The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

by Dragonatrix

Part 22: Occupied Sector


Unsurprisingly, this being a new game and all, we're reset to level 1 and have lost, uh, everything. We don't even have a single macca to our name.

Our stats are also reset to very low base values, albeit ones that are a mite high for level 1.

Especially for Serph, since he gets a nice +5 to everything from filling out the entirety of the first Mantra Grid and all.

Since everyone else was fairly close to maxing the mantra grid originally, their bonus stat points are also quite apparent. Especially if you just consider how Serph and Argilla were at the start of DDS1 and all.

With Gale it's somewhat less apparent, but for the level its still quite notable.

Anyway, we're in a new place so let's see what the gang has to say.

Sera and...Angel are probably in Karma City.

We need to find Sera. I'm sure she can explan this.
Do you think Heat and Cielo are okay?
I'm worried because neither of them really think things through... I'm sure they can take care of themselves, but...

Due to our current situation, the gang does include that kid. Who just happens to be named Fred. Huh.

We're in Society territory now, but things are still okay on the other side.

It also includes, um... unnamed friend.

But, you sure don't know much about the Society, even though you can change into demons and everything... Where did you guys come from?

Anyway, we'll leave that tiny room now and head out into a corridor that immediately branches to a room to the right.

We can hear some soldiers outside from here, but more importantly there's a glowy box here.

It's a much more literal treasure chest than we may be used to. The Chakra Drops are nice though.

Doubling back and heading along the main corridor again. No more divergences, so it leads us straight to...

The very first dungeon of the game. Yes, already.

The sector itself starts off big and really empty. It's also not immediately clear where to go, strangely enough.

But there's a ladder leading down in the northeastern corner of the area. Quite easy to not see at first though.

or that might just be me i dunno

So we follow it down, and immediately come to a crossroad.

We haven't really figured out how to use 'em yet. But, uh... You guys are free to try, if you want.

It, uh, it's a large karma terminal. We can mostly use it just fine.

We can't get new Mantras though. Not because we don't have any money, but because Adam hasn't authorised it we're not allowed access to new ones.

Back on the main path, we get stopped basically immediately. Again.

Let 'em do whatever they want. I don't know where you came from, but there's no way you're better Tuners than us!

We know only the ways of the Junkyard. In order to live, we kill, devour, and destroy. If you do not wish to die, I suggest that you leave.
Y-You're...mocking us!?


So, these poor soldiers decide to transform into demons. Because they can do that.

Unfortunately for them, so can we...

And the Embryon just kinda show off with it.

Anyway, they want to try and turn the hunters into the hunted in the most cliche way imaginable. Yeah, uh, no.

Battle: 2x Aerial Andras

Battle for Survival
click it click it click it click it click it

Hey, what luck. The first enemy of the game is a new one. Andrases are superweak though.

The only attack spell we have right now is Bufu, which they at least are neutral to.

This guy gets frozen in one shot though, so Argilla obliterates him.

Gale has nothing but Phys skills right now, so I guess stabbing a bunch with knife-feet will have to do.

And, uh, they die without ever getting a turn. Even DDS1's tutorial battle enemies got to do stuff!

Hard mode.

Kind enough to give just enough Karma for Serph and no one else to level up.

...I'm getting all kinds of deja vu from this.

Stats haven't changed. All very standard stuff, what they do is the same as before.

Not doing it here because eh 9 is a lot right now, but we will want to put some points into Magic eventually. It will make sense later (dds2.txt).


Judge for yourselves what kind of beings we are.
*gulp* A-Alright...

So, anyway, there's a giant fence in the way and we can't just climb over it. Fortunately, there is a path to the right that we'll take instead.

"strong presence"

Roger. Bring them to the transport.
Man, this is no fun...Hunting's only good when they resist. I wish we'd been assigned to hunt those ghosts, y'know?

From the way the soldiers reacted earlier, it seems not everyone knows about us.
H-Hey! It's the ghosts! Attack!

Man, I feel sorry for these guys already.

So, Zhens are another new enemy. Unlike Andras...

They ARE weak to Ice.

Like Andras, they also do not get a turn.

At least they give just enough Karma for Argilla to level up. Enough AP for Gale to learn some stuff too.

