A Feudal Fanfiction: Let's Play Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask

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rpg
anime

#1


[sub]Thanks to Makku for the banner art![/sub]

Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask is a video game built on a lie. There is no secret, there is no curse, and I guess there’s a mask.

The truth is that Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask is a PS2 role-playing game released in 2004 and tying in with the anime/manga series of the like named. Y’know, the one from Adult Swim. In it, you play as a young man or woman from the present who finds themselves trapped in the feudal era of Japan and joins up with the main cast of the anime to find their way back to their own time.

My feelings about this game…well…I pretty much loved the shit out of it when I was a wee teen, had a short period where I started to become more aware of the game’s shortcomings and turned away from it, then I started to appreciate it once more for what it was. See, this is not what you’d call a “good” game. The battle system is absolutely barebones and the game is piss-easy, the graphics are unimpressive for the most part, both the writing AND localization leave quite a bit to be desired, and the overall production values are pretty low.

However, it is also not what you would call a “bad” game. The story, while not, y’know, good, is pretty mid-2000s Fanfiction.net in only the best of ways. The gameplay may be simple, but the game itself is generally well put together on a technical level, and it’s not unpleasant to play. The difficulty is pretty nonexistent, but that almost serves to make the experience of playing the game better to go through, because without having to worry too much about the systems, one can just let the narrative wash over them. It’s led to this being one of my most replayed games, in fact. At one time, it was a yearly ritual to play through each summer.

It’s a comfy game, and I’ve honestly been waiting a decade to do this LP.

So, this LP is going to be a casual playthrough of the game, I’m not going to go for 100% (mainly because that realistically requires at least 11 discreet playthroughs) but I’m going to do as much as I can in a single run and not sweat the small stuff. There’s not much outside the main plot anyway.

As for spoilers, since the story of this game is completely independent from the main series, talk about that all you want. Just don’t talk about anything in this game, please.

Also feel free to provide fanart, as I have the wild dream of curating the largest collection of Cursed Mask fanart on the net.

CHAPTERS

(Down below, ya dingus.)



#2

Reserved post


#3


Attract Mode

This opening movie isn’t really anything special. I think it might just be the first opening of the actual anime with a couple game-specific things included. Even has the same generic music that’s on the Netflix version of the show due to issues licensing Change the World.

And with that, welcome to Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask! Only about two of the words in this title will be present in the game and one of them is Inuyasha. Upon pressing Start, we’re given the opions of New Game, Continue, and Bonus. The first two are obvious, but we won’t worry ourselves with Bonus for a while. Right now, New Game is what we need.

We’re given the choice between a male protagonist and a female protagonist. The game touts these two characters as being designed by Rumiko Takahashi herself, but since there’s no real information about the development of this game, I can’t really tell you to what extent she was involved. There are actually differences between the guy and the girl, as their stats are slightly different, they learn techniques in a different order, and there’s a subplot that can involve different characters based on who you pick. However, the last difference is really the only one you need to worry about.

Because this game knows exactly who it’s aiming for, the female protagonist is highlighted by default, which we will pick. You might notice that she’s got a set surname of Kururugi. This was actually a way for the original Japanese version to easily have characters address the protagonist in voice acting. This doesn’t work quite as well in English. The male protagonist’s default name is Michiru.

In fact, outside of the beginning of the game, your protagonist is hardly ever addressed by name in the English version. Which is why we’re naming her after my first love. Once we press X, the adventure begins!


Anime Kururugi’s Bizarre Adventure

If you didn’t watch the video, we got home late from school, went to the shed in the back of the house to help with a festival, and fell through some rotted wood.

We fell down a hole into a forest that’s nowhere near our house. Makes sense to me.

Where’s my house? I have to get ready for the festival.

“Cutscene 1”
This game never got an official OST release, so all I have to go on is unofficial recordings directly from the game. Please understand.

Anime walks around a bit as ominous music begins to play.

Father… Please answer me. Mom! Dad! Why won’t you answer me? Where is everyone? Everyone…

And now we’re given control of Anime for like a second, heading to the next screen on the left.

…Huh. This is definitely not our house.

No one’s here. How could that be?

That’s right, my cell! I’ll call the house with my cell phone.

Yes! Okay! Good idea. Let’s just call Mom and ask her to drive us home.

I can’t get through!

Damn, no signal. Within 1% reliability my ass. Let’s try again just to be sure.

I can’t get through! I’m outside, but there’s no signal. That’s weird.

We’re given control once again, so I have to do something reeeeal quick.

The config menu is solely changing button configurations. The default is on the top, and you can see why the fuck I’m changing it. Who uses Square for cancel?! Not a good first impression. I’m using the American-style layout in the middle.

Moving along, finally we meet some other people! Maybe we can ask them that’s going on.

Oh, there’s some people there. Maybe if I talk to them, they could tell me where I am…Good. Then I can go home.

That’s what I said, stop LPing the game for me.

Huh? Kimonos? Why are they wearing kimonos?

Well, I mean, we live at a shrine and there was a festival going on. Doesn’t seem too outta place.

Rude.

What?!

RUDE!

"Normal Battle"

The three mysterious people step forward, kicking in the battle music. This isn’t good.

With the models in this game, sometimes you have to use your imagination.

Careful! It’s a demon!

What?! I can’t hear you over the music!

What? A demon? What are you talking…

Demon, where have you taken my daughter?

Seriously, these guys are barely audible over the bad audio mixing.

Wait. I just…

What are you saying now?

Alright, let’s catch it, Get it! [sic]

Catch it and get my daughter back!

These guys are weird. What’s going on?

Don’t let it get away. Catch it!

Yes, don’t let it get away!

