Welcome back! Last episode we dreamt of naked men and naked women and probably woke up with a boner. There was also some FORESHADOWING and a lot of grouching. This episode... we go to get our morning coffee and come back with a knife, repressed trauma and crappy armor.
|Five more minutes... zzzz...|
|Yes it does. It totally does!|
|LET ME BE LAZY. I AM DREAMING OF NAKED PEOPLE.|
|Ugh... fine. She's worse than an alarm!|
|...yes, she repeats this. She's even worse than an alarm.|
|I'm awake, woman! ...also missing a lot of furniture. Why do I have a desk and computer but no bed or wardrobe?|
| BUT I DIDN'T EVEN BOOT IT UP YET.|
And don't I need to accept those?
| Apparently not! Ah, well. Now to read-|
...there's only ten years in the 1990 that start with those three numbers. Pick one. And there's only 31 days in October, gdi.
Fine, I'll pick for you! The events of today occur on the 30th of October 1999! Whoooo~.
Also Steven is going to be one of your best friends throughout this game...
|OH NO! What is it? Global warming? Terrorists? It's terrorists, isn't it? Do I need to go find a bomb shelter? Is it World War Three? MOM, WE NEED TO FIND A BOMB SHELTER!|
|...riiiiiiiight. Never mind, false alarm. It's just some advertisement for a video game. Pfft.|
|I need to repaint these walls. Still, this game sounds like fun!|
|Oh cool! Free game!|
|Right, right. Can I play it?|
|Ooh. Is it an RPG?|
|Whoo! Weird name for a video game.|
| What- NO. Don't tell me I have to play it online!|
Alright, alright. To be serious. This is going to be your best friend throughout many of the games in the Shin Megami Tensei or Megami Ibunroku line.
Devil Summoning Program
This program uses technology to allow the user (you) to talk to and recruit demons, as well as to convert them to data for easy carrying. Although unexplained in this game, in the concept art and the sequel it is held in a special PDA fixed onto your wrist.
|I'M AWAKE, WOMAN.|
|Let's see if we can check Plurk on here!|
|God, this connection sucks.|
This is a special email network, as far as I can gather. The name is likely a pun on the name of the novel that inspired these games.
Digital Devil Story
The original novel series. They feature tentacle sex, mind control and a whooole lotta mindfucks.
|Then why are you emailing me? Or is DDS-Net a chatroom? That makes no sense.|
|Take your time... It's not like demons are invading the earth as we speak or anything...|
| It also slices, dices, and even makes soup.|
Also summoning demons costs.
| Talk to talk.|
Simple enough. But wait! There's more.
|Essentially, your attitude will determine whether the demons will talk more, fight, or even join you. There are no demon skills that will make conversation easier. Save states are your best friends for this. If you don't like those, you just have to keep trying.|
|So yeah, you can't control the greeting you give. Or even see it.|
|Cooool. I wonder if it'll translate human languages too?|
|Again? Damn this internet connection!|
|Five more minutes...|
|...goddammit. Fine. I'll go see what mom wants.|
|I did until you started yelling at me.|
|Oh, so that's why you woke me up? Jeez, woman. Also hm... police sirens. I wonder what that's all about?|
| Oh, it is...|
People playing this game might notice some similar themes to Devil Survivor in the upcoming parts.
|! Money! Gimme! ...well, it'll probably be something lame like 100yen or someth-|
| HOLY SHIT.|
Did she sell all the furniture to give me this? Is that why we have none except my desk and computer?
Goddammit woman, I'd rather have the bed.
| 10000 yen in varying currencies:|
ENGLAND: 83 pounds
USA: 131 dollars
PHILLIPINES: 5,598 pesos
It also totals 99.8 euros. Even dividing it into a month, that's still 2500 yen per week. Google tells me the average weekly allowance starts from only 200 yen... This family is loaded. How old is this protagonist, anyway? It's never mentioned, although he looks relatively young in his official art.
| Only if I can have some.|
Also hey! Don't make me pay for your coffee, woman!
| Away we go! Also this is only a two-room apartment...|
Guess we know why he's getting so much money. They don't need to spend money on anything except his dialup connection and the electricity to run his computer.
|Here's an idea, mom. Why not move away from that spot? The floor's nice and cozy. Or you could go with me if you're so worried...|
|Guess not. Thought I was kidding about the halls? Don't worry, I'll spare you from most of them.|
|Doggie! This is Pascal. He has a very small role in this game and happens to be named after a programming language. No telling what breed he is, but apparently they dyed his fur blue. Sadly, for now, all you can do...|
|...is talk to him.|
|Awwww. Isn't he sweet?|
|Welp, time to go get coffee.|
| This is the world map, if you couldn't tell. Welcome to Kichijoji. Don't get attached. This is an early-age video game after all. Also notice all the barricades. A lockdown is currently in existence...|
One of the many barricades in Kichijoji is actually a fake, but we won't get to that until later.
|Going into any of those barricades results in getting warned away by policemen. Still, what sort of murder investigation involves police using those massive shields?|
|Ohhh, they're expecting someone to attack them to get out?|
|This is the Velvet Mall! ...alright it's just a mall, but take a look inside.|
|Everything's blue or blue-ish. For new players, this is a confusing area, but anywhere that'll actually be relevant results in a name popping up. There are three exits, in a T-shape.|
|It's a relatively normal mall. On your right as you enter is an Antiques store...|
|And progressing on is a-|
What sort of store specialises in knives? Ah well. I'm sure it's legit
|The unlabelled room next to it leads to this guy. Looks like he got the program too!|
|...welp, he's gonna die. Dude, you don't even have a name! Even the named guys get screwed over in a Megaten game! You need all the defense you can get!|
|Yes, I'm sure it was full of viruses.|
| Yep! Checked it this morning. But I kept the program! ...like a wally.|
It's a cute quirk of this game that it basically tells you IF SOMEONE SENDS YOU A WEIRD PROGRAM, SAVE IT, YOU'RE GOING TO NEED IT.
