The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

by Dragonatrix

Part 16: Sector Carina

Time for Carina. Whew boy...

A Squandered Nation

Feels funny to waltz into a place like this in full combat gear.
I did a little urban warfare training, but I never went through a killing house or anything.

(B) You really need an answer to that question? C'mon, the demons prepared all this stuff.

That you, Zelenin? Hey, tell me something. You ever max out your credit cards?
All this fine-looking stuff does make you want to stop and take a closer look...
No, I plan my purchases carefully. I'm not the type to shop on an empty stomach.
Though from what I hear, some of our crewmen have looser wallets...
People like that should take extra care in this sector, don't you think?
...Ooh, harshed. She told me.

The monitor team will begin their investigation once you've secured a safe zone.

Alright, so now we can look around Carina. We're not going to be going very far right now though...

There's an Apsaras right in front of the entrance after all.

Here in this shopping mall, we work hard to provide you with all the amenities for an easy life.
We hope you enjoy shopping here until the Earth runs out of resources.

In fact, there's a lot of folks to talk to and interact with in Carina right now. We'll mostly be doing that right now, since it's also a good way of tracking our bearings throughout this part of the mall.

It's a relief to see stuff I remember from back home, but it IS a pretty strange sight...
There's just too much stuff.
Oh, yeah. You been putting that Demon Fusion function to good use?
It's really cool. I'm so into it, I feel like I've been messing with the system for 20 years.
If you're having any trouble with it, talk to me and I'll try to help.

Note that if you DO talk to him again, he just repeats this so this nameless guy is full of shit.

Anyway, there's a lot of paths from the initial area that all lead to the far-right of the floor. Some of them are closed off for now, so we'll see where they lead later I guess.

There's also more stuff over here as is obvious from the gaps on the map.

It's exactly like the brand I eat for breakfast. I see this box every single day.

> The crewman opened the box...

Blech! What is this, mud?
Or is this what demons eat?
...Maybe it's an acquired taste.

Meanwhile, wow, Kanbari REALLY quickly went from kind-of-miniboss to just a random schmuck. Garuda and Jatayu did that in Digital Devil Saga too, but they were also mandatory so this is kind of somehow weirder??

He's not even really any different here, except he has less HP. He does have one skill he might not have had before but I'll point that out if/when he survives long enough to use it.

Over the northern area of where we start, we can find some Knockout Gas which would probably be useful if I ever remembered to use it.

The Fear of God

So, let's look at some of Carina's actual demons now. Momunofu's something we've seen before and he's kind of tedious to fight. Unless you throw instant death at him. That works.

I don't think I mentioned this before but he's also SUPER weak to almost every single ailment. 300% modifier to the lot. Except Sleep which is only 150%, and one other we haven't seen yet that's neutral. That's... a special one we'll get back to way, way later though.

Karasu Tengu's an old friend we've seen and utilised recently so there's nothing to say there. Inferno is a naked woman on fir so of course she's weak to Ice. She's "only" immune to Fire though, but also cannot ever be Paralysed. Every other ailment works fine though.

....Also her Source is the earliest way to get Agidyne. Gonna grab that when we can, then.

Macabre also turns up here as a regular ol' demon now. Unlike last time we saw him, he has basically no health AND is weak to Expel.

And finally, for now, we have these two. We've had Raiju before, and there's nothing strange or fancy about enemy ones. Inugami is weak to Wind, immune to Curse and his only ailment weakness is Mute which is a 300% modifier. His natural skillset includes Rakunda, but his source doesn't outside of being added as a Bonus Skill.

A Squandered Nation

That's it for normal enemies, we'll deal with Enemy Searches later, so back to the dungeon part.

Humans are so mysterious... Like, what do you eat? Each other?

He'll snarf down anything! No one can beat him in an eating contest.

Horkos, huh...? And he's titled as Master, so I think we know the ruler of Carina already. Though his name doesn't begin with an "M," so it's kind of a 50-50 shot right now.

Oh and new demons! Caladrius is a cool, tiny white bird with a mohawk and a stethoscope! He's mostly not super-exciting but his source gives Amrita which is cool and useful, and is one of the very few things that gives access to Recovery Boost as well.

Also he's immune to ailments. Like all of them. It's pretty great! He's also not normally weak to Wind or anything; that's just on Karasu's source and Resist skills are honestly absurd so why not.

