Devil Survivor 3: You Two-Faced Son of a Bitch!

(Still only one place to go.  In case you couldn’t tell, the exclamation point means that there’s a battle in this event.)

: Yo, what took you guys so long?  How far away did you go when you were killing time?

: When a magic email tells you “Hey, some guy’s gonna get eaten!” you don’t really have a choice but to see if some guy gets eaten.

: Guess I can dig that.  Did Naoya tell you anything we don’t already know?

: Oh, yeah.  Well…

Yuzu tells Atsuro about what happened in Aoyama.  She also mentioned how what happened matched the email you received, and what Naoya said.

: So that’s a no, then.

: It was a productive hour.

: You should have called me.  I might have been able to pry some actual information out of him.

: Sorry.  So much was going on that we kind of forgot you.

: Ouch.

: Damn, Yuzu.  You’re kind of a jerk.

: And you’re not?

: Anyway, I’m gonna throw out a stupid theory here: what if Naoya’s just a dick-

: Not much of a stretch.

: -and this is all some kind of convoluted prank?

: But someone really did get killed!  The police were there!

: I can’t believe they’d be part of his joke!

: Alright, alright, I’ll give you that.  But- and this is just a suggestion- what if it’s all just a coincidence?

: Alright, c’mon, that’s just dumb.  There’s no way you believe that.

: ‘Course not.  I just wanted to mess with Yuzu.

: What…?  But…

: Anyway, enough about that.  Let’s crack open these COMPs.

: …Oh, fine.  I’m still not convinced, but tell us what you’ve figured out for now.  You did figure something out, right, Atsuro?

: …Well, if you consider learning that I can’t do anything an accomplishment, my hour was almost as productive as yours.

: Wait.  I thought you said you had this figured out.

: Welll, yeah, kind of.  Turns out I can’t do anything without all of our COMPs together.

: If they’re not in range, certain parameters are set so that-

: Argh, my head…

: Seems she can’t handle 10-letter words.

Enough with the explanation, just hurry up and do it!

: What an annoying- look, whatever, I’m just gonna do this thing.

: COMPs on, everyone.

While waiting for Atsuro to finish, you look up and see someone who looks like Naoya.

: I’m sure it’s just some random evil-looking man wearing a long, green cloak in the middle of the summer.  Japan’s famous for ’em, y’know.

His handsome face is expressionless, but gives off a cold feeling…

: Weird.  From where I’m standing, it just looks like a pink-ish, pixellated blob.

: Okay, done!  I’m restarting the COMPs!

(This is the menu screen you get by pressing X on the map.)

Decryption confirmed.  Booting program.



: Woah, when did I get legs?

: That can’t be good.

: Looks like a tutorial fight to me.

: See, it’s the little things like that that make me feel kind of bad for horribly mistreating them the entire rest of the game.

: So this is the human world?  Hm.  Then these humans must be the ones who summoned me.

: That’s right.  Now get back in the box before I-

: We will fight, then!  If I win, I will have my freedom!  Let’s go!

: …Guess it’s never that easy.

(Welcome to the first fight of the game.  This one, being a tutorial, is short, boring, and wordy, so I’m not gonna bother with video.  Once we reach a proper fight, I’ll get some footage of the gameplay in action.  However, I will give you the random battle theme: “Aggressive Tune.” It’s a bit weird at first, but after listening to it for a while I’ve grown quite fond of it- it sounds like battle music, but it’s laid-back about it, which is perfect for a strategy RPG.)

: Hehehe!  Get ready!  I’m not gonna let you guys go!  You have to die so I can go free!  Hehehe!

: Big words for a glorified bug.

: Aaahh!  Don’t come any closer!

(At its very core, this is your basic grid-based SRPG. The icons at the top of the screen show the order of turns (notice that all of the enemies get to go before we do).  Once it’s your turn, you move to an enemy and you attack it.    The twist is what happens next:)

(When you attack an enemy (or one of your characters is attacked), you go into a first-person, turn-based battle similar to the original SMT games (and Strange Journey).)

(At the moment, all we have is the basic physical attack and Guard.  For this fight, we only need Attack.)

(Choose a command, then choose your target.)

(Smackin’ a Pixie.)

(Pixie smackin’ back.)

