The Let's Play Archive

Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars

by Psycho Knight

Part 11: If there's something strange; In your neighborhood

Update VI: If there's something strange; In your neighborhood
Song Title Reference: Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.

Another short update. This update and the last one wouldn't fit in the same post, so I'm using this as sort of the intro to the next chapter/seal.



[***]: Hey…

Mmmmm… huh?

[***]: Hey! Get up right now!


*And Mahiru goes ass up over the side of the bed*

Ouch… Don’t just bolt up like that. You made me fall off the bed!

Context, please.

Good morning, Itsuki. Your cute, childhood friend woke you up. Doesn’t that make this a good morning?

Morning, Itsuki. Huh, Mahiru?

Good morning, Mana. Do you wake him up every morning? He’s such a sleepyhead, it must be hard getting him to wake up.

I fought through an entire Labyrinth yesterday and then was up late because of that party. Can’t I sleep in a little for one day?

The same question could be asked of you, Mana. Just a reminder: Mana is a girl.

Oho, I get it! A tryst! This is the morning after your affair! Fuehe. Since when did your guys’ relationship get so steamy?

Now look what you’ve done. Mana, nothing happened. I just woke up and Mahiru was on top of me.

What? Mahiru was on top of you?! Mahiru, you seem to be into some pretty aggressive foreplay.

Itsuki, what is with that explanation? I feel like one misunderstanding is just leading to another…

And how is that my fault? I just said exactly what happened.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell a soul! My lips are sealed.

…Let’s just ignore her. Mahiru, what are you even doing in here? Is there some reason why you came to wake me up?

This will take a while… Let’s go somewhere else, okay?

Fine, but you’ll have to wait for me. I need to get ready. I’m not fully awake yet.

Why at the academy?

I’ll explain all that later.

*Mahiru heads off to the Academy*

You seemed to have a good time yesterday, Itsuki. Young love… Fuehehe.

The two of us are having a talk on the way to the Academy.

~Star God Academy Classroom~

Okay, I’m here. What is it that’s so important?

Actually… There’s been a mysterious rumor going around the academy recently.

Mysterious rumor?

Hmm, could it have something to do with some kind of crazy drug that’s going around campus? That’s what happened in CII.

Is this part of the “Seven Academy Wonders”?

Never mind, it’s just a weird Japanese urban legends thing.

Yeah. It’s so famous that you knew about it too, huh, Mana.

Hold on, what are we talking about?

They’re rumors passed down by the students since the founding of the academy.

It’s the same on our world, right? The Seven Wonders of the world, or something.

That’s not what those are, Mahiru. I kind of thought an honor student would be able to tell the difference between The Great Pyramid of Giza and some idiot kids standing in a dark bathroom chanting “Bloody Mary.”

This rumor is called the “Academy Spirited Away Incident” in class.

Pretty unoriginal name…

Then what if we changed it to…

Could we stop talking about names and get back to why this is important?

You’re no fun… Anyway, I think this rumor is related to actually being teleported. Do you remember how we came to this world?

You mean the big hole that opened up in the sky and sucked us through from the school roof?

Exactly. Wouldn’t you say we were “spirited away”?

What exactly are you getting at?

If students really are disappearing… Then they must be taken through some sort of wormhole like we were, right?

Is Earth God stealing people from Granvania to get back at Star God? Because that would be pretty funny.

That’d be big if it were true. But there’s no way that’s happening. Mirei would be able to sense it right away.

What do you think, Itsuki?

I guess it’s possible. Ruka can’t sense any star energy from a God’s Gift, so if the gate to our world has a similar energy then I doubt Mirei would be able to tell. Do you really think a gate has opened somewhere around here though?

Well, one did at our school…

All right, let’s say that is the case. What then?

If we can use that gate, we might be able to return to our world. So I want to see if there’s any truth to this rumor together.

So ridiculous… You brought us here just for that? Itsuki, you don’t need to go along with something so obviously meaningless.

