If You See the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him - Let's Play Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

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#121

It feels kinda weird to say, but I think I like the fact that you can’t get a free resurrection in the Cosmic Egg. It’s pretty rude to remove the safety net you’ve had for the entire game up until now, but throw in the right words and it feels appropriate. Like, it’s not just some random “magic” that stops you from resurrecting, it’s magic that’s integral to the antagonists’ goal that they’ve been working toward since you first met them.

(And it helps that this game isn’t as deadly as SMTIV.)


#122

That whole scene that just happened is really weird. It’s even weirder with voice acting.

In any event, Gaston is much more powerful…but iirc he’ll still sometimes steal your press turns so while he does deal a lot of damage he’s still not worth using because of that aspect.


#123

Welcome to the meat dungeon. Here in Shesha’s repurposed guts, we have such features as this fast travel thingamabob that’s currently inactive due to no further ones having been activated. There’s one at the stairs of every floor, and they all connect together.

Or this floor sphincter, which is a teleport door. Luckily, these ones are two way, so there’s no need to memorize a whole route of them.

Here, we sense the usual presence of a “strong demon”, the sign of a boss as usual. Surely it’s not Inanna this early, right?

Well, yes, it’s surely not. This charming fellow is Beelzebub, also known as Beelzeboul, is a demon whose origin lies in the ancient world’s equivalent of Benedict Cumberbatch name jokes. Baal Zebul (meaning “Lord of the Heavenly/High Place”) was a deity of the Philistine civilization, and you may recall that the Philistines weren’t on the greatest terms with the Hebrew peoples. In a bit of wordplay, Baal Zebul was redubbed Baal Zebub, meaning “Lord of Flies”, by Hebrew writers, essentially saying that they thought their enemy’s god was shit. This burn eventually transfers down to Christianity, where Beelzebub is synonymous with the Devil, and then to post-Medieval demonology as a demon of either pride or gluttony who is both high-ranking and fond of possessing people. Kaneko’s design is pretty clearly based on the illustration from the 19th Century Dictionnaire Infernal, right down to the little skull and crossbone wing markings.

Under YHVH, I was reduced to the lord of flies, buzzing around shit.

Since the Demon Lord is no more, I will unleash my hatred in service of the Divine Powers!

Beelzebub becomes engulfed in light and reincarnates…

Beelzebub is usually a pretty ferocious boss fight in MegaTen games, so this is presumably meant to be a fakeout to the faithful MegaTen player on top of being a mythology reference. Baal in this case isn’t Baal Zebul, mind, but the god Baal Hadad (often shortened to just Baal or just Hadad; he apparently wasn’t a picky god about what humans called him). He appears in the cosmology of the Akkadian, Aramaean, and Canaanite cultures, usually as a god of storms and fertility. In many carvings he wears a horned helmet and wields bolts of lightning, the former of which appears in Kaneko’s design just as the latter will show up in gameplay in a moment. Two particular Baal stories are his slaying of the primordial serpent Lotan and his experience with trying to get the god of death Mot to accept him as ruler of the gods. That one we’ll save for another time.

Mother Inanna has given me new form…

Worship me anew, humans. Embrace salvation or be struck down by my lightning.


Boss Battle!: Baal :crossed_swords:

Baal resists Light, drains Electricity, and is weak to Ice. His main asset is that his Agility is comedically high for a boss, and a surprising number of your attacks will miss. He also has Retaliate as a passive, so watch those Physical and Gun skills around him.

And he’s susceptible to Dizzy. The cheap shot strategy returns!

When he does attack, Baal can utilize Agidyne, Berserker God, Maragidyne, Maziodyne, Mist Rush, Megidolaon, Silent Prayer, and his own unique skill called Vengeful Thunder. This skill is a single-target attack that deals heavy Electric damage and can inflict Bind.

15,000 HP later, he’s quite thoroughly dead. No dialogue, no fanfare, no death message. Adios.


What the hell… Like we sided with God or anything.

The way the Divine Powers see it, anyone who isn’t with them is with God.

So now we’re taking on that baggage, too? I don’t like this.

The real problem is Inanna.

Yes. Her power is what transformed Beelzebub into Baal.

Each rebirth strengthens the ranks of the Divine Powers.

That’s bad!

Need to take her out of the picture first, then.

Can’t have her making more monsters.

Let’s go find her and finish this.

Behind where Baal stood, there’s another one of these “pillars”. Each pillar opens the door to the next floor, so your goal is the straightforward one of heading continually upward.

The second floor of the Cosmic Egg brings back our old pals, the spooky-face walls that the Jade Dagger can pierce.

It also has our second minor boss hole. If nothing else, the Cosmic Egg is at least fast-paced.

The primordial freshwater ocean, Apsu was the beloved of Tiamat in Sumerian mythology. He was killed by the gods in order to end the reign of the eternal waters and begin the age of humanity, which enraged Tiamat and led to her eventual battle with the god Marduk.

Long have I existed, but made forgotten by the Creator God.

For that, I seethe with a hatred darker and colder than the crushing depths of the sea. You dare challenge me?


Boss Battle!: Apsu :crossed_swords:

Apsu resists Dark, repels Ice, and is weak to Electricity.

He is capable of utilizing skills such as Mabufudyne, Mortal Jihad, Titanomachia, and Smile Charge. He also has this skill we haven’t seen yet. Ice Age isn’t a unique skill, but it’s definitely a strong one, dealing severe Ice damage to one target.

And, as with Baal, he gets unceremoniously dismantled at around 15,000 HP, and110,349 experience points are gained. Moving on.


On the third floor, we have one-way doors! Hurray! Since they’re proper doors rather than teleporters, however, you can tell where they are on the map and avoid circling back to one.

And here is said floor map, leading up to this floor’s boss. The two teleporters will take you to places that can be easily discerned from the map topography around where you land.

Seth, or Set, is was an Egyptian god associated with the desert, storms, foreign nations, and general chaos. While some imagery of Set has him defending Ra in his quest to row the sun through the underworld each night, adulating the pharaoh, and generally being not that bad of a guy, his most famous role is that of the antagonist of the saga of Osiris and Horus. His dragon-like design is referencing the idea that Set was one of the direct influences for Satan. That’s kind of a shame, as it would have been interesting to see Kazuma Kaneko’s artwork of a traditional Set alongside his other traditional-with-a-twist Egyptian deity designs.

I will…have revenge for being dismissed…by God.


Boss Battle!: Set :crossed_swords:

This monstrous serpent nullifies Electricity and Force, drains Dark, and is weak to Fire.

Seth’s the first boss in here that makes the effort to debuff you, utilizing War Cry to soften you up for skills such as Blight and Madness Nails.

He also has a unique skill, Rending Claws, which deals three to four strikes of heavy Physical damage to one foe. I wonder what poor Apsu did to be left out on the unique skill club that this dungeon’s other midbosses have membership in.

Ultimately, however, he has around the same HP as the previous two bosses, and goes out in just as undignified a fashion. 112,584 experience points and an Amrita Soda are given as a reward for slaying the god-dragon.


The fourth floor adds nothing new, so we’re gonna skip talking about it entirely and note that here’s where the boss hole is. Who’s inside this time?

Oh, it’s a proper boss. Well I’ll be damned. Stay tuned for that, I guess.


#124

Sidequest: Guardian of Midtown

After visiting Midtown to see Tenkai back during the Tokugawa Mandala incident, the area gets pretty much ignored until this sidequest.

Hagen stands vigilant, keeping you from leaving the first floor of Midtown. Unfortunately for him, we’re going to pick a fight.

Child, I shall teach you the difference between bravery and recklessness.

Now, draw your blade. I shall show you the honorable way to fight.

I’m not a fan of picking a fight with a child, but I have no choice.

You me recall we got lucky enough to fusion accident up our own Hagen several moon phases back. This one is much, much stronger. While the fusable Hagen was level 56 and had no outstanding defensive strengths or vulnerabilities, this one is level 80 and nullifies both Light and Dark.

Hagen’s Midtown boss incarnation uses the skills Blight, Carol Hit, Fog Breath. Surprisingly weak skills for a demon of his level, almost as if he’s intentionally pulling his punches (spoilers: he totally is).

After a mere 3,000 HP of damage, Hagen states his underestimation of your talents and stops the fight already.

You possess superb swordsmanship. Let me ask you something.

Did you come here in search of the gold I possess?

You can either say you are indeed there for the gold, or be upfront and tell him about the quest we got from the scavenger. We’re doing the latter.

I see… So there are humans who are troubled by my presence.

I admire your desire to protect the weak. But I cannot leave.

My king ordered me to guard this demonic gold that can cloud the mind.

Given his association with the Nibelunglied, I’m guessing the demonic gold is meant to be the cursed gold that transformed the dwarf Fafnir into a dragon, leading into the exploits of Siegfried and his eventual clash with Hagen.

If you wish to follow your tasks, then follow me to the ends of the Earth!

The demon disappears down the halls of Midtown.

While a merry chase through an abandoned skyscraper may sound annoying, it’s at least quite straightforward for the most part. For instance, there’s only one elevator on the first floor, which leads to the thirty-third floor.

And heading up that elevator, Hagen is indeed waiting for us. Since there’s no way over these clearly insurmountable easily-stepped-over boxes, though, you have to go around. This involves getting the Jade Dagger charged at its charging station on the first floor before heading up and chopping down a spirit wall in the left hallway of the thirty-third floor.

Noble child, I challenge you to a duel!

Thus the fight starts anew.

It’s too soon for that. I must retreat for now!

And, as before, he runs after being dealt about 3,000 HP of damage.

He turns his back on an enemy twice, yet calls himself a warrior?

Look, kid – he’s leaving a trail of blood.

He’s practically taunting us to follow him. Hmph… How stupid.

We’ve better things to do than deal with this idiot. Hurry up and end this, kid.

Behind where we just fought Hagen there’s another spirit wall, which means going back to the first floor, recharging the dagger, heading back up, slashing that wall, and then following the blood to another elevator. This one’s up to floor forty-three, with the only available path on that floor being another elevator up to floor fifty-four.

Behind this spirit wall is Hagen. There is a Jade Dagger refueling point on the floor to use, or you could be like me and have grabbed the ID card on the first floor that unlocks a shortcut between floors one and forty-three like I did. Either way, the result’s the same.

This is the final land. The gold I protect will become eternal here…

Before the end, let me know your name.

