The Let's Play Archive

Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars

by Psycho Knight

Part 24: Just about the time you’re thinkin’ it’s alright ~ Breakdown. Takedown. You’re busted

Update X: Just about the time you’re thinkin’ it’s alright ~ Breakdown. Takedown. You’re busted
Song Title Reference: Shakedown by Bob Seger

No, we’re not done with this yet. We have effectively answered the “Shang 120 years old” rumor, but Mahiru doesn’t know that. Plus there’s still the “Academy Founding Mystery”, the “Academy Vanishing” rumor still hasn’t been totally debunked, and Mahiru already signaled her intention to defy Narcisstes in the case of the “Disappearing Headmaster”. So it’s time for another round of rumor hunting.

It’s so early… Why are you here?

Fourth time’s the charm!

Oh come on, Mahiru… really?

We got off pretty light last time. I don’t want keep poking that beehive.

~Granvania Shopping Center~

Too bad, Itsuki. Apparently you don’t get a choice in the matter.

I feel like another “Mahiru cut” happened here. We seem to be picking up midway through a conversation. A conversation that should be continuing back in Itsuki’s room because that’s where it started, not the middle of the shopping district.

Listen, I never said that I don’t think anything weird is going on in that room. I just hate being scolded for something you dragged me into. Besides, didn’t you say you were going to wait for things to die down? What makes you think this time will be different?

There was something I realized after. Wasn’t Narcisstes showing up like that a little suspicious?

I guess… He did find us out almost as soon as we got in. What about it?

It seems Mana told Narcisstes about us.

You think?

Also Mana was obviously annoyed by this whole thing and has been attempting to drag Itsuki out of it, so you know, that seems like a pretty good motive for her to rat us out to Narc.

In any case, we need to be cautious around Mana.

That’s great… Listen, can we stop somewhere and get something to eat?

Hey, are you even listening?

I would be able to listen better if I had some food in me. Come on, Collette’s bakery is right over there.

Then… how about we interview Collette while we’re at it? She really likes urban legends, so I’m sure she’ll be happy to talk to us.

~Collette’s Sweet Wheats~

What’s the biggest sleepyhead in the world doing up this early?

It’s not by choice… Mahiru is forcing me.

…I see. So you two have been all lovey-doughy since dawn. How lewd! Don’t come near me!

Still baking those bread puns.

We have no been all “lovey-doughy.” Besides, we’re customers right now, Collette. We want some freshly baked bread.

Oh, right! Well then, how about this fresh out of the oven croissant? It’s [sic] flaky crust and rich honey butter taste make it a popular item!

Yes, please.

Nice. Free items are fine with me. Well, gameplay free at least. Mahiru and Itsuki “pay” for it in a story sense, but our in-game cash doesn’t change so I’m considering it a freebie.

Also, Collette… I know you’re busy, but can we ask you some questions? It’s nothing too difficult.

Yes, that should be fine.

We want to know about the “Disappearing Headmaster” rumor.

That’s one of the Seven Academy Wonders, right?

Neeheehee. Of course I know about that!

Normally, no one goes inside the headmaster’s room except Narcisstes.

You may be right. That’s because the headmaster can lock the door with his strong Star Energy. We aren’t able to open the door because of that.

Even Star Maidens can’t unlock it?

Why the hell would Lillith be trying to get in there? Are you sure you don’t mean Lillie? Because I’d be surprised if Lillie didn’t try and break in there at some point considering the grudge she apparently has with Narcisstes.

Wait, why was Lillith trying to get in there?

Because it’s forbidden… is what I heard.

They are definitely talking about Lillie, not Lillith. Doing something she’s not supposed to specifically because she’s not supposed to is Lillie’s whole M.O.

So no one can enter the headmaster’s room… except us God’s Gifts.

Master Detective Mahiru, ladies and gentlemen. “We should be careful around Mana, she might leak out plans to Narcisstes”, and then immediately afterward “Hey Collette! Did you know that we can get inside Narcisstes’ office?! Isn’t that cool?!”

We were kicked out right away though…

There must be a trap door inside that leads to a hidden room!

You think so too, Collette?

Neeheehee! This is exciting! Don’t you agree, God’s Gift?

I guess. You seem the most excited about it, though.

Neeheehee! Of course!

You already used that pun! Stop stealing those, by the way. You swiped Itsuki’s “mighty knead” pun during one of your bonding events.

Right. Well, here’s the money for the bread. We’d better go.

Huh, you’re already done talking?

We have to check it out before the students come by. See you later, Collette!

Thank you for your patronage.

~Star God Academy Gates~

Hm? Is that Arie over there?

Good morning, Arie.

