Hi so, before we get into Chapter 63, slight update. Due to the machinations of one Ragnar Homsar, a significant part of my workflow for this LP has been automated. As a result, there will be a slight change in how some text will be presented.
This is how dialogue would previously be presented in the LP:
Movement is a completely worthless stat in the absence of time pressures. Without bonus conditions or other significant strategic considerations, moving 4 tiles or 8 is largely irrelevant. The only difference is the real-world time it takes to traverse menus, and it's a tiny difference either way.
Would now be listed like this:
Movement is a completely worthless stat in the absence of time pressures.
Without bonus conditions or other significant strategic considerations, moving 4 tiles or 8 is largely irrelevant.
The only difference is the real-world time it takes to traverse menus, and it's a tiny difference either way.
The former was mostly a result of me having to manually copy/paste text from a document (and being too lazy to type in a character's portrait every time). With the whole process now automated, you can see all the individual line breaks as they are presented in-game.
Note: they might be different if/when an actual patch gets made, due to size limitations and our ability to arbitrarily add new dialogue boxes.
We now resume your regularly-scheduled LP.
Here's the crew for Chapter 63. Fittingly enough, we got the "canon" Subterranean Animism teams I used Marisa/Patchy though as well as Nue (who I'm very glad for) and Komachi (who I'm less glad for).
We also got Tewi, who managed to stifle the hopes of both Team 9 and the Prismrivers right at the last moment.
Endorph posted:Every day, until you like it
I'll break free from your curse eventually!
Rumia actually got a new Personal Skill out of this, Darker than Night. It alters her regular Shade barrier (reduces Laser damage) with Shade+, which reduces ALL damage by 1500. Pretty solid skill, but I'm already using her Night PS to activate Flandre's S in Night.
On to the chapter proper!
BGM: the sound of rushing water
Tag, you're It!
Hey, slow down, I'm getting tired...
Should we stop playing Tag and do Hide and Seek instead?
Sure. Who's It though?
Wah! What's a youkai doing here...?
Wow, you're right! But where IS here?
Anyway, if you're playing Hide and Seek then I want in.
Fine, but you have to be It.
Count to a hundred so we can we go hide.
Okay. Ooone. Twooo.
Hey everyone, let's go play in that cave over there!
Huh? But what about the girl we just invited to play Hide and Seek with us?
What? What girl?
...Wait, what was I talking about again? Whatever, let's go!
Oh, they left. We hadn't even started...
Oh well. I'll just go wander somewhere.
Can... I not go home anymore?
BGM: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
A futuristic-sounding door opens. I guess the Kappa installed sliding doors on the Palanquin Ship?
...We're going to do a bit of traveling, so anyone who hasn't eaten yet should make sure to grab something.
There should still be leftovers from last night in the refrigerator.
Roger that. Sounds like we'll be busy after this.
Then maybe I should take a short food break too, while I can.
What, you didn't have any of that mochi at the Hieda house?
The Yama was sitting right next to me, so I didn't have much of an appetite.
I was so worried that if I screwed anything up I'd get sent straight to Hell.
No, no, you've got it backwards! That was your chance to make your case to her!
Show her your good side, and she might send you straight to Heaven!
...Good point. I never even considered that. Come to think of it, back on the moon I did so well that even Lady Yorihime recognized me.
I'd reconsider putting on those rose-colored glasses, if I were you.
Who was it again, who locked herself in the refrigerator last time...?
Anyway, have you taken a tour of the bridge yet, Kogasa?
I planned to, but to be honest I kinda already told them everything I know.
So I figured I could just leave that to you all and start thinking about my next job.
Wow, you're changing sides so quickly it crosses over into admirable.
Come to think of it, whatever happened to that sheep youkai we were tracking?
Since then, nothing. Not a single sighting anywhere.
We beat her up pretty bad, so maybe she learned her lesson.
I dunno about that, she seemed like a sore loser.
We've been busy with one thing after another, but we can never be too careful.
This morning I put together a counterintelligence team to begin an investigation.
What? That sounds so cool!
The kappa and tengu weren't too happy with the devastation at the foot of the mountain either.
They'll be patrolling Gensokyo by land, river, and air.
Huh. Maybe I should tell my minions in the bamboo thicket to keep an eye out too.
It's so reassuring to know that we have the support of all Gensokyo's youkai.
Knowing that, we'll be able to focus on the task at hand.
Right. We'll be devoting all of our efforts to finding Koishi for now.
Look, the Northern woods are coming into view.
Keep our course, but try to lower our altitude as much as possible, and look for somewhere to-
...You're in the way, Nue. If you want to watch, then stop floating around and take a seat.
Hmph, this was supposed to be my special box seat.
You're certainly enthusiastic, Medicine. Do you like the view from up here?
I've never been this high up before! The village is just a little speck now.
I thought it was sooo big, but from up here it's sooo tiny...
Right, and that suzuran field you were in before is even smaller than that.
And there are still more places in Gensokyo that you haven't even seen yet.
Whoa... I'm getting dizzy.
Don't try to take everything in at once. You can have look around once things have calmed down.
But for that to happen, first we'll have to find Koishi.
...Yes. I hope she's somewhere in these woods, but...
You need to calm down too, Satori. We sent Momiji and the others out to take a look, so at least wait for their report before you start worrying.
But if we're going to meet her soon, I'd like to hear about more about this Koishi girl.
Yeah, we don't really know anything about her except that she's Satori's sister.
Well, Satori Komeiji? Would you feel comfortable speaking about her?
I realize this may be a difficult subject for you.
...No, I'm the one receiving their help, so I need to be the one to tell them.
First, I believe you're already aware that Koishi closed her third eye and can longer read minds?
Yeah, she closed it herself or something?
