The Let's Play Archive

Fantasy Maiden Wars I

by BlitzBlast

Part 21

And we're back!

Now that the LP's not on a mad rush to chapter 40, I'm going to relax and actually try and be competent at the game. I've learned a surprising amount about FMW3 over the course of this break too, so I'll try and throw in some more gameplay mechanics chat during the updates to spice things up.


Most SRW games have a point where your army gets so big you need to decide who you want to prioritize and who you want to bench. Chapter 40 is supposed to be that point for FMW, but this is Normal difficulty. Magic Team can carry any team you guys want to the finale, so don't worry about that.

With that said, for people who are using this LP as a guide: I wouldn't recommend solely fielding 3.0+ units. Just trust me on this.



Palanquin Ship - Bridge
Music: Border of Regular and Irregular Days

Full Text


There's a building up ahead.


Palanquin Ship - Hall
Music: Secret Mission!

Full Text


With the Palanquin Ship's training room, we can get even stronger!

Wait, upgrades are supposed to be us training?

And with that, I can now fully upgrade my units!


Bamboo Forest of the Lost
Music: What's the Strategy?

Full Text





The Engraver's History

Music: Confusion in the Moonlight

Murasa posted:

For now, we'll try heading where you told us to.

I've never heard of anyone living over there though.

Momiji, this is the direction you saw the light of a building from, correct?

Yeah. Take a look!

Everyone catches their first glimpse of the House of Eternity.


Wow, so there really was a building!

And a fancy mansion at that! Something smells fishy here!

That settles it then. We head there and investigate.

Let's just ride this thing right up to their doorstep!

...No, wait!

Is that... Keine?!

...I never doubted you'd make it here.

Who cares about that? What are you doing all the way out here by yourself?

As I thought, you came to investigate the incident too. We were just about to check out that mansion ourselves, so...

...Correct, the mastermind you seek is inside.

Awesome! Hole-in-one!

If you knew where they were, you could've just told us, you know.


Isn't Mokou with you? We're coming down, so let's do this togeth-

No. I can't let you pass.


Up ahead, Mokou is fighting alone. Please, just let her handle this.

Hold on, Mokou's WHAT?

Don't tell me she's storming the enemy stronghold all by herself?!

That's obviously reckless! We have to go help her!

Yes, if we all fight together like we always have-

I'm sorry.

Keine's map sprite flips.

Keine posted:

If you want to pass, you'll have to go through me!

Keine, why?!

With that, the deployment screen pops up.

Now that I can, I immediately max out Marisa's MP.

In some SRW games, the latter half of the upgrade gauge both costs and boosts more than the first half. Not so for FMW; both the price scaling and the amount upgraded stays constant. But like other SRW games, there's a special bonus if I fully upgrade a character. That's better discussed in the Lunatic portion where I actually have the funds to do that though.

What's going on here? I thought she was your ally?

She is! But she's not letting us through...

I wonder, do you even realize what you're doing?

Yukari Yakumo?! And the Moriya gods, and even Yuuka?!

...Of course. I've thought this decision through.

We can speak if you like, as long as you don't take another step!

...Hmph, she's certainly acting like a friend of Marisa's would, but as long as she's pointing her blade at us she's an enemy.

If you don't get out of our way, then-

Mima, wait! She's been on our side all this time!

If she has her reasons, then we can at least try talking to her.

Aren't you taking this a little too easily? We're right in front of the enemy's hideout.

I'm sorry Yuuka, but we feel the same way.

...I understand the situation, but we must keep moving forward. If she won't listen to reason, then feel free to talk while we fight.

No choice but to convince her in a danmaku battle, huh?

...Keine, you should know what you're up against. Do you really think you can beat all of us?

I just want to honor Mokou's feelings... That's why I won't back down, Reimu!

You're so stubborn!


Victory: Defeat Keine.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.

At some point a shitload of enemies dropped in. You'll note there are a bunch of bats in particular.

Since I have her, I decide to start off by arranging everyone so Merlin can give them a quick buff. I had Lyrica cast Cheer on her too, so she got a level out of it.

