Part 55: Into the Depths of Maddening Darkness - Part 1
...They should be arriving there about now.
You've been constantly standing up and sitting down. You can't relax, mm?
Obviously. I don't feel comfortable leaving it entirely to Reimu's group alone.
That's a bad display of manners from you. Those humans have proven themselves to be even more polished than you, after all.
(...Remilia Scarlet and Yuuka Kazami. I have heard that both are fiendish upper-class youkai... But from talking to and observing them, they seem very calm and composed. Their reputation must not be deserved...)
I wonder where Akyu even heard about those two, since they weren't even in Gensokyo until recently. Did Reimu, Marisa, Alice, and Keine just get really smashed and blab all about them at the end of the incident party?
...Though it really is boring right now.
...I withdraw my previous thoughts.
Yes. You know enough about her, don't you? I can count on you more than those humans, at least.
...As you wish. I will do as much as I can.
Sakuya flies off.
...If you were going to do that in the first place... Would it not have been better to send her with Alice and the rest at the start?
Something critical to take from this is that Remilia's order to kill Flandre was a total kneejerk reaction.
...I never thought that her seal would be broken.
My, wouldn't it be your fault for averting your eyes? You should be the one to see out the matters important to you, don't you think?
...What do you mean?
It is just as I said. You were scared, so you put her in a place where no one could reach...
Remilia's relationship with Flandre is very complicated, mostly because the original game gives absolutely no reason as to why Flandre was sealed. There are quite a few fan explanations, but the general consensus is that it wasn't because Remilia hated or feared her sister. FMW's own theory, which Yuuka just touched on, is of the same mold, and I'd like for you all to keep that in mind while you read the dialogue in chapters 14 and 15.
...We're here. It's really only raining around here.
Vampires can't walk through a light drizzle like this? Vampires may be weaker than I thought.
They have immense power, but they also possess many weaknesses. That imbalance is a natural characteristic of vampires.
So it'll be better to perform extermination rather than sealing, wouldn't it? And if we attack with water, wouldn't we be able to take her out in one shot?
I like to think that this line is why Nitori builds a giant water cannon in between FMW1 and FMW2.
Now that you mention it... She said they had sealed a monster.
Reimu's intuition isn't just limited to finding things.
...Whatever the case, the first thing we have to do is find this Flandre person. If we do not hurry, she may escape the mansion...
The screen shakes.
Wah-wah, it's shaking~.
That sound came from over there!
All right, let's hurry!
There's a brief fade to black here.
Hey, is it really here?
I don't know. We should've gotten more details from Remilia.
We reached here by following the tremors. This must surely be the correct way...
Let's go back few minutes in time to Marisa's side of the story.
There it is again... The ground continues to shake!
Yeah, looks like we've got no time to waste.
It was left here, then next is right... I think. Don't fall behind, Youmu!
Marisa, are you sure you are heading in the right direction?
Absolutely. Patchouli said she was gonna seal Flan away again... It's gotta be the room that she was in to begin with.
...I am still shocked myself.
I believe there must be some extenuating circumstances...
...We won't know anything till we ask. But whatever it may be, I ain't gonna go home quietly for su...
Another tremor. This is the one Reimu's group felt.
...Whoa! That was the worst one yet.
What could these tremors be, anyway?
That's mighty possible. Let's hurry, Youmu. Full speead ahead!
Time for the routes to join up again! Yup, the route split was only one chapter long.
I remember this area. We'll be there soon.
There is no mistake, it must be that staircase, Marisa!
Yeah, and down there is...
Hm? That voice...
Ahh, it's that black and white.
Marisa!? What are you doing here!?
Ohh, she really showed up here.
Rumia? And Keine too... Everyone is here!
Yes, so you came here too, Youmu!
Why'd you all show your faces here anyway?
That's not what you said at the end of Chapter 13R.
Alice and Nitori have been looking for you, Marisa.
Wha? Looking for me? Why would... ...Wait, when did you come back down from the mountain, Nitori?
A little while ago. It's a long story...