...She did that because of the circumstances of being a satori youkai.
We, who read the minds of others, have never been accepted anywhere.
Worst of all, we can't even hide from that truth, being able to see those true feelings of others.
So, Koishi couldn't stand that anymore and...
...Yes, she always used to say that:
There's not one good thing about seeing inside people's hearts.
No way... she hated it that much?
...By closing her eye she wouldn't even be able to read Satori's mind anymore. She felt THAT cornered?
Koishi just had that pure and delicate side to her, y'know?
But, that would mean you can't read her mind either. I'm amazed you've been able to live with her after that.
Cause Miss Koishi was still as kind as always!
Even when she couldn't control her body because of her power over the unconscious, she would still always come home.
To us, that was always a sign that our hearts were connected.
But now she hasn't come home for a while. Which means...
Is even her unconscious bond with you broken?
...Yes, that's what worries me.
So, any idea what triggered this?
Orin said you had a hunch.
...We do. Although no more than a guess.
Right before Koishi disappeared, I said something I didn't mean.
...What did you say to her?
This was right after I went crazy on the surface, so I hear it was kinda awkward.
We were nursing Okuu's injuries when Miss Koishi came home and talked to us.
But Miss Koishi didn't seem to understand that Okuu had wanted more power for HER sake..
...And that's when I said something that could be interpreted as blaming her for not being able to read minds.
I could feel her distancing herself as soon as she heard that...
...A tragic miscommunication. I'm sure none of you had much margin for error at the time.
If that's why she went missing, then what are we supposed to do after we find her? Do we even have a plan?
Yeah, I'm not sure she'll listen to us...
Stop worrying so much! They're sisters! It'll all work out.
Exactly. We just need to go look for her as soon as Momiji gets back from her-
A door opens.
Recon unit, reporting back to base.
Good work. So, did you find anything?
For now, we found what might be traces of someone passing through.
But even with just that, we can narrow the search area.
Well done. Now how can we narrow it down further?
That's the problem. This is Koishi we're dealing with, so I'm not sure we could find her even if we went over the place with a comb.
Can we, like, hang up some cookies and wait for Koishi to come get them?
C'mon, you really think it'd be that easy...?
No, wait, what about Nue's weird familiars?!
What?! My familiars are NOT weird!
Ingenious. Having one of those pop out in front her should cause an unconcious reaction.
Wait, hold on. And why should I do this again?
Why not? Maybe they'll see you in a new light.
Wow, you're so cool, lady! You can always count on the great youkai of Heian!
I know I'D love to see the power of a living legend, firsthand.
Hmph. Fine. I've been meaning to show off my powers anyway.
(The great youkai of Heian sure is an easy mark...)
Okay, then we'll start our search in the center of the area indicated by Momiji.
Nue, please deploy your familiars and let us know when you get a reaction.
Yeah yeah, roger that. Just watch me solve all your problems like it's nothing!
At least she's enthusiastic now, I guess...
Chapter 63: Closed Eyes of Love.
...Hm? So where did I end up this time?
Well, not like it matters. I bet I'd just forget where this is anyway.
But that river looks nice. Maybe I should take a dip.
A green UFO spawns in.
...? What's that?
Ooh, what ARE you? I've never seen an animal like this.
Hey, so where'd you come from? Is this the part where you go TAKE-US-TO-YOUR-LEADER?
In comes the Palanquin Ship.
Getting a sigal from Green No. 3. Someone's poking it!
Green No. 3 was... here! It's close, but...
Ooh, is this the mothership?
I-It's Koishi! We really hooked her with a UFO!
You did it, Nue!
Y-Yeah. I did, didn't I? Hehehe.
So this is where you were, Miss Koishi! We've been looking for you the whole time!
...Is that... Orin's voice? You're talking from inside the ship?
Yeah! The folks from the surface were helping us look for you!
Miss Satori is here too, of course!
...I'm just glad you're okay. I was so worried about what could happen.
It's been so long since you came home. Ever since that day..
...Yeah. I wanted to go home too.
Huh? I thought you were supposed to be sulking. That was easier than we thought.
But something about this atmosphere seems dark...
Anyway, should we get down from the boat and go pick her up?
Pick me up?
Yes. We'll take you home.
The ship begins moving up to her...
...but she disappears.
Did she disappear? Wait...
The camera pans, revealing Koishi has moved back to where she started.
Hm? What am I doing over here?
Whoa, that scared me for a sec. Let's try that again...
...No. Koishi's acting oddly. Would you mind waiting for us, Satori?
By 'odd' you must mean that...
Looks like she doesn't even realize that she just backed away from Satori.
So even if she says she wants to go home, unconsciously she might be afraid of seeing Satori?
Then what do we do? We can't just leave her here.
If she vanishes again, we might never find her.
For now, the rest of us will deploy and try to restrain her somehow.
I'm sorry, everyone.
You can't really see the full map from this shot, but I'll remedy that shortly.
Okay, so we're out. Now what? How are we supposed to get her back?
Based on what happened just now, seems like it'll be hard to talk her into it.
Then we attract her with dazzling lights and sounds!
I see, a danmaku battle then.
What's this? There are so many of them...
Yo! Koishi! We haven't met on the surface yet, have we?
Long time no see, Koishi. Do you remember us?
Yeah. You're an oni who used to live in the Underworld, and you're that human who came to play at my house.
Satori... isn't with you.
No, she isn't. She really wanted to see you again, but it's been so long that she's too nervous to come out.
Nervous...? Are you sure...?
Probably! Anyway, wanna hang out with us for a while?
If we have a danmaku battle, it'll feel like your mind and body are coming undone!
Umm.... what's a danmaku battle?
Gensokyo's favorite pasttime! A hip and trendy deathmatch!
