FAQ/Walkthrough by KeyBlade999

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    FAQ/Walkthrough by KeyBlade999

    Version: v1.45 | Updated: 02/17/14 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    • Game: Shin Megami Tensei IV
    • Console: Nintendo 3DS
    • File Type: Formatted FAQ/Walkthrough
    • Author: KeyBlade999 (a.k.a. Daniel Chaviers)
    • Version: v1.45
    • Time of Update: 10:46 PM 2/16/2014
    • File Size: 1,025 KB


    While I do write all of my guides for free, it does take a lot of time and effort to put them together. If you're feeling generous and want to show your appreciation, I am gladly accepting donations. I don't know exactly what the donations will be used for, but just know that you would definitely be helping me make more quality FAQs! Even the smallest donation amounts are appreciated, and they are a great way to say how much you appreciate the work I do. If you do decide you'd like to donate, please send the donations through PayPal at the e-mail address listed below. Thank you so very much for at least considering this!!

    Donation/Contact E-Mail




    Welcome to my most recent FAQ/Walkthrough for the Nintendo 3DS. This will be for my third-targeted (and fourth overall) major FAQing project this summer: the July 2013 release of Shin Megami Tensei IV. Like my previous few 3DS guides, it is for a game series I'll be largely unfamiliar with, this being my first time even having touched it, despite my familiarity with popular RPGs. (Especially Japanese ones on the NES as of late.)

    Shin Megami Tensei is, after all, rather notorious among us FAQers for pretty much one reason - not the gameplay (that's usually great), but the fact that it has multiple endings that are hard to discern the conditions for under normal circumstances. This could be one of the first times I end up seriously leaning on external aid beyond those of simple translations. Still, this will also make for more than an interesting FAQ experience ... almost like that Chrono Trigger I wish I could've gotten to. >_<

    All of my meaningless babbling aside, I hope you enjoy my 300th complete FAQ!!


    Important Notes!

    As you probably already know, Shin Megami Tensei IV has several endings to its storyline. Like any other game, those endings are triggered by what you do in the game - how you respond to people, stuff like that. However, despite this, a lot of the game still rides on the same rails - if you've ever played Chrono Trigger, you probably get what I mean. And if you haven't played it, go grab it. =P

    For this reason, this guide actually tries to cover everything literally "doable" in the game. If you actually need something related to an ending's conditions, see the Ending Conditions section for a sort of mini-walkthrough. What details I can glean on the choices you make in the game are detailed where possible. Primarily, keep in mind this info about alignment:

    • It is on a scale from -100 to +100, measured integrally
    • The lower (negative) you are, the more you are angled to the "Chaos" ending
    • The higher (positive) you are, the more you are angled to the "Law" ending
    • The Neutral ending occurs from -8 to +8

    Remember, this whole walkthrough is written from the completionistic aspect simply so I don't have to write four big friggin' walkthroughs, 90% of which would be constant throughout all four.

    Finally, nomenclature... There are specific points in the game where you to choose the name for something. At those points forward, I will simply refer to them by their default names. This includes...

    • The main character: "Flynn" (or "you")
    • The second Terminal: "Mikado Terminal"

    The Gauntlet Rite

    Once a new game is chosen, you are made aware that the game's plotline is fictional (no, really, it was completely necessary to note that...), and that you will soon get to choose a name. You will first experience a dream-like state with some random ramblings in the background before getting to do so. For the purposes of this walkthrough, "you" and "Flynn" - the main character's default name - are one and the same. Press the Y Button once you're sure of your name.

    Soon thereafter, you awaken in a town, ruined and in flames. A voice emanates from the light in the distance; move towards it with the Circle Pad. It suddenly transforms into Walter. After some brief talking from him, you reawaken elsewhere, surrounded by sand. Approach the light in the distance and, like before, this one will take shape as Jonathan. Finally, after that, there's a bit more cutscene and the opening sequence to the game.

    After that, you truly emerge from the dream, awakened by Issachar, urging the two of you to the Gauntlet Rite. The two of you progress down to the castle town, confused as to where the Rite might be held. The local residents are of no real help, too snobbish to give a crap. So, we're basically on our own. Where to go?

    You can visit the Luxuror and Casualry Districts to speak with various people. This will help a little with the subplot of the game's society and to figure out where the Rite is being held. But, more or less, this is feudalistic Japan set near the end of the fifteenth century, still relying on a caste-like system. The Gauntlet Rite is also a ceremony occurring at Mikado Castle for those who turn the age of eighteen to be chosen as samurai.

    At Mikado Castle itself, you can go to Obelisk Plaza to read the epitaph on it for more spoilerific backstory. At Aquila Statue Plaza, you can join the crowd. There, the samurai tells everyone to line up. Meanwhile, Issachar elaborates on some rumors, including that which implies samurai must live in Mikado Castle and cannot return home, barring missions. Soon, Issachars's turn comes up. And, later, Flynn's. Nervously, he approaches the blue-clothed samurai at the Aquila Statue. There, you can choose to extend your left arm.