(Extra Turns are yet another variant on Nocturne’s Press Turn system.  When starting a fight, members your team and the enemy’s will randomly get Extra Turns based on stats, which side started the battle, how far you moved, and a bunch of other factors.  You never really need to worry too much about controlling those.  In-battle, hitting an enemy with a critical hit or an affinity that they’re weak too can take away their Extra Turn and/or give you an Extra Turn.  However, they can do the same to you.  As you’d expect from SMT, controlling Extra Turns is often a vital component of winning a fight.)

(…Not this one, though.)

(Everybody on both sides gets one turn and up to one Extra Turn.  Once you’re all done, you go back to the map.)

: Ah, calm down.  That thing’s got like half your hit points.

: W-Wow!  You’re pretty tough… for a human, anyway!

(Certain skills can be used on the map in addition to/instead of in a fight.  Each member of a team gets one out-of-battle action each turn, although they won’t necessarily be able to do anything with it.  The Pixie uses Charm…)

(…which is, for our purposes at the moment, basically just a healing spell.  More on this once it becomes relevant.)

Pixie ends its turn.

: In China, it’s the other way around!

After the Kabuso attacks:

: Gyaaaarh!  Why do the human’s attacks hurt?  Nobody said anything about this…

: Maybe you’re just a crappy demon.

: This is weird!  Humans are supposed to be soft and chewy, not hard!

Kabuso ends its turn.

(Before attacking, the Kobold uses a skill called Aggravate, which costs you some health but guarantees that every party member’s first physical hit will be a critical.)

: Sorry, but no matter how hard you try, level 3 just isn’t very scary.

After the Kobold attacks:


: Figures I’d get the crazy one.

Kobold ends its turn.

(It’s our turn, which means it’s finally time for…)

(…a tutorial.  It’s not very helpful, as it just explains that you can Move:)


(and End your turn.)

(Anyway, this fight is just about over.  The demons all die the same turn we attack them.)

(After defeating an enemy, you earn experience.  Every character gets enough to earn a level by defeating their demon.  A level-up gives you a single stat point.  For most characters, their stat upgrades are decided automatically; however, the main character’s skill points are set by the player.)

(My main focus is going to be on magic, because I enjoy being ridiculously overpowered.  However, there’s a certain battle fairly early on where you basically need to have some points in Strength, so I’m raising it up to 10 before anything else.)


: You’re a master of somethin’, but it ain’t the English language.  Or, uh, Japanese?  Translations confuse me.


The monster disappears, mumbling incoherently…

: Gah… I heard that if I lose, I become your servant.  Oh well…

: If it helps, we’re not in China.

: I’m the monster, Kabuso.  Pleased to meet you…

The monster disappears, mumbling incoherently…

: But I’ll abide by the contract.  I HAVE to lend you my powers.  I’m the fairy, Pixie.  Don’t you DARE waste me!

The monster disappears, mumbling incoherently…

(Winning a story battle means that all of our characters- and their newly acquired demons- gain some experience.)

(Like with most RPGs, levels are cheap at the very beginning.  However, this one’s actually pretty good with experience giveouts, even once the game starts to really get going- until the very end, you rarely have to grind.)

(After the fight, our companions gain some shiny new head wear.)

: I… I’m still alive…  We’re all still alive!  Aaaaah, that was so scary!

: Ah, get over it.  A little demon-fighting never hurt anyone.

: What’s going on!  What was that!?  Atsuro, what did you do?

: What’re you blaming me for?  I am but a mere instrument of fate.

: Then… the COMP is what made this happen just now?  That doesn’t make sense!  That’s just impossible!

: It just happened, didn’t it?  C’mon, Yuzu, get with the program.

: Let’s go to the police!  We can’t hold on to something this dangerous!

: Why would you want to play a game about running to the police when you could play a game about fighting demons?

: Exactly.  We should just hang on to them and see what happens.

: What’re you talking about!?  What more is there to see?  What’ll we do if demons come out of these things again!?

: Use ’em to beat up other demons?  I mean, c’mon, this is an adventure.  You don’t run away from adventure.

:  Besides, even if you’re gonna be a coward, we don’t even know if giving them to the police is the safest thing to do.

: This is gonna be a lot easier  if we’re all on the same page.  I’d rather not have you whining through the whole game.

: Ugh… well, that’s true… but, still!

