The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

by Dragonatrix

Part 3: Shanti


Heat's a classy guy and totally not talking about eating our men at a-

Oh, wait, he is a dickhole and is totally talking about doing it. If only Argilla would let him.

In some cases, it would certainly be an acceptable loss. This guy, eh, not so much. He knows what's up. Since we just murdered and ate Harley, his men now belong to us as does Swadhisthana itself. To accommodate this fact, we can run around inside freely and no random battles will accost us! If we missed some loot or the like, this would be a great time to head back in and get it. I got everything we could though, so for now it's just like running around Muladhara but without the random NPCs to pretend like they matter.

Speaking of Muladhara, we'll head back there now. Nothing else to do here, and Argilla's doubled over from hunger.

I don't know why, but I feel the need to make a reminder here that if you can watch the videos... you really, really, really should!

Yeah, so at this point Argilla's in so bad a state she can't even walk on her own.

And to make matters worse, they're hearing frickin' gunshots in their own base.

Some Awesome Thing That Isn't On The OST.

Oh, those gunshots were being fired at a demon.

Cielo is already proving that he is very much not like Argilla, because he cannot hit this thing. And he's firing waaaaaay more bullets.

Dude's so bad a shot, this thing has the time to prep itself and jump into the air. Even when it was stood still, Cielo couldn't hit it.


So, you're hungry, Gale? Wanna eat me?

his entire head is a giant mouth i think antagonising him is a bad idea

Light shines on the heavens...

So, a woman is now singing. This seems to help Argilla's hunger thing.

It's also irritatingly not subtitled at all. Thankfully this IS on the OST (several times). But only the first few lines are in English there, so that doesn't help at all.

The earth, the spirit, light brings glory and grace...

May it open your eyes to the truth, Shanti...

Shanti. Divine light, our heart cries out to you...

Deliver us from the dark and give us hope. May you fill us with your undying love, Shanti, Shanti...

It also manages to placate Gale when he's taken the form of his Atma Avatar. How incredibly convenient!

A song.
That was a... "song?"

Oh, wait, sorry. I was a bit mistaken; that song actively turned Gale back to normal.

Tell me... who are you?

You came to help us...? From where...?

I just know that... that I'm here to help everyone.

It's probably not quite obvious from these shots, but it is currently raining. Best to take this conversation indoors.


Your explanation is flawed. We know nothing about you. You say that you remembered nothing. Why, then, would you help us?

Ladies and gentlemen, this one sentence is gale.txt

No, seriously, get used to it. He says it a lot.

I'm sorry.
The thing is...

I have too.

I'm sorry.

We may even be able to return to normal...
You've felt that hunger... You've felt that power inside you.

So... we'll be this way forever?
Regardless, nothing has been resolved. The Karma Temple will identify --


Well, that timed itself out rather well.

For what purpose, Dissemination Machine?
Questions of this nature are not permitted.


There's absolutely nothing else we can do at the moment, so we might as well stick on this plot railroad until its done. It, uh, it's gonna take some time though.

Like, there's 12 minutes of cutscenes split into 3 scenes that you have to run between. We're only 1/3rd done with this.


Sahasrara's named after the seventh and final primary tantric chakra. It's name doesn't refer to an area, but rather a thousand petaled white lotus. Primarily deals with intuitive knowledge, conscious awareness, duality and a connection to spirituality.

Unlike all other areas we've seen so far, Sahasrara isn't under the control of any one tribe. It's considered the property of the Karma Temple and thus serves as neutral ground. We can talk to dudes from all other Tribes here (but they're condescending assholes so we won't) and, uh, that giant lady machine thing isn't called the Dissemination Machine for nothing.

The place is mostly a boring straight line, which is weird considering it's a several thousand foot tall, has a tower ascending to Nirvana itself and is... somehow... not falling off that tiny, tiny piece of land its perched precariously on.

Also Argilla and the kitty from earlier
(it is indeed the same cat)

So, yeah, the place is a boring straight line. Let's just skip to the plot.



...Man, the Dissemination Machine is even weirder now that it's not a hologram.

Also, as Serph walks up to his little stand, every other leader turns to look at him. That red tattoo under her eye isn't her brand. I'll give you three guesses where it is (freebie: it's not her chest, since that's Argilla's fanservice area).