      • Alignment +1 = Extend your arm
      • Alignment -1 = Don't extend your arm

    Either way, after some more speech, touch the Touch Screen to "Engage".

    Suddenly, a light appears on the Gauntlet - it has accepted you as its owner, as a samurai. You then follow Hope out of the plaza to the residence area. There, he introduces himself as the head of the samurai. Hope gives you the cliché stuff - you will begin training tomorrow, get to bed early, etc. - before leaving. Meanwhile, you comply, uncertainly pondering your life, your friends, your family, and the expectations of the samurai before falling into a dreamless slumber.


    Practical Training Preparation

    [_] 300 Macca[_] Healing Water x5

    The next morning, you awaken to find a young samurai - new, like you - simply watching you sleep. O_o He introduces himself as Walter, another Casualry like you. He wonders if you've met him somewhere before - you look familiar. Your choices as for your response?

      • Alignment -1 = Possibly...
      • Alignment +1 = I don't believe so

    Walter decides to head on to the training; he'll met you at the Naraku entranceway.

    Meanwhile, you can explore as you will. There are four "???" options you can look at. ... Okay, fine, it's not an "as you will" thing. No shops or anything have been properly set up, so you cannot shop. For now, just head to the Naraku Entranceway.

    There, you will meet the four other new samurai - Navarre, Jonathan, Isabeau, and Walter obviously - one of whom is rather riding a high horse in a figurative manner. The other two, Jonathan and Isabeau, turn out to not be all that bad for Luxurors. The latter of these asks for your name.

      • Alignment +1 = Introduce yourself
      • Alignment -1 = Remain silent

    Soon, Jonathan will mention himself also having a dream with you in it.

    After some introductions are passed around, Commander Hope arrives, noting that you are the five new apprentices. According to Navarre, that's more than usual, but he's cut off as Hope decides to commence training. You will be making trips into the demon-infested Naraku to ... well, battle demons. You are given 300 Macca and five Healing Waters before being dismissed.

    There are two shops to look at - see B's Apothecary and Q's Blacksmith for details. Sadly enough, most of those items cannot be purchased, beyond those available at B's. There, it wouldn't be too bad an idea to stock up on a few more Healing Waters, for now or another time. When you're ready, head to the Naraku Entrance.



    [_] 150 Macca[_] 150 Macca[_] 1-Star Jewelry[_] 500 Macca[_] Deep Green Moss
    [_] Deep Green Moss[_] Deep Green Moss[_] Woman's Ring
    Demon NameLevelHPMPSTRDEXMAGAGILUCKScout?RaceWeaknesses
    Lham Dearg1911955444YesJakiIce
    Slime2743655555YesFoulPhysical, Ice, Fire, Electric, Force, Light

    ~ First Stratum ~


    When you enter the dungeon, go forward and look to the left to see a sign. Read it, then turn around and proceed down the staircase. Feel free to read the signs at the bottom, then go approach the doorway. Suddenly, a light appears on the Gauntlet - Burroughs, an AI designed for aiding you, primarily through navigation. Hope then calls, noting that he's looking at you through Burroughs. Seeing as all of you are in Naraku, your first training exercise is explained.

    Obviously, it's a combat training exercise. You need to beat any demon within Naraku. After Hope closes the connection, you can opt to learn about the "Menu" interface, found with the Y Button. Through the "Burroughs" option there, you can save and load data. I recommend doing so frequently. Go through the door when you're ready.

    Go forward and you will see a pixellated thing nearby. Approach and Burroughs will notify you that it is a demon. To enter battle with it, touch it - or, like in Paper Mario, attack it with the X Button to get an extra strike in. (Bosses and such usually prevent this.) So, anyways, attack the demon - note that it will give chase if it sees you, so be careful on the timing.

    During battle, you'll want to look in the top-right - the number of icons there shows how many times you can act this turn. For now, simply press the A Button to attack on your turns. The Slime is the optimal first target due to its lower HP and weakness to physical attacks. Note that hitting a weakness will allow one extra attack at times. (Weaknesses extend beyond physical attacks to elements and such.) Additionally, missing an attack or having one nullified will use more Press Turns than usual.

    After the battle, you'll likely level up. In that case, it's time to explain what happens. Akin to the bonus round of the Mario & Luigi RPGs, you can distribute bonus stat points as you see fit to boost stats in your own unique manner. There are five stats:

    • Strength (St): Makes Attacks and Physical/Gun-elemental attacks stronger
    • Dexterity/Technique (Dx): Makes Physical and Gun attacks stronger
    • Magic (Ma): Makes magical attacks stronger
    • Agility (Ag): Raises hit rates and evasion rate, allows more escapes, and affects turn order
    • Luck (Lu): Raises critical-hit rate and status ailment recovery speed

    Personally, this is how I tend to distribute them: basically try to equalize everything, or favor the Strength, Dexterity, and Magic stats. It's your choice either way, but that's just me. You'll get five points to distribute.

