The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

by Dragonatrix

Part 66: Luck or Pluck

Luck or Pluck

[Music: Exploration]

...Pst. Hey, Hibiki. Dude, wake up.
I'm asleep.

Oh... Um, good morning, Hibiki.
Yeah, sorry to wake you. There's something we wanted to talk to you about...
Hey, did you hear!? That Ronaldo guy...
Is he dead?
Oh... No, that's not it. Remember how Yamato told us what he thought yesterday?

[Music: Dark Clouds]

I think Ronaldo heard about it, because he's announced he's going to defeat JP's...

So, yeah, in case you couldn't tell already Ronaldo's going to be the alternative to Yamato. Meritocracy vs Egalitarianism rather than the usual Law vs Chaos. It boils down to the same thing, just under a different set of names though.

Yeah! He's already got a mob against JP's in Nagoya and he's gonna have it out!
Ronaldo might win.

Yeah... But we need to do some thinking too...
Huh...? Thinking about what?
The future of the world.
"The world"... It's such a huge thing that I can't seriously think about it...

[Music: Exploration]

True... But remember what you told us, Daichi? About what that odd man in red said...?

He said whoever does that can change the world to the way he wants it?
But first, you had ot prove to Polaris that you're worth listening to... right?
Yeah, seemed like it. At the least, we'll have to unify our own group's opinion...
Seeing as how up to now, we've defeated the Septentriones as a team.

We need to think hard about whether ot not we can agree on something like that.
You're right.
Well... that's the truth. The other guys seem to each have their own ideas, too.

Though if Polaris listens to the will of the species, I can't very well say that.
Do you agree with Ronaldo?

Looks like we need to give this some serious thought.
Everyone has their own opinions... If we get time, we should ask them.

Daichi and Io leave...

So, yeah. Just about everyone is conflicted on this now. For the time being, we'll just see what everyone's opinions are and what that leads to.

Well, we will in a bit. First we've got some free battle skills to crack and demons to fuse.

I did it in that order because I goofed. This is actually vaguely important for once. It also led to Makoto eating an Agitated Assassinate.

...Which, yeah, now you can have an idea why Assassinate is considered Bad News. Thankfully this didn't take Makoto out, but it left her very firmly in the red.

Not that that was enough to stop her cracking Null Elec though.

Not pictured: Swift Strike (turn comes quicker in skirmishes) and Extra One (guaranteed Extra Turn).

So, let's fuse. Level 40 has 2 demons and I want them both.

Cu Chulainn and Moloch make Pazuzu for our starting point. Pazuzu's pretty good and a Vile that isn't by default weak to Physicals for once. He's our earliest opportunity to pick up Holy Dance which is the Almighty dance spell.

It's really good. I immediately run through a couple more free battles to unlock it because I want it in the other level 40 demon and Pazuzu fuses right into it.

Pazuzu and Peri give us our next Tyrant. Balor is... normally very bad. Weak to Ice, Electricity and Force, has Crit Up despite being a spellcaster technically and Life Stream (Max HP+50%)? Pass on that one thanks. Remove Passive makes him not a liability and being a Tyrant helps massively too.

Also I put all of his fusion stat bonuses into Magic and gave him Holy Dance. Holy Dance is basically going onto everything that slings spells at this point. It's that good.

And finally, Pazuzu and Pendragon make Odin. If I used Release Passive here, then I could've made Odin immune to everything but like Physicals or Ice (also Almighty, but there's nothing you can do about that one). Being a Deity means Odin makes his spells better by just, well, existing more or less. Not just that but he now has Holy Dance too.

I could've skipped over Odin if I really wanted to though. We get the next Deity at level 41 but, uh, I don't think he's as good as Odin strangely enough.

Anyway, now that we have our 3 new demons let's go see people's opinions on the current goings on.

[Music: JPs -Geomagnetism Research Department-]

Ah, yes. Nitta, was it...? What do you want?
Er... I-I wanted to ask you something... Why did you, um...
...I've seen this for some time now.

