The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

by Dragonatrix

Part 41: The Fifth and Sixth Layers


My name's James Mason... Remember me now?
You gave her my message. ...Thanks. I know she died too, but... I guess that's just karma.

That means it's up to you to save the world, so we can be reborn in the first place. I'm counting on you.

And with that, we've completed a man's last request and gotten a single Soma for out troubles.

But the reward isn't important, really. Is it?

Well, uh, yeah kinda. At least now we can sell that Lotus Flower we've been holding onto forever. First though!

This layer's gimmick is a bit different. More than different enough to warrant...

Schroedinger's name being inexplicably mispelt while he explains what's going on.

As long as you're inside, you will be unable to transform during battle. Proceed, Seraph.

So, uh, yeah, this layer kinda fucks with how fights work more than anything else. And its not very fun either.

Since we won't be doing much fighting for the moment, we'll take the large data node right by the entrance and return to the surface. Gonna sell all this stuff to Johnny and end up with $3 million and change.

It's a start at least. Now we'll deal with the horribly unfun slog that is the first half of the fifth layer.

Gonna at least use some Estoma to make it a bit more palatable. Emphasis on the "a bit."

See, the fifth layer is when the encounter rate gets kinda bad. Estoma helps make it more on par with the default rates in every other dungeon thus far.

Battle For Survival

So, that thing about being unable to transform only applies to use. Enemies in the Sun do not have Human forms so they're unaffected by it.

Problem with that is, as seen here, you can get fights that are actively impossible to win. If you want to fight proper, you have to use attack items which are completely worthless at this point.

Also there are still some new enemies. If we could tune, Surt would be completely worthless and chumped but as is, he's able to be a bit of a nuisance.

When we can kill him proper, he drops Power Data and is not a rare fight. How nice!

...On the other hand, there are Arahabakis. If we could tune, we could kill them. Because we can't, even if we had attack items worth half a shit, we wouldn't really be able to kill them.


So, this floor is the straightforward one for the layer. I'll let that settle in for a moment. It's big, expansive and annoying to navigate. Just made a minor note of all the treasure in the area, since most of it is not really very good.

1 = 2x Medical Tools;
2 = 3x Wild Bombs (how generous );
3 = 2x Wind Walls;
4 = 2x HP Data;
5 = 1x Great Chakra;
6 = 1x Olive Branch

But the X south of the exit is the only one really worth worrying about getting...

Because it's one of the five last remaining rings. Naturally, it's both simultaneously really quite good but also hella situational.

The description is a bit of a, uh, misleading and incorrect. See, it doesn't grant Phys Repel to anyone. Instead, it puts an auto-Void Phys on the entire party for the first turn. If you're gonna fight something that definitely will use a phys attack at the start it's useful but not something to always run around with.

I dislike this layer in general, so we'll just skip through it to get to the important stuff.

Which is to say fucking murdering something that was dumb enough to get in the way immediately.

Let's finally try and Reincarnate something. Because fuck it, I am not playing around with this.

It's expensive as hell at 99MP, and it's even weaker than Pyriphlegethon etc. but its Mega-tiered Almighty so it can sort of justify it.

Despite not being The Strongest, it is most effective since it will oneshot almost everything we can run into.

Pretty much immediately afterwards, we get a small rest spot with a data node. How nice.

Might need it because the next area is a little different, but has a less shit gimmick.

Beginning to think they just didn't even know how to spell Schroedinger for these few text boxes.

As long as you're within that area, you will not have as much time to act in battle. Proceed, Seraph.

So, this area is more playable and yet simultaneously kind of not. There's three seals we can walk through to start with. The western or southern ones are the best.

The east one is a dead end.

Red spiral things like this one are the doors for the area.

They, uh, also happen to be one-way only. Took this one because it led to some loot.

Not much loot, mind you, but it's there.

The time gimmick here just means we have one less press turn than normal. So three party members gives us 2, two gives us 1 and one gives us a half.

