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Blogs

 

to be honest

i thought the text that is now in the description section of the blog's main page would be the first blog entry, and i was satisfied with that, but now i discover that is not the case It's disappointing to find out you have been deceived. It's all the more disappointing when the deception is carried out by a line of text without the slightest trace of sentience, which alone is incapable of deceit, and I am forced to accept that the true trickster was me all along. My tiny brain couldn't wrap its head around the language used by the menus and i fell victim to what I am sure is a classic blunder. Unfortunately the timelessness of my error does not alleviate the pain it causes me. recently i was banned from the ea forums because while very stoned late at night i decided i should change my avatar to a nazi officer's hat to see if i get banned because i hadn't been banned in ages and it worked, and so here i return for my traditional pilgrimage to ycm only it's no longer ycm, it's this trash hospital-looking replacement service A harsh take perhaps but I am wildly nostalgic for the old site at this moment. Legitimately the first website I made an account on, just about two weeks after I turned 14 in the heady days of August 2011. I made the account to use the card maker to actually save my shit and post it up, I remember the first thread I made was Gate Guardian retrains, I posted it from the family computer because we had only just gotten internet in the house and I didn't actually have a phone capable of accessing it at that point so I would go back and refresh the page every few minutes before I was made go to bed. Like I joined YCM at a point in my life where my bedtime was still dictated to me by my parents and now I am a 23-year-old unemployed college dropout lying in his bed at 02:53 typing a blog post on its phoenix site. pathetic anyway that's a bit of trivia there for you about myself i have greatly enjoyed writing this as i greatly enjoy writing every time i do it and yet as soon as i stop i just don't start again and that's by far my biggest failing and yet no amount of realisation is enough for me seemingly so i hope i do return and provide at least a second entry but a healthy pessimism has been my standard approach to all things for years and i would advise the same to the dozen or so people that will see this

Enguin

Enguin

 

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy

So I’ve heard that they pretty much might have just used Tabasco sauce to season this and I mean… It’s similar, I get the idea, but at the same time… not that similar to me. Might just be because it's on something I wouldn't normally put hot sauce on, though. Still, a really nice heat, and I wouldn’t necessarily prefer original Tabasco to a lot of other things. This texture with this particular seasoning though… It feels so familiar, but I am drawing an absolute blank.  Now I’m oddly reminded of various spicy pizzas.... Well, hot sauce & cheese. Hot sauce & Cheez. 8/10
 

Selection Premium Brownie Chocolate Bar

On the left, the one I bought when it stood out enough for me to try it. On the right, literally the exact same thing with a new branding.
I’ve never seen a more unique flavor in a store brand chocolate, so it was fairly alluring. I figured the dark chocolate wouldn’t be enough of a focus to steer anyone one way or the other and thankfully, I believe that was right. Each individual part melds together in such a brownie way. I’m not one to really taste dark chocolate in most of the brownies I’ve eaten, but while unfortunately a fair bit overpowering, it didn’t take away from anything else enough to not get how brownie this is. 8.5/10 Store brand of: Metro Bought at: Metro
 

Hershey's Kisses Cereal

I'll be honest this one I had no idea how good it was or not, it just looked really intriguing. Not bad per se, but unfortunately reminds me a lot in flavor and shape to a chocolate strawberry Batman cereal that was particularly bad. It's not strawberry, though. The shape was done well though, otherwise. It's just average for me, and I find way too many cereals to be above average. The milk tastes like Hershey's. Too little too late. 5/10
 