Mahiru, Itsuki. Good morning.

Do you always come to school this early?

Oh, uh, yeah…

You know, recently I heard… A suspicious person has been seen here in the mornings. Security is tighter. You be careful, Mahiru.

I think we all know who this “suspicious person” is. Looks like Narcisstes is ready for Mahiru this time.

But, you do have Itsuki with you. I guess you don’t need to worry.

Oh no… A s-suspicious person? We should be careful, huh?

God’s Gift, please protect Mahiru.

Mahiru’s strong. I wouldn’t worry about her.

Please be sure to protect Mahiru.

Arie got weirdly intense about that. The other two options were “I want to protect you, Arie” and “I know, I know…” No, I’m not refighting Furiae in order to check what the other options result in.

I hope you take good care of me, Itsuki. Do you best at your work, Arie! Now, let’s get going.

~Star God Academy Field~

Mahiru, do—Wait, is that someone else? Over there by the barn.

It’s Sue. She’s holding a sheep in one arm and a goat in the other.

Morning, Mahiru…

Good morning, Sue. Are you taking a walk?

I have to make sure they don’t hurt the animals.

Ah, right. That must be tough… Hang in there.

He clearly has you outplayed this time, Mahiru. Probably a good idea to back off at this point.

You two be careful. No one knows where this person could be.

Same goes for you, Sue.

Are you worried about me…?

[Sheep]: Baaa…

[Goat]: Maaa…

Hehe, they do seem pretty trustworthy. Itsuki, we’re interrupting her patrol. Let’s go.



A-Ah, right… We’ll be sure to let you know.

*And then both parties go their separate ways*

Ugh… I wonder if Sue suspected us?

Judging by that look she gave us, I would say there’s a solid chance.

We can’t dawdle here. Let’s hurry to the headmaster’s room.

But of course, that’s only going to motivate Mahiru more.

~Star God Academy Hallway~

Well, we’re here. You sure you want to do this?

The answer is yes, as Mahiru immediately goes for the door to try and open it.

Huh? The door won’t open. But it opened so easily before!

Did he finally take my advice and install a deadbolt?

[***]: Aw right, ya two. That’s enough.

Man, we didn’t even get inside the room before getting busted this time.

Oh, h-hey! It’s… the whimsical traveler!

An excellent guess! It’s me, the beautiful an’ sexy traveler, Farun! But, what are ya doin’ here, Itsuki?

Mahiru made me do it.

Farun, why are you here?

Narcisstes asked me to pop by. A suspicious person has been seen in the academy, so he asked me to patrol.

Why did he ask the Star Maidens? We know that guards exist in this world, because Mana mentioned Shang-ri La not having his with him when he was in Itsuki’s room. Is the Granvanian Army made up of just a handful of guys or something?

But, it’s you two who’re the suspicious ones here.

Game over, Mahiru. I think it’s time to call it quits.

No way! There’s no “game over” in my dictionary.

Really? I thought you were supposed to be the smart one.

Sorry, Mahiru. I was told to tell Narcisstes if I found anyone suspicious.

I’d applaud Narcisstes on his precautions and having Farun as a backup to Arie and Sue, except…

Farun, we’re both Star Maidens. Can’t you let this slide?

I’m pretty sure the headmaster’s room is off-limits.

But one of the Seven Academy Wonders is in here… No matter what, we need to see what’s inside.

Seven Academy Wonders?

They’re like urban legends of the academy.

Yeah, Farun isn’t exactly a reliable guard.

Probably a hidden door and room.

Whoa! That sounds like fun! I see, I see. In that case, no problem. I’ll let this slide, so in ya go! To the hidden door an’ room!

Narcisstes really picked the wrong person for this.

Everyone in Granvania is terrible at their job.

But the door still won’t open. We can’t get in.

Of course. The door has a double seal on it.

Oh… shit… Hey, Mirei!

*Farun books it*

So, Mirei, this was your doing?

I was asked by Narcisstes to make sure you two didn’t get in again.

Ahh, nice work Narcisstes. AMCP. Unfortunately I’m going to have to withdraw my praise of you because you made a critical error in this contingency plan: Mirei is terrible with secrets.

Why are you being so secretive about the headmaster’s room?

I don’t like the unknown. And I can’t just give up in the middle of something.

I see. You have a good head on your shoulders.

*Mirei turns around and the screen briefly goes white*

What… did you just do?

I opened the door. You can go in now.

Seriously, all you had to do was post a single fucking guard outside the room. Was that so hard? I’m sure the Granvanian Knights could spare one dude. Not like we ever see or hear of the bastards doing anything of importance.

Are you sure about this, Mirei? You have a lot more to lose from this than we do.