Step two is to have the protagonists break. Magic Team will deal with the kedamas, while Reimu B smashes the bats. Everyone else can just pick a side and follow.

While moving all the other units, I noticed I forgot to put a Firefly Gem on Sunny. I guess it's Luna's time to shine!

Music: Dream Balancer

Even with Suika's help, Reimu won't be OHKOing any enemies just yet.

Magic Team has no such issues, especially since Merlin gave them early access to Malice Cannon.

Here's a fun thing I learned over the break: Alice has a new skill in the game called Precise (literally Precise Danmaku). Like Danmaku Brains, it boosts the damage of her criticals. With them both on and the Butterfly Fan, her damage output gets pretty crazy!

And as always, Magic Team having Accel means they can go deeper into enemy lines. So more enemies attack them, which means their Power climbs even higher, which means they do even more damage.

When Keine gets stubborn like this, I don't think there's a lever out there big enough to move her.

Alice, if it comes down to it, let's use our combo attack.

I don't like engaging in rough behavior like that, but I suppose that's the only way to do it.

Now that you mention it, you two seem better coordinated than before. Is that because of the Hakkero's new power, or are you just getting along better?

They're both magicians, so I bet it's just easy to sync up.

Then why not follow their lead, Reimu? If magicians can cooperate, why not shrine maidens?

Are you talking about Reimu and I?

Huh, okay. I feel like we can pull something off.

Get over here, Sanae. Let's try it out.


Reimu and Sanae learn Shrine Maiden Extension,

which for all intents and purposes is Sanae's new finisher. It's slightly weaker than Summon Take-Minakata, but it isn't tied to the Faith gauge and works off Sanae's Ranged stat instead of her lower Melee. And the only requirement is that you need to have also fielded Reimu, which is barely a requirement at all.

It'll take a bit for Sanae to catch up to Reimu though, so I won't be using it just yet.

Music: The Dancing, Blooming, Butterfly Person A!!

Cue more kedamas dying.

I need Sakuya to hit 130 Power so Elegant will activate, and I want Merlin to get Valor as soon as possible. So Lyrica is going to use all of her SP on Cheer.

The kedama slaughter helped pump Reimu's Power high enough she can use her stronger counters.

She even picks up a second level of Youkai Buster too, just in time to murder some bats.

Speaking of which, fuck bats! On harder difficulties, anyway. Their S ranks in Night make them frustrating for anyone without Shrine Maiden, and they spam so much danmaku that the entire northern half becomes a complete quagmire.

...Though to be honest, it's actually a good thing that you can clear out the southern half faster.

Enough bats suicide on Reimu B that they get their act going. Reimu doesn't even need to attack now, Suika can handle things.

Magic Team is still in the lead on the killing front though. Southern half's already clean.

Then again, Reimu B looks like they might catch up by next turn.

Music: A Sworn Friend's Bond

Oh and I guess everyone else is here too.

Alas, these two bats smartly decided to wait instead of attack Reimu.

I guess that means I can use this now!

We were discussing a shrine maiden combo, but what exactly would that entail? I've never practiced working together with you, after all...

It's not that complicated, we just combine our attacks. How about I use my barrier and you use your invocation at the same time?

...I see. If I borrow Lady Kanako's power, I could probably keep up with the new, improved Reimu.

So that's what we're doing then. One, two, three, go!

Wait, what does it mean to combine our attacks? Do we just grab each other...?!

Try to keep up, Sanae!

Watch the video!

W-We did it!

That's our shrine maiden team, they got it on the first attempt.

So how was it, Sanae? I bet your daily training paid off.

Yes, thank you for being so strict with me, Lady Suwako!

It went well on their end, but what about yours, Reimu? I hope the training was to your satisfaction?

With your power, you should be easily be able to, say, channel the myriad gods into your bod-

Nah, I don't need any of that. Why don't you just stop coming over?

Oh you know you liked it.

Here's Time Paradox in "action". Sakuya will essentially Support Attack herself, which does mean she has to survive the enemy's counter before her second hit.

I wasn't sure if I would have Magic Team or Reimu B handle Keine, but then she picked for me.

...So you've made it this far, Reimu! I never thought you and I would face off like this.

