The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

by Dragonatrix

Part 14: Ajna


It's been a while, but we're finally on the brink of ending the tribal warfare. Time to dive into Ajna for real now and deal with whatever lies within.

But first, we'll take an opportunity to see what (some of) the others think.

In us, the Karma Temple has engineered its own demise.

...Huh, by the actual proper entrance to the area there's a couple tanks. Beginning to see why the Brutes were top dogs even before we gained our Atma.

Speaking of the entrance, yeah, no using that yet. That's the entire reason why we went back through the Samsara Tunnels before.

Anyway, where were we?

Look at that building. Seen it before, haven't you?

We can't really see it from here, so we need a closer look.

And we finally enter Ajna proper. Ajna is the sixth primary chakra. It represents command, authority and use of the third eye to gain insight int the future. Upon establishing ones self in Ajna indicates that you have gone beyond the desires that motive life and the drive to move in many directions.

More importantly, there's a random former Wolves member here who... claims to have died before...

Um what.

It looks like it's made a' digital images or sumthin'. Doesn't it look weird?

Oh, okay, Cielo's going kinda nuts too.

Let's just head into the mansion since that's the main part of Ajna here.

And Now For Something Different


Hello! Um, today we all came here to the beach.
Aww, c'mon. Dat was borin'! Spice it up a lit'l! Like dis. "Hey dere! Dis is Sera, de ocean makes me feel soooo free."

Like dat, y'know?
Hahaha, stop messing around, you guys.

Idiot, you're blocking me. Get your damn mop head out of the way. Oh, you want a piece of me? Hey, c'mere. Hoho, dumb bastard.

Ha, c'mon!
Oh, tough guy? C'mon.
Stop acting like children.
Guys, we're still recording!

Hey! Come join the rest of us!

Hello! Um, today we all came t-

Hello! Um, today we all came here to the beach. Hello! Um...


Y'know, something about all this seems very different to everywhere else ever.

At least Varin's kind enough to wait here for us to saunter up to him.

They feel just like those strange walls... and those cells that the Temple is collecting... Whatever those things are... they don't feel like part of this world.

So, not only do we have an entrance hall with 4 pillars of light, 3 of them have strange Cell-like blocks in them and all the doors on the ground floor are locked.

The only door on the top floor that isn't trashed is the door to the Large Karma Terminal.

So, I guess we have to do something here with these pillars. Might as well start with the green one.

Sweet Home

After we've selected the green configuration, we can run around the building proper. The south-east door leads to the stairs up which is progress. So we'll skip that for now.

The south-west door leads to the main reason we have to care about this potentially confusing dungeon gimmick.

In every single configuration of the base, some doors lead to these blue portal things that warp us to a different part of the base.

They mostly lead to places we can just walk to anyway, as is the case when we take the door we just left from. This is sometimes useful for getting to places earlier but usually it just serves as a minor annoyance.

So, to the north-east we go then. We'll head back to the west shortly.

And its finally fight time too. There's some demons chilling out here we've seen before, including some from Svadhisthana's basement, but the Girimehkala are new.

They don't actually spook easily but at least they make up for it by dropping HP Noise.

The north-eastern branch leads to a small Courtyard with a golden item capsule in the centre. We can't actually reach it from here though, and there's no way of reaching it in the green configuration at all.

While running through the courtyard to the one door we can reach, a group of Purskis turned up. They're prime fodder to throw Cielo at.

Also Queen Mabs are here too. They turn up both with and without High Pixies.

...Turns out the courtyard just leads to where our first teleporty warp door led. Might as well take it, since it drops us off at the north-west and follow the side path there.

It leads us to a dining room which is pretty nice (there's something here I forgot to do actually) and we'll pass through that to...

A warp back to the entrance hall. Okay, so that fills in a short loop and now we've seen everything we can see from this configuration.

The upstairs area is rather simple. All the upstairs segments are a short path with a small karma terminal.