Nanashi.

You can deny him this request, but there’s no real reason to beyond being a dick.

Nanashi… I see.

Very well. Nanashi, the proud warrior: are you ready?

Come! Let us fight to our heart’s content!

And thus the fight begins again. Again.

Come, you who are fated to die. You shall meet your end here!

Hagen’s now fighting at his full strength. Rather than the moveset he was using in the brief previous encounters, he has replaced Fog Breath with War Cry and Blight with Hades Blast.

He also now has Critical Eye and his unique skill Loyalty Slash. If you forgot about it by now, it’s a single-target heavy Physical damage attack that instakills on Smirk. You can probably guess what strategy he has Critical Eye for as a result.

The location of the calamity will be lost forever, hidden by one who does not seek the treasure…

Hagen’s 14,000 HP can’t be whittled down with a weakness, so just buff yourself and use your strongest attacks (that aren’t Dark or Light, of course). Upon his defeat, it seems we have played into Hagen’s own plans by striking him down.

If we head into the room Hagen was guarding, there’s no gold, but there is a quite angry Dagda.

When you’ve had your fill hunting treasure, let’s go. You’re not going to find anything, though.

He chose to take the location with him to the grave, so it could never be found.

Let’s go, kid. We’re just wasting our time sticking around here.

Our reward for all of this was a Black Card. The Black Card is an item that lets us get into the most exclusive shops in Ginza’s classy shopping district. If you want items such as Bead Chains, Balms of Rising, and Amrita Showers, cosplay as demons such as Yoshitsune and Alice, or get the best weapons and armor in the game, these are your places. They’re also ridiculously expensive, however, and I’d prefer to show all of the special demon fusions first, so those probably won’t be going into play until we start getting into the very last fights of the game.

Wild Demon Encounters: Cosmic Egg (Lower Floors)

The Cosmic Egg has a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar Divine Powers forces. You can find the Thunder and Freezing Hordes, Hresvelgr, Yaksha, Pales, Fafnir, and Ganesha, as well as the following new demons.

Heimdall, bridgeman of Asgard and sounder of Ragnarok, resists Ice, nullifies Force, and is weak to Fire. His skills are Dekunda and Zandyne innately, Life Aid at level 74, Mana Aid at level 75, and High Force Pleroma at level 76.

While I fused one offscreen, the horned god Cernunnos makes a proper appearance for you in the audience as of this dungeon. He’s resistant to Physical, nullifies Electricity, repels Dark, and is weak to Force, and starts with the complimentary skills of Cough and Death’s Door. Leveling him up gets you Megidola at level 72 and Mamudoon at level 73.

Another offscreen fusion, Vetala is an evil spirit in Hinduism. Unsurprisingly, it has the common evil spirit layout of being weak to Fire and Light while nullifying Darkness. It starts with the skills Eat Whole and Acid Breath, then gains Fog Breath at level 75 and Life Surge at level 76.

The Hindu goddess Kali drains Force and is weak to Gun. She has the skills Dark Sword and Mist Rush from the start, Life Surge at level 76, and Phys Pleroma at level 77.

The Force representative of the four elemental hordes, the Gale Horde has Seiryu leading an army of Da Pengs and Konoha Tengus. The horde is weak to Gun and Electricity, resists Ice, nullifies Light, and drains Force, and has the skills Zandyne, Mazandyne, Mahamaon, and Panic Voice.

There’s also a horde for Fire, the Blazing Horde, but I literally spent hours of extra time trying to get one to spawn to no avail. Should you manage to happen upon one, note that the horde nullifies Dark, drains Fire, repels Electricity, and is weak to Ice, and has the skills Bind Voice, Hades Blast, Maragidyne, and Sukukaja.

Fusions

Fusing Yaksha and Fafnir gives us Huang Long. He naturally resists all four elements, so the Null Ice is a bit superfluous on him and more intended for later demons. His skills from leveling up are Samarecarm at level 79 and Luster Candy at level 80.

Huanglong, the Yellow Dragon, is the ascendant form of the Yellow Emperor who sits in the center of the cosmos. He is the lord of the four cardinal animals – the Azure Dragon, Black Turtle, Vermillion Bird, and White Tiger – and represents the transition of the four seasons between one another and the element of Earth. When you see a gold-scaled dragon acting as representation of the nation of China, it’s this guy.

Another Yaksha and Xi Wangmu create Thor, sans his Force weakness. The beefy boy’s two skills gained from leveling up are Berserker God at level 81 and High Elec Pleroma at level 82.

As with his father Odin and blood brother Loki, Thor is one of the particularly well known gods of the Norse. On top of being the god of storms and fertility, he’s a supreme shit-kicker who tends to direct his bad temper at the giants of Jotunheimr or the world serpent Jormundgandr, using the dwarf-crafted hammer Mjolnir (which pretty much means “the thing that smashes”) and a strength-enhancing belt to great effect. Thor traditionally rides on a chariot drawn by the goats Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir.

Better late than never, we have the macca to throw around and get the special fusion for Samyaza. He’s a special fusion combination of Azazel, Prometheus, and Virtue, and we’ve covered both of his usual weaknesses. He’s got three skills attained by leveling up: Elec Pleroma at level 77, Force Pleroma at level 78, and his final signature skill Magic Torrent at level 79.


#125

I will give birth to a new brood of gods in Krishna’s new universe. I will become the Great Mother Goddess.

But I cannot accomplish that without your power. Return what’s mine.

You are my child. And children exist to serve their parents.

You’re a selfish monster. Like we said before, lady – can’t give up this power.

Without it, I can’t lead the fairies. I won’t hand it over without a fight!

Not like we weren’t gonna fight her anyway. Might as well have a secondary reason.

Very well. I’ll take it by force, then.

Inanna is ready to fight you. What will you do?

You’ll get a fight either way, but you can choose here to charge in or try to talk her down. The latter, unsurprisingly, is some free Peace points.

You try to reason with Inanna.

You wish to parley with me? A useless gestu- Guh… W-What’s…happening?

Ugh… Master… Help…me!

Could it be? Is that Toki’s soul shining through?

Toki! Remember us? We’re your friends!

After this…statement?..Inanna/Toki goes silent before jerking up, very much back in Inanna’s control.

Hahaha… Ahahahahaha… Fools.

You seem surprised. Did you REALLY think the power of friendship would triumph?

I can hardly contain my laughter. Hehe. Ahahahahahahaaa!

Keep laughting. I will show you the power of her friends.

You dare disobey me? The Mother of All? It’s time you learned your place.

Okay, that was a good attempt at diplomacy and all, but now’s the time for stabbing.


Boss Fight!: Inanna :crossed_swords:

That is all I’m trying to do…

Go ahead, interfere all you want. I’ll get my way – no matter what!

Inanna is a powerful goddess indeed, resisting every damage type except Physical, Gun, and Almighty. For your first turn, you should probably just buff and debuff rather than waste time trying to get your hits in yet.

On top of Riot Gun, which she cast as her first attack on this turn, Inanna has a set of “Raging” skills. Each one does severe elemental damage to one foe: Raging Hellfire is Fire, Raging Blizzard is Ice, Raging Lightning is Eletricity, and Raging Tempest is Force.

And it just so happens that she gains a weakness to the opposite element of whatever the last “Raging” skill she attacked with. This means that, unlike with previous bosses, you should kit yourself with as diversely-specced a party as possible rather than come in prepared to deal a bunch of damage with one damage type in particular.

Inanna is apparently also weaker than she thinks, as it only takes about 3,500 damage for Toki to start struggling with her for control of their shared body.

Inanna stops moving. Something about her shifts subtly.

…Master.

Toki?

I’m sorry. I was jealous.

You were always with Asahi… I really wanted to trade places with her…

But I knew it couldn’t be helped. She’s been with you for so long…

Well, that’s true, but she was also his adopted sister. And you’re a young teenager and hardly know anything about social interaction after being raised by a cult. This is a fool’s errand for all parties.

Time to wait and see what’s up.

Of course Asahi would know so much more about you.

Spending time with you, always by your side…

Laughing, crying…over things I don’t understand…

Seeing things different from me… It was only natural.

But…Asahi died… There’s room by your side for me now… Right?

Then why am I not by your side? Why do you still wait for that girl?!

Because you are currently sharing your body with a demon we need to kill to fix things?

No… I don’t get it… It’s not fair!

Let me be with you! I can make you happy!

Don’t look back… The past can’t keep you warm…

What’s done is done; leave it behind. We can move on…together.

I love you.

So please… Save me too.

Don’t worry, it’s easy. All you have to do is by by my side.

Mater… Let me free you from your body, so our souls can be together…forever.

Inanna attacks you!

No…! No, I-I didn’t mean to –

No! No no no! NOOOOOOOOO!

Ugh… Can’t control her… This girl is ruining my mood!

Waiting through all this gets you the equivalent of a Rakunda, though it also costs Nanashi 300 HP from that sudden attack. Wounds can be fixed, though, so it’s no big deal.

Further in, 7,000 HP worth of damage gets Inanna talking yet again.

Return your power to me willingly, and I will watch over your wards, as well. What do you think?

No, thank you.

Being fairy queen is too important to be something you do on the side.

And yet you think a mere human is capable of handling it?

If that’s what you think, get back to fighting – I’ll show you what a “mere human” can do!

After Nozomi’s challenge, Inanna starts using Luster Candy to beef herself up some. This isn’t a huge problem if you have Dekunda, though.

Oh, and Inanna of all bosses can be made Dizzy. Oversight, or allowance to the player? You be the judge. It also so happens that this attack bumps us over the 10,000 HP threshold for yet another conversation.

How insufferable… Why do you interfere?

I just wanted what was once mine… That’s all!

What’s yours, huh? That’s all? You gotta be kidding me.

Nozomi rests her shotgun on her shoulder and glares at Inanna.

Like I said, my power – Danu’s power – isn’t yours.

It’s to protect the fairies, not for you to do whatever it is you want to do.

Why should I care? I am the Mother of All. You must obey your mother!

Give me back my power… I am the Mother of All. Do not rob me of my identity.

Remember this conversation for later.

You, my kin, pity me? If you know my pain, then give me what I want!

How can you not expect me to yearn for what I’ve lost when it stands right before me?!

It looks like Inanna will attack Nozomi at any moment.

Her focus on Nozomi has caused her to drop her guard. What will you do?

