Part 52Behold the final party, as picked by Golden Battler and KnoxZone:
The four canonical Imperishable Night teams, the Akis, the Prismrivers, the Subterranean Animism crew, and most of the Hourai crew. Technically I was supposed to deploy Letty instead of Tewi, but Ryza was really annoyed he missed the vote so this is a tribute to him.
Music: What's the Strategy?
Palanquin Ship - Hall
So this is basically all our fault.
We had no idea Utsuho would fuse with Yatagarasu so fast. Actually, we're still not sure why.
Well thanks for telling us.
Hell's Artificial Sun
Music: Hell's Mantle
I-It's soooooo hot here... I can feel it prickling my skin!
It really IS even hotter than it used to be...!
No ordinary youkai would dare approach such heat. So that hell crow up ahead must be-
Ahaha! Burn! Burn hotter!
Conquering the surface will be a cinch, even with flames as piddly as these!
Is that really Utsuho?!
She looks completely different from the last time we saw her!
Her body changed as she got more and more unified with Yatagarasu! But I can't believe she's already changed so much...
Unyu? Is someone there?
Indeed. It is I, Kanako Yasaka.
We meet again, Utsuho. It seems you've drawn out Yatagarasu's power during the short time I've been away. That amount seems to be unmanageable for you thoug-
What are you talking about? Who are you, even?
What's going on? Don't you know her?
We do. Did she forget...?
Oh, I know that feeling! It all just spills out of your head overnight.
You people sure love to talk. Was there anyone like that in the Underworld...?
Actually, we've come from the surface. Perhaps you remember us? We're here today because of a request from your friend Orin.
From Orin? And we've met before...?
We met when you two came to the surface. Both Orin and Satori are worried about you.
Oh, I remember now! We fought you!
So you came all the way down here to get beaten up before I conquer the surface?
This isn't working, she's not listening.
Sounds like she was serious about conquering the surface too.
As expected, it appears we won't be able to persuade her.
You weren't like this before, Okuu. What happened to you?
What do you surface dwellers keep talking about?
Ways to punish you. You're not invading the surface on my watch!
Hehehe. Stop me, if you can! I've got the ultimate power. This'll be fun! Until your bodies melt away, anyway!
Victory: Defeat Utsuho.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.
Bonus: Capture all of Utsuho's spells.
This map is annoyingly huge. And as you might have guessed, I can't land on the lava, so this is effectively another "everyone flies" chapter.
Which is a shame, it's got a neat landed background.
There's really not much to say about the stage portion of this chapter, so here's a funny trick. Thanks to the Return to Yomi here, whenever an allied character dies Yuyuko gets 50% of their remaining SP. Normally this is almost useless, since if somebody died presumably it was because they were out of SP,
but Alice's dolls have a truckload of SP they're not using.
Throw in the Mystic Memory cutting SP costs, and the end result is Yuyuko spamming the hell out of Rally.
Though I have to engineer a situation where Alice's dolls die first. And note there's a bug: if one of Alice's dolls die, every doll she summons afterwards will have zero SP. This just means you have to summon all three at once though.
You can ramp this strategy up even further by giving Alice the Doll Master PS, which lets her summon up to six dolls. If you get roughly one Rally per doll, and don't care about Yuyuko's remaining SP, you could theoretically get off about eight Rallies.
The downside to this, incidentally, is losing Ghostly Butterfly Dance+'s Shield Defense activation buff.
One of the nice things about running the four IN teams is that every one of them has access to Accel. To be certain Sakuya would have vastly preferred Meiling's Support Defend instead, but hey it's something.
That's about all I can say about the stage, so I'll skip to Utsuho.
Who, thanks to her PS Yatagarasu's Guidance (+30% to accuracy at 130 Power), has really high hit rates. Sure Reimu's taking a -40% to her evade rate and didn't cast Focus, but getting 100% on her is still no mean feat.
Here comes the surface dwellers!
Up close, I can really tell exactly how different she looks now.
Not only does she have that ugly arm and leg, she's got this sinister eye smack dab in the middle of her chest!
This body is the proof that a god lives inside of me. An unstoppable heat is overflowing from inside me, more than I can control!
Be careful everyone, an incredible heat is coming from within her!
Just try and stand up to this!
Music: The Crow that Swallowed the Sun
Even with the power of the sun, Utsuho is a wimp.
She's loaded with skills and has solid attributes now, but that's like bare minimum for a boss at this point in the game.
So I've finally found the boss. Though if I stay here any longer, I'm gonna turn into fried shrine maiden!
The surface's shrine maiden... You came here to exterminate me, huh?