    You've also earned 10 App Points. These are gained upon leveling up and can be used to enhance Burrough's abilities by unlocking features. They can be purchased in the menu.

    Now Hope will call, notifying you that the quest has been completed, which nets you a nice 150 Macca. Of course, there will be another - how to recruit demons. For this, any three demons must be recruited. You'll need the Scout app for this - it allows you to talk with demons in battle and try to convert them to your side.

    More on that later. For now, you'll notice two doors nearby; one to the left and one to the right. If you go through the latter, you can speak with some NPCs; the other is locked. So, for now, simply stay in the area nearby and try to find a demon to battle - they spawn randomly. In the battle, you should "Talk", then "Scout" to try to get them to your side. Before they'll join, they will often ask questions and make demands, so tread carefully; honesty seems to be the best policy from what I've done. (Although the Napaea and Gryphon really liked me rejecting her. O_o) Demons that join your side are basically extra yous to attack with in battle - however, only Flynn can do the recruiting. Luckily, you can use the "Next" command to give that unit's turn up to another unit.

    After the recruitments are finished, Hope gives you your third task - learning the basics of exploring labyrinths. He has hidden some item deep in the Naraku - you need to go grab it. This is also a competition between the others - whoever grabs it first will end the exercise. You also have to return to the Aquila Statue Plaza with it. Burroughs recommends grabbing the Mapper App, which allows you to see a map on the Touch Screen. Go ahead and buy it.

    Let's see... If you head north from this area and along the west wall, you can enter a room with some NPCs in it, including Walter and Navarre. To the east, as it turns north, you'll be notified of something on the eastern wall. Look down (Down on the D-Pad) and press the A Button to find a hidden path. Follow it a bit and look up at the ledge to climb, then continue on. At its end is a pile of something containing a relic: Deep Green Moss. Backtrack to the main hall now.

    Not much further north, along the east wall, you'll find another room with NPCs, this one including Jonathan. Further west, you'll find a fork in the path. For now, head to the west. You'll see some hole in the floor, so go down.


    ~ Second Stratum ~


    Nearby is a pile of stuff containing a Deep Green Moss. Continue south and down the ledge, then go through the door nearby. Here, along the eastern wall, you can find a hole in the lower portion of it to find a path to the other side. There, you'll find a Deep Green Moss on the ground, but that's it. Return into the main room and head to the southeastern corner. There, look up and climb onto the ledge.

    BOSS - Disaster Horde
    HP280MAG18WeaknessForce, Light

    This battle shouldn't be too difficult, given that it is a first boss, after all. It's only real advantage is its high power. You can expect about four times the damage the other enemies here have dealt out - that's easily 40 ~ 80 points, so keep those Healing Waters and healing skills (i.e. Napaea's Dia) at the ready.

    Mostly, this is just a slash-and-hack fight. Abuse what Force or Light attacks (such as Napaea's Zan) you may have, and keep an eye on your HP. It's not hard to be one-hit-killed here, though luckily Game Overs rely on more than your main character dying. I know that fear all too well. >_> However, your demon allies can't use items, just their skills, so it's not a good idea to just let the items sit.


    After the battle, pick up the nearby item in the chest, the Woman's Ring. Afterwards, Hope will call, noting this to all. You now are to return to the plaza.

    Backtrack to the narrow hall near where you entered. East of the doorway, you'll find a 1-Star Jewelry relic on the ground. There's a doorway on the east wall if you continue northward. Inside, you'll notice a glowing pulsing egg in the wormwood. Attack it and the door will be unblocked, although nothing is inside. (That sign on the left, though, is more interesting. =P) To the south are two westbound pathways. Hope will stop you from entering the first; however, the second ... well, it just leads back to that blocked area from before, remember? Destroy it nonetheless.

    Return north and backtrack along the path back outside - you have a map. I personally recommend grinding just within the walls of the dungeon until you are forced to use non-Skill resources. That should last you until Level 6 or so.


    To My Fellow Samurai - The Three Challenge Quests

    [_] 1,000 Macca[_] 300 Macca[_] 300 Macca[_] Holy Fruit x2

    ~ Introduction ~


    After returning and claiming the 500 Macca mentioned in the previous section, the group more or less disperses, Navarre leaving on a troubling note. Meanwhile, Walter and Jonathan will offer to take you to the rooftop. He'll wait there for now. You can investigate some of the other areas (although you can't go to the Castle City). Head to the Plaza if you want to shop - the details are still mentioned in B's Apothecary and Q's Blacksmith. There's not much worth buying unless you found a bunch of relics; I'd stick to a bunch of restoratives before heading to the Meeting Spot.