Oh... right. I'm sorry... I'll try to keep that in mind.
So long as you understand. Now, what do you want? Keep it brief, please.
Um... well... why did you say those things you knew would cause a schism...?

Wh-What's so funny? You hide things from people... Make them angry... How is that amusing!?
Silence, girl. It is not required that you understand. Think what you will.
Why do you say those things? If you were just nicer, people might be more understanding...

[Music: Dark Clouds]

What...!? Rotted!?
Nitta... You must be quite happy with the status quo, I assume.
All reasonable assertions and sincere endeavors run afoul of the barrier of self-interest.
No one takes the long view. Any civility is only to prevent the loss of social benefits.

What meaning is there to your existence in such a world!?
To be a true leader, one must jettison the past that's built up like so much sludge...!
If no one else will do it, I'll fight to the bitter end, even if I stand alone!
E-Excuse me!

Io leaves...

[Music: JPs -Geomagnetism Research Department-]

Aww, you figured it out.
Hahaha... Look who's talking. You knew that I noticed your presence, didn't you?
But I can see they have begun to consider. Now then... what conclusions will they reach?
It'll vary, I think.

No matter how desperately they struggle, only one world can be made... Only one is worthy.
If those dregs who waste time propping each other up cannot agree to my merit system...

Hibiki... I do respect you. I won't force you, but I hope you consider this carefully.

Yamato gracefully salutes before leaving...

After we see people's opinions on what to do re: Polaris, those 2 people get their Fate scene stuff available. It's a good way to focus on someone I guess, but for now we'll keep going down the list to see who thinks what.

[Music: Connected Hearts]

So like I said, you didn't know anything about what Yamato was up to, right?
N-No, but I followed my own beliefs, and...!
There you go again. It's okay to blame stuff on other people sometimes, you know?
But...! The things I did to you all...

...Thank you, Akie. Although I'm not a man.
Hahaha... Uhhhh, so, anyway. What're you gonna do, Makoto?
Hm...? What do you mean?
We know what Yamato wants and we know what shape the world's in. So what're you gonna do?
Do you keep bowing to that guy and go to Polaris to set up this merit system...

...I know corruption and other evils could be done away with in the world Yamato wants.
But... is it right to bring about a society where the weak are oppressed...?
...You're not gonna break ties with JP's. Are you?
I...! Wh-What are you...?

And you? What will you do...? Do you have any intention of coming with JP's?

That's not true, Akie. You're brilliant enough and--
Nah, it's okay. I get it. But to be serious for a sec.

Haha, does that sound like a pipe dream? Maybe. There'd be no reward for doing your best.
Egalitarianism... Do you plan to side with Ronaldo?
I don't know yet. Who can say? Haha...
I agree that helping out your fellow man is wonderful. But is that the path to peace?
You'll never excel, nor will you be appreciated as you act selflessly for others' sakes.

It's kinda hard to believe, but Joe has pretty clearly given this quite a fair bit of thought. Dude's smarter than he acts a lot of the time.

Yes... You'll see people be dependent on society and living off the hard work of others.
Even in this world, before the disaster, the rising number of such people was a problem.

Hahaha, pretty harsh, Mako! Eh, I can't deny it. So... what to do...
...I didn't see you there, Kuze.

Makoto and Joe notice you...

Ahh, Hibiki. Well, everyone has a different opinion... Hahaha.

Joe leaves...

[Music: In the Devastated Town]

Even Akie, who's fought with us all this time, has qualms about our approach...

At this rate... discord between those of different beliefs will be unavoidable.
If that happens... Will I be able to fight?

To say nothing of potentially having to draw my weapon against former comrades...
...I'm sorry, Kuze... I'd like to be alone for a while.

You say your farewells to Makoto before leaving...

That's Tokyo done, so it's time to head on over to Osaka.

[Music: Exploration]

...Seriously!? You actually think that!?
Why not...? What's the problem with it?
I mean... look at it! It's a merit system! If you can't contribue, you're out!