WELL STOP TALKING AND DO IT ALREADY!

I need to run away!

Cheese it!

Whew, lost 'em.

But, what’s happening? I don’t understand what’s going on.

Mom, Dad! I’m scared.

A sounc comes from the trees!

Huh?

"Cutscene 2"

Aaaa! It’s a demon!

What? Where?

Oh, there.

I thought I smelled something tasty. It’s a human! I was just getting hungry. How convenient!

I mean, if I had any signal, I could get us some Five Guys on Doordash, but I don’t so it’s not THAT convenient.

What?! Whar are you? Don’t come near me!

You literally just said he was a demon, girl.

Well, we’re certainly not trying.

"Normal Battle"

A for effort.

I’m gonna eat you!

Yeah, he actually just kinda says ROAR.

Ha ha ha ha!

He’s gonna eat me.

There are a lot of points in this game where I’m not sure if it’s badly written or just badly localized, and I think both are true at different points.

At least the voice actor’s having fun.

…What happened to me?

What the heck was that?

Am I dead?

???: Hey, are you awake yet?

Who’s that?

The voice sounds familiar…

I’m alive!

Oh hey it’s the fella what’s name is on the box.

Hey, wait a minute.

So in dialogue, most major characters outside of Anime will have these sprites on them. They’re pretty nice.

But you have dog ears and fangs.

Does Inuyasha have fangs? He’s got some pretty sharp canines, but does that qualify as a fang?

I’m scared. Don’t come near me!

Never mind, you were great! What kind of technique was that?

I think mostly crying and begging? It’s more effective than you’d think.

You beat that demon by shining that light on him.

Technique? Demon?

I know this is a weird new situation, but Anime’s not exactly the quickest girl.

I thought I was dead, but I’m alive. Why?

You came from “the present,” didn’t you?

Do you know where I came from? Please, tell me how I can get back. Huh, the present?

Yeah.

What do you mean?

The present…you know,

That doesn’t help!

Wait. Please, help me understand.

What a hassle! Come on, follow me. If you ask Kagome, she can probably explain things.

Who’s Kagome?

The voice acting says “Kaede’s Village” but the ingame text will say “Kaede village” multiple times.

I’m a little scared, but I guess I should go. There might be someone that knows me there.

It’s kinda hard to see, but there’s a purple cloud on the left side of the screen.

Hey, wait! There’s a strange smell. I think that demon’s buddies are around.

What?

The smell of demons is coming from that purple light.

What should I do?

What are you talking about? Let’s go after 'em!! It should be easy if you use the red light again. Hey, here they come!

Despite the dialogue seeming to segue directly into a battle, we’re given control and have to walk into it. You can see that Inuyasha is following behind us. When we get more party members, we can decide who follows us by rearranging the party order.

Now, the clouds. These purple clouds will appear frequently and your random encounter rate rises as you pass through them. You can use the walk button to slowly go through and counteract the rate up, but it’s a crapshoot. In fact, it is entirely possible to get through this screen and to the next segment of the game without fighting any battles, despite what the story suggests.

We’re not that lucky this time. And I will actually save me the time and trouble of covering this battle or explaining the system at this moment. At this point in the game, literally nothing in the battle system is available to us besides pressing attack, so there’s really no use in going into detail now.

All I’ll say is that the enemy designs in this game are less than inspired.

After every battle, the character that landed the killing blow gives a one-liner. Inuyasha of course did it because Anime has basically no power for the beginning part of the game.

This fight is enough to level Inuyasha up and give him an actual techinique. I’ll go over that with the rest of the battle system. Also there’s no actual currency in the game, just “money.”

Hey, why didn’t you use that last move again?

I didn’t know how to.

Literally everyone I’ve met so far has been rude.

But I don’t know what to do.

A small man!

She was so afraid to die, she did it unconsciously.

Who is that?

It’s just Myoga.

You’re not good at explaining things, Inuyasha.

What a small person. Is he a demon too?

Yes. I am Inuyasha’s personal bodyguard. My name is Myoga.

Also when you are quite small.

Never mind that. I can still sense demons around us. This girl’s power has not yet awakened. We need to be careful.

You’re right. I can still smell the demons too.

What should I do?

You have to fight hard and make sure you don’t slow Inuyasha down. We’re getting close to Kaede’s Village. Well, Inuyasha, I’m going ahead. Be careful.

Hey, Myoga! Wait! Damn, he’s run off again. The demons around here are pathetic. Let’s get going.

Okay.

With this, we are given back control and after three uneventful screens and one healing item, we’re out of this starting area.

And this is the map screen. The little crescent moons represent each location, with most major locations separated by a road to that location. Right now, the only place we can go is also the place with the plot marker on it.

You can press Triangle to save on the map, which I choose to do because this is where we’re gonna end for now.

Next time, we get to the bottom of this nonsense.

Chapter 1 Highlight Reel


#4

“Map”

Alright, this time we’re gonna figure out what the heck is goin’ on here. Wanna go home.

“Kaede’s Village”

This is extremely not home.

Finally, we’ve arrived. This is Kaede’s Village.

It can’t be…a horse?

Have you seen those things? Their legs are fingers!

But…

Nope, it’s Ohio. The kimonos gave it away.

What are you thinking about? If you don’t hurry, I’ll leave you behind.

???: Inuyasha!

This voice clip is not given a text box or anything, which is odd because this is really the only time it happens.

“Comical Scene”

This girl looks quite cross and is also given a full body sprite sweep, which also never really happens again.

Hey, Inuyasha! Where have you been?

Yep, it’s Kagome!

There was a demon outside of the village and we needed your help to defeat it. You’re never there when we need you.

Now with two sprites!

Hey, who are you?