    Up there, you get to speak with Jonathan and Walter about being a samurai. Your responses...

      • Alignment -5 = It comes naturally to me
      • Alignment +5 = It's a worthy duty
      • Alignment ±0 = I don't know

    The group eventually heads off to rest and, later that evening...

    Well, whatever. The next morning, you'll be awakened by Jonathan and Walter, who note that apprentices have been told by Hope to meet in K's Tavern. Shop first if you need to, then go on. After some mindless talking, you should look at the blackboard. There, there are a bunch of requests - Challenge Quests. You get rewards from them, although many of them are quite optional - think of the requests in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

    Navarre decides to put up a challenge - whoever can finish three Challenge Quests first wins. There are three total:

    • Give Q the blacksmith three Gryphon Talons
    • Give B the pharmacist three Deep Green Mosses
    • Defeat an Orthrus within Naraku's second level

    Now, what's what with these...

    • "Collect Demon Claws:" This mission is pretty simple. Go down into Naraku and defeat enemies mindlessly until you have collected three or more Gryphon Talons. It's mostly based on luck, so be sure to bring along a few Healing Waters. Also, Gryphons are ever-so-slightly more concentrated on the First Stratum, so start there. Keep in mind that they're weak to Gun-based attacks.
    • "Gather Some Naraku Lichen:" You should already have enough - follow the walkthrough in the Naraku section if you do not. They regenerate anyways, I think, so you can get a bunch the more times you enter.
    • "The Lion's Roar Within Naraku:" Time-wise, it is best to just accept this first. Since the other two require you to find items, you can basically multitask by doing this one (since it must be activated first) and finding items on the side.

    When the item-based ones are completed, go to K's tavern and opt to deliver the items. Go ahead and note that once you deliver the Gryphon Talons, B will also sell a Bone Sword.


    ~ Further into Naraku ~

    Demon NameLevelHPMPSTRDEXMAGAGILUCKScout?RaceWeaknesses
    Lham Dearg1911955444YesJakiIce
    Slime2743655555YesFoulPhysical, Ice, Fire, Electric, Force, Light

    As for the location of the Orthrus? Go to the Naraku entrance. As you arrive, Burroughs will notify you of the Demon Fusion app. It acts sort of like the Polymerization spell in Yu-Gi-Oh! or fish breeding in Dark Cloud - try to mix two demons together to try and get a superior one. Go ahead and buy the app. Head as usual to the second stratum - the northern path of the fork on the first stratum is optimal. Head into the first eastbound door and you'll soon find the target, already glowing red...

    BOSS - Orthrus
    STR24LUCK19NullifiesFire (Drains)

    This battle will definitely be at a different level than that versus the Horde we fought previously. This guy likes to attack you multiple times with the same attack, either hitting multiple allies or one ally multiple times - neither is good for you. The main thing here is to finish him as fast as you possibly can. Having three demon allies will be great for diluting the damage you take as well as providing additional offensive forces.

    The only Ice-elemental skill I had found at this point was the Bufu spell on the Centaur. If Whispered to Flynn, you have a pretty formidable force already. One use should be dealing circa 80 damage, which should make this battle last about two turns when combined with two other allies.


    Once that battle is done with, return to the surface. Report back at K's Tavern.


    A Missing Fellow Samurai - Part 1, Naraku

    [_] 1,000 Macca[_] Detox Solution[_] Dies Irae[_] Medicine

    As you report back after having finished that third Challenge Quest, a samurai will tell you that Navarre has gone missing in Naraku. Of course, Navarre is a prideful piece of sh-- I mean snob, and would be willing to choose death over ... being rescued by a Casualry, so you have to be quiet about it publicly. Anyways, prepare for the journey (be sure to rest in the Baracks and grab some Detox Solutions!) and enter Naraku.

    Demon NameLevelHPMPSTRDEXMAGAGILUCKScout?RaceWeaknesses
    Grudge Horde52431091818182018NoHordeFire, Light
    Melchom562677810710YesFallenIce, Force
    Samurai Zombie41162698676NoUndeadFire, Light
    Samurai Zombie5924688888NoUndeadFire, Light
    Slime2743655555YesFoulPhysical, Ice, Fire, Electric, Force, Light
    Tengata Manu2743655555YesFlightGun, Electric

    Begin your journey by heading to the 3rd Stratum. To get there, return to where you fought the Orthrus earlier and look to the south. There should be two westbound paths; break the wormwood off the northern of the two and go along down to the next floor. As you arrive, you'll notice a hooded man - one who was absent if you came before. He suddenly summons two Naga!

    BOSS - Naga x2
    MP143AGI23ResistanceDark, Light, Electric

    As you could probably guess, you get pre-emptively attacked by the hooded man's Nagas. They have the ability to further increase their Strength beyond that which is already the most powerful you've seen insofar - in fact, they tend to use that initially and shoot you with an attack. This can deal 50 ~ 80 damage pretty easily, which often spells one-hit-kill for you.

