Part 15: The First Kalpa: Chiaki.
: I thought I was the one who changed the most, but if you had been talking like that when we first met...
: The strong, the chosen... What about everyone else? They don't count? They don't get a voice? Because they didn't have the good fortune to be born with muscles, or some... some special destiny? I can't get behind that. If I don't use my strength to fight for those who can't, then I'm the most unnecessary of all.
: ...That's too bad. I was hoping you'd understand.
: I understand very well. I just disagree.
: But, no matter what you say, I won't change my mind.
: Honestly, I don't know where to begin... But, since Yosuga is the Reason of the strong, I'll see what I can do on my own first.
: At least you put your money where your mouth is.
: ...I'm glad we had the chance to talk today.
: ...yeah. Yeah, me too. It's not the first time we don't see eye-to-eye, but you know I've always enjoyed your company, even when there were more... when there were... I mean, even before all this. And for what it's worth, I'm glad you found your own path in the middle of this mess.
: We both survived the Conception... I'm sure we'll cross paths again.
: Take care, okay?
: See you later, Francois.
: See you, Chiaki.
: Are you going to be alright?
: Yeah... Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about me. But thanks.
: She's an interesting young lady.
: One cannot tell where foolishness ends and bravery begins.
: Somehow I'm not worried about her. If she made it this far...
: Son, we made it this far too. It doesn't mean we should let our guard down.
: Eh, you're right. But she's not one to let her guard down either. She's smart.
: And hot, too!
: Man, don't even. Don't you even even.
Alright then, now to check on Isamu. Prison security must be more lax than ever right now.
: For some reason I can't feel entirely sorry for you.
: ...Hey, the prisoners are escaping!
There's our chance! To the basement!
*: The Pyro Jacks down here are doing a number on Arahabaki. I want it to level up and learn Mabufula as soon as possible, but I tag in Badb Catha for now.
: Hey, are you alright?
: Please save Futomimi!
: I feel like I'm free, but our leader is still locked up. Futomimi, who leads us with prophecies, is still being help captive...
: Alright, I'll do what I can to find him.
I got a lot on my plate already, but if I want to find Ms. Takao, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have a prophet on my side. And, well, if it helps the Manikin at all...
*: Oooh, the prison doors are open. There's a Mystical Chest down here (containing a Bead of Life, which restores all HP and MP for the entire party), but I remember there was also one in one of the cells on the upper floors. We get into a few fights waiting for full K, and I recruit a Nekomata, filling up our last ally slot. There's a reason for that, but we'll see.
: Futomimi is being held captive at Kabukicho Prison!
: Yeah, I should have guessed.
*: Entering the section of the jail where we ran into Isamu...
: Whoa dang, Isamu! Good to see you again. Man I'm glad you're alright.
: Ms. Takao isn't with you, is she...?
: ...no. There was... there was a temporary setback.
: Yeah, I still can't punch through that massive door. And besides, that Hikawa guy told me Ms. Takao wasn't there after all. We're gonna need another lead.
: The Mantra's finished, Nihilo's gaining ground... and we still have no idea where our teacher is...
: Doing our damn best, that's what we're doing. Pull yourself together, man.
: That guy?
: Right! Futomimi. I just heard about him.
: They say he can see the future... He actually predicted the fall of the Mantra. Maybe he can tell us about Ms. Takao... and what we should do from here.
: Great minds think alike, brother.
: There's no place where I can be safe... So, I'll take my chances.
: Yikes, are you sure about that? I'm going too, so...
I'd feel better if he came with us, but... I have to trust his judgement.
*: We try our luck with the door in the back again, but even with Kamudo equipped we're still not strong enough. At this point I want to get the other Chest I was talking about, but we might as well check out the whole building again just in case something else of note happens.
: That woman... This is the doing of that human woman of Nihilo!!
Huh, they're blaming Ms. Takao for this. It doesn't feel right, but... for all I know, she's at least partly responsible.
*: Dis levels up, learns Diarama, and attempts to change a skill. I let her, and she turns Makajam into Void Mind, a passive skill that makes her immune to Mind ailments. Kind of a side-grade, I guess, but I think I'd have rather kept Makajam. Oh well! Both skills are highly situational, but when they're useful, they're really useful.
: Where... Gozu-Tennoh...? ...Why... he no save... us...?
: That's really not his style.
*: We make it to the Mystical Chest just in time, and it contains a Strength Incense! The other cells are already deserted. While we're here though, we might as well go up top and see what ol' G to the T has got going on.
Cutscene: The King of Heaven
Huh. Well, that's that, then. Heaven and earth shrug when the almighty's head falls from his shoulders; god's death makes no sound across the land...
