The Let's Play Archive

Live A Live

by Yapping Eevee

Part 20: The impact of a Shinobi.

So after nabbing our weird hidden item, there’s a bit more of this strange third building to explore.

The next room has a southern exit which is less-than-visible, but we need to head down these stairs first.

This leads us through to the last part of the trapped attic; this room is actually where the Storehouse Key crawlspace connects to. If Gennai were still alive, all the wheels and conveyor belts would be in motion; there are various levers we would need to mess around with to get through.

As is though, we can waltz right through to grab this and another Grappling Hook. It feels like they expected most people to come this way instead of discovering they could climb down that one tree, but

Oh, and this small room we passed through? There’s a secret in here.

Hang around for long enough, and a ninja will reveal themselves. You can actually see him running around in here sometimes when you enter the southern room, which is where we found the birdlime and some money two updates back.

There’s nothing special about Kuroshio; he’s just there to mess up your slaughter streak.

Now, back upstairs and through the hard-to-see path…

We find a way back to the first room of many doors. This means we have explored almost everywhere outside of the ending sequence.

It also puts us nice and close to the room that collapses in on Sonic and Ryoma.

Which no longer does so since Gennai suffered critical existence failure. The key here works on the front door to this building, so going out through it is no longer a one-way trip. (The chests contain Fuma Shurikens, which are better than the Ode variety.)


We now have three goals before moving into the end of the chapter.
- Freeing this ninja.
- Using the slot north of Gennai’s tea room.
- Fighting the two bonus bosses of the chapter.

Yes, this is that Goemon. And if you’re some kind of genocidal lunatic, you’re going to have to fight him.

In a timeline of bad decisions posted:

This picture serves two purposes: to show that you have to be really sure you want to kill Goemon, and to show that if you don’t free Ryoma, he will actually bust out of the cell on his own at some point.

Then I’ll be gooooing.

Goemon is not a terribly tough opponent, especially if you stand to his side. But again, you really should not be fighting him.

I’ll repay you somedaaay.

See ya, Goemon!

Soooo, I bet you’re thinking “What did we gain from letting him live?”

You see, Goemon has now somehow managed to refill some of the treasure chests which are scattered around the castle. They all contain the same items they did before, and it’s just a matter of making the rounds to collect all of them.

We have:
- Money and the Genji Gauntlet here in the top of the hidden second storehouse, accessed from the castle wall.
- Money in the chest the Watanabe sneaks were after.
- Money and Genji’s Tabi in the storehouse proper.
- Money in the birdlime room.
- Genji’s Helm and a Grappling Hook in one of the trapped attics.
- Genji Armor in the attic closest to the tea room.

Oh, and there are three more things he replaces. One of them is the chest you can only get if Ryoma breaks out on his own, which contains Money. The second is the Money behind the lady assassin, who we’re not killing. And the third we haven’t seen yet.

I hope you’ll excuse not having a bunch of screenshots showing each and every one of those locations.

Next on our agenda is to cram three lots of Money into this hole. You’ll get a small chime each time, and then a loud rumbling of something moving. At this point, do not step on the blue cushion.

As it will have suddenly decided it wants to dump you in the jail. Instead, head through the southern door (which should lead to the tea room).

This will bring us to a room with an odd little doll. Now, do you remember what was said wayyyy back at the start of this chapter?


Our mechanical friend is nearly complete. We simply need to strip off the shell and give him a nice new finish. The work will commence tomorrow at daybreak.

Well, this is what old Gennai was going to be working on.

So naturally, the item we won off of him is what we’re going to jam into this thing. Insert the Zenmai, and…


It’s a doppleganger, kill it!



So, say hello to O-Robo. He’s our optional third party member… though perhaps he should be named C-Inos? (Did you remember that Sonic’s original name was Oboro?)

O-Robo’s stats might humbly be called ‘ridiculous’. Also, most of his moveset is copied from Sonic… though not all. So, let’s go try out our new toy!

Or not! May I present to you a massive middle finger from the developers. You see, this hole is of course going to dump us in the jail. No big deal, right?

Well, think again!