I’m researching God’s Gifts right now. I want to see Mahiru make her grand discovery. I’ll protect my test subjects as they strive toward their goal.

Thank you, Mirei.

Besides… I’m curious as well.

Deadbolt. He could have prevented all of this with a fucking deadbolt. I can get one from the hardware store in town for like 20 bucks! But noooo, Mr. Fancypants over here with his fucking Star Energy seals and shit.

Okay, let’s go inside, Itsuki!

~Headmaster’s Office~

I don’t see anything out of the ordinary. I mean, not the kind of stuff we’re looking for anyway.

Hm? This bookcase can slide, can’t it?

*There’s a rumbling as something moves aside*

Whoa… This is…

There’s no lever though. How does it open?

Then let’s push it! If that doesn’t work, we’ll slam into it.

Okay. Let’s do it. Might as well go all the way with this.

*The screen slowly fades to white and back to normal to cover up the swap in background CG as the hidden door opens for real*

Wow… that opened a lot easier than I thought it would.

This is a high level Star Energy Seal passed on from generation to generation. This is one that can only be opened by God’s Gifts with a special Star Brand.

We did it! Famous detective Mahiru is now in service!

There are stairs. There may be something down there.

It looks like the “Disappearing Headmaster” case has been solved.

Sweet, let’s go home.

The fuck is this?

N-No way…

What is it, Mirei?

This is a Star Energy Circle.

Should we know what that is?

It’s a magic circle that absorbs peoples’ Star Energy and materializes it. Look, there’s a materialized Star Fragment in the center of the circle. Star Energy Circles are forbidden by law. In this world…

So you mean this circle… has taken someone’s life energy to make this Star Fragment?

Jesus, we’ve got ritual sacrifice in this game? That’s a turn.

With a circle this big, it can absorb Star Energy within a one kilometer radius.

What the fuck, Narcisstes?! That’s some Full Metal Alchemist shit.

Why put it under the school, though?

The amount of Star Energy each of us holds is determined at birth. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Star Energy itself is our life force. Our destiny is to live by consuming the Star Energy that is within us.

Therefore, it logically follows that… this academy sees the students as a massive source of Star Energy.

But why? Why are these Star Fragments so important?

I don’t know. Star Energy Circles were created long, long ago. They were made to gather Star Energy in case of disasters and other emergencies.

So this thing is taking the Star Energy of the students right now?

Mirei, can’t you do something? You’re the descendant of a great mage, right?

I know what must be done. As a scion of the Star God, I command you! Seal your role for all eternity!

*The screen goes white briefly and when it fades the Star Energy Circle has disappeared*

Well, I guess this part of the mystery is settled.

No it’s not! Students’ lives are still being threatened!

Mahiru, leave the rest to me. I’ll get to the bottom of this evil.

We’ll help you, Mirei.

No. This is most likely connected to the kingdom itself.

I’m fairly certain that it’s too late for that, Mirei. Narcisstes is going to know exactly who was behind this as soon as he comes down here and finds his lifeforce-sucking transmutation circle thing is no longer there.

Not saying you didn’t do the right thing. I’ve gained a lot of respect for you for having the moral compass to shut this down without any hesitation (I admit, I was half-expecting Mirei to argue for keeping the circle temporarily active so she could research it). I’m just saying that maybe you could have possibly snooped around a little first. You know, so that Narcisstes wouldn’t get tipped off to the fact that someone knows what he’s hiding. The next time he comes down here he’s going to start on covering his tracks. He can’t really afford to eliminate you (or risk the attention it would draw if he’s evil), since you’re a Star Maiden, but I’m sure he can find a way to blackmail you into compliance.

Mahiru, do not get involved in this.


~Star God Academy Gates~

I didn’t think you’d back down so easily on that.

I don’t want to get in her way. Besides, we still have more rumors to hunt down. We’ll leave this to Mirei and investigate a different rumor.


So that was fun. Apparently Narcisstes was overseeing the harvesting of lifeforce from the Academy students for some as of yet unspecified reason. Either he’s outright evil and is secretly trying to aid in the revival of the 13th Phantom, or he’s some kind of extremist that is hoping to use those Star Fragments to destroy it. Either way, we need to start keeping a more watchful eye on him.

Also the king. It might be hidden under his office, but I doubt this is Narc’s personal pet project. Shang has got to be involved with it to some degree.

That’s it for the story portion of the update. It wasn’t particularly long, so I’m going to fill it out by including some of the next update (it was too big to all fit in one post).