Everyone seems to already know we killed and ate Harley, because they were just waiting on us to get here. Or maybe the machine springing to life and doing its weird hand thing clued 'em in.

Everyone is present. Why have we been summoned, Dissemination Machine?

I do not understand this. The Temple summoned --

So, uh, weird creepy voice lady speaks out of the aether and then shocks the machine because, um, kicks? It clearly isn't necessary to speak to us or anything.

I get the feeling most people in this place are just dicks, frankly.

Oh, wait, it for this holographic projection. Never mind, carry on.

Eat Them All

I am the one you invoke as you gaze at the heavens.

Whatever this guy's deal is, he seems to already dislike Ms Angel. Maybe that she's a giant ring with nails sticking through it and a creepy eye has something to do with it.

Listen closely, as there is not much time. Mark these words as the Temple's new commandments.
Soon, the laws of nature governing this world shall regress to a more primal state of being.

Oh, right, yeah. The game doesn't call them Atma until now but whatever. Not like it really matters; you could've figured it out from one of the three post-battle rewards being Atma Points after all.

Hey look it's those words from the opening scene that you potentially didn't watch. The pre-title screen one.

What is a "demon?"
The essence of your new selves, your Karma. You cannot yet understand.

All that you desire shall be granted in Nirvana. End the stalemate with your newly awakened powers and fullfill my commandment at once.

Aside from our new power, nothing has changed.
Incorrect. There is one addedum:

One Tribe will conquer this purgatory and seize the black-haired girl: Nirvana shall open its gate to this Tribe alone.


Who is that girl?

In case you didn't pick it up from his complete lack of dialogue so far, yes, Serph is a silent protagonist. Anytime he says something it's a dialogue option presented in game. Some are worth our time to care about for reasons that will make sense MUCH later. Others are not.

This one is in the latter. Regardless of what we say, Angel freaks the fuck out.

Like, a lot.

...devouring everyone in your path!

I think the "real" reason is something to do with Solar Noise (we'll cover that in due time too), but I prefer the idea that she just wigs out and runs because of Serph.

System Inquiry: Review this information, Child of Purgatory?


So that's two down. Again, we get a bit of a small interlude before running to the last one.

In this case, it's because we just unlocked THE biggest moneysink in the entire game.

Like, it's not even close. Mantras are a thing that we need just to get by, and they're hella expensive later on; by going to any Karma Terminal (size doesn't matter), we can now use this option.


This lets us get this big-ass board. It's a PS2 RPG, of course our abilities are determined by a big-ass board. Naturally, just because one character gets a Mantra it doesn't mean shit for anyone else. This wouldn't be too bad for the most part, but you see all those nodes that are already there?

There are more. They just won't turn up until much, much later.

The best part? Getting new abilities from here costs Macca. Lots and lots and lots of fucking Macca.

In total it takes 20,728,000 macca to get everything. And that's just for 1 character. So, yes, over 101 million for all Mantras for everyone. Doesn't that sound like fun!

Be glad you're not me, and aren't insane enough to do this for the not-at-all-worth-it reward in DDS2.

...Honestly, I say that but even I probably won't bother in the end. Like I say, the reward is not worth the effort.

Filling it out, in terms of mastering the Mantras, is easy as all hell at least. The hard part is the cash flow.

So, I'm currently committing a cardinal sin. You don't have Serph learn Earth Spirit first. No, because he's weak to Fire you "absolutely must" drill him down the Fire Spirit path to alleviate it.

I am not doing that, sorry. I think that's pretty dumb. It's hella slow, hella expensive and hella niche. In the time it takes to do that, you could have so many better things that the weakness to one element is moot.

Instead, I prefer to focus on alleviating a crippling lack of offense. If I need to patch a weakness in a hurry, that's what Void spells are for. By the time it becomes a real big deal, the time and money investment to patch things in more convenient ways will be significantly more managable.

Also doing the patch weakness thing immediately leaves other people unable to keep up with how fast Serph can master his Mantras. He picked up Devour by default from having it equipped well in advance. Heat and Argilla did not. Giving them even the first one is plenty for now.

Oh, and beyond this little bit I won't really post the mantra board and me buying things particularly often. A rundown at the end of future updates of "here's what skills we learned from this dungeon and what they do" is plenty sufficient. Plus that way you can skip it if my eclectic sense of "here's what will chump the next boss" annoys you or you just don't care or something. (Also, the full boards will be in the second post as a testament to me being an insane, grind-loving lunatic.)