It's just Zan and Void Force. Very useful here, though.

No, these guys are different!
Hmph... She ran away. I guess that's the way it goes.

We need to head straight north from here. That's where you'll find Roland. C'mon, let's go.

Pretty nice that right away we come to a Rejuvenating Light. Kinda need it over a Healing Terminal and all. Since, y'know, we have no macca still.

Also right through the next door is yet another forced fight.

They seem to be the unidentified Tuners!
Ghosts this, ghosts that... I'm getting sick of hearing it. We're the Embryon Tribe -- don't you forget it.

So, another new enemy in the Bugaboo. The Kelpie he comes with is changed to be a lot easier than its DDS1 incarnation though. Not weak to Fire any more.

Bugaboo actually resists Ice (Kelpie does too) but it doesn't help him much. He's still gonna die in no time.

In a surprising twist, both Bugaboo and Kelpie get a turn! Bugaboo just does a normal attack but Kelpie tries to put someone to sleep with Dream Haze. It, uh, doesn't work.

Anyway, we hit them and they die.

Fred, we need to hurry.
No problem.

Those two dealt with, we can continue further north and even find out that we're on the other side of the fence we had to circumvent.

Once again, we need to detour to get around a fence but there's two ways on the map we can go. A door to the left...

Or an item container to the right...

This isn't even a choice.

Also there's yet another forced fight before we can open the box.

Another new enemy here, Hua Po can cast Void Ice for a reason. They are normally weak to it and all.

It doesn't really help Bugaboo much, though, since he's weak to Force.

I, uh, kinda forgot to set Zan before the previous fight. Oops.

Those promptly dealt with, we can now open the box, grab a couple Revival Beads and move on.

We get to our first small karma terminal, which is nice but nothing overly necessary right now. There is however something opposite the terminal that you might miss.

There's a bunch of crates stacked there and if you run behind them, you can grab a bunch of Panacea. Nothing overly important but nice to have.

Further on ahead, we get yet another forced encounter.

They just never stop... If you left us alone, we wouldn't have to kill you!

It's only a matter of time, now.

Battle for Survival

Despite giving us time to morph, this guy doesn't do so himself for... some reason. He does try and shoot us though.

He does actually have a weakness as he is right now, but even if we try to exploit it we can't kill him this turn.

Guns aren't effective, huh?

Come his second turn, he transforms himself and unlike when we do it, it restores all of his HP.

He tunes into a Pabilsag which is actually the most dangerous fight in the whole dungeon. And not just because Argilla botched her attack.

No, it's because he throws out poison attacks with reckless abandon and if the poison procs there's not much we can do about it right now!

Also Poison Dart hits multiple times and really kinda hurts all things considered.

Did I mention he likes Poison attacks? Because he does. He uses them very nearly exclusively, even.

Not overly much HP though.

Man Hunting

What's wrong with me?
I feel weaker as well...I do not comprehend it, but there's no point in worrying. Even if we lose physical strength, the experience of the past continues to live inside of us. Let's go.

So now that we've taken down the Pabilsag, we get a music change and the dungeon begins to live up to that title now. Random encounters are a thing from this point onward, basically.

Very next thing we see is a guy running to the right. He doesn't notice us, at least.

Naturally, we'll check out where he came from first.

It, uh, it's someone's house. This being an RPG, you'd think we can loot their belongings. You're right, but there's nothing here save for that chest.

Which just contains a couple of Rations. Let's just go see where that soldier guy was running to.

...Oh. Well, this is obvious. Moving on!

goddammit, fred

You should help her!

i did not see this coming

It's just against 2 Bugaboo. Whatever. They DO get the first turn, but we're not even ambushed in the "did not get time to transform" sense either.

Serph and his friends are different. They're on our side.
...Thank you. I...think I can make it out of here by myself.

That dealt with, we can just carry on to the north to find Roland.

Or we can duck into this building to the west. Let's do that first, since it's off the main path.

Much like the previous house we went in, there's nothing in here but a couple chakra drops though.

Speaking of items, most of the random level up bonuses are the same as in DDS1 but with one more added. You can find/be given a random item too. Like the other bonuses, it's nice but not super-super crucial.