    You probably also don't have any Fire-based attacks unless you've been using Demon Fusion, although they're really weak against that - easily 150+ damage per hit. Otherwise, the main thing you can do is concentrate your offense on just one of the Nagas at a time. They can be put to sleep if you have Dream Fist (learned by Mokoi), although it's not common.


    After the battle, head south, then read the sign. You'll notice that there's poison to be fared against later on, which is true. If you didn't get the Detox Solutions as I previous recommended, go back and get them. Go through the door nearby, then attack the wormwood you can see in front of you. Behind it is a hole near the ground. Press Down then A to go into it. Once inside, to the right is a Detox Solution.

    Return outside and head east. As you pass the torches, you'll suddenly meet Walter, who's been injured, who reveals something important that you probably already knew about Navarre. Further to the east is a hole near the wall base, although it yields nothing. So you'll have to go north. Through that purple water. Crap. Just beeline north to the fork and head west. Break down the wormwood there and you'll find a chest containing a Dies Irae! Equip it now; the relatively low hit rate is made up for by an over 50% boost in general power.

    Turn around and finish cross the poison via the other branch of the fork. On the other side, cure yourself of the poison with an item or skill, and probably heal some HP as well. From there, head east at the north/east fork, then north at the next fork. Crawl up the ledge partway across and proceed along to the chest, which contains some HP-healing Medicine. Now beeline your way southward and go through the door.

    Continue south and break down the wormwood wall on the way, although it just makes a shortcut to the start of the poison-water pit. Go back north and through the door, then west, then north at the fork. As you go along, you'll again meet the hooded man, who decides to teach you another "lesson".

    BOSS - Wendigo
    HP544MAG22WeaknessFire, Electric
    MP244AGI23ResistanceDark, Light, Force

    This fight will be much easier than the previous one. Firstly, this enemy is unable to attack multiple times per turn; it's alone; and has more (common) weaknesses. There's not much to mention about this other than hack-'n'-slash with weakness-abusing attacks, but do try to keep your party's HP high initially. It's not too unlikely that you can combo around Agi and Zio to finish this thing before it gets a chance. But...

    BOSS - DDS Horde
    MP305AGI23ResistanceDark, Light, Force

    Soon after having beaten the Wendigo, the man summons a horde of them as reinforcements! Jonathan soon arrives, alongside Isabeau - which startles the hooded man, as it is two Luxurors allying a Casualry.

    So, in other words, basically the previous battle. It still remains pretty easy, although your enemy is now twice as dangerous due to multiple turns per turn. Of course, if you have enough people with Zio - and you should at this point - you can cyclically kill this thing before it gets a turn. Be wary, though, if your allies are weak to Ice - this enemy often opens with a power-boosting move before a party-wide Ice attack.


    After the battle, the hooded man is shocked at the failure of his plan to put the Casualries in their place. While Jonathan and Isabeau elaborate on why they helped Flynn, Walter walks in and Jonathan catches him up. Meanwhile, we decide to head further in, leaving the hooded man to be punished another day. He gladly flees, leaving a trail of urine behind. The three others accompany you to Navarre.

    As you progress along the path, another person arrives in samurai armor. He appears rather suspicious, no? Continue along to what is indeed a funny-looking wall and enter, despite the presence within.


    A Missing Fellow Samurai - Part 2, Naraku Domain

    Demon NameLevelHPMPSTRDEXMAGAGILUCKScout?RaceWeaknesses
    Grudge Horde52431091818182018NoHordeFire, Light
    Melchom562677810710YesFallenIce, Force
    Samurai Zombie41162698676NoUndeadFire, Light
    Samurai Zombie5924688888NoUndeadFire, Light
    Slime2743655555YesFoulPhysical, Ice, Fire, Electric, Force, Light
    Tengata Manu2743655555YesFlightGun, Electric

    As the group arrives, it quickly becomes apparent that we can't go back - as Burroughs confirms, we've entered a demon's Domain, or basically a trap. What's odd is that a demon powerful enough to summon one has not been around for many a moon.

    Anyways, it still has a pretty simple structure. Go south, then east at the fork, north at another, and head east. As you go along, you'll simply see a girl appear and disappear - something Isabeau happens to notice, as does Jonathan. Not too sure about Walter, though, unless he's just being really sexist... =P

    If you head along the second of the southbound paths, you'll again see the girl. As you continue along, you'll meet up with a man, sitting in a chair. His name: Stephen. After some odd babbling, he lets loose with the fact that the Domain will dissipate if you defeat its creator. Anyways, if you need to heal, simply enter this room - and do so whilst grinding. It's probably a good idea to hit Level 9 or 10 about now.

    Continue south and further along the path to a doorway. Within, you'll find a master samurai and Navarre, apparently trapped. And by who?