...Now, where were we? Ah, right. Running back to Muladhara.

Gale's Plan


Is that all she had to say?

You truly remember nothing?

Atma? Child of Purgatory? Now what do we do?
We will head to Nirvana.
Nothing's changed. using this new power.
I have no objections. Our goal remains the same.
I am in Sera's debt.
I just want to be normal.

It is decided.


...and present ourselves to the Temple.

*Laughs* Who cares? We'll devour them one by one.
Easier said than done. What's your plan?


You mean...

Until now, the Tribes have relied solely on their own strength and resources. But, an inflexible mind limits one's strategic options.

You've certainly changed.
You are the ones who have changed. Your emotions have clearly become unstable.

What about Sera, then?

Hereafter, we should institute a policy of silence regarding Sera's existence.
What is our leader's decision?
We will proceed according to plan.
It doesn't seem right...

This option is one that actually matters. And I picked the "wrong" option. Don't worry; since I have to go through the game at least twice for some stuff anyway, might as well pick whichever option I feel like this time. Then I can show the right stuff later if I skip it.

First, we head to the Maribel's territory.

It is advantageous for them to accept us, and defeating them will not pose a problem.

And with that, we're FINALLY done with all these cutscenes this time around. We'll celebrate by finishing up with some optional bonuses.

Now that we know Gale's plan, we can head back to Svadhisthana and pick up something that wasn't here beforehand. If we came back here anytime before now, we wouldn't be able to get it (and I know from checking at every possible opportunity).

Once this guy is here and tells us about these rookies, we can get it. This is just the in-game reason for...

Why random encounters are back here. They're basically dudes who are unaffiliated with any Tribe, trying to band together to form their own.

That they also just happen to all be the exact same demons as the Vanguards is just a gameplay concession you'll have to ignore.

At least it's nice enough to let Argilla nab the Earth Spirit mantra she was nearly done with anyway. Since she's decided to do anything to get to Nirvana, she'll eat dudes now. Just in time for fights to return too. How nice!

Tera's the basic Earth spell, yadayada you get the idea. Also comes with Void Earth if you've forgotten already. I'm having Serph also learn this for a reason that will make sense later, I swear.

In the meantime, Argilla can join Heat in getting Devour. Because Hunt skills are super-useful, everyone should have them.

Nothing in the dungeon itself, but if we run all the way back to Harley's room at the back?

We can see that the window there is totally still broken. Also this guy gives us something that was Harley's. We get all his old possessions, which is... just this key.

We don't get his sweet crossbow. I would've preferred that.

Well... okay. Preferred isn't quite what I meant after all. More along the lines of I would've liked this and the crossbow.

But, hey, remember this wall way back at the entrance to Svadhisthana?

We can get past it now. There's only one room back here...

Not that you need me to tell you that. We could see this from the other balcony, remember? The contents of these item pots is way more important anyway.

Noise items are permanent stat boosts for whoever you use them on. They give +2 to the stat in question, as well as fully restore your HP/MP. Naturally, then, there are an infinite number of these things.

There's nothing else we can do here now until we get a way past the Yellow and Red walls in the basement. Now is there anywhere else that had a blue wall...

Oh, right. Back to Muladhara. Again.

Thankfully this one's near the entrance and we don't have to slog through trash demons we can beat without even trying.

Even though this place totally feels like it SHOULD have random encounters in it. That one might just be me though.

There's a small area actually down here, but it mostly serves just to taunt us with three items we can't get. We won't be getting those for a loooooooong time.

It also gives us some more Noise. HP and MP at least get to go up by 10.

There's also this weird door down here. Wonder where it leads. Guess we won't find out for quite a while!

Oh, and there was another Blue Wall just before the rooms with the HP and MP Noises in them.

This one leads to that item we saw near the entrance. Great Chakras are a full MP restore for the entire party. Pretty darn handy!

That's all we can get for now with our new Blue Key, though. At least it's gonna help out get through any blue walls we'll see in the future.

Next time, we'll go see the Maribels and hopefully trick them into an alliance that really only benefits us.

(ps there may be a new thing in the op now. )