The Let's Play Archive

Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars

by Psycho Knight

Part 4: The Stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep

Update III: The Stars predict tomorrow you’ll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep
Title Song Reference: That’s Your Horoscope for Today – Weird Al

This update is going to be on the short side. It’s also going to be real tutorial heavy, but we need to get it out of the way at some point, so it might as well be now.

Only the one option, so Spring it is. Let’s blow through this in one shot and move on.

All the same as CII. Dungeons are randomized, so I won’t be able to provide any kind of walkthrough in case people out there are following along. We can also jump back in to the dungeon from any floor that we’ve been to, which is very handy for quests. Speaking of quests, the yellow exclamation point symbols will point out where quest monsters or items can be found.

And here’s some more details on dungeon gameplay that I won’t have to try and awkwardly explain. Cool.

It’s finally gameplay time. We’ve got our little team of star kids with us, so let’s check out what this game has to offer.

The game pops up some tutorials on stats when you check the menu. I’ve already covered it, but I wanted to include this card because it is providing incorrect information. Defense does not “mainly affect the damage output of normal attacks and physical skills.” Defense affects the amount of damage you take from physical hits.

Oh, Spike Chunsoft. Normally I’d be ticked off with so many blatant translation and grammar errors. But the way you do them is just too amusing for me to care that much.

Oh yeah, here is the elemental affinities chart. It looks largely the same as CII, although Void appears to be outside of the chart. In CII, Void was the counter to Light. In Conception Plus, Light seems to be some kind of super element. Lovely. They don’t explain what the triangle means, but I hope to god that it doesn’t mean Light is super effective against all the base elements. That’s how it worked in CII, except CII had Void as a counter.

Monsters on the map in this game appear as their actual models, it seems. I hope that holds true for every monster, because that would be really helpful for doing quests. CII had a skill that would show you what monsters were in a party from the dungeon map, but you had to keep reusing it every so often and it wasn’t quite as helpful as just seeing the model running around.

The other thing I want to point out is that those blue crystal things are treasure chests. You can open them to get items. Some enemies are aware of this fact, as well as the fact that you need to get through doors in order to advance. So sometimes when you enter a new room, the enemies within it will all make a break for the nearest chest or door and block it. The guy on the left in the screenshot will just stand in front of that door until you beat him. The guy in the back on the right side of the screenshot will circle around that chest to stop you from getting it unless you beat him. They are assholes.

More tutorials! This is all common stuff. Mecunite is something we’ll get to in a minute.

The first enemy is Bootes which… is actually kind of scary. Or maybe not. The first Team A(wful) in CII fought the first labyrinth boss single-handed, and they were 6-8 levels under it. I’m probably just applying too much regular JRPG logic to this.

I'll show off a video of how all of this works once we're ready to tackle the first boss. For now, here's a text and screenshot explanation.

So the battle system in this game is pretty simple, but it’s kind of difficult to actually explain. As you can see here, the enemy stands in the middle of the circle while our party members occupy the four surrounding zones. There can only be one Star Child team in a zone at a time, but they can move around to any unoccupied zones during their turns. Itsuki is able to occupy any of the four zones, even if there is a Star Child team already in it.

What you see above is considered one battle circle. There are 9 of these on the battlefield arranged in a 3x3 grid. The enemies can move to any circle on the field, but they must do it one move at a time. Itsuki and the Star Children can only move to a circle that has an enemy in it, but they can jump from one to the other without having to use turns to travel there. Most of the time, this will heavily benefit the player, since you can do things like force the enemy to waste turns trying to get into an attack position. However, there are certain circumstances where this works against the player. There was a memorable example of it happening in CII during one of the boss fights.

Other than that, every enemy has at least one direction where they are weak. Attacking from these directions will deal bonus damage, as seen above. The player teams will take extra damage if they are attacked from behind, which happens when an enemy attacks from the circle that the team has its back to.

Sometimes the enemy will try and pull a charge attack. A purple aura will flare up around them and they’ll seemingly skip their turn. You’ll notice that “Caution” is now appearing on the zone our heroes are standing in, though. This is one reason why Speed is such an important stat. If you are fast, you’re more likely to get a turn before the enemy can pull off the charge attack. This lets you just move out of the way. Slower teams will likely wind up getting outrun by the enemy before they can get to safety.

There’s a tactical way to use enemy charge attacks to your advantage, but that requires an explanation of the Chain Drive gauge.

And here’s that explanation. The game doesn’t give it to you right away, but the tutorial card is already in the database.

The best way to build the CD gauge right now is by attacking an enemy head-on during one of their wind-up attacks. Certain Star Children get access to skills that can raise the CD gauge in other ways though. This is another reason why Speed is important. If you’re too slow, then Chain will likely wear off before you get the chance to really capitalize on it.