You’ll help me, won’t you, Itsuki?

All choices we are given are variations on “Sure.”

Well, I won’t say that I think it’s true, but I’m willing to look into it. What do we need to do?

Oh, thank you… It seems like you understand the importance of this mission, Itsuki. First, we need to talk to people and gather information. The shortcut to the truth is to get out there and actually talk to people. An old detective on TV said that.

Okay, I’ll help you ask you around.

Wha…?! Itsuki, are you serious?

Yeah. Regardless of what’s behind it, if students are really disappearing then it’s bad for the Academy.

Just think about it first. If the gate really exists… And if you’re able to return to your world with it… What’ll you do about your mission?

Sorry, but I promised to get Mahiru back home. If there’s a way, I have to try.

…Well, I guess that’s to be expected.

I wouldn’t phrase it like that. I’d say you’re more like assholes for guilt-tripping people that were kidnapped by your world’s God and blackmailed into throwing their lives on the line for something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

But this doesn’t mean we will abandon you. Even if we fulfill our mission, the gate of light may not appear, right? So, I want to find some way home as quickly as possible.

Mahiru’s right. Even if we find a way home, we still plan to help this world in whatever way we can first.

AMCP: Always Make Contingency Plans.

I see… Then I’m counting on you.

Okay, Itsuki. Now that we’ve got Mana’s willing assent, let’s start the investigation.

Hold on, who said it was “willing”?

*Mana leaves*

Oh awesome, we don’t have to put up with Mana for this segment. Even better.

Mana’s mad, huh…

Never mind that. What information on these “Seven Wonders” do you have so far?

Okay. There’s so much to it all, so please just listen. If you nap during Ms. Mahiru’s lecture, you might get some chalk in the face.

Please just get to the point, Mahiru.

The first rumor is the “Academy Founding Mystery.” Originally, there were many different schools, but they were suddenly combined. No one knows exactly why, but there are many theories floating around.

Do you have anything more related to “going home”?

The second rumor is “the Academy Vanishing.” This is the rumor from before. The third rumor is the “Disappearing Headmaster.” The headmaster disappears into the wall of his room like a ghost… Or so people say.

Hidden door. What else do you have?

Next is the “Mysterious Laboratory Voice.” Early in the morning, a spooky voice can be heard laughing in the empty lab. By the way, this rumor only began spreading recently. It might have some connection to the disappearances.

Okay, that’s a bit more relevant. Anything else?

Next is “The King’s Age.” This is a baseless rumor that claims Shangri-La is 120 years old.

That one is just plain stupid. We know that Star Maidens can live for 120 years. Maybe Shangri-La can as well? Is there anything else that isn’t just gossip?

The sixth rumor is the “Classmating Potion.” Using it supposedly brings you closer to a Star Maiden who’s Classmated.

Please tell me that number seven isn’t stupid.

Finally, there’s the “Toilet Fairy.”

You’ve got to be kidding me…

In a certain bathroom, an angry fairy appears from the toilet and attacks. This one also seems fake. What do you think? That was just a quick rundown, but did you get it all?


You were asleep?!

I wasn’t asleep, my eyes just glazed over from how dumb that all was. Can we just cut out all the garbage and focus on the ones that have a chance of getting us home?

Fine… Let’s just get going. We need to start talking to people.

~Star God Academy Hallway~

For starters, we need to know where the disappearances are happening.

Hm? Is that Yuzuha over there?

Oh, Big Brother… What are you doing here?

It’s probably better if we don’t get into detail about it. Listen, Yuzuha, can we ask you something?

I-Is it something I can answer…?

It’s okay. Just tell us what you know.

O-Okay… I’ll do my best.

Do you know about the rumor about students disappearing from the academy?

Yes… more or less.

Is there anything else you might know about it?

I’m not sure if this is the same rumor, but… Reone told me something before. She said a student suddenly disappeared in the medical office.

Awesome! We got some good info right off the bat!

Um… was I helpful?

You were really helpful. Mahiru will get you a gift later.

