Part 61: Entry Fifty-Five
They were prepared to make the final ascent to the top of Tartarus, even knowing what awaited them there. The human spirit is unbreakable...
...and Minato's heart grew one last time to reflect this. He carried all the dreams and nightmares of humanity within himself, including his own, and he would draw upon their power in this final battle.
Knowing this, he and his friends finally ascended the last staircase in Tartarus.
Darkness awaited them.
Pure, unmitigated darkness.
How could they have been prepared?
The Harbinger of the Fall
Nyx Avatar stood before them.
I stood before them.
Our paths had finally crossed once more, for what I believed would be the last time.
Nyx's arrival was at hand...
...and as a part of her, it was my duty to secure her arrival.
She was Death. I was Death. The Fall had finally arrived.
Yet, they showed no apprehension. The fear and trembling they had displayed when they first learned of the fate of mankind was no more, replaced by a grim determination.
Yet there they were.
They knew what faced them...
...and they were ready to tackle it head on.
I think that's what I like the most about humanity.
They have faith.
Now, more than ever, they'd need it.
Boss - Nyx Avatar (Archive damaged!) (Well, here it is. For the most part the video speaks for itself - note that I still have to heal and such even at level 99 with Lucifer; imagine doing this at level 70 or so, which is where you'd be at the end of the game if you didn't bother with Monad. Nyx Avatar's gimmick is its constant swapping of Arcana. each new Arcana brings with it a full health bar and a new set of weaknesses/resistances. It cycles through the Arcana as follows:)
Magician: (Fire attacks) The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate...entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yes, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed. Attaining one's dream requires a stern will and unfailing determination.
Priestess: (Ice attacks) The silent voice within one's heart whispers the most profound wisdom.
Emperor: (Wind attacks) Celebrate life's grandeur...its brilliance...its magnificence.
Empress: (Lightning attacks) Only courage in the face of doubt can lead one to the answer.
Hierophant: (Physicals) It is indeed a precious gift to understand the forces that guide oneself.
Lovers: (Status effects, specifically Panic and Charm) There is both joy and wonder in coming to understand another.
Chariot: (Power Charged physicals) One of life's greatest blessings is the freedom to pursue one's goals.
Justice: (Light attacks) To find the one true path, one must seek guidance amidst uncertainty.
Hermit: (Status effects, Dark attacks, Makarakarn and Tetrakarn) It requires great courage to look at oneself honestly, and forge one's own path.
Fortune: (All elements simultaneously) Alongside time exists fate, the bearer of cruelty.
Strength: (Rakunda, Rebellion, and Power Charged physicals) Only with strength can one endure suffering and torment.
Hanged Man: (Mind Charged Almighty attacks, Mudo attacks) In the face of disaster lies opportunity for renewal.
(After defeating the previous Arcana, Nyx Avatar enters its final form:)
Death: The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate...entrusting his future ot the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yet, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed. Beyond the beaten path lies the absolute end. It matters not who you are. Death awaits you.
(Death uses attacks from every element, along with two unique attacks. One is Night Queen, which deals a crapload of damage and also hits everyone with a random status effect. This sets up for Moonless Gown, which is a counterattack stance - if anyone attacks Nyx Avatar with an element they don't block while Moonless Gown is up, they're as good as dead. This is a pretty big problem if people are Enraged, and even if they're not you have to disable your party members' AI by telling them to Stand By or they'll kill themselves on it. All in all, this is easily the most grueling and painful battle in the game, even at high levels.)
They fought against overwhelming odds, and it seemed as if they had persevered...
...but that wasn't the case.
There was nothing they could do. The Fall was here.
The Arrival of Nyx
Takaya, as it turns out, wasn't quite dead yet.
He had come to watch the Fall...
...knowing as they did that resistance had truly proven impossible.
Nyx was awake.
Death Awaits All
Chaos had taken hold of the city.
...every last one of them...
...were all awake, afraid, and helpless.
They still had hope, though.
That's the most important thing.
Minato had collapsed under Nyx's omnipotent assault...
...and he found himself in the Velvet Room with Igor and Elizabeth.
All of his friends were calling out to him.
Every person whose life he had touched in the past year was trying with all their might to give him strength.
He could feel it rushing through him...
...as the power began to take shape.
Bunkichi and Mitsuko was calling out to him. He remembered their struggle to preserve life in the form of a persimmon tree.
Maya was calling out to him. He remembered how she had been depending on him and was depending on him now, though they had never met.
Maiko was calling out to him. He remembered how she had persevered as her life fell to pieces around her, staying strong in the face of what must have seemed like the end of the world.
Bebe was calling out to him. He remembered how Bebe had done his best to fight for what he believed to be right.
Tanaka was calling out to him. He remembered how Tanaka had shown that he had good intentions...in his own way.
Mutatsu was calling out to him. He remembered how Mutatsu had decided to face his fear.
Mamoru was calling out to him. He remembered how Mamoru had stood his ground, even in the face of hardship.
Akinari was calling out to him. He remembered how Akinari learned how to stand courageously in the face of death.
Each of them cried out for him, prayed that he had the strength to make it through the final trial...and from deep within, his soul answered.
The energy coalesced into a glowing card.
The power to save the world hovered before him.
The final Arcana had revealed itself to Minato.
He had claimed the power of the Universe.
Minato would face Nyx herself...
...and he would be victorious. Not just for himself, but for everyone.
When Minato activated the power of the Universe and unleashed the Great Seal, everything went black...
...and his friends found themselves floating in a field of stars.
Myself included, though not in such a physical form.
Minato had been ready to give everything for humanity...
...and it seemed as if he had done just that.
...his friends had hope.
So I spoke to them.
He had fought so hard...
...given so much...
...and given the world a miracle. Nyx hadn't been defeated, of course; you can't defeat Nyx. It's impossible.
For now, however, she would sleep.
I'm glad I was human, if only for awhile. It meant I was able to meet the savior of humanity; we were even friends, and I think we still are, despite all that's happened.
The End of the Dark Hour (Archive damaged!
...the story isn't over yet, of course, but humans are funny things. I don't think I could tell the rest of it myself.
So instead, I'll let him tell you.
Coming up in the next entry: Memento Mori - remember that you are mortal.