Part 77: The Political DebateThe Political Debate
So, before we dive in to rescue Makoto we've got a fair bit of fusion to do. A little more than shown here in fact (which is nothing new, though; just making viable materials).
We'll start by creating Joan of Arc. Being a Hero, there is only one way to make her; in this case, it's Hecate + Scathach... two magical oriented demons. And she's a very, very physical oriented one. Normally this would be a problem, but I made physical(ish) Hecate and Scathachs beforehand.
No Anti-Most because getting Hecate to level 49 with free battles here takes forever. Data Cards don't seem to unlock it either; I got Alter Pain from one and then nothing but macca. Ah well, I'd still have to choose between that and Pierce anyway since she only has the one passive slot free.
Dual Shadow is something we'll be seeing a fair bit of later, don't worry about that.
Next up, we'll create a Mithra by using a level 50 demon. Our original Scathach and Hariti fuse together to give us a demon called Kazfiel. Now, Kazfiel is a physical Divine just like Aniel was and this combo makes him a spellcaster. A decent one but not particularly stellar. Rather, we'll combine Kazfiel with Hecate next to make our Mithra.
By default, Mithra's only weakness is Ice and we could patch that in myriad ways at this point. Kaz itself even has Ice Repel unlockable at a higher level, but Anti-Most does the job way better and makes Mithra supremely hardy.
Also, that Magic. One point off max already.
Next up we'll make a Kazfiel that we're actually going to use by combining Kresnik and Badb Catha. This just plays to his strengths better.
Angel Stigma is the upgraded Divine racial skill. It heals significantly more MP than Blood Wine. Doesn't need to do much else since now that we're getting to upgraded MP restoration we can make entire teams that are technically both unkillable and have infinite MP.
Kazfiel's getting around a lot today. We'll take our physical one and combine him with Girimehkala to make a pretty good Zouchouten.
Zouchouten is our first example of weird demon decisions made by the game. He's clearly a physical demon and yet his only skills by default are Agidyne and Fire Amp. Naturally there are physical demons but with their only skills being the other -Dynes and their respective Amps too.
Finally, we'll make a Myremcolion with Girimehkala and... Botis (because nothing else I had could directly fuse into it to make a Strength one). Myrmecolion is a pretty darn good Strength/Agility demon who can beat the living shit out of enemy teams and drain all the pretty small cost of Multi-Strike back without much hassle. Sticking him in Hinako's team makes him even more amazing.
Piercing Hit even supplants the need to fuse Pierce directly onto him. As the name implies, Piercing Hit acts like Pierce whenever you use it.
There are other level 50 demons we're not bothering with, like a pretty shite Femme demon. Or Billiken.
But, nah. We'll roll with what we've got right now. Let's go save Makoto.
Hey... Did you guys hear that!? Those sounds...
Oh man... That's not good, Hibiki! We gotta hurry!
How should I know!? But those sounds definitely sound like fighting!
...I'd say we should hurry too. This is serious... Let's go on in!
Ngh... Dammit! Goddamn JP's...!
...Mako, it's getting bad. Those guys are serious about taking this place.
Indeed... We need to come up with a way out of this...
Ah... No, hold that. I don't think we have the time.
Ngh... More of them! All personnel, move to the passage on the opposite side! Go!
No! They're coming from this side, too!
...! Ugh, what a pain!
I know it's not meant to be as big a deal because it was just a nameless random person, but Fumi just straight up murdered a woman by electrocuting her.
Hey, are you all right? Hang in there...!
Ngh...! I'm sorry... You'll have to handle the rest...
Ngh... I can't believe this! If things keep going like this...
They keep coming, one after another... We underestimated them. We can't beat them all.
Fumi... Go on ahead! I'll stop them here! You need to report to the Chief...!
Whoa... No way! Those guys are more powerful than they look. You alone can't...
Don't hold a grudge over this. Considering all your cruelty, it only serves you right!
Ngh...! Fumi, go...! Leave him to me!
Yeah, so that's why Fumi just up and left Makoto in the clip. She didn't just run for no apparent reason, thankfully.
Ronaldo...! As long as I'm alive, I won't let you do what you want!
D-Dude... This is just like in the death clip...!
This isn't good at all. Both of them look pretty serious about this.
It's too dangerous! You have to leave at once!
No, wait! I need your strength!
Wha... You want our help?
I want to create a world of peace! Where people can live in equality!
I can do it with your help! Please... Lend me your power!
Wait, what...!? I mean, I know he's not a bad guy, but...
Hibiki... Wh-What should we do!?
It's kinda odd that they give us a choice here. On the one hand, we can help Ronaldo murder Makoto.
