Part 1: Plotdumps!
Very well, this is working. It is working isn't it? If so, good. There it goes. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.
First, startup screen video: Startup screen and music, original size and whatnot
Also on Viddler.
Horizontalled and with increased size.
Also on Viddler
After that, there is also the proper intro video, what happens when one chooses A NEW GAME. Let's see what that is all about.
Intro video, cropped and with increased size
Also on Viddler
Why yes, it is. Some of the lifeforms in it are even able to survive in the most inhospitable regiohns of it. Tardigrades!
More things should have tardigrades.
Cities! Consumption of resources! Pollution! What is this, Captain Planet?
What, is this going to be Digital Devil Saga again, the sun turning black and angering Braingod because humans did not take care of their environment?
Seems like it.
Oh, no. Not at all, this time it is the EARTH that will turn black. Okay. Also, Land of Ruin without Kefka.
Of course, it wouldn't be much of a game if there wasn't a struggle, eh? On the other hand, considering that a lot of SMT happens after an apocalyptic event, it could ver well have been after the world was completely engulfed.
Then again, they kind of already did that with Nocturne, the world already in the new embryonic form, or something.
And there they are, not all that clear, but those vehicles reminded me of Aliens when I first saw them. I was expecting this to be some sort off unholy mixture between SMT, 2001 and Alien from the images and name.
Yes yes, get on with it.
And there it is, the game's main setting. Antarctica. Sharing a location with The Thing is not a bad thing at all, I think.
A group of people are assembled in a giant conference room. They are talking amongst themselves while staring at a large monitor.
Voice: "Everything you hear in this session of the Swharzwelt Joint Project should remain, as always, secret. The civilian populace is still unaware. Our information control program is going smoothly. Ah, we're just in time for the broadcast... The news should be reporting exactly what we want."
AWN? Action World News? Also, both the Dow Jones and NASDAQ are down, it seems.
>One monitor is showing a news update...
Newscaster: "A new weapon seems to have been used in the increasingly prolonged Eastern European hostilities."
Voice: "Despite our choice of viewing, the topic of discussion today is not our control of the news. We're here to discuss the newly received data. "
Another Voice: "This... This is what it looks like inside that thing? But that's ridiculous! How chould there be a battlefield THERE!?"
>The news continues to drone on in the background
Newscaster: "A string of lootings is plaguing many areas of Central and South America suffering from shortages."
Voice: "But look, this can't possibly be an accurate depiction of the interior. This is a shopping mall, for God's sake! Someone must have gotten the signals crossed."
Voice: "What is this, some sort of red-light district? Wrong data or no, I find this in very poor taste."
Newscaster: "Devastating pollution throughout Central Asia is sparking off riots in protest."
Voice: "Waste material, sludge... Nonsense. We still don't know what that land in the South Pole looks like."
Newscaster: "Now for more on the giant ferromagnetic blizzard occurring close to the South Pole. All nations with nearby bases have been reviewing their options in light of its tremendous force... A joint decision was reached and carried out today to temporarily withdraw from the bases."
Voice: "Yes, 'withdrawn'... We can't very well say that the bases are simply gone, now can we? If word of that got out, there'd be a panic. And if tey knew it was growing... I shudder to think."
Of course, we are going to join "them" in there.
Voice: "Be that as it may, our decision cannot be overturned. We have no other way but to send humans in to investigate... "
And now, yet another FMV after that introductory plot dump. The Illuminati/powers that be/whatever are sending a team to investigate a mysterious and spreading phenomenon that is threatening the earth. Or something.
Four high tech vehicles in the ice/snow.
And now we see what they look like from inside of them. Seems like they are pretty big, eh?
And that doesn't really look like some sort of geomagnetic storm.
Monitor Voice:"We at the Schwarzwelt Joint Project will be praying for you on behalf of all of humanity. It's in your hands now, Commander Gore. Be safe, and make sure you complete your mission."