-Special Events (This continues on in to the next update)-

Now that the calendar has moved into the Autumn months, we can finally take a look at one of those events that Mana keeps suggesting whenever we hit the tenth floor of a Labyrinth. In order to avoid confusion, I’m going to refer to these events from now on as “Japan Events”. Japan Events are the ones that Mana learns about from Mahiru and then asks Itsuki to suggest to Shangri-La as something that Granvania could do. In contrast, “Seasonal Events” will refer only to the pre-established events that Mana has been dragging Itsuki to over the year (such as the Sports Festival and Maiden Camp).

Japan Events work slightly differently from Seasonal Events. Seasonal Events will trigger at the same time every year and involve Itsuki joining the Star Maidens in some kind of group activity. You are required to see the event the first time it happens, but every time after that Mana will give you a choice as to whether or not you want to participate.

Japan Events will only trigger when you select a Star Maiden to bond with. Unlike the group activities of the Seasonal Events, Japan Events are 1-on-1 affairs between the chosen Star Maiden and Itsuki. The events will trigger when you choose a Star Maiden to bond with during the season that the event takes place in. This means you have plenty of time to see all 12 events. Yes, I meant 12. So far, I haven’t seen any of these events happen for Alfie. Apparently Spike Chunsoft didn’t feel like she was worth the effort for them.

However, Spike Chunsoft did put extra effort into certain aspects of this. Some of these Japan Events pay special attention to particular Star Maidens for some reason. I’m not entirely sure this happens in other Japan Events, but when it comes the Autumn Festival there are noticeable differences between the heroines. After consulting with the thread on how I should handle this, it was decided that I should disregard the results of the Maiden Poll and just show off the Star Maidens that get special things during their Japan Events (where applicable. For events like Starmas, I’ll figure out something else to decide on who we see).

In the case of the Autumn Festival, things match up pretty closely with the results of the last poll. We’re missing Alfie, since she doesn’t have a festival event at all. Also, Ruka doesn’t get any special addition to her festival event, so she’ll be relegated to the summary section despite coming in 4th in the last poll. Meanwhile, Collette gets dragged up from the bottom of the barrel for this one.

I’ll go over the summaries first, since I have space left in this update. If you only care about the unique stuff, then continue on to Special Events I: The Autumn Festival.

We’ll go through these by poll order, so that means we start with Ruka. Oh yeah, and “Escaping the Orphanage” is her Starmas Event… it’s not as exciting/dramatic as the name might lead you to believe.


Ruka’s event has Itsuki helping her out with a festival food stall that she’s volunteering at. She rebuffs him at first, although Itsuki points out that he doesn’t think she’ll be able to handle customers given her… hangups. She still refuses him. When Itsuki gets to the festival later, Ruka has gotten in over her head and asks him to help her by manning the register. Ruka is apparently worried that she might touch a customer’s hand when handling the change (which… why? She told us that she can only read minds by touching foreheads). She tried to make the payment thing self-serve, but that’s obviously not going to work because you can’t trust people to take only the change they are entitled to.

Anyway, Ruka does a little bit of her self-pity thing and a little bit of her Tsundere thing. As thanks for helping, she offers Itsuki some fried noodles that she saved for him, then asks if he likes it and tells him that she can change the seasoning and stuff if he doesn’t. Itsuki helps her finish everything up and Ruka continues doing more Tsundere things like saying “It’s not like I’m happy we’re spending more time together or anything…”


Mahiru’s festival event opens up with Itsuki staring up at the sky and wondering about what Granvania’s festivals are like (that makes two of us). Mahiru asks him for help with maintaining the flower bed. Itsuki agrees and says that they should go to the autumn festival when they are done. After finishing up with the flower bed, Mahiru tells Itsuki about what she’s planting: a white and orange Granvanian flower called Autumn Powder. Mahiru then gets way too close while she wipes some dirt off of Itsuki’s face. Itsuki is a little shy about this, and Mahiru teases him about it while giving him the patented “unfortunately timed screencap” look, except it’s intentional on her part.

At the festival, Itsuki talks about how he helped to model it after the ones from back home. Mahiru says it feels nostalgic and offers to treat Itsuki since he helped out earlier. The fireworks then start going off. Mahiru, still wrapped up in her rumor hunting crap, says that she’s always wondered if fireworks would look flat if you viewed them from the side since they seem to spread out as circles when viewed normally. Mahiru then drags Itsuki along into the forest to find out. In the forest, things get steamy as Mahiru and Itsuki comment on how it’s like they have a personal fireworks show going on since nobody is around (also that the fireworks are being reflected in a nearby lake). Mahiru blushes as she asks why Itsuki is holding her hand and looking at her silently…

…at which point Itsuki says that a bear is right behind her. “Man-Eating Bear” then roars and the two God’s Gifts book it back to the festival and escape the bear. There’s a little more talk about the flowers they planted, but that’s about it for the event.