Renegade Platinum - Chapter 4

Welcome to Chapter 4 of my Renegade Platinum run. The first item on the agenda, catch a Pokémon at the Wind Works. And we get a Magnemite. I can work with that. Also Sonic Boom hurts. Meet Hollow. Naïve I can work with, though not ideal. Time to swap out Warm since Hollow may work out better. Catch for Route 205 is a Buizel, which Future decides shouldn’t be a part of the team by critting it. Trainer battle time. He also had a Mareep, which went down to Harmonius. Next trainer is an Aroma Lady, who is easily beaten by Harmonius. Our next trainer has a lone Pachirisu, which goes down to Fire Fang and Quick Attack. Next is a Hiker, with Diglett going down to Razor Leaf, Numel to Bubble, and Shieldon to Brick Break. Next is a Camper, with Aipom being switched out to Tailow after barely surviving a Razor Leaf, the Tailow then goes down to a Bite from Thinkable, Slakoth goes down to Brick Break, and Aipom then goes down to Harmonius’ Quick Attack. Another Hiker, whose Shellos goes down to Brick Break and 2 Seismic Tosses. After barely surviving Gratis’ Brick Break, the Hiker’s Onix crits with Bulldoze KOing Gratis. Harmonius is then switched in to easily snag a revenge kill. After dropping Gratis back in the PC, we have a match against a Battle Girl, whose team is swept by Future’s Aerial Ace. Our last battle before entering Eterna Forest is a Picnicker, who decided to not evolve her Pokémon, and decided to allow me to get free shots in by only using Bide and Leer. Cheryl, wants a battle. If she only has her Chansey, this should be easy as my team has a physical bias. Okay, first up is Drifloon, who goes down to Harmonius’ Fire Fang after Future takes damage from Shock Wave. Next is Wailmer, who does out speed Accessible, but allows me to set up Stealth Rock and goes down to a Razor Leaf. Third is her ace, Chansey, which easily goes down to two Razor Leafs. Her last is Makuhita, who is put to sleep by Yawn, and is then easily finished off by Future’s Wing Attack. And with that, we are now teamed up with Cheryl, and can catch a new Pokémon. So, our Eterna Forest catch is a Buneary. And due to Cheryl’s Chansey, can’t happen as after knocking out the level 14 one with Wing Attack, the remaining one is crit by a Hyper Voice. So, with no Pokémon here, time to grind to around level 25. With everyone up to 25/26, time to start going through the trainer matches. First goes well, with Future taking a little damage against a Marill. Next match is two Psychics, whose Pokémon get taking down quickly. Next is two Bug Catchers, and after switching to Harmonius, Lava Plume makes the match easy. Finally, two Psychics go down easily to Accessible’s Seed Bombs. After arriving in Eterna City, and overhearing Cyrus at the statue, our catch on Route 211 is a Natu. Which promptly runs away when I try to make it fall asleep. That there is Cynthia. I just came from that direction Yes, that’ll be fun. Now can I have Cut, even though it is not really needed at all in this hack. Time to go fossil hunting. After spending a bit of time in the underground searching for Fossils I now have the choice of an Omanyte or Anorith. On to the gym. Time to go on a fetch quest. On the way to Route 216, we come across a Hiker whose team is easily one-shot by Seed Bomb, Water Pulse, and Fire Fang. Our Mount Coronet catch is a Nosepass. Has the potential to be better than the Geodude I caught. Here we have Sudden. Calm is decent since Probopass has 45 Atk in this hack. Arriving at Route 216 our catch is a Snorunt. Hopefully it has a nature useful for a Froslass. Now onto a trainer battle. The Ace Trainer also had a Swellow, which was slightly annoying with Double Team. Also, the Ace Trainers in the snow routes are the second-best Ace Trainers, behind Gen V. Yes, that is to be expected in a place suffering from permanent hail. That is correct. Having a new grinding place is good, especially for Harmonius. Anyway, Gardenia couldn’t catch a Snover because of hail, which means no 4x effective attacks during the gym. Here is Miniature. Hasty is good, would’ve preferred Timid to have that extra bulk, since Froslass loses 20 points in Atk in exchange for 20 in Sp.Atk. Time to level Miniature on some Fishermen I’ve skipped. Fisherman 1 also had a Corphish and Poliwag. Miniature isn’t great at dealing damage, so Exp Share it is. Even with access to Bounce, this wasn’t a fair fight. The experience from Magikarps isn’t great either. The last Fisherman was better exp. Now, on to the gym trainers, who will hopefully be easier for Miniature to fight. The first Lass also had a Cacnea, but I was to busy being relieved that Future barely managed to hold on from crit Bubblebeam upon switch in to remember to take it. Otherwise a one-shot sweep from Future, bar the Exeggute which managed to paralyze and Leech Seed. Next is an Aroma Lady, who was a one-shot sweep from Harmonius’ Flame Wheel. The last gym trainer is a second Aroma Lady, whose Roselia not only puts Harmonius to sleep but promptly poisons him the turn I use a Chesto Berry. Otherwise was easy. Well you made me go out of my way just to be able to enter the gym. A full team of Grass vs a team with a Fire and a Flying-type. It shall be fun. First is a Bellossom, which goes down to one Flame Wheel. Harmonius also learns Play Rough, which is going to come in handy against Maylene later on. Next is Tangela, which is another one-shot with Flame Wheel. Third was a Grotle, but in my checking to see whether Lava Plume or Flame Wheel would be more useful, I forgot the screenshot. Fourth is a Cherrim, which holds on to one Flame Wheel and sets up Sunny Day. How much will that backfire. The Cherrim dies to the second Flame Wheel to no surprise. Being a mono-grass team, never set up sun when you are being swept by a Fire-type with a decent STAB move. Fifth is Gardenia’s ace, Roserade, which dies to one Flame Wheel. I think Gardenia basically gave up once Cherrim came out. Her last Pokémon is a Breloom. It actually hurt, doing 43 damage off Mach Punch, but died to Flame Wheel. Well, you helped me more than I did by setting up sun when you had no Pokémon with Chlorophyll left. Now with Grass Knot and the Forest Badge in hand, back to the PokéCenter to heal, then I’m done for the day. Well, that gym was remarkably easy. Next time we’ll be dealing with Team Plasma and heading to Hearthome City. Not really looking forward to Fantina, but Accessible and Hollow should evolve by then. In the meantime, I’m going to scrounge the Underground for a Dawn Stone so I’m ready to evolve Miniature.