Anyway, we get to a nice little rest stop with another Rejuvenating Light. No terminal, though.

But, with everyone spread out, that means we can talk to 'em again.

I assume you've seen the sun; would you like to see it again?

I guess demon bodies are immune to the effects of sunlight. ...I'm a little jealous.

I haven't seen the sun yet.

...Their bodies turn to stone. I'm not even sure if they're dead or still alive. I hope they're alive, though... My dad... He's out there, too.

Let's go check this out, then. We actually haven't had the chance to do anything outside for ourselves yet.

And I like how the door WAS boarded up but isn't any more. It being on the inside even makes sense, when you realise that this was probably just regular people that did it. The soldiers don't seem to give two shits about anyone other than themselves.

So, yeah. The outside is in a pretty bad state no matter where you are, it seems.

I didn't expect it to be black... It's too bright, I can't look at it... That thing's the reason Fred and the others can't live outside? If this is Nirvana, then I think I prefer the rain of the Junkyard.

There's a couple of different messages for the petrified people out here, but they're all a similar kind of thing.

I believe the Atma power is what protects us from this ailment. ...Though, I don't understand why.

There's nothing else out here, though, so we'll head back inside and carry on heading to that Roland guy.

We know you're hiding nearby. Surrender in human form immediately... or we'll kill the captives!

If we don't do something, they're going to die! Serph! You gotta help them...

Yeah, sure, whatever you say. But first, new enemy!

Alps have been given quite the upgrade since when they were working for the Vanguards. Having access to Revert this early, and no weaknesss is pretty unusual all things considered.

The way forward is still straight north, but there's another side area to explore first.

This house was very worth looting, since it has the requisite bullet in it and all.

It's going straight to Serph, naturally.

We can also get random encounters against non-tuned soldiers, who can transform to restore HP like the first guy did, as well as use items. They're also weak to Guns...

Also this house DOES have something else we can loot. Just gonna steal this medical kit.

And read one of their books, because why not.

The city's on fire, and I can hear people screaming as the demons drag them away to God-knows-where... I have to make sure my daughter survives. They're outside my hourse right now. I can't give in to the fear-- I can't run. All I have is a revolver and three bullets...

This is it. They're tearing at the door. I can smell them... Catherine, live on for me.

So, uh, yeah. These soldiers are kiiiind of dicks of the largest magnititude!

Also, uh, that gun weakness? That's not the soldier's weakness or anything like that. That's a human trait. Human form is weak to gun but immune to expel. It was probably the same way in DDS1 for convenience, but you were the only ones with access to gun skills in combat AND there were no Human race enemies.

So, there's a good incentive to not try going Human against these guys I guess.

Little further ahead, there's an Ikusa keeping a guy hostage.

We could try and skip this one too, but after we got railroaded before we'll just deal with this one now.

Guy he was holding hostage gets, uh, thrown pretty hard into a chainlink fence.

Also he collapses kinda sorta immediately.

I don't care if you're ghosts, or a Tribe, or anything... I'm gonna interrogate the hell out of you until I find out how you became Tuners!

Ikusa at face value is mostly unchanged since his DDS1 days, save for being a lower level. He doesn't have access to Matera now at least.

He is, however, still weak to Force (and newly weak to Fire for all the nothing that matters). Kinda makes him a joke!

Guy what got thrown is kinda dead now. Not for a lack of trying, mind, but there's just nothing we could do to avoid this one.

Nothing else in there, so we'll just carry on and come to a crossroads, again. Once again, there's a fence blocking our way to the north, a door to the east...

And another door to the west. Not immediately obvious this time which way leads to progress, but past experience here makes it a little less of a crapshoot. Aside from once, everytime there's been a split, the western path has led onwards. To see if the pattern holds up again, we'll go tp the east first.

And it was the right decision. This leads to a home with yet another Rejuvenating Light in it.

There's also a couple Ice Blasts, which are kinda nice I guess but we don't need 'em.

At this point, Serph finally masters Devourer and we get to see the first Mantra change over the first game. Hell Thrust has been removed completely, and here it's replaced with Ingest Mana. Makes more sense, but I'd rather it come with Hell Thrust still.