In Yuzuha’s event, she mentions hearing strange music from somewhere. Itsuki asks if Yuzuha wants to check out the festival, but Yuzuha is hesitant because there would be a lot of people there. She eventually decides to go anyway. At the festival, Yuzuha is nervous, but plans on toughing it out. She spots a mask stall and eventually winds up picking out a fox mask since she thinks it will be easier to face the crowds with (no, you don’t get to see the mask).

Yuzuha then spots a stall selling chocolate-covered bananas (so I guess in this reality the clerk got the recipe right. That'll make sense when you read Farun's event). Yuzuha tries it, then says she wants to try feeding the rest to Itsuki because she wants to try the “say ah” thing. After that, Yuzuha is glad that she could help Itsuki feel like he was back home, if only for a little while. Then Itsuki walks her back home and they say their goodnights.


Reone asks Itsuki if he’s decided on a Star Maiden to ask to the festival and Itsuki says he came to invite her. Reone plays coy by saying that she figured Itsuki would have someone special that he wanted to invite. At the festival, Reone talks about how she loves junk food like the stuff at the festival. She’s about to ask Itsuki for recommendations, but instead makes a game out of it. The two split up to find the best food that comes on a skewer. Loser has to feed the other by hand.

Ten minutes later, the two meet up and the player gets a choice as to what food Itsuki brought back. I picked Frankfurt, because come on, it’s Reone (and Conception Plus) we’re talking about. Hell, Itsuki even thinks to himself “I wonder what kind of food would satisfy Reone…?”

…I admit, TCG may have been on break when I was writing this part.

Anyway, despite me getting into this game’s mindset, Frankfurt turns out to be the neutral answer (the correct one was probably the chocolate covered banana, not that that is any less suggestive). Reone says that it does look good, but it’s “a rather big and thick sausage…” Anyway, innuendo aside, Itsuki finds out that Reone brought back some canned beer. Itsuki points out that canned beer is not a food and definitely not on a skewer. Reone says she got distracted because she figured she could use whatever Itsuki brought back as a snack to go with it, forgetting that they had a competition going. Itsuki says it’s selfish and Reone admits defeat. She wants him to feed her what he brought though, considering that as a reward for him despite not being what they agreed to.

At this point I actually hunched over and chuckled because I imagined Itsuki cramming a Frankfurter into Reone’s mouth. Not in the gentle innuendo/sexy way that Conception Plus was trying to invoke, but in the “jamming a sausage made entirely of pork and cased in sheep guts into her face” kind of way. Also I got a bit of a dark laugh out of the idea that there’s a chance the sausage was made from that pig that disappeared from Sue’s route. Anyway, that’s pretty much where Reone’s event ends. She had fun and walks arm in arm with Itsuki back home.


Sue isn’t excited to go to the festival because her animals can’t go with her. Itsuki convinces her by saying that maybe she could buy gifts for all of them while there, like food for example.

At the festival, the two think about what foods to try. Itsuki suggests candied apples (the correct answer was probably buttered potatoes). Sue doesn’t quite grasp the concept of apples coated in candy, so Itsuki brings her to try one. Sue is not impressed. Sue decides to pick up a bunch of non-candied apples for her animals and that’s where the event just kind of peters out. Sue said she had fun and that she wants to do it again sometime. It’s a very short event.


Lillith/Lillie’s event opens with Lillie demanding to know about the festival. Itsuki questions her motives, wondering if she’s getting up to no good. Lillie denies it and then demands to be taken to it by Itsuki. At the festival, Lillie is examining the stalls and notices the target shooting. Itsuki immediately tells her not to think about aiming at other festival goers.

I got a good laugh from this moment, too.

They do target shooting, then look around some more. Lillie apparently keeps buying stuff from stalls, which is burning a hole in Itsuki’s pocket. Lillie then takes notice of a haunted house attraction. One of the workers playing the role of a ghost taunts Lillie a little and she decides to rush in on her own.

We then hear Lillie scream, then Lillith wondering where she is, then a “Ghost” wondering where the hell Lillith appeared from, then Lillith screams, then Lillie screams, then Lillith, and finally that is brought to an end when Lillith wanders out. Lillith asks if coming to the festival with Lillie was fun. Itsuki is… non-committal. Lillith is jealous that Lillie got to spend the entire festival with Itsuki, so Itsuki suggests that they watch the fireworks together. The two hold hands when suddenly one of the “Ghosts” butts in and tells them to get a room. Lillith then passes out from shock because she’s terrified of ghosts.