Azure

Azure

Revolutionary Girl Utena Duel 01 -- The Rose Bride (or: I'm Not Going To Be Able To Explain Everything But I'm Sure Going To Try To Explain Something)

link to episode (i wanted to embed the video here but youtube doesn't let you do that so links will have to make do) Once upon a time, years and years ago, there was a little princess, and she was very sad, for her mother and father had died.
Before the princess appeared a traveling prince, riding upon a white horse. He had a regal bearing and a kind smile.
The prince wrapped the princess in a rose-scented embrace and gently wiped the tears from her eyes.
“Little one,” he said, “who bears up alone in such deep sorrow, never lose that strength or nobility, even when you grow up.
I give you this to remember this day. We will meet again. This ring will lead you to me, one day.”
Perhaps the ring the prince gave her was an engagement ring.
This was all well and good, but so impressed was she by him that the princess vowed to become a prince herself one day.
…but was that really such a good idea? So begins Revolutionary Girl Utena, a school-set coming-of-age anime. But here’s the thing, the fantastic elements of the prolog never really go away, so on top of the relationship drama that will inevitably stem from, like, seven different dysfunctional relationships, there’s also, to borrow from The Princess Bride, fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love, and miracles. To put it another way, imagine if Scott Pilgrim was written by this guy: “This guy” is Kunihiko Ikuhara, someone who people more into anime than I might recognize as the director of the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon. And one can definitely see some of the inspirations Sailor Moon brought to Utena, especially with regards to some of the “magical girl” tropes common in that particular genre such as transformation sequences and an overarching theme of love conquering all obstacles. But Revolutionary Girl Utena is also really weird. Perhaps the most famous example of this is from the movie adaptation where the climax involves Utena turning into a car. Much of the series is like that too, largely involving non-sequitur cuts (a stopwatch is particularly prominent), or a plot involving an escaped kangaroo. This has caused Utena to be deemed as “pretentious” by some, but I’m not entirely sure that’s a fair label. When you strip away everything else, Revolutionary Girl Utena’s plot, while not always straightforward, still exists and can be followed episode to episode. So that’s what I’m going to do here. There are forty Saturdays (including today) left in the year, thirty-nine anime episodes, and a handful of other versions (such as the aforementioned movie) to talk about, so hopefully, we can ring in the new year with the end of Utena. A couple final notes before we get into the meat of things. I’m going to try and avoid explicit spoilers, but talking about themes will inevitably lead to giving things away on some level, accidentally or not. Speaking of themes, a pretty major theme of the show involves not just the dysfunctional relationships I mentioned earlier, but actual depictions of abuse. More specific content warnings will likely preface later posts (I imagine a couple flashing light warnings will be needed at the very least), but I did want to get that out of the way now. Also, the Youtube playlist provided by the distributor only seems to work in America. If you want to follow along outside of the US, you’re going to have to look elsewhere for these episodes, or at least find a VPN that works for you. The first scenes set in the present day lay the groundwork for Revolutionary Girl Utena’s thesis regarding gender roles. Utena Tenjou is a tomboy by every definition, not only in the activities she prefers, but in the way she dresses as well. The societal disconnect between the image of a girl with pink hair and blue eyes and said girl’s desire to become a prince is very apparent. But we’ll have to go into what exactly Utena the show and Utena the character mean when they say “prince” later. In the meantime, the first episode is largely devoted to establishing the majority of the other main characters and the plot of the first arc: Members who bear the Rose Crest may challenge each other for possession and therefore engagement to Anthy Himemiya, The Rose Bride, under duels outlined by an enigmatic being known only as End of the World. Utena herself is drawn to this tournament after the current champion, Kendo captain Saionji offends Wakaba, Utena’s best friend who crushes on Saionji despite (or perhaps because of) his acerbic nature. Other elements introduced are the rest of the Student Council, though only President Touga Kiryuu is referred to by name, the element of music present in Utena’s duels, and the first appearance of the shadow play girls who represent the show’s Greek Chorus, commenting on the events of each episode, though in the future these will largely be through symbols and metaphor. We’ll get into these elements in more detail later. The only really big image to talk about is the castle in the sky, almost akin to the Sword of Damocles in how it looms over the dueling arena. Saionji dismisses it as a trick of the light, but its presence is going to be felt in a majority of these episodes. To ascend to the castle, the duelists believe, is to gain the power to revolutionize the world, and every episode a duel takes place is an opportunity for the challenger to present their case as to why they deserve that power. It’s important, then, that the classic naivete that anime protagonists tend to have works in Utena’s favor here. Utena had no knowledge of any of this when she challenged Saionji, she only knew that she had to fight for her best friend. And when Saionji attacks Himemiya, Utena resolves to fight for her as well. To reiterate, Utena doesn’t display that same desire for power, and, in fact, the anime might argue that that is why she wins. All in all, this is one of the more straightforward episodes of the show. What you see is what you get, really, and the threads left open are things that can largely be answered with “It’s Episode One. It’s supposed to start intrigue, not answer it.” But I’ll leave the comments section open if there are any questions about things I might have missed, and I’ll see you all in a week. -r Next time: Rematch! Roommates! A monkey! link to episode