    BOSS - Alraune
    MP391AGI24ResistanceDark, Light, Gun

    This boss will be more annoying than powerful or formidable. While it doesn't have that high of a Strength stat, it can definitely start ripping chunks from your HP gauge with the Poison Breath skill, which, surprise surprise, can Poison everybody. Hopefully, you have some Detox Solutions left over or the Posumudi ability - either way, you need to prioritize Flynn's life, given that he's the only one really able to use items. Alraune can also deal somewhat high damage, circa 40 points per hit.

    Regardless, the obvious weak point on this flower is fire. Lots and lots of fire. Some of the demons you could've recruited, such as Melchom, already have Agi, which is good for Whispering it to Flynn. It can deal about 100 damage per hit, which means that you should have this done in about two turns. Maybe even less - if you have three people using it, you may be able to maintain the chain long enough to kill her.


    After the battle, the domain will disappear and you'll be back in Naraku. After a rather humorous and odd scene, Burroughs will notify you that the quest is done. So, anyways, backtrack outta here. I will note that, south of the shortcut to avoid the poison-water pit, I found a 1-Star Jewelry on the ledge.

    Once out, return to the Barracks.


    The Breakfast Club

    [_] 950 Macca

    It seems that all of the master samurai are out, so the apprentices get some sort of holiday. Walter, who conveniently watched you sleep, decides that the three of you (Isabeau preferring to be alone) should munch on the bakery's wares outside. Feel free to shop up at Q's and B's before going to the Mikado Castle area, then to the Castle City, then to the Bakery.

    While Walter orders three loaves of kickin' bread, the baker gets to talking about some new genre of literature called "Literature". -_- Jonathan, an avid reader, apparently hasn't heard of it, although the baker got it from the Black Samurai at a Sabbath. After he gets onto some rather dark ranting, Walter finally manages to get us out of it. So, where to eat?

    I suggest Lake Mikado. Well ... Awkward encounters, eh? We meet up with Issachar there. Do you wish to associate yourself with him? Is he an old friend?

      • Alignment +1 = Yes, he is
      • Alignment -5 = I don't know this man

    It's a little depressing, though, and he has to go home to Kiccigiorgi anyways. As the dynamic trio get onto eating their breakfast, they discuss what the baker was talking about, this "Literature". And this "Black Samurai". Well, whatever - demon fighters fight demons, not read books.

    The group parts ways there. So head along to the tavern. There, you can see several more Challenge Quests to do. One of them is the "Chagrin Slaying Competition", which basically makes you go into the Naraku and slay five Chagrin, which appear on the 2nd and 3rd Stratum. That I should not have to guide you through; note that they are weak to Electric (i.e. Zio).

    Meanwhile, there's another quest...


    The Cursed Gauntlet

    [_] 1,000 Macca

    With this particular job, it seems that there's an odd problem with one of the rare and valuable Gauntlets. You need to head to the treasure room first - first to Mikado Castle, then to the Treasure Room. Confirm that you are prepared, and more info will be divulged by the master samurai. A powerful demon resides in it, interfering with its operation. The Gauntlet must be cleansed of such demons before an inexperienced novice - such as those in the Rite - peruse it. Of course, the demon within does not particularly want to leave its crib. None of the samurai so far have managed to forcibly remove him, either.

    The Gauntlet is activated and a gladiator-like demon rises from within - Ares, named for the god of war.

    BOSS - Ares
    STR34LUCK22NullifiesDark, Light

    While this God of War may only have about two-thirds of the HP of our previous boss, he also has much higher Strength and no true weaknesses, making him a formidable foe. He also has the attack Fatal Sword, which almost certainly will kill a party member if it strikes due to its high damage. He also the first foe to be able to counterattack.

    This fight is best done in an all-out assault, especially when below Level 10. At pretty much any reasonable level, the threat of Fatal Sword will loom painfully over your head, making all attempts at healing or reviving full of vain. If you happen to have the Media Skill, that's the best that can be said for healing, but that would be about it. Just grind his HP down. Ares can be statused (except Lost), albeit a little tough if not Panic, so while you may want have that as a side-effect, by no means should be it become a full strategem.


    After the battle, Ares willingly leaves.


    Find the Survivors - Intro

    After finishing the Cursed Gauntlet's Challenge Quest, head to the Barracks. That night, Walter awakens you to Isabeau's craziness on the rooftop. Apparently, she's just reading - manga, no less. Apparently, it takes place in the "fictional" country of France. Okaaaaaaay...

    Meanwhile, in the distance, we see something more sensible, sort of - a crimson glow... FIRE! On Kiccigiorgi no less! As the four head down to the plaza, they meet samurai gathering in haste, only to find that apprentices are not allowed to go. Hope remedies this and the group departs for Kiccigiorgi.

    They arrive at dawn to find a village in ruins and the people in a daze, fearing demons. That gets Hope's attention - apparently, the demons committed arson here. Those who survived the blaze fled to the forest. The group immediately heads there.