Another battle option that doesn’t get explained unless you try and use it is Mecunite.

Mecunite uses up BP, but it lets the Star Children really wreck house.

At least this transformation sequence stayed around.

Mecunite was present in CII as well, although it had way more possible forms in CII (30 of them, I think). CP only seems to have 7 or 8 different forms.

Mecunite is limited to 4 Turns, but it provides a huge boost in firepower. MU’s special skill, in this case MAT CODE D, uses BP but hits all enemies in the battle and also reduces their MAT.

It’s really good for clearing out troublesome encounters. Or for wiping any boss minions off the field.

Other than that, MU’s just have some regular skills. The difference is that the stats will be higher than the Star Child team.

Just to quickly skim the rest of the tutorial cards:

-There are four status ailments (Poison, Paralysis, Seal, and Panic). Poison hurts you every turn, Paralysis reduces speed, Seal prevents you from using magic/skills, and Panic is a combination of Seal and Paralysis.

-Star Children return to Matryoshka dolls when their HP hits 0. Despite having a "Team HP", each Star Child still has a personal HP bar, so it is possible for individual Star Children to get knocked out. The more individual Star Children get knocked out, the weaker the Team will get as a unit and the fewer skills they can use. If Itsuki gets KO'd, then we're done. This game is running on SMT rules. A Game Over will kick us back to the map and we'll lose 20% of our cash.

-You can toggle a "Speed Up" using the right bumper on a controller to make battles go faster. Like any RPG with this feature, you'll probably leave that on permanently as soon as you find out about it.

-You can also set up Auto-Battle tactics if you want to let the game play itself. Probably not going to use this myself, because then I'll stop paying attention to battle and that will probably result in getting wiped.

The hell is this doing in here? Oh well. It’s a quest item, so at least we don’t have to debase Itsuki by having him give it as a gift.

We’ll have to stop here for now, because Itsuki and the kids took a beating. They’ve also barely managed to level up. I actually had to peace out of this dungeon on the first floor because the team wasn’t in great shape and I didn’t want to burn Potions since they are fairly expensive and the dungeon isn’t littered with them.

Just to give you an idea, the enemies in here only pay out about 5-10 experience. The kids managed to get to level 3 upon clearing the floor, but Itsuki only just barely got to level 2 and he needed healing from the Star Children about halfway through the floor (he is fairly slow at the moment, so he can’t dodge charge attacks very well). His stats at level 2 are only roughly on par with the Star Children Tutorial Team at level 1 (he’s actually still slower than they were).

Itsuki is a definite weak link right now, which I guess sort of makes sense. He isn’t a trained swordsman and he doesn’t have the fire support of a Star Maiden, unlike our boy Wake in CII.

I may actually be awake for half of this LP! I mean, it’s not hard, but it is giving me hope that this game won’t be a complete cakewalk outside of a single boss fight. In CII we had Wake and Fuuko blitz the first dungeon with a single (tutorial) Star Child team the second that we were given access to it. The only reason we didn’t cap the dungeon in one run was because of Ruby being an unforgiveable moron. Once we were given access to the entire dungeon for realsies, Team A(wful) 1.0 just destroyed the place by themselves and broke the boss over their tiny knees without Wake and Narika having to lift a finger. I mean that by the way. I did the first boss fight in CII by skipping all of Wake/Narika’s turns and using only Team A(wful) 1.0. Also they didn’t need healing. It was exactly as sad as it sounds.

Anyway. Preparations must be made.

After the game talks at us a little more anyway.

I didn’t lose any limbs and none of the little kid warriors died. I consider that a good first run.

Well, you do have the best guide possible.

Mahiru? Were you waiting around for me to come back?

O-Of course not. I just happened to be here. But I’m glad you came back in one piece. W-Well, bye… I’m going back on my walk.

*Mahiru books it*

Geez, Mahiru. You know, it’s okay to be worried.

~Palace Laboratory~

Ehhh, not quite. We’re working on it though.

At this rate, you’ll be able to defeat the first Impurity God very soon.

I think now is a good time to explain how to Tri-Mate. Tri-Mating is the Classmating ritual, but with two participating Star Maidens. By doing the ritual with two Star Maidens… you can produce superior Star Children. However, the Star Maidens must be sufficiently powerful to do so. A Star Maiden’s power will increase as their bond with you becomes more profound.

Therefore, you can only conduct Tri-Mating with the Star Maidens you are closest with.

First of all: Mana, shut the fuck up. Second: I’m not sure why the game explains this to you now. If CII is anything to go by, Tri-Mating won’t be available for a while. We haven’t even started to get close with the Star Maidens yet. I’ll explain this a little more once we get to the Bonding events.