Huh…? Um… Uh… I’m okay… I don’t really… I’m not really good with gifts…

Then how about next time we have homework, we can work on it together? You can get so much more done with two people.

Okay, it’s a promise then.

Uh, okay then…

See you next class!


*Yuzuha wanders off*

Itsuki, our target is the medical office.

Reone’s office, huh?

That’s where you were naked in front of the Scorpio Star Maiden.

What does that have to do with anything? Anyway, is it even okay for us to go in there if we aren’t sick? I go in when I need to see her for bond building, but this is completely different.

We’ll only know if we go.

~Star God Academy Clinic~

You sure do handle hangovers well. Didn’t think you’d be in today after getting wasted during that party.

We just spoke to Yuzuha. Is it true that students have disappeared here?

What? What are you talking about?

Is it true that students have been disappearing in the medical office?

Are you referring to one of the Seven Academy Wonders?

Yuzuha told us that students suddenly disappeared here.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Mahiru… But that isn’t some rumor. It’s just something I told Yuzuha. It’s regarding a student who suddenly felt sick and left the academy. They collapsed during class and were brought here.

Ever since… The students began murmuring about how that student came here and vanished.

And the teaching staff never addressed that at all?

What was wrong with them?

Who knows. It was before I started working here. It’s said the student suddenly lost their Star Energy and collapsed. In any case, it’s nothing to do with the rumor you’re talking about. But, since you’re here… Itsuki, do you want a check-up?

Do I need to take my clothes off?

Haha… Of course. Would doing so in front of Mahiru embarrass you?

It’s embarrassing in front of everyone, not just her.

I don’t mind.


Haha… I’m only kidding. I’ll give you a check-up next time.

Geez… Well, I guess we’re back to square one.

What made you want to look into all this in the first place?

E-Excuse us! Come on, Itsuki, let’s go!

*Mahiru gets the pair out of there as fast as possible*

~Star God Academy Hallway~

Could you let go of me now? Why were you in such a hurry?

Because. We don’t need to explain why we’re looking into this, do we? Otherwise, it’ll only turn out like it did with Mana.

I guess you have a point.

A wild Ruka appears!*

Could it be a… m-morning h-hallway date?

Why does everyone keep thinking stuff like that?

Ruka, you’ve got it all wrong. We’re investigating the Seven Academy Wonders right now.

Wonders? Oh… you mean the origins of the academy?

Uh, yeah, that. Do you know anything?

I don’t really know much about it at all. And I don’t particularly care either. Though, I have heard a few things regarding this academy’s establishment.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA!

And about a magnetic field that controls people’s thoughts in the academy.

Nonono, you cannot just throw that out there and move on like it’s nothing! Where the hell did THAT rumor originate from?

None of that sounds good...

Honestly, the reason for this academy’s establishment is a national secret. Mahiru, I’m sure you already heard about this.

Yeah, I have…

What exactly do you plan to do with what you find out?

We’re just trying to learn more about the academy.

So you’re investigating the academy’s history? Well, that’s no concern of mine.

Can tell when someone’s lying, my ass. Don’t have any experience with good old Mr. Half Truth, do you Ruka?

If you want to learn more about the academy, aren’t there better ways?

Sorry to make you help us with something so silly, Ruka. Well, see you in class.


*Ruka leaves*

It’s possible that the disappearance thing really is just a simple rumor. Actually, that’s most likely what it is. I think we should give up on this one, Mahiru.

What?! You’re willing to give up that easily?!

We haven’t even had breakfast yet, Mahiru. I’m hungry. Barely got to eat anything last night because everyone kept interrupting me.

Geez… Okay, let’s investigate the disappearances later then. Itsuki, are there any other rumors that grab your interest?

After this? Not really. But I guess the one about the voice from the laboratory is at least sort of worth checking out. Probably a good idea to find out who is sneaking around in here by themselves. Besides, that one was also recent. Maybe there’s a chance it’s related to the disappearance rumor.

