Part 78: Tokimemo 3, Chapter 7: But... the future refused to changeTokimemo 3, chapter 7: But... the future refused to change
3/30: Cherry blossoms with Serika
Serika: Hey, Hanami means "to look at the flowers," doesn't it?
Serika: Then why is it such a big party?
Option 1: Everyone just gets so excited when they see the cherry blossoms, it's just natural.
Option 2: Honestly, I want to party too.
Option 3: Yeah, I think everyone's forgotten the meaning of hanami.
Goon: Yeah, I think everyone's forgotten the meaning of hanami.
Serika: Seriously. If you're going to look, just look and be quiet.
Goon: (Looks like I made a pretty good impression)
Cut: A bunch of repeat dialogue that leads to the follow-up conversation.
Serika: You know, you're a weird one.
Serika: Is it really any fun to sit and talk to someone like me?
Serika: But, for what it's worth, it's pretty fun for me, too.
Before I forget, here is the complete list of conversation topics that Serika is interested in, which gets favorable reactions from her:
- The prisoner's dilemma (requires high-level Lit)
- RSA password strength (requires high-level Science)
- General arts and crafts
- Napping (requires 300+ Stam)
- Rock music - newbie conversation
- Rock music - normal conversation
- Rock music - deep conversation
- Aikido club
- Koala haircuts
4/1: How Not to Prank - A Case Study
Goon: It's April Fool's Day.
Goon: Hmm? Is that Shinjo-san over there?
Goon: Maybe I should try and pull a prank on her.
Goon: Call her over
Goon: Hey, Shinjo-san!
Serika: Hmm? What's up?
Goon: I just saw a ghostly woman under that willow tree on the corner!
Serika: Oh yeah? It's the middle of the day, you know.
Goon: It, was, uh, a ghost that comes out in the day.
Serika: Is that right.
Serika: Hey, wait, was her hair really long, like this?
Goon: Y, yeah, it was.
Serika: Really. So that means her eyes were dangling out of their sockets and her mouth was all sliced open, right?
Goon: Of, of course.
Serika: Okay. I just talked to her earlier.
Serika: What nothing, isn't she a friend of yours?
Serika: She told me to say hi to you, and said she'll be coming to surprise you with a special present soon.
Goon: ...Excuse me?
Serika: Must be nice.
Serika: Anyway, later.
That went well.
4/3: Hell begins
So here's the thing in Tokimemo 3. In order to meet Serika in the first place, we had to manipulate the clock or the RNG would potentially screw us.
For year 2, we have no such method of avoiding RNG screw. What character ends up in your class is mostly random, influenced very slightly by your response for the annual guidance counseling session. I'll explain in a little bit.
Goon: Today's guidance counseling.
Goon: What should I tell the teacher?
Option 1: I want to go to college
Option 2: Something else
From the guides I've seen, "I want to go to college" leans the RNG very slightly in favor of Red, Green, and Pink. For certain levels of academics or club activities, you can also choose "I want to go to work," which influences the RNG very slightly toward Grey, Purple, and Yellow. From my own testing, the RNG seed is set on this day, since classes start on 4/7 and no save games made between 4/3 and 4/7 changed the outcome at all.
As you can see, we only have two options here, and neither of them are the one that will bias the RNG slightly in favor of Serika. And, given how this game works, we're really really going to need the help avoiding Yukiko. If she's in our class, she'll lay waste to the countryside with her constant bombing campaign, and even without her in our class, we're probably going to need the in-class affection boost to get through Serika's route in one piece.
For reference, here is the worst case scenario - which, aggravatingly enough, happened on my very first try:
4/7: The Red Menace
Goon: I should go take a look at the bulletin board to see what class I'm in.
Goon: (I'm in the same class as Makihara-san.)
Goon: (Shiratori's in the same class, too.)
Goon: Alright, now I know where to go, I should head to the classroom and wait.
Masaki: Hmph. You again.
Masaki: Please, do your best to avoid dragging our class' name down.
At this point, Shiratori (or Yabe - you always get one or the other, unfortunately) gives you up-to-date information on all of the girls and how much they like/dislike you. It's pretty much the only useful thing either of them does all game.
Masaki: Hmph. I'm such a nice guy.
Goon: Looks like we're in the same class again, Makihara-san.
Yukiko: Yes. Let's have another good year.
Goon: No problem.
Goon: Ah. Shinjo-san...
Goon: Looks like we're in different classes this year.
Serika: Yeah... we've been split up.
Serika: There's nothing we can do about it, but it still really sucks.
Here's the problem with having Yukiko in our class: everything. As in other Tokimemo games, being in the same class as a girl increases the probability of seeing her after school for the "you want to walk home together?" event, and also raises that girl's affection more when you have good test scores, good showings in school exhibitions, etc. For Yukiko, this is almost game-destroyingly bad when you are not on her route - in this run, she is at below-average affection and is bombing almost bimonthly, which is even more frequent than the combined Megumi/Yumi combo of Tokimemo 1. This only gets faster as her affection gets higher, and the bombing frequency will also get faster with each time Goon says "no, I don't want to walk home with you."
So, how many reloads and replays of two weeks did it take to get Serika into Goon's class? 55. It was about 5 hours of mindless "reload, do slightly different activities to reseed the RNG, try again" before it happened. How many times did any other girl show up in class? 1. Emi appeared once, Yukiko appeared zero more times. It was pretty ridiculous. This is how things happened in the run that worked:
4/6: Bomb-clearing date with Yukiko #3
Yukiko: Wow, they're already in full bloom.