radio414

radio414

 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 8

With one floor down, who knows how many more there are to go? I do. And maybe you at home do too. I don't know. I'm not going to assume. Anyway, in the last episode of LoT2 we managed to recruit a few new party members, fought our first character boss and made it through floor 1. In this episode, we're going to go start our exploration of Floor 2.  Task List  But as I ended last episode, upon returning to Gensokyo I was ambushed by a cutscene.   Reimu: Mm! I'm tired too. I want to eat some sweet stuff.  Youmu: Ah, I want to eat too... By the way, you guys, how did you secure lodging inside the village for us?  Nepotism.  Rinnosuke: Fufufu, that would be my work, don't you know? Now, be sure to shower me with your thanks.  It's no wonder Rinnosuke and Marisa get along.  Youmu: Ah, sure.  Rinnosuke: (Eh, what, it's colder than I thought...!)  What an odd segue, but you are right. Marisa: Ah~ yeah that. Because of that, we have to aimlessly walk a lot. I really don't want to do that.  Youmu: Ah, I see. I don't know anything about avoiding them, but it's easy if you want to lure them out. They seem to react weirdly to the sound of swords. Reimu: Sound of swords?  Youmu: Ah, sounds like when I sheathe my sword. Basically, they seem to react easily to the sound of metal. Also, things like slashing really hard things like the outer walls also lure them out.  Rinnosuke: And then, if we try to make a lot of noises, would that draw them towards us as well? Probably but...  Marisa: Basically, if we want to fight monsters, we just have to get Youmu to yell while making a ruckus with her sword, right?  Reimu: Then, we'll be relying on you, Youmu.  In situations where you want to fight repeatedly, like when you're leveling up, the M key will reduce the time spent walking around. So yeah, I was not expecting this to happen but it seems the game won't let me go an episode without a tutorial. Despite needing Youmu to see this scene, you can do this before actually getting her. And it's quite handy. Also sometimes unfortunate when I try to write "Map" but haven't actually clicked out of the window. Now then, let's look at our newest party member.  Youmu Konpaku, the Half Human Half Ghost Phantom, is exaclty what her title states she is. Serving under Lady Yuyuko as the overly earnest garderner, she's also a very proficient swordswoman. I don't really know how those two occupations line up, but I don't know what kind of ghost plants grow in the Netherworld, so who knows. As far as stats go, I'd say she's fairly similar to Momiji. Amazing HP, Defense and attack, as well as great evasion. She differs in that Momiji's defense and mind are better than hers, Youmu having particularly bad Mind, but her Accuracy and MP are better. Youmu also has a better base total on her elemental resistances, being amazing against Spirit attacks and despite being weak against Dark in her boss fight, being fairly bulky against that too. She's all offense when it comes to her spell cards, and their generally good, but not much to write home about. Present Life Slash and Slash of Eternity are both single target Physical attacks, Eternity however being stronger and leaving the user with much time gauge left after use, at the cost of 10 MP vs 4  - which will easily drain her average MP pool. God's Slash of Karma Wind and Slash of Clearnig the Six Senses are AoE Wind and Nature respectively, though Six Senses damage is overall on the damage front. Now her stats are still pretty good and she'll still deal good damage, and to make up for her low base damages unlike most characters, who can only raise their spell cards up to level 5, Youmu can raise hers to 9, so she'll make up the difference later on.  Going over her skills, Youmu is clearly a physical bruiser at its finest. Regenearation recovers 10% of her HP at the start of her turn and Dexterity makes it so that any attack/defense debuff she has is instead treated as a buff of the same values. Mental Concentration as well makes it so that Youmu can get more MP back from Concentration to add to her staying power on the field and making up for her average base MP. And then the thing that really pushes her longevity is Desperation, giving her a 25% buff to all stats whenever she's under 40-60% max HP (depending on skill level). Her other skills require her to be at max HP or just give her a damage buff against ghost enemies, but it's clear that Youmu is quite good at being a tanky physical bruiser against direct attacks (attacks that use defense in their damage calculation.)   