Music: Smouldering Ash
It's kind of a shame you're reading this chapter, since it means you'll probably hit the next song before Smouldering Ash really gets going. The songs this chapter take a while to ramp up, but they are absolutely worth the wait.
The black kedamas open fire on Utsuho,
who tries to run but gets clipped.
I guess they couldn't be bothered to get the right MAP animation because Utsuho fires a Final Spark in return.
Cue another giant explosion.
Ow ow ow, didn't expect THAT. Was there an explosion nearby?!
What's happening in a remote place like this...?
This time there was collateral damage.
...Wh-What IS that...?! This all used to be forest, didn't it...? But now it's...
...Don't tell me YOU did this?!
! It's Minamitsu's ship!
We made it to the surface!
We're near the base on the mountain, so what's it look like outs-
...No way, it's all burnt...
Did Okuu do all this...?
Hurry and locate the enemy. To think there's already so much damage...
Fun Fact: This is the very first time in the entire game Yukari makes this expression.
Utsuho's over there, everyone!
Utsuho! Has she dealt with Shiro's minions already?
I'm sure that's when the surface got caught in the crossfire.
More importantly, let's hurry up and get over to her!
The Palanquin Ship moves closer.
Okuu, can you hear me?!
Are you okay?! We followed you all the way her-
Wh-What's wrong? Don't you recognize us...?
So she really did go berserk from that earlier attack then?
...I can't read her mind either. Her voice is being drowned out by all the fear from the youkai she's attacked, as well as the out of control power of the god!
So she's completely lost sight of herself then!?
What do we do?! Do we go ask for help, or-
You think we have time for that?! We leave her alone, and the whole surface world becomes a sea of fire!
...Our top priority is protecting the surface. We'll use our full strength to suppress Utsuho's.
Everyone, please deploy!
...What devastation. So this is what happens when Yatagarasu's power is unleashed without restraints.
It's like a natural disaster! How can we stop THAT?!
Worrying about the safety of the surface is fine and dandy, but please don't forget to worry about yourselves too!
As she is now, Utsuho isn't even looking at us!
...Grr, I can't just watch this!
You're going too, Orin?!
Right. If we can restrain the power of the god, then I'm sure she'll go back to normal!
You're still hurt from earlier though, Miss Satori, so please stay there and give us instructions!
...Understood. But don't do anything too reckless!
(...Those humans look like they're gonna fight that youkai.)
(I don't care who they are, they can't do a thing about that ridiculous power of hers. Minamitsu should just forget about them and get outta here, but...)
...Okay, people. We can't afford to go anything less than all out.
If we don't stop her here, then all this devastation will just be the tip of the iceberg! So let's go!
Victory: Protect the surface.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship is defeated.
Bonus: Capture all of Utsuho's spells.
Compared to the previous final chapter only units, Orin is better than Sakuya but worse than Youmu. She can't do damage for crap, but at least she has both Devote and Faith.
Anyway, this chapter is the game faking you out again. For the entirety of SA, the player has been facing two bosses per chapter. So when you reach Utsuho in 54, you'd obviously expect there to be some gimmick midway through, like maybe Orin coming back for round 3 like she does in the source game. But nope, you take her down and that's that... and then you fight her again.
And she's much harder this time. She actually lost some Mobility and Armor, but in return her HP/MP Regens got bumped up a rank, she has a S in Air, her stats got an all-around buff, Predict, Prevail+, and Break Power Limit ranked up, Guard got swapped out for Shotgunning, Yatagarasu's Guidance was replaced by Berserk (at 150 Power, one extra turn and Accuracy +40%), and her danmaku field buffs final damage by 800. Which is a problem since it's huge and all the evil spirits on the field get the same buff.
Also she still has Giga Flare.
The goal for the stage is to hit max Power as soon as possible, so Merlin and Yuyuko get to work.
...We're only a bit closer, but I can already feel the heat.
Even as we speak, the fires are spreading nearby!
Let's keep moving forward. We're not gonna let it get any worse!
(...So Minamitsu and Ichirin really ARE planning on fighting for the humans. Why can't youkai just act like youkai and stop caring what happens to strangers?)
(If they keep fighting like that, they're gonna be in danger real soon...)
...! She's gathering energy again?!
Nue abandons her hiding spot out of sheer panic.
Minamitsu, watch out!
Nue?! What are you doi-
Who cares?! Just MOVE! That crow's about to shoot!
What?! At this distance?!
Almost all of Berserk Utsuho's attacks this chapter are supercharged versions of her 54 moveset.
