The Let's Play Archive

The Answer

by Feinne

Part 3: Entry 3/31/10-03

Entry 3/31/10-03

And so once again we were preparing for a battle. We set up in the lobby, outside the Abyss. It was going to fall to me to choose a team to go into battle with.

RECORD 7- "Cast Introduction"

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It's believed to spread underneath this area like the roots of a tree.
From here, it branches off in many directions and goes down even deeper.
The vast space directly under us is the Desert of Doors...
Each door leads to different branches deeper inside, and can be used for movement or transportation.

I decided to bring Metis along, since she seemed to know so much about the Abyss. Meanwhile, Junpei brought up something I think we were all feeling.

It just... how do I put it... It feels like I've lost my touch.
Ahh, it'll all come back to me sooner or later if I keep at it.
...Alright then!
I'm gonna go with Koromaru and see if we can find some loophole outta this!

I used to be able to understand Koromaru as clearly as a human, but I've been having some troubles recently.

> You can't clearly understand his feelings as you did before...
Arf, arf!
> It seems he wants to hurry and go exploring...

Yukari clearly wanted this to be over with as soon as possible.

Then let's go there and find the truth.
We don't know what's inside, but we'll never find out if we don't look.
By the way, I'm the only one with healing spells that affect our whole group.
They'll come in handy if the enemy attacks us all at once.

Akihiko was also feeling a bit out of sorts, as was Ken.

The last two months left me in worse shape than I thought...
I haven't completely forgotten my moves, but I sure can't fight like I used to, either.

It's like when you memorize something just before a huge test, and then forget it right afterward...
I guess that means it's important to review stuff, too.

Fuuka had noticed something sort of odd that I'd also noted while fighting Metis.

Aigis, are you unable to use Orgia Mode now?
Yes, that is correct...
I thought so... Something didn't feel right when I was giving support.
I wonder why, though? It doesn't look like you're broken anywhere...

We'll have to fight.
But you needn't worry... No matter the reason behind this, we can overcome it.
We've saved the world once, remember.
Anyway, I'm going to look around for any other documents on my own.
I leave the rest to you, Aigis.

I suppose I haven't really talked much about my friends, have I?

Metis just joined our group, and I don't know that much about her. Her massive strength lets her use impressively heavy weapons in combat.

Her Persona is named Psyche and isn't particularly strong or weak to any form of attack. She's got both magical and physical attacks, though she's better with the latter.

I feel sort of bad, Yukari clearly doesn't want to be here and it's my fault she's stuck. She's in the archery club, and uses her bows to fight.

Her Persona is Isis, whose specialties are healing and wind magic. Just like my former Persona, Athena, she takes extra damage from electricity based attacks.

Akihiko was a boxer even before he became a part of SEES, and fights with powerful punching combinations.

His Persona is Caesar, and he has a strong mix of lightning attacks, physical attacks, healing, and support abilities. He's no good at dealing with cold-based attacks, though.

Ken is the youngest member of our team, and he somehow manages to fight using spears longer than he is tall.

His Persona is Kala-Nemi, whose specialty is devastating Light attacks that can defeat enemies in a single blow. He's very weak against Darkness attacks, though, and will fall to them immediately.

Fuuka backs us up in combat, providing intelligence on the enemies.

Her Persona is Juno, who has the unique ability to divine the weaknesses and strengths of enemies. Without this support we'd be totally lost in combat.

I guess that just leaves me. I use weapons built into my arms in combat, which means I don't risk stumbling when I miss.

I may have this power of the Wild Card, but right now I've only got one Persona, Orpheus. My version of Orpheus is actually a lot stronger than the one he used to have, though it has the same weaknesses to electricity and darkness.

Anyway, Metis, Yukari, Akihiko, and I prepared for battle and descended into the Abyss of Time. There was... someone else...


The door the strange black shape had entered was glowing. The word 'Malebolge' was scrawled across it.

It just went in the door... right?
Maybe it's...
...Oh, sorry about that.
This seems to be the first door.
I wonder what it's like inside...
If we don't go in there... We can't do anything...
...This is our only choice.
I'll give everything I have to support you in there, so...
If you're ready... let's go!

We entered the Abyss, and soon learned we were not alone...

I'm going to take a quick look at what the interior is like.
Huh!? Is this...!? This feeling...
Be careful, everyone! It's the Shadows!
I'm sensing multiple Shadows within! Everyone, please take battle positions!

The Shadows were back, even stronger than they'd been in Tartarus. Making progess was a struggle at first. Eventually, we came to a small room, where we almost caught up with the shadowy figure from before.

RECORD 8- "Great Shadow of Malebolge"

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The strange shadow ran down the stairs ahead of us.

I sensed something unusual run by just up ahead...
I wonder what it was... It seems to have gone down to a lower floor.
I'm sensing a strong presence below.
You may have to fight immediately after going down there. Are you sure you're prepared?

And sure enough, we descended into a group of powerful Shadows.

Multiple Shadows confirmed! I think they've been waiting for us!
Look, that strange presence is there too!
The reaction vanished...
Incoming Shadows! Please be careful!