I also learned that you can see someone's battle points on a different screen. Handy for sure. Also helps you keep track of all other stat bonuses that you've roided them out with as well. Now, with all of that explanation out of the way, it's time to get dungeon delving.  As you can see, we also now have a second option to pick when going in their. Marsia's leyline fuckery sure is handy.  So, right off the bat we can see we have items and an event to go look into. And only one path to go down so, let's see how easily we can actually check these out.  What do you know, it's a straightforward path to the event. Don't uh, mind the blazing sun thing in the background, that's not important.  Youmu: ...That's Cirno on the ground... She looks like she's in quite the sorry state... Well that didn't take too long.  Cirno: Oohhh.... Youmu: Reimu did say that she can't be too far away, but to think that she this close by... Marsia: Why's she look all beat up though? Keine: She most likely tried to fight the FOE nearby.  Reimu: Eff-oh-ee? Keine: Yes, look to the north.  Teach bringing us yet another tutorial.  Reimu: Which direction is that? Keine: ...Look to the top-right of the screen. Reimu: Wow, now that's meta.  Keine: You were entirely inviting that.  I lied it's important.  Keine: An FOE. It's a powerful enemy. If we get close to taht enemy symbol, it will sense our presence and start chasing us for a period of time. If it catches us, we will be forced into battle. FOEs are extremely strong, and once in battle with them we will not be able to run away. It will be a trying endeavor to attempt to defeat FOEs as soon as we find them.  Marisa: That only makes me wanna fight it even more.  Keine: Here we go again... You really need to learn to follow other people's advice. FOEs generally will not move if we do not approach them. If we don't provoke them, they're harmless. It would be safest to ignore them if we are not confident in our strength.  Reimu: Mm, I see. So once we are confident in our strength, we beat them up.  Marisa: Uh huh. Anyways, what do we do with this ice fairy here?  Cirno: Ooooh... Reimu: Oh, right, she was here. I totally forgot about her...  Cold.  Keine: She's completely out of it.  Youmu: She has been a major nuisance to us. Shall we just drag her back to the village?  Keine: We can attend to her injures there as well... Though who knows if fairies actually need that.  Marisa: Alright, let's make her our next exploration team member. Spin her 'round and tie her up!  I don't know if "joined" is the right word. Amusingly, Cirno is also not required to beat the game, so you can just side step her entirely. But there we go, one task already solved.  Reimu: Mmhmm. Our group's steadily getting bigger. Let's keep this rate up.  Anyhow, I know Keine warned about FOEs but really, how bad could they possibly be? Once you get close enough to them, they turn all red and fiery and do move after you.  That...That is a big boy. He already outsped everyone and half healthed Youmu with one basic attack, but that's probably nothing to worry about.  Thankfully, he also seems weak to dark and mystic which we have in spades here. Unfortunately, Kogasa already seems to be taking a heavy hurting. But still, he's not done much that's anything to worry about.  He has done something to worry about. Hitting everyone with an AOE attack and killing Kogasa as well as giving Rumia terror. This same pattern continues for a while until. Unsurprisingly, we lost, though surprisingly we're closer than I was expecting. With some more items and a few more levels, it'll probably be within our reach soon to be able to beat them.  The game also hits us with a surprise achievement. Always welcome. I also decided to look around our achievements that we still have to get and well... We're in hard mode into figuring some of these out. Now, I also left the express way so that I could get Cirno into our party, though I'll wait until later to go over her as this episode has been mostly tutorials and analysis already. So back in the dungeon, it seems that we have a few ways to go, though one path is decidedly not traversable. So we'll start by heading towards the item.  