Well, anyone old enough to play is smart enough not to do that anyway.
|The turn after this leads to a row of rooms with an exit and one turn-off. Going straight ahead from where you entered would simply take you to the other exit.|
|Wow, they're pretty obvious here. It actually means pharmaceuticals. Get used to nothing in the store or your items having descriptions, too. You've gotta use stuff to figure out what it does.|
|Here we are! This is where we go for the beloved coffee.|
| OUT OF MY WAY, WOMAN. I WANTS MY COFFEE.|
...wait are you missing your pants?
...this is my lucky day.
| But first, to talk to strangers.|
...wait, if the murder's in the south why are they locking down the entire area? WHAT DO THEY KNOW?
People here have an unfortunate habit of being invisible until you talk to them. And by "talk" I mean "face them at all". They'll take it as an invitation to talk and just babble at you whether you want to or not. Clearly they are all very bad ninjas.
|Spot the typo in the translation! Also this woman has a pretty nice outfit.|
|Hello, schoolmate they never bothered to name! There there. You won't be scared for long once the demons come.|
| HOLY SHIT MY DREAMS CAME TO LIFE.|
Tonight I dream of a bed!
...and maybe a friendly tiger that'll eat up my enemies. Ooh! Or a car.
| She knows.|
I'm sorry I looked at your ass! Don't hurt meee!
|...there's a station?|
|Ooh, tell me more! C'mon, girlfrand! Dish all the creepy details.|
|DIDN'T YOU PLAY PERSONA 2? Rumors are serious business!|
Also hm. This looks like something to check out later! Once I have had my coffee.
|Finally. This room in the back of the cafe has the "Master" who sells coffee.|
|Sweet. Wait, mom said to pay up front. Eh. Whatever. It's not like the world will end if I don't.|
|'kay! More money for me!|
| Oh no! What can we do? Call the police that are just down the street? Get everyone out of the mall?|
...no. There is only one option.
|BETTER GO CHECK IT OUT!|
|If I don't get stabbed by a hobo behind the drugstore, I'll be sure to!|
|This little alcove is where they said the man would be...|
| GAH! NINJA HOBO! ...and he's Scottish. Look at the bunnet!|
...what are you babbling about, you auld git? I'm just a boy. Brown hair, arm computer, bad clothing taste. Pretty obviously human.
|AAAAAAH RUN AWAY HE'S GOING TO KILL US|
|For a mad hobo, I don't see any knives, or... hands outside of his pockets. Or anything, really. He's just standing there screaming at me. Maybe I should buy him a coffee-|
| -or not.|
Meet your first demon. Clearly this little fellow was just so annoyed with the man's screaming that he decided to shut him up. With violence.
|OW HEY I WAS BEING QUIET!|
| Little bastard. He shaved 5HP off me, too!|
Gaki is what later games would call a Preta. Yes, the same ones as in Nocturne and the later games that laugh and shake their bellies. By now he's almost a series staple.
Still non-negotiable, though. Gaki is Dark-Chaos aligned, and dark demons cannot join through negotiation outside of Devil Summoner.
|FREE KNIVE! Lessee if he has anything in his wallet too-|
|Nope. Damn. The Gaki must have stolen his money.|
|In a nearby room, you find this mysterious dude. He appears to be a member of Ozawa's gang from the clothing.|
|Nope. No, I don't know. But at some point I will find out.|
|There's the rest of the gang- HEY! How did Mr I-Hate-Antique-Guy get over there before me?|
|And Ozawa promptly throws me out. More from him later. But first... we go visit a shop.|
Tokyo Millenium is the sacred place built by the Messians in Shin Megami Tensei II, and the main area of the game.
|So now you get to see a menu! Oooh, fun. You have to equip things yourself; there's no auto-equip function. But you can only use the equip option if you have unequipped things. To see what you have already... you'll need to view the status screen. There is no way to unequip. There is a handy glitch for money in these stores but I don't feel like showing it just yet.|
| These are your options for now. No descriptions, as mentioned. Clothing in this game has two requirements-|
More on Alignment soon.
|Status screen! See? Bastard took HP off me! And now he's a minor powerhouse.|
| Eh. Saying that almost guarantees you'll be wiped out soon.|
Also that stuff is expensive. But you'll be getting more money soon.
|Back home we goooo!|
|Woman, you sent me to get your damn coffee. I didn't even get to have a cup because he insisted on bringing it over.|
|I WAS GONE LIKE FIVE MINUTES. Ok, half an hour. But look, I was totally safe! Look at this cool knife I got from a hobo who tried to kill me! And then I got bitten by a tiny zombie demon thing that I really hope isn't rabid. I'm going to be repressing this for years!|
| Hobo. Knife. Demon. Should you even be letting me out of my room?|
...have you even moved an inch?
|About what? The demon that tried to rip my throat out?|
|Oh, her. Whateva whateva.|
|Noooooo. We have a knives store in town that sells katanas for just over my monthly allowance. There was a demon in town. The police are keeping us trapped!|
So that's where you got that money... uh. Good for you! I'm, uh. Going to go to sleep now.
Sanskrit name: प्रेत (Preta)
A type of ghost in many eastern myths, Preta are the spirits of greedy humans who have become fixated on something unpleasant in death as a result of their karma. They have enormous appetites but can never satisfy them.