Wha--! I can't believe I'm hearing this! No, Keita!Bad!
...I don't got time for this. Wait... You're worried you'll be cut off, aren't you?
Wha...!? No way, haha! L-Like that'd happen... I'm great at what I do!
Oh yeah? Then there's no problem. We're done here.
That's not what I meant...! Isn't there some solution where everyone gets along!?
There has to be another way besides all this arguing! After all we've been through!

[Music: Connected Hearts]

...You're giving me the creeps, moron. Stuff like that isn't an option.
I'm warning you, dude. You say you don't wanna fight while not telling anyone your idea...

One or the other, Daichi. If you're a man, make up your damn mind already.

Keita leaves...

Uh, wait...! Keita... Aww. Haha, hey, Hibiki...
Looks like you got dumped.

Ever since Yamato brought up that crazy merit system, everyone's been acting weird...
...It's gonna come down to the ones who stand with Yamato and the ones who don't.
The world's gone to hell and now the survivors are taking sides... It's depressing.
I don't care much.

Inexplicably, this is not only a choice that matters but being an indifferent asshole is the right answer. For Fate points with Daichi.

Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

...I'm not on either side. Yamato and Ronaldo are both too extreme. I can't keep up.

*sigh* How did this happen? I can't beleive we actually have to worry about this...
I miss last week, when our biggest problem was stuff like our entrance exams...
...Well, anyway, this isn't the time to get all depressed. I gotta do something...!
Like... if I could get them all to agree on one opinion... I gotta think of a good one!

You say your farewells to Daichi before leaving...

[Music: Exploration]

And Daichi finally makes it to Fate 2. Dude's now marginally ahead of Keita. And I do mean "marginally."

Now that we've seen 3 events, we get a phone call. And it is an actual call.

What can I do for you?
I'm sorry, but I'd like to call upon your help.
A surprisingly serious situation has arisen... You seem best suited to it.
I'm honored.
I'm glad of that, but... Well, my meaning was a bit different.

What do you mean?

The call ends...

And this adds that God of Luck event to our itinerary. We can skip that if we really want to, though.

So we will.

Hinako and Otome are next, so let's see what their thoughts are.

[Music: In the Devastated Town]

Ugh, I'm so pissed. Seriously, that Yamato guy...!
Hmm, well, I guess that's a normal reaction...

Now's not the time for a big philosophical argument about merit and equality!
Oppressing the weak and lazing through life are both wrong! We need a better way...

What!? Are you serious with that stuff, Otome? It wouldn't be good at all.
But wouldn't everyone be happy? I'd work for you, and you'd do the same for me...
Wouldn't that make the world a kinder place...?

I see... You're right. Then again, forcing that on people wouldn't be right either...
You see? That's why things can't go on like this! We gotta do something...!
We're all friends, right!? Why do we have to lose our cool over this stuff!?
Shouldn't friends work together to find a way through whatever comes up!?
Hmm... You may be right.
Oh, I should be getting back to work... See you later, Hina.

Otome leaves...

Still... what should I do? At this rate...

We're going to wind up at each other's throats! We can't let that happen!
Yeah, you know!? We gotta find another way!
That black scar... The Void is swallowing up more and more of the world. We gotta hurry!

You say your farewells to Hinako before leaving...

And that's Osaka done. Last up's Nagoya's quartet.

[Music: Exploration]

...Say something! If you don't speak up, I can't figure out what you want.

A chawanmushi... What is this? Some kind of message?
No, it's good food. People are hungry, so they want to fight.
Ha...! You brought this to stop me from fighting with Hotsuin?
I understand what you're after. But... I can't do what you want me to.

[Music: In the Devastated Town]

That's too bad. Why can't you be friends?
Jungo, there's no getting around some things.

Hotsuin wants a Darwinian world... Where the weak are under the strong's heel.
But are humans such animals? I haven't lived this long to go along with that!
We must be creatures who work hard for everyone, while the others work hard for us!
And this moment, right now... Isn't this the time to voice that idea loud and clear!?
Hell if I'm bowing down to Hotsuin... I won't let his merit system spoil my world!
I... I don't wanna fight the guys.

I won't demand that you agree with me. You have to follow the path you believe in.
Jungo... Even if we meet on the battlefield, it'll never be personal.
...Okay. I'm sad, though.

