Part 113: Thursday's Shock ~ The Count in RedThursday's Shock ~ The Count in Red
As a change of pace, before we do anything else, let's get a start on Keita's alternative scenes. Y'know, the ones that only exist because Jungo died. They better be worth that.
How's it going?
Hmph... It's you. Can't you tell?
More demons keep on appearing every day, so I'll crush them all.
...Tch, I've said too much.
Get outta here, Hibiki. Talking like this is a waste.
...? What do you want?
[Music: Connected Hearts]
Oh, um, well... Some people in the neighborhood are handing out food over there.
...I thought you might want to go, too. They don't have much to give, though...
...Is that what this is about? I don't care. Get lost.
Huh? There's no reason to hold off... You should eat when you get the chance.
...I'm not holding off. I'm with JP's.
Oh, I know! If you don't feel like going, I'll get something for you.
I might make it if I go now. I'll be right back.
...Leave me alone. I don't need help from anyone.
Yeah. The weak will die. ...That's not me. Now buzz off.
...! I-I'm sorry...
The woman runs off...
Tch... What was up with that woman? ...Frickin' irritating.
Maybe she's a fan of yours.
Tch... What a waste of my time. You can get lost too, Hibiki.
Keita returns to his training...
We'll continue seeing Keita be Keita later. For now, let's go see more stuff with Ronaldo. I'm sure he'll take something called Rioter Defeat well!
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
Dammit...! I didn't think they'd be so tough!
We only have about half left... I'm not looking toward to our next mission.
Everyone, keep your hearts and wait. Our chance for victory will come around.
Y-Yeah... If that's what you say, Ronaldo, we'll follow you...
The rioters disperse...
Our chance will come around... Why did I tell them that?
What should I do... How can I stand up to Hotsuin?
Besmirch his reputation.
The only reason we've been able to win is because we're not worth Hotsuin's notice...
I guess we're starting to rub him the wrong way... They're more serious now.
I couldn't think of anything but running back here... and of those who didn't escape.
...Dammit. Justice isn't going to help us win against these numbers.
The world will become one where good people starve while evil prospers. It must stop.
If need be, I will even go to Osaka to face him myself!
That's not like you.
...... I know you're in JP's because you want to save the world.
But JP's is evil! They'll get the world destroyed! They're as bad as those monsters!
I can't give up on justice, even if I have to give my life to do it.
Ronaldo walks away...
And then plot happens. Alioth turns up, drops some poison bombs, figure out we need Shiva and Kama yada yada.
More Ronaldo. More negativity. More insight into why he would gun down Makoto in cold blood!
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
This is getting too tough... Can we really win against JP's like this...?
Who knows? I don't think we can with our current forces...
...Not yet! We can still go on! We can't just lose like this!
He'll only become more evil! He'll take over the world and the weak will be destroyed...!
...It's you, Hibiki. I need to have a showdown with Hotsuin. We must prepare.
B-But Ronaldo, we can't do it with our numbers... We have to give up...
What are you saying? It may look impossible, but we still have to do it!
Everyone! Don't you all loathe Hotsuin?
Joe walks over...
...What do you want, Joe? Are you trying to get in my way, too?
Hm? Clicky? I didn't even notice you there for a second.
If you don't have any business here, then go. But if you're here to be in my way...
Hey, what happened to you? I understand how you feel, but...
Calm down. He doesn't have to die.
Yeah, Clicky. Listen to Hibiki. Go take a look in the mirror.
I don't have time to play games with you...
This isn't about justice, it's about your own--
Quiet! I don't need you to lecture me.
...Haha, it happens all the time. Don't worry about it.
But, I still can't let him run around free. I have to do something about it.
At this rate, I'm willing to do anything if it means getting him...!
Ronaldo walks away with a fierce expression on his face...
...Is Ronaldo going to be okay? I hope he doesn't try anything weird.
Joe has a worried expression as he watches Ronaldo walk away...
Yeah, so, him deciding to murder Makoto for seemingly no reason had at least an actual reason behind it. Still kind of a dickbag move to do though!
Ah well, let's take a break and fuse some stuff.
Shiva and Oumitsunu makes Kali. The second-best Femme, and like most top end demons she has a natural inclination towards Strength.
Shiva comes back to be fused with Baal this time around. That gives us Astaroth. He narrowly squeaks into the top 5 tyrants.
...There are seriously 4 more above him. There are lots of Tyrants in the higher bracket of demons.
For mobility uses, and a wonderful rarity, Agares and Nyarlathotep give us our own Da Peng. The top tier Avian, and in a bizarre twist one of the few at this stage that is not Unique. The only other top-ranked demon that is not unique is... Fenrir.
But, y'know, I want one more thing. One very special thing. I want to reach into the upper echelons of power and pull out a demon so wonderfully powerful that I wouldn't actually use it offensively.