It's coming at us from port side!
No good, we can't evade!
Like in the animation, the Palanquin Ship takes so much damage it's forced to land.
The Palanquin Ship crashed?! What about everyone on the bridge?!
We're still alive, somehow... Akyu! How's the damage?!
Heavy damage on the port side! Buddhist reactor power is falling! We can't fly like this!
That means the next attack will be their last, everyone!
...If only we'd completed the flying silo, we might've been able to dodge that...
...This is looking bad. We need to protect the ship somehow.
No, we can still fly. If we all pool our energy together... Ichirin, ask Unzan to help out too!
Got it, Unzan?!
The ship takes flight again.
The power of a few youkai is no match for the Buddhist reactor! Don't be unreasonable!
It's still better than being dead weight!
We can't just run away when this is happening to the surface!
Hold on, you're seriously going to keep fighting?!
If we don't, then we'll never protect anything. And it's only thanks to you that the spirit cannon is still functional, Nue!
Why are you risking your skins for this?! Just run away! Isn't that the best way to protect that precious ship of yours?!
And wouldn't you have been able to dodge better if you had all those fragments I hid?! Why aren't you mad at me?! Or can you not even do THAT when you're trying to look cool for the humans?!
Sorry, Nue. This isn't really the best time to talk about this, but... We're not trying to lick any human boots here. We're doing this because we have something to protect!
What are you talking about...?
My home is in both the Palanquin Ship Hijiri gave me, and in all the bonds I've formed since then. You're one of those people too, so why shouldn't I want to protect you?
...! But that's...!
We've restored our systems, everyone. Prepare for the next attack!
...Roger that. We'll talk later!
For once the player gets a full heal.
...Minamitsu, I still... Gah, this really isn't the place to talk, is it?!
Nue?! Are you supporting us?!
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was convinced by your little speech or anything.
...I just don't want to let Minamitsu's precious ship get any more damaged than it already is!
Nue is a lot stronger than Orin, has great weapon ranges, and she's the only character in the game with Confuse. This baby halves the hit rates of all enemy attacks for a turn, which needless to say is super great! It should cost even more than 50 SP, but Nue's Great Youkai of Heian PS is dropping its cost.
Nue also has an unequal friendship with Murasa.
This map has another really cool landed background.
There are five spirits with bombs spread out across the map. It's actually really important that I get as many bombs as I can before Utsuho starts moving on turn 4, so this would have actually been a good time to deploy Komachi.
Do you recognize us?! If you can hear me, then power down.
It's no use, she's totally out of it.
Just like Satori said, her consciousness must be being displaced by the out of control power of the god.
Here she comes!
Music: The Sun Fallen to Earth
RIP Hourai Doll.
While Utsuho still has her MAP, on Normal her AI prioritizes her single target attack more. If I had too many units grouped up she absolutely would have just nuked all of them right away though.
And I know that from my first ever playthrough.
One of the cool things FMW3 does is essentially pit you against all the previous climactic bosses again. Eirin has Remilia's stage full of midbosses, Kaguya is what Kanako wanted to be, Yorihime is rolling in even more bullshit than Yukari, and Berserk Utsuho is Flandre mkII. With her insane HP Regen and her onslaught of MAP attacks, she is not a fight I can win through attrition.
Thankfully, unlike with Flandre I have waaaaay more heavy hitters on my team now.
Remilia blows all her SP on a Valored Red the Nightless Castle. Berserk Utsuho will never use Giga Flare after she starts up her spells, so reaching the first spell ASAP is priority one.
Prevail+ is a real killer in this fight, so characters with Fury like Alice are a huge help.
We beat her... but she's still not stopping!
Actually, she's getting even stronge-
Her heat is starting to melt her surroundings!
Her power is on an entirely different level from before... Is this a runaway fusion reaction?!
If this keeps up and she completely loses consciousness, it'll be horrible!
Yatagarasu's incredible power is still being held in check by Okuu's mental faculties. So if she loses those completely...
Yatagarasu will most likely have nothing left to stop him, and continuously release a tremendous amount of energy. Everything nearby will be burnt to ash, without exception!
It'd be like if the sun fell out of the sky onto the Earth!
...! Utsuho's starting to move!
Watch out, here she comes!
Atomic Fire "Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction"
This spell nulls not just Alert, but also Grit. Only the nuclear symbol part of the field does both though.
Doesn't do a thing about Support Defend!
Since the threat of Giga Flare is gone, everybody but Reimu (who is on bomb collection duty) tries to form up as fast as possible..
