycle and stance. Why are you superhero posturing, Itsuki? Theres nothing in here.
Anyway, theres only one door out of this place, so run up to it and hit X or A or whatever your confirm button happens to be.
Should we stop for a bit?
After running through a small hallway, the next scene triggers.
Ill be all right We barely walked at all. But thanks for looking out for me.
No problem. Im trying to support this whole pregnant thing any way I can.
Itsuki, listen to me. You may not believe this either, but
Wait, what? Mahiru, if you dont have a boyfriend then how the hell can you be pregnant?
But Ive been feeling strange since about three weeks ago I checked online and found my symptoms are signs of being pregnant.
Ah, Dr. WebMD. The worlds most trustworthy medical professional.
Those symptoms could point to a lot of different things though.
I thought the same at first. Like, maybe I was just imagining it. But I took one of those pregnancy tests and it came back positive That must mean Im pregnant, right?
Well, those things can be wrong, cant they? Did you talk to an actual doctor about it?
Not yet I was too scared to
What if I went with you? Think that would help?
Great. Then lets find our way out of here and head to a clinic. Im sure this is all just a big mistake.
Lets go back together then we can play games again.
Now youre speaking my language. This place really has me in the mood to check out this new-
Hey, youre the one that suggested it.
Oh, youre still feeling sick. Do you need to throw up? Mahiru?
That doesnt look fun.
Did Did a monster just pop out of your mouth?!
*The buff monster man charges Itsuki*
Guh! (Shit, that hurt! Its going to kill me!)
*Then, a flash of light*
Wait, where did this sword come from?!
The game throws us into a battle and wants us to attack the monster. Im not going to spend time explaining this, because your only option is to do what the game says. We kill it and move on.
That was AWESOME! I killed a monster! Hey, Mahiru, did you see?!
Right, sorry. Not the time. Come on, I think the exit is over there!
This has to be a bad dream
Uhh, Mahiru? I think youve got something on your face.
Ah Wait, theres something on your hand too..
Haha, weve got the same thing. Were like a couple now.
Youre in a weirdly good mood all of a sudden.
You think so? Compared to being mysteriously pregnant, this is nothing
???: Nar! There they are! Nar! Narcisstes!
That stuffed animal is floating and talking
It also has handcuffs on it. Whats the deal with that?
Wait, I think I know what this is It has to be a drone that uses AI or something.
Im Mana. Isnt that a nice name? Once you hear it, youll never forget it. Thats the kinda name it is.
There will be other reasons for us remembering Manas name. None of them are good. Mana sucks. I hate cutesy mascot characters. It also just now occurs to me that Conception II never had one. Im going to miss that aspect of Conception II.
Wow, not only can you talk, you can carry on a conversation? Modern figurines have really advanced from what I remember I feel like the future has left me in the dust.
What is this figurine youre talkin about? I dont know that word.
Um In short, its a toy for adults. Isnt that right, Itsuki?
I really dont think you should phrase it like that.
What? Are you calling me a plaything?!
I guess thats not quite right, huh.
So, whats your name?
H-Huh? M-Me? Im Mahiru Konatsuki.
*sniff, sniff* I can tell youre a virgin. You smell like a green banana!
This is just a taste of what Mana is like. Ive seen people online say that it gets worse, so look forward to that I suppose.
What?! This toy is so rude!
Also it can smell. I dont think thats something you can program.
And you, whats your name?
Screw you, Mana.
I am not telling you that.
Youre shady as hell.
Sh-Shady? But Im soooo cute. How dare you call me shady!
You can be cute but still shady And anyway, youre not that cute to begin with.
But, I know theres a lot of people out there who are into that ugly-cute thing.
*And then this dude shows up to mercifully interrupt this conversation*
Thats right, Nar. Hes the Gods Gift this time around. Look, he has the Star Brand.
It seems that way.
I dunno why there are two of em though.
Two Gods Gifts Interesting.
Um, who are you? And where are we?
Also, whats this stuff about God giving gifts?
Excuse me. I apologize for the late introduction. My name is Narcisstes. I am the palace scholar of the Kingdom of Granvania.