Oh yeah, this kid was being chased by one of the small demons, so I stepped in.

Oh, great! Where am I? This is Japan, right? There’s horses, and weird hairstyles, and even demons! My cell doesn’t work, there’s no police stations, no cars, no convenience strores. Not even a supermarket.

Listen, I know you’re a time traveler, but you’re being pretty glib about our distress right now and I don’t appreciate it.

I don’t know why, but you were sure excited.

I’m sorry. I was so happy, cuz I thought I had found a normal person.

That’s understandable, but please calm down.

All this dialogue being voiced really hammers in how badly written/localized it is.

I think you’ve come from the present.

Yeah, you know. The present!

Yes. I fell through a hole in the storage house and all of a sudden I was in the woods.

I see. Okay, I need you to listen to me carefully. This isn’t the present.

I think we knew that from the acknowledgement that the present was something we could be from here.

Not the present? Then where am I?

Wait, then what was that “Yes” earlier?!

This is the Feudal era.

The feudal era?! The time of Nobunaga Oda and when guns first came to Japan?

Yes, I’m sure it’s surprising. But it’s true.

It can’t be.

I couldn’t believe it at first either.

But, I’ve only read about the feudal era in my textbooks. This is absurd.

Yes, that’s right.

What?

I was even attacked by demons.

I see. Are you hurt?

I’m fine.

This village is safe. You can stay here for a while.

Thank you. I’m really glad you’re here. If you weren’t, I don’t know what I’d do.

Don’t be rude. You’d be bawling too, if you had to go through all that.

Eh… Reminds me of someone else that cries all the time.

What do you mean by that?

Me? Always mad? Yeah right.

See, you’re mad right now. You’re so short-tempered.

You guys really get along, huh?

Hey, Anime, it’s rude for a stranger to comment on romantic tension, okay?

What?

Hey what are you saying? Who does she think she is. [sic]

Oh, stop it.

Don’t be shy.

Incredibly rude.

Why?

Don’t you want to go back?

That’s right.

What do you mean?

That’s how I got here.

That’s awful convenient.

You mean…

You may be able to go back if you pass through there.

Wow! Really?! Please take me there!

Okay. It’s on the eastern outskirts of this village.

“Kaede’s Village”

Kagome is absorbed into Anime and we head on our way.

On our way, we find this farmer who tells us about the mysterious field. This is about the only sidequest in the game. Over the course of the game, we’ll receive different seeds and fertilizers, which we can combine at this field. Different combinations will yield different crops. Most combinations will give you different items, but there are special combinations that provide special scenes, which is probably your main goal. I’ll try to get as many as I can, but a lot of this stuff is easily missable, and the reward isn’t particularly interesting most of the time. Also, it’s not really worth starting on until later in the game, so we’ll get there when we get there.

There’s some NPCs and another screen and neither are interesting.

“Cutscene 1”

It looks really old. Almost like demons could come out of it.

Oh so now we’re an expert.

Yeah, it does.

Hey, don’t say that. You’re going to scare them.

Did not want to program and record two lines.

Whatever. The demons were dead anyway.

You know what I mean, Inuyasha. You’re so insensitive. Sorry, Anime.

I never introduced myself.

Yeah. If you jump in, it should take you right back to the present.

Jump in?

What are you scared of?

THE DEMON CORPSES

Here I go. One, two…th-th…

AND HE PUSHES US IN.

Huh?

Well, I’d like to thank you for joining me to revisit this unsung classic. It’s pretty short, but it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Goodnight everyone.

oh wait

Ouch! I don’t think so.

“Comical Scene”

Wow, you two look great for it being like 500 years in the future.

I couldn’t help it.

What if she got hurt?

Shut up! I was just helpin’ out.

What?! How’s that?

Excuse me?

What?

Can you stop fighting and help me. [sic]

I’m startin’ to think…

…this ain’t the present.

I don’t know why, but you can’t seem to get through.

Yeah.

Don’t worry. I’m sure there is another way.

Okay. But what do I do now?

Well, Kaede helped me out when it was my turn.

Who’s Kaede?

But she’s always nagging me.

Only because you’re always getting into trouble.

Well, I don’t really understand, but she doesn’t sound like a bad person. I’d like to meet her.

Okay, let’s go. She lives on the west side of the village square.

And go we did, directly to the left of the first screen of the village.

This is Priestess Kaede’s house.

Okay, I know this wasn’t exactly a AAA game, but this is pretty lazy.

Hmmm?

What?! There’s two of you, Kagome?!

???: [In a decidedly not Kagome voice] Kagome’s back!

So Kagome has a twin?

???: Twins? What are you saying?

Hey, behave yourself Shippo.

I should note that the voice acting says “What is SHE supposed to think” instead of “one.”

“Comical Scene”

A child!

What happened? Kagome turned into a child!

Transformation? How can you do that? Are you pulling my leg?

You use the art of transformation when you want to trick someone.

I feel like we are having different conversations.

I see.

DO YOU?

So what’s your name? My name is Anime. I came from the present, like Kagome.

My name’s Shippo. Are you Kagome’s friend?

Um, not really.

I thought Kagome brought you from the well.

I wish.

Seems like you’ve got a problem.

Yes. You seem really calm, even though you’re a kid.

I have literally no idea what these people are talking about half the time.

Don’t be such a smart-aleck.

What did you say, Inuyasha?

We’re going to Kaede’s house, right?

Cut it out, Shippo.

Whap!

That’s it. Inuyasha, sit!

Hey, what was that? Wow, Kagome!

This is the power of Priestess Kaede. Come on, let’s go talk to Kaede.

Okay.

Um, hello. My name is Anime.

From the look of your clothes, I guess you came from the same place as Kagome.