Regardless, we'll carry on the main path now and come to yet another forced fight with some of these soldiers.

I need backup. I repeat, backup!

This time around, it's an Andras and a Bugaboo. Good time to refight an Andras since we can find out it's weak to Earth now.

They drop in no time, and they do get those reinforcements. Well, reinforcement. It's a Tarrasque who's also had a downgrade since DDS1.

So much so, we hit him with rocks and he dies without getting a turn.

Hard. Mode.

Moving on, we can now carry on further north but first there's another side area to explore.

Not much in it, save for a couple more Revival Beads though.

Once again, come to a east/west split with a door at either side. Once again, trying the east first.

And once again, it pays off and lets us grab a Medical Kit from some dude's house.

Another split between west and north, but I see that ladder in the distance here. North isn't the way forward this time, so we'll go there first.

It leads to a mostly empty... warehouse, I guess.

Free Soma Drop hiding behind a buncha crates, though. That's all that's in here.

So, it's up that ladder we go and we should be basically done by now.

Another small terminal and two doors are what await us here. The terminal is closer to the door on the right, though, so it's into the left building first.

This time around, we get a Revival Gem for our troubles which is pretty nice on its own.

But there's also an easy to miss extra area a bit to the south.

Naturally, there's extra loot here too. A couple Sonic Stones are nice but not overly crucial or anything. Still gonna put them to use almost immediately at least.

Now to just double back and carry onwards once again.

At The Gate

Epic Battle ~ Prelude

So, the big blue guy's bashing the giant door trying to get through. Not having much success right now, but he does have two soldiers with him for... protection...???

I'll tear those tusks right off your face!

Yeah, get 'em.
Hm, what a funny kid. He reminds me of Cielo.

Needless to say, we will promptly kick these guys asses.

Boss: Yaksa Vetala (and 2x Aerial Andras)

Epic Battle

So, the Andrases here are still weak to Earth. They do have a bit more HP than normal (200) so we can't just oneshot them here.

Vetala is weak to Force, so Gale is going to ruin him.

He has 600HP, so this won't be a long fight anyway.

The Andrases can try and prolong it by casting Void Force on occasion but that just gives us a reason to drop them first.

They'll also heal if they get low enough on HP. Just another reason to drop them quicker.

Sadly, unlike Hayagriva we can't just completely shut down Vetala since he mostly uses regular ol' attacks here.

With the Andrases out of the way, we can just throw Sonic Stones at this guy to help speed things up a bit. Between the two of them and one Zan, that gets rid of about 1/5th of Vetala's HP in a single round. Before we get to attack again.

He does have one minor trump card when he gets below 300HP, though. He signals it with this and it makes it really obvious what to do.

He also throws out a Mind Charge first just to make it really clear that it's a spell.

"The ground at our feet" is our clue here, so Void Earth it is.

Vetala is also kind enough to signal when he's going to utilise that Mind Charge.

...It's the very next turn. It's always the very next turn.

Needless to say, yes, the skill with Earth in its name is actually Earth elemental. So it does nothing to us.

And that's the only trick Vetala has up his bracers. He does have more shouty dialogue but only if you let him live for aaaaaaaages.

He's such a colossal chump, you'll probably kill him quickly enough to miss it all entirely by accident. I wouldn't worry about it.

200 Karma isn't too shabby right now, though, and the Brave Ration is nice too. Still no money...


Vetala and co promptly dealt with, we get to see what lies beyond the gate. A bunch of people with guns aimed at it. And then something starts knocking.

...And yet another kid just pushes right past to get to the door.

Hey! Stay back!

It's our secret signal! It has to be him! Now-open-this-stupid-gate!

Clearly important dude just reaches inside his pockets and pulls out a flask of some kind.

And immediately procees to drink. Of course.

At least Kirk Thornton still does all but give permission to open the gate.

Open it!

Takes its time to open, though, during which everyone re-aims their guns in its direction.

Look at them...

Naturally, he's on about Serph, Argilla and Gale on account of not knowing who they are and their matching attire.

You know Cielo!?
I do. He's safe with us.


Lokapala, huh?

We can finally take a break and look around. I do believe that we'll do just that.