I would have been fine if you left it at making a hot spring, but there's going to be trouble if you keep on rampaging.
I don't know much about this ultimate power or whatever, but the ultimate shrine maiden is going to beat you and stop your plans!
Hehehe, then that means once I beat you I'll have proven my power. Burning you up in these high temperature, high pressure flames will be the first step in my conquest of the surface!
She kept going after Reimu too, giving me ample time to set up a formation.
This is the WORST time for this... Is my intuition getting dull?
Or at least that was the plan, but in a move that is undoubtedly going to make Nages laugh at me forever I forgot to unfocus Reimu. So she grazed a 95% (god damn it Utsuho how did you miss that) and died.
...At least Yuyuko got more SP???
I've lived a long time, but I've never met a youkai that ate a god before. No offense, but could you spit that bird back out again?
Don't be dumb, why would I do that after finally getting my hands on power? And a special power, too! I'd do anything for it!
Sheesh, someone's tenacious...!
Tewi missed a coin flip. So much for good luck.
Anyway, I finish setting up on turn 8. Losing Reimu turned out to be sort of a good thing, since it freed up Yukari to protect Magic Team. And since I was originally planning on having Kaguya do that, this means Mokou is free to attack too.
Utsuho, please stop your plan to conquer the surface! If you change your mind now, then I'm sure everyone here will treat you with understan-
I don't care about that! I'll just blow anybody who gets in my way away!
No hesitation at all...! In that case, I'll have to clear my unnecessary thoughts away too.
Your ambitions... will be slashed!
Everyone was talking about it, but I never thought I'D see hell with my own eyes...
If that's what you want, then I can pump out even hotter flames for you. Doesn't fusing with hell's flames sound fun?
Sorry, but I think hell disagrees with me. I'll beat you up and get out of here as fast as I can!
Normally Youmu and Mokou would be bottle-necked by their MP, but Eirin is right there so they can just spam finishers indefinitely.
Get a hold of yourself, Utsuho!
You're that earth spider. Uh... Yabame... ?
YaMAme. Your actions are one thing, but it looks like who you are inside hasn't changed one bit.
If you keep on raging like this, you're gonna bring a lot of trouble down on the Underworld.
Then before that happens, I just have to burn up all the jerks on the surface!
Nobody wants that to happen. Honestly? I'd like it if the Underworld and the surfac-
Ah whatever, it's not like I can just talk you out of this!
I was hoping Sakuya would land this Support Attack and finish Utsuho off, but nope.
I guess I'll just have Tewi do it and rake in the points.
Why do you keep on coming even though you're no match for me?
Is there no end to her power?!
Looks like she's still got a lot more saved up at least!
It seems she really is drawing out Yatagarasu's power. How exactly did they combine so fast..?
How? Oh, that's easy.
What are you talking about?
You just have to give Lord Yatagarasu everything he wants.
If he wants your right arm, you give him your arm. If he needs your right leg, you give him your leg. And if he asks for your heart, then you just give it to him!
If you do that, Lord Yatagarasu gives you his power right away!
You threw away your own body?! That's crazy!
So she sped up the process by being unafraid to pay any price...?!
Then she can already freely control the power of the sun she's been granted. You paid with your limbs to manage your inner sun.
Right, I can only do it because of this body! I made the power of fusion my own! Now take a good, long look at it!
...! Is this heat signature is coming from Okuu?!
Watch out, everybody! I'm getting a super high energy reading from her!
Lord Yatagarasu, the Black Sun. Thank you for giving me your power.
The ultimate power of nuclear fusion can burn everything away! Human and youkai, mind and body, I don't care!
Atomic Fire "Nuclear Fusion"
Nuclear Fusion's field nullifies Alert and fully restores Utsuho's MP every turn.
Who'd have thought the surface was under attack? The tension's way too high~!
She's totally different from the last time we met. What happened to her?
...No, her sound is the same as last time.
The sound of the sky. A lovely, resounding one, free of excess.
Then I'm even more confused. Why is she doing this?
Hey! You girls are pretty brave to just stand around in front of me chatting!
...Yeesh, guess we'll have to think about this later.
Let's use our sound to figure out the secrets of hers!
Now, let the curtain rise.
Remilia has Support Attack, so I swap her in front for a bit to use it.
No I don't know why Remilia isn't just passing out from being right next to Utsuho either.
Blazing Hell, hmm? Something like this wouldn't even make me blink.
How are you so calm in the middle of these flames...?
I am the queen of the night. Even the fires of hell itself couldn't burn my body.
How arrogant of you, to speak of conquering the surface. I'll bury you even further underground!