Where is Granvania? Is that like Transylvania?
Its a world in a dimension different from yours. The Gods Gifts who have come to this world have called it a Fantasy World.
Fantasy World? Are we legendary heroes!? Is what I think happening, actually happening!?
Lets save the details for later. How about I guide em away?
Yes, please do. Its dangerous to remain out here. There are some hungry, wild animals around these parts.
Hold on. Where are you taking us?
To the castle. I would like for you to meet our king.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Lets do that!
*And then a magic symbol appears on screen and everyone is whisked away to *
This is our Star Energy. Your kind would probably call it magic.
Is this place-
Its the castle town of the kingdom.
Um Will we get sent back to our world after we meet the king?
Yes, but just as I said earlier, only if you accept our kings suggestion. Please look ahead.
Kinda sounds like were being blackmailed here, but whatever. Were in generic fantasy land. We can roll with it.
Correction, generic fantasy land with a touch of future tech.
That is National Star God Academy, the pride and joy of Granvania. The people of Granvania come to this academy to learn the ways of this world.
Ive seen this place in a movie before. You study magic here, right?
The students learn to control the Star Energy they all hold within themselves. Its on the way, so lets take a look around the academy.
Why dont we just teleport there? You did it a minute ago. You cant just bust out magic teleportation and then not bother using it for everything. I know I sure as hell would if I had it.
Its a lot bigger up close. Do you really get this many students?
The academy is an all-in-one educational institution. There are also many other facilities, like a church and a hospital.
Oh, looks like the Star Maidens are gathering.
Shit, they can smell protagonist.
Like a pack of sharks. Just look at them.
Theyre all young and bubbly. Doesnt that get you excited, Itsuki?
Uhh, I guess so. What does that have to do with being that Gods Gift thing? Doesnt the hero usually go explore dungeons and kill monsters and all of that cool stuff? Are they going to be our party members or something?
Ill introduce you to the Star Maidens later. Lets go to the castle.
Check this dude out. Pretty fancy dudes. Kind of wish I had a tie like that. Also that shirt. And the coat. I like the whole ensemble, really.
Your Majesty, I have brought them.
I welcome you. I am the king of Granvania, Shangri-La.
Thats the name youre going with? The mythical promised land supposedly located in the Kunlan Mountains in China? Thats silly, Conception.
I am sure you two are surprised, for what happened was quite sudden. However, please listen to what I have to say.
What do you mean? Just send us back to our world already.
Slow down, Mahiru. Lets hear him out.
Very well. I shall be direct then. This world is in danger. We need you two to save us.
Thats so sudden You cant just tell us that out of nowhere!
Im okay with it, personally. This sounds awesome.
Of course Narcisstes, explain to them so they may understand.
Allow me to give you more insight into our world.
Sora is a world which hosts a civilization developed by science. Our world, on the other hand, is built around Star Energy. Im sure you remember, but Star Energy is what your kind would consider magic.
Yeah, yeah. Our world is all about technology and yours is about magic. Its not a difficult concept. Keep it moving Narc. We have a lot of intro shit to get through.
Now, make sure you pay attention. This is where it gets important.
*And then the game agrees with my viewpoint by skipping over all of Narcs exposition*
So basically There are a bunch of monsters called Impurities in the Stardust Labyrinths And the protection offered by the 12 Star Offerings there is about to fade The Impurities are overflowing, bringing about chaos in this world.
Thank you, official Itsuki. Im sure Narcs version of that exposition was like 10 minutes long.
But that wont happen. You see, each time a Star Offering loses its powers a gift from the Star God appears in this world to save us.
And thats supposed to be us?
Do you see it all coming together now? Yes, you two are the chosen gifts from the Star God. In this world, every 10 years a Gods Gift with the Star Brand of the depowered Star Offering appears. They come from the Gate of Light connecting this world to Sora. Gods Gifts have a duty to purge Impurities and bring balance to the labyrinths. Thus, we need you to fulfill that duty. It must be done.