The key to beating this spell without any major issues is to take advantage of the parts of the field where Grit still works.
And of course, the fact that Mokou just does not give a shit about dying is also very helpful.
I was hoping Nue could finish Utsuho off, but no can do.
...That's enough fighting out of me, I'm just gonna step back and see how it goes from here.
Like with Flandre, if Berserk Utsuho gets a solid hit on someone they are dead. No questions.
Tewi gets the kill again. Thank god I have two units with Attune.
...Just how much power IS that?! We can't take that head on!
It's too hot, I'm gonna melt!
I don't think we have time to hope she's gonna calm down and let us talk to her.
So we've got to prioritize protecting the surface, and ourselves, then?
B-But hold on, we can't just KILL her!
She's just caught up in the power of a god, right? It's not like she wants to do this!
You don't need the power to read minds to know that.
Do you really understand what's going on here? We don't have time for this!
But if we can just stop her, then-
Eyes in front, everyone!
Utsuho gathers more energy.
She's gathering power in her cannon! Is that the same spell she used underground?!
No, it's not! It's WAY worse! It's a thousand times stronger... no, another thousand times on top of that!
Is that even a number anymore?!
If she keeps raising her power this quickly, then-
Stop it, Okuu!
Explosion Sign "Peta Flare"
Peta Flare drops Move by 2 and cuts final evasion rates by 50%.
It's also a MAP with infinite range. That she can fire twice per turn.
Bomb and take it down ASAP.
Magic Team ends up finishing.
How about that?! That seemed like it worked, a little...
She started breathing all funny.
So even though she's lost consciousness, she's still feeling pain...
Not just her body either, I'm sure her mind is in pain as well. She must be desperately fighting to stop this, somewhere deep inside herself.
...Isn't there some way we can reach her inner voice? If we do, we might get a chance to win out against the divine power...
Satori, can you still not hear her voice?!
It's still indistinct, but I feel like I'm closer than I was before. I might just be able to find a chance to communicate with her!
...Hearing that, we can't exactly give up on her now.
Right. No matter what fiery hoops we'll have to jump through-
Utsuho flares up again.
...Bring it, we'll see who's tougher.
If you can endure it, then I can too!
Atomic Fire "Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction Dive"
This is a complicated spell. At the beginning of every turn, Utsuho will cast Fury. More importantly, every time she hits something she gets an extra turn. How many turns she can stockpile depends on the difficulty, but here on Normal it's limited to +2. Which, thanks to Berserk, means Utsuho gets up to four actions per turn.
Oh and she can still move through enemy units like in Yatagarasu Dive. That part's a real killer since she'll lay down extra danmaku each time she moves, UNLESS
you bring either Elly or Yamame into the fight. Special Resistance doesn't block Floor Tiles or Spider Net, so they can just slap that on Utsuho and force her to stay in place.
Fury means Sakuya is screwed. But at least she got off a Counter.
I need to fall back. Be careful the same doesn't happen to you.
Watching Mokou get done in would be hilarious, but...
Berserk Utsuho will not attack Orin.
W-We stopped it somehow!
Looks like Utsuho's attacks have calmed down, for the moment.
This is most likely only temporary though. She'll resume her out of control powering up shortly. If we're going to talk to her, this is our last chance!
...But Okuu's voice is still so faint. If we're going to communicate, I'm sure I'll need to be right at her side.
Y-You want to get closer to her when she's gone berserk?! That's suicide!
Hey, is that okay?! Yatagarasu could flare up at any moment!
This is our last chance, right?! I can't just sit back and watch! Because... we've always been together!
Orin tries to approach Utsuho, but...
This is nothing! If she has to suffer, then we'll suffer together!
It's me, Okuu! It's Orin!
Music: From Now On, We'll...
This is Clarste's favorite song, and runner up for best song in the game!
...! She's speaking!? Utsuho's getting through to us!
Okuu! You know who I am, right? It's me!
...orin... why are you...
Why else?! I came to get you! Those youkai from before are all gone now, so you don't need to use the power of the god!
...good, i can talk. i have something i want to say to everyone. i've been trying my best, but-
W-We know you have! That's why Miss Satori, and even the surface dwellers, are so worried about you...
no, that's not what i wanted to say...
...i don't think i'm gonna make it in time...
In time for what? What are you saying...?
pretty soon I'll be swallowed up by lord yatagarasu, and i won't be able to hold him back... so, before that happens, i need you to-
! What are you thinking!? Ridiculous!