Mandrake isn't quite as excitingly good as Caladrius could be. By default, it IS weak to Fire so I just got rid of that to prevent extra damage I guess. Binding Cry is the multi-target Paralysis spell; it costs 13MP and has a base 45% chance of working. Not exactly stellar odds, that.

Also Mandrake is immune to Paralysis, Poison and Stone. That's kind of cool I guess.

And last we have Myrmecolion who I don't like very much! He's kind of boring, and being a Vermin he's emphatically not that great in general. Shooting Spree is completely unique to him, bizarrely, and it is the ONLY skill you can get that can even potentially inflict Strain on enemy demons. And remember, Strain is MP poison. And the things you want to use it on have infinite MP.

In case I haven't made this abundantly clear before: Strain is not very good, no. Shooting Spree has a 60% chance of proccing the Strain effect at least.

Speaking of which, Myremecolion has a 300% weakness to Strain and Mute. Yes, he's weak to his own gimmick and the easiest way around it. Good job, Myrmecolion.

No more new demons, so let's get a new Forma! Miracle Cores can be used to make a few things but the most interesting and exciting ones are Soma Drops... and Beads. Yes, Beads!

Anyway, the middle-most path just leads to these stairs. We'll go up them later.

Gotta get this random Muscle Drink first to flip for easy Macca. Because it's a Muscle Drink and not very useful!

And the last "path" leads quickly to our Black Box for the sector. That was nice and easy.

My observations so far follow:

They go on for miles, with more and more luxurious stuff on display as you go...

> The data is corrupted, preventing you from reading further.

Nothing left over on the left-side of the floor so let's head on over to the right at last.

He's going to clear out all our reserves in the basement.
At this rate, the underground storage will be empty...
Our production lines simply can't keep up.

Hmm... Horkos is in the basement, huh? That might be pretty nearby, because we're on the first floor and all. In practice, I'm sure it's definitely not even close to being that simple. We're going to go up and around and all sorts. Just you watch!

There's also another locked door on this side too. I wouldn't be surprised if we had to get the Unlock upgrade to get through here to the first part of the basement or something.

...Or maybe there'll be a basement entrance RIGHT THERE. Huh, okay then. This obviously isn't going to lead to Horkos quite so easily though.

Directly opposite, there are stairs leading up to the 2nd floor over here as well. So I guess the upper floors are split into segments based on where you enter as well or something.

Anyway, heading back on up we'll pass another door we can't open and find this Shan Xiao.

Huh? No, man, I ain't mean you. I'm talkin' about the smell of angels.
Where's that reek comin' from? *sniff* *sniff*

...That might still totally be me. My alignment is still Law right now. Alignment still doesn't matter at all for anything other than Co-Ops so I've not really got any reason to care about changing it yet.

Huh? What was it?
I can't tell you. Trust me, though--it was incredible.

Uh-huh... whatever you say, Knocker. There's a door just to the south there that I'm going to ignore for a moment longer.

There's a healing spot up here if you really need it, that has a good rate of giving Forma and Enemy Searches right in front of it too. This will be important and useful later.

There's also an elevator right here which leads to the 4th floor only, huh...? There's not much we can do there right now unfortunately.

But we can grab the sector's first form Attack forma. That's still on the first floor, mind you.

Anyway, that door I skipped past like four times...

...You are a human from that iron ship, are you not?

Law Theme

Hm? You are...

You are doing good works, human.

I have not seen you since the land of leisure... How have you been?
Do you recognize me now as different from those demons?
I trust you.
I am gladdened to hear that.
It is difficult to find those of like mind, after all.
I have some time to spare, and this is a good opportunity...

You surely know now that the demons who have been silent for so long have begun an invasion of Earth.
What you may not know is the nature of this world.
Unfortunately, it has long been occluded from human view, and there are no human words to describe it.
Let us call it the hidden world of spirits, though that loses some of the nuance.

I have come here to learn that truth...
The actions of the demons mirror the actions of humans.
It must have begun once Adam's spirit, the spirit of humanity, was defiled.
...It is cause for serious lament.
Be assured that the Lord will not allow the world to fall into the hands of the demons.
However, the power to prevent it must again come from humans.