Which leads to yet another split path. Well, we'll just putz around for a bit and see where we each of these paths take us.  But first we have a new enemy to get into. There's not much to say on these enemies, but as we are now on a new floor for the first time, Asteroid Belt won't just one shot them. Thankfully, everyone is strong enough that we can just basic attack to victory.  Moving on with our journey, being on a new floor means an endless number of split paths to go on yet again. We'll take the down one here and see where it leads us.  As always it leads us on a circuitous route but  We get to the item without much issue.  I have no idea what this is a reference to, if anything. Maybe the writer was just really hungry. I should note that this item became available in Nitori's shop when we got access to floor 2, but I didn't buy anything or go over any of it on the idea we might find it, and the other +24% stat gears on this floor. All in all, very handy and going on Rumia as she's our main Mind Tank atm.  Moving back, we'll now start to go downward.  For yet another split in the road.  I'm going to keep following these bottom paths until they stop. Which they do, and link back up with another path that we've already been on. Instead of going back to where we just were and back tracking, I go to press onward and keep following the path ahead.  We can already see our next boss in our sights, as well as another relay point. And on the same floor as our last no less. Naturally, they aren't within our reach and I don't expect them to be for quite some time.  But hey, new enemies. We've already seen the forest fairies before and Marisa is just fast enough to out speed them. The ghosties are pretty annoying enemies, not particularly tanky but they resist most of what we can do, except thankfully Mystic. They can also inflict paralysis so if they get attacks off its not going to be a fun time for us.  Well, though I said that, they seem to have 400 Mind. That's a lot. And so Marisa's Asteroid belt did jack diddly squat. Thankfully, Youmu's Wind Slash is able to kill all of them in one go, at the cost of most of her MP.  So our party is shuffled around now, while we wait for Youmu and Marisa to charge their MP back up. Moving onward, I try to go upward thinking it will lead to the item.  It does not. At least not directly. Regardless we continue to follow the path laid out before us before finding something bizarre about this map. It was really easy to get to this relay point. Quite unexpected if I do say so. We can also go fight the boss, but we're one level lower than its CR as well as a bit out of MP on our primary magic DPS and tank. So I'll wait until we finish adventuring to go and see about that fight. Besides, there are item to get.  Eventually.  Just taking another shot here, showing yet another item in our field of view as well as a weaker boss fight. Unfortunately, we're too high level for that one, so even if we can make it over there, we'll probably wait until we're done with this exploration to get all of that sick bonus loot. Anywho, the path to the item that we're currently taking does in fact just lead us to that item. Game seems to really want us to be beefed out on Mind. Or is just hungry. Back tracking a bit, we go down to a path we didn't take earlier.  Seeing an item and event in our field of view. The path is fairly straight.  Though eventually branches off. We'll take the down path first as it seems like it'll lead us to the event.  And without much trouble, it does indeed.  Her tengu senses are going off.  Reimu: Hm? Something eat you, Momiji? Aya: Ayayaya. So we meet once more. Hello again, everyone.  Momiji: ... Reimu: My, if it isn't Aya. Is your information gathering for your newspaper going well?  Aya: That would be a negative, I'm sad to say. I'm hurrying more than normal if I do say so myself, but that headstart is looking harder and harder to overcome... After all, I ahven't seen any of the other tengus yet, and you folks have somehow caught up with me.  We also have yet to see any other tengus too.  Marisa: ...What's that supposed to mean?  Aya: Nothing, why?  Marisa: Urgh... In a game of speed, you're not going to best her Marisa.  Marisa: ...How annoying.  Reimu: Don't worry about it. We'll keep going at our own pace.  And just like that, Aya has left us to go do her own thing once more. Well, what's happened twice will surely happen thrice, so until next time.  Task List 