You should've seen a few when we intruded in the Underworld.
Oh, right, the pretend-killing game! That looked fun!
All right, she's chomping at the bit! Maybe a bit TOO eager, but still!
If we're going to ensnare her, we'll first have to play to her expectations for a while.
That's simple enough. If we're doing this, then we're doing this right. No mercy!
Yeah, bring it on!
Victory: Defeat Koishi.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.
Bonus WP: Collect 2 bombs in 4 turns.
The Bonus here is a bit tricky, and to show why...
Thank you 960x720 mode.
The bombs carrying enemies are the western rabbit on the cliff, and the scuba-diving fuzzball northeast. Pretty spread out, and quite far away, so they require a bit of a specialized approach.
The "blue" team that I circled will be heading straight through the water. Blue Nue has been equipped with the EE to help her get bonus turns and zoom up to the fuzzball, while the Akis and Cirno have been equipped with Rainbow Shells to help clear the way. The enemies here aren't that tough tbh (notably: no Kappa) so I can be a bit light here.
The "red" team is swooping left and heading up the cliff. The enemies here are significantly tankier than the ones in the water, so we're biasing our damage dealers this way.
The "green" team is the "kinda good at water but not really" team. They'll be helping the blue team on the initial push, before swooping back left to assist the red team.
Hopefully that roughly explains the strategy at work here. I wish I had had as much of a plan for Koishi as I did for the stage portion.
Contrary to how it might initially appear, the red team has the far harder job here, so it helps to have Accel. Though it physically pains me to admit that.
Not gunna lie - kinda feeling the weakness of Ran here. She's strong(ish) when she gets going, but whew.
Nue needs to have 120 Power to activate the Eternity Exceeded's extra turns, so it's useful to feed her kills early for the extra Power.
Weird thing I never realized until this chapter: a bunch of Lyrica's attacks have an A in Water. She's still not a good damage dealer, but it's better than nothing.
Another thing I want to do: get Sanae's faith gauge up. Having her at or near max faith by the time we start fighting Koishi (or any boss really) will be very useful.
The first turn mostly proceeds according to plan.
The Doofy Ghosts here are almost purely a speedbump. They just dogpile you and then lay some fat movement penalties down.
To be honest, the doofs are the main reason why Cirno/Wriggle have been equipped for underwater combat. Nue can't quite escape their grasp alone.
On the west side, these rabbits are also a problem.
Hey, aren't those your minions, Tewi?
Perfect timing. I've got something I need you girls to do for me.
...Something's weird about them.
Is it because of the vengeful spirits nearby? Maybe they've been affected.
Then all we have to do is slap 'em back to their senses. But not TOO hard.
Roast bird, huh? That's my specialty.
To be fair, this is mostly my fault for trying to preserve SP on her.
At the start of Turn 2:
Looks like we'll be able to reel her in, thanks to everyone's quick thinking.
I'm sorry, I really should have been the one out there...
But based on her reaction, she really is avoiding me, isn't she?
It's not your fault. This was all a bit sudden for her, so she's probably just shocked to see you here.
First things first: we have to ascertain the reason she's avoiding you.
The problem is how are we even supposed to talk to her, as she is now?
Can't we work it out through a danmaku battle?
A battle? How is that supposed to help?
Oh, I see. If words won't get through to her, then we use body language.
So even with her eye closed, we might be able to communicate.
Communicate with Koishi...
We won't know until we try, so, you know, we're gonna try.
In the meantime, you think about what you're going to say to her.
Nue looking pretty swamped by danmaku there, but it won't be an issue.
By the way, as these chapters start getting longer and longer, I'm going to be abridging more and more of the stage sections, to speed things up. That's part of why I covered my overall strategy near the start. I'm hoping you'll all still be able to follow what's going on with that.
For a lark, I had Eiki cast Rage, doing 500 damage to every enemy on the map. I figured "hey, I'm on the clock here and I probably won't need to save her SP, so why not?". In hindsight it was probably just a waste of 70 SP, but oh well.
The blue/green team help free Nue.
This lets her smack down a doof...
...as well as getting an extra turn, propelling her even further forward.
Turn 2 and she's already most of the way to the target. Like I mentioned, as long as you've got someone fast who can handle themselves underwater (like Nue or Suwako), handling this side isn't bad at all.
Here's how things look going into turn 3. The enemies on the west side are much tankier than I initially planned for, so it looks like I'll have to burn Accel to race up the cliff. Eiki can also head up to help out, as planned.
One advantage to having Yukari paired with Reimu is she can cast Accel via Dream. 16 SP is basically the normal price, and Yukari has SP to spare, so it works out.
Kogasa has 20 SP Accel, which is a bit worse than the average 15. I guess that makes sense, she's already built to be a backpack, it'd be a bit busted if she had the best spirits for the job at the best possible price.
Incidentally, this is the first time Eiki's been in combat, so she gets a conversation to go with it:
This will be a great opportunity for me to tour the living world.
Looks like you're itching to lecture someone.
Of course I am. Impartially judging the residents of Gensokyo is my duty.
No matter who we're up against, I'll be giving them my very best lecture.
I almost feel sorry for anyone who runs into Eiki.
Now, let's begin the danmaku battle!
Her basic attack line is just "You're mistaken!". She's serious about that whole lecturing thing.
By the Enemy Phase of the third turn, Nue has gotten attacked so many times that Shou actually ran out of ammo for her Partner Attack. Slightly annoying, but they can still get the job done.
The downside to Eiki's Personal Skill: sometimes she gives enemies a 100% to hit her. She's been mostly avoiding combat, which is my fault. With higher Power she'd have activated her various evade-boosting skills and have no trouble dodging this. Luckily Komachi's there to bail her out.