O-Robo is fragile, and will not withstand being dropped into the jail from any point. He is also not water-proofed properly, and may randomly break while travelling through the castle moat.

(Oh, just use one more Money to get the tea room back to its proper place.)

In addition to “don’t fall in holes” and “don’t play in the moat too long”, the other important rule for having O-Robo in the party is not to bump into the rodents in the earlier attic spaces.

Doing so will cause him to freak out and have to be subdued. Fortunately, this does not result in the player losing him.


With both Goemon’s treasures and O-Robo in our possession, now is the time to grind ourselves stupid to beat the two bonus bosses.

Action Replay posted:


Or, you know. Use this. Since Sonic and Ryoma are level 10, I opt to just get O-Robo up to par.

Once you’re happy with whatever level the party’s at, you can go ahead and get rid of the spawner. She’s nothing special.

Sonic’s level 10 tech is pretty excellent though. Instant cast, wind damage, IQ-based, hits any one target in eight directions. It’ll be his go-to move for the rest of the chapter.

Now that we’re sort-of prepared, let’s take on the first bonus boss. This one is definitely the harder of the two, but both will be challenges at this level.

Way back when, I mentioned there are clicking sounds at certain points in this corridor. In order to get where we want to be, we need to move up from the south end of this until that diamond is on the very bottom of the screen, then another two spaces further north.

If you turn around at that point, the south end of the corridor has been replaced with this pot. To get to the boss, just go far enough down to see the pot, then all the way north.

The pot itself wants money.

Yes, this chapter does take place just before the koban was discontinued. There is a grand total of 12 Money that can be found in this chapter; that involves not freeing Ryoma, killing the assassin woman and then freeing Goemon. And then you can’t spend any of it on getting O-Robo. (Unless you also get random drops off the four merchant enemies, or Omike the monster. )

So, what does the pot do? Well, I decided to play the whole chapter for a third time to find out!

In this third timeline posted:

One koban gets you nothing.

Six koban gets a few chimes and a thank-you.

Ten koban adds a flash of light.

So it appears that I played the chapter a third time for absolutely nothing. Or perhaps someone will speak up in the thread and tell me what this actually does.

Fake Edit: Wow, the GameFAQs forums were actually useful for something.

slartifer posted:

If you deposit 6 or 10 money, it will give Oboro a new skill -- Shadow Mirror for 6, Bronze Leaf for 10. This sounds very exciting at first, until you realize that Oboro learns those skills automatically as he levels up. If you already have those skills, depositing money does nothing.

Those are Sonic’s level 14 and 16 skills respectively. So not a bad bonus if you have spare Money, since it has no other use outside of getting O-Robo.

But nevermind that. We have bigger matters to attend to.

Ooh, free sword!

...Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Leave this place at once…

This is the game giving you a warning. Even more so than King Mammoth, this is not an encounter to be taken lightly.

But we’re here now, sooo…

If you do not leave, you will die…


Our dear friend MEGALOMANIA is back, so you can tell Majin Ryunosuke means business. How much business?

Quite a bit, it turns out. This, uh… It took three tries, then I died on the other boss without remembering to save. And then it took two more. So that’s three failures and two successes for the main run.

Ryunosuke has four techs that he throws out; Soundkiller Blade is the most common one you’ll see, and it will almost certainly ruin Ryoma in a hurry. We’re honestly underleveled for this, but after I overcompensated for King Mammoth, might as well have a challenge.

Half-Moon Style: Killing Method will do almost no damage to O-Robo and fail to put him to sleep, so it’s honestly the move I’d like to be able to bait out reliably. But since its range is also part of Soundkiller Blade’s, that’s not happening.

Standing to the sides of Ryunosuke means that you’ve fucked up royally. He’s not going to stop spamming Road to Ruin, so there’s no way you’re reviving that character.

And being up close isn’t a great option either. Oh, and this guy absorbs fire and water tiles as an extra little ‘fuck you’.

Throw in the fact that he has 1248 HP, which takes a long time to whittle down… and yeah, this is a tough one.

The best tactic at this level seems to be using O-Robo’s level 8 tech, Fuma Shuriken. (The item of the same name is identical to this.) Throw in a few ranged attacks from Sonic when he isn’t using healing items, and hope for the best.