The time for talking is over, the time for stabbing is now. We’ll select the attack option this time.

Nice! How ‘bout two in a row!

Nozomi attacks Inanna.

This only does about 200 HP of damage, but hey, a free hit’s a free hit.

You can’t shake me. You won’t cause me any doubt. You won’t take my new home away from me!

Gah… I’ve let my anger get the best of me…

I don’t care what it takes, I will take my power back!

Take your power back, eh? Well, one round later…

And with that, Inanna is dead. She drops both a Great Chakra and a new key item called the Goddess Feather. I wonder where that could be used?


A remnant of Inanna lingers on, pulling free from Toki’s body.

Is Toki okay?

Nngh…

Toki slowly rises to her feet.

How are you feeling?

I’m not in perfect condition, but I’ll do fine in battle.

Uh, guys? The…uh…the Inanna chunk there?

Were you worried about me?

Nonsense, it just didn’t bode well for us to lose a comrade at this juncture.

Ha. Come on now.

I’m glad you’re okay.

Danu moves toward Toki.

You poor thing. Corrupted by the Aether. I marvel at your perseverance.

This horrible experience has surely weighed heavily upon your heart.

Probably. I know it sure has weighed on my patience.

Danu gathers the residual traces of Inanna.

She looks to Nozomi, who nods.

Danu then absorbs Inanna’s remnants into herself.

Ah…I feel it. I feel Inanna. A shame. She was no different than us, deep down.

You may feel it, but the rest of us are in the dark. What’s going to happen to Toki?

Danu safely removed Inanna’s essence from Toki. She won’t lose control ever again.

That power’s in me, now. A part of me.

Or, in other words, Nozomi got her Awakened Power. Hers is a two-for-one of Gun Pleroma and Gun Pierce.

Hey, you… Thanks for saving me.

I had neither the will nor the strength to resist Inanna… So we’ll call it even.

Huh…? Oh, are you talking about that time we stopped you at Tsukiji Konganji?

Nothing’s changed in the plan, right? I’m coming with you.

I want my mind and body to be as strong as possible.

I think I know what I need to do… As long as I’m with you – UGH!

A sharp pain races through Toki’s head.

Yeah… Yeah, just a headache.

I hope so…

…Why are you looking at me like that? I said I’m fine.

N-Nothing. It’s just… You stopped calling him “Master”.

Toki looks at you with suspicion.

Wait.

Do you not remember calling him “Master”?

Toki’s mannerisms feel closer to when you first met her.

Ah, good friend Reset Button, glad to see you’ve arrived. At least this time you washed away nothing of value.

Toki is stealing glances at you.

You can choose here to smile and wave, look at her passionately, or stick your tongue out. The first two give a few Peace points, the last one gives a few Anarchy points.

You smile and wave.

Toki pretends she wasn’t looking at you.

Now we deal with the rest of the Divine Powers.


#126

Equipment


Giving the Goddess Feather to Napaea after you’ve defeated Inanna gives you access to the Garment of Hope, an armor set that is a gold and white version of Nanashi’s starting outfit (note: this image was taken after I had already gained more levels in the next part of this dungeon, but the lack of spoiling elements meant it seemed pointless to wait until the next update to talk about a piece of gear I had attained at the end of this update). This means we finally get to change out of that White Stealth Gear, which was probably starting to smell a bit by now. The head piece provides +67 HP, +22 Magic, and +22 Luck, the body has +133 HP and resistance to all four elemental damage types, and the leggings provide +133 HP and +29 agility. It’s not the best armor in the game, but it’s quite fancy. And shiny. I mean, it literally glimmers.

There’s also one particular item from the pricy Ginza shops I attained and wanted to discuss. The Misfortune Ring costs a grand 332,370 macca, provides no bonuses, makes you weak to Sick, and drops your Luck stat by 99. So what on earth would make that all worthwhile?

Well, having a far higher chance of a fusion accident (almost guaranteed if Nanashi and both demons being fused are Sick and one is a Foul) certainly doesn’t hurt for filling the compendium. The ability to lessen the sting of random chance was something sorely lacking in Shin Megami Tensei IV, even after previous games with fusion accident-only demons such as Soul Hackers had given you ways to instigate fusion accidents on demand. And with the Misfortune Ring, Apocalypse thankfully rectified the mistake of its forerunner. It still doesn’t 100% guarantee an accident, nor does it mean that an accident that happens won’t just be some regular demon, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Fusions

One of two fusion accidents I got that are at least close enough to our other demons’ levels that I will show them, Attis is a Strength-focused demon that unfortunately didn’t inherit any physical skills in the accident. His only weakness is Gun, so both of those Null inheritances are also kind of just there rather than covering up any weaknesses. Leveling up Attis causes him to learn Mabufudyne at level 75 and Victory Cry at level 76.

Attis was a god of plant life in the pantheon the Phrygian people of the Anatolian plateau, though his worship eventually spread into cults within the culture of the ancient Greeks. The Olympian gods, fearing the intersex goddess Agdistis, had Dionysus castrate her by tying her penis to her foot through a rope while she slept. From the penis’s blood grew an almond tree, which in turn bore almonds that impregnated the daughter of the river god Sangarius. As if things weren’t convoluted enough, Attis grew up to become a handsome long-haired gent, which is where things get rough for everyone involved.

While Attis was betrothed to the daughter of the king of the Phyrgian city of Pessinus, Agdistis (or, in some versions, Agdistis’s own mother, the Phyrgian head goddess Cybele) was smitten by the young god’s good looks and appeared before the wedding congregation. Unfortunately, things went south as the appearance of a powerful divinity drove those present mad, with both the king of Pessinus and Attis castrating themselves. Attis’s soul transmigrated into a pine tree, while his body was eternally preserved by Zeus at the request of Agdistis. Attis’s priests purportedly castrated themselves to emulate their god.

Another fusion accident I got was Rama here. He only has two skills attained from leveling up, those being Cold World at level 75 and Megidolaon at level 76, and one of them was freely given to him early thanks to the fusion accident inheritance.

Like Krishna, Rama is one of the avatars of Vishnu. And like Krishna and the Bhagavad Ghita, Rama has his own famous Indian religious text in the form of the Ramayana. While Krishna is a passionate trickster, Rama is a reserved and generous incarnation whose compassion is limitless. In the Ramayana, Rama spurns the attempts by the rakshasa Suparnakha to woo him away from his wife Sita. This, combined with Rama’s brother Lakshmana mutilating Suparnakha, gets the attention of the rakshasa king Ravana. Ravana kidnaps Sita, and off Rama and his brother go to save Sita. With a primate army led by the monkey god Hanuman, the warriors eventually slay Ravana and retrieve Sita, Rama returning home to become a king. On a less pleasant note, Rama eventually falls prey to gossip that Sita actually eloped with Ravana, and forces her to take a trial by fire to prove her loyalty to him. This incident is used as the framing device for the well-known animated film Sita Sings the Blues, created by activist Nina Paley.

Fusing Lakshmi and Huang Long produces Kazfiel with both of his weaknesses covered. His skills attained by leveling up are Will of Wind (same as Will of Thunder, but for Force damage), Deadly Wind, and Null Elec at levels 83, 84, and 85 respectively.

Kasbiel, or Kasbeel, is a fallen angel that acts as one of the heads of the Watchers. He fell after he tried to trick Michael into giving him God’s true name so that he could use it in a powerful oath given to humanity. Unsurprisingly, Michael wasn’t too happy about that and both took away the oath and banished Kasbiel.

Created from the union of Angel and Beiji-Weng, we have the monstrous Botis with his weakness to Force covered. The skills he attains through leveling up are Mist Rush at level 84, Will of Thunder in 85, and Null Gun in 86.

One of the presidents of Hell from the Ars Goetia, Botis takes the form of either a viper or a monstrous human with large teeth and horns or a viper; Kazuma Kaneko’s design sort of takes the middle ground between those two forms by having him be a really gnarly horned naga. He’s usually wielding a sword when in human form, and his abilities are both divination and reconciliation between enemies.

Odin is a special fusion, unsurprisingly. He’s created with a quad fusion of Ose, Titan, Thoth, and Thor. He gains Will of Thunder at level 86, Phys Pleroma at level 87, and Drain Force at level 88.

Gungnir’s as rad as you would expect, by the by. Having constant Pierce on a severe damage Physical attack of a high Strength demon is great.


#127

Trekking ever upwards, the fifth floor of the Cosmic Egg introduces yet another new dungeon interactive item with these glowing holes. These are elevators.

We’re also introduced to these weird pods. They’re trap holes, dropping you down to somewhere in the subfloor of floor 5, causing you to have to find an elevator to take back up! Thankfully, the game is at least kind enough to mark them on your map after you’ve been eaten by one. It’s a fairly uncomplicated floor even with these things involved, so just check around and eventually you’ll find the next pillar.

A pillar that’s unguarded, even. We are told that “a distant door opened somewhere”.

Here, specifically.

And inside is another pillar, which opens a door…

Here, just up and to the left from the stairs that led to this floor. This one gives us the warning that behind it is the boss of this floor. Given that there are only two members of the Divine Powers left, it’s an easy guess on who’s there.

Inanna has restored me to my true form – that of a Buddha.

Well…you were a Buddha before. Now you’re more some weird mashup of a Buddha and a Zoroastrian deity. That and everyone here literally saw you change earlier.

Now I can enlighten you all.

Your precious Flynn is the reincarnation of the boy who merged with Masakado to become what you call the Ceiling.

Likewise, Nanashi is the reincarnation of King Aquila, otherwise known as Akira.

Yeah… Turns out? All those visions from the perspective of Akira were in fact leading to what you may have guessed they were leading to. Or may not have guessed. I can’t decide what your thoughts were!

The only thing Akira’s Gauntlet is for is to act as a hint for this plot point as well and at a later date give us some free non-unique consumables we could easily obtain by other means, by the way. It might have been a nice twist if it rewarded you with Minotaur from Shin Megami Tensei IV, as he was Akira’s chosen and most loyal demon. It would even fit design-wise as as a demon needed to fuse Mitra-Buddha up later. But alas, the big bull-man appears nowhere in Apocalypse.

Your enduring, immortal souls prevent us from bringing salvation to humanity.

I must sever the ropes of destiny that bind you both and end this vicious cycle.

Hmph. From what I’ve seen, life and death don’t seem to mean much.

Despite your convoluted sophistry, we have devised a simple solution.

