The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

by FrankZP

Part 5: Shibuya

Music: Chiaki

: Hey.

: ...
: ...Should I be happy? Like, "I'm glad we're both okay."?
: I know I am. But...
: It's you, Francois, right? ...I can tell.
: Yeah. It's me. How... How have you been doing?

: I realized...

: It was the Conception. It's the only thing that makes sense, even if it doesn't.

: You mean... What was written in that magazine actually happened?
: Sounds insane, doesn't it?

: ...I feel sick to my stomach.

: It's hard to miss.
: I couldn't even tell where my house used to be... I seriously thought that I was the only person still alive. ...I'm so glad to see you, Francois.

I just want to run over and give her the biggest damn hug. But... We weren't that kind of close. And are these arms of mine even still good for...?

: I'm glad to see you too, Chiaki.
: Maybe... there's still hope.
: Of what?

: You're right.
: Ms. Takao and Isamu might be around somewhere, too.

: ...I'm not ready to give up entirely.

And she's just gone.

It feels like she's changed. But I know I've changed more. I would have went with her if she had asked, but I know that she would have refused if I had offered.

Why the hell does this still feel like a messed up dream? This damn music isn't helping!

*: Now that Chiaki's theme left with her, the club is playing an impossibly generic techno beat in a five second loop; it's not on the soundtrack and I don't miss it. Considering the skill put into the rest of the game's music, I'm inclined to believe it's godawful on purpose.

Shinjuku's not as big as it used to be, but it's still pretty big. There must be someone or something who knows a way to get anywhere else.

: Just dis guy, ya know?

: Don't bug me when I'm dancing! Don't you see a dancing queen when you see one!?

: Not a clue!
: They have some pretty good stuff in them! But, if you're unlucky, the contents will change. ...I wonder if there's a way to get the good stuff all the time...

Hmm, it's not quite a way out, but as a potential destination, Ginza's no worse than any other.

: There's an organization in Ginza saying that it'll "create a new world".
: Huh? "Create a new world"?? I'm scared!

: ......! ...! ...! ......! ...!!!
> The DJ is totally into it.

: Meow! I have an idea! If you do something naughty with me, I'll tell you the name!

: Do NOT disappoint me.
: Aight sweetheart, you're on!
: Meow, wonderful!

: Oooh, there's a kinky one!

*: She technically counts as a boss, so Analyze fails. Also apparently "now is not a time for talking", so we really have to duke it out. I lost my first round by learning the hard way that she absorbs force-element damage, but she failed to used Marin Karin (charm ailment) on Hua Po so it still balances out. Fortunately, she's weak to electricity, and Zed's agility is now high enough to make Lunge fairly reliable. The rest of the battle goes smoothly.


Beast Nekomata
A cat from Japanese folklore that has obtained supernatural powers through old age or meeting some other requirement, such as tail length. It's got a bunch of wacky legends attached, but mostly it's said to kill its female owner and shapeshift to take her place. Even killing them can be dangerous as their ghosts are also very powerful.

We knew the Beast race as the Majuu; they're intelligent animal-related demons with a nature that's neither particularly holy nor vile. Unlike the Wilder, they're no harder to communicate with than anyone else.

: Ha, thanks for the info, and well fought.

And that's it for Club Inferno. Time to explore the rest of this joint, and we're on the second basement already so we might as well start here.

Music: Shibuya

: I was almost eaten by a demon at the club...

> Let it continue?
: Uh, yeah, sure. Far be it from me to deny a girl her womanly changes.

: Dang, all it took was one visit to a crappy club, and she's already got a rockin' makeover!

*: Certain demons can turn into other demons once they reach a specific level. They can even end up with a new level slightly higher than your main character's, as is the case here with this level 10 ally compared to our level 8 hero. The demon's stats change to the new demon's standard stats without taking into account the bonuses they picked for themselves while leveling up, but they do retain all their skills, and will start learning their new form's skills as they keep gaining experience.

We get ambushed on a full moon by Slimes and Mou-Ryos, and they would have destroyed us without High Pixie's Media, so I hope we can find the local Fount soon. We have Medicine to keep us topped up on health for now, but everyone's MP is running low. Hua Po levels up, gains Patra (single target bind/sleep/panic cure) and immediately transforms it into Me Patra (group version), so that was rad.

That's the second basement: the club on the west side, and a few of mostly empty rooms, though one held a Cube with a thousand Macca in it. Back to B1!

: I've seen worse. I'm not sure they'd let me in public baths anymore but somehow I don't think the issue will come up in the foreseeable future.

: Whoops! My bad, I'll leave you to whatever ghost stuff you guys were up to!

: Take that dance hall, for example. What do they call it? A club?

: Alright, this is actually getting pretty bad. We're nearly out of juice and I don't want to start digging too much into our supplies. I'm gonna have to make an executive decision and return to Yoyogi Park before we get murdered by goop.
: I mostly agree with you, but at this point I'm so drenched in whatever passes for slime guts that my eyelashes stick together when I blink. And Kodama's all tuckered out. We're leaving.