Ahh, let's save that for later then. I'm real busy right now.
Busy? Don't tell me you're searching for this Flandre person as well.
Yeah... You guys know about Flan too?
Indeed. Remilia had requested us to exterminate a monster known as Flandre.
...? Yes she did... She said that she was an insane monster... So we have to defeat her whatever it takes...
...Ahh. So that's what Remilia thinks of Flan...
...Why're you looking so serious?
Remilia's... little sister...?
N-No way... Why is Remilia calling her own sister a monster...?
Wait, Remilia herself never said anything like that.
I don't know what Remilia said, but Flan said that herself.
So you've met Flandre... Did you fight with her?
No, it wasn't a fight. You could say we were playing, I guess... It's true that she's stupidly strong, but... I'm sure she's not a bad person.
Kind of an odd thing to say considering she heard Flandre's chat with Patchouli. But I guess Marisa has odd standards as to what a bad person is like.
...That's rather different from what we heard from Remilia. According to her, Flandre is supposed to be a dangerous monster...
Yet another tremor.
...I'm not entirely sure what's going on. But I don't think we have the time to talk about it.
Yeah. This shaking... Flan's gotta be close.
Music: As Time Stands Still
For this chapter, you want a main strike force and two groups branching off to the sides. Marisa, Alice, Keine, and Nitori will be the former, and Reimu/Rumia and Youmu/Cirno the latter.
This is it. This is where I first met Flan.
Such a creepy place... Is Remilia's sister really here?
By the way, where is Remilia? I would imagine she would come if it is regarding her own little sister...
She's at the shrine. There's rain falling around the mansion, so she can't get in.
Ahh, right. Vampires are weak to the rain, so that also keeps Flan inside the mansion.
You would be correct.
Why are you here? Do you not know how to go back home when you are told to?
Of course she doesn't.
As if I would. I ain't a real woman if I had left there. Where's Flan? I've got lots of things that I want the two of you to answer.
I have nothing to say to you. And what was your intention in bringing that red-white shrine maiden with you?
We came of our own accord. Remilia requested us to check out the situation here.
...I am the one who made it rain, in order to keep the young mistress inside. If you heard about her from Remi, then you should understand what's going on.
So the little sister is inside that room?
Just about. A certain black-white broke the seal though. And I'm not sure how long this temporary one will last.
Ehh? Marisa broke the seal...?
All I did was open the door. A seal that's broken like that ain't a seal at all.
You're lying. The magic stones that the seal requires are missing. You took them, didn't you?
...What's the matter, Cirno?
That kinda rings a bell...
...In any case, I have no time to deal with outsiders. I must hurry before the barrier breaks...
Another tremor hits.
She seems to be struggling inside that room!
See? There's no more time. Hurry up and leave!
I don't think you quite get what it means for the SDM to open up to the rest of Gensokyo.
It means you can't just shoo "outsiders" away from your secrets, because guess what?
This whole matter is too suspicious. Remilia locked her own little sister in a room. Not only that, but she hid that fact from us, and asked us to get rid of her...
...Yes, and we have to take what Marisa said into account as well.
Gensokyo's residents really don't like being told to !
Also, I really like how Alice and Keine, the two most rational members of the team, are the ones to object to Patchouli.
You all love investigating far too much... Curiosity killed the cat, you know.
Now now, let's relax everyone. To sum it all up, this Flandre person is the source of all this fuss. And you're the one who made the rain fall.
...Good grief, is that the only thing you know how to do!?
I guess you all could gather around and have a peaceful tal- hahaha no I can't even finish that sentence.
...It seems I have no choice. I'm able to chant my spells well today.
Silent Selene has two main fields, but the thinner one will be the field you'll be dealing with the most since Patchouli will not move.
Speaking of Patchouli, she's simultaneously been buffed and nerfed.
Chapter 9 posted:
Statistically speaking, Patchouli's EX[tra Stage] incarnation is much more deadly, with a higher Range stat and another level in Magician making her do even more damage.