Yes.

You can relax. No one’s going to eat you.

…Okay?

Um…I was looking for something in the storehouse, when I suddenly blacked out. When I came to, I was in this world.

Technically the same world, just a different time, but I get you.

I would like to go home. Can you please tell me how to do that?

Hmm, you want to go home. I thought you were Kagome’s friend. It seems like a difficult situation. Tell me your story from the beginning.

And then I said Shippo was really calm for a kid. I dunno why I said that, it didn’t make much sense and wasn’t really germane to the situaiton.

The well didn’t work.

Well? The Bone-Eater’s Well?

Okay, if this line seems weird, then you’re absolutely right. Anime should be saying this. It’s not only mistakenly attributed to Kagome, but if you watch the video, you will see that it is also mistakenly voiced by Kagome’s actress. This is one of the main pieces of evidence that Bandai just did not care on either side of the Pacific, because it would be EXTRA EFFORT to add this mistake into the localization, which means it must have been in the Japanese version. Which means that this line went from script to VO booth without anyone noticing, TWICE.

Amazing.

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that Kagome’s weird line is in fact a mistranslation. In Japanese, often the subject of a sentence is omitted if the context can be inferred. As you can see, this is what happened. I suspect that the localization team did NOT have this context and mistranslated the subject as being Kagome herself.

I see.

Do you know why I can’t get through? I really wanna go home.

Hmm. Unfortunately, I don’t know why.

But…please, you’ve got to help me.

Hmmm, I don’t know how I can help…

I just don’t know what to do.

Gosh, I feel for you.

Yeah.

You mean I can’t get home? Mom… Dad…

On the one hand, everyone I’ve ever known and all the conveniences of modern life that I’ve come to depend on are centuries away.

On the other hand, no Twitter.

Whatever. It’s not like she’s gonna die if she can’t get home.

That’s true, but you could be a little nicer.

Kagome. Inuyasha. Stop fighting.

It’s super fine, little dude.

Being nice isn’t gonna find the way home. I fyou wanna go home, you need to find a way to do that.

Find a way?

Is that what you’re trying to say, Inuyasha?

Well, what else?

…I guess I won’t get anywhere by being upset.

You can be upset anytime you want.

Okay, I’ll just have to keep trying.

That’s enough, Inuyasha.

He’s not actually being that mean.

you might as well stay here with Inuyasha and everyone else.

Yay like an anime!

What? Now that’s going a little too far.

Oh, I couldn’t…

Anime, we literally have nowhere else to go. Take the fuckin’ offer.

Wait a minute, Inuyasha. Just like when Kagome arrived in this world, This is no trivial matter either. [sic]

So what?

If something should happen it would be better if you were together.

Fine. Whatever.

Yes. Thank you so much.

It’s decided then. Let’s go listen to the village gossip. Maybe we’ll find a clue from something we hear.

Okay.

Now we’re back in gameplay, and what we’re supposed to do here…is a bit unclear.

I’ve always just kinda assumed it’s talk to everyone in town, which is…well, a shitty way to design a game.

But it’s also not entirely reliable. So I just kinda go back and forth for a while talking to people until I get results. It’s not interesting and nobody has anything to say.

Well, screw you too.

Halfway through, we get a little scene.

I agree, but we don’t have any clues…

Hmm, I don’t know.

It would help if you had seen anything out of the ordinary.

Hey, something’s bothering me. Why couldn’t you use the Bone-Eater’s Well, but Kagome could?

Well, I know. Probably because I didn’t get here through the Bone-Eater’s Well.

That would mean that there’s something like the Bone-Eater’s Well near where you first woke up, don’t you think?

Yeah. But I can’t remember where that was now. I was frantically trying to run away at the time.

What a scardy cat. [sic]

And back to wandering until we head back to the Well.

If someone had been with you at the time, we could ask them. But you were alone, weren’t you?

Yes. Oh yeah, I met a bunch of strange villagers near there. They were all desperately looking for something.

They also tried to kill you.

Well, then, we should ask them.

Not a good idea, maybe.

Or at least they may have seen something that could give us a clue.

Yes. When I came into this world, they were nearby.

Alright, let’s go look for those villagers.

Then we head back to the town square to finish this thing.

Yes, we have. But I haven’t seen anyone that looks like those villagers.

Oh! There’s a village nearby? It could be the people from there. Is Akebi Village near here?

Yes, it’s not that far, but…

But…

But there’s all kinds of demons on the road going there.

He’s right. Demons come after you even if you’re only a little ways from the village.

Yes, so you need to be careful.

As long as I’m with you, you’ve got nothin’ to worry about from those demons.

That’s right.

Heheheh.

Yeah, you’ve got no brains, but plenty of brawn!

Shut up, Shippo!

Cut it out, Inuyasha!

Come to think of it, you two are demons.

It’s very surprising. I thought all demons were scary. And here we are all together.

Inuyasha isn’t really a demon.

That’s enough, Kagome.

But…

It’s okay Kagome. I’m not too concerned with that kind of thing. Do you think you could take me to the next village?

Of course we can. Let’s all go to Akebi Village. But we should prepare for our trip before we go.

That’s a good idea. The road there is pretty rugged.

Okay, let’s go shopping first.

There isn’t anything that we need.

Hey, you’re the one that’s always complaining about not having this or that.

It’s a store. You know 'em.

I’m not gonna buy anything right now, though. This game is very easy.

And with all that questionably-written exposition out of the way, the adventure begins! Next time.