*: The round trip is largely uneventful. Getting all healed up costs us a cool 500 Macca, but I really don't want to chance it. We've had a mostly easy time of it so far, but I know the game's just waiting for me to slip up.

On the way back, I notice something.

There are two entrances to the underground. A ghost outright told me so. But I completely missed the one on the left side of the screen, and I bet that's where the Fount is. Derp! Oh well, we're gonna finish clearing out the right one anyway, we've already started and we're in good enough shape.

: Like, "I wanna be stronger," or "I wanna be popular". Well, it grants most wishes...
: Huh, I now suddenly care about Magatsuhi. Whaddayaknow.
: Anyway, everyone wants it.

*: We run into some Pixies and I try to use Kodama's new Scout conversation skill to avoid battle, but it's a recruitment attempt, we technically no longer have a Pixie, and she gets offended that a child is trying to hire her. Whoops. Zed does pick up the torch and successfully recruits her afterward though.
: Oooh oooh oooh, how much did he pay?
*: About 15 HP, but no cash.
: Damnit.


*: In addition, demons deal more damage the brighter Kagutsuchi is, so not only is it very difficult to avoid combat, but you also get hurt more.

The final room of B1 has a Cube with 2 Dis-Charm items, and a forced encounter with another Nekomata. Shikigami shocks her early on, and the succession of guaranteed crits makes for a quick fight.

*: Zed got hit by Plinpa, revealing one of the possible consequences of the Panic ailment. Not a good scene!

: NNN??? NNNNNN??? AaaAA...AiiioooEEE??
*: Fortunately this time it only uses up Zed's action and then wears off by itself.

This portion of the Shinjuku underground has a second up staircase, leading to a blocked off section of the street above. The only thing up here is a Mystical Chest. It has multiple possible contents, as that ghost mentioned previously, but there is indeed a trick to it. Essentially, you want to open Mystical Chests on a Full Kagutsuchi, which conveniently is the case right now.

The best items a Mystical Chest typically hold will be rare gems or stat-boosting incense. Otherwise it's common stuff like Life Stones and such.

Anyway, we head back down, through the underground mall section, then back up to the street, and back down through the left entrance.

: Yo, Kodama, buddy, do the honors on that one, will you? Maybe she has a soft spot for kids.
: Hallo lady. Come with us!
: You want me to join you? Watch your tongue! Didn't anyone ever teach you any manners?
> You made a bad impression.
: I'm not interested. I'm leaving.
>Datsue-Ba left.
: Welp, you tried. I'll take care of it next time.
: Sowwy.


Lv7 Femme Datsue-Ba
The Datsue-Ba is an old hag from Japanese Buddhist folklore. She hangs out before the crossing of the Sanzu River at the entrance of the underworld, and she's there to strip the dead naked, so their clothes can be weighed to determine the gravity of their sins. Clothes-based sin evaluation, basically. It's foolproof! If someone tries to be clever and goes to the underworld naked, she flays the skin from their bones instead. So, uh, do think about wearing something light when you're about to punch out, will you? As for having a soft spot for children... When kids show up, she takes their clothes, and then tells them to start piling up stones so they can climb to heaven. But as soon as they get some height, she knocks down their piles and laughs at them. Charming lady, really. Shibaboo attemps to Bind one target, Needle Rush is a medium-damage single target physical attack, and Dormina attempts to put an entire group to Sleep.

: Cripes, I'm sorry kid, I had no idea.

The Femme race (meaning "woman" in French) were called the Kijo, being warlike or otherwise dangerous female demons or goddesses.

*: Sleeping creatures waste one icon when their turn comes up, but they also recover a very small amount of HP and MP, so in some circumstances it's not entirely terrible.

: Demons and shady stores may ask for gems, but it all comes down to Macca. You can buy anything with Macca!

: Oh come on, it was like the first door down here, dangit.
: Yeah, you sure did.
: ...alright, thanks man. I will.

*: We weren't in a bad way yet, but we get topped off anyway. One advantage of paying per point restored is that unlike traditional RPG inns, there's no point in waiting to be at death's door to get your money's worth.

Music: Junk Shop

: Hee ho! Welcome!
: Heyo.
: My goal is to become a super-cool and super-strong demon, like the great King. So I'm thinking of going on a journey to train myself, but I need money, hee ho...
: I'll grant that he was cool, he kinda had to be, but he went down pretty easy.
*: This particular Jack Frost is named Heeho. Since his entire species' catchphrase slash verbal tic is "hee ho", it probably gets a bit confusing.
: Can you help me out by buying lots of stuff, hee ho?
: Gimme good prices and I'll see what I can do.
: I caught a weird looking thing the other day. It looks like a bug, but it's a demon, hee ho!
: !!!
: It's probably really, really rare! That's why I'm selling it, hee ho. Please buy it, hee ho!

*: In addition to the typical spread of basic healing supplies, Heeho sells two Magatama: Iyomante for 2000 and Shiranui for 3000. We have a little over 6700 right now, and we eventually want to acquire all the Magatama, so I get them both. I also pick up the ailment cures he sells, enough so that we have five of each Dis-Poison, Dis-Stun and Dis-Mute in our inventory, leaving us with 500 Macca.

: Come again, hee ho!