Actually, here’s a suggestion: Use Ryoma as a human sacrifice if you have him, so that O-Robo and maybe Sonic can get above the boss. This should let you get a few good hits in with impunity, since Road to Ruin is his only move that targets more than two spaces away.

Things would have probably worked out better if I’d used that strategy earlier… But hey, got there eventually. Majin Ryunosuke has an EXP value of 16, so a level-up was guaranteed here.


Our reward for beating this boss is one of Muramasa’s blades, which boasts an incredible 40 attack power.

This is also the last thing which Goemon can replace, though good luck beating Majin Ryunosuke without the extra Genji equipment.

To exit, walk down until you can just see the money pot, then take four steps north. You can now move south out of the passageway.

Which leads straight to the moat, so we can face off against that shadow in the water.


...That’s one hell of a big koi.

Lord Iwama is not quite as threatening as Ryunosuke, but he’ll still sort Ryoma out in short order. He likes to throw down water tiles with this move, but…

EclecticTastes posted:

Note: The "This's Awesome" (originally translated as "Surprised Guy", so basically the name of the item is just the shocked reaction it elicits, apparently) doesn't just have the (slightly) highest defense of all footwear in the chapter, it also makes you absorb every special tile, making it incredibly useful in this chapter, in particular, as it has the most tile manipulation by a fair margin. Normally, you'll only absorb water tiles, thanks to the Suijin's Tabi, the other candidate for best shoes due to their +8 Speed.

tl;dr: Sonic and O-Robo absorb water tiles, the weird footwear are awesome.

The worst thing that Lord Iwama can throw out is his melee attack, which has a chance to stun the target if they aren’t O-Robo. Damage is pretty variable, but it will take someone down in two or three hits.

Poseidon’s Whip is less powerful, but comes with the added fun of inflicting poison. He’s definitely much more manageable though, even if we are underleveled.

Fun fact: Attacking the fish from right up in his face causes a counterattack that… lowers his stats? Hey, I’m not going to complain.

Especially since this overgrown guppie has 2038 HP.

Despite being the one with the regular battle music, Lord Iwama gets a boss dissolve while Majin Ryunosuke does not.


Now he’s sleeping with the… wait.

Aaaaaanyway, the big fish in the small moat coughs up one of his scales when he dies.

Aside from being one of the few accessories in this chapter, the Suijin Scale is an infinite-use item that does decent damage and lays down a bunch of water tiles. It’s no Cola Bottle, but it’ll do.

Alright, time to unequip O-Robo and drown him in the moat! Why am I doing this, you ask?

Because where we’re going, we don’t need ninja robots.

We’re going to be blazing through the end portion of this chapter to close things out, and things are going to go quite differently in the main and pacifist runs.

Pacifism Part One posted:

For starters, the pacifist needs to get O-Robo so that a random rodent can cause him to suicide rush those guards.

Which was why I got rid of him, so we can fight these guys.

Clematis, Water Lily and Plantain feel perhaps a little bit out of place in this castle full of demons, spirits and mechanical monstrosities.

They aren’t much of a threat though, and their two moves have very similar animations. The other is called Mysterious Flute, which references practices of the Komusō monks these guys are supposed to be… though impersonation of Komusō was not entirely uncommon.

At any rate, their presence means that O-Robo can’t be used in the ending sequence… which also makes getting a second Muramasa nigh-on pointless.

There he is, Ode Iou himself.

Although… I just remembered something. Something that I promised to show off.

How to Game Over yourself posted:

Way back at the entrance to the castle, the guards blocking the way out cannot be run from.

So only a murderer can consider giving up his mission.

(I’ll become an outcast… They’ll catch up with me, and then they’ll…

The game makes it blatantly clear that this is a terrible idea; you have to confirm three times that you want to abandon your mission.


Though he sought to cleanse his hands of the bloodshed he’d caused… all that awaited him was a life of pain and death. His former comrades pursued him relentlessly, and every day, he fought to survive…

There are five battles here against this group of four enemies; they have 160 HP and don’t do too much damage, so a late-chapter Sonic won’t have any issues with them.

