Part 7: Dancer in the Street






So, you're sure you know where you're going?

Listen to yourself, Captain! Of course the beautiful Satsuki knows where she's going. My sense of direction is incredible, y'know. Honed through years of practice—stray cat network, really is invaluable.

Aww, but I guess some of my favorite karaoke places won't be open. Bummer.

Well, NBD! If we need to head through the windows we can still head through the windows unless they're inside a tree.

...Inside a tree?



Shibuya Flowersea, the game's second area.






Oh! I see.

Far accelerated from the ordinary pace of nature reclaiming urban areas, the metropolitan area of Shibuya had been overtaken by trees, grass, moss, and flowers—particularly that sickly orange Bloom—as far as the eye could see. Collapsing buildings hovered in the air, held aloft by strong vines that would not let them go. Though the sun was no longer blocked out by the eclipse Warcry manifested, the sky itself still took on an odd purple haze from the ambient miasma the Bloom produced. Dragons ran amok here, parading in the streets to claim in no uncertain terms that they owned the place.

Ah, smell that fresh Shibuya air. Ain't she a beaut?

The decay of mankind's civilization does make for such picturesque sights.

Well, I won't deny it's pretty, but...

Oh. 3.6?

...Good to see you, too. I'll be your Navi this time. Your mission is to scope the area and gather Dz while looking for survivors. Think you can handle that?

Who do you think I am, li'l buddy?

A weirdo who doesn't respond to her own name.

?



...After our topsy-turvy City Hall comes a Shibuya blanketed in flowers, then? I wish I understood Dragon design sense.

So do I, Ms. Hikasa.

The right-hand path is closed off, so head left to the Dogenzaka area.



You got it, Boss!



So about how many dragons do you figure there are in Tokyo right now? We cleared nine of them out of Tokyo City Hall, so...

About two hundred.

Quite a lot. Why that number?

I'm not sure, it just feels about right.

The Captain's instincts are sterling, so I imagine she's not too far off from the exact number no matter how she came to that conclusion.

As you saw on the world map, from this point on there are 200 unique dragons to ice in Tokyo until we've wiped this damn scourge out of our city. The tracker will keep track of it, and the Bloom will recede as we take care of more and more dragons. Additionally, the world map will also tell you how many there are left in a given area, though this can occasionally be misleading, as it counts dragons that haven't spawned from sidequests or dragons you can't get to yet for plot reasons. Still, it's such a satisfying feeling to get an area to hit 0 or jump out of a major dungeon and see the counter plummet.

Those of you following Araxxor's 7th Dragon DS LP will know that that game has 666 dragons in it. This is me saying thank all fuck that I don't have to deal with that many.



THENLET'SGETSTARTEDRIGHTNOW

Your ambush is appreciated, but the second one is right there!

Then let's waste 'em both at once!






Those of you who pay attention to the UI may have noticed that little "Dragon" indicator in the bottom-right before now. It hasn't really come up, but it's a measure of the proximity of a dragon to whatever battle you happen to be in. The game, thankfully, gives you a perfect place to find out what that means right here! Let's demonstrate.





Yea-heah! This new knife cuts like a dream, don't it?

That was such a lovely sound.

Don't underestimate it, please!

Everyone, watch out! On our right!





Looks like someone else wants in on the fun!

I've got plenty for the both of them!

It's EO-related, of course they can do that. Dragons can move while you're in combat, and if they get close enough, they can and will enter into battle to fuck your shit up. The Dragon indicator shows how close a Dragon is from charging into your face. They can enter into randoms or fights with other Dragons both, and if I don't love that opening drum riff on Ever-Building Rage when a Dragon charges in and makes things interesting then there isn't much I love.





Hm...

Something wrong, Richter?

No, I'm just thinking. If I routed in when her toxins entered the bloodstream...



Hehehehahahahaha! I'll bury you under the ice for geologists to find in the next millennium!



GEH

No problem! If we've taken a bit of damage, I can handle it. Keep on the pressure!



Activating regeneration subroutines!



Who gave you permission to manipulate my body's informational field like that?!

You did, Vice-Captain. You signed that form?

