Part 1: Chapter 56 (Part 1)
Ok so, first thing's first: Save Importing.
Right away we hit a bit of a hurdle here, due to the baton-pass nature of this LP. Unlike FMW2 and FMW3, this game actually does save everything you did in the previous game - all of your upgrade purchases, your pilot skills learned, and your WP earned and distributed. As such, there were basically 4 choices on how to handle this LP:
1. Import my own save file from FMW3
2. Start fresh with the New Game option
3. Get Blitz's save file and import that
4. Use a NG+ save file
I wanted to avoid option 1, because it would be a bit weird to have to explain how I developed all of my units and where I spent my cash. Also my Cirno and Rumia would be at like level 18 or something and I just know you fuckers would vote them in on that basis alone.
Option 2 was a strong candidate. The characters we'll be starting with in Chapter 56 come with 3 bars of upgrades, with newcomers joining with 4 or 5 (unfortunately, returning characters after Chapter 56 all come with 0, which is both weird and annoying). Additionally, every character is on an equal footing in terms of levels and kills. There's 3 big problems with this however: the first is that we'd only begin with 2,000,000 bucks, which is like maybe half of what you'd realistically have earned if you played intelligently. You can work past that, as the final game in the series does shower you in dosh. Much more pressingly, every character begins with only 550 PP. For reference, I think my Marisa had that much PP back in like, FMW1, so that's pretty fucking crippling. The third is that you don't get any of the Game Completion items from the first three games. All those things put together made me not want to take this option.
Finally, Blitz didn't earn all of the Bonus WP in his LP so using his save file is completely out of the question.
That leaves us with option 4. The nice thing about a NG+ run is that, just like with a New Game, everyone starts at Level 52, and everyone comes with a set number of upgrades pre-invested into them. I am preserving 50% of my units' PP , but that works out to... roughly where I'd be with a save imported from FMW3. Money-wise, I'm starting with 8 million, which is probably more than I should have, but I fully expect that you all will be voting for me to have wildly different teams every chapter. The extra cash will let me, like, actually use those characters, rather than just bring them and say "well I attacked the boss once and they died, good job Tewi".
That's a really long preamble I realize, but I just wanted everyone to know what was up.
As before, we'll be playing the Marisa route. This actually changes almost nothing in this game, but Marisa is cooler so we'll stick with her.
We're playing on Normal...ish. I'll explain more once we get to Chapter 57, but for now, just know that I'm playing on Normal.
A remote area of a far Eastern country that has existed since ancient times.
A small, hidden village where the history of humans and youkai has continued unbroken.
Gensokyo is covered by two enourmous barriers.
One that draws in youkai who have grown weak: the Border of Illusion and Substance.
And another that cuts it off from the common sense of the outside: the Hakurei Barrier.
Due to these barriers, one cannot travel between Genokyo and the outside world,
and the humans and youkai who live there have developed their own unique culture.
But even in an isolated paradise, events called incidents occur.
And standing up to them are a mixed group of humans and youkai
led by the Hakurei shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei and the ordinary magician Marisa Kirisame.
First was the Scarlet Mist. Then the Three Winds shaking the mountain. The Spring Snow adorning death.
The Eternal Night Sky seen by all, and the Hidden Moon they sought.
The Sun born in the fearsome depths of Hell, heralded by the call of the spirits.
With Reimu and Marisa at the center, a union of human and youkai bridging the gap between the races
led to the resolution of all manner of incidents.
However, at the climax of the battle, a sinister intruder appeared.
Her cowardly actions led to the scorching of the surface, leaving nothing but suffering.
The cooperation of human and youkai managed to repair the damage,
but the season changed with their enemy's whereabouts still unknown.
...Altitude stable. No abnormalities in cruising speed either.
How's the steering, Rinnosuke?
No problems so far. The autopilot's taking care of most of it.
Seems like the two of us really can pilot the Palanquin Ship on our own now that it's complete.
That's just because you're both quick learners. Akyu's already proven herself, but you're not half bad either Rinnosuke.
At this rate, we might ask you to help out if anything unexpected comes up.
Come on, we all know THAT'S not going to happen.
A radio sound effect plays here, as Sho and The Naz appear on screen.
Good work, everyone.
Sounds like the test flight went well. Why don't you head back for now?
I suppose that's enough practice for today.
In that case, your last lesson of the day will be taking us in for a landing.
Roger that. Changing modes and lowering altitude.
The Palanquin Ship begins descending, and the screen fades to black.
BGM: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
Phew, that was nerve-wracking.
I found it more than a little thrilling, myself. It's so different when it's just the two of us.
Good work you two. You're improving every time.
I could only see from the ground, but things seemed to be going smoothly from start to finish.
Thank goodness. Personally, I spent the whole time worrying that I'd lose control at any moment.
C'mon, have a little more faith in the flying silo, now that it's completed.
Not only does it have its autopilot again, we upped the Buddhist reactor output too. It's finally back to peak performance.
But, uh, not that I'm complaining, but you really don't mind teaching someone like me how to fly it? From what I hear, this boat is pretty important to you.
You're all important to me too. We're all comrades who've fought together. Not only that, but bringing humans and youkai together like this was always Hijiri's dream.
I see. Well, I'm certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
In that case, why don't we take the ship out again for a trip to the Hakurei shrine? We promised to gather up there before heading out to youkai mountain.
Oh, that's right, the kappa are holding that bazaar of theirs today.
Doesn't that just make your dowser blood boil, Nazrin?
Well, I haven't heard of it until just now, but sure, let's go with that.
Ah... what a nice day... Why ruin it by exerting ourselves?
Fun fact: gone are the days of old 1 Face Reimu. FMW4 in general is way better about mixing up the expressions people use, and Reimu in particular is far more expressive than she ever was. I fully expect to fuck up and use the wrong expression for her at least once, just fyi.
You'll catch a cold if you fall asleep there, Reimu.
If you don't get eaten by a youkai first.
