Devil Survivor #4: Get fired up, all of you!

Aoyama, residential

: Looks like we’re not gettin’ in here.

: Hey!  Over there!

: Isn’t that Naoya’s mailbox?

: Looks like he hasn’t been around.

: Nah, you’re jumping to conclusions.  Nobody uses snail mail anymore.

: No, really, why even make this a menu?

From: Naoya
Subject: Congratulations

It seems you’ve used the COMP.  Well done.  I figured that the general confusion would be dying down by now.

I gave you three the COMPs because you will need the power of the demons.  If you want to survive, you’ll have to learn how to use them.

I don’t have much time right now.  Head to Aoyama Cemetery.  You will meet someone who will affect your future activities there.

: He probably spent more time being as vague as possible than he would have used being upfront.

From: DS Admin
Subject: READ ME

Congratulations!  You have earned the qualifications to be a demon tamer.

You can now summon a demon at any time as an ally and command it.

Please note that “contracting” with the demons only occurs during the initial booting of this program.  Defeating demons summoned by other COMPs does not apply, either.

Also, a tutorial function has been added to assist you in battle.  Please make use of it.

Have a safe and pleasant experience in your new life as a demon tamer.

: Not really.  Naoya’s good at guessing what people are thinking.

: And even if he wasn’t, “you probably have questions about the monsters from another dimension that just jumped out of your game console” isn’t exactly assuming much.

: Anyway… did you guys read the other email?

: I’m still not sure if I liked or hated that season.

: Either way, it looks like we’re allied with those weak-ass demons from the tutorial.

: Wait a sec!  Gah, I can’t keep up with this… it’s all so unreal…!

: At this point, you should just take the hint and roll with it.

: It’s not gonna get any better if you keep whining.

: Um, so, basically…

: The demons we fought can now be summoned from the COMPs?  And they’ll be our allies?

: Yeah, there ya go.  You’ve got it.

: I don’t know why you keep complaining if you understand the situation.

: Naoya gave us these COMPs so we could fight demons with them.  Simple enough, no?

: Geez!  If that’s what he wanted all along, he could have just told us!

: I think he was born without the ability to be say things straight.

: Besides, it’s not like you would have taken them if he told you they were for summoning demons.

: …Anyway, we’ve probably gotta go check out that cemetery now.

: Naoya said we’d meet someone there… who do you think it’ll be?

: Sounds like someone we’re destined to meet… do you even think it’ll be human?

: Who knows?  It’s suspicious as hell either way.

: I mean, we are talking about Naoya, the Most Trustworthy Man on Earth.

: Haha… well, no matter what it might be, we don’t have many options.

: Fine…

: I guess I’ve got no choice!  If you two are going, I’m coming too!  Let’s go!

: I hope this means we’re making some progress with you.

(We’re going to the cemetery, but first we’ve got some menus to look at.)

(This is the COMP menu.  Right now, all we need to worry about is Teams; Profiles just has background information on the characters (we might take a look at that a bit later I guess), and the game makes you read any new emails as soon as you get them, so Mail is only if you want to go back and check them again.)

(You party is made of up to four teams of 3: one leader (only story characters can be leaders, so we only have three teams at the moment) and two demons.  The main character is locked as the leader of party 1.  You can shuffle your teams any way you like, but humans have to be leaders- we couldn’t, say, put Yuzu in Atsuro’s team.)

(Every character can have up to 7 skills in addition to the basic Attack: 3 Command skills, 3 passives, and 1 Racial (for demons) or Auto (for humans) skill.  We’ll see more on Racial and Auto skills later.  Demons have set skills (if they’re grayed-out, it means they’ll be learned after a few level-ups), but we can swap out our humans’ skills.  At the moment, though, our only skills are Agi (fire magic), Zio (lightning magic), and Dia (healing), so we’ll leave them as they are.)

(However, I switched around Kobold and Pixie, since having two healers on one team is kind of redundant.)

(Now, where were we?)

: I dunno, maybe a gho-

: Don’t tell me it’s a ghost… I feel like there’s something out there… all those graves…!

: God dammit Yuzu.

: Hang on a second… Aoyama Cemetery… that rings a bell…

: You can’t expect me to remember every weird Japanese word I come across.

: …Ah, crap.

: That can’t be good.

: An explosion in Aoyama Cemetery at 19:00… sound familiar?

: I’m still not- oh, yeah, that email thing.  Guess we probably should’ve seen this comin’, huh?

: Something’s coming!

: Something something spirals.

: Gwahaha!  Fools!  You’re nothing like that woman!  Do you puny things really think you can stop me?

: Okay, so we’re basically screwed without the Harmonizer.  Good to know.

: For once, I’m with Yuzu.  His corpse just up and vanished!  That ain’t right.