The northernmost bats are specifically timed to flood the Bomb-carrying Rabbit with danmaku for the player phase of turn 4. Bit of a bother, but we'll mostly just ignore them.
By the way, Koishi also starts moving at this point.
So this is danmaku? Everyone looks like they're having so much fun!
We're just getting started! There's still plenty up our sleeves!
You said you were Koishi, right? Do you want to play with us too?
Yeah! Let me give it a try too!
What a self-serving brat. And to think she was so gloomy when she was talking with Satori a little while ago.
That's just how she is. Depending on what's right in front of her, she'll change her expression just like that.
I'm sure no small part of that is due to the effect of her power over the unconscious.
So you're saying she matches the other person's attitude and her body reacts accordingly, or something along those lines?
Analyzing her is important too, but be sure to stay focused on the battle.
We're unable to mentally process her presence, as she lurks deep in our unconscious. And it goes without saying that a calculated approach is unlikely to succeed either.
Ugh, that sounds hard!
So what is danmaku anyway? Cut and slap, pluck and stitch?
Ooh, I'm getting excited! Let's play until we drop!
BGM: PARANOIA STEP
All of Koishi's attacks are psychology-themed, hence hearts everywhere.
Btw, I'm going to start putting sirens around songs I really like, just because I can.
Leaving Koishi aside for now, this is the last turn for the Bonus. The red spirit next to this rabbit has Support Defend, so I get rid of it first with the boat.
A couple rounds of attacks later, and the rabbit falls, dropping a bomb along with it.
Nue picked off the bomb-carrying fuzzball on the prior enemy phase (they're not very strong) so huzzah, Bonus WP acquired .
At this point it's mostly clean up.
This seemed like a good idea.
Right up until Flandre missed and 86% and got hit by a 42%.
"But hey, no big deal, I'll just kill it off next turn," I thought to myself, like a fool.
Fun fact: Green Nue also has an A in Water. Plus, thanks to her Dark Cloud Personal Skill, it's been boosted thanks to her S in Night.
Anyway, this is relevant because I've exausted most of Blue Nue's ammo for her good underwater attack. Ironically, Green Nue actually has better underwater weapons overall.
The Aki Sisters leveled up, and they both got a new Personal Skill: Sister Combo. When they're in the same pair, if one of them casts a spirit, the other gets it for free. It'd be useful, since Shizuha is the one you want in front, while Minoriko is the one with Valour. However, their friendship-boosting Twin Autumn is the entire reason why they're so good in the first place, so I can't see ever switching.
By the end of of the player phase of turn 4, we've mostly cleared out the mooks. Take note of Sanae's position relative to Koishi's, as it is somewhat important.
It's hard to describe without seeing it in motion, but when Youmu parries a melee attack, they get bounced offscreen so fast that it's comical.
Oh yeah, we're at the point of the game now where random mooks have actually picked up MAPs. Pretty big ones, too. Luckily this one's accuracy and damage aren't significant to threaten us. Later MAPs will not be so kind.
This screenshot of the one enemy still chilling with Ran/Kurumi and Flandre/Rumia is forshadowing.
On the surface, Koishi is annoyingly evasive and more accurate than you'd hope. It gets much worse once you bother looking at what's she's really packing.
I'm so glad we found you, Koishi.
Everyone's been working with Satori and the rest of your family to help look for you.
Working with everyone...? But Satori's bad at that kinda stuff.
Maybe so, but she's been trying to open her heart for us.
Well, this is surreal. Here we are, both up on the surface, fighting each other.
Is there something weird about that?
I used to think that you wandering around up here was a real nuisance, for all of us. But just look at me today.
Is this some kind of fate? Well, even if this is a family thing, might as well stick my nose in.
Luckily her basic attack isn't too strong, or else this'd be super rough.
Back on the player phase: my folly.
The curse of BlitzBlast's shitty luck has finally struck me.
This is Part 1 of: How I Almost Lost this Chapter Like an Idiot.
Anyway, part of why Koishi is such a pain in the ass is her default danmaku field. If you're in it, you cannot attack or counterattack her. It's a massive pain! Sanae has a range-boosting item equipped, so she can sit comfortably outside of Koishi's field while still attacking/countering just fine.
It's important to note that Koishi is not flying here, so she's stuck on that cliff - otherwise she would absolutely charge right into my units, plunging them into her field.
Her unit stats aren't too obnoxious, but more important is her special ability here, Cognitive Stealth. Simple but annoying: she can move through your units. We can't do my usual "surround the boss on all 4 sides" tactic, but luckily the cliff thing is a decent substitute.
On top of that, she has her own unique boss Personal Skill, and it's a doozy. Super Reflexes lets her, while she's above 120 Power, completely ignore the Alert spirit. Also she has a +60% chance to Counter, just because. All these effects (along with her incredibly high innate Evade and Accuracy) combine to make Koishi a real wake-up call of a boss fight.
It also isn't going to help me that I completely forgot what all of her Spellcards do.
Even with Focus, Koishi is difficult to approach.
So she's the one they made me fish out with my familiars?
Well, whatever, as long as they praise me.
Familiars...? Wait, so you're the leader of those colored disc things?
Then you're an alien!
So what were you supposed to do for first contact again? Shake hands or something?
What are you talking about? Does this girl have a screw loose, or-
Th-The heck is wrong with you?! Ruining my mood...
We finally found you, Koishi!
Satori and Orin and Okuu have been looking for you the whole time.
Satori has been looking for me...?
And I couldn't go home the whole time.... It's like, I'm a bad girl.
No, we all understand your circumstances very well. So don't feel bad!
I know we can save you through danmaku battle!
With her Faith gauge getting close to maxed out, Sanae is about the only person who can reliably fight Koishi without wasting lots of SP.