Don't get too comfortable, girls, we're heading out later.
The meeting's at noon, so shouldn't you be getting ready?
Fine, fine, but not many people are showing up, are they? It's just you all and...
Heeey! Got anything to snack on?!
Reimu, would you be a dear and fetch me some tea?
...Do I have a choice?
There's a sound effect as someone steps in from offscreen.
You're a bit of a slob, aren't you? But all this waiting has made my throat parched. Some black tea would go down nicely.
My apologies, but I left the tea set back at the manor.
Been a while since I visited the world of the living. But remember to take it easy, for your health.
When it rains, it pours, I guess. Why's everyone arriving at the same time?
Are we late? It took a while to get everyone ready.
We had nothing better to do, so we came along for the ride!
You're right. I can't imagine you having anything better to do. So are you gonna be okay in the daylight Flan?
Uh huh. Haven't I gotten good at holding a parasol by myself?
A kappa bazaar... I can't say I'm uninterested. I've read about it, of course, but this will be my first time visiting it in person.
Our shrine is helping out this year, so it'll be a bigger event than usual. We've been advertising in the human village instead of just the mountain this time.
So the Moriya gods are lending a hand, huh?
Apparently. I'm sure that's why they invited us all.
Come to think of it, this is the first time we've met up like this since the incident. To think we wouldn't be able to go on day trips like this if we hadn't stopped Utsuho...
But thanks to them helping out with the clean-up of that scorched area, Yuugi and the other Underworlders have even been visiting the village lately.
Things have become so peaceful here, little by little. I am worried that we haven't been able to find Shiro though...
No one's seen hide nor hair of her since then. We've even asked around the village, but haven't found a single lead.
Sakuya and I have a done a little investigating of our own.
Really? Didn't think you'd be interested in that sort of thing.
The mistress got bored before we found anything though.
So does that mean Yuuka is the only one with even the slightest clue who we're dealing with?
Maybe so. I haven't seen her since winter though.
This is your time to shine, Elly. Aren't you her henchmen or something?
What do mean "or something"?! But, uh, we haven't heard any more than the rest of you. All we know is that she knows Shiro and the mastermind.
I expected as much. But didn't you used live with her, at least for a little while?
Well, sure, but she was never home, and NEVER never talks about herself!
In this season, I'm sure she off looking at flowers somewhere!
...So in other words she never tells you anything.
...To be fair, none of us expected anything from you two anyway.
But as long as we don't know anything about who we're dealing with, they'll always have the initiative. And it's weird that she hasn't made any moves since then, too.
I get why it bugs you, but what can we do?
If we can't see anything by squinting, then why not broaden our view instead?
Sometimes you just need a change of pace.
There's a distinctive floaty sound effect here.
? What was that sound?
We're here, everyone!
Oh, it's Lily. And, uh, what was your name? Sunny?
Sorry we're late, Luna was being a goof.
Well, excuuse me. You're the one who overslept.
Wait, why's everyone look all serious?
It's nothing. We were just talking.
It must have been an unpleasant topic then.
You're here too, Letty? It must be tough for you, given the season.
It's fine, the snow hasn't melted yet. More importantly, is Cirno not here?
Not yet, anyway. Wasn't she always with you though?
She didn't show up to the meeting spot. We're also missing Rumia and...
Well I told Mystia that we were all going to the bazaar.
Yeah, when we were at her stall.
...Sure, but it's Mystia we're talking about. She probably forgot all about it over the next three seconds.
Well, the Palanquin ship isn't here yet either, so why don't we just wait a little longer?
BGM: Secret Mission!
So you're saying now's our chance for the ultimate prank?
Yeah! I just saw Sakuya and the rest head to the shrine. So we can prank them all in one fe- fel... felt swamp!
I dunno... I'd feel better about this if Letty and Dai were with us... Oh yeah, I haven't seen either of them at all today. Has anyone heard anything?
Okay then. Oh well.
So, why are they all at the shrine today?
All the adults have been all SERIOUS these days. I bet they don't even play.
Oh, I get it, so we're gonna cheer 'em up!
You always look on the bright side of things, huh Wriggle...
So anyway, we're playing at the shrine then?
Yeah. So now that that's settled...
Mysterious Woman who is definitely not Iku posted:...No sign of her. Where could she have gone? I had hoped to find her before noon so I could take the rest of the day off, but I suppose it won't be that easy.
The rest of the gang move in.
Who's that? Never seen her before.
Her clothes are all fluttery... looks like she'll be fun.
Hey, what're you doing?
Oh my. I don't suppose you children would know...
No, of course not. Even the eldest daughter wouldn't be running around with a gang of young youkai. Sorry for bothering you. Now if you'll excuse me.
Hey! Don't just stare at someone and then leave!
Do you have some business with me then? I'm afraid I'm in something of a hurry though.
Business...? Are you not from around here?
Oh, excuse me. I am Iku Nagae, an envoy of the Dragon Palace from heaven. I'm here looking for a young lady who ran off with a valuable treasure.
Heaven? Young lady?
Indeed. I doubt you'd have run into her though.
Doesn't ring any bells, yeah.
As I thought. Thank you anyway, though. Now if you'll excuse me.
Geez! Stop treating us like we're useless! If you're looking for someone, then I know just the spot!
...What do you mean?
We were on our way to this place with TONS of people in it.
Huh? You want to bring her with us?
C'mon, doesn't it make you mad? We gotta show her how awesome we are.
A place with lots of people... That certainly piques my interest. Is it nearby?
Pretty much. It's the shrine over that way.
A shrine on the surface? I assume you mean where the shrine maiden maintains the Great Barrier then. To tell the truth, I'm not very familiar with the surface, so thank you. Do you think you could guide me there?
Chapter 56: Thawing Shrine
So all that's left are Cirno's friends and the temple group, right?
They have the Palanquin Ship, so I'd expect them to arrive any minute now...
Sorry, we're a bit late.