Skaia

Skaia

 

Drink Thought #4: SunRype Slim Tropical Mango/Mango Tangerine

Tropical Mango I do like mango flavored things more than mangos, similar to the melon dilemma, but I don't know if I like solely mango flavored things more than mixed things like this. I certainly don't if it tastes too much like an actual mango (that one drink was so bizarre in that way, since I never taste mango exactly with flavored things). This obviously has pineapple as well, and I'll say that it is pretty nice. A deeper blend of juices would be even better, but I'll certainly drink more. 7/10 Mango Tangerine
Too much just like sliced mandarin oranges as a drink. 5/10
 
 

Snickers Creamy Peanut Butter Squares

Had these ones before in a yellow wrapper clearly from the US. That is mostly what these are. They looked different on the package, but the texture didn’t really feel crunchier from what looked like more peanuts. I guess they have creamy (this) and not so creamy/crunchy (yellow wrapper)? Aha, I found an image that shows the yellow wrapper doesn’t look so crunchy after all. The one I had had 4 squares, but it definitely was that kind of wrapper. This one does get the creamy part down a little more, the other one was pretty close, though. That has me wondering about the other other one I saw while searching for these (crunchy). I’ve basically never had crunchy peanut butter because it wasn’t in the house ever, and when I did, it never worked for what peanut butter is generally used for, but it does seem workable in something like this. Anyway, 8.5/10
 