Jungo leaves...

Oh... Hibiki.

Ronaldo seems to have noticed you...

I heard.

I will defeat JP's... even if it costs me my life.
To win equality for all?
Ha, that's right. I think it's the only way for people to be truly happy.

I will do everything in my power to bring about a world of true equality...!
How will you do that?

You have to defeat all the Septentriones to open a path to Polaris, right?
Then that's what I'll do. I must stop Hotsuin's insane plan... no matter what!

Ronaldo leaves, a determined expression on his face...

And finally, we have the ladies of Nagoya to talk to eavesdrop on.

[Music: Connected Hearts]

Whaaat!? But that makes no sense! It's totally wrong!
...Is it? Well, I don't care either way, really.

We can't let that happen! Bullying people is just...!
...You know I don't care. Why are you telling me this?
I-It's not like you're the only one I'm talking to... But it makes no sense!
...As I've said -- repeatedly -- I don't care.
Th... Then you don't care if he sets up his merit system!?

What!? How can you think that!? I don't believe this...!
I've had it harder than you'd think. I was poor, so paying my tuition was tough. So--

Isn't it unfair that not everyone gets the same opportunities!?
Hmm... But I think that's a superficial view of things.

[Music: In the Devastated Town]

You'd be surprised what you can get if you true. Especially if you'd do anything to get it.
I took steps to get what I wanted. Those who didn't were limtied from the start.

What...!? Are you stupid or something? That's all wrong!
Everyone does their best in life! The ones who can and can't "get results" alike!
But you... You think they should be cast aside unless they can contribute!? No!

I'm done here... Stupid Fumi!
Hmm, I seem to have upset her. Oh? Hibiki?

Fumi notices you...

[Music: Connected Hearts]

Sure, I'd like some.
All right. Give me a sec while I get the gas going for my burners...
Well... I'm sure you heard, but the Chief's views and Airi's are like oil and water.
With no point of commonality, it's to be expected that they'll oppose each other.

It's a harder method than I'd like, but there is a time factor to consider...

You leave Fumi to mutter to herself...

Hm, we could leave things off here or we could try something to unify our party for at least a short while.

Something like, say, murdering the shit out of a deity. That's always a good pastime.

[Music: Exploration]

Ah, Hibiki! What're you doing here?
Yamato asked me here.
Yep, I know! He asked me to help you out.
Hey there, Hibiki. Came to take care of something? Yamato called me too.

Hey, you guys! I finally found you! Yamato called and...

Familar faces are gathering, one after another...

Huh? You guys too?
...Does this mean something terrible will happen if we don't hurry?
Yamato took the time to call everyone up, right? Doesn't that make this a big deal?
You might be right.
C'mon, how can you be so relaxed about this?

She's right! We all think of you as our leader, y'know.
Hahaha, you got that right. Well, should we get going?
Mm-hm. Let's move out!

[Music: A Moment of Rest]

Hey! You smell like you're rich. Let me see your Macca.
Wh-What, ho? I don't recognize that demon, ho.
Th-That's... Oh, no! Everybod-hee, run!
Huh? Hey, wait! You don't have to run away! It's okay!

Wh-What're you doing, ho!? Hur-hee!

Billiken comes up behind the Pyro Jack. This is where things get... different...

Hey...! Stay away from me! G-G-Ho away!
H-Hee ho...

[Music: Attack]

Gotch! Well, how's business treating you these days?

And, yep. There it is. An NPC battle scene in the middle of a cutscene. Just when you think you've seen it all...

[Music: Silence]

Hee.... You greedy pig... You're stealing my money AND my life...!

[Music: A Moment of Rest]

Oho! This is great. I got lots of money from you! ...Oops, you're already dead.

Well, if you're not gonna use it, I'll take some more money.
Th-That hurts, ho...!
You're mine! Macca, Macca Macca Macca! Macca!?
L-Let me go! I don't hee-have any Macca, ho!
...Eh? What? You don't have any money? I see, I see...

[Music: Attack]

...Hee ho!