Man, Star God is an asshole in this game. I mean, he was kind of a dick in Conception II, I guess. Sort of had the drunken idea to bestow his power on a bunch of teenagers and then make them dry hump each other in order to summon the spirit warrior kids. Still though, Conception II Star God didnt go barging into a different world and kidnapping people to force them to save Granvania every 10 years. Is the god of our world cool with that?
The fate of the world rests on your shoulders.
In other words, Itsuki and I
As expected of the Virgo Star Maiden. You learn quickly.
But were just students. We wouldnt know what to do How are we supposed to save the world ?
Im kind of pumped for this myself, but Ill be honest, Mahiru has a point. Ive played a lot of games about being a hero, but its not like either of us
*And then Mahiru hits the floor for an unexpected nap*
Reone! Is Reone here?
Take the girl to the medical office.
Is she going to be okay?!
Shell be fine. Shes probably just a little tired. Ah! This Star Brand! Is she the Virgo Star Maiden?
Yes There are too many unknowns this time around. Itsuki, you should rest too. Reone, can you take him with you? Itsuki, not to worry, Reone is the palace physician.
As long as someone here knows what theyre doing. Ill carry her over, just lead the way.
Thank you. You know, youre quite handsome when I look at you up close
Uhh th-thank you? Where did that come from?
Pump the brakes, Reone. Jesus, a girl just collapsed on the floor and needs medical attention. Youll get your chance to hit on the designated protagonist later.
Itsuki, I ask of you to save this world. You may return to yours after.
Thats not really a request, you know. Its more like an ultimatum.
Lets head to the medical office now.
~Star God Academy Clinic~
As well as I could considering what happened to Mahiru. Im sort of excited for this world saving adventure, but its really stressing Mahiru out. We really need to get back to our world, for her sake.
After you fulfill your duty, the Gate of Light will appear. You can both return to your world then. Im sure you still need some time to process what weve told you. But you two are, without a doubt, Gods Gifts. The Star Brands on your bodies prove that.
Yeah what is that brand thing exactly?
That is proof you are a Gods Gift. Her mark is of Virgo. Gods Gifts have the Star Brand of the Star Offering whose power has been lost.
And one of those dies every 10 years, right? So we just need to restore the Virgo Star Offering and then were done?
Dont make a woman repeat herself. Im telling you to take your clothes off.
Could you maybe not say it like that?
Oho How else would I say it?
Maybe like a doctor would? Isnt that what youre supposed to be?
You need to learn how to talk to older women young man.
Oh please, what are you, 20? Im betting 21 at the absolute oldest. Dont go pulling that maturity crap on people who are maybe 2 years younger than you.
Ill teach you that with a little one-on-one
Whoa! Hey! Watch the hands!
*Reone then proceeds to jump Itsuki and strip him to the skivvies*
Whew I let you keep your underwear on, so you better be thankful.
Right. Why exactly am I almost naked?
Speaking of, I wonder if thats a particular brand? I cant quite read the text. I think its in Japanese, but it might also just be jibberish lettering.
My body? What about myWhat the hell
All 12 of the constellations have their Star Brands on your body. It wasnt just one Star Offering that lost its powers All 12 have.
Thats probably bad.
Do you understand what that means? Impurities not absorbed by the Star Offerings will increase twelvefold. And if they break out of the labyrinths, this world will end. Thats why we need your help.
But what do you expect me to do? Is there a boss monster or something I have to go and fight? Or some kind of magic crystal I need to find?
Does that mean youll accept?
Doesnt seem like I have a choice. Although even if I did, Id be lying if I said I wasnt a little bit excited about being a hero. Anyway, back to the problem. What exactly am I supposed to do?
You must exchange the powerless Star Offerings in the labyrinths with new ones. That is the duty of Gods Gift.
Oh, hey Mahiru.
Whoa! Mahiru! When did you wake up?
Ive been awake since you started taking your clothes off But I didnt want to interfere, so I pretended to stay asleep.
I didnt really have a choice, you know. You saw what she did.
Haha Youre a funny one.
If you ask me thats too unreasonable.
Even if it is, you have no other way of returning to your world.
Wait, I thought she was a Gods Gift too, just like me. Shes doing something else?
Ill explain some other time. Just rest up for now.
I have to agree with her on that. I think you still need some rest.