I have every intention of helping you overcome the trials of this world as much as I am able.
But there is only so much I can do.
It also falls to me to prepare for the demons' invasion of Earth...
I intend to investigate this area thoroughly. If you need help, please seek me out.

...Damn it, Mastema. Just use the word "woman," please? It sounds better and less like you have a chip on your shoulder!

Ah... so she, too, is investigating this world. That cheers me.
I am interested to see what she can discover of this world...
I would like to meet her again.
Now, let us fight together until the evil ones are no more.

A Squandered Nation

Okay, so meeting Mastema DOES somehow give us progress towards finding the Graviton Radio. That he's willing to help us out is something we're going to need to keep in mind, clearly. It's going to be relevant sometime in the future now.

Anyway, up the stairs by the entrance we have this... weird purple thing.

I checked it out earlier, but I couldn't make heads or tails of what it was supposed to do.
Maybe my Demonica doesn't have the right app yet?
I did get some kinda weird reading off it, though...

We can't get through this thing yet either. We do know that it can somehow manipulate space, though... that's weird but I'm interested.

Back down to the first floor, we go I guess. As we head back on over to the right-hand side of the floor, we luck into the first Defense forma of the sector as well. Handy!

So, we might as well check out the 4th floor while we're here. There's some new things we can find here at least...

The Fear of God

Like so. It's a Power. Hi Power! We've used you pretty thoroughly before, so we're going to gloss over your description beyond "is here, but not on the 1st floor."

Shan Xiao we've also used before, somewhat. He's somehow better in the players hands, than the AIs because he has Spring of Life then.

Nozuchi is actually new. He resists Phys and Gun at the usual 50% rate, but in return he's weak to Fire, Ice, Elec and Wind. Despite that, he's kind of a decent Phys demon but those weaknesses make him annoying to deal with because that's a lot of extra damage from almost everything.

Next up, we have Nekomata. Elemental-wise, Nekomata's weak only to Ice, but resists Fire, Elec and Curse. In terms of ailments, she's somewhat weak to Sleep (150%) and very weak to Charm (300%). Note that she DOES have Retaliate, so she has a higher chance to counter physical/gun skills than anything before. If you didn't get Mega Claw from Itsumade's source, she's the 2nd place to get it and she even starts with it.

...Just use Itsumade's source. It's much less hassle and Mega Claw is really good that early!

Somehow, I didn't quiiiite get Zhu Tun She or Sudama on the first floor. They're nothing new though, we've used both in the past.

A Squandered Nation

So, the fourth floor is where our first terminal is. That's it. There's a door here nearby, but we can't open it yet.

Back down to the first floor we go, then. There's this other staircase up to the 2nd floor here still, so we might as well see where this leads.

Stairs heading up to the 3rd floor immediately, huh...? That door to the right? Just leads to a dead-end, so we'll head up to the third floor.

Which is the same as the 2nd, but the door is on the left now...??

Oh and it has an actual door in the dead-end but we can't open it yet. This Gate Search really isn't helping us much, huh...

Mentioned it before, but Inferno is REALLY SECRET GOOD and her Source has the earliest and most convenient Agidyne so let's make one.

The 4th floor isn't just a tiny corridor this time. Well, like is IS but uh...

It has a bit of a purpose this time, and it's quick and easy to grab these Amrita Soda.

But now we've been everywhere we can get to, except the basement. I'm sure it's going to be lengthy and expansive because Horkos is down there somewhere and all.

Malevolence and Benevolence

....So is the Elve, huh? I'm not sure I like where this going.

I will transmit the coordinates for you to verify on the automap.

It oughtta be right in front of my nose, in... fact... Huh!?

Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. The actual bad thing... it's here...

Careful, Tadano. You can't see jack in here. I'll feel my way ahead... you catch up!

So, Jimenez is right over by the Elve. He's basically right on top of it and he's just now encountering dark rooms.

A Squandered Nation

Fuck you Jimenez, you goddamn liar!

also yay dark rooms my least favourite smt dungeon aspect thanks carina at least they aren't as bad as they were in Megami Tensei

Also, as you would expect, dark rooms are not mapped on the automap so I'll do that part manually (like here) where it's relevant courtesy of my magical ability to do that.