    Find the Survivors - Dungeon

    [_] 1,000 Macca[_] 1-Star Jewelry[_] 1-Star Jewelry[_] Healing Water[_] Revival Leaf
    Demon NameLevelHPMPSTRDEXMAGAGILUCKScout?RaceWeaknesses
    Spriggan10129661414141414YesFairyLight, Dark
    Stonka815034141310119YesBeastGun, Electric
    Dybbuk4586367969YesSpiritIce, Light

    ~ Kiccigiorgi Forest: Side Road ~


    Okay, Little Red Riding Hood, let's find Grandma's house. Begin by heading eastward to the east/southeast fork. Pick up the 1-Star Jewelry along the latter fork before going along the due-east path. Along it is a red-hued demon, which means...

    BOSS - Innocent Horde
    HP692MAG16WeaknessIce, Light, Electric
    MP312AGI16ResistanceFire, Force

    To be honest, there's not a lot to say about this demon. It primarily will just abuse its two moves per turn for damage, although it can also raise its own Strength. Basically, abuse Bufu and Zio. There's no real need to concern yourself with HP restoration - worse case scenario, you need to heal back at the forest entrance. If you happen to have something like a Mazio Stone item, you can also use that for about five Electric-elemental hits on this boss (Horde enemies are composed of five hittable parts as far as multi-target attacks are concerned).


    After the battle, break the nearby wormwood and proceed further along the path to rescue some villagers. It is now a good idea to return to the forest entrance so as to heal. ... In fact, it's not too stupid an idea to consider grinding a bit, say up to Level 13 or so. Return to the fork in the path and begin going southward this time. At the end of the path is a red humanoid demon using the ... Agh, I forget. Captain Planet or Captain Earth creedo, I think? Tells you why I should not be writing this at 3:30 A.M. >_>

    BOSS - Element Horde
    MP234AGI14ResistanceFire, Force, Ice, Electric
    STR15LUCK18NullifiesLight, Dark

    Okay, this one will be a bit tougher from your standpoint, having no weaknesses and resisting much of what you can toss throw at it. Luckily, it does not resist the kitchen sink, so such basic physicals and needle-based Gun attacks are probably the way to go. Which is nice, as it'll conserve MP. Of course, there's also those that are based on MP and can inflict statuses, like Dream Punch, or those that hit multiple targets or multiple times.

    Just beware the party-wide Fire attacks, and you'll pretty much be okay.


    After the battle, as before, return to the healers at the forest entrance for some ... well, healing. Afterwards, continue further along the southward path we just partially traversed. There, you'll find a fork - southwest or southeast? Head southwest for now and west at the next fork to find, surprise, a boss. This is just another Innocent Horde, though. Further along that path are some more villagers to rescue.

    Return to the forest entrance to heal, then go due east of the last place we rescued from to find a man captured by the Strix! She oddly has an obsession against the Luxurors, an undemonlike emotion...

    BOSS - Strix
    HP729MAG25WeaknessGun, Electric
    MP329AGI25ResistanceLight, Dark
    STR25LUCK25NullifiesIce (Repel)

    Pffft. This gal still retains the lengthy-and-dubious title of "not the hardest boss insofar despite bosses being meant to get harder". She can drain the HP out of you with Life Drain, but that's about as threatening as she gets. Take a cue from Pikachu or from Dante and blast her full of electricity or bullets, whichever you prefer. She'll be dead on the second turn, easily.


    After the battle, the man elaborates unto you the wretched ceremony that caused this long, sleepless night for the villagers. After he leaves to the forest entrance, Hope will call, relaying this same info to all. He suggests going further into the forest to find more. First return to the entrance for healing, though.

    From the triangular fork near where these last two battles occurred, head south along the western of the southbound paths.


    ~ Kiccigiorgi Forest: Forest Depths ~


    In the next area, continue south along it, defeating demons and destroying wormwood along the way. The path will soon curve around back to the north. As it suddenly turns east, head to the northern ledge and look down. Jump down to the bottom to find a Revival Leaf in the chest. You'll have to backtrack up there, so go north, destroy the wormwood, and proceed to backtrack.

    When the path turns east, follow it this time. As you go, you'll find a chest with some Healing Water in it. Continue along, although you won't go much further before meeting Issachar. After some spoilerific conversation -- wha-?

    BOSS - Issachar
    MP252AGI26ResistanceLight, Dark

    Surprising as the coming of this fight is, don't expect it to be any more of a pain than the other bosses we've found in the forest. The main problem you'll encounter with this guy is Critical Wave, a move you've seen from your other partners. Since you're unlikely to have any Light or Dark moves on you, simply wail away at him - this is more of a story fight than anything.

    There are several choice-giving conversations during the fight. Choose as you will with them - your alliance in relation to the Luxurors, and whether to finish off Issachar and spare him this misery...