Not bad, Itsuki… Okay, let’s investigate that rumor next.

Then we can go to the lab and check it out.

Crap, I forgot about the early morning part…

~??? (It’s Itsuki’s Room. We know that now, game. Why are you still using “???”?~

[***]: Hey, Itsuki…

Mmm… Huh…?

[***]: Itsuki, wake up!

This scene just kind of goes straight into the next one without any location change.

~Star God Academy Hallway~

We got here early and sure enough, no one’s here.

Mahiru? Could you please not get on top of me when you wake me up? Maybe do something a little gentler… and not suggestive.

What a nice thing to be upset about. Shouldn’t you just be happy your childhood friend is waking you up?

Not really, no.

Okay, let’s go to the lab. Well? Do you hear anything?

D-Does that count?! Is that someone doing a creepy laugh?

Haha… nice. This is so sudden though. I’m at a loss here… I mean, we’re right here and it’s actually happening! Itsuki, let’s go inside!

~Mirei’s Laboratory~

Uhh… it’s Mirei?


What’s going on? This is so creepy…

Heheh… You two? Why… heheheh… are you here?

Why are you laughing like that…?

Wait, did you say medicine?

*A brief time skip later*

Whew… This doesn’t work either. I’m just not good at pharmacology.

Mirei, what are you doing?

By order of the king, I am making a medicine that will make everyone happy.

That sounds incredibly suspicious…

Actually that sounds like a totalitarian wet dream. Why exactly is the king looking to develop this? I’m sure he’d feed us some bullshit about “wanting to put the people at ease because of fear of the monsters”, but that’s crap.

Anyway, it’s not going well and I keep making a medicine that makes you laugh. This has been happening for a while. There’s a limit to what one can subject themselves to. I’m sick of laughing. Itsuki, would you mind being my test subject? You’d work as well, Mahiru.

N-No way!

That’s a hard pass from me as well.

Why are you two here anyway?

We’re investigating the Seven Academy Wonders. But I never expected one would be happening because of you, Mirei. Sadly, it seems you have nothing to do with the disappearances either.

In that case, have some of the medicine that will make you happy.

But isn’t it laughing medicine?

Don’t say that so loudly. This medicine is a national secret.

Yeah, I wonder why that is? It’s almost as if people might not react too well to hearing that their king is trying to develop a medicine that will force them to be happy.

You’re working on something that’s a national secret in a school lab?

It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong. There’s no reason to hide it.

I really think that you are stretching the limit of whatever protections the Star Maiden status is giving you. Something tells me “Well if you wanted the national secret to stay a national secret then you shouldn’t have asked me to work on it. I can’t keep my mouth shut” isn’t an excuse that the government is going to be okay with.

Well, excuse us for intruding then…

You’re free to come anytime. When you do, test this medicine.

~Star God Academy Field~

What a waste of time. I feel so exhausted now… Itsuki, thanks for your help. Let’s call it a day.

Sounds like a plan to me. I’m going back to sleep.

And so Detective Mahiru’s investigation ends up being a big flop. Who would have thought?

Now that we’re done with that stupid waste of time, we can get back to Star Offerings.

Before that, let’s have a quick look at the new shops that have opened due to Granvania’s level going up. First up is Day Camp.

Day Camp is a tiny bit more useful in CP than it was in CII. It’s still stupidly expensive during the early game, but now you get to just pick how many level ups the Child you drop off will get. CII also has a much lower cap on the number of levels that a Star Child could get per training course (which made Day Camp even more expensive). It seemed to cap at about 5, whereas in CP we can stick a SC in there until they’ve gained up to 25 levels for a single fee.

Day Camp in CII also didn’t become available until the City Level reached roughly 15. During the LP, I didn’t unlock it until we hit Chapter 5, which was like 30-40% of the way through the game. Day Camp in CP is available right from City Level 2.