: Hmm?  You humans are pests!  Kill one, and another takes its place!  I’ll kill you all!

: Not sure how you plan to kill us once you’re d-

: I think I’ve finally found the one piece of headwear more ridiculous than my own.

: Grah…!  So the wench thinks she can catch up to me!

: She kinda already did.

: Forget them!  We need to run away before we die, too!

: This is why we don’t let Yuzu make decisions.

(Every battle has victory and defeat conditions.  The most common one is simply “defeat all demons; don’t die,” but we’ll be seeing a lot of variations further down the line.  Some fights also require that you use certain characters, but that doesn’t matter much because there’s usually no reason not to.)

(Every fight begins with an opportunity to look over the battlefield to find enemy stats and placements.  Edit Team takes us to the Team menu I showed you earlier.  It’s important to get your team set up for the specific scenario before dispatching- you can’t change your skills once you start, and while you can change out your demons mid-battle, you can only summon one per turn and you can’t summon demons that are already in someone else’s party.)

(Before starting the fight, you have to go into the Positions menu and place your party members on the field.  You can only place them within a limited area- for this battle, it’s a four-square space in the middle of the road.)

(This fight is simple, so it doesn’t really matter where you put them.  That said, this isn’t actually a very smart placement- Yuzu’s a healer and can’t really kill anything very well.  It would have been smarter to swap Trielo and Yuzu’s positions, since then Trielo could reach an enemy on his first turn.  Either way, now that everyone’s in place, we can Dispatch and start the mission.)

(Now seems like a good time for a musical interlude.  This is the first time we hear “Pinch Battle,” which is basically the boss theme.  This is another one I’m fond of- it makes me feel like a Big Damn Hero.)

: That’s your battle cry?

: …Shut up!

: It’s a bit late for that!

: …I guess I have no choice.  I’ll cooperate with you.  But Wendigo is far too powerful a foe right now.  …Leave him to me!  I will follow your orders.  Direct me as you please.

The priestess joined your party!

(I’m pretty sure this is the only time in the entire game this happens.  Whenever you have non-party allies after this, they’re AI-controlled.  Oh, and you usually lose if they die.)

: I hope this isn’t one of those tutorials where they don’t actually let you play…  Hey, Trielo!  Are there any functions on your COMP you can’t use anymore?

: It’s actually a little strange that they’re gone.  I kinda got used to ’em.

: …That’s it?  How weird.  Tutorials usually- oh, wait, there’s more.

(Normally, demon races are mainly used for fusion (which is another thing we won’t be seeing until later).  However, in this game, every race has a unique ability.  Some of these are passive boosts- for example, Beast demons (like Kabuso) have a racial called Animal Leg, which lets you move before and after you Attack an enemy (normally it’s one or the other).  Others, such as the Fairy race’s Charm, are active skills that you can use on the field.)

: So if we want to win, we’ve got to have the right demons.  Seems simple enough.

: I… guess we have no choice.  I’m glad we have demons on our side and all, but still…

: Is there anything that won’t make you complain?

(This is the menu you get each turn.  Move, Attack, and End are basic enough.  Selecting a character’s name opens up a sub-menu:)

(Where you can choose to use certain skills (for example, healing spells like Dia can be used here, but attack spells like Agi or Zio cannot), Summon a demon from your stock (for humans), or Return a demon to the stock (for demons).  Since we only have the three demons at the moment, we can’t summon anything, and there’s no reason to return any of them.)

(As you attack enemies, you get a variety of tutorials, some of which I’m skipping because I covered them last update.)

(Basically, each unit on the field (usually) represents a team of three, on leader and two flankers.  While the flankers are alive, the leader takes less damage; however, if the leader dies, the flankers go down with them.  However, you get less money and experience from flankers who are still alive when you kill the leader, so if you can afford to it’s better to take out the support first.)

(Now, the Priestess is only on the field to kill Wendigo.  If you manage to beat him with one of your party members, you get a ton of experience and like five levels.  However, this is impossible unless you’re on a New Game +.)

: Aw.  I was kind of hoping the freaky cultists used supernatural powers or something.

(Your guys only do like 5-10 damage to Wendigo and die in one hit, so Priestess is the way to go.)

(Somehow, he gets away with 1 HP and heads for the hills.  This is also the reason it’s impossible to just whittle him down with Priestess and land the kill with one of your characters- he also does this if his health gets too low.  Learning that is why I positioned so poorly.)

: I can’t just let him go!  I can catch him if I go now.  Please excuse me.

: Yeah, sure.  It’s not like there are four other demons here trying to kill us.