So, giant one-way door maze. Fun stuff. Once again, mapped out like this because it makes it easier. As for loot;

1 = 2x Luck Data;
2 = 2x Bolt Walls;
3 = 2x Medical Gears;
4 = 1x Chakra Pot

More important, though, is that there's a special encounter that pops up around the middle of the maze.

Battle For Survival

Prove to me that you are worthy of his presence.

So, Parvati is kind of vaguely annoying to fight at first. Can only really hurt her with Reincarnate for ~300 damage, or physical skills for about 200. At least at base; she gets 2 press turns and only uses the Almighty skills if she can't use the others.

She also always gets the first turn; in this case it's to let her talk, but for every encounter after this one, she just pelts us with spells.

What makes her special is that she is a rare(ish) encounter with a rare(ish) drop. The Pinaka is actually a key item that we need later.

And, no, I didn't get it on the first Parvati. It was the nineteenth. That's about average, to be honest.


So, after the maze, another small area with a new data node and some Magic Mirrors this time.

Obvious boss door at the end, but there's a branch in the path here for once. Wonder what that's abo-

...Oh. There's two things we need to do to get this open.

We're close to getting the first one done, but we can't do it for a while.

So, the boss door?

Epic Battle ~ Prelude

I'Ve HAd eNOugH of THiS BullShit! I'lL TeAR yOU guyS apARt... I'M geTtIng thE HelL OuttA HeRe!

Boss Redux ~ Asura Ravana

Big Battle ~ Enemies Reborn

So, Ravana just has his second form here and, uh, he doesn't have Hunger Wave. Poor bastard's sole gimmick is gone.

Instead, he replaces it with a predictable pattern. At first he just uses physical skills.

A, uh, a lot of physical skills admittedly but still.

He has the same resistances as before, so no weaknesses and resistance to Phys.

Needless to say, the Shield Ring kinda makes the first step of the fight a colossal joke.

After losing about 2000HP, Ravana gets a mite delusional and changes what he does.

Which is to use Infinite Wind, and follow it up with Phys stuff.

Or, rather, to use Infinite Wind, get it blasted back at himself for ~1500 damage because he can be Taunted to eradicate his defences. And he doesn't have Dekunda.

If it does hit you, it kinda hurts so there's good incentive to not have that happen.

After that, he'll almost assuredly be in the third phase. The reflected Infinite Wind alone is actually enough to do it.

Now he's Raging, which you'd think would matter if it was basically anyone else.

Instead, he just drops everything and begins to cast Elec spells. And absolutely nothing else.

He can't even really maximise that by hitting Gale's weakness for tons of turns.

Also he doesn't resist Elec either. Ravana is not very bright.

Once he's in critical he stops that. Mostly.

Instead, he Psycho Rages and then follows it up with something probably unexpected.

Two ailment spells in a row, being the biggest unexpected aspect.

That gets follows up by two of his bigger Phys skills.

And then a Magic Repel just to piss you off.

Or, uh, he tries to Ailment you but it gets repelled because you probably expected some degree of spells and so threw a Magic Mirror out.

Because the game just gave us two, so of course we're going to use them. Ravana is not a hard fight for how good that monetary reward is.


And we get a Lotus Seed for our troubles too. Making Ravana actually worth just shy of 1mil singlehandedly. Not bad for sub-3 minutes of work.

So, the sixth layer next and it has the most absurd encounter rate out of everything in both games.

The actual layer design itself is kinda long and sprawling but not really in a troublesome way. And that's its gimmick. Nothing stupid, nothing annoying, nothing difficult.

It's just very, very, very long.

At least its got the large node right by the entrance.

We'll start off by going to the south.

This just leads to a single Hero Ration, but it'll do for the moment.

Going back to the north now, and we get a split in the path there. South leads to this area, and on the way...

Battle For Survival

Don't expect it to be easy... Show me what you're capable of!

So, much like how Parvati was kind of a mini-boss who did nothing but magic, Narasimha is kind of a mini-boss who does nothing but kill the shit out of you with Phys.

He hits harder than Parvati, and gets the same auto-first turn thing. Shield Ring sounds nice but then you get blasted by 2 Ragnaroks and probably die immediately.