Chapter 2 Highlight Reel


#5

So now that we’ve met a bit more of the cast, it’s time to make a decision. This game has what could be described as a primitive form of social links, where at certain times in the story, you will be able to spend time with one of each of the characters in an interval and befriend them, or even more. Now, there’s not enough intervals to have every event with every character. Really, you’ll only get a character’s full route if you spend all your time with them. With this in mind, and the desire to not have my recording come to a standstill every time this happens, I will let us vote on one character to spend our time with, which is why I have Sango and Miroku here, despite the fact that they’re not going to join until after the first interval point. For those who might not be quite so familiar with the characters, I’ve provided a quick rundown.


Inuyasha
Half dog demon, all attitude

Pros: Will throw down for you, is a jerk but has a heart of gold
Cons: Dander, has a heart of gold but is a jerk


Kagome
Time traveler with a bow and arrow

Pros: Easy to relate to, carries a first aid kit
Cons: We have enough present friends at home


Shippo
A wily little fox

Pros: Childlike wonder, can turn into cool things
Cons: An actual child, does not turn into cool things


Sango
Ninja Demon hunter

Pros: Fuckoff boomerang, has a cat
Cons: Never not fighting demons, brother might have problems


Miroku
Cursed monk, and I don’t mean FUCK

Pros: Devout, travels around the world
Cons: Black hole in his hand, 500 years behind on what is and is not sexual harrassment

Vote here!
https://www.strawpoll.me/16937498

I’ll run the poll until Saturday.


#6

This translation is a very unnerving kind of bad; none of the lines really jump out as being dumb, but they just don’t string together into a coherent narrative. It just makes me feel lost and confused. It would be pretty neat if it was done on purpose.

I like your LP so far!


#7

Fixed a duplicate image throwing off the ordering.

Also, it’s been brought to my attention that Kagome’s weird line is in fact a mistranslation. In Japanese, often the subject of a sentence is omitted if the context can be inferred. As you can see, this is what happened. I suspect that the localization team did NOT have this context and mistranslated the subject as being Kagome herself.


#8

I loved this game when I was a kid but never got to re-experience it as I got older. Boy, the dialogue is really awkward, but I sure never noticed!


#9

And watch out for demons we shall. Most major locations in the game will have these roads between them, which is where the majority of your random battles will happen. They are also almost all both visually and narratively uninteresting, so I will probably be skipping most of them unless they’re one of the few exceptions. Don’t worry, you’re missin’ 5 minutes of gameplay.

But I guess now’s as good a time as any to go over the basics battle system, eh?

So, here’s the main battle screen. Up on the top left there is your commands, and most of them are pretty self-explanatory. Top right is the turn order. Different characters will move around the circle based on their speed and they’re up when they’re at the front. Bottom there’s your character status, with the obvious HP bar. The three gray circles are your energy, which builds up as you get hit or make attacks. Every character has up to 300 energy which is represented in a marker for each 100 and is used as such.

Techs are your special abilities, and selecting the option brings up this submenu of different types. Normal techs are special moves that require no energy to use, and as such, once we’ve all learned some, they’ll basically replace the normal attack for the rest of the game. You’re not supposed to use them too much because it’ll give you the Tired status. It’s supposed to make your speed slower, but the effect is negligible, so whatever. SP techs use your energy, nothing too out there. Co-op techs are something I’ll go into once we learn one.

All in all, nothing particularly outstanding, but also perfectly serviceable.

“Village Theme 2”

That all aside, welcome to beautiful Akebi Village. We got horses, we got dressers on your backs, we got big guy, we got it all!

We also got trees that we make into coal.

This guy tells us about a spider demon that’s lived in a nearby temple for years. It’s recently gotten restless and started attacking villagers, so nobody’s been able to get to the forest to cut down trees. He warns us not to go and Inuyasha goes “Fucker watch me.”

Hmm, those people that attacked us earlier were talking about their missing daughter. Maybe this is a lead.

Huh, well, I guess we wanna question everyone we can see. And this guy says Kakuju has helpful stories. Maybe one of those stories is about a pretty girl who went back to the present.

Excuse me?

What?

“Kakuju”

Um?

[inuyasha] How would you know?

Ha ha ha! I wonder!

Strange Gramps.

So meet Kakuju, one of the original characters created for this game. Fun fact: Kakuju is a woman if you play as a dude.

It doesn’t seem likely, but this human has a mysterious power.

Oh. I see.

I don’t!

It’s nothing, really. Well, Grandpa, exactly what is this power?

Now, I can tell that she’s supposed to be saying ojii-san, which literally means “Grandfather,” but is often used as a generic form of address for elderly men. Translating it literally just makes it rude, though.

It sounds pretty amazing!

Don’t worry too much about all that, Shikigami is functionally just magic.

Well, you’ve only just awakened your powers. You don’t even know how to use them to their fullest potential yet.

I’m pretty helpless.

It’s true. Up until now, and even into the next gameplay segment, Kururugi is basically an albatross around the party’s neck. Even after we start getting more power, we’re going to be the least important fighter.

You can’t help it. There’s nothing like this in our world.

Your world?

Yes. I’m from a different world, and I was brought here unexpectedly.

Except…you’re not. It’s a different time.

You couldn’t tell from the strange clothing?

I’m sorry. My eyes don’t work as well anymore. I can’t even tell what you are wearing or what you look like.

I didn’t realize that. I’m sorry for what I said.

Heh heh heh, don’t worry about it.

So, do you know anything?

Sorry, but I don’t know anything that could help you.

I see.

Sorry about that.

We get ready to leave when…

Huh?

But I can teach you how to use the Shikigami power that lies within you. Would you like to learn?

That’s great! You should learn how to use it.

Yes. Okay. Please teach me, Grandpa Kakuju.

Again, translating “Kakuju ojii-san” literally comes off really weird and rude. Also, Kakuju never actually said his name, so if you didn’t talk to the dude in the previous screen, this comes out of nowhere.