Looks like everyone else is here already, more or less.
Hm? Is that Kourin? You're up there on the bridge too?
Didn't I already tell you that they've been teaching me to fly this thing?
So is this everyone coming to the bazaar with us?
No, Cirno's still not here yet...
Cirno's group spawns in, along with an army of mooks.
See, here's the shrine!
I see. There truly is quite a crowd gathered here.
Speak of the devil.
Looks like she brought someone new with her though.
Huh? Why are Dai and Letty here?
Uh, you didn't hear that we were all going to the bazaar together? Isn't that why you're here, Cirno?
Bazaar? No one told me anything about that.
I told Mystia though! She was supposed to let everyone know.
Never looking back~♪
...So she DID forget.
But it does sound fun. Are we going with Reimu and the others then?
Yeah, it does... But I was all ready to play a prank and everything...
Okay, got it! We'll defeat all of you and THEN go to the bazaar together!
Sorry, Dai. Sometimes a fairy just can't back down.
If we win, we'll take the shrine's donations as an allowance!
Ooh, that's a good plan!
Mystia, don't you have a job already?
You think I'd let you get away with that?!
C'mon, it's been a while since we've dealt with a danmaku prank like this. Why not just go along with it?
...Hmm. I'd been hoping to avoid getting into any troublesome situations.
Well now that you're here, you should help us out!
I don't know who you are or what you're doing here, but you really don't have to play along with this, you know.
No, I DO owe these children a debt of gratitude for guiding me here. And most importantly, I've read the mood. I'm in.
...I'm not sure what she means by that, but it looks like we're fighting her.
Oh well. Now that it's come to this, let's lend a hand too, shall we? These may be familiar opponents, but it's been a while since we had a full blown danmaku battle. Make sure our preparations are in order.
Obviously we'll need to review our formation, but don't forget to check your skills and equipment too.
Mystia and Rumia zoom to the top, leaving Cirno, Rumia, and Iku, at the bottom.
And with that, we are given our deployment screen. As mentioned previously, we would normally have all of our characters' stats imported from FMW3, but since we're rocking a NG+ save I have to spend 20 minutes fiddling with skills and upgrades. This is actually my favorite part of starting FMW2 and FMW3 and I'm sad FMW4 doesn't let you do it if you import a save.
For now, we have these dudes here, plus Suika, Komachi, Shou, and The Naz at the bottom of the list. If we were playing on v1.0 everyone would start with no upgrades, but in a recent patch Sanbondo made it so your units in Chapter 56 all start with 3 bars in everything, which is nice.
For the most part, I'll be describing the upgrade process in broad strokes for this LP, if only to save myself some effort. Generally speaking, dodgy toehoes "Reals" in SRW parlance get Mobility, while tanks or "Supers" get Armor and HP. You get MP if you're particularly MP hungry, and Weapon upgrades go on all but dedicated support units.
For the time being, I get everyone up to 5 bars in their relevant stats, as that's roughly where they should be. I'm not spending any WP yet, so I won't bother even getting into that.
Skills! Again, I'll be painting in broad strokes here, although I'll need to get more specific for characters with who break from the mold.
Generally speaking, my Reals get Predict At 130 Power, increases Hit and Evasion stats by 20, or 35 at L2 while my Supers get Guard At 130 Power, reduces damage taken by 10%/20% and a level or two of Support Defend Take a hit for a friend in an adjacent tile (if in front) or their partner (if in the back) as needed. My attackers (which is almost everyone) get Break Power Limit Increases maximum Power from 150 to 170, while my support characters get Extend Recover 20% SP when you hit 150 Power, or 33% at L2 and then dump the rest of their PP into SP Up.
Got it? Cuz that's my SOP for most units, and I'm probably not going to repeat it every time.
Reimu and Marisa both grab two levels of Shotgunning +10% damage on ranged weapons when used point-blank, or 20% at L2 because they're huge beneficiaries of it. By definition you can only have 4 units benefiting from Shotgunning against a single boss, and our protagonists can pump out enough damage to make it worth it.
Alice forgoes Predict for Belief At 130 Power, increases Melee and Shooting stats by 10 (20 at L2), and Critical rates by 10% (15% at L2). because she'll mostly be sitting behind Marisa, so the evade wouldn't benefit her, and she's accurate enough already, so I might as well focus on offense for her. It also combos with her in-built skill, Precise Increases Critical damage by 15% as well as one of her Personal Skills, Danmaku Brains Increases Critical damage by 15%. Those two put together make her critical hits have a higher damage multiplier than even using the Valor spirit Deal 1.5x damage on your next attack, but you can't critical hit so you're highly incentivized to pump her critical hit rates.
Sakuya also grabs L2 Diligence At 130 Power, increases activation chance of Parry, Shield Defense, Counter, and Double Image by 10% (or 15% at L2) to combo with her PS Luna Dial, increases her overall odds of activating Private Square and insta-dodging any attack to 65%. She also benefits from the Parry and Counter improvements. Needless to say, this makes her pretty damn survivable on average... I just wish she, y'know, had anything else going for her.
Incidentally, a recent patch gave Youmu a similar Bunshin-type skill, with a 25% chance to activate. Previously she had to equip a PS for that, but she has it by default now, and the PS that gave it to her now improves it by 20%. I don't generally bother with that PS on her, but I do give her L2 Diligence anyway.
You can buy Hit & Away now
Patchouli benefits pretty hugely from this new addition, since she doesn't have to blow her PS slot on it. It opens up a bunch of options for her, but I'm a fan of running Unmoving Library Weapon range +1, weapon MP cost -20%, and Magic Barrier's strength +300 if she didn't move last turn since it emphasizes her strengths as a long-range sniper.
Incidentally, Koakuma grabs MP Save Reduces MP costs by 20% because her combo with Patchy is expensive, and Unfocused Movement Gives her... +1 unfocused movement in case I need her to run up and resupply someone.