On the other two hands, we can save Makoto's life even if it means stopping both her and Ronaldo from fighting.
Not much of a choice, really.
Stop them both!
O-Okay...! I hear ya!
Okay... I understand. If you say so, Hibiki...!
We're in a real fix... But it looks like we're gonna have to do this.
[Music: Challenge to the Fate]
We have to take out every fighter. Almost definitely singlehandedly, since Makoto and Ronaldo will focus exclusively on each other. The JPs dudes will try and keep Makoto standing and the random mob members will move slowly towards Makoto to help out Ronaldo.
There's a LOT of skills here to crack. 6 autos, 3 passives and Gigajama. The only ones I'd skip here are Gigajama, Ban Curse and Battle Aura but alas we can only pick four.
Picking four of these is an actually difficult decision.
I'm not entirely confident in my choices either. I'd have swapped Force Repel out for Desperation if Keita was at Fate 2 but that's not viable so that one gets left behind.
Magic Yang makes every spell cost half the usual MP amount at no reduction to power. Downside is every spell means every spell, and it doesn't matter who casts it. Both parties benefit. It's also not that great in general but I like it for utility in prolonged fights when I don't have a good means of MP restoration for one reason or another. It feels like a skill best suited for the early game because that's when its most useful. MP is limited then; not so much now.
Ignore the team leader decisions if you can. I have my reasons for using the Blunder Twins + Keita here, I swear.
Ronaldo's the definite boss fight on the map, as you would expect from the setup it was given. Dude's a pretty high level, is now packing resistances to everything (except physical for some reason) and has given himself a surprising amount of longevity with both Diarahan and Drain Hit.
Also if you've been paying attention to skills I haven't spelt out, you should be able to see that he has the chance to get double Multi-Strikes in a single move. That's fucking dangerous as all hell, especially since they deal more damage than ever with that Debilitate.
Makoto, meanwhile, is considerably less dangerous and is more in mini-boss territory. Sole issue is with using Force spells, but she has bolstered her HP to a higher value with Life Stream which makes that Hassohappa a bit more of a threat. On the other hand, Mazan is kinda worthless even with the Amp and Desperation means she only gets one good hit in.
If left to a one-on-one duel with Ronaldo, I'd put money on him every time. Dude's just got the better loudout here if we discount demons entirely.
Oh, right. JPs dudes will also try and escape while covering Makoto from a safer distance. It's kind of a non-issue for the most part.
Keita could totally snipe at Ronaldo from a super-safe distance here but that's not quite fun enough. Instead, he's attacking a random dude so he can get that Force Repel.
Devil Flash in that ticker at the bottom is the updated Wilder skill. Rather than upgrade your movement range to 7, it now upgrades it to 8. It's actually pretty useful in places!
From such a safe distance, there's no chance of this being much of an issue so they drop without any issues.
No one else can do much for us, but Ronaldo can get to Makoto and attack her from a safe distance.
Gotta admit, I think Makoto's picked the better demons here... normally. If she was a spellcaster, Hecate would be really good but alas her only spell is Mazan.
Ronaldo's are clever and the logical setup given his penchant for a Vile and an Avian ever since his introduction. It's like he actually noticed and figured out that Flight counteracts Chaos Wave, and at this stage resuls in a net positive and is using it to his advantage here. Clever bit of incorporating his past as a detective into his fighting style.
...Even when Makoto can get her own back, she doesn't do a great job and gets hurt significantly more for her troubles. Surprised that Abaddon survived this though; her team should be able to wipe that no problem.
Speaking of easy wipes, over on the right Daichi's got the chance to take out a random dude with two Yms. Who still don't have Evil Flow.
Aside from Daichi himself being unable to wipe the leader in a single Multi-strike there's no tricks here at all.
He does at least have both Double Up and Free Leap so he can run around the map without issue.
He even gets the chance to do something vaguely useful but still get shown up by his Myremocolion.
Afterwards, this dude heals up Makoto then just leaves. You can totally get to him before he runs but it's a lot of hassle and not worth it.
Makoto and Ronaldo keep... um, Makoto you should probably just give up. It took two skirmishes to wipe his Abaddon and you got hurt a lot more in both attempts than Ronaldo ever did.
In a lot of ways, this is just the more merciful way of doing things. Totally not because Ronaldo might actually survive a single skirmish, honest.
[Music: Decisive Battle With A Sworn Friend]
So, Desperation's kind of Makoto's one big thing. She gets her hits in early and fast, but in return she only gets one. Works really well with a Vile or Dragon since they don't get Extra Turns anyway so there's no real tradeoff there.