A beat down for every enemy no matter how many times they stand up.

No matter how many times you appear, the result will be the same.

Revive as many times as you like. You will never be able to defeat us!

Life is but a reflection of your hearts. Reincarnation stems from the union of our hearts and fate.

To end reincarnation means the final beating of your heart. This won’t go as last time.


Boss Battle!: Mitra-Buddha :crossed_swords:

Speaking of bulls, Mitra-Buddha is bull-headed in both the figurative and literal senses. He resists Physical and Ice, nullifies Light and Dark, and is weak to Fire and Force…but attacking those two weaknesses is a double-edged sword.

Remember Enlightenment, that skill Maitreya could use to make hitting his weaknesses act as a free Luster Candy for one turn? Mitra-Buddha has that as a passive skill called Self-Righteous Vow. Every attack you hit him with that deals Fire or Force damage gives him a free Luster Candy, and unless you are using Dekunda every other Press Turn you’re eventually going to get diminishing returns on how valuable your super-effective attacks are as his Defense rises further and further.

For existing skills, Mitra-Buddha is capable of pulling out Bufudyne, Berserker God, and Critical Eye.

He also has the unique skill Severe Judgment, which is effectively a stronger version of Maitreya’s 5.67 Billion Hands.

As with Inanna, Mitra-Buddha has a dialogue response fairly early; in this case, it’s 4,000 HP or so.

I am the light that destroys the darkness and brings prosperity.

If you seek salvation, form a contract with me. I shall sow you true peace.

Obviously, we aren’t forming a contract with him, so our options are to either ignore him straight-up or refuse him. We’ll refuse, which ends up boosting our Assist Gauge by four pips.

It seems I can trust you after all.

So, you will not listen to reason.

My salvation is a peace that is neither life nor death. I shall show you the way!

This next conversation drops at around 8,500 HP of damage being dealt to him. Or more accurately a few lines drop, as we have no return dialogue.

That is not true strength.

Mitra-Buddha’s rage swells.

This is, unsurprisingly, a buff to his two attack stats.

At around 12,500 damage taken, Mitra-Buddha once again asks us what we fight for. We can respond that Nanashi fights for himself, that he fights for his friends, or ignore him. The middle option is ours, of course, as it’s the one with Peace points.

I can tell that your claim to use your power for your friends is not a lie…

But that does not make it the truth. Truth is something each of us must find on our own.

There can be no truth if you live only for your friends and do not grow yourself.

Shut up… Your “truth” is a joke.

Keep your twisted ideals to yourself; you have no right to tell him how to live!

Through our convictions, we have earned a free Luster Candy effect courtesy of Toki’s personal strength.

And, in retort to whatever answer you give, Mitra-Buddha does this. Illogical Rejection does exactly what its text says: your Dekundas are no longer welcome here. Debuffs still work just fine, though, so there’s a workaround to stopping his rampage if you had been using the “hit weakness, then use Dekunda” strategy but didn’t get one last Dekunda out in time. You definitely need to stop using that strategy at this point, too, if that wasn’t obvious.

And at 16,500 or so damage dealt to him, Mitra-Buddha falls.

Krishna lies just ahead.

When you find him, you will learn which is right: our salvation or your destiny.

Ultimately, my recommendation for dealing with Mitra-Buddha would be loading up on your most buffed Gun and Electric attack demons rather than bothering with his weaknesses, even if this means you aren’t getting extra Press Turns. If you absolutely need Press Turns, it’d be better to go with having a demon or two with Smile Charge than touching that weakness stove, so they can Smirk-induced critical their way into extra actions.


To be fair, he’s actually right. Mitra-Buddha managed to kill Odin and hurt my other demons a fair bit in the last few turns past his power-up.

That just leaves Krishna. Hope we’re ready.

Toki stares off into space.

Earth to Toki – everything okay?

I was so focused on not being weak.

I hid my face behind a mask, hid my heart - my weakness.

But being with all of you, I started to feel…different.

Mitra was strong. But that’s all he was.

I don’t want to be strong like that.

I don’t want to hide my weakness… I want to change.

That’s what I was looking for. The strength to be able to change.

It’s thanks to you that I realized that.

If you guessed this is Toki’s moment of gaining Awakened Power, you’d be correct. For her, she gets Physical Pierce and her chance of Sneak Attack successfully activating greatly increases. While I’d still never personally take her to a boss fight, this elevates her to being the best trash mob clearing partner around. This will come in handy at a later point.

Everyone, look!

The barrier within the egg has begun to crumple after the death of Mitra.

Danu emerges from Nozomi.

It seems Mitra’s magic is waning, his barrier diminishing.

It will take some time before its effects are completely nullified, however.

Krishna won’t sit idly in the meanwhile. Let us make haste.

And then there was one. The last of the Divine Powers, the one who started it all, awaits at the pinnacle of the Cosmic Egg. But I can’t help but think we’re forgetting something…


#128

Party Members

At a whopping level 88, Hallelujah learns his final skill. It’s Magic Compression, which is basically double strength Concentrate.

Gaston reaches level 85 and learns his final skill as well. Gungnir Sever deals up to six medium damage Physical strikes to random targets.

Demon Encounters: Cosmic Egg (Upper Floors)

The floors past where we defeated Inanna have both the demons of the lower Cosmic Egg floors and some new additions.

Ixtab, who is either the Mayan goddess of suicide by strangulation or an invention made to help the colonialist Spanish Conquistador narrative depending on who you ask, repels Dark and is weak to Light. She starts with the complimentary skills Lullaby and Eternal Rest, then by leveling up attains Samarecarm at level 77 and Null Force at level 78.

Tzitzimitl, Aztec devourer of the sun, is a Magic-focused demon that resists both Light and Dark. Her skills are Bufudyne and Makajamaon upon attainment or fusion, Dekaja at level 76, and Will of Frost at level 77.

Just as the Divine Powers has elemental hordes, so too does it have hordes based around specific pantheons. The Indian Force has Ganesha leading Airavatas, Sarasvatis, and Nagas into battle. The horde resists Physical and Electricity, nullifies Ice and Light, and is weak to Fire and Dark. The skills its members bring to the table are Earthquake, Mabufudyne, Rakukaja, and Tarukaja.

There’s also the Norse Force, with Heimdall blowing the horn to summon a group made up of Valkyries, Sleipnir in double, and Hresvelgr similarly in double. This horde’s resistant to Dark, nullifies Ice and Light, repels Force, and is weak to Fire and Electricity. A Norse Force’s skills wielded against you are Heaven’s Bow, Mazandyne, Pandemic Bomb, and Dekunda.

Fusions

Available right after defeating Mitra-Buddha (assuming you’re level 83, of course), Maitreya is made by a special fusion of Mithras, Nata Taishi, and Norn. Leveling him up gets you his other unique skill 5.67 Billion Hands at level 84, Drain Ice at level 85, and Doping at level 86.


#129

The sixth floor is a relatively simple one, a few side paths being the only distractions from heading straight up. But at the entrance to floor seven, it seems it is time for things to come to a head.

Dagda leaps out of your smartphone and stands before the group.

We’re deep inside the Cosmic Egg now. Krishna and Flynn should be near.

It’s nearly dusk. Soon, the full moon will rise. There isn’t much time left.

I need to know, kid: what do you plan to do about the Cosmic Egg?

Will you destroy it and maintain the status quo? Or wield its power and forge a new universe founded upon freedom?

Two paths, one choice.

Enough of this, Dagda. The Cosmic Egg must be destroyed.

That’s YOUR solution, Mother.

This world is home to countless deities and just as many different world views.

We need to embrace that diversity for the betterment of all life.

Only then can humans search for answers where there might otherwise be none, and foster their own growth and development.

Finding their own answers, huh? Well, can’t say I disagree with that.

Embrace the diversity of the deities?

Each single idea of theirs is toxic. Such narrow-minded views need to be eradicated.

Human evolution can only be made possible by casting away their imperfect selves.

You want humans to become gods. Do you have any idea what that would mean?

“Gods” is just a word, Mother. Point is, humans must become more than human.

Whatever word you use, the important thing is that humans answer only to themselves.

That they find a future governed by their own free will, as one with the universe.

:dagda; This evolution, this true freedom – it is my gift to humanity.

See, this whole “become unto as gods” thing would work really well as a motivation for Dagda on its own…

…but it comes saddled with the whole “you also need to betray your allies and become an isolationist juggernaut who resets the cosmos”. Dagda is ultimately just a more thorough Krishna, as his plan is literally Krishna’s but with the addition of destroying all of the gods on top of the humans. Under different writing direction and with a lower human population than what seems to exist in the world of IV/Apocalypse, this could be a genuinely conflicting choice of sacrificing the needs of the few for the needs of the still nonexistent many, but as it is it’s just edgeboy Dagda yelling at you to kill your friends and the rest of the human species because his plan will totally work.

Your proposed new world would change what it means to be human.

Do you not see that their relationship to others is what makes them human?

Danu is right.

I’m half-demon, but I’ll never stop being human.

Regrettably, I agree with Hallelujah.

We Samurai exist for the people – for the sake of others.

I simply cannot fathom how the existence of others would lead to one’s ruin.

…Yeah?

O-Of course! What are you accusing me of?!

The narrative was trying to have a moment here, Navarre. Please.

Nozomi bursts out laughing, amused by Navarre and Hallelujah.

Still smiling, Nozomi turns to you.

What about you? What do you think, after all this time with us?

Wasn’t it rewarding to have each other’s backs?

Dagda’s scheme ignores how important, how meaningful, friends can be.

It also devalues all that we’ve accomplished together, as friends.

If even just one small part of you treasures any of that…

Stop a god? Well, it wouldn’t be the first one. Hell, we’ve got a whole stack of them killed from random encounters alone at this point, really.

As Dagda said, we are not perfect.

But we came this far. Is it not because we helped one another?

Whatever choice you make, I’ll be with you.

I need you. I want to become strong with you.

It seems we cannot see eye to eye, Dagda.

As much as it pains me, we must end this.

I will help destroy the Cosmic Egg. At all cost.

To be the rolling wind itself? To be the rain falling upon the earth?

Look at us now.

Pure nature forced to become Dagda and Danu.

We changed because humanity gained new understanding. Is that really so bad?

That doesn’t matter, Mother. This is about how far we’ve wandered from what we were.