So while it’s still expensive, it’s at least a good way to get reserve Star Children leveled up. More than likely you’ll be using this function to level them up to a point where giving them independence is worth it. It’s not as easy to grind up levels in CP as it was in CII. You can’t just throw together two teams of Level 1’s and have a bunch of Level 15’s within 10 minutes. So the Day Camp will probably be getting some use this time around, despite the costs.

Scavenger is the next one on the list. As stated in the tutorial cards, Scavenger will let us send out Star Children that have been given independence to Labyrinths that we’ve already cleared. They’ll search for items and stuff, then come back after a week with whatever spoils they’ve managed to recover.

This is also pretty costly. Personally, I’d rather just go back to the dungeon and do a quick run through of it to farm the items myself. It’ll eventually be more worthwhile once we’ve reached a point of the game where money isn’t quite as tight as it is now.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the Star Children you can send to scavenge items are chosen from the ones you’ve given independence to. So if you dump a lot of low level SC’s, then you may have to keep entering and exiting the shop to refresh the list and look for the higher level ones. It’s one of the downsides to letting a bunch of Level 1 Children roam free.

Finally, there’s the Gift Shop. You are able to give gift items to the Star Maidens during generic bonding events. Well, at least the ones that give you dialog options. Some generic bonding events don’t give you prompts for how you want Itsuki to respond, so you can’t give gifts during those.

Giving gifts can earn you extra points towards the Bond Gauge and improve mood. It’s good to do if you have some gifts laying around from dungeon runs, but I wouldn’t spend much money on them in the early game. As you can see, they are fairly expensive at this point. Since there isn’t a time limit on this game, it’s easier if you just Rest/Bond to build up mood or Bond Gauge. The other problem with Gifts is that you need to know what the hell each Star Maiden actually likes, as it isn’t always clear or easy to tell during the early part of the game.

For instance, obviously Femiruna wouldn’t like Carrot Cookies. She told us straight up that she hates carrot. Meanwhile, it’s a relatively safe bet that Sue would like animal related things, like that Pig and Turtle book. Tarua probably likes the Athletic Shoes gift, since she runs all the time.

On the other hand, Arie the Nun will love receiving Fluffy Lingerie from a dude she only just met.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of them are fairly obvious if you pay attention to the Bonding Events, but there is some level of trial and error involved with particular gifts. For example, in CII there was a gift that was a book of tips for how to make your bust bigger. The bustiest girls loved getting that, but smaller characters like Fuuko hated it, despite her constantly being openly envious of girls like Narika. Then there’s the book of hot dudes that every girl hated, even characters like Chloe who seemed pretty giddy about the “Classmanting” ritual between Wake and Alec.

On top of gifts that just give points, there are also accessory gifts. Unlike in CII, there doesn’t seem to be a way to change these on your own. The game seems to just equip the last accessory that you gave the Star Maiden. In this case, Mahiru has on a hair clip that I’ve been finding a lot of in the dungeons. Keep in mind that these only appear on the 3D model, so you won’t see them during story segments.

Anyway, that’s all for City Features. I’ve got a little more room in this update, so let’s take care of some in between stuff before story and bonding events pick up again. First, let’s head back to the Stardust Labyrinths and learn a little about what happens now that the first seal is in place.

~Stardust Labyrinths~

Narcisstes? What does he want to tell me?

About that season’s labyrinth where you defeated that Impurity God… The new Star Offering is holding back the overflow of the Impurities.

Yeah, I know that.

Hey now, let me finish. Basically, if you focus only on one season’s labyrinth at a time… Impurities may begin overflowing from the labyrinths of the other seasons. You gotta make sure you explore the labyrinths of all four seasons evenly! That’s what I was trying to say.

Okay, I get it. I’ll try and change things up as I go.

I also have another warning if you’re going to continue exploring the labyrinths. The seasons of this world and the seasons of the labyrinths are linked.

How so?

I’m saying that the Impurities found within the labyrinths of the current season… will be even stronger than normal!

I’ll keep that in mind.

Now, let’s go and hunt us some Impurities!