Reimu can sorta do it too, though not as well. She also needs to, uh, not be in Koishi's danmaku field.
A satori who can't read minds is just a little sister youkai. You're not as scary as your sister was.
As my sister...? Are you saying a human like you beat her?
It was a pain getting our minds read, but we got through by force. Emphasis on the force.
Wow, cool! Then this'll be fun!
I lurk in the unconscious. My danmaku has never been seen by anyone, even my sister. Can you dodge them? I really wanna know!
...Maybe I've seen you before?
Most likely. I've visited the Palace of Earth Spirits countless times.
You may even have caught a glimpse of me back when you still remained on the surface.
I already forgot everything about back then.
Oh really? Well, I remember. I remember when I went to propose that you two sisters become the managers of the Palace.
I'm sure you thought of me as suspicious. Satori stood in front, to protect you.
Anyway, I'm kinda skipping forward here. It takes me a while here to move my dudes into somewhat decent positions, so bear with me.
While I'm piling on the chip damage, Cirno has a useful PS called Freeze which lets one of her weaker attacks inflict a 25% Evade debuff on Koishi. That's effectively just +25% accuracy on everyone who attacks her, so Cirno's assistance is very much appreciated.
So what's this Un-Con-Shiss thing anyway? It means we can't find you?
Uh huh. Something like that.
So you're good at Hide and Seek then. Maybe even better than Sunny's group?
Mhmm. So good that everyone always leaves before they find me.
Uwah! What?! Don't tell me you unconsciously want to do horrible things to bugs?
Uh uh. I'm trying to float like a butterfly.
Oh, whew, you're nicer than I expected. That's a relief.
And then I sting like a bee!
Incidentally, Koishi negates Alert, but not Grit, so Cirno need not fear reprisal.
I doubt you remember me, Koishi Komeiji.
Hmm. I kinda do, but I kinda don't...
No matter. But I do know you, and your past is reflected in this Cleansed Crystal Mirror.
You rejected your ability to read minds, eventually sealing it. Since then, you've been unable to know others, and have lived entirely within your own world.
Indeed, your heart is also a bit too closed.
Yeah, but... it's already closed. Too late.
What'd you mean by 'also' though?
The details may differ, but I meant that Satori Komeiji is in a similar situation. This is a problem both of you need to tackle.
But Satori's third eye is still open, so why...?
You should ask her that yourself. First, accept my danmaku judgement and reexamine your heart!
Yes, Eiki is still doing her sermons in exactly the same fashion as before. She'll keep doing them too, assuming we bring her along.
Hey, slow down!
I'm the Sanzu ferryman. I add up the virtues of the dead and collect the toll from them.
Eeeny Meeny Miney Moe...?
Yeah, sure, close enough. If you're worried about somethin' like running away from home, then your assessment will stick with you.
So anyway, I'm gonna be making my estimate, so it'd be a big help if you could take a long hard look at yourself.
Unrelated, but I only just noticed, you can see Eiki in the green fire nearest to the screen here.
Aaaanyways, skipping past like, 5 turns of movement, we're mostly ready to begin our assualt. Rumia's, uh, not going to be contributing much with Flandre dead, and Ran's low on HP so she and Kurumi are just chilling atm, but otherwise we're good to go.
Levels ahoy. Also, Koishi herself drops a 3rd bomb for your use. If you ration these out better than I did, they're very useful on this chapter.
You're all so amazing! All your moves are so new to me!
You're not bad yourself. I can't believe this is your first time playing...
Looks like she's doing it all by instinct... Maybe Miss Koishi's a natural at this?
If so, then our plan to use danmaku to communicate might just work.
Right, I'm sure she'll start to show her feelings.
Hm? What are you talking about? Tell me! Tell me!
You'll understand when you're older, sweetie. More importantly, do you want to try even flashier danmaku?
I'm sure you can do it, Koishi. Just relax and let it all out.
Relax... relax... How do I relax?
Don't overthink it, just do the first thing that comes to mind.
Oh, you mean it's unconscious? That's what I'm good at!
Here it goes! Take this!
Ally: No Entry Ally: No Action -Cannot move or attack.
By the way, this attack is a MAP that hits everywhere her danmaku field is touching.
I realize most of you can't read these menus, but take it on faith that not seeing "Move" or "Attack" is weirdly surreal after spending hundreds of hours on this game. We can still use spirits and bombs just fine though. Having the Bonus be "yo holy shit get these bombs" maybe shoulda been a hint that you'd need them.
The Palanquin Ship frees all of our units minus Rumia and Kurumi. I'd like to say I planned that, but I really just got lucky with the positioning.
My plan here is to crush this spellcard and most of the next one on this turn, so Wriggle casts Confuse to halve Koishi's hitrates.
Cirno putting in more work with the Freezer Beam, and Sanae's Support Attacks are coming in handy too.
By the way, I dunno if I've ever mentioned this, but debuffs don't last across different healthbars, which is why I waited until activating this spellcard to get Cirno in there. It's why having multiple sources of debuffs (like Suwako and Nazrin's Armour debuffs) can be useful.
This is a bit dangerous. If Koishi activates Counter and lands the 19%, she'd kill Mokou before she can even attack, wasting the SP I spent.
Come at me however you like. I won't die no matter what you throw at me.
Won't die...? So you're immortal? I've never seen an animal like that before!
But even if you say that, I bet you'll die anyway.
Good people and bad people... everyone goes to sleep sooner or later.
...You're sharper than you look. A life like mine isn't something that should be so easily accepted.
So she really was in the northern woods. I need to thank those kids.
You played with some kids in town, right? They told me about you.
Oh yeah, it was really fun! Everyone played with me!
