Part 18: Meeting many strange men.
So in addition to the two prisoners we saw earlier, the nearby staircase leads up to another set of cells and a man acting as warden. You, uh You dont want to fight him just yet.
Oh, and the exit is further west. Pacifists actually want to leave the jail immediately, not trying to get into any cells. Ill explain why later.
You were sent to get me outta here, right? Great! Lets get going!
Hmm, is this the guy were here for? I dont think Sonic got a name from his boss.
Might as well let him out anyway. You need the basement key to open any of the cell doors; if you didnt snatch it from the seven ninjas, the warden has a copy.
A fake prisoner, huh? Guess the real Ryoma must be who were after. (This guy is a regular ronin, so he dies easily.)
This dude is an asshole. He will eat up all your healing supplies if you try to appease him; just introduce Kiyomizuya to the business end of Sonics sword.
The theatrical-looking fellows in the next cell are also hostile.
The other man is called Nice. They have a counterattack called Revolver Shot, but it does only 1-20 damage.
Mind you, Sonics the one killing people with butterflies. Strength of Ninja is his first charged move, and it can inflict Sleep and/or Poison when it doesnt kill targets outright. Works on everything in a 5x5 area centred on Sonic.
The Weirdo enemies (as an old RPGC site calls them) have a chance to drop our first accessory; its a very minor boost, but Sonic cant really be picky about accessories.
With all the people in cells upstairs taken care of, we can look at the other two prisoners. It is very much in our best interest not to set the ninja free just yet, so lets talk to the guy with the treasure chest.
Well, this is a very cheery place. But at least it has stairs out.
I finally have you
Ah, so youre the pentagram from Ode Ious meeting. A blonde pretty boy.
Im afraid I cant let you go. You must be here to rescue that man, but thats quite impossible, you see.
Hes kind of a jerk, but hes not entirely wrong. If we were to challenge him
Hehe I am immortal Still want to try it?
The fact that you have to say yes a second time might be a good hint that this is a poor idea. If we persist
And here Id thought you were smarter than that. You really are a fool! Now Behold! I will send you to my Master!!
Ahhh Amakusa Shirō is a real historical figure, a Catholic who led an uprising, got betrayed and executed at the age of 16. He vowed to return in one hundred years for his revenge though hes some 120+ years late for that, since this is the Bakumatsu era.
Fighting him is pointless right now, though doing so does spell out what to do about his immortality. So lets back off for the moment.
Hehe Wise choice. Enjoy your eternity in this basement
Now we have a mildly tricky task ahead of us. Each wisp is a Lost Soul, and they will all respawn after a certain amount of time. So Sonic has to run between each one, kill all of them and get to Shiro before the timer ends.
At which point he seems rather more nervous about what we might do to him.
Hes not a very threatening enemy; having the regular battle music is kind of a giveaway.
So, one act of butterfly-related murder later
D-defeated ! No! It cant be!! M-master !!
And with that, blondie flickers out of existence.
I remember Xander wondering if this was a reference to the virgin Mary. I cant think of any better explanation.
Oh, right. Almost forgot about him.
And here I was tryin to catch a little shut-eye Oh well Anyway, am absolutely famished! Got any grub? No? Ah, well Shouldnt have thought so, given the circumstances Huh?
That must mean
Excellent! Ive had just about enough of this place I suppose Ill let you lead me out of here!
...Man, why did this guy need rescuing? Especially with that very nice sword of his (which no, we cant steal for ourselves).
Ryoma gets all of Sonics spare gear, including the Chain Mail now that we have this nice upgrade. You cant see it here, but Marias Veil also supposedly boosts evasion against Mind and Fire techs.
Alright, weve managed to break Ryoma out of prison. The hole in his cell is still there though, so we cant see what was in his chest. Its Money.
Time to tie up a loose end.
Sanshu Jirosa is the first elite samurai in the castle, and he hits like a truck. This is what will most likely happen to Sonic if you try to fight him without Ryomas help.
Ryoma will take something more like 40 damage, even with hand-me-down armour. Oh, and these are his techs. All three of them. He wont get any more not that he needs them.
