Devil Survivor #9: In Which Devils are Survived

(The game opens up soon, I promise!)

As you move forward, you see someone resembling Naoya duck into a side street…

: (I’m really not in the mood for painfully vague foreshadowing, so Naoya can go straight to hell for all I care.  I’ll just pretend I didn’t see-)

: Hey, Trielo!  Wasn’t that Naoya?

: Dammit, Atsuro.

: Yep.  Sure was.  Well, let’s move on then, shall we?

: Look, I don’t particularly want to chase him down, either, but we don’t have a choice.

: Bugger.

: Well, looks like he’s not here.  What a shame.

: He’s over there!

: Dammit, Yuzu.

: Then we’ll go that way.

: Do we have to?

: Damn.  I thought the camera looked different…

: See what happens when you people don’t listen to me?

: They’re demons, Yuzu.  Not vampires.

: We still have some dignity.

: Anyway, that’s not really our biggest concern right now.  What’s the plan, Trielo?

: I’m stickin’ to my guns on this one.

: Yeah, it’d be hard to find Naoya if we were fighting the whole time…

If the last party member on the map is defeated, the game will end.  Use caution when escaping.

(Because I chose to escape, we get a different victory condition.  However, it doesn’t affect the story, and I’m just going to kill all the demons anyway- escaping only deprives us of experience and macca.)

(The enemies aren’t anything too tough- a Kobold in the north, two Pixies in the west, and Moh Shuvuus- a new enemy- in the east and south.  They all have Kobolds and/or Ogres flanking them.)

(Here’s what our party looks like for this fight.)

(There are only four spots where we can place party members- the one that’s not filled is next to Atsuro- so somebody has to start over to the side.  It doesn’t really matter who you put there, but it probably shouldn’t be Yuzu.)

(Once the fight starts, the game throws a bunch of tutorials at you.  The only important thing is the Macca bonus.  Basically, you get more money for stealing extra turns, not taking any damage, killing all enemies at once, neutralizing attacks, and so on.  You get less money if somebody dies, if you lose extra turns, or if you hit an enemy with something they’re strong to.)

(I spend the first turn moving towards the exit.  Even though I don’t intend to use it, the edge of the area here is a fairly defensible position- the railing can serve as kind of a chokepoint (although it doesn’t really come into play for this fight), and on the off-chance that things go south I can escape.)

(The Ogres flanking this Pixie are Jaki-race demons, which means they can use the racial skill Bind.  Bind reduces your target’s movement speed to 1 for the next turn; a minor nuisance at the moment, but it can really screw you over later on.)

(Bind is cast from HP, so the Pixie uses Charm to heal its team.)

(The Pixie picks a peck of pickled peppers.  It doesn’t work out.)

(The next Pixie heals the first group and attacks.)

(The party that initiates the fight is more likely to get extra turns, but it doesn’t help them much.)

(Now that we’ve hit 10 strength, it’s time to start pumping points into magic.)

: I’m… I’m not scared… I have to keep telling myself that…

: Don’t worry, it only eats guys’ brains.  I think.

(Yuzu fares well enough.  Next turn, I bring Atsuro around and kill it.)

(Atsuro’s Kabuso has the racial skill Animal Leg, a passive ability that lets you move after a combat round, even if you’ve already moved that turn.)

(Yuzu’s slow even when not Bound, so I couldn’t have put her anywhere useful.  Still, it would’ve been nice to have her a bit further in, since she’s relatively squishy.)

(I finish off the Pixie on Trielo’s next turn, which causes a new enemy to spawn in.)

: They’re demons.  I don’t think they’re afraid of sinning, if you catch my drift.

(Moh Shuvuu’s racial is Flight.  It’s a passive ability which gives +1 movement and lets you ignore obstacles when moving.)

(The extra speed means it can reach Yuzu.  Attacks can always be done through barriers, though.)

(Yuzu’s Kabuso goes down, which means she’s basically out of offensive options.  Neither Yuzu nor the Kolbold has offensive magic, and their physicals aren’t doing much damage.)

(Fortunately, it’s pretty easily dispatched once I get some characters with decent offense on it.)

(The newcomer, Waira, has a racial skill called Devil Speed.)

(The extra speed means it actually reaches us before the Kobold.)

(It’s easily the most powerful enemy on the map, but that doesn’t mean much.  You’ll notice that I’m out of MP here; most of the time you’ve got just enough to get you through the map, especially if you’re bad at conserving it like I am.)

(The Waira goes down without much trouble, which means there’s only one enemy left.)

(He gives a hell of a fight, though. This is a good example of how Aggravate can really hurt you, depending on how the AI uses it.  I got lucky here- the guaranteed crits meant that they had a full round of extra turns, and Yuzu only survived because they decided to attack the Kobold instead of her.  It wouldn’t have made a difference if she had died, but what kind of idiot loses a character on the third map?)