The anti-Alert effect is only on the bottom part of the field, so Remilia's clear to blow her last finisher on triggering Yuugi's Support Attack.
By the way, Knockout in Three Steps did almost as much damage as Red the Nightless Castle. And that's with the Support Attack damage penalty.
Gah! In a place like this, any sweet potato would just get fried!
And any falling leaves would burn up in a bonfire!
Mmm, something smells good... Hey, you two are holding snacks, aren't you!
Did the smell reach you? Well in any case, we won't hand over our sweet potatoes!
Realize that you can't match the power of autumn! The power of this slightly overcooked aroma!
Nuclear Fusion's animation has a cute reference in it; the black sun that expands into a giant fireball is straight from Utsuho's original boss portrait.
Oi, Okuu. What kind of stupid stunt are you trying to pull here?
...! Why is an oni with these surface dwellers...?
Thanks to your plan, a whole bunch of problems have come down from the surface.
Anyway, you're breaking our agreement with the sage. Cut it out already.
Don't worry, once I conquer the surface, little things like that wil-
Nobody wants that, and I don't think anybody's gonna lend you a hand.
Guess I'll just have to beat that into you. No hard feelings!
Yuugi grabs the kill and snags Valor out of the ensuing level up. You know, because she didn't do enough damage already.
We broke through the power of the sun!
If you just suddenly throw around energy like that, you'll quickly exhaust yours-
Hm, that was so-so, I guess!
What? She's completely fine?!
I can make flames like that with just my pinkie. Now that I'm done warming up, there's all sorts of thing I wanna try out!
Wait, you're trying these out? You don't even know your own power?
Well, if I turned up the heat even a little, everyone else would just melt. You girls, though, I can do whatever I like to!
Yeesh, I don't think we're getting out of this just some scalding!
I can do more stuff than just shooting fire too. Lord Yatagarasu, grant me strength!
Crow Sign "Yatagarasu Dive"
This spell has a weird effect: every time Utsuho gets hit, she does more damage on her next attack. The counter resets every player phase so she doesn't do infinite damage though.
It also lets Utsuho move through my units, so it's really something I should have waited a turn to activate.
What incredible heat! I can feel it even from inside the ship!
I'm honestly not sure if the Palanquin Ship can handle this...
Is that huge ship flying? Actually, I feel like I've seen it before... Whatever, if it's that big then it'll be easy to send it flying!
Murasa, she's approaching!
Roger that. Be careful not to get directly hit!
Looks like you really DO have the power of Yatagarasu...! But was it really worth doing THAT to your body?
Of course! I finally have what I've always wanted!
You're useless, so hurry up and vanish.
There are some people worried about you, so no can do.
I'll stop your plans to conquer the surface, here and now!
Not that it matters since Utsuho wasted her turn on killing Mokou again. Yuyuko is just lapping up the SP this chapter.
Tewi was supposed to get the kill again, but she screwed up. So the Prismrivers stepped in.
Ack, so they caught me?!
I'm pretty impressed you managed to go so fast with a body like that though.
At full force, I could see the wind burning around you!
That wasn't nearly enough. I need more! More, more power!
But why do you want power so much? Is it all to conquer the surface?
Yeah! With this power, I'll make the surface OURS.
Are you a kid or what? Speak like an adult!
But I never had any special abilities. That's why I wanted power!
But why? You weren't supposed to be such a self-centered person... Were you seduced by the power of the gods?
I think you've got the wrong idea. Having power doesn't mean you can do whatever you want.
No, I've got the RIGHT idea. The me right now can do anything! With just a thought, I can turn the surface into a second Blazing Hell!
We won't let you! We're not gonna let you go outside!
Nuh-uh, I'm going!
...Watch out, a high temperature, high pressure energy is gathering around her! The readings are on a completely different scale from before!
Lord Yatagarasu, please grant me power. A fire even hotter than before!
I'll blow you all away with a flame from my super-high temperature core!
Explosion Sign "Mega Flare"
Move -1 and Utsuho restores 20% more HP per turn.
You fought off even THAT flame?!
With that much firepower, you might even burn MY coat.
Why do you always have to get in my way? I'll become the sun that conquers the surface, and then...
It looks like we're getting things under control.
I hope she cools her head while we're at it.
Just stop this already, Okuu!
All this time, you've always worked your hardest for Satori and the others, right? But if you go on a rampage on the surface, you'll just make everyone at the palace sad.
Right. Satori and Orin were worried about you.
That's not going to stop me, I'm conquering the surface FOR them! For Miss Satori and Miss Koishi!