Because aside from a ranged attack that can lower the enemys level and an anti-foot move, Ryoma has Polaris Single-Blade. This will perform about as well as Sonics basic attack, but it comes with a pretty good chance to stun enemies. It is very possible that Ryoma will stunlock most enemies to death.
Or keep them locked down long enough for Sonic to unleash his killer butterflies again.
Alright, lets see if we can find a way out of here that isnt just backtracking through the moat.
One flight of stairs later, another man is smart enough to have sprung for the ninja bodyguards. Hawk Moth and Ennominae arent any stronger than the last dozen or so.
Im never going to complain about easy experience though.
Takao gets his old body torn to shreds by a magical sandstorm which can lower IQ.
Psychopaths will have one less than this, but we are well on our way toward butchering the people inside this castle.
The nearby chest has a long-awaited weapon upgrade for Sonic; it is sadly the second-best weapon he gets in this chapter.
Heading south out of that room, the next one is being a little bit sneaky. Theres a secret door here
In the south wall. Did you see the two brown squares on top of the wall? (This chest only contains an attack item.)
Oh, and this woman copies your movements Unless you leave and reenter.
In which case shes locked herself inside the box.
You have to trick her if you want to kill her, but again: Dont kill women (yet).
Lets get on with exploring the rest of this third building instead.
There are four guards in the next hallway; Ogura Yoshiko and his underlings Bukko Robuzo, Kataga Korozo and Ikaku Saizo.
The southern door is the one next to the storehouse You know, the one that cant be opened from the outside without a key we dont have. Its needless to say that you shouldnt go that way.
Lets stay here a little while longer, mmm?
Especially since despite saying he would let us lead him out, Ryoma has no desire to leave the castle.
You should also not go into this first northern door.
Who are you? (wink)
That is one ugly old woman.
One very strong, very ugly old woman.
Who is now chasing Sonic-maru.
And who takes 16 battles to kill.
And who I believe still counts as killing a woman, thus screwing the player over.
Disturbing old women in bed: Not even once.
So lets avoid that enormous trap entirely and continue on, shall we?
Another hallway leads into yet another group of doors. Incidentally, I hope the architect for this castle met a grisly end.
Daiku Kyuro here sure does.
Huh. Well, I certainly cant say I havent learnt anything doing this LP. (The other chest contains Money.)
The hallways centre door leads to the old man Nakano and two ladies, the former of which is swiftly dealt with.
The third and final door is the way to progress, as well as either a very tiny man, or a crude imitation of Thomas the Tank Engine.
...Do I even need to tell you that the blue tile is trapped?
I mean, it was pretty obvious.
The Trap Master works the same way Goninja did; defeat him and whatever traps hes brought with him will Break Down. Each of the Wood Post enemies will just slam into us for about 25 damage, so its easy to kill the one on the left and go cut up the tiny robot.
Like so. This fight is repeatable, but offers no more experience than fighting a Lost Soul.
I hope youre not feeling too lost in this place. It might have been even worse if wed come via the upper storehouse (which we will go backwards through eventually).
Upstairs, we have a little side room with a few goodies. We have a Tenmusu, an Ode Shuriken and a copy of Sonics starting sword as well as Money in the jar behind the woman, though youd have to kill her for it.
You dont even have the usual dialogue option on account of her being an assassin. So lets avoid talking to her.
The way onward has another side path, but well explore that later. Just keep going south through the many, many doors.
Tashigeki Toshiyuki comes over to say hello.
The next door along is another that you may wish to avoid. For this woman
...is some kind of horrible demonspawn.
It also hits like a truck, takes about 20 damage from Polaris Single-Blade and has 144 HP. Its also only worth one Lost Soul, so Id suggest giving this one a miss.
Unless you feel like being stubborn, of course. At least this definitely doesnt count as killing a woman.
Okay, lets try the next one.
...How rude. At least it didnt crush us to death.
Daikuma Eiki is a master of stating the obvious.
So many doors.
Kato Kiyobumi makes the mistake of getting in our way
...as does Kitao Juro
...before we get to this little encounter. Well see whats up with that lady next time; good breaking points are few and far between in this chapter.