But eventually…

I knew it would come down to this… … Why did you… No, never mind. Death is all that awaits anyone… that disobeys the law of Shinobi…!


For his transgressions, Sonic has to face down the Shinobi who recommended him for this mission. Hayate is the third-most dangerous foe in the chapter, coming after the bonus bosses and before the end-of-chapter fights.

Hayate uses three of Sonic’s own techniques; getting up close will result in the easily managed Shinobi Slash, while being directly in one of the cardinal/ordinal directions will earn Sonic a Blade of Wind. However, this is the dangerous one… Sonic’s level 12 technique, Phoenix Fire. If you come here at say, level 11, this will do more than half of Sonic’s max health.

But since this is just an alternate reality, I decided to have some fun and show off Sonic’s level 16 tech, Bronze Leaf. It needs a little charging, but it’s still pretty good for a final move.


(No music.)

I… I won’t let you live!!

...And so Hayate detonates something, making good on his threat.

Losing during that sequence yields the usual game over scene, so let’s head back to the action.

Hey there, buddies.

No one will get close to Lord Ode!

Ode Iou’s bodyguards have a paltry 96 HP and barely deal double digit damage.

Well done! You’ve shown me how worthless the men in this castle really are. After all, they did let my sworn enemy get this close to me… But that’s of no consequence. I shall show you one who should be more than a match for you. Come… Musashi!

Oh dear.

Throwing a minion at us in order to escape, classic villain behaviour.

Ah well, I guess it’s just bad luck for you that we now cross swords…


Musashi is one of those foes that you don’t really want to stand beside, but his other attacks are fairly weak.

His 400 HP means that he takes a few hits, but he’s certainly nothing like the bonus bosses.


(No music.)

Not many men could defeat the great Musashi… Sonic-maru, I shall not forget your name!!

And so Musashi passes back into the afterlife, and Sonic is left to pursue Ode. However, let us take a look at how this scene plays out in the pacifist’s run.

Pacifism Part Two posted:

You made it this far, eh? Haahahaha! Well done! You’ve shown me how worthless the men in this castle really are. After all, they did let my sworn enemy get this close to me…

And furthermore…

(Music stops.)

Who’re you?!

Damn, Ryoma.

Ryoma shoots wildly into the air a few times, causing the bodyguards to run for their lives. He basically gets to be a total badass in this scene.

This is also why you’re not allowed to free him earlier on a pacifist run… but at least he joins us from here on out.

D-damn you!

They can hold me prisoner as long as they want. It won’t make a difference.

Heh… Haahahaha! Trying to corner me, eh…? How’s this? Come… Musashi!

And from there, the scene continues the same way as before. You do get a chance to equip Ryoma before fighting Musashi, though he’s still at his starting level of 9.

Heading through the hidden passage leads us to a hallway where there may or may not be another scene.

Oww… You’ve pierced my very heart… Is it so wrong for a princess to fall in love with a Shinobi…?

Hey, remember that scene I showed you last update where Sonic accepted this lady’s offer? Guess what the rest of the dialogue for this scene is!

So in the interest of saving space in what is already the longest update of the LP, let’s skip that.

And say hello to the real Yodogimi! This is the same fight we could have had with her earlier, so this scene here could have been skipped.

Since she could have come right after Gennai, Yodogimi isn’t very tough. Grudge Inferno is her strongest attack, and her melee-range Cold Touch will drain a small amount of health.

She’s really nothing more than a speedbump.

Pacifism Part Three posted:

She’s also really just sort of there if you’re doing a pacifist run of this chapter, because you won’t have met her before. This is all she says before she attacks.

(That princess wasn’t one of the 86 dead… I’ve slain 85 people…)

At least Sonic realises his mistake.

Here we are, almost at the very end.

Hey, guess what?

Glazius posted:

You could hit up the end boss, but you still haven't got to the payoff for not killing women? Dang, must be some kind of weird secret.

You could definitely say that. And this is also why you can’t kill any women… up until this point.