That's my line. Don't expect me to choke up, though!

Sheesh, that idiot... Doesn't she know her danmaku's got a totally different mood than usual?

Huh? It looks the same as always to me. Besides, Reimu never goes easy on anyone!

That's only when she's fighting someone like you. Well whatever, if she can't keep her act straight then I'll just have to cover for her.

Music: Brain of Steel

Keine was losing steam as a player unit, and becoming a boss hasn't changed that.

To put things in perspective, she's actually about as sturdy as Momiji! Only she doesn't have a shield.

She does have Youmu's old Melee attack boosting danmaku field though, so she can do okay damage if she manages to hit.

She's also one of the higher Skill characters, so Sakuya can only hit once.

She has Prevail 6 so she's not a complete chump too.

Not that that stops me from being able to murder her this turn if I wanted to. But I'll wait, I need to set up my other units.

One turn later she goes splat.

Ngh, I'd expect no less...!

Keine, are you okay~?

You should've known it was a bad idea to go up against this many people.

Now answer my question properly. Why does Mokou need to do this alone?

...The mastermind behind this incident is Mokou's fated opponent. Mokou wants to settle things with her, and I want to honor her wishes.

That doesn't answer the question. Why does she need to fight alone? Weren't you the one who was always inviting Mokou and trying to get her closer to us?

...True, this must seem strange of me. However, I can still feel a thick wall between Mokou and the rest of us.

I thought she'd been opening her heart to us though...

Her mortal enemy started this incident, and she wants to resolve it by her own hand. If she succeeds, it should be a good chance for her to move on.

But this incident is still ongoing. She's clearly not getting much do-

Explosions go off nearby.


The mansion is shaking. Is that Mokou fighting?

That light too, doesn't it feel a bit like moonlight?!

...I can feel the power of the full moon. Did she injure the caster?!

As long as Mokou's fighting, I will not fall!

Wait, what are you-

! She's gathering the moonlight!

Music: Now is the Full Moon

Momiji posted:

Wha- What's with that appearance?!

Therianthrope, Hakutaku! That's the form Keine takes during the full moon! Her strength, both physical and spiritual, is incomparable to her human form!

Keine was hiding a trick like that up her sleeve?!

There's a reason one of Keine's death lines was a threat she'd be back next full moon.

But where is the moonlight coming from? Could that impact just now have broken the mastermind's spell?

No, it merely put a crack in it. The moon is still distorted, and we don't have the raw power to do better.

Now, it's time to get back in the fight! Let me show you the power to create history, the power of a hakutaku!


[Future] "New History Of Phantasm -Next History-"

EX Keine's finisher is awesome. I'm not spoiling it for you, watch the video.

She herself hasn't changed much though. She got an extra 100 Armor, more damaging attacks, and picked up Special Resistance, big whoop.

More problematic is her field, which sets the level of all player characters in it to level 25.

Which... isn't much of a fall for the Akis, not that they're even in the field.

I just bomb through it.

I was about to have Sakuya spam Killer Doll to victory before I realized I don't have Support Attack on her yet.


Sanae. I see you're working in tandem with the group again.

I am, but it's just not the same without you there. Reimu depends on you a lot, and so do the othe-

I feel bad about that, but I have my own reasons. For Mokou's sake, I can't let you pass!

Oh no...

So instead, everyone else just beats her up.

Here's something interesting: despite being far below the level curve, the Akis just did a decent amount of damage with Super Aki Kick. Part of that comes down to its strong base damage of 3500,

but the rest is because I equipped both Minoriko and Shizuha's friendship skills.

For the longest time I thought friendships maxed out at level 9 and only boosted Hit/Evade. Turns out I was completely wrong! The levels go all the way to 20, and once you go past level 4 you start seeing attack and defense boosts too. Minoriko and Shizuha have a level 2 friendship by default, and their PS boosts it to level 7. That's +27% Hit/Evade, x1.12 damage dealt, and x0.88 damage received... normally.