Y-You can't give up like that! Aren't we right here with you?! Who cares if it's some stupid god?! Just keep holding him back, and we'll go home together!
And then, from now on, we'll...
Utsuho flares up even more.
This is bad, she's starting to go even more out of control!
...what should i have done, orin...?
i wanted power. but all i did was cause more trouble for miss satori... i really can't do anything, can i...?
Things get even hotter.
...miss satori, miss koishi...
Hell and Heaven Meltdown
Hell and Heaven Meltdown hits almost the entire screen. It reduces Move and all attack ranges by 2, and shrinks bomb radius by 1.
I drop a bomb and blast through it right away.
By the way, if any spirits happen to be alive by the time this spell is going you're going to have sit through one hell of an enemy phase.
What about Utsuho?! Can we talk to her again?!
...It's no use. She's completely lost consciousness.
No way, so it's too late to talk to her...?
The ground starts to shake.
What's all this shaking?! I'm losing control of the rudder!
It feels like there's some power drawing everything towards her!
...Oh no. This is our worst case scenario!
You mean this wasn't it already?!
When a runaway fusion reaction reaches its limit, it enters its final stage!
Stars that burn up their own lifeforce become unable to support their own body, and collapse in upon themselves.
You're kidding, a gravitational collapse?! If that happens, then-
The energy of the collapse will raze Gensokyo in an instant! And obviously, as its core, Utsuho won't survive either...
N-No way! Is there any way to stop it?!
...There's only one. Suppress Yatagarasu's power and stop all nuclear fusion. But stopping the nuclear reactor at this stage will, in the worst case, cause Utsuho herself to...
I'm still not giving up on saving her!
Even like that, she was still thinking of US!
I can't just abandon someone like that!
...I beg this of you as well.
Right before her inner voice vanished, she was crying. While apologizing, over and over again...
After hearing that, I don't want to even consider losing her.
So I beg of you, save Okuu.
You didn't need to ask, I would've saved her anyway. No one wants this to end in any other way!
So you're saying you can seal Yatagarasu's power without hurting her?!
Well yeah, that's the whole point of the Spellcard Rules.
Now that you've said it, we've just gotta do it!
Both her power and her heart, either way we'll just have to try to take it head on!
Follow my lead, everybody! We're gonna stop the sun!
Subterranean Sun does three things. First, it drops bomb radius by 2. Second, it increases Berserk Utsuho's Defense/Accuracy as her HP lowers. Third, it changes the Berserk PS to Reactor of Life.
Reactor of Life disables HP Regen and Prevail+ (!!!), and jacks her maximum Power up to 500. It also makes her Power shoot up by 100 every time she hits specific HP thresholds.
Thanks to the bomb debuff, I need to drop two bombs per turn: one to free up the second bomber, and another to actually remove danmaku.
Everybody starts talking once this spell starts.
Until a little while ago, I was thinking everything would just work out in the end. You and I would get a scolding we'd never forget... and then Miss Satori and Miss Koishi... and the two of us... we'd all...
Chin up, Orin. We're saving her, aren't we?
But it's already too late, isn't it?! She can't hear me, and I don't have the power to-
Maybe not by yourself. But we all heard her too.
We're not gonna let it end like this. We'll all in this together, even the surface dwellers!
I'm almost jealous of how desperate you two are. I can practically see it in your eyes.
...You're right. Everyone here is thinking about Okuu.
This isn't just about you two, you know. We've all got things we wanna to say to her. So we're gonna grab her and give her an earful, got it?
...That's right, Okuu. Didn't you always give it your best, no matter where you were or what you were doing?
I'm NOT gonna let you get away with saying you couldn't do anything. So please, after this...
The secret to beating this spell is Fury. With that on the massive Power imbalance between Berserk Utsuho and the attacker won't practically nullify your damage.
Out of SP by this point? Well, uh, tough.
Once the music changes, Utsuho will start attacking Orin.
How are we supposed to go up against the SUN...?
Remi, everyone, let's stop her.
She's been suffering so much, just to stop herself from breaking Gensokyo. But at this rate, SHE'S gonna break.
You're right, there's no need for her to suffer any more pain. That's why we'll-
Of course we'll stop her. But as for that star's ruinous fate...
If that fate don't suit your tastes, why don't we ask it to leave the stage?
...But the method for doing so isn't written in any book. There's only one thing we can do.
Keep moving forward. And then suppress that cheeky sun.
I'll turn that fate no one wants into mincemeat with my own hands!