Meet Commander Gore. Leader of the mission. Yeah.
: "All right, crew! Your attention, please. We will arrive at our destination, the Schwarzwelt, in thirty minutes.Our mission as the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team is about to get underway. I realize you were selected on short notice and came from all over the globe to be part of this. But it's only going to be harder from here on out, so get used to it. Fortunately, you're all the elite of your respective nations' service. You can handle this. If we all lend each other our support and work as a team, this mission will go smoothly. Enough pep talk, though. It's time for our last formal briefing before entry. First, to tell us about the land we're about to enter, the Schwarzwelt... "
Since the character's name is is a different color, we can safely assume that it is going to be important. Yes.
:"I am First Lieutenant Zelenin. For those of you I haven't already met, the pleasure is mine. I will now explain what observed data we have on the Schwarzwelt's inner structure."
: "But this phenomenon is one of a kind. We have nothing of its like to compare it to. "
: "You may have heard false reports that it is a giant blizzard, but in truth... It is an unknown spatial anomaly that destroys and absorbs its surroundings as it enlarges. When it first appeared, it was a cylinder only one meter in diameter that stretched to the sky. Since then, it has spread radially, swallowing surrounding observation bases and any investigators whole. Today, it occupies a sizable footprint with a radius of several hundred kilometers. As we speak, the Schwarzwelt continues to expand... If we cannot engineer a reversal of the process, then it will inevitably swallow the Earth."
: "There is a several thousand meter wall surrounding the Scharzwelt's outer rim. This barrier is a plasma cloud that dismantles all approaching objects at a molecular level. "
Well, that explains why the probes used and shown in the previous plotdump showed those... Locales.
: "Unfolding within the anomaly is a bizarre landscape we've had a hard time getting readings on. This is due to some sort of property the interior has that repels foreign bodies... Whatever this property is, it's destroyed each and every unmanned probe we sent in."
Not all that much, but it is a start, I guess.
:"It paints a bleak picture for our mission, no matter how one interprets it... But as many of you know, we have effecttive ways of dealing with each of those obstacles. The Joint Project assembled its team and equipment based on the data we've collected so far. I am certain that if we all work as one, we can carry out our duties safely and efficiently. This concludes my report."
: "Now, Arthur will confirm our mission. He'll be the one managing the assignments and duty roster."
Oh no. A mission to the unknown, managed by an AI represented mostly via a spherical thing? There is surely no way this can go right, can it?
It's not like there is a precedent of AIs going rogue, or having conflicting priorities, or... Anything that can go wrong. Nope. No sir. Not at all.
: "It may feel strange to take orders from him at first, but you'll quickly get used to it. Please continue, Arthur."
So far so good.
So, if the opportunity presents itself, there is the posibility of stopping the thing entirely? Not just an investigative mission, it seems.
Considering that all they have are images of conflicting nature and strange landscapes before the probes were destroyed, that is kind of understandable.
That's kind of hopeful, isn't it?
Amphibious? It looks pretty land-based to me.
See? Wheels. And guns.
Oh. Well, it can fly as well for a while? That makes things slightly different.
High over the several kilometers tall plasma wall? That is SOME flying.
Red, blue, Elve and Gigantic. Got it.
: "A detailed survey of the anomaly, previously impossible with the unmanned probes: This is our duty. I look forward to all of your support."
: "With all the ships working in tandem, investigating that place is far from impossible.. Our mission may be to challenge the unknown... But we can make of it a unique experience of saving manking, and go home proud of what we've done!"
: "We have a few visiting team members handpicked by the UN for this investigation... I see some of you haven't finished your introductions."
Oh my, this is ALSO one of the few SMT games where the main protagonist is not from Japan. Well, I think he IS from Japan in the Japanese version, but that does not matter much here, does it?
READER PARTICIPATION TIME!
And there it goes, our strapping protagonist. What should he be called?