Practically speaking though, she's got a big hole in her defenses. She has absolutely no way to counter 1 range attacks, so the obvious strategy here is to gang up on her from close range. Sanbondo actually expects you to do this and included a counter measure (spoilers Patchouli has more than one spell), but it isn't enough to make the fight any harder.
In a way, this entire stage is just Chapter 9 mkII. Once you make it through the danmaku, it's a breeze. The only issue is that the chapter is essentially on a time limit, and you'll see why soon.
You can land in this chapter if you want, but there are some obstacles all over the place so I wouldn't really recommend it. It's not like the MP drain from flight is really an issue anyways.
Proto Malice Cannon is going to be a key part of my strategy here, so Marisa and Alice are going to be staying close together.
Reimu and Youmu will eventually be handling the sides, but right now I'm just moving them north. Next turn they'll take a corner though.
At first, the grimoires seem just as harmless as they were five chapters ago.
Then they put up their danmaku fields. These things are huge, give some noticable debuffs (-13% Defense, -22% Evasion, -1.20 Move), and if you were for some reason not already Focused they can stack with Silent Selene's field to slow your advance down even further.
The grimoires themselves still suck at least.
These fairy maids on the side will also be throwing up some danmaku. They're not even close to being a threat though.
Now that it's my phase again, priority one is to eliminate this guy. Marisa's group needs to stay as mobile as possible.
Youmu and Nitori (who I had cast Guard) weaken it,
and Reimu finishes. She needs around five more kills for Unfocused Lvl 5, so I might as well start now.
With their way free I had Alice take a shot at this grimoire to build up Power quickly,
but this happened. On a 16%.
Marisa's assault on the leftmost grimoire is more successful.
She even gets a level! Just one more till Magician Lvl 3.
Cirno finishes what Alice started, and my turn ends.
Well, my turn ends right after I bemoan the fact that I moved Dai earlier. You should make it a principle to move your healers last in case of bad luck.
At the beginning of turn 2's enemy phase, the door shakes again.
Gah, it's shaking again!
The tremors are so strong... Is this place going to collapse?
...Ugh, the barrier is weakening.
Remilia's little sister is beyond that door, I take it.
Reimu was totally just snoozing through Marisa's argument with Patchouli.
Let me out, Patchouli! Open, open up!!
Those are the familiars of a vampire!
Flan... So you're going to get in the way.
She can summon her familiars outside the barrier while she is within it... What outrageous power!
Watch out, it looks like they might attack us too!
I had intended for Patchouli to target Reimu (that's why I had Nitori cast Guard), but Alice's mishap has screwed that plan over. I'm glad she managed to dodge this attack at least.
The maids will move, and Rumia's going to help weaken them for Reimu. Cirno will be playing a similar role for Youmu.
Hopefully they won't both be killed due to their low Skill.
Or bad luck. (This was another 16%.)
On Normal, the bats won't move until their second turn. They'll also go straight for the grimoires near Patchouli, so consider letting them live for a bit.
The bats themselves are probably why this chapter is "timed". They'll be spawning in every four turns or so, so if you weren't limited by Patchouli's spellcard time limit you could theoretically have access to infinite Graze, Points, and experience.
Reimu and Youmu begin the assault. Note that Youmu went straight for the maid holding a bomb.
Youmu got a critical, so I already have access to it too!
I'll wait a turn to use it though, since Dai needs to do some healing. I usually have her be my bomb user, since -10 Power is nothing to her.
Speaking of healing, Rumia pops a Vigor,
then heads north. Silent Selene isn't a Laser attack so Rumia can't totally shut Patchouli down, but she can at least attract attention.
Meanwhile, Alice casts Focus and attacks a grimoire. I'm leaving her exposed by not just sticking her next to Keine, but I think she'll be safe.
Marisa and Alice will be the main attackers in the center team, so I'm trying to build up their Power whenever I can.
Patchouli went straight for Alice. And you know what? I'm actually fine with these odds.
Let's do this, Alice. Patchouli's stronger than usual today. We gotta force her back with our combination technique!