...Ah, so that's what that bit of fine print meant.

Regenerator is the last of Richter's three first-tier buffs. It heals a certain percentage of the party's max HP per round at the end of the turn, eventually hitting 15% of their HP. Honestly, it's pretty damn good. Hacker has a number of really strong tools to make up for the fact that you're running a mostly-support character in a three-person party, even if they aren't particularly flashy... for now.



YEEART



Who's the best? We're the best!

Please try only to provoke multiple in situations like these, where we're properly fortified, Satsuki. If we were to be beset by two of those without a starting chance—

Listen to yourself. With peons this weak, we'd rip them apart. It might just hurt a little more.

Pain is bad, Miss Nagataka!

Is it?

...

Yes. It... it is. In most situations, pain is a biological response meant to inform you to stop doing whatever it is you're doing. Pain is bad, Miss Nagataka.

I'll keep that in mind.

That's worrying. Are you alright, Miss Nagataka? Do you need to talk?






Alright, lessee. Heef heef. Heef heef. Nothin' under the branch.



Oh, huh.

Uneasy Soldier: Um, please go the other way, ma'am.

Yup yup. Heef heef. Heef heef.



Heef heef. Heef heef.

What is she doing?

I believe she's acting like she's sniffing around, Captain.

Oh, I see.



Scenic Dogenzaka. My favorite chawanmushi joint was around here, you know. It's not anymore, but it was around here. I hid out a few times in there, and my cats set up a little nest, too. You guys wanna meet my cats?

I'm sure we can do that later, when the area is less dangerous for them.

Yeah, that makes sense.

They're probably scared stiff... poor little kitties. My babies.



Let's go kill that big bungus over there to clean stuff out for my babies!

Now you're thinking like a mother!





Okeydokey, one less dragon around the place. That's good, right? That's great. Hurt a little bit, but it's fine.

I can apply first aid, if you'd like.

Oh, that'd be great! I'd really

LOOT



LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL LOOT

How'd she get up in the tree that fast?!

Get down from there!

i found the hidden route. it led me to the sweet loot.

That's very nice, Satsuki, but let's go back down to the ground now.



Hi. It's Kinu. I'm here to tell you that statuses can kill in this game. In this particular case, Koron and Satsuki left this Salamander on enough HP for Satsuki's Scorpio poison tick to waste it. Thanks. This will be relevant when the third Imperial Dragon uses it to ruin my day. I am not good at video games.



So... what do you suppose that is?

It's a dragon.

Oh, you actually admit it's a dragon this time?

It has four limbs and wings. It's a dragon.



I was more asking about what type of dragon you figured it was.

Ah.



Satsuki, I would recommend not trying to poison this one, I don't think it'll work.

Aw.



Tch. Perhaps if I superheat that cauldron of its...

Please don't do that, either!

I mean, I suppose you can. I don't think it'll do all that much good.



Well, stabbing it seems to work okay!



Koron!

Tch! What a fascinating creature. I—

Look out from its mouth!



Geeehhgghhhghhguh.



Its breath is toxic! We need to maintain caution—I'll engage triage!



You son of... a bitch...!

Koron!

Target the girl with the weak immune system, why don't you, you cheating little bastard, I'm going to rip you in half so many times that your disparate atoms feel it when I get up—Heal me!



right away ma'am yes ma'am



This should counteract its toxin sufficiently for...

Satsuki! Now!





Jesus. So that's what those ones do, I guess.

I'll stomp them all out of existence. I'll make them wish they'd never been spat out onto this planet.

Yeah, I know that feeling.

Think about it this way, Koron. Life is a lot like a ping-pong ball.

Round, white, and aerodynamic?

It bounces back if you trust the other guy?

Oh, um... covered in... indentations?

Yes, yes, I know. Plastic and easily replaceable.

No, no, I was thinking...

...

I forgot what the simile was. Whoopsie!

WAIT. My senses are tingling!



BEEEEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!

Beleaguered Man: Aaaahhh! Now someone's beeping!

Quit doing that! There's someone here! Unit 13, you've gotta help them!

Of course. Please wait just a moment, sir!



Until you get to this point, there actually aren't any random encounters in this area.