Okay, then stand in front of me, hold my hand, close your eyes, and be very still.

No, no. We just awakened the Shikigami. Now you will learn to use the Shikigami.

If you can properly use Shikigami, the rock will react and break. Go ahead and try it.

Okay.

Instead of just continuing the cutscene, we’re inexplicably given control to walk over to the rock, and I spend like half a minute fumbling for the spot where I’m supposed to press X because depth perception in these backgrounds is iffy.

I did it!

That’s great!

Whatever, I can do that.

No need to get competitive.

That’s right. This isn’t the place to be waving your sword around.

Shut up!

Yes, pretty much.

Now, the test will be in putting it to actual use.

Okay. Thank you, Grandpa.

Now let’s go find a villager who might know something.

“Village Theme 2”

Turns out most of the villagers know what we already know, that there’s a temple with a spider in it and the spider’s up to some shit.

Also the first guy tried to scare Anime and Kagome and that’s rude >:(

Oh hey it’s that guy.

Hey, aren’t you the one from that time…Did you come to abduct someone again? Hey, everyone! A demon!

NO!

“Cutscene 1”

Oh no, it’s those guys.

What nonsense is he talking about?!

Kagome, I am about your age. You’re FIFTEEN.

What? Well, what’s with the peculiar clothing?

Oh, it’s just an unusual circumstance, but we’re normal people, like you.

It’s true. I’m not a demon.

Hmm…Now that you say that, you do look pretty weak to be a demon.

I can’t wait to go back to the present, where they’ve invented MANNERS.

You finally got it.

I can’t believe we were about to capture a kid. So sorry. We were so panicked we couldn’t think straight.

A demon has stolen our daughter.

Demon. As in the giant spider demon?

Yes. He came to our village and stole my daughter! And we all went looking for her.

That’s when I appeared.

That’s right. We saw your strange clothes and thought you were a demon in disguise. It’s exactly as he says.

Don’t worry about it. But, can I ask you something? Did you see a well anywhere near there?

A well? No, I didn’t.

Maybe not a well, but something like it. At least something that looked strange.

I searched that area really well, and I didn’t see anything like that. Any of you see anything?

No, there wasn’t anything around there.

I see.

It’s too bad, but I guess we should head back to Kaede’s Village.

Wait!

What Kagome?

No, not yet. The young men that went to the old temple to find her never came back. I think I need to go and find her.

What are you saying, Father?

No!

I separated those lines because despite being sequential lines attributed to the same character, they have completely different delivery and I’m…pretty sure they’re voiced by different people. Check the vid.

What will we do without you?

Damn it! We’re no match for a demon that can destroy our homes.

In that case, we’ll go after him.

What! You will destroy him for us? Did you hear that everyone?!

How can I thank you?

Please help our daughter, Sachi.

So aside from Gosuke being Sachi’s father, I have no fucking idea how these three people are related.

I’m so bored from all this walking. I need a little excitement.

Oh, I see.

But…

It’s probably just some stale old demon that lives in the old temple. This’ll be a piece of cake.

But the villagers said he’s been acting differently recently.

Oh shut up, what do you know about demons? Let’s just go already! So, where’s the old temple?

It’s at the end of the village past the rocky expanse. Please help my daughter.

Y’all sure this is a good idea?

Oh well, let’s go for it.

This guy basically says there are demons and weird notes and also a save point in the temple. Cool.

“Dungeon”

A couple screens later, we’re in a 3D environment. This can’t be good.

So, we’re in a dungeon now. And I’m gonna level with y’all. This fuckin’ place is entirely unremarkable. It’s an incredibly simple dungeon with nothing to its name.

There are notes like the guy outside said, but this is the only one that really matters, because it tells you where the one key is.

Otherwise, it’s just two very simple floors, a bunch of enemy encounters, and me getting lost for like 15 minutes because I missed this door between the fog and the camera angle and I was an idiot who didn’t wanna stop playing and check a damn guide because this was gonna be a video LP when I recorded this.

This game is not really a dungeon-focused game, and when it does do dungeons, they’re the pits. This is for the best. I’m saving you looking at me run around and fight demons and saving me having to capture a full half hour of video. Win/win.

“Cutscene 1”

That was me, sorry.

Huh! Really?

That’s the smell of blood, no doubt about it. There’s a strong smell of human blood.

Be careful, Inuyasha. The smell of blood and the thought of the spider’s web are giving me a bad feeling.

Yes, the villagers mentioned the spider’s web.

I know. But we can’t come this far and turn around.

I know, but…

Tsk. Fine. You guys stay here.

What are you saying, Inuyasha?

Oh, be quiet. It’s better to fight a ghost by yourself anyway.

It’s a spider.

I’ll defeat him quickly, then I’ll be back. You guys, stay here.

Always, making decisions on your own.

That’s what he said, but really he’s trying to keep us from danger.

Really? I didn’t hear him say that.

He’s just too proud to.

I see.

Wh-What’s that?

Kagome walks forward and a little chime rings out.

This…it can’t be! I sense shards of the Shikon Jewel.

What?!

There’s definitely shards of the Shikon Jewel nearby.

Shards of the Shikon Jewel?

No, let’s not get involved, it sounds weird.

It’s what we’ve been looking for this whole time. Originally, it was one sphere. But it was broken into little shards and spread everywhere.

Yeah, “it was broken” as if you didn’t do it.

If the demons use the shards they become more powerful.

I didn’t know there was anything like it.

I mean, we don’t know a lot of things.

If the demon spider has them, then…

Inuyasha is in danger. Shippo let’s go.

Okay.

Um, what should I do?

Wait here.

What? O-Okay.