...Lousy pauper. I've got no mercy for broke people.

[Music: A Moment of Rest]

Wellllllll, now...

Waaaah! Oh no! I can't fight someone like that! I have to get away!
Ohoho! Don't be so quick to run! I won't let you get away!

Wh-What's going on over there!? He's stealing Macca from the demons? That's cruel!
Huh...!? Wait, is that--
Oh, yeah! Milliken! I've seen him before...

Wait, was this what Yamato was talking about?
Hm...? Those people look interesting...

Ugh... He noticed us! What do we do, Hibiki?
Make him suffer!

[Music: Confrontation]

So, yeah, Billiken's our optional boss of the day. Sort of like Ghost Q was way back when but this time we don't have to solo him. And he's also a lot easier in general, really.

There are only 2 things we can crack. Holy Dance is only on the Pazuzu, and Endure is on Billiken and a random Mothman (a Wilder demon).

For the longest time, I thought that Holy Dance was actually unobtainable here. If you don't have a plan for getting it, it is because Billiken immediately beelines for Pazuzu and will always take him out in one skirmish.

Billiken himself seems impressive on paper, but he has one crippling flaw: so long as you have any money at all he will always use Steal Macca. If you don't, he uses Barrage Strike.

He's also a Fiend like Ghost Q. Unlike Ghost Q, he doesn't have an attack range of 3 by default. More proof that Ghost Q does it solely to be an annoying shit.

And for the curious, he has 1,330 HP. It doesn't last anywhere near as long as it sounds.

So, we're going to be doing something silly. First, Otome uses Winged Flight to get up onto the center platform of the area. Without an Avian or Genma demon, getting Holy Dance here is impossible.

You also need to combine it with an Avatar demon. There's no way around this one; an Avatar is mandatory. An Avian and a Wilder can't get close enough, even if you then swap out the Avian for a Vile.

And of course Billiken is actively immune to (Evil) Bind because obviously he is.

The second person also needs a range increase of some kind. Whether that be an Avian, a Wilder, a Dragon or a Vile doesn't matter. I'd say that a Vile is the best one though, so Jungo has Pazuzu.

We want to actively fight Billiken here. Getting to Pazuzu works too, but this way we have more control over the flow of the battle after we finish here.

[Music: Shudder]

See, Billiken has 2 Vidofnirs with him. Their Winged Flights don't stack but that does mean we have to take them both out sooner rather than later.

Thankfully, Holy Dance and Jungo's fists do a good enough job. The Holy Dance isn't as good from Pazuzu as it can be from others but it gets the results.

And as an added bonus, Peri gets to upgrade her racial skill too! Devotion becomes Mother's Love which is twice as good and then some. Mother's Love restores HP equal to the user's current remaining amount. It also moves whichever team gets healed forward in the turn order.

Speaking of turn order:

Billiken usually gets to be the demon who moves first. Not only has his movement range been shut down completely, he now gets to move dead last. Vile delay affecting whatever you fight is amazing for stuff like this.

After any skirmish involves Billiken, a demon remaining on the map will use its first turn to set up their escape point. This is basically worthless because they're all going to die very quickly.

Doubly so when they start suiciding on Jungo immediately.

I know this is hitting a weakness, but Peri's magic damage is exceptional.

And this is why I opted for a Vile over anything else. Shutting down Billiken and not getting hit by Pazuzu and being unable to counter it isn't possible otherwise.

Speaking of Pazuzu, even with his magic stat boosted quite a bit during fusion... his spells kinda suck. Ah well, it gets the job done.

And now we have Holy Dance at the start of the day. Without a concrete plan on what to do, this won't happen and you don't get a chance to grab it elsewhere for a while.

Biggest issue is Hibiki can't be the one to actually get Holy Dance here. Whoever does it has to be in team leader slot 2, 3 or 4. Hibiki is perpetually in slot 1 and can't be moved around.

Speaking of which, over on the left, a random Loa decided that it wanted to die.

I am more than glad to oblige. Between Balor and Odin throwing out Holy Dances, Balor's Tyranny granting MP at the end of every skirmish and Hibiki being Hibiki this goes quite quickly.