There was supposed to have been a video of Remilia getting Kaiser Novaed to the tune of Mazinkaiser's original theme, but sadly Fraps died again.
I guess it would have been kind of inappropriate anyways.
It's almost as if she's just sleeping, but...
She's steadily crumbling away. There isn't much time left.
I've already said this, but to Utsuho, the surface was a place of hope.
Those feelings would surely have become the light that binds the surface and the Underworld. And even now, she's burning her life away to protect other youkai from Yatagarasu's power.
So then, Lady Yukari...
I refuse to let those feelings be lost to something like this.
If that's how you feel, Lady Yukari, then we're ready any time.
We'll stop this berserk power, whatever it takes!
Anything is possible if we all work together. Even stopping the raging sun.
Amidst this devastation, we'll find a new hope.
Youmu has really been putting in the work this chapter. The nice part about this battle lasting so few turns (FYI, it's only been three turns since the main offense started) is that it means there's less of a risk of characters bottoming out on SP.
This girl's an idiot right to the very end. While all this is happening to her, she's STILL worried about other people.
Satori and the others too. They really suck at this "living" thing.
...You're right. All this begging for help, and throwing themselves into the flames and whatever. It hurts just to watch...!
There's only one solution then: we stop her ourselves. They're not gonna die in a place like this.
That's why we'll fight together, as fellow residents of the Earth.
Fellow earthlings, is it? Right now we're all covered in mud together, fighting for the surface. If only those on the moon could see us now. I'm sure they'd laugh.
But you were prepared for this, weren't you?
Of course. That's why I won't avert my gaze, and face this head on.
These chains of life that support each other... I won't let them be extinguished.
...Utsuho, you must have used the last of your strength to talk to us...
All I can hear now is the sound of her life force gradually crumbling away.
I don't like sad endings!
Why did she even do all this? Because she wanted to smile, right? She wanted to be a sun that would bring everyone joy... Right?!
No doubt. And no matter how you spin it, we're the ones who made things worse.
We won't lose to some out-of-control noise, will we? We know how to cheer up Utsuho, right?
...We spin together the sounds of everything standing up to this, and send them all her way. We're an ensemble!
Utsuho, you've been holding back this awful power all this time...
Do we really have what it takes to stop this?
So you say, but I see that no one's tried to flee.
That's because we all wanna help her out...
I don't know if I can do anything, but I do know that I can't do NOTHING!
...I see. We've gathered a wide range of species and power levels here, but we're all feeling the same thing.
The power of the sun, huh... This was originally a blessing that brought people happiness. I'm sure that's what Utsuho wanted too.
Let's do this, so she won't lose that desire here. So we can all face the new season together.
Let's bring our power together!
The pressure's increasing... I'm sure we don't have much time left.
What's up with those Underworlders? Begging for help so desperately... And from what I can tell, wasn't the bird begging for power too? Why should we-
They made mistakes, yes. But if we let it end here, no one will be forgiven. No one will be saved.
Plus, we have our own reasons for wanting to save her. You know what I mean, right Shou?
Maybe it's impertinent of me, who has never saved anyone, to think I could save her. But if, with our power, we can reach our hands out to her...
I've already made my peace too. All that's left is to get over to her! Then we'll take her home with us, safe and sound!
Okuu, you've been holding back Yatagarasu's power all this time...
This whole thing is just messed up. I've even got youkai asking me for help.
We won't settle for anything less than rescuing her... isn't that what you said, Marisa?
Yeah. This is all wrong!
I won't let anything else get hurt! Not Gensokyo, and not Utsuho!
Let's pool our strengths together.
We're heading out, one last time!
Watch the video!
Since Fraps died, after beating this chapter I swapped to a quicksave I had lying around for this video.
Utsuho crash lands.
Is it... over?
All that pressure from earlier is gone, and it looks like she's cooled down.
But what about Utsuho?! Look, she landed in an unnatural posture!
Orin rushes to Utsuho's side.
...You're just sleeping, right? You're just tired after using all your power, right?
One of you surface dwellers, I don't care who, come take a look at her!
...Udonge, make preparations immediately.
R-Right away, ma'am!
Reisen pops out and moves Utsuho onto the ship.
...So Yatagarasu's power really did calm down.
Everything's burnt. The trees, the grass, everything...
Nue runs off.
Nue, where are you going?
...I've paid back my debt.
Let's lower the boat, I don't think we can keep it flying anymore.
Right. Somewhere that's not on fire, preferably.
Let's return to the ship, everyone.
And off in the distance, Koishi pops up.