While crawling through the wiki during the break, I noticed the page on friendships got a big expansion. The Aki Sisters, Three Fairies, and Prismrivers were mentioned in particular as getting a special bonus if more than one of them put on their friendship boosting skills. Clarste and I were super confused as to what exactly this bonus was (seriously we were scratching our heads for half an hour), but eventually we figured it out. Basically, if multiples of a single skill are on, the character attacking gets the bonus from all of them.

To give a more concrete explanation, both Minoriko and Shizuha have Their Autumn on. Normally Minoriko would only feel Shizuha's (the normal level 2 plus the +5 boost from Their Autumn), but thanks to this quirk she also feels her own. So she's actually getting a (2 + 5 + 5) boost, or in other words a level 12 friendship. And that's a +42% to Hit/Evade, x1.27 to damage dealt, and x0.73 to damage received.

Shit gets silly with the trios, though. If all three have their friendship PS's on, they'll shoot right up to level 20. Taking the Prismrivers as an example, not only does Lunasa's friendship with Merlin get the buff (base of 2, plus 6, plus 6 again), but also her friendship with Lyrica. So that's straight up 14 + 14, which caps out at 20. And that's a +66% to Hit/Evade, x1.51 to damage dealt, and x0.49 to damage received. In other words, permanent double Focus, Valor, and Guard!

Apparently Cirno and Dai have something similar but I don't even want to begin trying to figure out that.

Getting back to EX Keine, fun fact!

Fury ignores Prevail.

Sakuya couldn't safely attack much, but she contributed anyway by refilling Reimu's MP. Sheesh Suika, would it kill you to spare some booze?

RIP EX Keine.

So this is as far as I can go...!

Reimu snags her sixth level of Shrine Maiden from the corpse of her first party member. She also gets an Oni's Fang.

Ngh, even the power of the full moon wasn't enough...?!

It's over this time. We won.

Yeesh, that was a tough opponent to go up against.

You really overdid it, even if it was for Mokou's sake.

...I'm sorry, but I wanted to gamble on this. If she defeats her rival and resolves the incident, I'm sure it'll help her sort out her feelings.

I thought it would be her chance to start living alongside everyone in Gensokyo.

In the end though, isn't that just your opinion? You could've asked us for advice. You didn't need to try so hard by yourself.

Well either way, I get what you were feeling. We'll go check out Mokou's fight... AFTER we get you on the ship and patch you up.

...Don't mind me. I have one request, though. If you meet Mokou up ahead, don't mention me to her.

Why not?

Mokou has no idea that I decided to fight you like this. If she knew, I'm sure she'd blame herself. Even though I made this decision on my own.

But then she'll never know what you did for he-


More explosions?! Someone's flying out this time though!

Music: Eternally Blazing Heart

Mokou posted:

Gah! I was so close too!

Don't underestimate me, doctor! Try that again and I'll be dragging your guts out with me!

Hey, that's-!


Keine?! You were still here?! Wait, what happened to-

Mokou, I'm glad you're all right!

And you're all here too. Did Keine lead you here...? No, that's not it. You were fighting with Keine?!

...Whoops, cat's out of the bag.

Wait, Mokou! There's a good reason for thi-

You think I care?! How dare you hurt Keine?!

...Good grief, you just got here a moment ago. Way to jump to conclusions.

Can't you tell? Keine fought us for YOU.

For... me?!

Keine wanted to honor your feelings, Mokou. That's why she pushed herself to try and stop us.

Wait, didn't I tell you to go home without me...?

...No, Keine would try to do the impossible for my sake. I thought I knew that. But when I think about HER, I lose sight of everything else...

...I'm sorry. I made this decision on my own.

But I'm the one who dragged you into this mess. And now you're hurt...

Well, you shouldn't feel too down. I don't think there was anything you could have done about it. If you want to clear your name though, then by all means, fight alongside us.


I can't do that!


I can't back down now... I'll just beat you all, and then go settle things with her.

Hey, wait, whose fault do you think this was?!

I KNOW! But if I broke down here, what would be left?! Keine got herself that hurt for my sake... Am I supposed to let those feelings go to waste?!


If you want to criticize me, then fine. But do it after I beat you!

...Sheesh, she's just as stubborn as Keine. Fine, we'll keep you company until you calm down!

