Part 73: Mechanical Maze

So there's about five general levels, right?

That's correct. This is the back scaffolding to reach the second level.

...So there was an elevator, huh?

Yeah there was an elevator. I think that's when Koron called Takehaya a white knight.

So I did.

Sure would be nice right about now.


Here we are. Get ready—we'll be back in the line of fire once we head through here.

Well, it'll be a break from stairs.

Mio, I am sorry to inform you that this is likely to be your least favorite Imperial habitat if you dislike stairs.

Hey, now, I'm a tough girl.

Even in my own drawings, it's hard to express the alien majesty of the Searsand factory. The scope and scale of this automated factory—it was like something out of a science-fiction story. Which, I suppose it essentially was, but that's beside the point.

Doesn't that one seem a touch out of place?

How unlucky for it!

Aside from their innate 30% evasion, Dragonflies aren't sturdy at all. They don't not have HP, but their defenses are both quite low and they're weak to both Fire and Aerial. ...Why are they here?

C'mon, now! You can take it!

I launch Exhaust on both Chisa and Youka, aaand...

Youka struck the ground so hard it managed to launch a chunk of the metal straight through the dragonfly's body, impaling it.

get stickbugged lol

Would that I still had my map of this place. Operating off of memory is proving rather difficult.


Literally, what is this doing here?


it's behind that uhhh...


I guess.

Oh! It's you!

Intense Worker: ...After all... a long time ago, I had a friend who was just like them.


Don't worry, they're all alright. One of them is my brother, you know. He wouldn't die that easily.

Intense Worker: That's good to hear.

Seriously, what are they doing here? They're weak to intense heat and this is the hottest place in all of Tokyo.

They won't be doing anything once I'm done with them!

mans gets burneded

Man, for a back way in this is pretty big.

I don't believe it was designed for beings with legs, at any rate.

heef heef


The Body Armor is very solid physical-oriented armor. I hand it to Youka, since it's an upgrade in both stats over what she has.

Wait. There's more across that gap.


I wonder if Marina will enjoy my assorted pile of random crap once we get her home? We can have some sisterly bonding over my piles of trash!

That might be nice.

okay now i'm done doubling back, back to the path forward

I feel kinda bad for them. Do you think it hurts if they, like, touch the metal?

Tier 3 gives Mio Big Rush Groove, a Rush Groove upgrade that increases Fever and increases the critical hit odds on the normal attacks inherent. It actually has slightly lower innate damage multipliers on the attack, but crits are nice.

Anyway, these Dragonflies can inflict Petrification and Sleep, but like, they're just Dragonflies.

This should be the way to the second level. Let's go!

Alright, time to hike up my boots and do this!

Five flights of stairs later...

The heat is squeezing the air out of my luuuuungs Richter help meeeeeeee.

Would you enjoy a cold beverage, Mio?


Ah, much better! I'm alive again!

If you need to slow down, please tell me.

No, no, really. I can make it! We have a girl to rescue, Chisa.

True. I just worry.

I know. It's a much cuter trait now that it's a less all-encompassing crushing anxiety.

Is it?

It is endearing.

...Richter, give me a drink, too. I'm parched.

Of course, of course.

Wait—hold up!


We briefly managed to cross paths with Marina, but Shouji and Izumi were hot on her heels.

Sshh! Be quiet! We need to maintain a possible element of surprise.

C'mon, kid. Your shoes are gonna melt at this rate. You'll hurt yourself.


Oh, come on!

She's giving us a lot of trouble!

We're not far behind them. Let's keep up the pace and ensure we can get the drop on them!

Oh, motherfu—! Fomalhauuuuuuuuut!

We have a relay point engaged!

Ah, memories.


I took the opportunity to head back to Shibuki and cash in our rescues.

Shibuki: In recognition of such magnanimous work, I couldn't just give you some consumables... I had to put real thought into this one. I call it the Cultivation Set DX! Take this from me on the behalf of those you've rescued, and know that everyone here is praying for you!

The Mind Booster, as you may recall, is an accessory that boosts Exhaust Gauge gain on each hit of an attack. Handy! He also gives us ten Somanels.

Shibuki: To the people here, you are a star of hope. The best of luck to you, and don't give up!


Wait. Hear that? Footsteps!

Enough playing cat and mouse! She's cornered! ...Heh. Cat and mouse.

Quit laughing at your own jokes and stand guard over there.

Not that she can hear me, but yeah, Izumi. Who laughs at their own jokes?


yeah me too lol

There's a Dragon, but not on this level. We should find a ladder.

Another one of these.

Do me a favor and try to dodge, Mio.


Oh, huh, so that's how that feels.

Ready up, you two! Let's tear through it!

You got it!


I'm only too glad to follow up.


Yeah, if Woodwind Duet was as powerful as it was in the first game this would be super broken. As it stands, it's just really strong. Megamaws' pathetic 51 MDF means that Koron tears through them, too.