What are you-
The surface has a huge sky, where the sun shines brightly! Everyone at the palace could live there happily! I just need to get my hands on it, and then-
That's not what Satori wants!
Looks like you got blinded by the sunlight~.
This is going nowhere. Guess we've got no choice.
My magic will blow away both your ambitions AND the fires of the sun!
You think you can beat me?! Then I'll show you a fire even stronger than before!
You're kidding me, it goes even higher?!
Looks like the power of the sun god really is limitless!
It needs to be hotter! A hundred times hotter! No, a thousand times!
Burst forth, divine flame!!
Explosion Sign "Giga Flare"
Kind of a mess of effects here. It's -30% to evade rates everywhere and -2 to Bomb range in the lighter blue portion. Also Utsuho gains 10 Power every enemy phase.
Also it's a MAP.
Sorry, but this is all I can take. I'm withdrawing.
That's enough fighting for me. Now to sit back and relax.
Oh shit that's right, I was supposed to suicide Tewi for the video this chapter. Who do I sacrifice now? I need someone completely... useless...
Watch the video!
Remilia said something when she died, but I was mashing so who cares.
Utsuho, do we really need to fight? We've already met with Satori and Orin. There's no need t-
Are you talking about that again? I don't need to listen to anything YOU people say.
This'll be good practice for when I reach the surface. I'll blow all of you away at once!
So there's no choice but to take up the gauntlet after all...
Utsuho drops the Mini Reactor, which effectively gives the holder MP Regen (M).
No way, even that didn't work...?
She's running out of spiritual energy. Is this finally over?
What are you talking about, I can still-
Utsuho suddenly lands... straight onto the lava. Huh.
She fell to the ground... Looks like she can't raise her output any further.
Maybe that attack just now was her limit?
Why, Lord Yatagarasu? I still have to conquer the surface...
Just give up already. You lost.
And give up on that stupid dream of conquering the surface too, while you're at it.
...So, in the end, I still couldn't do anything...?
...May I ask about something you said earlier? You said you wanted to take the surface for Satori and her sister's sake. What did you mean by that?
...I was really jealous of the sun shining on the surface. Up there, I'm sure they could forget the bad stuff and enjoy their lives...
But didn't they move here FROM the surface?
That's, um... huh?
You probably mixed up Satori's feelings with your own desires.
...Still, I'll keep in mind that you looked towards the surface with hope.
You're all right!
Orin! And even Miss Satori!
So you finally got here. We just got her to start behaving herself.
She seems to have calmed down. Perhaps with this, we can call the matter settled.
...I'm sorry I made you two worry about me...
...Thank goodness. Your appearance may have changed, but you're still the Okuu I know.
I'm glad you cooled your head, at least. But why did you say you were going to conquer the surface, of all things?
It seems like she's been a bit confused ever since heading up to the surface. It turns out she wanted to do something for the Komeiji sisters.
She did this for US...?
It didn't matter what it was, I just wanted to cheer you up, Miss Satori. I mean, ever since Miss Koishi shut her eye, you never smile like you used to.
I never had any special powers, so all I could do was watch. It was so frustrating... But I didn't know what to do about it.
...You idiot. Don't just bottle all that up inside. I can see where you were coming from though, wanting to do something, anything.
...No matter the result, it was Utsuho's desperation that led to this incident.
Yes... A misuse of power, combined with her pure feelings for others.
...I never knew that that's how you two thought of me... Or perhaps I never made the effort to know?
No, WE were the ones trying to hide it from you!
That's right, we're the ones who need to apologize...
So it looks like your failure to communicate was the origin of all this.
...True. I may have overlooked something in their minds.
...We need to stop worrying about things on our own and talk to each other.
...On that note, it seems the discussion has died down.
Then should we get going back to the surface? I'm already pooped, but if I stay here any longer I'm gonna melt...
Good grief. We can clean up the loose ends next time, so shall we head back to the surface for now?
Before that, there's something I need to discuss with you, Sato-
I see, so you're the one who gave that power to Okuu.
Looks like Okuu herself forgot, but there's no mistake.
But they had their reasons, so-
I already knew that, before you said anything. I don't intend to press this matter any further for now.
Let's arrange a time and place to talk about this later. We'll discuss the details then, please.
Very well then.
So this is where we say goodbye, then? Try not to get eaten by crows on the way out.
Thanks for helping out this time, Yuugi. You other three too.
Okay everyone, climb aboard. We're heading back to the surface!
The Underworlders head to the southwest corner while the main party piles onto the ship and heads southeast.
...So they're all going home. I lost my chance to thank them.