So that’s the situation with the seasonal labyrinths. Despite what I initially thought, the Labyrinths are not locked depending on the season it is in the game. Now that the tutorial is done, we can actually go to whatever seasonal labyrinth we want, whenever we want.

However, if we go roaming through a labyrinth in the same season that it is in game, then the enemies will be stronger. The game applies a little fog effect to the icons, as you can see with the Spring Labyrinth up there. What kind of difficulty spike are we talking about?

A decent boost, it turns out. Ignore the level number, since that doesn’t have a ton of bearing on enemy strength (this is also Floor 11 in the Taurus section, so the enemies are strong anyway). The biggest threat to us from these strength boosted enemies are their Dark element, which makes them super effective against all of our standard element Star Children.

That said, if you are willing to take the risk and slog through the stronger enemies, the rewards can be worth it. Of course, someone out there will probably counter that you get more experience per minute by tearing through a bunch of weaker enemies. It’s up to personal preference. I’ll be avoiding season boosted enemies mainly because they wind up causing me to burn through too many good items for the higher exp to be worth it.

So basically you are completely free to tackle the dungeons in any order, if you can handle the enemy strength fluctuating constantly. If you want to keep a more stable difficulty curve, then you should aim to cycle through the labyrinth seasons after each Star Offering (or when the current season is matching). I considered giving the thread the choice of where we should go each time, but I don’t think it makes enough of a difference for it to matter. So I’ll just cycle through as I see fit. In this case, since it is the season, we’ll be tackling the Winter Labyrinth next (Star Sign hasn’t been decided on yet).

Moving on, some new Star Children arrived from other players during this short recording session. The first one is Norma the Berserker, whose mother is Alternate Reality Sue.

The second is Kyle the Ranger, whose mother is Alternate Reality Yuzuha.

Both of these Star Children are advanced classes that we currently are nowhere near being able to create. Because we haven’t created them ourselves, I don’t have the Database cards to show off for them. So we won’t get a proper look at them until later in the LP.

I had a brief debate as to how I should handle these new additions to Team Psycho Knight when Norma showed up near the start of the recording session. Natasha’s mother was AR Mahiru while my other SC’s had Arie and Farun as mothers. Sue didn’t beat any of them in popularity. Mahiru was the lowest ranking, so I initially kicked out Natasha and put Norma in. But I changed my mind soon after because I felt like that was against the spirit of the condition I set for Team B (it would also be easy for me to rig in my favor so I could kick out Downloaded SC’s I don’t like).

So instead, Natasha was kept on the team and Norma replaced Cecilia (Farun was her mother, so she was the next lowest ranking). It’s a shame, because I really liked Cecilia, but that’s how it goes I guess.

Kyle showed up near the end of the recording session and I was left having to decide between Victoria and Victor (they’re twins from Arie). I decided on swapping out Victoria in order to focus more on offence. Ranger also has a Self-Heal skill, so I felt like Victoria’s role would be a little redundant.

As a result, here is the new Team PK. Natasha is still weighing down the entire team because her level is capped at 10. A quick explanation on that since I can’t remember if it was addressed: Star Children have level caps which are determined by how strong the bond is between Itsuki and a Star Maiden at time of their creation. As a tutorial kid, Natasha can never go beyond Level 10.

Anyway, Natasha is and will always be dead weight, but the addition of two advanced class Star Children has improved Team PK’s overall strength. They are now very well rounded, although they still aren’t as speedy as Team Couscous. Team A(wful) also has them beat in terms of TEC and MP. However, their biggest weakness is their lack of a Team Element. Offence-wise they are Fire Element, but defensively they each have a different element, which means the team as a unit is weaker to every other element.

Oh well, there’s always going to be some trade-offs. At the very least they have good DEF and MDF, so it shouldn’t impact their survival ability too much.

Next time: We go back to Bonding Events. There is a unique event still left over from Bond Level 1, so we’ll get that out of the way and then move on to the Level 2 events.