I don't think this is the best of plans... But this isn't the time for introspection, I suppose.
You're both coming at the same time? I see you have accepted that neither of you alone are a match for me.
It's a decoy. I'll sting like a bee while you're distracted by Alice.
Wouldn't you be the decoy? Your speed is your redeeming feature after all.
...Do they really have any intention of cooperating?
Proto Malice will be doing a steady 5000 damage a turn for only 30 MP. And it can only grow stronger from there as Marisa and Alice's Power builds.
Speaking of that, Alice's +2 to Power whenever she dodges? Very handy. With her Calm personality, higher weapon damage, and sky-high Skill, Alice is the much better candidate for initiating Proto Malice. This synergizes very well with Master Spark + Shanghai Doll, since you want Marisa to start that one.
And of course, since it's so cheap I can spam it all I want. Overkill? Who cares!
Also Youmu and Reimu are still kicking ass on the sides.
That's one agile bat.
The second bat also attacked this grimoire, and killed it with a critical.
and Nitori casts Guard again and attacks.
god damn it nitori
Alice's follow up hits at least, but its damage is reduced by 1500 since
Patchouli EX's Magic Barrier+ reduces Laser damage instead of nullifying it. This is another reason you should use Proto Malice for this fight.
Rumia finishes off a maid for Reimu and gets a level,
and Cirno follows suit, though she didn't quite get a level.
I'll let Cirno handle the last maid on the right. Youmu needs to get in position for the next wave of bats.
On the other side of the screen, Reimu teaches this maid the pain of Shotgunning.
And in the center, the Proto Malice barrage continues.
If you don't wanna talk, then I'll just hafta force my way through!
...You don't learn at all. Didn't I tell you not to get involved?
I wasn't able to do anything earlier, I'm gonna make up for that now. Get outta my way, I'm gonna talk to Flan!
I have Keine heal Alice to full before her attack though, just in case.
I should be able to take her down next turn.
Two more bats spawn in,
and Patchouli continues to attack Alice. This time she's got a Support Defense though, so I don't care.
The bats will suicide into Patchouli as soon as they can.
They can't do anything to her, but she can easily overkill them. This makes getting the Bonus much easier, since the bats also count as enemies you must defeat.
Youmu takes down a bat to the side,
and I stupidly have Keine waste her turn. I forgot that Silent Selene's field drops Range by 1, so my plan to finish off Patchouli with Three Treasures went awry.
Oh well, I'll just use the opportunity to rearrange everyone. I want Cirno to finish off the fairy on the bottom right before I continue.
Keine couldn't care less about Silent Selene.
And Cirno gets a lucky critical back on this side of the map.
Cirno and Youmu team up and take down the final enemy.
And Keine slashes away the last bits of Patchouli's first health bar.
She gets a level and just enough Graze to purchase Berserk Lvl 2 as a prize.
Why are you stopping me? Flan will escape at this rate!
That's my line. Why are you all sealing her to begin with!?
Why does that matter? This is Remi's desire... Sticking your noses into this is not a good thing.
We're asking you to tell us what Remilia is thinking!
Imprisoning her little sister, then asking us to vanquish her... There are far too many facts that are incomprehensible.
Yeah, so spit it all out. If you don't, we're gonna take Flan along while we speak directly to Remilia.
...You all do not understand anything. We have been doing this for a very long time.
...! Something is coming! Everyone, please pull back!
It is far too late. You will be immolated by the power of the furious sun!
Royal Flare is kind of a piss off. It's -2.80 to Unfocused Move and -1.00 to Focused Move, making getting into Patchouli's blind spot a lot harder. The field's small enough to almost totally remove with a single bomb though, so if you still had one it's no problem.
What is a problem is the fact that it's a Map Attack. It always only targets from around the unit at the center of the danmaku field, so if you're not confident that you can take her down fast you can always move there. Note that she can change who's at the center though.
Everyone's HP levels are pretty high right now though, so I'm not too worried.