      • Alignment -5 = Finish him off
      • Alignment +5 = Spare him

    After that possibly tear-jerking end to the battle, Hope calls, noting that the Black Samurai that instigated this whole mess is somewhere within the depths of the forest. Continue east to the fork in the path, then south. Collect the 1-Star Jewelry, then head north.

    After the scene there, you'll find yourself in a barren land with Stephen. He says that the girl is off to the east, wanting to see you, so head that way. There's not much said there, though. You'll soon awaken back in the forest, aroused but unaroused as it were. Eventually, Hope calls, asking for the details, which Isabeau conveys. Hope, alarmed, requests you immediately return to the entrance.

    There, the facts are tied together. The Black Samurai is able to summon demons, as well as turn humans into demons through her books. Given the presence of demons beyond Naraku, and the increased use of books (i.e. the baker) in the kingdom, this is likely her doing. But to what end...? In any event, we return to Mikado Castle.


    Some New Challenge Quests, and the Black Samurai's Bounty

    [_] 750 Macca[_] Ahazuya Gray (Lower Body)[_] Ahazuya Gray (Upper Body)

    Meanwhile, later that night, you have another dream of a city in ruins. There, you meet Walter, who suggests that this world is beyond saving and should simply be rebooted. He parts, requesting you head to the underground. In the desert, you meet Jonathan suggests the exact opposite of that...

    The next morning, you awaken, alone for once. Hope calls, requesting you to go to Aquila Plaza. Feel free to shop up first, but that is about it - head to the Emergency Meeting Ground. Hope soon calls the ground to order, before being cut off by Abbot Hugo. He mentions little other than that you already know, but soon mentions that the Black Samurai is suspected to be in league with the Unclean Ones, those dwelling in the underworld, deep in the Naraku... which is against the samurais' code. Not to mention the legendary demon said to swell within.

    The quest is up at K's Tavern. There, Isabeau, Walter, and Jonathan are discussing the notion of an ulterior motive to this quest - that the Monastery is trying to simply get relics from the underworld, and the Black Samurai's appearance provides a convenient excuse. Respond as you will to whether you think you should do the quest when Walter asks.

      • Alignment +5 = We should
      • Alignment -1 = It is unseemly

    If you are interested, there are several other Challenge Quests available. If you don't want to do these, simply go to the section Capture the Black Samurai.

    • "I Want a Classy Down Quilt:" Gather 5 Fuxi Feathers, found by killing Fuxis. They reside all throughout what of Naraku you've explored thus far; you may even already have them!
    • "Slaying of the Dragon of the Lake:" A boss battle, discussed later.
    • "Dance of the Dead:" A dungeon trek, discussed later.

    Okay, firstly, let's discuss the second mission. To go there, you must head to Lake Mikado - go to the Mikado Castle, then the Castle City, then the lake. Save beforehand.

    BOSS - Long
    MP374AGI29ResistanceIce, Dark
    STR29LUCK29NullifiesLight, Force (Repel)

    Not a lot to say about this boss. While it definitely is resilient, and has some somewhat impressive stats, it doesn't threaten you much - mostly Force-elemental attacks will be the threat if you're using demons like Mokoi, but that's it. Zap him to death. Don't expect him to last more than two turns.

    After the battle, you are asked a question as to what you think demons are...

      • Alignment +1 = You are beasts to be slain
      • Alignment -1 = You are holy spirits

    Now, as for the third quest? First rest up in the Barracks, accept the quest, then head into Naraku. Proceed along to the third level - you know, with the poison and all from last time. There, grind your way through five Calamity Hordes.

    BOSS - Calamity Horde, David
    HP616MAG27WeaknessGun, Light

    Not a lot to say about this boss. This boss is perhaps a bit easier than the previous one. The main thing you'll find against these guys are Life Drain attacks. Overall, while this boss is not hard, keep in mind you have to fight five of them, perhaps even between the various other 3rd Stratum encounters in Naraku. If you're having trouble, you may want to return to this one later, after having gotten to the Ueno region and gotten some guns and ammo - that makes it a little easier, since you could really only have trouble if you lack needle-based skills.

    After winning the final battle, though...

    MP640AGI37ResistanceFire, Ice, Light

    Now we have a fight! David decides to take you on in a David-and-Goliath style battle, although it's gonna be harder for him than that. His main move would be Blight - a party-wide move that dishes out somewhere around 120 damage to everyone, which is probably a one-hit kill for your demons. He also is plenty able to dispose of Dark-prone demons.

    As it stands, you may not be able to beat David unless you have four characters spinning around Electric skills, not to mention some luck. Granted, it's more than possible to get that. Before the battle, consider maxing your stock of back-up demons in case someone dies, and try to have several characters able to use the party-wide Media. Other than that, there's not much - it is a pretty hard fight, so you'll probably want to let this wait 'till later.


    Once you've rested at the Barracks, let's take on the next mission.