But in just a little while they won't be able to see me anymore...
Luckily things worked out fine.
The first time you get hit by one of Koishi's Spellcards (I think?) you get some dialogue.
This spellcard battle with Koishi is getting fierce!
So that's Koishi's danmaku...
You've never seen it before either, Satori?
I haven't. Are Koishi's true feelings hidden somewhere in that danmaku?
If she's just following her heart, then yes, I'm sure of it.
But you may not be able to grasp them just by watching.
"If you want to know, then try it for yourself..." That's what Marisa always tells me. I'm no good at this stuff though, so I turned her down.
Try it for myself...?
It's ok folks, Mokou's just fine.
We finally managed to find you Koishi, so I'm not taking my eye off you for a moment.
Oh right, even with your power over the unconscious, I should be able to see you with my mind's eye!
Right! ...Wait, what? I can't see anything!
Duh! I'm not in anyone's minds!
Classic Youmu-is-an-idiot Konpaku. Here's Sakuya:
So you can longer get home then? I'm sure we could get you to stay put by tying you up though.
Okay, I'm fine with that.
Maybe if I stay home long enough, I'll remember the way there. You can imprison me or whatever, sure.
...I can tell that you're serious, but locking you up is not the answer. We know that from experience.
It wouldn't work on Koishi anyway, but I'm glad we're all remembering our character development.
Okay, we tried talking, now what? Do you have a plan for bringing her back, Minoriko?
Of course I do! With the sweet scent of roasted sweet potaotes!
Then me too! With the beautiful orange leaves!
...I'm getting a little hungry.
Wh-What a subdued reaction. And I was so confident too...
I guess we'll have to actually take things seriously this time.
What are you talking about? We're always serious! Is it time for us to pitch in as fellow sisters?!
It's so hard to hit her. Is this the power of the unconscious?
Moving without thinking... It's almost like she's achieved a state of complete selflessness.
This is a buddhist thing. Byakuren mentions it while talking about Koishi in SoPM.
I'm so happy that you girls can keep up with me!
As an aside, if you time out spellcards bosses usually say something different. It's not often worth mentioning, but I dig Koishi's time out line:
quote:This is fun! It's like a thriller where I'm stalking you!
Anyway, back to the conversation.
So you're really having fun then?
It's been so long since I've really played with anyone! Most people just ignore me, and the kids who do notice me just forget me anyway.
Huh? But that's...
Even if we start playing together, they just forget about me after a little while.
But if I could read their minds, they wouldn't play with me at all, so it's not all bad.
You said that so casually, but isn't your life too extreme?! In both directions!
In exchange for not being hated, she can't be loved either. That's the price of closing her eye.
But... aren't you lonely? It almost sounds like you're living completely alone.
Uh-uh, I'm not lonely. Because there are people I love.
Are you saying you're satisfied by just one-sidedly loving someone?
Uh-huh. Because I'll always be happy like this.
I love Orin, I love Okuu, and...
...You love your sister too?
...Yeah. I do.
Satori's always so nice to me, and she knows everything about me, so...
Hard to see, but there's a faint glowing effect here on Koishi.
...! This wavelength!
An unadorned sound... I think we're getting into her true feelings.
I haven't changed. Even when I closed my eye, I'm still me!
And I still love everyone!
Ｉｎｓｔｉｎｃｔ 「Ｒｅｌｅａｓｅ ｏｆ ｔｈｅ Ｉｄ」
Koishi: Auto-Fury -Every attack has the "Fury" spirit active for it.
As a reminder, since it changed from older games, Fury will allow Koishi to bypass all Barriers and Support Defense, but spirits (like Grit) still work just fine.
Also the danmaku is a heart <3
Haven't seen you since we last met in the Underworld. You really saved my skin back then.
Uh huh. I think you let me ride on your broom?
If you liked that, then you'll LOVE what I've got for you this time.
A danmaku show in the skies of Gensokyo! Not only that, we're allowing audience participation!
Ooh, cool, sounds fun!
Well it'd better be. You won't have time to look away, so keep your eyes on the show!
Thank goodness we found you, Koishi.
Oh, weren't you that witch with the dolls? From that creepy house?
...I never thought I'd be called creepy by an Underworld youkai.
But anyway, you want to go home, right Koishi? Then we can help you.
Uh uh. Sis told me not to trust youkai from the surface.
But your sister is right here with us.
I know we won't get through to you right away. But that's why you need to stay with us, so we can keep talking.
Casually missing that 86%.
Luckily Marisa can dodge too, only taking some minor graze damage.
At her current Power, Eiki can hit perfect evade/accuracy, which is awfully nice of her.
We continue dumping finishers on her.
Just... look at her! How can she just throw her love around like that? It's making ME embarassed.
I kinda like it! This pressure she's putting on us!
But that's a pretty big relief for me. At least Miss Koishi doesn't hate us.
Uh-huh, I was kinda worried too. I mean, 'what if.'
C'mon, spacecase. Just think about what you did.
If you run away from home without telling them, of course they're gonna worry that you hate them.
I... I didn't run away from home.
I wanted to go home the whole time. I want to go home and see everyone.
It's just... I just forgot how to get there.
As we thought, it seems she's unaware of it. Not that this is surprising, if she's moving based on her unconscious.
What? What are you talking about?
So there must be some reason she doesn't want to go home, and she just doesn't realize it.
You had a fight with Satori, right? Is that still bothering you?
Yeah, that makes sense. Are you afraid that she might hate you?
...She can't hate me. I made it so no one can hate me. Didn't I...?
You don't sound so sure. Is that how you really feel?
Last time there was a kind of twinkly sound effect, but this time it sounds more wispy and ominous.
...Her overflowing sound is now being suppressed.
...I still love everyone. Nothing has changed.