: Yeah, he's gone. I guess you're in charge now.
: No... The Mantra has been utterly destroyed by Nihilo's attack.
: We, on the other hand, did nothing more than enforce a reign of terror. ...That is the reason we lost.
: It's a little late for self-awareness, but at least you're still around to do better next time.
: And all those that we called comrades have deserted us.
: Yeah. What about him?
: Both of you are free to do whatever you want...
: We didn't need you to tell us that.
: I have no business here anymore. There is no point in guarding an abandoned city. ...Farewell. I will go on a quest to realize my dream of a world where the strong thrive. If you are truly strong, then we shall meet again...
Slow learner, isn't he? Bah.
I wonder if Chiaki is into the muscly 10 foot tall type. She might tell him to cut his hair.
*: The Mantra HQ isn't as dangerous as it used to be, but we still expend a bunch of MP, so I go back to the shops area, buy four Maragi Rocks for a ticket (and for reasons), heal up, and look around a bit.
: The prophet Futomimi is there.
: Then, our oppression will end. ...I think.
So, Futomimi, and Kabukicho Prison. That's a good enough goal for now. But... hmm.
*: Gui Xian levels up and learns Estoma, which reduces the rate of random encounters until the next new K. On a whim I check our inventory, and notice that we have 9 Lucky Tickets. I wait until full K, and go buy a Float Ball / Light Ball combo.
: Ain't I just your favorite customer, eh?
: Aight, gimme... the white box.
: Ah, you got a Ag Incense. Good job!
: Hot damn!
*: The Lucky Ticket prize essentially makes you pick from three Mystical Chests, and the best stuff shows up on full K as well. You can get some high-quality items like Bead Chains and the like, but Incense is pretty much the best you can do.
We haven't used any Incense so far. It's five levels' worth of stats, but... what if I need the healing somewhere down the line?
: Yeah, and then you beat the final boss with thirty-seven bits of incense in your inventory, just sitting there.
*: Don't judge me!
Hmm. Alright, you know what? Isamu's got things well in hand for now, Chiaki's figuring out her issues on her own, and Ms. Takao's not going anywhere. I feel like punching stuff that wouldn't ever let me get away with not punching it, my crew could use a bit of training, and I've got a Candelabrum burning a hole in my pocket.
: Good news, Mr. and Mrs. Fancypants! I'm back!
: My master is resting right now.
: Ah, I've come at a bad time then. Is alright, I see how it is. I'll just let myself in the back and mess around for a bit, no need to bother him.
: ...I want you to know that I'm always thinking about you. The Fiends possess strength beyond compare... But, I have confidence in you.
: Yeah, that's why you guys hired Dante to kick my ass. Really feeling the confidence here.
: Francois, I know that you'll return all the candelabra to the Labyrinth of Amala.
*: As Blankd reminded me, you can actually punch the obstacles down here with the circle button. The small red ones in particular are worth destroying, because they earn you 100 Macca apiece. If your timing's off you lose health and money though, so it's a bit tricky.
: Alright, chuckleheads, listen up. Daddy's back, he's here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and the world is all outta gum. Let's dance with the devil in the blue moonlight!
Music: Battle ~ Amala Labyrinth
*: I'm glad the battle music is so damn rad, because I'm hearing a lot of it.
Hello, what's this?
*: The music cuts out and is replaced by an impossibly creepy wind sound.
: It's inscribed as the demons are killed by you-know-who...
*: The texture on the tombstone is just high-res enough that I could probably make any sense of it if it was in a language I could understand. It's clearly the Latin alphabet, but other than that... not a sausage.
We can still examine it the old-fashioned way.
> It is inscribed, "Here lies Forneus."
*: The other says "Here lies Troll." We can't do anything with those yet, but, well, here are monuments to our dead enemies. Reassuring!
: You could say that, yeah.
: I'll sell you something special. Uh... Wait a minute, your party's full. If you want a new companion, make some room first and then come back.
: I'm fine with my current squad, but I'll keep you in mind when a spot opens up.
: I'm good for now, but maybe I'll be back later.
: Good. One lives, one dies... That's the way it should be. I pray that you find rest soon.
*: Dr. Dark can heal our party, but not for free anymore; it's a flat 2000 Makka fee. If we really really mess up, this can end up being cheaper than the Fountain of Healing, but the location is fairly inconvenient. For now, with Kikuri-Hime around, hopefully we won't have need of his services.
: It remains unchanging, like the still of the night. We demons await the master's words, his proclamation of a new beginning..." That's what a demon I met earlier told me, but I have no idea what it means.
