The Let's Play Archive

Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star

by ChorpSaway

Part 43: Episode 28: Smash the World's Shell


I heard… a familiar voice. It seemed so distant… Was I still dreaming?

Miss Lourde.

I quickly sat up at the sound of Nageki’s voice. I could only see darkness. Were we back on the roof again?

What a crazy dream, huh?
It’s a little early to say that.
The nightmare isn’t over yet, mon amie.
I knew it wouldn’t be that easy… Not after you said all that flag-raising stuff, Yuuya.

Things certainly look a little different, at least. It’s pitch dark all around us, and quiet. There is no sound apart from our voices.

It got bright, and there was that earthquake, and then The King showed up out of nowhere… What happened?
I’m not entirely sure myself. I think we can safely say that king fellow doesn’t want us leaving, though.

W-what? You mean that he’s put us in some sort of prison!?
This is… This is kidnapping!

Hey! Mister King! What kind of VIP treatment is this!? I don’t want any of it!

There’s no reply. It’s just a cold, dark abyss.

Wh-what do we do…? Nageki, Yuuya… Are the others okay…?
The King doesn’t seem to want to let any of us go, so he’s probably trapped the others in here, too. Of course--

So we can’t.
I can just barely make out Nageki and Yuuya, but if they stepped back even just a little I think I’d lose them.

We can’t see what’s a wall and what’s a corridor… We’ll never find any--
Hey there! In a bit of a bind, eh?

The new voice signaled the arrival of a familiar friend from the darkness.

Mr. Migrant Bird.

Now isn’t the time for friendly old man wisdom!
…You know him?
Well, we’ve… bumped into him a few times. He’s just a hungry old man.
A hungry old man? That’s a depressing way of putting it.
(Prof. Nanaki and the doctor are the only two adults asleep on the roof… What’s going on here…?)
You’re a migrant, right, mister? Do you know how to get out of here?

If you’re going to show up right when we’re stuck, can’t you at least be useful!?

Hahaha, I’ve never been good at sticking to a goal. I just wait for the wind to blow and head wherever it smells like tender grasses.
There’s no need for you young folks to be in such a hurry, either. Why not take a break for a change?
We appreciate the thought, but alas, we’re a little short on time right now.

We’re one step away from a permanent vegetative state, after all!

We’re still alive! We shouldn’t be here!
Well… I may have come here naturally.

I like living fast!
Mmm, yes, that does sound like a problem.
Are only dead birds supposed to come here?
No, that’s not it.
Don’t look so down, you weren’t far off!

What do you mean?
So, it’s… not where we end up when we die?
Birds who pass their names to the stars wander the night sky. There are any number of places to see.
But there are also stars like this. Stars which aren’t stars. It’s a bit like a himantophid’s light, if you see what I mean.
A humantophid…?
A lure for prey… or something like that?

I’ll go take a look around.

As the migrant began to walk away from us, I noticed that I was still able to see him as he moved. Suddenly, something else began to take shape in front of me.
The music stops.

It’s not very bright, but… I can see some starlight now.

There are tiny stars everywhere! I hadn’t noticed them before.

Your eyes are getting used to the darkness. See? A little break now and then can help, too.

He’s right--my eyes are used to it now. We’re standing in the center of a large, round room, with… two doors?

Maybe everyone else is through those? Though, we can’t tell where they lead…

We just got shut in here! We didn’t get to bring a strategy guide along!
But doesn’t the mourning dove there have a planisphere?
…Yes, I have it.
There’s your map.

Nageki’s planisphere?
It is a very nice planisphere, but will studying constellations now really--

Nageki turned his planisphere over, and a new piece of it was displayed.

An… egg?
It looks a little like a dark nebula.
That’s a bad egg. When an egg turns black, it’s rotten. Black is the color of a poor chick who died before hatching…
We’re just a bit above the very bottom now. The stars’ lights are birds’ souls. Burning bright and happy even in a dead egg!

My job here is to find everyone and get out, yes.
…I think I’m ready to go home.
And I want to see tomorrow!

As I finished my sentence, a huge cracking noise echoed through the nothingness around us.
The music stops.

Look! We’re one step closer to hatching.

Chicks grow teeth to help them tear out of their shells and into the new world. We only need them that once! With them, we can break out of this shell by our own strength.
No matter how tough the shell is, it will break eventually. If the chick is alive, it can break free.
This is a false star. That wasn’t a real light you saw… That was the lighthouse, luring wanderers in from the Milky Way.
A false star is a dangerous thing. Once you’re in, it can be hard to get out. It’s scary!

……I see. So all this is fake?
Do you have a plan, Nageki?
No, not really. I just know what The King was thinking when he made this place.

Well, good luck!
Wait! Can’t you explain that a little more…

Aaah, too late. He’s gone.

Geez, no one likes a key character who just shows up with a whole bunch of gnomic advice and doesn’t actually say anything useful!
Now now, mon amie. At least he gave us some hints, right? And some cause for optimism.

Well, at least the gnomic and hungry old man gave Nageki some clear reassurance.

Your planisphere sure is turning out to be useful, Nageki.

Yuuya pointed to the small point at the bottom, and made a small motion over the two branches.

And there are two stars nearby. And if the stars are what he said--
We should be able to find everyone else if we aim for the stars?
Let’s hope so.
And there are two… suspicious stars up at the top.
The false lighthouse… That must be the light we saw from the plaza.
And from what he said, we need to break it? All right!

Happens all the time in longer dungeons in RPGs! I’m ready to roll!
Protecting the ladies is always my first priority… I’d like to go with you, mon amie, but I’ll go alone.
You’ll be safer if you’ve got the map with you, after all. Take care of her, all right?

The music stops.


Yuuya does seem pretty professional sometimes.
He even had a real gun during that time at Christmas… Maybe he really is with the FBI or something…?

I’m opening the door. Are you ready?
Bring it on!

Nageki pushed the door open, and soon we were engulfed in the great light pouring through the door. What would we find on the other side? Neither of us knew, but we stepped forward anyways, determined to find our way out of this nightmare.