They also all lead to a very small corridor with an obvious fight at the end.

So, the leader of the Embryon likes poking around places he doesn't belong.

Or, in other words, its sort of mini-boss time!

Hunting ~ Compulsion

Isis is kind of mildly annoying but not difficult. She reflects physicals so its all magic all the time here.

What makes it annoying is that Isis fucking loves spawning in more Isises... Ises... more of herself. They each have 1500HP which at this stage is kinda super tedious to cut through.

Whenever that's not happening, she just pelts you with single target Dynes. They're not threatening but they are annoying.

If it wasn't for the reinforcements thing Isis would be dead in 2 rounds but since all that does is drag the fight out its really boring. Also stupid easy.

Sweet Home

Back to the entrance hall then, and the Red configuration sounds good next. Might as well go clockwise or something.

Since each configuration wildly adjusts the place's layout, now there is no staircase in the south-east.

There is however, um, that Atavaka dude from Manipura. Only now his stats have been reduced and we're stronger.

Speaking of Manipura, his little monkey friend there is Hanuman. Dude's functionally just a modified Onkot who's not weak to Nerve any more. Whatever.

This door is not a door that leads onwards. It is a warp. Surprise.

This drops us off in the south-eastern most corner of the map. It's wholly uninteresting so we'll run back up to where we just came from then.

Along the way we pass through the manor's library, picking up a Logic Cell and Attack Mirror along the way.

There's also a painting of what looks suspiciously like Co-Ordinate 136.

In the library, there's also a small karma terminal but it seems to not have any benefit right now. How odd...

The warp door in the far south-east just drops us off back at the entrance hall, so we'll go to the north-east next. Nothing much here but this yellow wall.

Past there, we just find a Soma and nothing else of note.

Well, nothing else of note that we can use. There's a piano right there but we can't interact with it in any way.

Much like with the Library, there's a painting here. Difference is this one doesn't look like anywhere we've seen in the Junkyard.

So we'll go the south-west and find our way up to the next obvious miniboss battle.

The red configuration's layout feels smaller than the green one for some reason. Maybe just because it's all packed together in one area.

Speaking of differences between the configurations, the upper level here has a side room with a couple neat items in it. Along with the Dekaja Rock, we get a Revival Gem.

And, of course, at the end of the corridor there's another battle.

Our perimeter guard should have been perfect. Where'd they come from!?

Hunting ~ Compulsion

So, the Catoblepas is probably even easier than Isis. She dragged things out and could pretend to matter.

He's weak as hell to Fire, which gives Isis one advantage already.

We're also going to cast Void Death any round.

As you would expect from a beast who's myth is all about killing dudes, Catoblepas is, uh, all about killing dudes. He mostly uses Death elemental skills.

Void Death blocks them. Pretty immediately kills his momentum stone dead.

Of course, just to stop you chumping him completely and utterly he does have Teradyne and likes to use regular attacks sometimes too.

It doesn't matter.

Sweet Home

That's two areas cleared out, so its back to the entrance hall we go then.

Just leaves the blue configuration to deal with.

We'll start this one off by heading through the door to the south-west this time around.

That drops us off on the north side of the courtyard, which still doesn't let us get to that gold item container. We'll be getting to it soon enough, though.

Sadly, this just leads to a short corridor that ends with a warp portal door. That drops us back at the entrance hall again.

So, nothing left to do over in that area so to the south-east it is next. Mostly because this one is merely a linear path that finally lets us get to...

The golden item container in the courtyard.

That done, we'll head through the north-east door at the entrance hall next. That leads to a warp which...

Drops us off at the north-west corner of the map. That's actually where we want to be, so this is just a shortcut there.

The path from here takes us back through the dining room, where we can find a nice picture of a beach. Didn't notice it first time through.

Anyway, after passing through there, we very quickly come to the way forward. Sure, why not, let's deal with whatever's up there before doubling back for that one area we missed.