Ah geez, it’s scary back here.

I’m really glad they’re so concerned about me, but I don’t want to be in their way. How can I help everyone?

What is this?!

Aaahh!

What happened?

“Dungeon”

We gotta go!

“Cutscene 2”

What do you think?

Well, well, there’s still more of you. Since you’ve escaped being captured, you should run away. Do you really want me to sucky our blood?

Shut up!

Hahaha! How stupid!

It did a thing!

He’s using power from the shards of the Shikon Jewel. You can’t win, you have to run away.

Muahahahahah!

If I run away, he’ll kill them all. I have to do something! But what should I do?

Give up, little one? Well then, I’m gonna eat you first.

You idiot! Why are you standing there?! Run! Run away!

You have to run away!

Quickly, run away!

The spider tries to attack again, but…

O flame, burning bright…

CRASH

There we go.

Wh-what?!

Aaahh!

I’m free from the web!

If only I was.

Great! Now we can get him!

Damn you all! I’m going to drink everyone’s blood!


[BOSS VIDEO COMING SOON]

The spider demon is our first boss! It’s not complicated, just…hit him. Boss strategies are not a thing this game is too cozy with either. The most important thing about this fight is now Anime can use her Shikigami in her normal attack, so she’s worth…anything in combat now.

Thank you for helping us. I thought we were done for.

That was really dangerous. What were you thinking?

Oh shut up. Everyone’s safe now. That’s all that matters.

You can at least say thanks.

Uh Shippo, it sounds like Inuyasha is being a lot more grateful for my help than you are right now, buddy.

That’s not necessary. I’m glad I was able to help, even a little.

Well…I guess you aren’t totally useless.

Rude but also fair.

What?

I see.

Just shut up, Shippo.

Huh?

“Cutscene 1”

Something’s moving over there. It looks like a spider’s cocoon.

Do spiders have cocoons?

Don’t say that, Kagome.

What are you so afraid of?

A child!

“Cutscene 3”

Are you okay? Does anything hurt?

Sachi: It was a little painful, but I’m okay.

Is your name Sachi?

Sachi: Yes, but how do you know?

Great! Your mom and dad asked us to find you.

I’m glad your safe now. What a relief!

At least he hadn’t eaten you yet. Let’s go everyone.

Okay.

“Village Theme 2”

Back to the village.

Sachi: Okay. Thank you so much!

Yeah, let’s go do that.

We were able to destroy the giant spider, because he taught us the power of Shikigami.

That’s a good idea. We sure couldn’t depend on that certain someone who said he was gonna take care of it.

Shut up, Shippo!

… (But is voiced as a giggle) Yes, that’s a good idea.

“Kakuju”

It looks like you’ve learned how to use the power of Shikigami much better now. Tell me what happened.

Well…

And then we fade to black.

But I have a premonition that you will be fighting many more demons from now on.

And it’s all gonna be a pain in the ass.

But there’s hope.

What a stupid old man!

What the hell was that for? He just said we’d be fighting a lot of demons! The early part of the game really overblows Inuyasha’s abrasive personality to the point where it doesn’t even make sense for him to be so cranky.

You’re so rude, Inuyasha! Sorry, Kakuju.

That’s okay.

It can do more than just break rocks. You can use it when you’re fighting. If you want to learn the power of Shikigami to help you when you fight, come stand beside me. And close your eyes and be very still.

Okay.

Hey Gramps, is this for real! [sic] (Voice acting says “This is for real”) That’s cool!

Now I will teach you how to use the power of Shikigami when you are fighting.

Yes, please!

He does this by…

GIVING US A BATTLE TUTORIAL TWO HOURS INTO THE GAME AFTER WE’VE FOUGHT A BOSS ALREADY AND WITH SCREENCAPS THAT SPOIL ALL THE SHIT WE’LL GET WHAT THE HELL

I’ve gone over all of this so of course I’m not gonna go over it, except that it does explain Co-op techs, which are just double attacks that you can do when you have affinity with other characters. They use both characters’ turns and energy, so they’re literally only ever useful against bosses.

What the fuck man.

I’m still a little uncertain, but I’m pretty sure I got it.

That’s good for now. Soon you will be able to completely control it. After you gain more experience and learn to use it efficiently, not only will you be able to use it when you fight, but you will also learn to use the many different powers of the Shikigami.

Really?

Yes, really. You should go now. I’m sure we’ll meet again.

Okay. Thank you, Grandpa Kakuju.

Our first actual tech! We’re useful now!

We should check to see if Sachi made it home.

Hi everyone. I’m glad to see you all came back safely.

Thank you so much. My daughter told me all about what happened. We were waiting for the chance to thank you.

You shouldn’t have any more problems with demons for now, right, Inuyasha?

Yeah. But only because we had to face great danger.

Oh yes, it must have been so frightening.

Money?! I don’t know if I can take this.

Please accept it. It is our thanks and an apology for how we treated you at first.

Yeah you better.

It’s only a little. But perhaps it will help somehow.

But…

I think we should accept it.

You’re right. I will accept it then. Thank you.

Everyone, thank you so much!

Sachi: Thank you!

It’s nice to do good things, but unfortunately, we didn’t get any closer to getting home.

I guess all we can do it go back to Kaede’s village and regroup, next time.

[HIGHLIGHT VIDEO COMING SOON]


#10

“Kaede’s Village”

Back at it again in Kaede’s village.

We’re back, Kaede.

Yes, she just said…

So, did you find any clues?

No, not really.

But, we learned how to use the power of Shikigami. Just as Inuyasha was about to get killed, he was saved with the Shikigami power.

Oh, shut up, Shippo!