The Fear of God

Oh right, and dark rooms give a few new random demons as well. Myremecolion turns up here to pretend to be a threat but accomplish nothing and Dwarf is here to try and be terrifying with that there Taunt.

Except it lets you kill him easier so whoops!

Oh boy, and we got Gnome's Source as well for good measure. I'm sure this mentioned this already but:

Hello Ziodyne. This is good, and very useful.

It's still not the most "wait, you're giving me this NOW?!" skill out there, though. We won't be getting to that one for a little while sadly...

A Squandered Nation

Anyway, back in the basement, we can follow a the early (and mercifully easy) path around to this spot. This is kind of vaguely hard to miss, to be fair, and I can sort of understand why.

No, it's not the AC Carite. That's more there to know this place exists in the first place.

It just gives you two Beads, straight up. How... worryingly nice.

Further up in the area, we have a fixed forma of 2 AT Carite. This also exists just to let you get here, sort of. It's not got any reason to do that than make it easier to map out the basement I guess.

Also, yeah, terminal right there. I went there first for convenience.

There's, of course, more south of it so let's see where it leads. This is probably where Jimenez was when we learned about the Elve.

This dark room is at least a bit tricky, because it's so small and the path to the left is really easy to miss wholesale. It's not required, so that makes sense. That forma down there doesn't help as much as you'd think this time, even.

Naturally, then, we're heading over there first. This part is at least super-linear, which is nice.

Down here, there's... 2 Mental Drinks. Wow, lame.

Fortunately, that's not why getting here is a bit of a potential pain.

No, this li'l cutie is why!

A hee-human? How rare, ho! This is my first time seeing one!
My ame's Jack Frost, hee-ho! Nice to meet you, ho!
To tell the truth, I've been down in the dumps, ho.

This is a dog-eat-dog world. I know that, hee-ho.

But the fourth Jack Brother isn't in this game???

But I can't just forget it. I'm gonna beat that demon, ho!

If I had that, I could hee-come stronger, ho!
In this crazy world, I need power to survive, hee-ho!
Please, ho!

Yes! Yes, I will do this sooner rather than later!

Hee-ho! Thank you! I'm glad I asked, ho.
I hee-know you can do it, ho!

So, in a rare moment this IS a sidequest we're going to clear before we clear Carina! I know, I'm shocked too.

The reward is super worth it, is the reason why. I want it. It's really good. Also it's a Jack Frost. I am obligated to help them out ASAP. It's the hee-ho law!

But first, we're already here so let's go to the Elve.



Buono could mean a lot of things. It's most likely the Italian word meaning "good" in this case, but this voice might be a really big obscure J-Pop fan, enjoy eating at one restaurant in Ginza or have a thing for a Pizzeria in San Francisco.

In The Master's Name

And the award for Biggest Understatement goes to...

> The air flowing toward the Elve is speeding up...!


Wow, how nice of Horkos to tell us outright that Carina is meant to be an analogue for gluttony.

Mostly, yes, gluttony is the overconsumption of food or drink to excess. Sin because it wastes things best used for those that need them, etc. etc. but it functionally comes down to hoarding. Gluttony is just taking anything in excess quantities to the point of squandering it, and letting it go to waste. This is pretty obvious when it comes to food, but really anything can be gluttonous if not done in moderation. There is a reason that Proverbs explicitly says that "the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty," (23:21) after all.


...Jimenez? How did it take you so long to get here?! We managed to find Horkos first, somehow!

...Horkos!? A demon!?
You're saying a demon absorbed the Elve!?

...Carina being gluttony, even without it being explicitly spelt out, is the most obvious one, yes.

That's one strong mother... We can't get near him!
Huh? Hey, wait a sec...

Holy shit, how'd he manage that!?
Our demons'll just bounce right off... or get sucked in!
...H-Hey! Bugaboo! What're you doing, guy!?

Don't get near him, you moron! Gyah...!
......! Booo!

H-Hey! Bugaboo! Bugaboo!
That Horkos... what the hell's he doin' to my buddy!?
Argh... dammit! How'm I supposed to get my revenge!?

We could leave, but we can also try and stick around. Maybe we'll be able to figure out to beat Horkos?

You wanna get eaten too?
C'mon! Let's go already!

That Horkos made a big mistake when he swallowed Bugaboo... Hope the li'l guy's okay.