(Anyway, there’s no real strategy for the rest of this fight.  Most of the enemies are weak to fire, so it’s a good idea to leave the main character with Agi and have Kabuso on Atsuro’s team.  Other than that it’s a very simple slugfest, and before too long…)

: What we just went through…  A… A person was killed…

: Yeah, sucks to be that guy.  Now get over it.  Bitching’s not gonna make the demons go away.

: …

: Hey, the animal that attacked the person in that apartment… it was a demon, wasn’t it?

: This is Tokyo, after all.  The place is overflowing with carnivorous beasts.

: You know… it would be less scary to believe it really was some animal…

: Demons and vicious animals that eat people is less scary than just demons?

: But what really gets me is those cultists.  I mean, I could see them using mystical powers or something, but why COMPs?

: They seemed like they knew what they were doing, too.  They’re way ahead of us on this demon thing.

: That means… the demons have been around for a long time, right?  What are the Shomonkai?

: Evangelical superheroes.  And that’s the worst kind.

: Either way, that Priestess chick was pretty damn strong.  She was doin’, like, 10 times our damage.  Could she be the person Naoya mentioned in the email?

: I mean, the way I see it, it was either her or the dead guy.

: I wonder, too.  She seemed really strong, and I got this feeling from her…

: Either way, it’s been a hell of a day.

: The intro’s always a bit of a drag.

: I just hope nothing else happens-

: Damn it, Matador!  You win again!

: What’s going on!?

: The damn thing’s three for three.  Too bad we didn’t actually do anything about it.

: Well, maybe not.  It’s possible that the blackout didn’t hit all of Tokyo…  I doubt it, though.

: And so Yuzu’s life comes to a screeching halt.

: Is this because of the blackout?

: The phone centers have their own backup power, so a blackout shouldn’t affect your cell…

: Then it’s not a normal blackout.

: It’s pitch-black… I never thought Tokyo would be so dark at night…

: Just let your eyes adjust.  You could probably read by the light pollution if you really wanted to.

: Hey,what are we going to do now…?

: Wait- someone’s coming!

: And to test that theory, you left us alone with half a dozen demons?  How thoughtful.

: I am Amane Kuzuryu, maiden of the Shomonkai.  It’s nice to meet you…

: Wait, “Amane?”

: I’m just gonna go ahead and guess there’s a Crying Game twist.

: Uh… r-right.  I’m Yuzu Tanikawa, and he’s Atsuro Kihara.

: It’s a pleasure.  Oh, and you are…?

(The game attributes that line to Yuzu for some reason.)

: Hey, Trielo!  This is no time for jokes!

: Every time is time for jokes.

: Get with the program here!

: I’m still not sure I get it, but there’s probably a horrible pun in there somewhere.

: Kihara, Tanikawa, and… Eever.

: It does kind of stick out.

: I shall remember your names.  The Wendigo seems to have released his minions into this cemetery.

: Then I guess we’d better get out of-

: I have set a simple barrier around this place tonight.  It’s best if you stayed here.

: Spend the night in a demon-infested graveyard?  Sounds like a dream come true.

: It’s better than dying.  Wait here until dawn, then head for the station.  Now, I must go.

: …Yeah, didn’t think that would work.

: She said to stay here until the sun comes up…  Wh-what should we do…?

: Yeah, even I have to admit this is dumb.  Fight through a demon-infested graveyard?  Sure.  But sleep in one?  That’s just asking for trouble.

: We don’t really have a choice here.  Who knows how many enemies are out there?  We’re not strong enough to fight through more than a few at a time just yet.

: B-but… this is a graveyard…

: Are we going to be okay?

: If a demon comes, we kick its ass.

: Y… yeah…  I don’t think I can go far anyway… My legs are like jelly…

: Seems like we’re stuck here.  We’ll just have to turns keeping watch and hope morning comes soon.

From: Naoya
Subject: Laplace Mail

I’m sure you’ve noticed the Laplace Mail by now.

Bill, everything in this world has causes and effects.

If some intelligence could record and analyze every event simultaneously, the future would no longer be a mystery to us.

Ultimately, nothing created by man can ever be truly perfect, but you can use these messages to guide you from now on.

: “If some intelligence could record and analyze every event simultaneously…?”  Oh, joy.  I love omnipresent computer hivemind nonsense.

From: AT-LOW
Subject: Testing

Hey, it’s Atsuro.

I was messing with my COMP and saw that the email app’s still working, even in the blackout.  If you know someone’s COMP address, you can send an email directly to them.  Plus, it looks like two COMPs will automatically learn each other’s addresses when they get close to each other.  It takes a while, though.  I’m going to teach Yuzu how to use this function.

Too much stuff happened today.  I’m so tired.  I just want it to be morning…

: He’d better.  The last thing I want to hear is her bitching about how she doesn’t understand computers.  Again.

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