And by combining Da Peng with Shiva I can get one.
Zaou Gongen. The top-tier Kishin, and the demon with the second highest base level (or third, depending on how you deal with ties). He will do quite nicely for what I have in mind.
He ain't fighting anything just yet. When he gets seriously used, this one's getting outclassed. He's a shield, not a sword.
Oh, whoops. I spent so much time hanging out with Ronaldo and fusing stuff I forgot about Otome!
Hm... Kuze! Are you going to the Tsuutenkaku?
Good. We lost contact with the security team there a moment ago...!
Fumi mentioned a technical problem with the comms... I have a bad feeling about this.
Oh... Hibiki and Mako. How are things at the Tsuutenkaku? Anything seem different?
I can't tell yet. We just got here, so we're in a hurry to--
Hm...!? That scream... Let's go!
Oh, there are still some more left... What should I do? I don't think I can help it...
Y-You...! Get away from Yanagiya!
Don't you understand? I'm not trying to get in your way.
I will never let the likes of you into Tsuutenkaku...!
You're so loud... Can you please be quiet? After all, you're already dead.
Y-Yanagiya! Dammit... You bastards...!
Bifrons. Don't make me tell you again.
Oops...! Oh... Hahaha...
What was that...!? Who's screaming!?
Hello, Shining One. So you have come... It's ironic.
What are you talking about?
I didn't want to fight you. It was, of course, possible to avoid this...
But then, I wouldn't be able (sic) test humanity's potential.
That is why I only gave you a chance. This is destiny...
...! How could you!? Bastard!
We don't have time... There's no other way.
Bifrons, I leave this in your hands. You know what I want, correct?
I know! But... Come on...
...! You're no fun.
All right, I'm going to get this job over with as fast as I can!
...Stay out of my way. If you stay quiet, I will refrain from killing you.
Dammit... They're after the Tsuutenkaku! I have to stop the demons from invading!
Sako...! All right, listen to me!
I'll hold back the demons who approach the Tsuutenkaku! You destroy the other demons!
Ugh... But... That bastard killed Otome! I can't let it go!
...Let go of your personal emotions, Sako! The tower's our top priority right now!
......! Ugh... Otome...!
Okay... You're right. This demon seems to be on another level than the others...!
I have to think of a way to keep it from getting into the Tsuutenkaku...!
The random JP's dude counts as a guest, and thankfully will not get in our way. He just runs to the one square that leads into the Tsuutenkaku and blocks it.
Bifrons dies again. All very ho hum.
Mm... Yeah. I suppose we made it through more or less in one piece.
...I'm going to the main branch to check the communicators.
Hm...? Oh, right. Yes, good idea.
Well... See you all later.
Yes... Good to see you made it, too.
H-He's right... Otome's... dead. I can't believe this happened...
...No more, from either of you, please.
Let me believe that. Please... For now...
...You're right. We couldn't have done anything. No one saw this coming...
We did see it coming.
You... you did? Wait...!
Was there a death clip!?
You tell them about Otome's death clip...
You didn't get it?
I-I didn't... But why...?
I-I didn't get it either! What does this mean!?
...So it was sent specifically to Kuze. What's going on here...?
[Music: Connected Hearts]
Wait a second... I remember that guy said something weird.
Something about an opportunity given only to you... Did he mean the death clip?
Yes... that must be it. That man is Nicaea's administrator. It would be easy to arrange.
But if he wanted to destroy the Tsuutenkaku, he wouldn't have sent the clip... Strange.
You're right... What's his angle with this...?
And why target the Tsuutenkaku to begin with?
Because it's a tower.
Hm... When I got here, he'd already defeated the SDF and the JP's backup...
No... But there's no question that he was targeting the tower.
It's clear that his powers are beyond human, too. And if that's the case...
He's a Septentrione.
Yes... It's a possibility we'll have to take into account.
Hm...? Wait a sec... But that doesn't make any sense.
It doesn't? Why not?
He helped beat Megrez.
Not to mention the demons, our most important weapons. Didn't he make the summoning app?
How the fuck does this guy know all of that? I know he mostly just has Otome's lines on account of her biting it, but this one is totally misattributed. This should be like Daichi or Io or something. Not a random nameless, mostly faceless dude.
Soldier... Have you forgotten what that man did to Otome!?
Excuse me, I'm getting a call.
This is Sako. How may I help you, Chief Hotsuin?
No... the attacker escaped, and Otome... Otome is dead. But the Tsuutenkaku is safe.
Hm... Minimal casualties, then. Well done. Is Hibiki with you?
...Er, yes. We had to borrow his help for this one too.
I thought so. The preparations for Sapporo are complete. The operation is ready to begin.
Ah...! Understood. I'll tell the others.
Are they ready?
[Music: The Operation Starts]
Yes, everything is ready. We're going to shoot down Alioth.