*: Iyomante isn't particularly specialized, but it does nothing for our magic. Nullifying mind ailments is pretty cool though, especially since it doesn't come with any specific weakness. It would teach us Tarunda next, which is the attack power debuff spell.

On the other hand, Shiranui is clearly spellcaster-oriented. Immunity to fire will definitely come in handy someday, but the Mou-Ryo around here love using force damage so it's a bit iffier. It would teach us Fire Breath.

All that said though, I'm sticking with Marogareh for now, because it's very close to teaching us Berserk, a randomly-hitting multi-target physical attack that I suspect will be a bit more useful in the immediate future.

Music: Heretic Mansion

: We hope that our secret art will be of help to you, master of demons. There are Cathedrals elsewhere; feel free to drop by.
: No giant robo-genitals this time, eh?
: Not to the inattentive or uninformed spectator, no.
: Eh? What... oh. Oh boy. It's worse than... And is that a...? Holy crap, it can't not be! Jesus Christ! Dude! You have a problem!

*: The talk options gives us a number of tutorials, essentially. Most of it is basic stuff we already know or that I'll cover when it becomes relevant, but we can also ask the Minister about Magatama.

: With the power they have sealed inside, Magatama can change humans into demons. Each Magatama's powers are unique, giving their host new skills. There are Magatama that can give techniques that no other demon has ever seen or used. When will it give out new techniques? Ask the Magatama itself. You can tell when the time is near by its movement. We help those who use Magatama in order to fulfill our duty. When you have collected all the Magatama... That will be the time to carry out our mission. Come back to the Cathedral of Shadows once you have collected all the Magatama.

*: And here's our current fusion chart, indicating that a standard fusion will result from any combination of our minions.

Fusing two demons of the same race still results in a Seirei demon, or Element as they are now called. You might wonder why this Aeros would be able to Seduce others! That is because fused demons have a chance to inherit skills from their "parents", in this case a Pixie and a High Pixie. The higher level the ingredients compared to their "base" versions, the more skills have a chance to be passed along, so you have an incentive to level your crew up before chucking them in the tubes.

Skill inheritance has a number of random and obscure rules, but the biggest one to keep in mind is that many skills have special requirements that depend on the new demon's actual body. For example, a demon with no claws cannot inherit Feral Claw, a demon with no mouth cannot inherit Ice Breath, and so on and so forth. Other than that, skill inheritance re-rolls every time you quit out of the process and return to it, so you can try as much as you want, though it can get very time consuming if you're looking for a specific build. Low-tier skills also have a bigger chance to be passed down than higher-tier skills, so if an ingredient has both Dia and Diarahan, it might take a lot of re-rolling to get the latter.

Right now we have a couple party slots open, and I'd like to keep gaining a few more skills with our current squad, so we'll pass on the Cathedral of Shadows at this time. But I will definitely put Shikigami and our new Pixie in the active party for now, because they'll combine into something of interest once they pick up more levels.

: Come back again.

: Head down there if you want the latest scoop!

*: Dang, it's only the first phase. Might as well get in a few fights until the time is right. We have finances to recuperate and levels to gain, so it's all good.

*: Better than a kick in the pants! I let the Full Kagutsuchi pass, go heal up, and then reach the only room we haven't explored yet.

There better be a way east through here or I'll be right boned. Here goes nothing!

: Pardon my French, but what the hell are you doing here?
: ...I don't know what to say. You came here all by yourself, on foot!?
: Yyyyyup.
: You must've gained some incredible power!
: Haven't you heard? He's the...
: Ixnay on the Ingkay of Itshay Owntay, aight?
: Aw.

: ...using this. Remember? You saw one just like it at the hospital?
: Oh I remember what it looked like, but I didn't realize it was a vehicle.
: This isn't an ordinary piece of artwork. It's a truly amazing device.

: Using that passageway -- the Amala Network -- you can send anything to a distant location instantly. So basically, I transported myself here from the hospital. I'm guessing that there are more of these devices in different locations, and that they form a huge tranportation network. ...And most likely that network is connected to where Hikawa is.

: If you can send me to somewhere that isn't the hospital, it could be the solution to all my problems. Count me in.
: If we're gonna have any hope of getting out of this mess, then we've got to find Hikawa.
: He seemed like the kind of man who doesn't have as many answers as he thinks he does... But he probably still has more than a few.
: I heard there's a group in Ginza that's vying for control of shaping this infant world, and its leader is a human.

: So...
: Shaking down the big man, eh? I can get behind that plan.
: I want you to try and find any information you can about that group. I'll use this device to send you to Ginza.
: That's almost the best news I've heard all day.

: It's definitely risky, but it's better than wandering around on your own.
: Agreed on that count.
: ...I'm gonna stay here for a while. Let me know when you decide what you want to do. But, keep this in mind. I have no idea what things will be like in Ginza now. If you do decide to go there, make sure you prepare yourself, alright?

*: We're returned to the Terminal menu. We drop a save, and...

: Absolutely. Hit that Send button, no takebacks.

: Once I send you, I'll head over to Ginza too. Until then... stay alive. Good luck!!

Cutscene: The Amala Network