: Look, we’re keeping these around whether you like it or not.

: …Fine.  But if something comes out again, we’re making a run for it!

: Hell no.

: I’ve had it with all of this!

: Yeah, good luck with that.  Anyway, I’m gonna look into these COMPs and try to shed some light on our little demon-summoning adventure.

: Hm… oh, alright, then.  You guys up for a little infodump?

: No, but it’s not like we have a choice.

: What, did you figure something out?

: We activated a process called the Demon Summoning Program.  Betcha can’t guess what it does.

: Demons?  You mean, like… from books and myths and all that stuff?

: …Well, you already knew they were demons a couple of minutes ago.  I don’t know why you’re so surprised.

: But how can a computer summon them?

: Normally, demons are summoned through magic rituals and stuff, right?  If you turn those into computer programs, you’ve got yourself a COMP.

: Try not to think about it too hard.

: …Anyway, the other function I found on this COMP is called the “Harmonizer.”

: Well, it’ll come in handy if we have to fight demons that can only be killed through the power of song.

: Sorry, that’s not quite it.  Basically, it makes it so that we’re all fighting on a level playing field- our attacks can actually hurt the demons, and theirs won’t completely thrash us.

: I thought it was weird that the six-foot-tall dog-beast didn’t just maul me to death.

: *Sigh* I’m totally lost… I don’t get any of this!

: I thought I made it pretty simple.

: What is Naoya trying to do!?  Summoning demons, protecting us from them… what does he want us to do!?

: If I know Naoya- and I don’t- he wants us to go out there and kick ass.

: But why!?  Are we supposed to bring about world peace or something?

: Don’t be dumb.  We’ve got an email from the future, and we’ve got nigh-unlimited supernatural power.  What do you think we should do with ’em?

: Yeah, I see what you’re getting at.

: Huh?  What?

: Well, think about it.  Like, that guy who got killed in Aoyama… they said it looked like an animal attack, right?

: But, you gotta ask yourself- what the hell is an animal doing in Tokyo?

: Precisely.  It’d be pretty damn weird if there was a bear or something running around, but we already know there are demons.  So, what’s the obvious conclusion?

: Man Bites Demon.  Film at eleven.

: …!  Wh-what are you saying?  If you’re trying to scare me, knock it off!

: It’s just simple logic.  If we’ve got an email telling us about a demon attack, and we’ve got the power to fight demons…

: Huh…!?

: The rumor mill’s always running, but lately there have been a ton of stories about weird things going on.  Way more than usual.  I mean, maybe people are just being paranoid, but then again…

: Knowing how much these games love the Collective Unconscious, they’re probably true.

: You could look at it like that, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a Persona thing.  Either way, though, I think it’s more than likely that demons are involved.

: Then… are you saying these COMPs were made to fight the demons who are doing all of this?

: Sounds about right to me.

: I’m so not doing that!  Why don’t we give these back to Naoya or someone else?

: I mean, the guy’s practically got “trustworthy” written on his forehead in magic marker.

: Look, we’ve got these things, we might as well use ’em.  It beats gettin’ mugged by demon gangsters.

: If… if you’re right, Atsuro, and this weird stuff is being caused by demons…

: And even if these COMPs were made to fight those demons…

: Then, why us!?  The police should be the ones dealing with this stuff!

: Hey, we can’t let the cops have all the fun.

: I’m sick of all this… why is this happening?

: Why are you staring above my head, Trielo?  Is there something there?

: Oh, good.  It’s about time we addressed the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the room.

You explained that ever since the battle, you have seen numbers above poeple’s heads.  Most people walking by have a 7, but the three of you have a 1.

: A number over our heads?  What are you talking about?

: That one.  Right there.  In the screenshot.

: I don’t see anything, but I don’t think you’re lying, either…

: If I was gonna lie, it would be about something funnier than numbers.

: …This can’t be good.

: Hey, why don’t we go back to Naoya’s place, after all?

: Yuzu, now’s really not the time for your schoolgirl crushes-

: Actually, she’s got a point.  Naoya’s the only NPC we’ve met so far.

: All this about the COMP, the email, and everything else… we really need him to tell us.

: Probably not.

: It’s still better than sitting around here.  C’mon, Trielo.  Let’s try to see him.

: I love linearity.

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