I'll do it.
Failure is not an option here. Let's do this...!
Yes... We have to do all we can for her!
You say your farewells to the others before leaving...
Once again, skip ahead in the plot. Shoot down Alioth, kick its ass, hang out with dudes for a while...
Then at 5, this pops up. The Inferno in Hibiya Park only happens if you've beaten Nebiros on Tuesday on that playthrough. Naturally, then, we want to do this...
I must... gather as many bodies as possible, for her... So you must die!
[Music: Deep Night] (Overclocked)
Belial is, uh... probably the easiest optional boss bar none. Easier than Billiken. Easier than Sage of Time. Easier than even Lilith after you drop a Ban Curse on her.
He seems threatening at first glance, but then you notice he has all of one trick: Fire. Lots and lots of Fire. Dude doesn't even have Pierce as a passive.
The hardest part of this fight is probably getting near Belial, because of his demons.
Even then, they're not that tough, so that's saying something right there.
Really, the hardest part about most of these is that they'll have the initiative.
Which, uh, doesn't really matter since they never get a hit in anyway.
The only demons I'd really consider maybe threatening at a stretch is the two Decarabia teams.
But even then, that's only because one has a Kali and the other has a Nata Taishi.
Oh, right. Belial basically never moves. He can, and in some situations will, but he mostly spends his turns standing around twiddling his thumbs doing this:
Gomorrah Fire is a map skill that hits... one team. It deals, naturally, Fire elemental damage.
That's it. That's all Belial will ever really do.
[Music: Battle Beat] (Overclocked)
If you have trouble with this fight, I would have to question how you even managed to get this far.
It's not even really meant to be a mean thing, per se. It's just that he has all of one thing.
And it is incredibly obvious how you get around this one thing.
The kicker is, there ARE people who have trouble with this fight too. Not with getting to Belial.
But with Belial himself. This is a thing that should never even come up.
The guy will not move except in all of one situation. He has no tricky moves or gimmick or anything.
His demons aren't even a threat, and he never brings any more out either. Once they're gone, they're gone.
So, what is that makes Belial move? Getting close to him, naturally... but getting close to him, while being on the stage. Being able to attack at range renders him completely defenseless.
Standing right at the bottom of the stairs? Oh that just happens to be exactly 8 spaces away from him. This was Zaou Gongen's purpose by the way. Deflecting the Gomorrah Fires so Nyarly and Vasuki weren't tanking them.
[Music: Coldheartedness] (Overclocked)
So, yeah. Belial can't do shit at range. Even a base Dragon range gives you a turn to whale on the dude without any chance of repercussions.
And since he has fucking 19 Agility, even if he does walk up to you he'll still be unable to do shit. He has 3575 HP. That is basically nothing.
...Much like Nebiros, he runs away instead of dying. So, can't fuse him yet either.
But with both Nebiros and Belial bested, the third step in this quest is now open.
That's not until Saturday, though. For now, we've got Ronaldo's last scene of Thursday to take in.
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
...It's you, Hibiki. Did JP's order you to come here?
I see... Ha, to tell the truth, I'm relieved. You're a tough man, after all.
What're you going to do?
I leaked to JP's that I'm here. They'll be here soon...
I will crush JP's. That's why my comrades in Nagoya are currently getting prepared.
Please, just go. I don't want you to get hurt because of me...
Calm down! We've got to get organiz-- UGH!
You hear screams...
[Music: Dark Clouds]
What's going on...? Something's not right.
Let's check this out quietly.
Hey...! The voice is from over there!
Dammit... We're all going to die like this!
That's... JP's. And demons...
Dammit! I don't want to die here!
N-Noooo! Somebody, help!
Please... I don't care who... Help...!
They're JP's! I don't have any reason to help them...
Is that justice? Do you need a reason?
...! My justice? The reason I have for fighting?
It's to help the weak.
Yeah... Why am I fighting?
Did I want to save the weak? ...Those where were abandoned by Hotsuin?
...... No! That's not how I believe!
My justice is... I'm... not like that!
Y-You're Ronaldo Kuriki...!
Why are you helping us?
Yes, I'm Ronaldo. It's my duty to help the weak...! That's my justice!
Do you want to die!? Stand aside!
A-All right... Sorry!
[Music: Connected Hearts]
Is... Is it over?
Yes... The demons are gone. You're all right.
Ronaldo... To think you'd be saving us...
Don't take it the wrong way. ...I didn't save you . I just did what I felt was right.
And just what do you believe in...?
But if you're ready to fight, and you still want to follow Hotsuin... I won't hold back.
...Thank you. I'll report that we didn't see you here.
Without you, I'd have left them. Abandoned the weak, and gone down the wrong path...
If I did, none of my allies in Nagoya would follow me, and I couldn't defeat Hotsuin...
...... Goodbye, Hibiki. I've made up my mind.