(Atsuro makes short work of it on the next turn.)

: What are we supposed to do without Naoya’s vague non-answers?

: It’s not the best plan,  but this is all we’ve got for now.

: I’d like to give him a piece of my mind, too!  It’s his fault we’re in trouble!

: Hey, if hunting down Naoya will get your mind off of-

: Oh, but we shouldn’t forget to look for a way out while we’re at it!

: Spoke too soon.

: Nope.  Too easy.

: Fine, then.  I’ll just stare knowingly at the camera.

: *Sigh* I guess everyone lives for something.

: Yeah, well… shut up.

: Hey, Trielo, does the death clock still say 0?  It hasn’t gone up, has it…?

: Figures.

: We’ll probably have to wait for a boss battle or something.

: Oh, yeah.  That.

(I already covered the macca bonus, so let’s talk about the skill set bonus.  Basically, you’ll occasionally get an opportunity to give one of your demons a new skill.  The better you fight, the more often it happens.  There’s a bunch of rules and limitations and so on, but it’ll make more sense if I explain it once it happens.)

: Okay, so we fight well and then we get stuff.  Simple.

: If we’re gonna fight demons, we might as well do a good job of it.

: You know, it just occurred to me… who’s sending these emails?

: You think so?  It sounds like someone completely different to me…

: How many other people could be the administrator of a magical demon-summoning DS?

: It probably sounds different because it’s a tutorial.  You’ve gotta be impersonal and technical when you’re writing an instruction manual, right?  You have to take the end-user into account… which means this Demon Summoning Program was always meant for third-party use.

: Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?  You think it was meant for us three…?

: Nah, he knows us.  If we were the only audience, he wouldn’t have bothered with the clean explanations.  There’s gotta be more of these things floating around, and that means we’ll probably be fighting rogue summoners at some point.

: You’re just saying that ’cause you want to punch people.

: Hell yeah.

(The Waira and Moh Shuvuu are up for auction now.  I only have enough for one demon at the moment, so I pick up a Waira.)

: It’s almost as if “we locked down the whole area, nobody can get out” means they locked down the whole area and nobody can get out.

: I’m getting tired from all this walking… I can feel the sweat pooling in my shoes.

: Better sweaty than dead.

: What the…!  You don’t have to say it like that!

: You don’t gotta whine about it.

: Look, whatever.  Let’s just decide what we’re going to do from here.

: Wait, you mean we really have just been wandering around aimlessly for the last three hours?  I knew it!

: Hey… are we really trapped in the Yamanote Circle area?  Are we going to die just like that email said…?

: And then maybe a magical unicorn will give everybody free candy.

: It’s not funny!  We’re going to die today!  We can’t just sit around and wait!

: You’re right.  How about we keep looking for an exit then, huh?  Or are you getting tired of slamming your head against a brick wall?

: We don’t know if it’s sealed everywhere!  We could check the east side, or, or-

: Simmer down, you two.

but if the root cause of the events described don’t change, it’s highly likely that the results will end up the same.   …That’s fate.

I’ve updated your COMP with a new function attached to this message so you can face fate and cut your own path.  You should get an email describing the “skill crack” function soon.

I look forward to seeing you again.  Keep surviving.

(Skill Cracking is how we obtain new skills for our human party members.  Basically, if there’s an enemy on the field with a skill you don’t have, you can set one of your characters to ‘crack’ it.  Again, there are a bunch of rules, but it’ll make more sense if I explain them in combat.)

: He got us into this mess, but he’s still doing everything he can to help us…

: If he cares that much, he shoulda made sure we weren’t in the lockdown to begin with…

: He doesn’t care.  He’s using us for some grand scheme.  Kinda like, you know, everybody.

: Yeah, that’s for sure.

: Still, so long as he’s helping us stay alive, it doesn’t really matter what his plan is.  We’ll worry about it when the time comes.

: In that case, let’s hurry up and get some new skills.  We’ll look stupid if we keep running around with nothing but weak-ass spells.

: That Skill Crack thing?  Only someone who knew about demons could program that in…

: …What, the goddamn Demon Summoning Program was too subtle for you?

: I wonder just how much Naoya knows about demons.

: I’m guessing it’s somewhere between “more than a smidge” and “everything.”

: If you really need to know, you could always just ask him.

: Though we have to do something about the number on the death clock first…

: How astute.  I’m sure those smarts will come in handy.

: They better.  If we’re gonna survive, we’ll have to use all of our strength, intelligence, and cunning.

(Next time: a sterling example of plot-mandated stupidity.)

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