So long as that doesn't happen, he's not
too difficult at least.

The Nandaka, much like the Panaka, is something we want for later and is going to occupy a slot in our SP Items menu instead. Got this one on the 10th Narasimha which is a little bit on the quick side but not overly so.


Anyway, that second crossroad? This is the only thing to find to the north so fuck that.

Just gonna take the glowy thing which is, uh, a teleporter.

And I know what you're thinking, but no. It's not a teleporter dungeon. These are basically just one way doors more than anything else.

Well, I say "one-way" but immediately afterwards there's a teleporter that leads onwards and one that leads right back sooooooo.

Speaking of doors, two things passed that one behind us.

.....The actual item is just two Dekaja Rocks. Not worth it.

After leaving that room, the teleporter on Seraph's right leads further onwards.

This isn't as much of a choice as it seems, since south just loops back on itself and is a dead end. So east it is.

North here is progress, but through that door we can get something very, very good.

Hello, one of the best rings.

So, normally whenever you do a combo it takes one press turn per person involved. If whoever is wearing this ring initiates a combo, it only takes one press turn instead. Very, very nice.

With that, we can continue to the north and come to yet another fork in the road. There's nothing to the south though, so whatever.

Branches within branches, we'll ignore the turn for the moment and continue onwards to the east.

Mostly because I just want the loot more than anything else.

Other two are a Soma Drop (which is okay) and 2 Wild Bombs (which are not).

Backtracking to that turn we just skipped, and we can find this section's teleporter and carry on to the next area.

As before, though from this point onward, the teleporter that lets us go backwards will put us at the very beginning of the entire layer. Ick.

Loot in the room this time is a single crystal, and a Chakra Pot. Whatever.

This time around, its the teleporter on our left that lets us carry on.

Beginning to think gold containers on this layer are all spiteful. Pattern recognition etc. etc.

This is new though. It's just the +4 Luck gem but it's weird that this one of all things took so long to appear.

Following path onwards, and we get this branch. Gonna follow the wall to the left/north since there's nothing at all the other way.

Up here, there's a Great Chakra and two Ice Walls. Well, at least one of them was decent.

Immediately south of there, is our teleporter onwards. Nothing else in this area so we'll take this now.

I think you might be seeing a bit of a pattern at this point. So the room this time...

Forced fight with an Arahabaki. Noteworthy because there was no message outside the door that's all "hey fight in here, continue?" that normally happens.

Nothing else in here, so we'll take the left teleporter again.

Path here is very, very linear and has no diverging turns or anything. Only break is very short, very obvious and ends immediately. It gives us this.

Once again, nothing else here so we'll take the teleporter and carry on.

The room behind us this time contains our first small data node of the layer.

Yet again, the left teleporter lets us carry on deeper. We'll also be turning left here.

Here as well, but this time you can also see the nothing that lies to the west.

It's arguably not worth it, but this sells for so much it might very well make it okay.

Other way leads to this little multi-branching path.

First turn leads to the teleporter, which we'll ignore for the moment. Second turn leads to, uh, nothing.

And the door gives us another seed. Okay, sure.

Taking the teleporter and... another one? Already? Man, these things are really weirdly paced.

Once again, the left teleporter gives us progress and... yeah. Teleporter in that obvious big area in the tiny room.

Nothing else in the room but these Medical Gears. I get the feeling we're going to put these to use sooner or later now.

Left teleporter again, very linear path, etc. etc.

Though this time, we get "stairs" leading upwards rather than anything else.

And we're at the end of the layer, at last. Obvious boss door ahead, life node and a data node...

But, uh, who could be beyond that door? I can't think of anyone left to refight from DDS1 that isn't our ally in some way.

There's also a couple flowers in this room as well, though these ones are different.

Not this one, obviously. This is nice though, I suppose.

No, these flowers are doors that lead to optional bosses.

So, there's basically three boss fights in this one room. Looks like I know what we're doing next time!

...And, hell, I can think of a fourth we could throw into the mix while we're at it. So, that sounds good. Doing that, then.