The “understanding” YHVH granted humanity is what locked us in these god-shaped shells.

The power of humanity to make formless concepts take on the shapes of gods and demons in the world of SMT IV: Apocalypse is called Understanding or Observation; by giving these concepts names and definitions, we give them the forms of the gods, which is stated by supplementary materials to be intended as a reference to to Qualia, wherein there is a quintessential nature to the way we experience reality. It also has ties to the observer effect of quantum mechanics, wherein the observation of something changes it through nothing more than the act of observing.

While these ideas forge a union between philosophy and science that has been at the heart of the themes and aesthetics of the Megami Tensei brand for the length of its existence, the game doesn’t glue it together that well. Humanity is stated to have created YHVH just as they did the other gods, for instance, yet Dagda also claims here that it was YHVH who gave humans the power of Understanding in the first place. Similarly, YHVH is supposedly immune to understanding because he hides himself from human sight, which…doesn’t really make sense at all with anything given that the other gods were formed from abstract concepts that can’t necessarily be seen with the naked eye, but whatever. Long story short, cool concept, not necessarily the most cohesive execution.

The longer we stay like this, the further we get from the essence of what we were. We need to become one with nature again.

And if you will not change you mind, I have no choice but to stop you myself.

Can you really not live without others, kid?

Can you not fend for yourself?

No. You have a hidden strength – the power to find a path where none exists.

Don’t let sentiment blind you. These so-called friends only hold you back.

Join me, in my new universe.

The time is now. Choose.

And here we are at long last. The alignment split. Ultimately, you can choose whichever path you want, but there’s a price for going against your ideals. If you choose to walk the path of Peace with Danu after gaining a majority of Anarchy points, Dagda will remove all of your demons. By contrast, if you side with Dagda in spite of your following of the tenets of Peace, Navarre will smash all of your inventory. This isn’t relevant to us personally, as we shall follow our path to the very end, but it’s something you should be aware of.

Destroy the Cosmic Egg.

You hear that, Dagda?

He won’t abandon his humanity. It’s over.

He does not wish to be alone. He has chosen to live in harmony with others.

Is that what you really want?

Yeah, he’s sticking with this universe. With us.

Ask all you want, it won’t change a thing.

You look at your friends. They smile back.

Just look at all he’s been through, yet he still wants to remain human.

I’m pretty sure his answer’s final.

Dagda forces this line out with a fair bit of venom, and there is a horrible screeching noise that has started to creep into the ambient sound. This may get messy.

Dagda extends his arm toward you.

Very well then. The power I gave you, your very life – I’ll take it all back.

Dagda clenches his fist. As he does, a strange sensation comes over you.

The heat seems to drain from your body. You fall to your knees, unable to move.

No!

Think on what it means to betray me while you stare into the cold abyss of death.

Hey, are you well? You’re looking rather pale…

It would seem Dagda is no longer supplying you with his power.

You can’t control your demons very well without Dagda’s power…

She’s definitely not wrong. As the warning said, our demons will randomly stop listening to us now, and on top of that Nanashi is losing about 500 HP a round. And in the background, Dagda’s boss theme is blaring. It’s…unpleasant.

Isn’t there something we can do?

Please, keep him occupied. I will take care of this…

We’re all counting on you.

You need only bear it a little while longer. We’ll be by your side until the end.

Yeah, we’re not about to let you die!

I can’t imagine what you’re planning, but I do know that your efforts will be futile…

If nothing else, I would have you die quickly so that it is painless.


Boss Battle!: Dagda :crossed_swords:

Dagda, given all his deathly aesthetics in this game’s interpretation of him, is unsurprisingly weak to Light. He’s neutral to Dark, however, his resistances instead being to the four elements of Fire, Ice, Electricity, and Force. Given how fast Nanashi leaks HP in this fight and your demons can now sometimes disobey you like Asahi’s did, I’d suggest having Isabeau on call to use Diarahan on you time and again.

Dagda’s repertoire is made up of Luster Candy for buffing himself, Debilitate and Energy Drain for making our life annoying, and the attack skills Power Punch and Megidolaon.

After a mere two turns of struggling to fight back, though, even the Diarahans aren’t helping anymore. Things look grim…

You wince in pain as Danu tries to assuage you with her kind words.

Thanks to your efforts, the preparations are now complete. You’ve done well.

Taking Inanna’s powers into myself granted me new abilities.

This allows me to create Dagda anew.

…Wait, what?

What?! Mother, no!

But please bear in mind…

As the Mother Goddess and Earth Goddess, it is my duty to shoulder such burdens.

You know, for all the shit-talking she did about Inanna, Danu sounds a lot like her now. Dagda’s actually a dick and all, but still.

Danu charges up a fancy Celtic knot vine spell thing, firing it in a beam from her staff…

…And from that beam a second Dagda appears. Well, that happened.

The entity created by Danu rises and turns to face his mother.

It should be noted that at this time, the battle music changes to Battle C3, which is one of my favorite tracks from Shin Megami Tensei IV. It definitely gets you pumped up to break another god’s face in, and is probably a better thing to focus on than the weird, weird events that are now transpiring.

Mother. Thank you for creating me.

As High King of the Tuatha De, I will strive to bring prosperity to humankind.

Dagda, my reborn son… Free him.

Yes, I know what I must do.

I will grant you power, just as my original self did.

But I will leave your will intact. Do as you please with the power.

I would ask, however, that as a Godslayer, you eliminate the older Dagda – who remains single-minded.

Newly rejuvenated, the only thing left to do now is kick Dagda 1.0’s teeth in.

He’s also quite the sore loser as he gets his teethed kicked in.

Could’ve escaped this shallow existence, but now you’ve discarded the chance to surpass humanity.

No, he simply chose a path he could share with his friends.

How inane. Are you so certain what you want lies at the end of this path? If so, prove it to me, kid!

At this point, he’ll start using the skills Lost Hit and Denial. Lost Hit is Carol Hit but with a 100% success chance to inflict Lost (sorry, Odin, I’ll find you later), while Denial sends a demon back to your stock and thus forces you to waste a Press Turn resummoning it.

It’s fine… Thought things might shake out this way, after all…

Unlike humans, the path of gods is set in stone, start to finish…

Those of us who represent human understanding cannot waver from the roles we’re assigned.

But that’s not how I would chose to exist…

So, you’re not going to kill me… You’ve…

After 20,000 HP is beaten out of him, Dagda dies and disperses into the wind. In the end, we at least freed him from an existence he never wanted in the first place.


With this hurdle surpassed, Nanashi gains his own Awakened Power. This gives us Pleroma and Pierce forr all damage types, making Nanashi a terrifying murderbeast whose strikes cannot be thwarted by anything short of Repel. He has achieved gnosis through punching, the most pure of philosophies.

Dagda, my reborn son…

Please, return to life the souls trapped within the Cosmic Egg.

Without them, the Cosmic Egg cannot hatch, halting the new universe from being made.

I understand.

You can do that?!

Heh, of course.

I’m Dagda, the most powerful of the Tuatha De.

Dagda proceeds to raise his hand and start a light show as the souls trapped within the Cosmic Egg all flit back to their vessels. Oh, and…

I’m genuinely not sure how I feel about this plot point, even a year after I first played Apocalypse. I’m not an “everything must be grim and gritty and have a bad ending” type of person, not by far, but something about how brutal Asahi’s death was contrasted with the simplicity of her revival makes things feel…I dunno, hollow? A lot of events near the end of the Cosmic Egg feel like the writers were having trouble keeping their plot threads and thematic desires together as a singular vision.

Asahi!

Ohhhhhh! Asahi! You’ve come back to us!

Welcome back.

You guys… I’m sorry, I…

What are you apologizing for?

You saved his life. Stand a little taller.

Thanks. That makes me feel better.

I’d imagine you weigh a bit less as a devoured soul, yes.

Like I didn’t have to worry anymore.

I know I’m not as strong as any of you.

I was constantly worried that I had no business being around the likes of you.

I was afraid I was holding you all back.

Hey, don’t worry ab –

But I do. I can’t help it. That’s why…

…You are utterly mistaken!

I know you cannot see me, but I’m going to say it anyway!

You’ve put yourself down many a time, but I have witnessed you in earnest.

You’re the kind of person who would risk her life for a fellow in need!

Sure, some may say that they would die for a friend.

Yet, how many would actually do it?

It took ages, but Navarre is actually kinda good in this scene.

You may not be as strong as the others in battle…

But your selflessness knows no bounds! Of that, I’m certain!

…My voice may not reach you, but my heart is with you.

Wh-Whaaaaat?!

Haha. Thank you for the kind words.

Nrgh… Of course…

True strength is knowing your limitations.

In that respect, you’re ahead of the game. Stop being so hard on yourself, Asahi.

Asahi nods once in agreement.

…I really need to get it together, huh?

I’ll probably get in the way sometimes, like usual, but I’ll always try my best.

I just want to be with you all again!

You hand Asahi her goggles.

Thanks, Nanashi. It’s good to be home.

A surge of energy courses through Asahi.

And yet another Awakened Power appears; not many left now. Asahi’s gives her High Heal Pleroma, elevating her to the most efficient healer we have. Only ever getting to Mediarama is now mitigated by the fact that her Mediaramas are almost always doing enough to be a Mediarahan anyway.

Alright. How long you gonna stay here, kid?

This Egg isn’t going to hatch anymore, but there’s still work to do.

Other than the whole “not wanting to destroy all life in the cosmos” thing, our new Dagda’s not that different from old Dagda.

Dagda’s right. There are still loose ends.

Kill Krishna, save Flynn, destroy this damn Egg… Got our work cut out for us.

Yes. Let us end this, once and for all.


#130

Fusions

I ended up doing two special fusions in the leadup to Dagda, so we’ve got those to discuss in this brief Hunter’s Notes.

Baal is a special fusion of Anat, Tiamat, and Ym/Yam. Leveling him up gets you Ally Retaliate at level 80, his fancy unique boss fight skill Vengeful Thunder at level 81, and Null Fire at level 82.

And after attaining Baal, we can special fuse him with Ghoul and Morax to create Beelzebub! His leveling skills are High Dark Pleroma, Thunder Gods, and Null Force at levels 80, 81, and 82 respectively.


#131

Admittedly, it’s extremely weird to see Dagda lose the “fuck you, mom” attitude. I’d feel bad for Old Dagda if he wasn’t the edgy jerk he turned out to be. It’s kinda fucked up that Danu just made a new son right in front of her old son.