Elly grabs two levels of Tipsy Increases starting power by 5/10 to combo with her PS Unbreakable Elly At 130 Power or above, at the start of every turn, Elly casts Grit.. That PS is super busted if you just slap her on a Real as a backpack.
Finally, Yuyuko nabs two levels of Extend, as despite not being "support unit" per se, she benefits from it immensely. I'll explain it again once we get into the game.
Hey look, English items. Progress~
My SOP is to get all of my front-row units to have at least 7 movement. Later on that might not be possible, but for now I have more than enough items for it.
Aside from that I just kinda toss whatever on everybody because come next chapter it won't matter.
Our team. I tried to ask in discord for suggestions, but everyone said "do whatever" so I did whatever. Come next chapter you'll get to vote for your favorites, so don't worry about that.
And here's how we're set up. The plan is to send Reimu and Sanae north to handle the Night Terrain Brigade (and Reimu needs to be up there anyway for reasons), and mob everyone else south. It's not a particularly hard chapter, so there's no need to overthink things.
Enough prep, let's go!
You call it a prank, but you're willing to wait for your opponents to ready themselves?
It's like, you know. Read the mood.
A danmaku battle with everyone, huh? It makes me want to stretch my legs too.
Yeah, Unzan wants to expand too. Should we head to the frontlines then?
Hold on, what about the ship then?
What do you think you two have been practicing for? This is your big chance.
And since we're only up against Cirno, it could make a good test run.
Good grief, I never thought I'd actually be made acting captain...
I'll be supporting you, so let's do our best, okay?
You hear that, Murasa?
Yeah! Minamitsu Murasa and Ichirin Kumoi are heading out!
BGM: Crossanchor Murasa
Crossbone Gundam theme
By the way, I'm linking all of these from Blitz's tindeck and he has songs all the way from the final chapter of the game up, so be careful of spoilers, if you care about that.
Victory: Defeat Iku, Cirno, Rumia, Mystia, and Wriggle.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.
Bonus: Defeat at least 2 Named Units in the same turn.
All Attacks Video
And we've finally got
If her stats seem weird btw, it's because she starts with 4 bars of upgrades, as most new units in FMW4 do. I think some of the later joiners even come with 5, which is nice.
She had a bunch of PSes about captaining the boat previously, but she gets a few new ones for her Actual Unit debut. Her default one is Autopilot, which lets the Palanquin Ship do Support Attacks and Support Defends for her if it's within 4 tiles - pretty nice, considering how beefy the ship is. She's also a L3 Buddhist, which boosts her Defense stat and increases her damage as her Power rises. I'm not sure what the scale is, but I'm p.sure it's super strong, since all the Buddhists hit hard as hell. The defense aint terrible either, since she can take a few stray hits from mooks without too much worry.
BGM: The Cloud's Fist
All Attacks Video
Our other new unit is Ichirin, a Super with, again, an emphasis on melee attacks. She's not quite as ridiculously hard-hitting as Murasa, but the rule of thumb is that no one that joins in FMW4 is anything less than good. Her current PS, Nyuudou Block, reduces all damage by 700, at the cost of 10 MP. She's pretty tanky even without it, but it's a solid choice. She's also a L3 Buddhist, btw.
She also comes with Unzan as a sub-pilot! He can't buy skills and these 4 spirits are his entire list, so what you see here is what you get. That's fine though, as he has exactly enough SP to cast Grit and then Valor, which helps out Ichirin well enough for bosses.
And since they're out on foot, we've got Rinnosuke at the helm of the ship. I'll call that an upgrade, because his stats are way better suited to the Ranged focused attacks of the ship. His spirit list is pretty much the best you could ask for too.
I guess it's a little weird that Rinnosuke and Akyuu are piloting Murasa's boat, but it's realistically the best way to handle it.
To kick things off, Murasa makes a display of her strength.
Fighting on the front lines, huh? Can't wait to show my stuff. It's got my ship phantom blood boiling.
Um, you do understand your situation, right Murasa?
Don't worry, I'll be careful not to get into any dicey situations.
Rinnosuke and I will cover you from the ship. Let's begin our combined assault!
Yeah! Time to show everyone the power of me and the complete Palanquin Ship!
Murasa sends this fairy through a portal to the pain dimension.
Woops, it's been long enough since I last played FMW that I forgot about my usual turn 1 opening play: having Yuyuko give everyone 10 extra starting Power via double-casting Rally. Yuyuko is pretty generous like that. I'm not too worried about blowing 160 SP for that either, since she'll get 55 back from Extend.
Speaking of, whoops Koakuma's at 150 Power.
I usually have her equipped with items that boost her starting power, to make it easier to bust out Patchouli's combo attack, but I forgot that I have Remilia equipped with her PS Scarlet Charisma, which makes everyone from the SDM start with +20. Kind of a waste of SP, but not a big deal.
Youmu follows Murasa's lead and ghost smacks a fairy to death.
And Sakuya follows suits, clearing out the trio of eastern fairies.
Patchouli makes a long-range kill...
...and actually gets to move afterwords! I usually used her other PSes, so actually getting to use Hit & Away for once is nice.
I wouldn't generally recommend a Remilia/Daiyousei team, but against these scrub enemies, Dai's meager team attack is usually enough to push Remilia's damage into a kill.
Plus I guess she has Support Defend, so she can at least contribute via more than just her spirits? We're at the stage of the game where I don't often need her to heal, and when I do I'm often in such thick danmaku that it's easier to just use healing spirits.
These Evil Eyes are a bit sturdier than their fairy brethren, which calls for the power of the Magic Team.
Kurumi and Elly are happy to demonstrate what happens when you settle for less. Actually I specifically wanted to leave an enemy alive in their range.
Reimu has Pyonta on for a secret mission, although it wound up not being necessary.
She and Suika head north, eliminating this Evil Eye on the way. They got a bomb for it too, but I didn't need them for this chapter.