And in the process, run into a couple Yurlungurs. They're super easy to deal with, since they're basically Cielo with an extra Earth weakness.

Anyway, on the upper floor there's something a bit different from before again. This time around, we've got a red wall to deal with.

Sadly, it doesn't lead to anything too exciting. "Just" a Fusion Cell, but that's still a decent chunk of change so whatever.

Anyway, fight time!

Colonel Beck isn't the only one who wants to get the hell out of here!

Hunting ~ Compulsion

So, like with Isis this fight against 5 Nidhoggrs is more tedious than difficult. Not because there's five of them though.

Like with Isis, they love calling in Reinforcements. They also only use Bufudyne for elemental spells so Ice Drain ruins them.

Sadly, there's a bit more to this fight than just that. If that was all it was, then this fight would be a joke. After a while, the middle Niddhogrs shows its true colours and uses a special skill.

This consists of eating one of its tiny comrades to get bigger. It does this a lot.

In fact, this one has a ton of HP. The small ones have around 400. The big one can shrug of over 1000 in a single hit.

Hell you can follow that up with over 3000 and it keeps on going.

Albeit barely. It has around 4500 HP so its dead basically immediately afterwards. Its an interesting gimmick but it gets ruined by even half-decent offense so whatever.

Sweet Home

With all 3 configurations cleared out, the fourth pillar in the middle gets a weird blocky object now. Since we need to backtrack for something thats on the path towards the entrance hall, we'll walk it for once.

And in the process, run into a Gorgon all on her own. She gets burned for her troubles before even pretending to be a threat.

By the entrance hall, we come to a short corridor with 4 side rooms running off of it.

The one in the bottom left has another Theory Cell in it. A bit of a disappointment compared to plenty of others we've been getting lately, but it's sufficient.

The bottom right one just has a Magic Mirror in it.

The top-left one is a cruel joke. Drops everyone's HP by 10% and inflicts poison. Considering this is the second one of these even findable that's a pretty steep step up!

The top-right room has our requisite battle-in-a-container fight.

It's two Titanias. We've seen them before. Cast Pulinpa and rake in the Theory Cells.

That done, all that remains now is the white configuration and hopefully Varin.

Despite sounding like this one'll be tricky to deal with, getting to the north area is actually really easy.

The top two doors lead to their respective wings of the area, so we'll try the south-western one first.

That drops us on the main path in the north-east area.

So we gotta run back to the entrance hall by taking the south exit and running through... the courtyard. Again.

Try the south-eastern door from the entrance hall next instead, then. Can't see that one being an issue.

Except, of course, it is. It drops us off past the north-west door from the entrance hall and sticks us at the four-room hallway we just dealt with.

Taking the warp from there, since it is a warp there, just puts us in the area that leads to the golden container in the courtyard. We already have that so there's nothing here for us.

So to the north we go then. The White configuration doesn't really have an upper floor segment, since it works a bit differently.

Instead, it makes us run through the library. You might be seeing where this is going, but first!

The small hallway to the north of the library DOES have a door leading further north. It was a warp every other configuration it turned up in, but here it leads to this rather unique underground area.

It looks like its not quite finished being made yet, or like its about to be demolished or something.

It's pretty cool, so of course its a tiny one room side area with only one real reason to ever come here.

The bonus Noise and an extra Logic Cell are nice, but that's not what we want this area for.

There's a Life Terminal here, and a relatively lax encounter rate (relatively!). Makes it good to run here before finishing up the White Configuration but, again, that's not what we really wantthis place for.

No, the main reason to come down here is that the only random encounter is against a Girimehkala. And as an added bonus, they can summon High Pixies as reinforcements.

Easy Luck and HP Noises right here!

But if you don't care about grinding stats (and I don't blame you in that case), there's not much incentive to ever go back there. Shame because its such a neat looking area.

Ah well, so this door to the west of that area back on the ground floor clearly leads to where we want to go.