*And Mahiru wanders off to continue resting*
As she said, there are monsters dwelling in the Stardust Labyrinths. Deep inside are the Impurity Gods. Unless you defeat the Impurity Gods, you cannot place the new Star Offerings.
Whats an Impurity God?
Thats what becomes of a Star Offering when it loses its powers. It begins fusing with the Impurities deep in its labyrinth and it quickly becomes a powerful monster called an Impurity God.
So this is different than how it worked in Conception II. In that game, the boss monsters were something of an energy source for the labyrinths. They formed when a massive amount of Dusk energy pooled together. The heroes seal them in Matryoshka dolls in order to cut off the energy supply, which stops the monsters from continually respawning.
In this game it seems that Dusk/Impurities just naturally flow into the labyrinths and are sucked up by the Star Offerings. When the Star Offering finally hits its limit, the amassed energy causes it to turn into a boss monster. Then I guess a Gods Gift goes in, kills it, and the energy just vanishes? Or does the new Star Offering suck up the energy of the old corrupted Star Offering? Both of those explanations raise some questions/issues. Wonder if well ever find out the answers?
You guys can fight them though, right? I mean, youve got magic and stuff.
We cant even hurt one. Our long history proves that.
Wait, you guys cant even scratch it?! Then theres no way I can kill it! I dont even have cool magic that I know of.
No, you are Gods Gift. You are the warrior who will save this world. And youre not alone. You have many allies on your side. Youll need the power of the Star Maidens to fulfill your duty. Now, come with me, Itsuki. Ill introduce you to the Star Maidens.
Finally. About time we get to this. The sooner we meet the Star Maidens, the sooner I can get the introduction bonding events out of the way and the sooner we can vote on which of the fucking
~Granvania Shopping Center~
Itsuki, your beds ready! Wanna see? You can have some fun with any of the Star Maidens at any time now.
Uhh What is she talking about? What fun?
Mana, hold your tongue. But before we meet the Star Maidens, Ill take you to where youll be lodging.
Oh, and Ill be your guide for a while, Itsuki.
Please Star God, no. Let us be rid of Mana. This is a blind LP, but Manas reputation as supposedly complete garbage has still managed to find its way to me.
Oh, right. It should be noted that despite the perviness and general skeeviness, Mana is actually a girl. She uses the pink text box when she speaks, which is the color all the other female characters use (boys use blue), and shes voiced by Sarah Williams in English (Yurin in Japanese).
You get to have this beauty by your side, so you better be thankful.
Now we get to have a little control. By that I mean we are allowed to push X and go to the Inn. Riveting. I will say that Conception Plus is much better about tutorials than Conception II was. Theres still a moving vans worth of exposition to unload, but well be let off the tutorial leash almost entirely by the end of this update.
This will be your frontline base until you fulfill your mission. You should have everything you need, but ask Mana if you need anything else.
What about Mahiru? Where is she?
Mahiru will be given a room in another dormitory. Do you need to be with her?
You two were in a relationship?! What a pervert! Guehe So, what were both of you up to before you came here?
Were not a couple! Also, how would I be a pervert for wanting to see my girlfriend if we were a couple? And we werent doing anything weird before we came here! She was just telling mewait, no, going to stop myself there. Listen, Im just worried about her.
You can see her whenever you want. Theres no need to worry. Mana, please take care of the rest. Itsuki, come to the square when youre ready. Ill introduce you to the Star Maidens.
There we go. Theres the relentless barrage of tutorial cards that I was bracing myself for.
The Inn is mostly just where we go to save and advance time. Theres a few small things to do with Star Children that well get into later, but a lot of the options you see here can be accessed from other more useful places.
Ill be waiting outside, so come out whenever youre ready. You better not do anything weird just because youre alone!
You said its my room. Ill do what I want, thank you very much. Although, not right now. I still have too many questions to think about relaxing.
We get the chance to save, so I do just that. Thats all, so lets keep this intro going.
Lets talk about how you walk around the castle town.
All straightforward stuff. Well get more detailed looks at all of these places and letters and stuff as they become available.
Reo is waiting for you at the academy. Now try going there.