I slapped an Enemy Marker on Sanae to increase her range specifically so that she could reach these north-western enemies on turn 1.
Sanae/Keine isn't exactly a Protagonist team, but it gets the job done.
Finally, the boat and Lily/Star head south, which leaves our situation looking like this. A pretty successful turn 1, I'd say.
At the start of the enemy phase, we get the usual:
I've never seen fairy danmaku from so close-up before...
So do you know how to deal with it, Kourin?
How could I not, after being forced to listen to your stories all these years? First of all, entering the enemy's danmaku field lowers your evasion, defense, and movement. You can ignore that by shifting into focus mode, but in exchange you'll take graze damage even when you dodge.
But watch out: even focusing won't stop any special danmaku effects.
And you can erase the fields by either defeating the enemy or using a bomb, right?
You really did your research, huh? Sounds like you'll be fine.
There's a big difference between theory and practice though. I'll just have to try it out.
Thanks for the reminder, gang.
This furball moves up and decides to try his luck at Remilia.
I love this miss animation for this attack.
The furballs are decently tanky themselves, and Remilia can't quite kill it on the counterattack. For the 1181 is from Dai's team attack, Remilia did 3841 damage.
Not yet Evil Eye, your time has not yet come...
Sanae demonstrates the importance of Armor. These furballs have less HP than the Evil Eye she just oneshot, but she can't quite manage to kill him.
That's not a problem for Reimu, though.
That ends the enemy phase. No hits taken, and a few extra enemies killed - pretty ideal.
Since we're dealing with actual danmaku fields now, it's a good idea to prioritize the enemies spawning them. A high movement, high power unit like Marisa is excellent for that.
I'd be pretty annoyed if Dai missed, since Remilia can't quite manage to kill a fairy on her own, but luckily it doesn't come to that.
Doing so also pushes Patchouli to hit 150 Power (most units gain 1 Power when one of their allies kills an enemy)...
Full Power Mode (or just FPM for short) is a new mechanic in FMW4. If you're familiar with Maximum Break from SRW it's basically that, but if not, I'll explain it when I actually use it.
For the time being, Rinnosuke makes his debut on this pre-tenderized furball.
So this is my first battle then?
Don't worry, it looks like the ship takes care of the details itself. Please concentrate on the bigger picture and giving orders.
Anyway, just try to be more confident. You've gotta sound more like a captain!
Is that really enough, Murasa? But if that's all I need to do then I suppose I should try it out. All hands, prepare to fire! We're beginning danmaku combat!
Don't worry buddy, you did just fine.
Now, Evil Eye.
Now is your time.
Elly and Kurumi have a new team attack! And in a recent patch, they even gave it its own unique theme! Make sure to check Ryza's new attack compilation video at the end of the update.
BGM: The Pair Accompanying the Flower
The duo pull off their best Psycho Gundam Mk. II impression and finish the Evil Eye off.
Patchouli doesn't have anything better to do, so she tosses a combo attack, Silent Selene, at Cirno.
As soon as you attack any of them, Team 9 have a collective pre-battle dialogue.
Let's show them our spirit, girls!
You can count on me!
They're sure fired up. They must really want that money.
Nah, there's probably not much anyway.
Adding our branch shrine might even double it.
But maybe Cirno was actually really worried about us? Everyone looked down, so she's playing a prank to cheer us up.
If YOU think so, Dai, then maybe there's something to it.
That's all well and good, but I think I'd have preferred a back rub.
Well, let's just try to let them succeed at cheering us up, shall we?
BGM: Flap & Frappe & Flapper
This is the only fancy part of this animation, by the way.
And there goes half her health. The idiot quartet are not particularly strong opponents.
One nice thing about Silent Selene is that, as a 5-9 range attack, she can often attack from outside of enemy's countering range - and between Unmoving Library improving her range by 1, and the Snipe spirit boosting it by 2, she can hit targets from a massive 12 tiles away. (For reference, Iku is currently 11 spaces away from her). Even late-game bosses with their stupidly inflated weapon ranges often can't counter attack Patchouli if she's spaced correctly.
There's no fodder enemies on the south-eastern part of the map left, so Ichirin makes her FMW debut by attacking Wriggle.
You must've been feeling so cramped all this time, Unzan. But now we can finally stretch our legs.
"We"? So you mean...
Unzan and I are always together. Even in battle. If anyone lets their guard down thinking I'm alone, they're going to eat a fist to the face.
That's our nyuudou user! Two hearts beating as one!
And Unzan's quiet too, so you don't have to worry about him shouting in your ear as you dodge.
Uh... what are you talking about, Master?
It's time to show off our perfect harmony!
BGM: -Fleeting Flames- Firefly Soul
True to her promise...
...a fist to the face. Wriggle goes down to about 2/3 HP.
Her blocking sprite rules. It was also a fairly pathetic amount of damage, even considering it was decreased by 700.
It's worth noting that Iku's danmaku field gives enemy units in it +40% to hit. I'm not generally worried about Sakuya dying, but I cast Focus +30% Hit/Evade until the next turn just to be safe.
Team Servant do about 7k between them, so Wriggle is now comfortably within kill range. Remember that we have to kill at least two of these chumps on the same turn for the Bonus WP.
In the interim between games, Suika picked up a new finishing attack! Night Parade of One Million Demons is a little clunky, in that it's not Post-Movement, but it's long-enough range that it often doesn't matter. Like many finishers, it Ignores Size and Pierces Barriers, which is particularly relevant in this game.
It is, in fact, long-enough range to hit Rumia from outside of her danmaku field. It makes the area around her considered Night terrain, which is bad for us (our humans have a B in Night) and good for them (Rumia and Mystia have an S). Even with that though, they're not strong enough to be a threat.
BGM: Prosperity of Ten Thousand Oni, the Ancient Power
That's a new song, by the way. As usual, player finishers tend to override boss themes.
And with that hyperbolic explosion, Rumia is taken to half-health. Suika is too far away from her for a counterattack, though it's not like Rumia would be able to do more than scratch her metaphorical paint.