Makoto has neither of those, though, so it seems kinda silly to use here.
Wisely spent her early turns focusing more on Hecate than anything else, but it didn't pay off. To make matters worse, her own Hecate's resistance to Fire doesn't matter so much. Bifrons can drop it in a single Agidyne no problem.
Kresnik drops equally as fast, and Makoto herself is not an issue without her defense boost. Since we beat her, she keeps one HP as per usual with these kinds of fights.
If she dropped to Ronaldo (or a random) at any point before, she would die. Instead, she just sits here having given up.
Once again, I'm not letting Keita deal with the main issue and take out Ronaldo. We're down to a surprisingly few number of enemies left already but this JP's member is the one major problem remaining from that side.
The other one has two Girimehkalas, but this one has two Lham Deargs. Would rather deal with Evil Bind than taking increased damage.
This is an Assassinate. Keita's meant to be a punchyman.
It's things like this that make me miss Jungo, even if it is just for one map.
Ronaldo's not a complete idiot, either. Keita can snipe at dudes from a distance. That makes him a pretty tangible threat in the immediate moment even if Hibiki's stood right there.
And Ronaldo's pretty strong, and does have Dual Shadow which procs surprisingly often for a 25% chance.
Both Kazfiel and Ym get taken out here. Ym's usefulness has safely run out at this point. Good thing the next Dragon's at level 51!
Once again, taking out the biggest threat remaining. Sorry Ronaldo, it's nothing personal. I just don't want you running around with 6 move and that skill set.
Thankfully, Debilitate doesn't actually reduce our offensive capabilities. It just makes it significantly easier for us to be brutally slaughtered if he gets turns to attack with.
Ronaldo's main weakness statistically is that he's pretty darn slow. Despite that, he's still fast enough to be a nuisance. Bifrons can blast him with an Amped Agidyne immediately no problem. Issue is Ronaldo more often than not goes before Hecate and Ronaldo will heal.
He will heal quite often.
If he attacked here or even went third instead of second, we'd have effortlessy won on the spot. Alas as is...
We basically go around in circles and all that effort was to get back where we started. Thankfully Ronaldo has a small MP pool and no way of restoring it so waiting it out wouldn't be a problem. Kinda boring though.
Oh well, Airi's finally getting to do something. Or, rather, she can pretend to help.
...That's a depressingly low amount of damage. When hitting a weakness.
There's a reason why I don't like using Airi. This is it. She's worthless come the endgame.
This guy had Endure, so he survived til now. Joan just punched him once and dealt more than his max HP. Airi's getting shown up by her own demons.
Can I take back what I said before about Ronaldo's competence? I think he's just scared of fighting Hibiki.
This does give us chance to try and take advantage of something though. We need to drop Ronaldo to a low enough HP where Hibiki can take him out in one move but not low enough that he'll automatically Diarahan it away.
This is very definitely one of those, but now the issue is if Ronaldo gets a move he'll just heal and we're back where we started. Again.
Oh, and here's the other major flaw with Dual Shadow that just saved Daichi. You do need the HP/MP necessary to use the skill both times. Your second Holy Dance or Multi-Strike or Power Hit or what have you is not free.
But, hey, remember what I said before? Bifrons is faster than Ronaldo.
Sure, Ronaldo would've easily Diarahan'd back to full again if he got a turn but that doesn't matter.
After all, you can't heal if you get immolated first.
So, yeah. Not really a problem even though I brought a pretty crap team intentionally. Again, I have reasons for why I picked these three people despite it seeming kinda stupid and dumb. I'll explain later.
But, here's a fun fact for you. To doublecheck that there was no random Fate scenes to deal with, or any other random filler, after this I ran the fight with only Jungo and Hinako. I never brought Otome or anyone else as the fourth team leader.
By using those three teams, and only those three teams, I wiped out everything significantly faster and with less trouble than I did here. And I didn't really have trouble in the first place.
Kinda says something about their competence versus the backup squad, huh? Keita would've been fine if I had him in Hinako's spot instead but out of these three, he's the best fit to try maximising single-punch damage.
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
*gasp* *gasp* H-Have you guys calmed down a bit now...?
Ronaldo... No matter what you say, I cannot betray JP's! Do we really have to fight?
[Music: Crumbling Routine]
Then... I will say no more. Next time we meet, I will do everything to eliminate you.
Hey, Ronaldo! Don't say that kind of thing like that...
...Don't question me, Daichi. My mind's been made up.
Oh, hey... Ronaldo...!
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
...Dammit, what's going on!? This makes no sense at all!
I guess we have to make up our minds, too. Ugh, I still don't like it...
Well, here we go. Off to JP's to deal with the most pressing issue...