Boss Battle: Immortal Gigas and Visceral Maya x 3
So here's our first real boss battle in The Answer. If you've leveled up to about 27 it should be pretty easy. The Visceral Mayas are a minimal threat. They're weak against Fire skills and aren't very threatening. The Immortal Gigas is the real danger here. It's weak against Wind, but has a passive skill that gives it a 25% chance to avoid Wind attacks. It's nearly immune to physical attacks, and can unleash some seriously dangerous ones itself. Our basic strategy is going to be to use Orpheus' Agi skills to knock down the Mayas and then hope that either Metis or Yukari can knock down the Gigas. Akihiko is a good choice for our third member. We'll try to keep him on healing/support this fight to free up Yukari to attack the Gigas. Start the fight by scanning the Immortal Gigas. Even though you cannot see the elemental characteristics of it, your party members actually can and will act accordingly. This fight is pretty easy and shouldn't give you any serious problems.

Oh! There's a door ahead...
Aigis! Can you investigate?
Don't worry, I'm certain that it's not dangerous. It'll just transport you somewhere else.

The door resembled the ones out in the Desert.

And sure enough that's where it led.

I see...
So that door leads here...

We returned to the Abyss after a brief rest, and soon we'd reached the deepest part of Malebolge. A huge door loomed...

RECORD 9- "The First Door"

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What was that black shadow we keep seeing?
Oh, sorry.
We'll head over there now. Why don't you see if you can find anything else?

There wasn't much down there but the door, so it seemed that must have been what we were intended to find.

It seems like we've reached the first "goal".
This place was bigger than I thought. How many more times we gotta do this?
I don't know for sure.
But judging by the Desert of Doors, I'm betting it's not going to be just once or twice.
Ugh... I was afraid you'd say that.
We're looking for the source of our troubles, so logically, it should be at the deepest level.
Then all we can do is keep on going forward until the end...
It's like Tartarus all over again.
The two structures are very similar, in some ways.

Geez... I never thought I'd have to see another one of those.
But hey... The Lost are all gone... So how come they're still around?
Another question that needs an answer... Though it's not like we can leave until we find out.
Hm...? What's wrong?
Ohhh, nothing... It's just...
After the hell we went through, we finally had some peace...
I was determined to keep my eyes on the future, and not look back.
But now I'm being dragged back to the way things used to be!

It worried me how much Metis seemed to know about this Abyss sometimes.

It's no surprise you feel that way.
You'll find there will be many opportunities to revisit your past here.
What's that supposed to mean...?

Metis opened the door, and showed us exactly what she meant.

This is... Huh? Paulowinia Mall?
But weren't we just inside...?
What's going on? Did we make it out somehow?
I dunno... Something seems off...
Isn't it kinda hot in here?

Officer Kurosawa, who helped us acquire equipment last year, walked by.

Kurosawa: What're you doing out here on a weekday? Shouldn't you be in school?
Oh, but it's spring break now...
Kurosawa: Spring break...? That was a couple months ago. It's June now.
What's with those two in costume back there? Is there some sort of event going on...?
Uh, no... It's, um...
Kurosawa: ...Well, I'll let it slide. I know you kids are a little different.
But if you try to use that as an all-purpose excuse, I'll have to enforce the law. Don't forget.

All the dates displayed here say 2009... That calendar, too.
Could the June he mentioned be... June of last year?
That's impossible... Are you saying this is the past?
Hey, Aigis' Sister!
Hey! Are you listening!?

Metis was looking at the fountain at the mall's center, lost in thought.

N-No, not at all.
It's all everyday stuff, right? This is a "fountain," and that over there is a "store"...
It's true that I sometimes come here to gaze at the fountain...
R-Really? Then you feel the same--
But there is something odd about being here. For all of us, not just you...
Tell me, what is this place?
...We came here by passing through a door, remember?
Doors like that are in several places throughout the Abyss of Time, and each one is connected to the past.
Then... this really is last year!?
How else can you explain the different time and season?
But it seems you can't go just anywhere in the past... Only somewhere from your memories.
This looks like a mall, but I don't think it's connected to anyplace else either.
The past...? Aw, man...

We should be able to use what we can get here until the Abyss of Time disappears.
The reason why the door led us here may have something to do with you...
The doors may reflect your inner thoughts.
She's taking this pretty well... It's all so bewildering to me.
Well, one thing's a relief... At least we won't starve.

A place where you can revisit days gone by...
...But thinking back on it, it wasn't only the astonishing nature of the place that surprised us...
It may be that we all unconsciously saw a kind of salvation...

Even if it was some kind of strange visit to the past, everyone was comforted by the familiar sights the mall offered.

But hey, at least we don't have to worry about starving to death.
I think it's about time Koromaru and I stepped up to help with the investigation!

Is that... a typical shop?

Geez... What the hell's going on!?

In a way, this is a lot more serious than the Dark Hour...

The "Abyss of Time," hm...?

...Hey, didn't your sister say there were lots of places like this...?

> You can't clearly understand his feelings as you did before...
> Koromaru is looking ahead as if curious...

You can't leave here, either. You'll only be pushed back by a strange force.

And after we were done resupplying, we had even more surprises in store for us.

Looks like this place is fully connected to the Abyss of Time now.
Maybe it's because everyone was hoping to make frequent resupply trips.
This will certainly make it easier to go back and forth.
Helloooooo! We're kinda blocked back here!

No way... This is crazy!
Hey, hurry it up! There's more of us blocked back here.

And in even more good news, with our supply route handled Junpei and Koromaru would be able to join the investigation.

Woof! Woof!
Let's do this!
Uh... But it was Aigis who ended up finding the supply route, not you.
...Note to self: Ignore Akihiko-senpai!

It was a good thing, too, because the Abyss of Time had far worse horrors in store than what we'd seen in Malebolge...