Among the many buffs that were passed around, either between games or during patches, was a buff to Suika's terrain ranks. Previously she had a B in Air and an A on the Ground. Nowadays she has an A in Air and an S on the Ground. Generally speaking you still want to keep her grounded, but now it's to play to a strength rather than avoiding a weakness.
Speaking of buffs...
EX-Keine has gotten a few! Her stats themselves haven't changed, but her attacks have.
Specifically, their costs have been revamped. She had a serious MP problem before, but now her basic attacks are a much more palatable 10 and 20 MP (instead of 10 and 40), respectively. That third attack is even ammo-based now, and has 10 shots. It's really nice!
That all being said, Sanae's the one I have set up to be in front, so she scooches over and takes out a fairy that was spawning danmaku.
That about covers it for this phase, so onto the enemies' go.
Iku makes a pass at Sakuya.
...Apparently the eldest daughter isn't here. However, with so many present, surely SOMEONE knows something.
Are you talking to yourself? I can't quite make out what you're saying.
You came here with Cirno, but who ARE you?
I'm an envoy of the Dragon Palace living in heaven. I came to the surface on business.
An envoy of the Dragon Palace? Why would someone like that be down here?
What, is there something special about those?
They're a kind of youkai that lives in the sea of clouds. They hardly ever come down to the surface. And when they do, it's to deliver the warning of the dragon god: that there's going to be a huge earthquake.
Wha-?! An earthquake?!
Don't worry, that's not what I'm here for today. But this isn't exactly the right atmosphere for a pleasant chat, so let's continue this later.
So is she going with the flow or is she not? I can't tell.
Either way, if we're going to fight we might as well enjoy it!
BGM: Lightning Fish
She attempts to give Sakuya the finger.
What she didn't count on was Sakuya being faster than the speed of light.
A decent counterattack. Nobody on this map has any spellcards to declare, so there's no need to hold back (aside from grabbing the Bonus WP, of course).
Cirno heard that vampires are weak to running water, and figures throwing ice is about the same thing.
She's wrong btw, and gets smacked down to 1/3 HP for her trouble.
Wriggle, on the other hand, is low enough that I'd prefer to keep her around.
Nothing else of note happens, aside from this furball choosing death by shrine maiden.
On turn 3...
How's the ship doing, you two?
No problems. Thanks to the autopilot, we can operate just like before.
I think I'm starting to get the knack for these danmaku battles too.
Great! Then sounds like we can leave the ship to you whenever we deploy.
And obviously I'll try to work with you as much as possible.
Okay, so we'll be asking you to switch with Murasa in the future.
I'll be doing what I can as an operator too, so- Huh?
What's wrong, Akyu?
I'm getting a response on the radar. If I'm not mistaken, this is...
Yo! Sure is lively up here, huh?
BGM: Living in the Capital's Bucket
Are you all playing danmaku?
I'm so jealous of how well you all get along!
What? Aren't those the Underworlders?!
Hey, it's Yuugi. What'd you bring the whole gang for?
Eh, we have a little business up here, so we came over to talk about it. But I'm guessing this isn't the best time for that.
We're in the middle of a game of danmaku! You girls wanna join in?
Hmm. We didn't come here just to hang out, but I'd never turn down an invitation!
Hey, have you ever considered LOOKING before you leap into things?
YOU take a look, Parsee. They've got someone interesting with them. Hey, you! It's time for the ultimate showdown between heaven and earth! You in?
Huh? ...Oh, yes. As you say.
What do you mean "see?"?! At least have a proper conversation with her!
Wh-What do we do? It looks like Yuugi's joining the other side...
Then we should get Yamame and Kisume, right?
What are you talking about? This is the perfect chance to put your scrawny butt through boot camp. You'll need a lot work before you're fit to be called the leader of the surface bugs.
If that's what Yamame wants, then I'm gonna help her out!
Don't be a coward! CHAAARGE!
Yamame/Kisume head north, while Parsee/Yuugi head south. You can also see that we're pretty close to being done with enemies - I deliberately left some alive so our late arrivals would have some mooks to beat up.
Oho, and what have we here? Looks like Kisume and Yamame picked up a new combo attack! Sadly they don't quite have enough Power to use it right away...
Operation: SP Battery! Start!
BGM: Beloved Handmade Dolls
Go, Hourai! Fight for ever-lasting peace!
Press F to pay respects.
Their valiant sacrifice gives Yuyuko another 99 SP in total to work with, letting her cast Rally one more time.
This, in turn, triggers Yuyuko's extend, since she just hit 150 Power.
Yuyuko comes away from this with 78 SP left - not bad, considering she's blown 240 SP in total.
We haven't fought on the surface since Utsuho, huh?
...Where am I going to hang from?
As our acquaintances, there shouldn't be a problem with you fighting up here. But even so, you two do stand out.
Fine, fine, I'll try to hold back on the whole plague thing. Good thing we came up with another way to fight already.
What do you mean?
Y-Yamame... we're really doing that?!
You're the star here, Kisume, don't chicken out now!
Show them our burning Underworld spirit! Safely!
The animation for this attack rules.
Parsee has a new finisher as well!
All right! We're fighting!
Just don't get tunnel-vision, okay? I'm here too, remember?
I know, I know. I'll let you show off your thing.
Hm? So we haven't see all your danmaku yet, Parsee?
What, you expected me to be ready to do anything on a moment's notice? Some of these moves need props, you know. But this time I'm ready to fan the flames of jealousy by any means necessary!
G-Glad to see you're so into it, but, uh, is this really gonna be okay? Are you gonna make someone go mad with jealousy?!
Why are you laughing?! That wasn't a joke!
I'm jealous of EVERY damn thing up here! Everyone, become consumed with envy!
It's spoogy as fuck.
Which do you like more, me or sake?!
Koakuma tosses a Rouse at Reimu and Suika, bringing them both above 150 Power and enabling FPM.