Anyway, these are Poison Frogs and Slimes. Here is the difference between them.



That's it.

...Okay, no, Poison Frogs can deal poison and Slimes are bulkier and deal more damage than Frogs, especially when they throw a stop sign at you. It's just they never really get a chance to do much.



I hate slime!

Blech. I hate slime, too. I've seen far too much of it, really.

That's a worrying statement.

I have no time for these oversized amoebae!



Whoa.

When Koron's spells reach a certain level (usually 3), you gain the ability to multi-target them. This decreases the damage, but hey, it's multi-target damage.



Sir, please don't move too much. You're hurt.

Relieved Man: I can't believe it... I'm saved... t-thank you all, but where did you come from...?

I've completed a vital scan. Two broken bones, fifteen lacerations, general fatigue, but strong vital signs.

Sir, we're from an organization that's taken up residence in City Hall. We don't have much, but it's better than sleeping outside—would you like an escort back?

Relieved Man: Y-you mean I don't have to be out here with all the frogs and turtles anymore?

Turtles?

Yeah, the turtles're pretty big.

So there were survivors remaining out here. Please rescue as many as you can.



Future survivors will be marked with yellow marks on the map. It's generally good praxis to pick them up ASAP, since... well, why wouldn't you? Are you some kind of asshole who would leave these people to die? Is that it? What's the deal?! Also for the gameplay reasons, but like, come on.



Alright, chief, here we are. The medical teams will get right to you, as will—

Oh, hey, guys!

As we'd requested, Mio had set up a relay network for the quick transferal of Dz with the help of some survivors who monitored Escape Points out and about. It wasn't much of a stretch of the imagination to use this for rescue, too.

Hey, Mio. Could you get this man a bit of medical—

Oh he doesn't look good.

Relieved Man: I don't feel good, either...

Yeah, that's not a surprise. C'mon, buddy.

Alright, y'all get back out there now!

It's what we do best!





A'ight, that's better. Let's get to work!

Stand back, Koron. I'll give it what for.

Please do.



Don't leave me out! Nobody bullies Koron but the beautiful Satsuki!



Lock-on!



Weakness located!

Nice shot, Satsuki!

I don't think this came up before. Most of Satsuki's gun techniques are actually Aerial-element attacks, meaning that they deal effective damage to... basically any enemy that doesn't keep its feet on the ground. For instance, these Chemical Dragons are weak to Aerial. Another boon of the Gun Trickster is the fact that they can really well capitalize on Aerial weaknesses, which a lot of enemies have. There's also nothing that actually resists Aerial in this game, so it's basically just a free damage buff against specific enemies when you field a Gun Trickster.

...That said, Warcry was clearly shown flying in the intro cutscene, and he's not weak to Aerial! Neither were D1 or D2! Don't get any funny ideas, kids!







Brilliant stuff, really.

Damn, we're good.

Please let me treat our poison.

Shock and horror! Poison persists outside of battle and will damage you if you walk around too much. I know, it's crazy, like this is a JRPG or something.

I remember when, in the runup to EO5, someone posted a faked screenshot of a party member still afflicted with poison out of battle, and everyone panicked real bad.



Alright, the best places to hide are still a ways through here. We'll have to ice 'em!

Two of 'em? No problem!








(You're doing great! Nice shot!)



You can only have one of each type of buff at once. Here, Richter used Attack Booster, so Youka wasn't able to get off the attack boost function of Depth Charge, just the guaranteed D-Depth infliction. The more you know.

Here it comes! Everyone, on guard!







Welcome to the party!



Miss Fudoji, are you ready?

You know it! Satsuki!



Softened em up for you!

...At times like these... I could use that, couldn't I?





You're mine!



The force of the toxic liquid leaving the dragon's mouth had a downward velocity, so Youka used that downward velocity to spring downward and then launch up, cracking the dragon's jaw with a brutal punch from below.



We're already poisoned, moron! Why don't you try swinging a bit harder?!

Oh! I just remembered the simile I was going to make! Life is a lot like a ping-pong ball.



To win, you have to hit it really hard!

Have you ever even played ping-pong.