So that means Satori still...
Koishi: Auto-Strike -Casts Strike at the start of every turn. Koishi: Latent Terminal -Moves to a random location within field at the start of every turn.
Any spell effects that say "at the start of the turn" also apply immediately, hence her untimely teleport here. I actually completely forgot how this spell worked (I thought she teleported every time she got hit), so as a result I completely fucked up how I handled it and almost failed the mission.
I mean, you don't actually lose the mission if you fail to capture a spellcard, but like... morally, you do.
This spell has a cool underwater sorta feeling.
Wriggle gets sucked in.
Even factoring in Wriggle's gimmicky barrier, Koishi doesn't hit particularly hard. It's maybe my one saving grace here.
By the way, bombing the field doesn't actually do anything. So, y'know, don't do what I'm doing here.
Side benefit to bringing Rumia and Komachi is we can Daunt Koishi below 120 Power so her Personal Skill isn't active. That way we can get a few attacks in with Alert useable.
Had I been planning ahead better I would have saved more of their SP for this purpose (I wasted most of Komachi's on heals) but oh well.
Marisa takes advantage of the opportunity to lay down some damage.
Another pro-tip: rushing up all your units to catch her like this is a bad idea, because when you end the turn...
zoopzoop now she's down here
Hey, are you copying me?
Mhm. I was going for something like waha!
I don't talk like that.
I don't talk that way.
Flandre is dead, but here's her conversation from beyond the grave:
So you're Koishi then. Hmm.
So you're So-and-so then. Hmm.
Hey, don't copy me! We were worried about you.
You had a fight with your sister, right? We can help you make up with her if you like.
Eh, we didn't really fight or anything.
I just... forgot how to get home.
From our perspective, that's what we call having a fight.
She also repositions her danmaku field.
Now, what I should have done is just kill her with Ran/Kurumi here and moved on to the last spellcard. Instead I figured I'd try to get a bit closer to her, and hoped she'd teleport to one of the upper two hearts.
Spoilers: she doesn't
Hey by the way, remember how I mentioned that Koishi isn't flying? Well now she's dunked her ass underwater, both giving her an armor bonus and reducing the damage of most our strongest attacks
It's like the Tenshi fight all over again.
Hey! Koishi! I brought taiyaki for you!
Wow, looks yummy! Have I ever eaten this before?
But... didn't this fall on the floor? I don't want it.
What?! N-No it didn't!
Sis always says that bad manners mean a bad upbringing. But it's the thought that counts.
Eeek! C'mon, I just thought it'd be a waste!
A youkai of the unconscious, huh? If calculations won't work, then maybe pure reflexes?
Aw... I just wanna wrap myself up in it! Maybe I can get Satori to buy some fur like that for me?
...What are you talking about? So it's not just calculation that's ineffective, but logic itself?
I need you to realize, this position is probably the worst I could possibly be in. It's not just Koishi being underwater. It's not just how far away most of my units are. It's also that they are specifically above her, rather than to the side.
You'll see what I mean in a sec.
Cirno and Wriggle go in for the kill.
...I'm getting tired.
Looks like Koishi's calming down.
Are all her emotions going to be coming loose like this?
But at least we figured out why she's been avoiding Satori.
Indeed. Until now, she's been able to stay happy because of her belief in her sister's unconditional love.
But after that incident, she felt rejected and lost that conviction.
And because of that uncertainty, she's too afraid to go home or something?
I feel like that all makes sense, but...
But the problem lies deeper than we imagined. The uncertainty in her heart is the cause of all this, but she's closed it off.
As long as we can't break through her shell, her wounds may never heal.
Th-Then, Miss Koishi will-
No! We can't give up!
Well said, Utsuho. We can't afford to let ourselves lose spirit so easily.
Now that we understand Koishi, next it's our turn get her to understand US!
As long as we keep exchanging words, I'm sure we'll get get through to her!
...What? Are you going to show me something now?
Sure are. We were just hyping ourselves up for our fight with you.
Once you see my full power danmaku surprise, your eyes will be stuck wide open!
Your full power, huh... That sounds fun!
Then I'm gonna give it everything too!
Ｓｕｂｃｏｎｓｃｉｏｕｓ 「Ｒｏｒｓｃｈａｃｈ ｉｎ Ｄａｎｍａｋｕ」
Ally: No Entry
The darker, uh... goblet(?) is all No Entry, hence why being above Koishi is so much worse than being to the side. The faces(?) on the sides don't have any special effects, although they do halve your movement and cut your armour and evasion by 80%. Normally I'd just focus those penalties away, but uh, I kinda need to be moving fast here to capture the spell.
Also it's a second MAP attack, for whatever that's worth.
Eiki has enough range to hit her without moving, but she's only got one shot left of Last Judgement, so she'll be useless after this.
Everyone else goes clambering around the sides. I really should have sent everyone down the right side instead of splitting them up (for reasons you'll see in a second), but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
The MAP effect is nothing special.
Although Cirno does get slightly brutalized.
Alright, assessing my situation, with only one turn left to do this in, Sanae and Mokou will not be able to contribute.
I'm sorry I ever dissed your infinite range ability Komach-
So anyway, here's why I should have sent everyone to the right. I forgot I had one bomb left, and Wriggle and The Corpse of Cirno were in the perfect position to open up a hole for me.
Everyone pitches in as best they can.
Never really looked at this attack of Shou's before. Very atmospheric.
We're getting her down, but we've only really got Reimu left, and even our stronger attacks have been clocking in around 6000 damage at best.
btw Ran died
As a total aside, Lyrica and Tewi never got a chance to attack/be attacked by Koishi, so here's their conversations right before the end:
Hey there, great timing. So about that disc you were looking at earlier. I'm willing to let it go for 10% off if you-
What? I hadn't even finished yet!