Yes, I am saying that people going for 100 kills now have to murder this woman, then run allllll the way back through the castle to kill the rest of them (and that one old man who spins ladies).

And that does mean missing out on her gift. This is an accessory any woman can drop, which gives… +1 Vitality?

Uh, thanks I guess.

Pfft, yeah right. As if that was the entire reward.

If you wait around for ten seconds after the lady leaves the first time, she’ll come back and give Sonic this nice little present. +30 IQ is a pretty decent boost, especially since most of Sonic’s later techs seem to be based on that stat.

Alright, we’ve had quite enough distractions. Let’s get down to business.

It appears that you have beaten Musashi. Looks like I’ll just have to kill you myself… It’ll be just like squashing a tiny little bug!


Ode Iou might generously be called ‘pathetically easy’. However, there is one thing worth noting about this fight.

In a nice piece of story and gameplay integration, Ode Iou will not pull his gun out before the fight or use his best attack if Ryoma has already broken it. It’s the little touches, you know?


(No music.)

Hehehehehe… Interesting… But then, fighting in close-quarters such as this isn’t any fun, is it? Let’s take this… outside.

Yes, that was very much a joke fight. We need to head back into the hallway and through the southern door to reach the real one.

(The ending video starts here.)

Hehehahaha, over here…

Ah, a rooftop showdown. Another classic.

Cower before the sublime form of he who shall rule the Land of the Rising Sun!


Demonic corruption sure does a number on your appearance.

Frogsnake Demon is… one of the easiest end-of-chapter bosses, honestly. His whole gimmick is inflicting poison and laying down poison tiles, the latter of which largely negates the former because of the This’s Awesum!’s special properties. Add in the fact that most of his attacks are actually really weak, and he’s not threatening at all.

I suppose Majin Ryunosuke being such a challenge is to make up for this fight, huh?

Ryoma doesn’t do much damage to the Frogsnake Demon, but we’ve gathered a whole bunch of healing items throughout our wanderings. We are in absolutely no danger of losing this fight.


Half-reverted to his former self, Ode Iou slips off the roof and craters on the ground below.

(No music.)

As if we’d let a man who’d sacrifice his very humanity lead our land!

That’s not the only thing about him that was a joke!

Pacifism Part Four posted:

I have many, many enemies. There comes a time when one can no longer fight… It will just lead to more and more hatred. I know that you don’t kill without cause. That’s why I want you to have this… I think it is better in your hands than in mine…

Behold, the prize for getting zero kills… Ryoma’s weapon, which has exactly the same attack power as the Muramasa we got earlier. But hey, it means pacifists don’t have to bother fighting Ryunosuke.

...Someone clearly has powerful friends.

I thought you knew… I am…

Hey, guess what? That means everyone who has already talked about what a cool dude Ryoma Sakamoto was has been posting unmarked spoilers in my thread! Enjoy your probations!

...Except not really.

You know, it’s kind of sad. We struggle and fight over the temporary rule of an artificial “nation.” Why go to war for such a fleeting goal? Why sacrifice so many lives? It’s kind of silly, is it not? But… For better or for worse, such seems to be our nature as people. We can’t change that any more than we could change the past… But, I know that one day, everyone will live here in peace.

I’m surprised a man such as yourself is a Shinobi. What do you think? Why don’t you join me?

See this choice? This affects a scene in the ending. And I don’t mean the ending of this chapter, but the end of the entire game.

No, I’m not playing the remainder of the game twice to show you both.

Interesting. posted:

We’ll have to prepare a feast on the ship tonight!

Xander showed off this particular choice during the last LP, so let’s instead choose to remain a Shinobi.

You have your own path to follow.

The sun is coming up… One day, the Land of the Rising Sun will see a new dawn as well! I’m sure of it!!

And thus the longest and most complicated of these seven chapters comes to a close. It’s been a hard one to show off without being too dry; I hope it was still enjoyable.

And yes, that does say Gosho Aoyama as the artist for this chapter.

Pacifism, Final Part posted:

So with Sonic’s tale at an end…

It’s time that we decide on our next hero. Since there has been a call for Mecha to be our last chapter, the question is simple.

Western or Wrestling? And vote for names!