#132

Right above where we fought Dagda is the heart of the Cosmic Egg. It is here that we will finally have our climactic showdown with the last surviving member of the Divine Powers.

Krishna.

We’ve freed all the souls. It’s over.

So you have.

All of the souls have returned to the flesh.

Now, even the full moon will not hatch the Cosmic Egg.

But full moons come and go. I have not given up on salvation.

Humans die and reincarnate over and over in this world. This is the Axiom, which cannot be overturned…

But it is YHVH, the god of the covenant, who is turning this universe into hell.

He created this universe himself. And then made it the crucible for human suffering.

He claims that those who survive the suffering will be saved so long as they submit to him.

And so he created Lucifer, to deceive them and prolong their suffering.

One does not lose their way solely through order, and one does not suffer by entrusting themselves to chaos.

Humans are bound to their covenant with YHVH. They depend on him, submit to him and suffer humiliation.

But YHVH’s Covenant is not the only way.

You have been tricked into suffering without love.

I will never stop trying to bring you salvation.

For my salvation is born of love.

Are you seriously saying “love” is the reason you killed so many people? Fed their souls to Shesha?

It’s merely a step on the path.

Humanity will be saved by joining a great singularity.

Except none of us want that…

Least of all from the likes of you!

I understand you may not care for me, but do you speak for all mankind?

Krishna looks at the crucified Flynn.

Flynn suffers so much from YHVH’s incessant, heartless meddling.

I’d say he’s suffering more from being stuck to a cross.

But my love will overcome his suffering. He will become my Godslayer.

Eventually, Krishna’s entire body is absorbed into Flynn.

Flynn!

Flynn’s eyes open at Isabeau’s words, and in the next moment, his body is surrounded by light.

This boss may not be that surprising. After all, Krishna is but one of the avatars of Vishnu in the end. Vishnu the Preserver is a big deal in Hinduism in general, and unsurprisingly the primary god of Vaishnavist Hinduism. He’s typically shown as a dark-skinned or blue-skinned god with four arms carrying a conch shell, lotus blossom, mace, and chakram. He’s quite the connected god, being part of the triad of supreme gods that also includes Shiva the Destroyer and Brahma the Creator, rider of the great eagle Garuda, sleeper in the coils of Shesha, and husband of the goddess Lakshmi. His avatars are legion, but the most prominent ten are known as the Dashavatara and are made up of Krishna (who we’ve obviously seen), Rama (who we’ve fused), apocalyptic warrior Kalki, tortoise Kurma, merman-like Matsya, lion-man Narasimha, axeman Parashurama, dwarf Vamana, boar-man Varaha, and Gautama Buddha himself.

Vishnu does have a standard design in Shin Megami Tensei games, one that actually appeared in SMT IV even. We could take the latter to mean that regular Vishnu’s appearance is meant to be his natural one even in this game and the form taken here is just a result of fusing with Flynn. On the other hand, Odin appeared with his Purple Naked Odin design in IV and then got redesigned for this game, so that might not hold as much water.

With this power, not even the hand of YHVH can reach me.

Behold, the true form a Godslayer.

As long as the Cosmic Egg exists, I will not rest until I’ve achieved my salvation.

I will not rest until I usher salvation and create my new universe.

And I will slaughter all who stand in my way.

You’ve fallen so far, I fear my compassion may not reach you.

But, on the dawn of salvation, surely even you will understand the meaning of my words.

For now, I must become your enemy.


Boss Battle!: Vishnu-Flynn :crossed_swords:

Vishnu – or Vishnu fused with Flynn, if you want to get pedantic about it – has no weaknesses and nullifies both Light and Dark.

Such is what comes of trusting a human. Killed by his own champion.

As this is the first boss past the alignment split, on his first turn he offers some alignment-specific dialogue.

This just proves there’s no hope for humans. Humanity’s only chance of salvation is through me.

Angry and worked up, all of Vishnu’s stats soar through the roof right off the bat. I’d suggest using a Dekaja immediately, otherwise he will tear you limb from limb.

Vishnu can use Dekaja, Dekunda, Riot Gun, Ziodyne, Zandyne, and this move we had yet to encounter. Antichthon deals severe Almighty damage to all targets, and if the user is Smirking it throws in a free Debilitate to boot. While it’s not a unique skill, the only demon we can fuse to spread it around won’t appear until level 95.

Vishnu also has the unique skill Shine More. This deals two to four strikes of heavy Almighty damage to random targets, and has a fairly high chance of inflicting Dizzy.

After around 13,000 HP of damage dealt, Vishnu is in the red and seems rather perturbed.

Vishnu-Flynn suddenly stops moving.

Damn you, Flynn. Stubborn man…

Wait… Could it be that Flynn is not completely under Krishna’s control?

Then, perhaps we can still reach him…!

We can choose here to call out to Flynn, attack him, or let our partner handle the situation. While alignment points no longer matter, we’re going to give reaching him the old college try.

You call out to Flynn.

Ngh… Such a pointless gesture. I will not allow my Godslayer to act out of turn…

Was it no use…?

Vishnu’s aggression at this point causes him to enter his second phase, wherein he has two extra arms and apparently raided a Star Wars prop warehouse.

It’s in this form that Vishnu takes the missing pages from Inanna’s book. He has two new unique skills in this phase – Light Nandaka deals two to three strikes of heavy Light damage to random targets, Dark Nandaka is the same but with Dark damage, and both have Pierce on them. They also make Vishnu weak to the opposite attack type, however, meaning you finally have an opening to exploit a weakness.

Oh, and a turn later it turns out that calling out to Flynn worked after all.

Vishnu-Flynn suddenly stops moving.

Is that you, Flynn…?! You’re fighting back

Graaaaah! Stay out of my way!

Vishnu-Flynn loses concentration, decreasing all of his stats as well as his number of turns!

Getting our turn back immediately and having a free Debilitate is a pretty good deal for us. On top of that, on subsequent rounds he has, Vishnu will lose one of his three Press Turns. This is the best time to heal up if need be and press the advantage.

Vishnu was capable of taking a lot. That was 26,000 HP (counting both phases together) we had to eat through.

Ngh… Gaaaaahhh!


Krishna separates from Flynn’s body.

Flynn falls to his knees, then collapses.

Flynn! Are you alright?!

As Isabeau runs to Flynn, Krishna steps back.

To think he would retain so much of himself after fusing with me. I would expect as much from my Kalki.

But inside this Cosmic Egg, I am the truth – I am reality. You cannot destroy me!

Krishna frowns, but twists his mouth back into a cruel smile.

Isabeau!

Navarre?!

Give Flynn the katana!

What?! And…why are you green?

Navarre is the perpetual deflater of tension.

Just do it!

Krishna flies straight to Flynn’s body.

Flynn!

As Nozomi cries out, there’s that “flash of light and sword slicing noise” effect we’ve had several times in the game.

Flynn!

But… I am the only one who can save humanity…

Humanity will save itself.

How could you…defeat me?!

My new universe… My salvation…

These little motion comics are few and far between, but they’re interesting when they happen.

Flynn sheathes Masakado’s Katana and sighs deeply.

Glad to have you back, Flynn.

Thank you, Isabeau… I didn’t mean for things to get so out of hand.

Yeah, you really know how to make me worry.

You remember you’d held onto something a ghost who called Flynn’s name gave you.

You give Fishing Hook to Flynn.

Thanks.

Flynn receives the fishing hook and grasps it tightly in his hand.

Remember this for later. Trust me.

Thanks everyone. Because of you, I was able to come back to my senses.

If Krishna could use me like that, I still have a lot to learn.

People called me their Liberator, but who have I really saved?

That nagging guilt created the opportunity for Krishna to take advantage of me.

Navarre?

Yes. Green, floating, but still your fellow Samurai, Navarre.

Wait, now everyone can see Navarre?

I suspect they couldn’t see me because I didn’t wish to be seen.

I didn’t have the heart to face them after what I did.

‘Twould seem I unawaredly hid myself from them.

I guess the shame inside Navarre was so strong, it hid his presence from others until now.

Pretty deep, for Navarre.

Yeah, who would have thought he had a sense of shame?

Are you making fun of me?!

I’ll have you know I played a crucial role in Krishna’s death!

That’s a good point. Who are you and what have you done with Navarre?

Truly. What phantom is this that haunts us?

The dunking is continual, eternal. Never will Navarre be free. Even with the clock now striking midnight.

The moon rises and emits a red glow…but nothing happens.

In here, at least. I’m sure a bunch of minor demons resurrected somewhere else.

It’s over…

No. There’s one last thing we must do.

You’re right.

Well, let’s get it over with. It’s your show, Nanashi.

That will bleed it of its power.

You nod, tightening your grip on the sword.

And with a sword stabbing noise, the heart of the Cosmic Egg ceases beating.

It’s finally over…

No more Lucifer. No more Merkabah. No more Krishna.

Things can finally go back to normal!

No, Asahi.

Life won’t be the same as before. It’ll be even better.

Yeah!

The ground suddenly shakes violently.

Wh-Whoa! What’s happening? We should run! Run, run run, run!

Indeed! Retreat!

Let’s go, Nanashi!

You take Asahi’s hand and follow her out of the Cosmic Egg.

The longest quest of the game is well and truly finished, finally.

News of Flynn’s safe return and the Divine Powers’ defeat spreads throughout Tokyo.

With Krishna sealed again, the remaining members of the Divine Powers retreat.

The other demons keep to the shadows. An unparalleled peace settles over Tokyo.

Later…

Once again, it all leads back to Ginza. It’s where the game’s journey began, it’s where the Divine Powers first took Flynn into captivity and began the diverging plot of Apocalypse, and now it is where we see the endgame start to play out.

You stand before Masakado’s rock pile.

Flynn holds up Masakado’s Katana.

Masakado. I need your help to rebuild the world.

Flynn attempts to do the union of katana and Masakado-rock, but nothing happens.

What?

Why is he not responding…?

That is because Tokyo no longer needs me.

Masakado?

Yes, I am Masakado, the great spirit of the earth charged with protecting Tokyo.

You no longer need my protection, however.

What do you mean?

That is no longer necessary.

It is now possible for Tokyo and Mikado to coexist, just as Nanashi and Flynn do.

The two peoples can help one another, regardless of the dome’s presence.

This is something I realized when Shesha carved the hole through the dome.