*: Aight, this entire endeavor is already enough work without having to write a detailed walkthrough, and besides, there's plenty of that around already. So I'm mostly just going to post pictures of any new visual elements as they come up.
*: Oh, those cheeky mofos. You can usually only obtain Arahabaki by evolving a Momunofu, but this is the Labyrinth, you can't recruit anyone, so they're free to show up and bring suffering to your undercarriage.
Zed levels up and learns Mana Drain. I let it replace Mana Bonus, because 10% of our maximum mana is absolutely not better than being able to top off whenever we like.
Music: Playing the Fool
: What a deal!
: Yyyyyyeah, how about no.
: How dare you?!
: I got a bad feeling about this.
: Oh... Well, please come again!
*: These girls are cheats. They will actually heal you, but you lose consciousness and wake up at the entrance of the Labyrinth with a hell of a lot more than 500 Macca missing. Still, if you're really desperate, they're a quick way out.
*: This red stuff is a damage floor. Fortunetely, Badb Catha came with the Liftoma spell, which is equivalent to a Float Ball in that it protects us from that kind of trap.
: It was pretty rough the first time I came here, but today, I manage.
: Really...? Lucky you... *sigh*
Lv25 Wilder Raiju
In Japanese folklore, the Raiju is an animal whose body is entirely made of lightning, usually in the form of a cat, wolf, fox or weasel. It's essentially a pet and companion to Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. It enjoys sleeping in people's bellybuttons for some reason, so especially superstitious folk try to sleep on their stomach during thunderstorms so they don't get a nasty jolt when they wake up.
*: Oh hell, the Arahabaki here know Dragon's Eye, which turns a full icon into FOUR half icons. That's rough chuckles. It turns both Dis and Zed to stone with Stone Gaze, and seeing as my other party members are Nekomata and Eligor, who lack any non-physical damage, I'm forced to run away.
*: Ooooh, I remember this. Look at the ceiling here; some of the tiles up there are white, and some are black. Stepping on a square with a black ceiling triggers a pit trap that would drop us down to the damage floor below. It's actually a sort of vortex that sucks us down, so Liftoma is no help here. If you're very precise and careful you can cross a diagonal between black ceilings, but it's tricky and I don't think the game ever requires it.
*: Not sure what it does, but it probably won't hurt to throw it.
Ah, this looks like an important gate near the entrance. Excellent. I've still got a lot to explore but I'll be glad I came here first.
The Chest in the same room contains a Luck Incense, and the Cube gets us our first Deathstone. The in-game description for the Deathstone says "A stone that brings death to its possessor", but it's a lot more useful than you might guess: Deathstones allow us to fuse any Fiend whose Candelabrum we've taken. It needs to be the right combination of races, on the right Kagutsuchi phase, and the Deathstone is used up in the process, but that's still pretty good news.
Huh. That's what it comes down to, I suppose.
: I'm a human.
: I hate humans. They're so cruel... Don't come near me!
*: We can try again.
: I... I was just kidding. Have you taken a good look at me? I'm totally a demon.
: I'm Kamala. I like demons. They're my friends. Come see me anytime. I'll tell you all about the Fiends.
*: If we talk to her again...
: Hey, you're back! I have something important to tell you. Wanna hear it?
: I can always use good intel. Whatchagot?
: Um, I sense the presence of a Fiend on... a highway near a tall building. So, I think you should stay away from there. I hope that helps!
*: Kamala will basically tell us a clue about a Fiend that we could reach, if there is one. The tall building in question here must be the Mantra HQ.
A bit later, a battle against Disir and Yakas turns sour, as a Dis turns Nekomata to stone and a Yaka shatters her brittle form with a basic attack. Yeah, that's a thing that happens. Not a good scene. I'd revive Nekomata because I want her to level up, but considering how many other party members are competing for valuable experience, I don't feel like spending a Revival Bead just yet.
Hmm, strange door.
: I dunno about the vault on the other side, though.
*: We can see the interior of the vault through a barrier like this. Three cubes and a spirit; I'll keep it in mind.
*: Ah, this is the important gate we opened earlier.
Lv31 Wilder Nue
The Nue is an ancient Japanese mythological creature, with the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki, the legs of a tiger and a snake for a tail; it is rumored to fly around in the shape of a black cloud. Legend has it that an emperor once was afflicted by recurring nightmares. One of his retainers noticed a black cloud over his castle, and fired an arrow into it, whereupon a nue fell dead from it. I'm not sure what Dark Howl does yet; maybe it summons help.
*: Hmm, I think that's almost it for the First Kalpa.
Cutscene: The Amala Universe
What is... how... how am I supposed to...
Okay, no. Okay. Focus.
There's only one world that has me and all my problems in it.
I gotta keep moving.