Yeah, Shippo, you were gonna die too, man. Don’t put this all on Inuyasha. Hate this child.

No, it just freed everyone and that was all. I have so much more to learn or I’ll just slow everyone down.

I’m sure you’re all very tired, so it’s probably best if you go to bed now.

Yeah, I’m pretty tired.

I agree. Well, good night, Kaede.

Night.

But I’ve made some friends and I might be able to get through this.

Hey, Inuyasha. Should we take the day off today?

The day off?

What’s up, Kagome?

Our friend must be so exhausted since everything is so new. I thought we could take it easy today.

I see. You’re so nice Kagome. I agree.

???: But I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to split up.

Oh hey Myoga.

Huh? Oh, it’s Myoga.

It’s been like a couple days. I don’t know, this game’s weird with time. Even though it takes 5 minutes in-game to get to places, it does act like it takes a while to get from place to place in-universe.

I agree with Kagome’s last suggestion. There are demons all around. We should make teams before we take off, just in case.

I agree with Myoga. We don’t want to get into any trouble.

So let’s make teams of two and go about our day.

Agreed! What do you think Inuyasha?

Well…Sure, why not?

Really?! It’s decided then.

So, at specific times in the story, we’ll just take the day off and be able to spend time with a party member. It’s kind of like a primitive social link system, where you can build up relationships that affect the story at some points and get co-op techs. However, you can only have a story-altering relationship with one character, like a route in a VN. For the sake of the narrative soundness of being able to get a character’s entire story, as well as the sake of me not having to stop recording every time one of these happens to poll, I did a singular vote for the entirety of the game.

And you picked Sango. Who isn’t here yet. Well, these three all tied, and I figured you just want Anime to hang out with girls, so I picked Kagome.

Good idea, me too!

Let’s go too.

Well, no one’s been eating very well lately. So I was thinking I could make a good meal.

Wow, Kagome! It’s so nice of you to think about everyone’s health. You’re like a mom!

Can you get some potatoes and onions from the garden? I’ll get things ready while you do that.

Now I got issues with this. This is the feudal era of Japanese history, and with the mention of Oda Nobunaga, we can pinpoint it to the Sengoku period, which lasted from about 1467-1600. Potatoes are believed to have been introduced to Japan by Dutch traders in the 17th century, which the Sengoku period is barely in, and potato cultivation didn’t become commonplace until the 19th century. So there shouldn’t be potatoes. It’s entirely possible that Kagome could have brought potato tubers back from the present, but I think it’s highly unlikely that a 14 year old girl from Tokyo would know how to grow a potato.

Am I thinking too much about this? Absolutely. But transcribing a badly written game does this to you.

Okay.

Okay to you too.

I’ll go get them now!

Perfect! Do you think you could help me a little bit?

Yes, I can. Oh, you’re making a bento box!

Each event also has a special picture, hooray.

You’re really good at that! Wow!

Ha ha ha. Oh, it’s nothing. Now, why are you just standing there? Come and help me.

Sorry. I was just admiring your cooking ability.

First, you can peel the potatoes!

These? Okay, leave it to me!

Oh no! Do you need a band aid? Hey, there’s hardly any potato left.

Listen, I’m bleeding and you’re flagrantly using trademarked terminology, fuck the anachronistic potato.

You’re kind of clumsy, huh?

Actually, I don’t really know how to do this. My mom does it all at home.

Huh?

That’s it for Kagome!

Here Shippo is, doing everything he can.

Hmmm!

I’m practicing transforming. Don’t bother me.

Practicing? But you’re not getting any better.

What?!! Alright, I’ll show you what I’ve been practicing.

See! I’m just like you! Sit!

BURN NOTICE.

Hey…

Pretty sneaky.

Where did he run away to?

You really are improving from your practice.

Shut up!

Anime gained a stronger friendship with Kagome.

And that’s the end of the interval.

“Kaede’s Village”

Well, we kinda don’t have any leads right now. Maybe someone in the village knows what’s up.

Well, hello. It’s a new friend.

I like cake.

WHOA!

He’s just fat.

WHOA!

Shippo! Shhhhh!

Um, cakes? I don’t know, I’ve only just arrived.

Kimbei: I see. You don’t know. Hmmmm. Hmmm? Hey, I’ve seen you before. Now where was it?

Umm, I don’t know you, but where did you see me?

Kimbei: Hmmm…where was it? Oh, yes! In Kasasagi Town!

But I don’t know where that town is. This is the first time I’ve heard that name.

Kimbei: No mistake. Kasasagi Town. That’s where I saw your face.

It should also be noted that Kimbei here has the shittiest, most stereotypical “dumb fat guy” voice and it sucks and I hate it.

He’s not doing anything wrong! He just said he saw us before! This is a lead! Why are you all so mean?!

Let’s just ask Kaede about this.

Yes, he said he’s seen me before. But I’ve never been to Kasasagi Town.

He’s definitely a bit of a gluttonous young man, but he’s no liar.

God, this sucks. Why do we have to shit on this poor unimportant NPC so much?

Hmm…I wonder where he’s seen me…

KASASAGI TOWN. HE SAID.

If it really bothers you, why don’t you go to Kasasagi Town?

I guess so. There isn’t much to do around here anyway. And in the city we can hear stories about the shards of the Shikon Jewel.

Are you talking about the sparkling crystals the demon spider had?

Yes.

Oh, don’t worry about it.

But I don’t want to slow you down.

Slow us down?

What are you guys going on and on about! If we’re going to go to Kasasagi Town [voiced line says City instead of Town], we’d better get going.

Are you saying you’re going to come too, Inuyasha?

If we go alone, we will almost certainly die, so yeah.

Thank you, Inuyasha.

And off we go! Next time, that is!