Shit! Ow!

Oh my god, are you okay?!


Anyway, this guy goes down from veiling himself to near-death and then Freezing.

...This place. This was where... Iod.

Oh, yeah. I wonder how they're doing? I mean, probably fine, but.

Have you met?

Yeah, we had a chat once. They seem nice.


...I guess so. But they are a True Dragon.

I mean, so are you, and I'm dating you. They seem like they really care about you.


I... hope they're doing alright, too.

Not to interrupt, but did the air just get a bit more annoying to you guys?

Oh. You.

Laughing Man: Dahahahaha!

im going to rescue you kvasir

Ugh, tell me about it. I have to yell in fights.

Calm Teen: Make sure to stay hydrated!

I don't believe we've explored this path.



On the way over to the actual way forward, I run into this random squad. This is relevant because...

Oh, one moment.


Nice shot!

Thank you.

Koron has an Aerial spell of her own now.

Anyway, this is back at the relay point. This is a two-way junction, so to progress we'll head into the one on this side.

Ah, here's the stairs.


Oh this is the worst! I hate this!

Tell me about it.

I smell loot.


There's that Dragon.

Prepare yourself!

Hazard Dragons are weak to Ice and Aerial, resist Fire and Lightning, and are immune to Poison for reason of 'being a Chemical Dragon recolor'.

Let's take it out quick, you two!

Oh, I can do that.

For reasons I cannot explain to you, I used Rock and Roll Out here instead of Shuffle Pitch or something, which had Koron roll Flame and get a followup off of that. This did less damage for obvious reasons, but it did happen.

Oh. That didn't hurt.

For reasons I cannot explain but can only chalk up to human error, while Chemical Dragons were given their much harder-hitting Sludge Breath, Hazard Dragons were not buffed to match. I'm not complaining.

Tch. It's hardened itself!

It's almost dead. We've got this handled.

They had this handled.

Even when I'm playing like an idiot these guys aren't very threatening to this party lol

This junction should allow us further progress.

There's also loot over there.

I was low on MP, so instead of like, using my items, for some reason I just got to level 42 off of randoms. lol.

This time, I don't play like an idiot, so this guy dies in two rounds. It wasn't even a preemptive!

And that's that sorted.

Thanks, Koron!

Have you ever thought about going into the medical profession yourself once this is all over?

No. I'm not that altruistic, and for that matter I despise the smell of antiseptic.

"Once this is all over," huh?

For good! Not just temporarily.

Once this is all over...

I'm appreciating this loot in the now, though.

Okay, seriously, what is so important about that specific place over there that they've got it guarded this hard?!

Hey! You doing okay?

Supply Corps: I'm so glad you guys are here. Thank you so much.

We try.

Alright, you, get out of the way.

Nothing particularly interesting happens on this one other than Koron getting one-rounded and then getting her vengeance.

Oh nice, this one isn't down for maintenance.

Let's head up!

What do you suppose these elevators are even for?

Some of the Dragons can't fly.

Ah, true.

We're back at the Dragon fabrication dock.

Shall we?

We shall!

Watch out! The Dragons are going to enter the fray any moment now!

No big deal.

Mio's got a React you might remember being enemy-exclusive in the first game—she's picked up Miss React, allowing her to gain an extra turn from dodging attacks!

Sorry, sorry!


Great, another one.


Hurry up and die!

I think I can help with that!

This Shuffle Pitch deals 4 hits of about 137 damage each, so roughly 548 damage.

And that's how your local neighborhood vampire does it!


You okay over there?

If you need to take a moment, please tell us.

Here. We both need to restore ourselves.

Yeah. Right.

Looks like we've still got two more to chew through.

...That's odd. That one over there doesn't appear to be coming toward us.

hey, its loss

Weren't they in formation last time?

I mean Trinitro's a zombie right now, things are probably a bit messy upstairs.

Unlike in the first game, where you could rarely get them off of Bloom Seeds, Dragon Eggs are highly controlled substances in this game—as in, there's a total of three in the maingame and a batch of three in the postgame. It's probably for the best.

Mio, are you okay to climb this?

Well, ladders are usually a bit hard for me, but I've been getting a ton of exercise the past two weeks, so I'll probably be fine.

Just let me know if you need me to help you.

What, to bridal carry me up the ladder?

If necessary.

Because I would actually trust Youka to do that more.

Oh, yeah, that's true.

What now?

The point is, do your best to stay safe. You should go before me so I can catch you if you fall.

Which I won't.

What is it about this ladder that makes people flirt?

Hm. Good question.

We've got Richter here, so why don't we bother Kirino to run some experiments!


Don't be mean, babe.

Anyway, I gave Mio a kiss once we were both up the ladder.

Next time, we shut down operations again.

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