Since you’ll be dealing with two at the same time, you’ll need tons of energy. You have to have a high level, otherwise, there’s no point to it.

So why are you telling us now? Introduce this once we reach a point where it’s actually possible.

And they’re still Star Maidens. Not all of them would enjoy Tri-Mating with each other. I’m sure many would feel embarrassed to be exposed in front of others. Then again, it never hurts to do some interesting moves with them. Ahaha.

What “interesting moves”? What do you mean "exposed in front of others"? What the fuck does this ritual involve!? Is it sex or is it not sex? Make up your damn mind, game.

…Oh, one more thing. Tri-Mating won’t deepen your bond with a Star Maiden. If you wanna deepen your bond, you should stick with Classmating. You better keep that in mind.

I’m just going to pretend that I know what you mean.

But also remember that you will need stronger Star Children to defeat stronger enemies. It’s best to use everything you have at your disposal.

Nar, your smug face is really deceiving when you say such harsh things.

Not like they really have a choice. Leaving aside the fact that Mahiru was kidnapped from her own world and can’t go back unless she does this, the other Star Maidens have had the fate of their world and everyone/everything they love loaded onto their shoulders.

I never thought the day would come to utilize Tri-Mating…

What do you mean by that? Is this Tri-Mating stuff not a normal thing?

At least for the last few centuries… There hasn’t been a God’s Gift who Classmated with multiple Star Maidens. That’s why Tri-Mating is only known among the scholars of history… It’s been passed around merely as legend. To us, Tri-Mating is a new concept.

You better be prepared, Itsuki. You’ll be the one experimenting with all the ladies.

Great… So now I’m a test subject, too. It gets better every day…

Why has the “art” of Tri-Mating fallen into legend? God’s Gifts show up every 10 years. Even if the monsters/threats those God’s Gifts had to deal with were way easier than Itsuki’s, why wouldn’t you make use of Tri-Mating anyway? Wouldn’t you want to make the strongest Star Children possible just in case something were to go terribly wrong?

Actually, never mind. This is the same game series where a character deliberately withheld a monster immortality neutralizing McGuffin from humanity’s only hope because she “didn’t plan on” him running into it early, as he was about to go exploring the ever changing labyrinth where said immortal monster is known to live.

I will now introduce you to the other students of the academy. Come with me.

~Star God Academy… Roof? Amphitheatre? We’re outside.~

This makes the term “Classmating” not entirely appropriate, since Itsuki won’t be a classmate of anyone except technically Mahiru. Although in Japanese it’s referred to as “Love Ceremony” or “Love Ritual”, so I guess this was just a translation choice to make it a tiny bit less odd sounding. Classmating is much more appropriate in CII, where Wake is actually a student the same as the heroines.

Like with the 12 Star Maidens, I hope you will all get along.

Uh, hey. Nice to meet you all.

Is that… Is that LightBlueHair over there in the back? Dude! I thought you died! Although, I guess this is technically--

Oh, okay. I guess we’re moving on then.

This is a special class for the Star Maidens. Outside of being the dean of the academy, I teach this class.

Looks pretty much like the classrooms in my world. Outside of the medieval architecture designs I mean.

This class is comprised strictly of the 12 Star Maidens. It was hastily put into the curriculum a month ago, after the Star Chaos. The Star Maidens attend this class every few days each week.

I guess that means Mahiru will be coming here, too.

To build profound bonds with the Star Maidens, you must visit the academy often.

Itsuki, be sure not to hit on the other female students.

How much energy do you think I have? I already have my hands full with world saving.

I’m sure you’re tired from everything. Please head to your lodging to rest.

I’d really like that. Thanks.

Okay, we’re largely set free at this point. That means now is the time to get busy with micromanaging and preparing for dungeons.

First of all, I pop into the Tavern to turn in quests. We only went through one floor, but there are already two quests ready to turn in. One of those is the result of me having a death grip on Potions. I probably shouldn’t turn this in until the Potion supply increases but screw it. Need to check those boxes off.

I also hand in that Human Pretzel game we found in the dungeon. On top of a 2,000G reward, this quest also gives 3 different gift items for completing it. Something tells me that a book of scary stories, a magic backscratcher, and Hors D’oeuvres will go over a little better with the ladies as gifts than Twister: I Hope You Can’t Feel My Boner.

Now that that is done, we’ve got a tiny bit of cash on hand to maybe outfit Itsuki and a handful of new Star Children. We’re going to need some new Star Children first. Unlike CII, we’re going to want to go into this with a full party.