They also get Luck and Gain cast on them via our support characters, for that sweet double cash and double exp. Reimu also activates Fantasy Nature, just for good measure. (In case you forgot, it Zeroes out graze damage from dodging attacks while focused, and also allows her to use the Fantasy Nature attack). She ALSO casts Zeal, since I want her to have a second action here.
BGM: Stalking the Night with a Cross this doesn't actually play here, but I figured I should link it anyway
Rumia is vaporized by the dazzling sun, taking her danmaku down with her.
Not terrible XP or money, but not amazing either. 10 PP is pretty nice, though sadly we can't double that (for now).
For her next trick, Reimu moves to this specific spot, and activates FPM.
Reimu picks a fairly weak attack, since most of her others would require her to be closer or to have not moved.
It might not be super apparent to you if you're not as familiar with the menus as I am, but this screen is a bit different. The second option there lets you switch Reimu's attacks, as normal, but the third option pulls up the attack menu for your partner character. Normally Suika'd only be able to use her designated Team Attack, but FPM lets her, one time per chapter, use any attack she wants.
BGM: Grilled Lamprey Under the Moonlight
As with normal team attacks, the partner character attacks first. You also get that fancy message at the top when you go FULL POWER MODE!
The nice thing is, FPM ignores weapon ranges, and even whether or not an attack is Post-Movement or not. It's useful for characters that have finicky finishers - for example, you can move and use Suika's new finisher, or use Youmu's Range 1 finisher from much farther away.
In general though, you mostly use it to nuke multiple boss health bars down in one turn.
Between the two of them, they bring down Mystia pretty damn low. Obviously Mystia misses, but much more importantly...
Seems like the shrine's hotspring is still warm.
The vengeful spirit thing is over, but the geyser's still been going steady.
The Underworld seems to be doing fine regardless, so I was thinking it'd guarantee me some customers.
Have you thought about selling hot spring eggs and other goods to increase your profits?
And if you can get the tengu to write about it, you'll get some free advertising.
Good ideas, both of you. Maybe I should start by enshrining a hot spring god...
Are you sure this is going to work out? You tend to get taken in by these schemes of yours.
If you have to rely on others to even clean your shrine, I'm a bit worried about your future...
The usual bonus conversation for moving Reimu to the lake behind the shrine.
Sanae casts Miracle, and its usual flood of spirits (Gain and Luck being the most important of them).
Mystia gets DBZ Pinball'd.
Bonus WP acquired
That basically clears out the entirety of the north side.
Murasa doesn't have Focus, which is a bummer, but she does have Grit. Grit kinda fucking rules to have on a Real, since it's basically like Flash (negate one attack) but it stays up until your own dodginess fails you. I think the only other Real with it is Cirno, off the top of my head.
She's also casting Valor, btw.
Kurumi has her Devil's Contract PS on, allowing her to, twice per chapter, give someone Strike and Alert for 50 of their MP. It's really good!
Armed with all those spirits (plus Gain and Luck too, as usual), Murasa goes in for the kill.
First come the anchors...
I forgot to mention, Cirno's own danmaku field makes characters trapped in it unable to move. I think if you take too long Team 9 will start moving, which could make things annoying? But it's only 3 tiles wide, so it's easy to out-range her.
Kurumi softens up Cirno a bit.
Daiyousei is mad that Cirno left her out.
Cirno, you said that sometimes a fairy just can't back down, right?
Yeah, exactly! Geez, I'm weak against your danmaku though, Dai.
But can't we do our best because we're together? How could you just leave me behind...
Cirno you stupid-head! Just take my fire and melt!
Wha?! Sorry Dai! Anything but that!
Dai sics her vampire bodyguard on her (now dead) best friend.
Remilia has a pretty significant potential buff waiting for her at higher levels, which is nice because she sure could use it.
You can't even see whose attacking here because of how long-range it is. It's Patchouli, she kills the shit out of that Evil Eye.
All that's really left is to chip away at Iku at my leisure, and decide who gets the kill.
So you're a visitor from heaven? Thanks you for coming all this way.
Oh, not at all. I should thanking YOU for your hospitality.
Have you managed to clear up any room in heaven? I hear it's been quite crowded lately.
I'm sorry, that's not in my jurisdiction. I would have to ask my superiors.
I feel like I've been skillfully deflected...
Iku won't last long enough for most of my other units to attack her, so here's Yuyuko's dialogue with her.
An envoy of the dragon palace is one of THOSE, right? Good with soy sauce or grilled.
I'm sure you're mistaken.
So if you're here, does that mean we can expect an earthquake?
As I said earlier, I'm here on different business this time. You needn't worry about an earthquake.
Is that so? So I don't need to earthquake-proof the mansion?
What a strangely meandering conversation.
On the enemy phase, Iku tries her luck against the Reflector Tiles.
I've heard of heaven before. Is it true you can eat all the peaches you want up there?
Indeed. You can even eat them right off the trees and no one will say anything.
Peaches for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner... I wish I could live there...
We do have foods other than peaches too. Although perhaps not ones you'd want to eat.
And here's Elly's too.
My oh my, my signature drill hair is surging with electricity!
So are you generating all that yourself? Has anyone ever asked you to try holding a light bulb or anything?
No especially, no.
C'mon! What's with those half-hearted responses?! This is clearly the mood to put yourself out there!
Elly is super tough.
Come player phase, it's time to end this.
About the only downside to Rinnosuke captaining the boat is that its anchor finisher is a combo attack with Murasa. I don't know why; the animation doesn't involve her at all, but it is what it is.
The duty of an envoy of the dragon palace is to convey the words of the dragon god, correct? But disasters aren't happening constantly. Does that means you have quite a lot of free time?
Indeed. We have plenty of time to ourselves, but because of that we're often given other tasks. But I can understand. It's not fair if I'm the only one doing nothing.
...Make sure you actually work when you're at work.