You'll be meeting the surface gods again soon enough. You can thank them then. We should be heading back to the palace ourselves.
...What's wrong, Okuu?
It's kinda late for this, but I was just thinking about the mess I made of the furnace I'm in charge of... It was even the one job you finally gave me, Miss Satori...
We can always find you another job, now that you're back to normal.
Oh yeah, you should probably take your time thinking about how you're gonna use that power too. I'm sure you can make yourself useful with that, somehow.
Yeah, let's think about it together.
Huh, what's this I'm sensing...?
What's wrong, Star?
I can feel something something approaching from the surface. And it's not just one thing, it's lots of little things.
Isn't it just some more of Satori's pets coming to greet her, now that we cleared out the spirits?
No, there's way too many of them for that. It's weird.
...! We're picking up something on the ship's radar! Too many of them to count, headed straight for us!
Look up ahead, everyone!
Was that a laser?! And it was aimed at Utsuho!
Where did- Who-?!
Is that... Shiro?!
Why is it...?! I thought we left it at the shrin-
Music: Girls, Surpass the Carnage!
Wha- What ARE those?!
Wh-What's going on?! There's a whole bunch of Shiro lookalikes!
So these were what were approaching?! But why? I've heard they were someone's familiars, bu-
Watch out, those are the things that attacked you!
Wh-What's your problem? Why're yo-
Some of the black kedamas slam into Utsuho.
What's with these guys?! Are they after Okuu?!
You called it Shiro. Is this some plot of yours?!
No way, why would we do that?! We're just as surprised as you!
Who cares what they are?! Get over here, Okuu!
E-Easier said than don-
Utsuho's lost the will to fight, yet they keep attacking her!
What's going on?! Did they not notice that her rampage is over?
...No, that's not it.
Those youkai aren't simply trying to stop her, like Orin or the surface dwellers did. They're trying to get rid of the power she now possesses...!
G-Get rid of her?! No way!
C-Calm down. It's not like they could ever beat her.
No, what they're planning is-
Wh-What are you doing?! Get off me!
They're going for the eye in her chest... Are they trying to tear out Yatagarasu?!
That's crazy! Aren't they supposed to be fused now?!
Get off of her, you trash!
Ngh, why you little-
...Miss Satori, Orin...!
Okuu, are you all right?!
They're trying to take Lord Yatagarasu...! But, that's... impossible... Lord Yatagarasu is... getting mad...!
W-We know! We're coming to help you! So just hold on a little longe-
No, you all need to run away... Lord... Yatagarasu's... power... is...
What are you talking about?!
Cue a giant explosion.
Eeeek! It's a shockwave!
What just happened?!
I don't know! But it's filled with light outside!
We're going to right the ship, everyone hold onto something!
We're getting visuals back!
Is it.. over? But-
Utsuho's gone! And the bedrock around her collapsed!
Is everyone okay?! What about Orin and the rest?!
...That was a close one. Might've been dangerous if I'd been a moment later!
Did you save us, Yuugi...?
What just happened here?!
...Okuu's power went berserk, and she shot out some crazy-strong flame. Just look up.
...! There's a huge hole in the ceiling!
Did Utsuho's power open that up...?
At this depth, it might have even reached the surface!
I'm sure Utsuho went through that hole too...
Shiro and its buddies leave the area.
...! The minions just fled through the hole.
Are they going after Utsuho again?!
Murasa, launch the ship at once.
Are we going after Utsuho too?!
If she used power this great on the surface, it would be a disaster...!
The Underworld youkai too, please climb aboard.
Got it, we'll be right there!
Everybody gets on board.
...We're all set here. Buddhist reactor at maximum output!
Scramble, Palanquin Ship!
Utsuho is a hilarious wet fart on Lunatic because she doesn't have Fury. You can spam Support Defend all day to ignore everything she does. Really, the hardest part about her is how much HP she has.
...Yuugi, are you sending another e-mail?
Oh, Parsee. What are you doing her-
Who cares? More importantly, why haven't you been coming over?! It's already been TWO DAYS since the last time we met. And sending an e-mail is NOT good enough!
Sorry, my bad. It's just that I've had a lot of appointments lately so-
What kinds of appointments? Give me that phone.
Let's see... O/XX: Go Drinking With Suika. X/△△: Go Drinking With Oni. □/OO is another promise to go out drinking. The day after too...
Well, it's not THAT weird is it...?
Hmph, I KNEW you were fooling around behind my back. Alcohol IS more important to you than I am, isn't it?!
Don't tell me you're jealous of sake again!
I love how Yuugi never actually denies it.