I played ping-pong at Valve Software's offices once, when I was getting a tour as part of The International Dota Championships 2014. (I turned 18 that year and my family's birthday present to me was a trip to Seattle along with a VIP ticket, which included a tour of Valve's offices.)

It was okay.

Man, I miss when I thought Valve was cool...



Heef heef. Heef heef.



Hey, there's one!

...





Oh.

...

It's alright, Satsuki.



Yeah. The next one, we'll save.

O-okay...



Just in time.





Don't worry, little lady! MURAKUMO UNIT 13, AWAAAAY

By away, we mean we're helping you!











Nothing to it, everyone!

We're really getting the hang of these ones.

Perhaps they should consider evolving to evade their natural predators.



You are. There's no need to be afraid anymore.

Yuki: But the other ones who were with me... they're... they're all dead, I thought I was done for, too... But...



There, there. Let it all out. C'mon.

Please, use this Escape Kit—just snap this little thread you see here, and you'll be returned to City Hall.

A thread, hm?

It's what I'm used to.

While I'm not sure about your modifying Murakumo items like that, you've done good work.

We saw the nurse, Yuki, off, and continued on ourw ay.



Thank goodness. I was getting a little thirsty.

Yeah, I



can't imagine



why that would be.

I feel disgusting.

I cannot explain the slimes' hatred for Richter. They hated him this session. They were out for his blood. His tasty, German blood.



Mmmnnnn...

It's okay, Satsuki. We've already found two people. You're doing great.

But... but this is one of the good spots...

Hey, quit moping. Two survivors, 200 feet ahead.



Oh, so there are!

YES I rule. Let's roooock.



Yes, there's no need to... oh, that's a nice sword.

Guchi: Alright, nice! Time to hit our quota the easy way.

Ino: Okey-dokey! Pockets out. I wanna see all the food, booze, and cigarettes you have.

There was a long, uncomfortably awkward silence.

...Pfffftahahahahahaha, ahaha, ahahahahahahaha!



The one thing worse than that joke is the fact that you might be serious.

Guchi: 'Course I'm serious! Hand it over, or we'll do this the hard way.



Guchi: Whoa, seriously? But they surrendered faster than the French!

Wait, what?

I'd heard the name 'Takehaya' before, but I wasn't entirely sure where.

Ino: Yeah, this'll make Takehaya happy for sure! Change of plans—let's roll, Guchi!






Wait! We're all humans here—why do we have to fight each other?!

This is the way of things in wartime. Infighting is to be expected. That girl is a psychic—be sure to watch out.

Ino: 'That girl's a psychic'! Oh, she thinks she sounds so tough, it's cute.



Hey, nobody bullies Koron but me!

Guchi: That's a lot of bulleeeeEEEEEts?!

Ino: Moron, protect me with that sword! Cut the bullets or something!

Guchi: I'm not that fast!



Ino: Fine, fine.



Ino: See?

Guchi: She's still standing.





Sit down, kid!

Ino: OW ow ow ow ow



Guchi: Fireproof, huh? Eat THIS



Guchi: OH GOD MY EVERYTHING

That was just one punch! Take it in the jaw like an adult!

Ino: Okay, maybe this wasn't the best idea—



bed made, lie in



Guchi: Uh, yeah, Ino was just holding me back! I can beat you way easier without her around!



I'll bet.






You shouldn't make jokes like that in the middle of a warzone, kids. That's just not wise.

Ino: Uuuugh, I broke a nail! Cut it out, gawd!



Guchi: This freak of nature's gonna break more than that if we don't RUUUUUN!



Common looters. The sort of people who will take any opportunity to take what they can, even if it means robbing people in the same situation. Deplorable, really.



Well, we got some loot, at least.

...We're all humans. Why do we have to fight?

...Captain, we have sufficient materials for the HQ. Should we return and help oversee construction?

-----------------------



That was quick. Nice work.

There were quite a few out there. And it wasn't easy, but... we managed, at least.







But—

Obviously, two people aren't sufficient. We'll be back with more.

Next time, Richter actually gets to do the thing his class is named after!

When's he get his YoRHa visor-blindfold?

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