This time we actually have two choices for places to go. Were supposed to go to the academy to meet the other Maidens, which I do actually want to get to, but the Palace has some more lore for us that sheds important light on how things work in this world. Lets quickly check it out.
Narc here offers to tell us more about the world and Impurities and junk. At first it seems like hes just going to repeat everything we were already told, but he actually has quite a bit of new info. Lets start with asking about the Fantasy World.
After repeating the info about Sora and how this world is based on magic and ours is based on science and blah blah blah, he gets into new material.
Our people receive blessings from the god of their birth month.
And thats it. It isnt much, but it raises the question as to the hierarchy of Gods. Is Star God the supreme God? Are the 12 birth month gods collectively known as the Star God? I kind of wish he talked about this a bit more. Ill have to look through the database later and see if its explained more thoroughly.
Moving on to Impurities.
In this world, Impurities are released as people bed with each other. Impurities are
Negative energy? What kind of insane BDSM shit do the people of this world get in to?
Impurities, when left to their own devices, will fuse and turn into monsters. They then become beings that bring disaster. Theyre far worse than wild bears. But people cannot simply stop being intimate, as it prolongs our species.
So sex makes babies . And also sometimes monsters. Who the fuck designed this world? Was Star God drunk off his ass, or did those 12 birth month gods suffer from a case of a too many cooks spoil the broth?
This is also different than how it works in Conception II. In CII, Dusk energy was the monster creating force. Dusk energy was just an element that governed peoples desires. It wasnt necessarily bad, as people can have a lot of desires that arent evil or wrong, like living for example. There was a bit of discussion in the CII thread about Shinto beliefs and purging impurities and stuff like that as it related to the concept of Dusk. Unlike in that game, theres no debate here about the nature of the dark energy. Impurities seem to be 100% bad.
At least as far as we know right this moment.
That is why we use Star Energy to seal away Impurities in a special place. And that place is within the Stardust Labyrinths.
Ever since, all the Impurities have been absorbed and stored within them. Still people will continue sleeping with each other for all eternity.
Wait, so what were things like before that mage created the Impurity vacuum? Did monsters just roam everywhere?
The labyrinths ebb and flow with Impurities because of this. To prevent overflow, we have 12 Star Offerings deep within the labyrinths. That sums up the nature of Impurities.
Choosing A different question will give us two other topics to ask about. Well start with Star Offerings.
For every constellation, there is one Star Offering. Each of these blessed by that constellations god, has the power to absorb Impurities. Active Star Offerings continue absorbing Impurities in the labyrinths.
The periods in which they lose their powers are offset by 10 years. In other words, one Star Offering is lost every 10 years. Despite knowing this, we are still unsure of the specifics of a stars passing. The ancient texts only say this divine law: The stars revolve around the world.
I see were still operating on the old Geocentric theory in this world. Thats cool. Its a different dimension I guess. Theres a chance that everything here does actually orbit the Earth.
And when a Star Offering is lost The Impurities amassed by the citizens of that constellation cannot be absorbed. The Impurities would spill forth from the labyrinths to attack our world. When that happens, the world will be thrown into utter chaos. But that will not happen, for each time a Star Offering loses its powers a Gods Gift appears in this world to save us. That sums up the machinations of the Star Offerings.
So every ten years theres a group of people worldwide who wake up and read their horoscope to find that their sex life (and those of their lovers) is officially on hold until Star God can summon a Gods Gift and sort shit out? Thats gotta suck. Although I guess each astral sign only experiences it once every 110 years or so. Granted things are a little different this time.
Asking about Gods Gift is the other question for Narc, but he just repeats stuff we already know. Star God sneaks into Sora (Earth) every ten years and swipes somebody to act as Gods Gift. Gods Gift has to cleanse the Impurities in the labyrinth and swap in a fresh battery. Then the Gate of Light opens back up and the Gods Gift gets to go back home. Then he talks about Itsuki being the only hope for the world and all that JRPG protagonist nonsense.
Alright, thats all for now. This went a bit longer than I thought it would, so we'll have to meet the Maidens that we'll be putting up with for the next 20-30 updates in Update II.