...You're right. Weird. But I just kinda knew you were lying.
A youkai lie detector? She's just as scary as Satori, in a different way...
You're right. It'd be better if I didn't know, or I'm gonna get hated again...
So you're Koishi? Nice to meet you.
I'm Lyrica Prismriver. We're both little sisters, so maybe we can be frie-
That was fast!
But even if you say we're both sisters, I don't know anything about you.
We can work on that part. That's what it means to be friends.
So, Reimu and Yukari are all the way over here. Can they do it?
Well, thanks to the power of ~Dreams~ Yukari can cast both Accel to extra movement, and Zeal to get an extra turn.
This lets her gap over...
Put in some chip damage...
And set her up for the kill.
And thus ends my comedy of errors.
Whew, I sung my heart out.
We put everything into that. I think our true feelings got through to her!
What, is it over already? I wanted to see even more.
Even more...? Well, at least we've caught your interest.
But are you okay, Koishi? You're breathing pretty hard.
Oh, you're right! I didn't even notice!
Now, if you don't mind, would you like to come with us to talk even more?
We'll listen to your worries, and I'm sure we could help you get home too.
I think we got a little taste of your feelings by exchanging danmaku with you, Koishi.
Yeah. There are no secrets between us anymore.
Uh-uh. I'm not going. It was a lot of fun playing with you, but...
But I don't need to know other people. It's better when I don't know.
No way! Miss Koishi...!
...We were hoping that by moving her feelings through danmaku, we could create an opportunity when her heart wavered, but it seems we failed.
It's because she's resisting. We were so close, I know it!
But Koishi, don't you want to go home?
Yeah! Your sister's worried about you, so go show her you're fine.
...But, my sister, she...
Koishi zooms back up to the edge of the cliff. I don't think the game assumed you'd pull her so far away.
Wait, Miss Koishi!
Crap, we don't know where she's gonna go!
What do we do? If we lose her here, she's gonna wander off somewhere again!
Leave it to me!
Lady Flan?! What are you doing?!
And then blows the waterfall up!
Eek! What was that?!
Tee hee hee, surprised?
Geez, now I'm all wet. Even my hat. Even my socks.
Of course! Distract her with a surprise! Darn it, why am I not strong enough for that?!
Don't just stand there admiring it. Although I guess we did stop her from getting away.
It was a little forceful, but effective nonetheless. That should be enough for now, right?
We've bought some time to keep talking, at least. But we'll need to be careful about what we say next.
BGM: What's the Strategy?
Geez, what happened? I'm dripping wet.
There there, now be a good girl and stay put.
At least no one was hurt in that explosion.
Don't worry, I missed on purpose.
Hey! So you're the one who made that explosion? It really startled me.
I wanted to take a dip, but not like this...
Well, sorry for making you wet. But you were the one running away.
Hmph! I wasn't running!
Now now, we can argue later. Let's get you dried off first.
Yeah, you'll catch a cold if we leave you like that.
Right. And inside the ship we've got fluffy towels and warm meals...
Mm. How fluffy...?
So fluffy. We can show you where they are.
Oh, I'm coming with you!
The gang wanders off.
Looks like we can leave Koishi to them for now.
Nice one, Lyrica. You got her on the boat.
Now we just need to make sure she doesn't bump into Satori.
...I'm sorry. I'm just relying on you all for everything.
I couldn't even participate in that battle...
Eh, we just kinda did that on our own. Don't worry about it.
Actually, I was afraid we'd just worry you. I mean, we did get pretty violent with her back there.
No, there were no injuries, so I'm grateful for what you did.
And if you hadn't restrained her like that, I might have lost her again.
Well, you're welcome. Just hearing that makes this all worth it.
Our goal of finding Koishi is now complete, if only formally.
As for what to do next, I'd like to hear Satori's opinion.
Me too. So what are you going to do now?
...What AM I going to do...?
Since we caught Koishi, we might as well take her back to the Palace of Earth Spirits.
But that won't exactly wrap this up nicely.
If we leave her like that, she's pretty much just going to run away again immediately.
...Yeah, we understand that.
...When the time is right, I want to apologize to her. And then clear up this misunderstanding.
...An apology, huh? Do you really think it'll be that simple?
Koishi's avoiding you because she lost trust in your feelings.
Until now, she's been okay despite having her eye closed because she trusted that you'd always love her.
But now that trust is broken, and she can't handle the uncertainty.
...So this isn't just about clearing up the misunderstanding.
Indeed. No matter what you say to her, this will remain unsettled as long as you can't remove all doubt from her heart.
But then, what do I do?
I was watching from the ship too, I saw how she feels.
But Koishi closed her eye. I can't just show her my feelings anymore.
I... can't reach her heart with words alone.
...No, everyone else should have already cleared the path for you.
Don't tell me you didn't independently realize this was a possibility?
It's the only way to reach Koishi's heart. You'll just have to try out for yourself.
We were just one step away from reaching her, weren't we?
...But can I do it? I...
This isn't about whether you can or can't. You have to try.
I told you before that you didn't have to do this alone. But THIS is the part that only you can do.
I can't guarantee it'll go smoothly, but we'll help however we can.
I understand. If that's the path you've left for me, then I'll have to try.
...I'll have a danmaku battle with Koishi.
Next time on Fantasy Maiden Wars:
It's time for something completely different.
As an aside, per Clarste's request, here's the defeat dialogue for this chapter:
Oh no! The Palanquin ship!
I can't believe this is happening!
Wait, what were we doing here again?
Now that you mention it, I'm not sure...
...I knew I wouldn't remain in their hearts.
But even so, let's play again sometime.
Everyone forgets about Koishi