Varin Omega (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Plot Bomb)


Strangely enough, we actually finish basically where we started. This room is identical to the entrance hall but for the giant beams of light that control the layout.



And, of course, our mysterious assailant immediately decks the fuck outta Serph. If this dude is cutscene savvy, we're boned.


What are you... talking about? I don't know --

Goddammit, Varin. You could've taken all of the Embryon effortlessly if you stayed cloaked! Now you got Heat alone and he's got like the second highest strength.

...Of course, Heat cannot hit a fucking thing so Varin dodges.



okay i think i see what lupa meant now

not only can varin turn invisible at will but he can make people's atmas go berserk with a single punch what the fuck

You look hungry.

...Tribes? ...Comrades? I'm sick of all that bullshit!

Stop it! I won't allow that.

You won't allow it?

To hell with you all. I've had enough of this god-forsaken dump.

This is basically the one real good look you get of Varin's avatar before he turns invisible again. Just in time for us to get up, morph ourselves and kick his ass.

Boss: Asura Ravana

Big Battle

As should not come as a surprise, Ravana's gimmick is that he is completely invisible. This makes it really hard to hit the bugger.

There are 6 possible spaces he could be occupying in any given turn.

Naturally, with no indication of which one he's occupying you're all but guaranteed to miss. And when you do this way, that DOES take up 2 press turns.

So, natural thing to think here. Just hit 'em all at once, right?

Nope! That's a guaranteed miss and it doesn't matter what you do for this. Attacks, items, debuffs all work the same way here.

Plus side is, whenever he attacks it's pretty weak and not a big deal.

And it's not like getting in the odd cheeky hit is completely impossible either. Just down to random chance.

Aside from regular ol' attacks, Ravana can throw out the ST Dynes. Nothing too dangerous there for us now either.

After a couple turns, Sera pipes up and the fight changes gears somewhat.

I think I can... feel his presence. Hm... Oh! He's --

At this point, Sera tells you in a very vague and rough fashion where Ravana is every turn. It's helpful but still not perfect.

If nothing else, it makes dropping Dynes of our own on his head a viable strategy now.

Granted, he does respond with Megidolas if given the chance.

It doesn't hurt anywhere near as much as it seems like it should though. Admittedly, we did just come from Beelzebub who was using the better version so whatever.

Once Sera starts helping, beating Ravana becomes much more nice and easy. After he loses 1000 HP, the fight just ends.

I will see you multilated and broken! Die...

And now, Ravana does this funky thing where its spider-like butt area just opens up and white tendrils that are actually arms comes out.

His entire body becomes a cocoon unto itself and encloses him inside it.

So, time for Ravana round 2. Even Bat let us go and beat up a different Asura in between his fights!

Boss: Asura Ravana (Visible Edition)

Big Battle

Well, first things first Ravana has Dekaja now. He does NOT have Dekunda though.

And he's alone and doesn't do that auto-miss thing if we use MT attacks. So debuffs it is then.

He fights mostly the same here as before but with two new additions. One of which is, of course, Force elemental. Force Repel it is then.

and spill your filthy guts everywhere!

Ravana's other new trick is Hunger Wave. This attack is, much like Zotzilaha Bane, an almighty elemental unique ailment.

Unlike Zotzilaha Bane, at least it doesn't deal damage directly AND it can miss.

But it inflicts Mad. I would rather have Bat than Mad. Fuck Mad.

Infinite Wind is his Force attack.

If you don't have Force Repel, it will make this fight take ages. Having Ravana hit himself for upwards of 700 points everytime he tries it is pretty great.

He has around 4000HP in this stage but no weaknesses. He also resists Physicals. Whatever.

Come the start of our turns, Sera decides to do us a solid.

Much like before, she has one role here. This time it's to cure Mad.

On only one person. Chosen at random.

Mad is basically a worse version of Charm. Worse because it does the same target own party thing, but it can't be blocked and aside from Sera's thing at the start of the turn it cannot be cured.