If Remi asked you all to come here, then we have no reason to fight. Would you kindly leave?
I don't know anything about this whole mess.
You all who locked her up, and the girl who was locked up herself... I'll beat up and punish every one of you!
...Remi really sent some troublesome ones here... Fine, I just have to defeat you, then seal Flan again. I'll show you how reckless you were to challenge me!
Someone's a Sailor Moon fan.
Daiyousei joins in on the fun because why not?
In hindsight I should have had her heal Nitori first. Oh well, Nitori cast Guard, she should be okay.
Finally, the Proto Malice train keeps on chugging along.
A single Proto Malice critical is worth two shots.
I normally have Youmu finish off Patchouli now, but I guess I started this spell too early. Oh well, I have a better person in mind to get the kill.
Nitori's probably screwed, but everyone else should be able to survive Royal Flare.
More bats. This'll force me to wait another turn while I take them down.
Oh, how nice. Patchouli moved the field to center on Nitori, now she'll li- wait a minute, is Dai in range?
In hindsight, that earlier Tackle was really dumb of me. Dai takes 6318 damage and dies.
I'll have to take a break, huh...
Reimu one shots a bat,
And everyone else heals up and goes into the safe spot.
Patchouli moves the safe spot to Keine. Marisa and Alice had Alert and Focus on though, so they didn't care.
The last bat suicides itself.
One last Proto Malice drops Patchouli to critical health,
and Reimu winds up for the kill.
Luck costs so much SP for a good reason. Look how many more Points I have to spend now!
...You all are really...!
It's broken! So now...
What do you plan to do? If you wish to see that girl... You will not accomplish anything with mere words.
I spoke with her just fine before you came.
A common fan theory is that prior to the events of EoSD, the SDM was metaphorically frozen in time. For centuries, Remilia, Meiling, Patchouli, and Sakuya just kept doing what they were doing, never changing, never even considering that change might happen. Sakuya kept on working for Remilia, never wondering if there was anything else she could do. Meiling stood right by the gate, never questioning if what her superiors were doing was right. Patchouli just spent the years in the libary, maintaining the seal and never realizing that Flandre could stabilize. And Remilia... well, the game will go over her mindset later.
Where I'm going with this is that while the rest of the SDM didn't change, Flandre did. Who knows if she was really a threat before being sealed, but after centuries of imprisonment she became one. It's ironic that an incarnation of chaos and destruction is the ultimate result of the SDM's years of rigid order, but that's exactly what happened. And while the SDM wants to just leave her behind and move on, the rest of Gensokyo doesn't agree. It's actually incredibly fitting that Marisa is the one spearheading the effort to free Flandre, since her very presence is a symbol of how Gensokyo itself has changed, but I'm starting to get into a tangent to an already rant so I'll just stop here.
...Fools, all of you. That careless attitude will see you blown away by her power of destruction...
A massive tremor starts up and keeps on going for the rest of the cutscene.
...It will not last much longer. I no longer have the strength required to establish the seal. At this rate, I'll have to depend on Remi. You all will take responsibility if the map of Gensokyo has to be redrawn.
There's nothing to be afraid of. If she's really as dangerous as you say, then we'll fight her. We came here to perform youkai extermination to begin with.
...Yeah, that's right. If Flan gets violent, we'll just make her cool down.
...Fine. At this point, there's no one else who can stop her anyway...
You've barged your way into our affairs.
You don't have to tell us that. We've come all this way, we're not going ot back down!
Yes, we are all prepared.
...Get ready. The seal is breaking.
Thanks to Mikkey for his replay of EoSD Extra.
Ah, you're finally taking a break?
I don't see what's "finally" about it...
I guess so~. The power might've turned off by accident.
Then they wouldn't see this quit message.
Did you read the manual properly?
Ehh, umm... I'm the kind to just dive straight in to the fight...
...I think it's better to read the manual carefully before playing.
Anyway, it has been a pleasure for me, Sakuya Izayoi...
And me, Patchouli Knowledge...
And me, Hong Meiling!
Until next time...