Yukiko: You think I should've brought a bento?
Option 1: There's still time, we can go pick one up from the convenience store.
Option 2: But I don't want to get a stomachache...
Option 3: Wow, you can make bento lunches? Amazing.
Again, 2 insults and one piece of praise. It's like the game is trying to spoon feed you... or force you to troll Yukiko and summon the Mad Bomber of Moegino.
Goon: Wow, you can make bento lunches? Amazing.
Yukiko: Of course I can.
Yukiko: Although I'm not as confident in it as I am in my baking, hehe.
Goon: (Looks like I made a great impression!)
4/7: The dawn of a new, better future
Goon: Huh? Who could that be this early in the morning?
Serika: Yo! Good morning!
Serika: Did I wake you up?
Goon: Shinjo-san? This is a surprise, what's going on?
Serika: Well, nothing's really going on, it's just, uh, well...
Serika: I was thinking, maybe, we could, uh, head to school together.
Serika: If it's okay with you.
Option 1: Sure, I'll walk to school with you.
Option 2: Sorry, I'm still sleepy...
After all this work, there is no possible way I am saying no to this.
Goon: Of course it's fine.
Goon: I'll be ready in just a second, if you're willing to wait.
Serika: Haha, I knew you'd be up for it.
Serika: It's pretty nice to do this every once in a while.
Takuo: Hey, it looks like we're in the same class again.
Option 1: Yeah, I hope it's a good one.
Option 2: Oh. It's you.
If you pick option 2, it's the same as 1, he just acts more offended. So of course it's time to pick 2.
Goon: Oh. It's you.
Takuo: Hey now, don't be like that. Here, let me offer this as a sign of our friendship.
And, like Masaki before him, Takuo offers an updated look at how all of the girls see Goon.
Goon: Thanks, I guess.
Takuo: Alright, I'm gonna go say hi to all the girls in class.
Goon: Sure. See you around.
Goon: (Hmm. Looks like this year could be fun. I guess.)
Goon: Shinjo-san, we're in the same class this year.
Serika: Y, yeah. Good to see you.
Serika: Haha, the same class - has a nice ring to it!
Goon: Yeah, good to see you too.
4/9: Oh good, more complications
Takuo: Hey, hey, don't you think Serika-chan's been amazing lately?
Takuo: Serika-chan's definitely the best!
Takuo: She might knock you out if you mess up, but that makes her even better, right?
Goon: Uh. Sure, whatever you say.
Goon: (Shinjo-san, eh?)
This is most likely Takuo's warning that he's going after a girl. This would cause some concern if Takuo were, say, Jun or Takumi. Since he's not, and Goon is shaping up to be a national-level martial artist, I think we'll be able to get past this problem. And hopefully, I'll get to let out some stress in the process.
4/12: Status update
Here's the last accurate count of all the girls' statuses we'll get for about a year or so. Mari doesn't appear on this count because of all the reloading - don't worry, she shows up shortly after this.
We are in a good spot with Serika, and need to make sure this continues. Yukiko and Emi are friendly but mostly neutral, which would be a nice arm's length if this were Tokimemo 1 or Tokimemo 2. Sadly, it's Tokimemo 3, and they're going to be bombing constantly for the rest of the run. Yukiko's bombs normally wouldn't be effective in a Serika run (she doesn't really know Serika very well), but sadly, Cold War domino theory is in effect here, as a Yukiko bomb will chain to Emi, who will then bomb and affect Serika. So we're going to have to spend way more time juggling bombs than we'd really like.
4/18: Serika's birthday
Goon: (Oh yeah, it's Shinjo-san's birthday today.)
Option 1: Give her a present
Option 2: Pass
In Tokimemo 3, choosing to give a girl a present brings up your inventory screen. Just like the Christmas white elephant party, it's time to offer Serika the fruits of our hobbies - and this time we can actually see the results instead of throwing petrified stumps into the void.
A couple of generically good presents for include bouquets of roses (created by the gardening hobby), a pretty rock (found by excavation), and well-made portraits (created by the art hobby). Serika isn't as interested in those things since she's Serika, so she likes rock CDs (acquired from the music hobby), leather jackets and plane tickets (acquired from getting astronomically high scores in the festival mini-games), and homemade coffee (which is the unholy lovechild of the gardening hobby and the cooking hobby).
Because it's the easiest to restock - for "grow our own coffee beans" definitions of easy -we're going to give Serika some homemade coffee this time around.
Goon: Alright, I'll give her this.
Serika: Oh! Uh, hey.
Serika: What's up?
Goon: Happy birthday!
Goon: I got you a present.
Serika: Wow, for me? Thanks, this really means a lot to me.
Serika: Hey, can I open it now?
Serika: I don't think I'll be able to wait until I get home.
Serika: Wow. Are you sure about this?
Serika: Thanks. I really mean it.
Serika: This is the best present ever.
Goon: (It looks like she really liked it.)
Well, at least someone appreciates the fact that Goon has miraculously made coffee grow in his window planter, harvested it, roasted it, and ground it himself. That's... that's something, alright.
Next time: Snake? SNAAAAAAAAKE!