~Church Spirit Chamber~

Hm? There’s nobody here. Can I not do that whole ritual thing right now?

Of course not!

What the hell do you mean? We did introductions already. I said hi to them all.

Just how thickheaded are you when it comes to women? If you really want to Classmate with them… You have to visit the Star Maidens personally! Learn your manners!

Okay, okay. I’ll go and say hi to everyone individually. Why does everything in this world have to be such a pain?

Mmkay. I guess we need to get bonding out of the way first. In CII the introductions just happened when you picked someone to Classmate with.

Next on the agenda: Bonding.

If you weren’t around for the CII LP, then here is how the “deepening bonds” stuff works. We get 5 hearts at a time. We use these hearts to spend time with the heroines and build up a relationship/bond with them. Viewing an event with a maiden uses up 1 heart and you can only spend time with a particular maiden once before you need to advance time by resting at the inn or exploring a dungeon. Keep in mind that there is no time limit on the main story (as far as I know), so we could just bond with all 12 ladies by resting every time we run out of hearts.

There are 2 kinds of bonding events: Generic and Unique. Unique events are ones that advance each maiden’s character/story arcs. These usually only happen at the beginning and end of a bond gauge (that’s the gauge you see surrounding the emoji face above the stat graph). These bond gauges are locked by story progress, so you can’t just max all 5 gauges right from the start.

This is also why telling us about Tri-Mating is pointless right now. It’s not like we can power level the bond gauge, because the game gates each section off. In CII, we didn’t get the ability to Tri-Mate until roughly the fourth dungeon, at which point I think the third level of bond gauge was unlocked (Wake was around level 22 by that point).

Other than that, the Star Maidens’ moods can change based on what kind of answers you give during bonding events, the gifts you give them, Star Child bonus cards, and all sorts of fun stuff. The better the Star Maiden’s mood, the better the Star Children you make with her will be. If the mood ever drops to red angry face, then you won’t be able to select the Star Maiden for Classmating at all.

Honestly, you really have to try to get the mood to drop that far. Even if you have absolutely no idea what the “good” answer is during a bonding event, you usually have a 1 in 3 chance of picking the right one at random. The bad answers are also fairly obvious a lot of the time. Plus, Generic events will eventually repeat, so sooner or later you’ll know all of the right things to say during them. It’s very easy to maintain a max mood rating.

You also get Bond Points (BP) for doing these events, which you can see in that little gauge to the bottom left. BP is what we need to make Star Children, Mecunite, use certain super powerful attacks, and other random gameplay stuff. Increasing the Star Maidens’ bond gauge also lets us create stronger Star Children and new classes.

One last thing that I don’t think the game explained during all of those tutorial cards. It seems that we can get some kind of Bond bonus for the Star Maiden whose month we are currently in. Not really a big deal because of how repeatable the bonding events are, but maybe it will have some kind of bonus on the Star Children. I’ll have to look for a tutorial card in the database to see if it is detailed.

Which brings us here. Dungeon 1 doesn’t seem to allow for the kind of sleep walking that went on in CII. We need Star Children. A lot of Star Children. 12 Star Children to be exact.


Overview of what’s happening next:

There are currently 12 Star Maidens that we can bond with. My intention at the moment is still to make the thread vote on 3 or 4 Maidens to focus on, because following up on 12 different character arcs after every dungeon would take forever. That said, this is assuming that the game also throws main story segments at us after each dungeon.

We’ll figure that last part out later on, once we get an idea of how much main story there actually is. There’s a real possibility that we’re just expected to go from boss to boss until it’s time for the finale. So far it doesn’t seem like this game has the necessary supporting cast to do regular story breaks.

Either way, there is something that needs to be done regardless of how updates go in the future.

1. The next few updates will be Bonding Updates. I’m not sure exactly how many I will need, but I will probably break my posting schedule temporarily in order to get this done as quickly as possible.

2. I will show the Introduction Event as well as the first major bonding event for each Star Maiden.

3. After all the Maidens have had a turn to drum up interest in their personal story arcs, the thread will vote on 3 (or 4, I haven’t quite decided yet) of the 12 Maidens to continue following. If CP turns out to have an actual story that pops up between dungeons, then the Maidens with the most votes will become the focus Maidens and we’ll see the full bonding events for them while the other Star Maidens will just get summaries of their events.

4. After all the bonding stuff is done, I’ll be looking for thread input on crafting our first set of dungeon teams. More on that when the time comes.

It doesn't really matter because we'll see all of them eventually, but shout out in the thread if you have a particular order you want the Star Maidens to go in (or if there are certain Maidens you want to see first/last). If nobody has any suggestions then I'll probably just go by their Star Sign order (from January to December).