With Krishna sealed, I will rest. Shall fate call again, we will meet once more.

I leave Tokyo’s protection to you both.

He and I?

Farewell to you all.

A terse one, that Masakado.

May the future you build be one of hope.

A column of light bursts from the rock and climbs toward the sky.

It fades from view as it stretches beyond the great blue blanket above.

Masakado is gone.

Hehe… Now you don’t need to gather all that hope by yourself.

Haha! Excellent.

This is possibly a rather cheeky reference to the oft-maligned “Chalice of Hope” quest in the Neutral path of Shin Megami Tensei IV, wherein Flynn had to do enough sidequests to fill up a chalice with…well, hope. Or it could just be coincidence.

So, Akira came through for us in the end.

The middle path, the third choice. Everything he said was right.

I wonder if he’s out there somewhere, looking up at the same sun…

Fujiwara and Skins look up at the Ceiling and squint at the rays of sunlight coming in.

At long last, peace has descended upon Tokyo in earnest. But the journey is not over yet. There is still a plot thread that hangs loose, waiting to be pulled…


#133

Fusions

Krishna is possibly the easiest non-accident demon to overlook, simply because he doesn’t work like any of the other bosses in the game. While other bosses get unlocked when you beat either them or some second form they have later on in the game, to unlock Krishna for his special fusion you actually have beat him and then to go all the way back down to Kanda no Yashiro’s depths in order to Touch Orb again. Upon doing so, he’ll have a little speech for you.

Is that…Krishna?

Welcome… What a pleasure to see you… Is that what you expect me to say?

I know you didn’t come all this way just to mock me.

Got it in one.

Help us defeat YHVH, Krishna. Lend us your strength.

But if it’s to defeat YHVH, then I will gladly lend my power.

The sphere starts to glow. The light envelops you, passing into your body.

You can now fuse Deity Krishna.

This is all I can do while I’m sealed.

The rest is up to you, Nanashi… I’m sure you won’t disappoint.

Enjoy the show from the cheap seats. Let’s go, kid.

And go we shall. Go and fuse him immediately, that is.

Krishna is a special fusion made up of Chernobog, Lakshmi, and Loki, and in my case I fused a Lakshmi with Null Dark to pass it on to him. He’s got both of the Ragas he utilized as a boss, as you cans ee. He has four more skills gained through leveling: Deadly Wind at level 88, his third unique skill Combat Tara at level 89, Salvation (normally acts as Mediarahan, but with Smirk it turns into Mediarahan + target-all Amrita) at level 90, and Drain Dark at level 91.


#134

Uh, wow, I definitely learned something new here. It never would have occurred to me that Krishna could be a fusion, and I definitely would never have thought to go back to Kanda no Yashiro on my own.


#135

There’s no way I can think of that you’d suss out the secret of getting Krishna’s fusion on your own beyond seeing his silhouette in the Demon Compendium and then brute-forcing your way through all potential paths of logic. It’s very much a “have you read a guide?” sort of thing.


#136

Krishna is such a useful demon and one of the most devious secrets in the game. Venomous and Dream Raga and Combat Tara are so useful that I kept him for the rest of the game.


#137

A few days later…

You stand alone amidst a strange, monochrome forest.

The forest is eerily still. You cannot hear the wind, nor smell the trees. Even the ground beneath you feels unusual.

Stephen appears from within the forest.

I’ve been waiting for you.

You shouldn’t have any more dreams about your past lives.

How do I know?

I told you before that I would help you, didn’t I?

An out of left field reveal indeed. And ultimately inconsequential.

Before I ask you about your intentions, there is something I must tell you.

It is about the mission that the Axiom has given you humans, and the reason why the gods fight over you…

The Axiom, also known as the Great Will, is an enigmatic greater cosmic mind that is mentioned sporadically across the history of the series. Usually, it’s YHVH commenting that he is a part of the greater whole, and if humans so wish he’ll reappear through the Great Will even if slain. In Nocturne, the Great Will is the named but never seen face of Law, possibly even another name for YHVH himself. Apocalypse’s Great Will seems to be in the vein of Gnosticism’s Monad, the primordial ur-god from which the cosmos springs. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Old Testament’s YHVH is considered to be one of the identities of the Demiurge, the lesser god that acts as a blockage between humanity and the Monad.

The Axiom tasked you humans with observing the universe.

Humans have the power to assign an answer to phenomena without an answer.

The power of observation has the ability to make certain and stable what is uncertain and without form.

The Axiom did not give gods the power of observation… Only humans have that power.

This can invigorate the gods, but it can also kill them.

This is why the gods goad humans to their side, and make them observe things which are beneficial to them.

This is the direct cause behind why gods fight over humans.

Lucifer, Merkabah, Krishna… You defeated them and brought peace to the human world.

However, this is only the beginning. You should have already heard this – or observed it, I should say.

YHVH, the creator of everything…

Now that you have made it to this point, you have two choices.

Live in fear of God and accept a false freedom, or defeat the Creator and obtain true freedom.

Unfortunately, there is no third choice in this case.

if you decide the defeat YHVH, I will aid you, though it is not much.

Don’t you wish to see beyond the answer you pursued in your previous life?

Come to Masakado’s stone in Ginza.

I have faith you will come. I look forward to seeing you there.

Stephen disappears.

When you open your eyes, you find yourself back in your bed.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Nanashi, you up? I’m coming in.

Asahi enters before you can answer.

Yep, that’s Asahi, alright. Death couldn’t change everything about her.

We all had the same dream. Safe to assume you did too, right?

A man in a wheelchair. I think he said his name was Stephen.

He gave us the details. YHVH is as good a target as any.

We cannot allow anything to interfere with rebuilding humanity.

And trembling in fear of any god isn’t really our style, y’know?

Can we really trust this Stephen fellow? This could be a trap.

If YHVH poses a threat to the people then I cannot ignore him.

Besides, he’s already caused me enough trouble in Mikado.

The Creator makes for a worthy enemy, I suppose.

Wait, you saw the dream too? …You dream?

Do not discriminate against ghosts! Did you truly think I came here for no apparent reason?!

YHVH would be a worthwhile opponent to defeat in my pursuit for strength.

If you’re going to fight him, I’ll accompany you.

Skipping over yet another joke at Navarre’s expense, everyone’s hyped up to fight the big G. It’s time to head to Ginza and prepare for the final challenge ahead.

Yeah, seems we’re just in time.

Flynn steps out from among the Hunters.

You really plan on fighting him, huh?

Flynn! Why are you here?

Same as all of you. I met Stephen in my dreams.

I’m coming with you. I want to be there in case things go wrong.

That’s right, the final party member for us to collect is Flynn himself. Sort of. He has a unique role outside of our regular party slot, sort of like Hiroshi in the sidequest with Izanami. More when we actually get to see this in action.

Flynn’s supporting US? Get outta town!

Hehe! With two saviors in our side, none shall stand in our way!

We owe you so much.

We might be light on manpower, but we’ll support you any way we can.

It looks like everyone made it.

Stephen appears, seemingly from nowhere.

I will now guide you to YHVH’s Universe.

Offer the nine pillars you gathered in the Cosmic Egg to the stone.

It has no name, so I will call it a monolith.

I’m sure you want to make a Space Odyssey 2001 joke here, so get it out of your systems now.

The monolith is connected to YHVH’s universe.

You’ll be able to travel there simply by touching it.

YHVH’s universe will surely have its own perils.

Make sure you’re prepared.

Now, are you ready?

As this is the final dungeon, things won’t be easy. Grind up and gear up if you don’t feel prepared yet. If you do feel ready, enter and begin the final journey.

YHVH’s Universe is a rather wondrous dungeon as far as art direction goes, with its cosmic background and cubical platforms a mixture of blacks, blues, and reds. It also bears strong resemblance to the Akashic Record, the final battleground of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2.

So this is where YHVH lives…

Y’know, not sure what I was expecting.

Hmm? You’ve got something shining there. What is that?

Akira’s Gauntlet is glowing.

You obtain 2 each of Light Grimoire and Heavy Grimoire.

Light Grimoires give you a slight nudge of free experience points, while a Heavy Grimoire is enough to gain a level up after your next battle. These aren’t the first ones in the game, but they are the first that are just handed to us during the plot.

Even that Gauntlet’s got our backs!

We should get going.

Anything could happen here. Don’t let your guard down.

I’ll do my best to protect you.

While in YHVH’s Universe, Flynn will attempt to intercept demon encounters on the world map so that we don’t have to bother fighting them. He can also help free us from traps and, if not busy with another fight, help us in battle with a special skill.

If you are Smirking, you can click on this cute little Flynn icon to perform the unique skill Messiah Blast. In it, the two Messiahs combine their might to do just what the attack description says.

After entering a nearby teleporter (the first of many), something appears to stop Flynn in his tracks.

Flynn, what’s the matter?

I’ve seen the choices you’ve made.

A spirit floats in the distance.

Walter!

It’s been a while. When I came to, I found myself here.

I still hear Lucifer’s heart. It says it thirsts.

There’s still something I must do.

Walter quietly disappears.

Walter… No, we cannot be hindered here.

Let’s move. We have work to do.

I can’t lie to you and say I could accurately guide you movement by movement through YHVH’s Universe without making this LP a bogged-down mess. It’s an immense labyrinth of teleporters, teleport doors, elevators, interconnected areas, one-way dropdowns, and general impenetrable vastness. The best I can do is link to this Japanese map, which is pretty much the only one of this dungeon there is, and give screenshots of important areas to reach. Like this one here, which is the door to our first boss fight in YHVH’s pad.

Wait, something’s off. They’re like…dolls.

Who cares? They stand in our way; we’ll just eliminate them!


Battle! A. Chaos Faction :crossed_swords:

A. Beelzebub and A. Lucifuge are both level 90. Lucifuge is the same as he was last time we fought him, just with a higher level and thus higher stats, but we ended up fighting Baal rather than Beel, so let’s go over what his deal is in this fight. As a boss, he nullifies Dark and Electricity (specifically to get Smirks if you try to use a target-all Electric spell on Lucifuge’s weakness), drains Gun, and is weak to Light.

The skills the Lord of the Flies can wield against you are Debilitate, Grand Tack, and Megidolaon. He has around 7,000 HP and A. Lucifuge around 8,500. This is fine, as one you defeat both of them you are immediately launched into a fight with…

Lucy! He’s literally the same boss as last time beyond now being level 95, so there’s no point in showing him getting an even worse ass-kicking the second time around courtesy of our stronger party.