I will as well, if that's what it takes to satisfy you, Mokou!

Mokou, there's no reason to-

Sorry, Keine. This is what makes me me. The day I obtained immortality, my flames scorched the heavens!

And you guys thought chapter 40 had a dumb reason to fight.


[Hourai] "South Wind, Clear Sky -Fujiyama Volcano-"


Victory: Defeat Mokou.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.
Bonus: Reduce Mokou's HP to 0 to trigger Resurrection within two turns of her appearance.

Mokou starts at low HP, but her danmaku field buffs her HP Regen. The obvious idea is that I am supposed to be on the other side of the field fighting EX Keine, and that by the time I make it to Mokou she'll have regenerated most of her health back.

You may have noticed that Marisa's squad is not on the other side of the field.

This is a really easy bonus.

Not bad, but...!

Mokou goes splat.

...Huh? Wasn't that a bit too easy?

No, look!

Whoa, she's being reborn in the flames?!

...Now do you see? This is what it means to not die. No matter how close I get to death, I'll never quite reach it.

This is how we've been continuously killing each other.

Are you talking about that mortal enemy of yours...?

That's right, the mastermind behind this incident is my bitter enemy. It's her fault that I drank the Hourai Elixir... And just like me, she's immortal and ageless.

That truly is a mortal enemy...

But isn't it bad to be by yourself then? If you want to hurt her, it's way easier with a bunch of people.

...This isn't just about revenge anymore. This undying body is just too much for me, I'll be struggling with it for all eternity. But within that eternity, she's the only other person who I'll always share time with. I can bury my loneliness with hatred.

You want to feel truly alive... Is that why you fight?

Right. I can only feel alive when I'm killing her and being killed by her... To me, that's what it means to live.

You kill each other in order to live? What kind of logic is that?

...I doubt you'd ever understand. I'm different from you. I could never "live" alongside you.

Mokou gets a full heal, which is kind of annoying since Fujiyama Volcano is a MAP.

Too bad for her my damage output is insane now. Hermit Purple to start,

Floating Moon to set-up,

and Final Spark to fini- wait what.

Oh right, I don't have Koa.

Probably shouldn't have spammed Malice Cannon so much when I could have just used Artful Sacrifice or Dolls War!

I hoped that a Valored Malice Cannon + Artful Sacrifice would do it, but Mokou just barely survived.

Fujiyama Volcano has horrible accuracy, so it's not a threat.

The fact that it just regenerated like 60% of Mokou's HP is pretty annoying though!

Magic Team's done their part, so I have them head for the Akis for a refill. Everyone else also backs off in hopes of luring Mokou to the main crowd.

Unfortunately I forgot that she's more than happy to be a literal volcano and stay in one spot.

In hindsight I should have just loaded everyone onto the ship. I'd have to eat a Power loss, but at least I'd be able to reach Mokou.

I made a few token attempts to finish Mokou off anyways, but it's pretty clear I won't be capturing this spell.

You're pretty good...!

Another resurrection. Don't ask me why she had to do that when she didn't even die.

She keeps restoring herself in the flames! She's already back to full health!

Just give up already and wait over there. Don't stick your nose into our fight.

Sheesh, I don't know how special this "fated opponent" of yours is to you, but...

Why do you hang out with Keine, then?


Yeah! Aren't you doing all this for Keine? Why are you saying you can't live with her then?


Keine is one of the few humans who understands me. She goes out of her way to make sure I remember how to live as a human...

Is your life really that bad, then? Why don't you just stop all this ridiculous posturing, and spend your life with her?

Why not spend my time with a worm? It's all the same to me. The time I spend with the people I love is less than a drop in the bucket to an eternity. It might as well be nothing.

But how many people do you think I've seen die? I've probably spent more than Keine's entire lifespan doing nothing but killing time.

Mokou, that's...

...I think I understand what she's trying to say. Sharing feelings with someone who lives a different lifespan is a painful thing.


The Hieda girl, huh? If you understand, then shut up.

No, that's exactly why I have to say my piece. Please, talk to Keine. And please, listen to her.

You're so dead set on giving up and being alone. That's just your own selfishness!