On the other hand, Ravana has rather low HP (relatively) and we can slice through it really fast whenever we get a chance.

You will know the horror... the horror of being eaten alive!! Die tasting the terrible fear I have endured!!

The only other thing Mad does is make you skip your turn. And take ~60 points of damage in the process.

It also feels like it has a higher success rate after Ravana's little dialogue beat there but that could just be me imagining it.

At least he's kind enough to drop himself to sub-200 HP, and doubles over just in time for Serph to burn him to death.

And that takes care of Ravana and the Brutes. Were it not for Hunger Wave, he'd be a colossal chump so I can understand why he has it.

doesnt mean i have to like it though

Gives pretty okay Macca, a decent chunk of Karma, middling AP though but hey a Soma drop's always nice.


Varin! What did you mean, I was devoured?
Don't call me... Don't call me by that name.

You seem to know about Serph... Why is it...

You're all fools...

Techno Shaman

Let me remind you, then.

Hey, no, Varin you're not allowed to have a seizure and die yet. You have to exposit some more!


Sweet Home

So, Varin's dead. We're the last remaining Tribe so I guess we win??

More importantly, I swear that thing at the end looked like Sera just... walking off somewhere.

Anywho, that was a lot of plot stuff all of a sudden so let's see how everyone else is dealing with it.

Sera's missing. We gotta find her, Serph.

Did we really die once?

Who devoured me, and...

What does this mean? How much does he know...!?

Alright, that's enough of that. Only place we can go right now is a room upstairs by Cielo.

The Innermost Chamber


Something about this seems... off. I dunno, just me?

Oh, that's where Sera went. She's just up here and...

Crying about something?

And then she vanishes as the room returns to normal. How bizarre.

But the thing she was looking at has definitely been moved to the bed.

Before we really get to see what it is, everyone else just wanders in.


Hey, wait, hang on. That thing around its neck... that cat really gets around.

And yet, none of these things exist here in the Junkyard.

We actually died before, and were sent to the Junkyard?

How the hell could she be!?
I dunno! Y'know I ain't dat smart...
It doesn't matter.

Who cares about this stupid world? So what if we died?

We're comrades.

...Hm. Comments?
Scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 3.

And then...

What the --

The rain suddenly kicks up a notch for a moment. And just as quickly as that started...

It slows down again, and the rain finally ends.

That's different. I don't remember Sahasrara looking like that last time we went there. Hrm.



But, we died in Nirvana, didn't we...? What is Sera's house doin' here, den? We ain't in Nirvana. This don't make sense, mon.

Looks like all our answers are waiting for us at the Karma Temple. So, time to finally go to Sahasrara as the victors of the war and...

wait, what do you mean we're not doing that yet? There's nothing else to d- oh.


Okay, scratch that. We DO have some unfinished business to take care of, and with Varin finally slain we can finish it off at last.

So, how about stuff from the basement of Svadhisthana and everything from Ajna? A lot of it is nice and obvious. Insatiable's our go-to hunt skill for a while now since it hits everything for medium damage. Death Blow hits everything for similar damage but can inflict curse too. Genocide is the coolest name for a skill; hits everything for a powerful chunk of HP but damage is based on the user's remaining HP.

MIN Critical ups chance of criticals when the Solar Noise is at its Minimum. Naturally this is super situational and you'll never have it equipped when its useful. It does stack with normal Critical so it has its uses if you can manipulate the gauge enough.

Makajamon inflicts Mute on everything. Not very good. Calm Death inflicts instant death on anything and everything that's asleep. It's the only move the AI can use that bypasses Null Sleep. Sounds like a problem but very, very few things have Calm Death and nothing you'd want to use Null Sleep against has it so it's a non-issue.

Atma Bonus is a fucking wonderful passive. So long as its on someone who's in the active party, they get more AP from the fight. Combos REALLY well with AP Divide for obvious reasons; that extra gain is split by the divide that way. How nice.