Hello.

GHOST! S-S-Stop sneaking up like that!

After the battle, Stephen appears once more to continue his role as exposition.

Allow me to explain what you just saw.

It wasn’t real in the natural sense. It was a sort of illusion created by YHVH.

By giving humans physical bodies, he rules over the entire observable universe.

And yet we supposedly Observed him into existence just like all the other deities. That’s…confusing.

Just now, YHVH took a battle you observed and recreated it.

Only we never fought Beelzebub.

YHVH interprets all things through your eyes.

You may face more illusions like that as you move forward.

Be prepared for anything…

Stephen disappears.

He can recreate anyone we’ve ever fought. This could prove troublesome.

Hmph. Nonsense. We’ve already defeated them once, haven’t we?

All that’s left to do is to make our way to our final enemy.

Yeah! We’ve got nothing to worry about! Come on, Leader!

Each part of YHVH’s Universe is its own Brane, unwinding eternally into a more and more convoluted cosmos. The teleportation between Branes uses the same effects as the Terminals, which could imply that Stephen created the Terminals and Demon Summoning Program based on the same quantum mechanical hoodoo YHVH uses. Or it could just be asset reuse from a company that really, really loves asset reuse. Either way.

The Second Brane is where we are introduced to the mechanic of colored doors. They are locked until we do something elsewhere in the dungeon. What, exactly? We’ll see when we get there.

Walking a bit further, another familiar face’s spirit makes itself manifest.

Jonathan!

It’s been a while, Flynn… When I came to, I found myself here.

My soul is wandering. That is what Merkabah’s heart is telling me.

There remains something I must finish…

And just like Walter, he disappears after giving this information. How enigmatic.

Jonathan, too… What does this mean?

Jonathan’s soul is looking for its purpose.

Let’s move on. We have work to do.

Indeed. Let’s traipse through more of this place.

After much wandering around, we face this door and its declaration that we will have another boss fight.

It is to be expected. After all, First Brane had us fighting a triad of replicated Chaos demons, so it makes sense to throw out some Law now.

Th-That’s right! How boring can it get?!

That’s a lie if I’ve ever heard one…

WHA?!

Enough of this! The enemy is coming!


Boss Battle!: A. Law Faction :crossed_swords:

As with their Chaos counterparts, A. Azrael and A. Aniel are level 90. Azrael’s pretty much the same as the last time we fought him, while Aniel has 7,000 HP and utilizes Hamaon, Makajamaon, Thunder Reign, Dekunda, and a unique skill called Diploid Force (it gives two free Press Turns).

Oh, and A. Merkabah’s here too. He fights the same and dies the same.


After beating the bosses, we can pass onward to the Third Brane. Same as the First Brane.

This isn’t the same, though. The Third Brane has a boss door immediately at the start of it. How ominous…

You hear the distinct sound of machinery drawing nearer.

That’s even more ominous.

I…don’t remember crossing paths with whatever that thing is.

I don’t think he cares if we remember, he looks ready to fight.

You, who rebel against the divine will, listen well.

I am Metatron, all-seeing voice of the Lord.

An angel in Rabbinic literatures and Jewish mysticism, Metatron is the mightiest of the angels, second only to God himself. He is the “lesser YHVH”, scribe of the path of the tribe of Israel, and the voice of God, communicating his will. According to several traditional sources, he is the transformed and transcendent form of Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather who was taken by God.

By the Lord’s command, heathens must be destroyed.

Unclean Ones. Filth. Perish by my judgment.


Boss Battle!: Metatron :crossed_swords:

Metatron’s a durable demon as far as his resistances go. He nullifies Light, is weak to Electricity, and resists everything else. He is susceptible to Mute, though, for some reason. So do that if you want. Even more confusingly, he only has a lone Press Turn.

His fight theme’s really nice, though. It’s the archangel theme from Shin Megami Tensei IV, which is itself as a remix of bits and pieces from the Law themes for both Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei II.

Metatron is capable of using Dekaja to remove your attempts at buffing and Judgment Light for sheer damage.

He also has a unique skill, Fire of Sinai. In spite of the name, this is an Almighty type attack skill, dealing severe damage with one to five strikes on random foes.

He also only has 10,000 HP. Strange? Yes, but there’s a reason for that strangeness.

No! It’s not over yet!

Huh?

My Lord shall construct as many of me as necessary. Give up, Filth.

They’re mass-producing angels… Seriously?

This is no times for complaints, I’m afraid. We must fight!

The Metatron Horde has 20,000 HP and three Press Turns, but is otherwise the same as Metatron solo.

All in all, a surprisingly unceremonious battle for a demon that has as much of a history with the series as Metatron does. I remember it being harder the first time I played the game, but that was probably because I didn’t have the combination of being beefed up on doing almost all the sidequests so far and going all in on a Magic murder build like I did in this playthrough.


He can send as many of his mindless servants as he likes. They’re no match for us, right?

Yeah, we’ll be fine. Let’s move on.

Let’s go, Nanashi!


#138

Wild Demon Encounters: YHVH’s Universe (First and Second Branes)

Almost all of the demons in the domain of YHVH are beefed up versions of previous ones, referred to as “A” (presumably Aleph or Alpha) versions. They almost always have the same weaknesses and resistances as before (save for sometimes having resistances beefed up a step or a weakness covered), just with bigger numbers. You can find A. Demons of Adramelech, Alciel/Arsiel, Angel, Barbatos, Belial, Dantalian, Dominion, Nebiros, Power, Throne, and Virtue. They can’t be negotiated with, much less recruited, so your only source of new demons at this point is either fusion or heading back to the outside world.

There’s also the A. Demon Army, a new type of Horde made up of…well, A. Demons. They nullify Force and Dark, repel Electricity, and are weak to Ice. The horde attacks with Myriad Arrows, Mamudoon, and Thunder Gods. Remember this, as the game won’t. For whatever reason, none of the A. Demons (Horde or otherwise) get recorded in your Analyzer, so you have to just remember the off the top of your head.

Fusions

Remember how you can’t inherit unique skills through fusion? Well, fusion accidents break that rule, so Odin suddenly isn’t the only demon with Gungnir in his repertoire. Tezcatlipoca Leveling him up gets you the skills Repel Force at level 83 and Madness Nails at level 84.

The dualistic Nahuatl god Ometeotl had four sons: Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, Xipe Totec, and Tezcatlipoca here. This god had a wide purview, including jaguars, war, beauty, magic, aristocracy of the Aztec Empire, and even both the earth and the wind. Depending on the particular story, Tezcatlipoca and his brother Quetzalcoatl were frequently either allies or adversaries. In one tale of the creation of the world, Tezcatlipoca sacrificed one of his feet to lure in the chthonic caiman monster Cipactli, who was then captured and destroyed by the brothers to create the earth. In another, Tezcatlipoca is the first sun god, which pisses off Quetzalcoatl and leads him to beat Tezcatlipoca out of the heavens with a club, which in turn leads to an angry cycle of creation and recreation as the two gods pull other deities into their quarrel.

Kangiten is a special fusion of Airavata, Ganesha, and Parvati. His leveling skils are Riot Gun and Null Ice at levels 81 and 82 respectively.

A Japanese Buddhist reinterpretation of Ganesha, Kangiten is the god of fortune, prosperity, and pleasure. He can be depicted as either a singular elephant-headed god or as a man and woman – both with elephant heads, of course – locked in a passionate embrace.

Alilat is created through a special fusion of Azrael, Israfel, and Peri. Leveling Alilat allows her to learn Concentrate at level 85, Makarabreak (breaks Makarakarn, obviously) at level 86, and Null Phys at level 87.

Alilat, or al-Lat, was a mother goddess of the Arabian Peninsula’s pre-Islamic cultures. Worshipped alongside the goddesses al-Uzza and Manat, al-Lat’s sacred symbols were as often stone cubes and pillars as they were statues, and temples to her reached as far east as Syria. Since their main center of worship was in Mecca, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that monotheism replaced worship of al-Lat and her two goddess pals.

Anat, Ishtar, and Tzitzimitl form the special fusion for Inanna. She gets Concentrate and Debilitate at levels 92 and 93.

A special fusion of Gemori, Kazfiel, and Murmur creates Mastema, one of the demons who made their first appearance in the series relatively recently – in his case, first appearing in Strange Journey. Mastema’s skills gained from leveling up are Judgment Light at level 94, Ice Age at level 95, and Repel Gun at level 96.

The angel of punishment and persecution, Mastema is pretty much only mentioned in the Book of Jubilees. In it, he’s definitely an asshole, as it was his idea to have God test Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac. Mastema’s also the one who prodded the Egyptians to harangue the Israelites during the Book of Exodus, but conversely also the one who smot all the Egyptian firstborn. You just can’t trust that Mastema.

A demon whose special fusion has almost entirely remained constant throughout the series, Shiva is created once more by a combination of Barong and Rangda. He’s a powerhouse who’s great at dealing damage and has some okay Support affinity, as you can see, just don’t call him up asking for healing or Ailments. Leveling Shiva up gets you Victory Cry, Drain Phys, High Phys Pleroma, and Akasha Arts (severe Physical damage to one opponent; if the demon’s Smirking, there’s Pierce as well) at levels 96, 97, 98, and 99 respectively.

The four-armed Hindu god of destruction and change needs no introduction, but he’s getting one anyway. The father of Ganesha and Kartikeya (both of whom we’ve fused already in this game) and husband of Parvati (yep, fused her too), Shiva contrasts himself as both the peaceful meditator and the warring destroyer, supporting the yogis and artists from his meditative position upon Mount Kailash while also having the power to incinerate all things in his gaze if he opens his third eye. He’s traditionally draped in beads and cobras, both of which are present in Kaneko’s design, and wields either an axe or a trident.


#139

It’s rather amazing how quick this dungeon goes by in text. If you’re playing this for yourself this is by far the physically largest and longest dungeon in the game. It’s a teleporter maze from hell and you really aught to click that link and see the map. Also make sure you’ve got some other music playing. The theme for this dungeon will suck the life out of you.


#140

Have you ever looked at a map of a game you aren’t playing and wanted to die? Because that’s the feeling I’m getting looking at that map. That, and also that Atlus is far too gleeful about its overuse of teleporter mazes.