Why do you people have to stick your nose into my business...?!

Cause we're your friends, duh. We drank sake together, so who cares how different our lives are?

...Fine, if that's what you think, then I'll show you just what it means to be immortal.

You all die and die and die and die and reach the darkness at the end of death.

But we, who know not death, know neither light nor dark. All there is is an unchanging eternity!


Possessed by Phoenix

Mokou gets chattier during this spell.

I can respect that you've got your own ideas about things. But I don't stop for anyone trying to interfere with my investigations. Not even friends.

You've got your priorities straight. But confronting the mastermind here is MY jo-

Look, if you can resolve this incident, I don't care what you do. You could come with us, for all I care.

Harsh, yet lenient. Well, that's what makes you you.

Music: How to Spend an Eternity

This track isn't even in the FMW3 OST, but I figured I may as well throw it in. Keine got a new theme, so why not Mokou?
Thanks to Clarste for the name translation, I had the much more literal "Ways to Spend Repetitive Nights".

This attack is Totally Not Akashic Buster, it's great.

Possessed by Phoenix's field drops Move by 1 and pumps the hell out of Prevail and Instinct.

Who cares, bombed.

Say, Akyu. About what you were talking about earlie-

I'm sorry. I let my emotions get the best of me for a moment.

I've lived many fleeting lives, and experienced many painful partings. But that's no reason to make light of time spent with others. That's just conceited.

You mean, you care about the others you spend time with.

Yes. When you live with someone, that time is also their own, not just yours.

I think Mokou would appreciate your perspective. Let's talk it over again with her after this fight is over.


Mokou is grounded, so you can actually see Sinking Anchor's anchor.

I'm gonna guess you're the type that's bad at expressing themselves.

The way you said that makes it sound like you're mocking me. It's true, though.

Then you should just come out and say things more! You can't cheer someone up if there's no one around!

...That's also true.

I had Lyrica attack solely to weaken Mokou enough that anyone could kill her. I proceeded to wonder who should actually get the kill for like three minutes before I remembered Yuyuko had Mercy.

You know, they say that to live is to suffer.

Whatever, ghost princess. Not like you'd know anything about that.

But is that really something that no one else can help with? If you turn away those that seek to support you, you just make them feel helpless.

No one needs to feel my pain but me. There's no point in dragging someone else down with me.

That kind of attitude will make others feel all the more lonely.

With that done, I was back to figuring out who should finish Mokou off.

If you care about Keine, living together shouldn't be that-

I already told you, that'd be like spending time with a worm.

But have you ever heard anything like that from Keine? I'm sure she cares about you just as much as you care about her.

Of course she'd never tell me that. But it would be wrong of me to return her feelings!

Music: Proof of the Wind's Bond

I ended up going with Sanae since she still had enough SP for Gain and was partnered up with someone who needed levels. Momiji got like 1100 XP, it was great.

Guh, you got this far...?!

We broke through somehow. So this is an immortal's hidden potential...!

I'm impressed, but it's pointless to keep fighting. Just leave the extrermination of the mastermind to us.

You're definitely strong. But I'm stil-

That's enough, Mokou. Let's end this already!

...I guess Keine was watching from the roof?

Keine, how can you move with those injuries...?!

I can't watch this any longer. I'm the one who started this fight anywa-

No, you didn't. And I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've ever made you suffer. That's why I needed this pain to be mine.


...I guess they don't feel like fighting anymore. Case closed?

We never felt like fighting in the first place.

Then why don't we nurse our injuries and ask you two some questions?

We have to decide our next course of action too. Lower the Palanquin Ship.

There goes my perfect record... again.


Whew, let's call it a day. Doing all this showy stuff really works up an appetite.

I guess so...

Oh, Komachi. Have you come here to laze around again?

Nah, I just came cause it was dinner time.

But you know, recently the menu's had a really healthy feel to it.

Well I suppose YOU'D know... But don't say anything like that in front of Sakuya.

Why not?

Well, it seems she's been on sort of a diet lately. So please don't say anything unnecessary.

Hm, now that you mention it she has seemed a little pudgier lately.

Shhhh! That's what I want you to be careful about!