We get a new Add-On for our troubles too. Enhance Set isn't particularly great, since there aren't many buffs worth using. Being able to add any isn't as useful as it seems since they don't last between skirmishes and without (Double) Extra Turns buffs just don't get to do anything.

Speaking of not doing things, Billiken picks a fight with Jungo. Physicals are the only non-Almighty thing that he doesn't resist.

Since we have, y'know, an actual amount of money Billiken perpetually wastes his turns using Steal Macca.

It takes 1000 Macca a use. That's it. It deals no damage. At this stage, you basically cannot die to Billiken. Like ever.

Jungo's remaining HP at this point wasn't stellar so Berserk didn't deal a phenomenal amount of damage. About a third of Billiken's HP in one go isn't too shabby either though.

One, two, three... Wow, you had more than I thought! Ka-ching!
Mhm... I'm in trouble. I have to defeat Billiken and get my Macca back.

Now that we've basically already won in the first place, we can finally go on the offensive.

Three demons with Electric weaknesses? Not a particularly great composition; even with 2 Gui Xians, they still get Overwhelmed without much effort.

That done, we're back on the defense again for the moment.

It's pretty funny in this instance though. Mothman's only real means of attack is Mazan. Having 2/3rds of the party straight up immune makes it a colossal waste.

...Speaking of wastes, this is the first time of many where this will pop up. Endure means that you cannot drop something below 1 HP unless it is already at 1 HP. Naturally this will often be on things that can heal in the first place, and it gets more annoying when it also stops you Overwhelming in the Extra Turn phase.

I don't like fighting against Endure most of the time is the point here I guess.

Ah well, a Legion wants to die next. That can very easily be arranged.

Like so. Accidentally targeted it with Ziodyne so it got blasted into dust pre-emptively. Oops!

Speaking of Legions and dust, this one has an Asp in his party. Usually I'd just gloss over this because its irrelevant but...

One of them threw out a Petra Eyes and it proc'd on Hinako. There's a weird kind of irony there.

Anyway, now we sort of have to hurry to wipe out the remaining teams before something goes awry here. Easier than it sounds at least.

There's only the two teams left, but that is really not going to last much longer.

Especially with damage outputs like that. Legion's weak to fire too, so another Agidyne and we're done.

And that just leaves Billiken all on his own. If these two died in the opposite order, then the Legion would decide it didn't want to run any more and wanted to steal our money.

Which really doesn't mean anything in the longrun. It just means they stop pretending to have a goal of escaping.

This damage output doesn't seem overly impressive, but remember that Billiken is level 50 which matters. It also has a good amount of Vitality and especially Magic which lowers the damage further. All things considered, that's not bad at all.

Dances also kind of bypass Endure in that it doesn't prevent the attack as a whole dropping something to 0. It just stops one hit from doing that. Because dances hit multiple times this kind of gets around them depending on the number of hits and the damage output.

That probably sounded weird and convoluted, but yeah.

Fine, I get it! Here, take the Macca! Let me gooooo!

You took back the Macca that Billiken stole!

We gained 6000 Macca from this. Billiken and the Vidofnirs with him don't drop any when beaten. You only get from them whatever Billy stole.

2000 of that was ours in the first place so only a 4k profit from that is pretty bad!

[Music: A Moment of Rest]

Who's that?

At least all's well that ends well.
We got to see something interesting, too!
You're so blithe... Hrgh, I'm still not convinced.
We've been played.

Grrr... I can't believe this! I'm gonna go complain!
Yeah, good idea! I'll go with you!

[Music: Exploration]

Naturally, now that we beat Billiken we can fuse him come level 50. Still a long ways off and, naturally, he's not very good! He doesn't come with his ability to steal money or anything which doesn't really matter but... it'd be something different at least.

So now it seems like we have a bit of time. But we also kind of don't. If we don't go see Ronaldo now, then we have to immediately afterwards anyway. After that we're still firmly on the plot's rails. Ah well, we'll get some freedom of choice later.