[Music: Connected Hearts]
Ah, Hibiki. Thank goodness. We were waiting for you...
Ooh, hey, Hibiki. You sure got great timing.
But even after putting our heads together, it's going nowhere.
Hahah, yeah. We're not talking about what we think so much as yelling about it.
Look who's talking! I said from the start that this would be useless.
You can't all agree?
True... We all come from different backgrounds, so we don't have the same values.
Pfft, talking in circles like this is pointless. Let's just finish this with our fists.
Oh...! Chief Hotsuin...
Hm...? You're here too, Hibiki? Then this is a good opportunity to say something.
Is it bad news?
Haha. For me, it is neither good nor bad.
Since then, I accounted for your feelings and allowed time for reflection...
But with Mizar's attack, the barriers are down. This world is out of time.
[Music: Dark Clouds]
Wh-Whoa, hang on! R-Right now!? Seriously!? But we're still--
We knew this would happen. There's no point in debating the matter further.
My desire is to rebuild this world. Look at the big picture. Your hesitance matters not.
You're too soft, Hibiki.
...What're you gonna do with the ones who won't follow you?
...Oh yeah? Sounds pretty simple to me.
You'll kill them if they don't obey you...? N-No...
Hm...!? That voice...!
[Music: Heroes Have No Fear]
...I have no idea who you are. Mind enlightening me?
Wh-What...!? You bastard! My name is--
Ngh... Hotsuin...! I am Ronaldo Kuriki-- the man who'll put an end to you, evil one!
I refuse your scheme! I will slay you at all costs to create an ideal world!
Hmph... Ideal, you say? You refer to this notion of egalitarianism?
What a fool. Equality is the ideal of the indolent. You'd enable those parasitic scum?
You're wrong! Polaris is all-powerful, right? Then he can change mankind, too!
People suffer and toil in this dilapidated world...
...Do what you will. Your foolish dream of equality isn't worth striking down.
Uh... Ai, wait...!
Hahaha! You see that, Hotsuin!?
Not everyone here will fall under your sway!
Is that so...? All right. I will grant your satisfaction.
Ha! Bring it on! Merit vs. equality... We'll see which comes out on top!
Isn't there anything else?
Hm... Then let me ask you, Shijima: What other way are you advocating?
M-M-Me!? I'm advocating... Um... A-A path where we're not all fighting each other...!
I wish you wouldn't butt in without a plan or an ideal you want to put into practice.
Urhg... I-I just...
There's not much time, but I want to find a path where we don't have to fight over this!
Yeah! Wait, huh? Hinako...?
Yamato! Ronaldo! Don't you both have this all wrong!?
I'm behind that one hundred percent! If he wins, you outta follow him!
[Music: Connected Hearts]
Uhh, sorry to butt in. I hate ambiguity, so do you mind if I clear some things up?
Everyone here's helped defeat a Septentrione, more or less...
...That sums it up. We'll each take sides by tonight, and tomorrow, the fighting begins.
Um. What happens to the ones who lose?
We'll leave it up to the individual. But they'll have to back down from the contest.
A-All right. So...
Sounds good to me.
What nonsense... As if that matters. I'm leaving now.
Everyone departs without a word to each other...
So, to summarise (and as a reminder from previous scenes) the three factions as they currently stand are:
Yamato/Makoto/Keita/Fumi as advocates of Meritocracy.
Ronaldo/Joe/Airi/Otome as advocates of Egalitarianism.
Daichi/Hinako/most likely Io/Jungo as the advocates for... Daichi's option. Given the context I'd best pin down as being a form of Centralism, or maybe conservatism at a stretch (lack of capital letter there, because it's very definitely not Conservatism).
Hibiki's put off deciding until now, even without our inputs, so we've got free reign to go wherever we see fit.
...But, hang on, even with Hibiki that's only 13 people who've decided. Isn't someone missing?
[Music: In the Devastated Town]
[Music: The Anguished One]
However, I feel as though everyone is forgetting an important issue.
Do you recall what the cause of this disaster was in the first place?
That's right... It was Polaris, the administrator of worlds.
Still... even for him, is it permissible to annihilate man for its corruption?
...But then, I am a mere facilitator supporting you on your journey.
Whatever decision you make, I understand it is but one of the choices in your heart.
This is an important decision that will lead to a new future for mankind. Make it carefully.
So, yep. In this instance, we do have four paths to choose between. Normally, there'd only be three but we've unlocked the last one, A New World, by getting The Anguished One to Fate 4, having seen all of his events on Friday and telling him we'd choose freedom over Polaris.
This just leaves one last issue...
Which one do we choose?