If you attack her with the boat a second time, you get a different dialogue.
A envoy of the dragon palace? I've heard the rumors, but this is the first time I've seen one. She's got something of a mature, heavenly air about her.
Don't let her appearance seduce you, Rinnosuke!
Envoys like her normally only come to the surface to warn us of disasters.
It's not every day that we can run into a heavenly maiden on earth though... It's a tough world.
Don't worry Rinnosuke, you'll find your special someone, someday...
Iku takes it from the broadside.
I tend to forget to use the boat for actually attacking, so getting some EXP on it now is nice.
The Tengu Mask can be situationally useful. It increases your Focused Movement by 1, and your accuracy while focused by 10%.
We finally got them all.
There's no way I'm losing a battle with my donations on the line.
I'm sure Cirno has learned that the hard way by now.
Ugh, well if we lost, we lost.
There's goes our spending money for the bazaar...
No need to look so down, I'd be willing to give you a little pocket money.
There's a difference between being nice and being a doormat.
They don't get a chance like this every day, you know. I don't want them to feel like they can't do anything there.
You're heading out then? But there's something we need to talk about before that.
Oh that's right, you said you had some business here. I'd like to hear what YOU'RE doing here too.
Very well. It won't take long.
Alright then, let's go inside.
I'm going to try not to quicksave/reload during this LP, but the game can be buggy at times, so I make no promises.
RIP Hourai Dolls, your sacrifice was not in vain
BGM: What's the Strategy?
Ow... That sure didn't go well...
You're the ones who started it, aren't you? You're lucky we let you off with just that.
But it was pretty cool seeing all four of your personal danmaku at once. I wonder if you could do something REALLY amazing if you could all work together.
Heh heh, with my ice, Rumia's darkness, Wriggle's bugs, and Mystia's songs...
That's fine for a special move. You should join in too, Dai!
What? I dunno... Would I really fit in?
God damnit, we come up here just to ask something, and then you force us to do all this "moderate exercise".
So that was only moderate then?
Getting dragged into stuff sucks. Please wait warmly. Maybe lukewarmly.
Anyway, why don't we hear you out first?
Very well. Once again, my name is Iku Nagae. I came to the surface to look for someone.
Her name is Tenshi Hinanawi. She's a rather famous young lady from heaven. She's always been something of a tomboy, but this time she was apparently tired of having nothing to do in heaven and left entirely.
So, uh, what was heaven again...?
It's a world inhabited by ghosts who've achieved Nirvana, as well as those who become celestials through ascetic training. It's bigger than the netherworld, and I hear the view is quite nice too.
So what'd you come all the way here for...?
Because the eldest daughter, or rather Lady Tenshi Hinanawi, took a heavenly treasure, the Sword of Hisou, and left.
And since I happened to available at the time, the task of retrieving her fell to me.
So you got the job no one else wanted?
I recommended ditching this "eldest daughter" for your own sanity, but I suppose that's not an option.
I'd love to help, but unfortunately there haven't been any reports of such a person in the Human Village.
Not in the Underworld either, obviously. It isn't exactly the kind of place a high and mighty celestial would deign to visit.
I see. I had hoped I could find some sort of clue here, but...
Looking for somone sounds like such a pain. I wish I could say I wasn't in the same boat though.
What, you're looking for someone too Yuugi?
Yeah, that's why we're here.
It's Satori's sister, Koishi. You girls know her, right? No one's seen her around for a while now.
Isn't she just wandering around like before then?
Plus, with her power no one would notice her, right?
That's true, but the situation's a little different this time.
Until now she'd always pop up out of nowhere, but at least we SAW her. Like, she'd suddenly start talking to you, or suddenly appear in your room...
But recently, no one's seen her at all.
She vanished without a trace, huh? That does seem odd then.
So she ran away from home then?
That's our best guess anyway. So any of you surface folks know anything?
Hmm, we haven't seen her either...
Have you tried asking Satori?
Of course we have! But she won't give us a straight answer. I guess she doesn't want outsiders getting involved in household matters.
What do you expect? She's always been like that.
Hearing that does sound worrying though.
Would you mind if we helped you look for her?
Really? I mean, if you're offering...
There's a familiar warping sound effect here.
I see. So that's why she would come to the surface.
Whoa! You scared me!
Yukari, huh? Sorry for intrudin'.
Yukari... So you're the youkai sage then?
Indeed I am, heavenly office worker. Although I should add that you're most welcome here. You've made quite a journey.
So if you're popping out now, can we assume that you've been eavesdropping all this time?
Lady Yukari merely wished to avoid interrupting the conversation.
So a celestial and Koishi... sorry but we haven't seen either of them either.
Yes. And neither matter can afford to be left alone. That said, we're still in the midst of another investigation, but I'd hope we can keep our eyes peeled for all three at once.
You're talking about Shiro? Still no leads then?
Yes, we plan to continue our surveillance.
But for now, Koishi and the celestial are more urgent. Not that we have any leads for them either...
Right. So what should we do?
How about we head to the bazaar then?
Bazaar? Oh yes, I believe you mentioned that earlier?
The kappa hold it at the mountain to sell their devices. This time they're combining it with a flea market, so we're expecting a bigger turnout than usual.
I see. Well, the eldest daughter certainly enjoys crowds.
And if there are a lot of people, maybe someone there has seen Koishi.
What are we waiting for then? Let's all head to Youkai Mountain.
You learned to fly the ship, right Mr. Kourindou? Can I watch from up close?
I don't know if you learned by observation or what, just don't rock the boat.
Gee, what a pleasant request.
BGM: Preparing for the Coming Game
And with that, we're at the familiar preparation screen. We just got back every unit we have back in FMW3 (minus Rin and Nue) so we'll not be lacking for options for next chapter.
Check the next post for character voting and some other stuff.
-Here's all the new attacks our returning units brought with them in chapter 56
-Minamitsu Murasa's attacks
-Ichirin Kumoi's attacks