 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 7

Dooo dooo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. Hey guys Skaia the let's play man with the touhou plan, here yet again for another episode of [read the title.] In the last episode we managed to navigate our hub menu to finally be bombarded by item shop cutscenes, solved Rumia's hunger problem and even found Youmu's sword in the hands of a mischievous fairy. In this episode, well, let's hope we can do literally anything on our task list. Spoilers, if we can't  this is going to be a very short episode.  Task List
But if you thought I wasn't going to check out Rumia, Youkai of the Dusk, first then clearly you're a new reader. Why are you starting at this part? Anyway, Rumia here is a Youkai with no determined species, likes eating people and can manipulate darkness. That's about it. Stat wise she's kind of worse then Marisa, having similar stats in having terrible HP and Defense, but pretty good magic and outstanding mind - she's magically tankier then Marisa, sort of, but the witch manages to out speed and out damage her by pure stats alone, as well as out MP her. Her elemental resistances are pretty alright, with a clear tankiness to darkness and a clear weakness to spirit. And her ailments resistances are very polarized. Rumia does have a few things going for her though. Firstly, the rate at which she levels and the cost of her stat ups in the library are way better than Marisa. Her spell cards are also naturally different as well. Moonlight Ray is a single target Mystic attack that does a good deal of damage, whereas Dark Side of the Moon is an AoE Dark Spell. The spell's damage ratio itself isn't that good, but it does ignore all of the target's Mind which can be very handy. Demarcation is a weird support ability on her, but is basically just an AoE heal as well as removing debuffs.  Skill wise, she gives people dark resistance and has some buffs with other people who have Team (9) as a skill. Youkai's Knowledge is incredibly handy as it gives a bonus to daamge against all human enemies while she's on the frontline, which basically every character boss in this game is. Finally Darkness Manipulation is neat in that lowers the rate at which we encounter stuff, useful for if we're going for a long dungeon haul but probably not going to be used all the time. I want to fight stuff after all.  Now with that lengthy explanation out of the way on to fixing Kogasa's umbrella.  Reimu: Moneygrubber... Well, can't be helped. Here, take them.  Nitori: Thank you very much! Then, I think it'll take me about 30 minutes. Feel free to kill some time while I work.  [Implied time skip] Nitori: Thanks for waiting~. Marisa: Done?  Nitori: Perfectly. Here.  Reimu: Ooh. It's a better job than I thought it would be. Nitori: Hmph, this is nothing for a kappa! It's child's play for me.  Marisa: Well then, let's take it to Kogasa.  Reimu: Yeah. *sigh* ... we sure spent a lot of effort for her sake...  This isn't even the worst of it Reimu. But yes, we now have Kogasa's Umbrella.   Poor Kogasa, never in fashion. But with that out of the way, let's go get give the poor Umbrella Tsukumogami her item back. Cutting straight ahead to the cutscene. Keine: She's still crying... Reimu: She can't possibly have been crying all this time I hope... Kogasa, stop bawling already! Here.  Kogasa: Ah, my umbrella! You were able to find it?  Marisa: We didn't just find it, we had to collect materials to repair it cuz it was broken. You better be really grateful. Kogasa: No no, I'm really, really, way too grateful! I'm so happy! Is there anything I can do to pay you back?  Rinnosuke: Hummm... Well, you could help us search this place. We don't enough people right now. And you won't be dragging us back like me.  Kogasa: No problem! As a tsukumogami, we have to repay any debt we have wheenver we can. That's a really serious matter for us. Marisa: Eh, is that so? That's the first time I've heard of that.  Kogasa: It's the first time I've heard of it too.  Rinnosuke: O-ok... If that's how it is... Reimu: Well, if you feel good about helping us, then the feeling's mutual. Let's work well together.  Kogasa: I'll go back to the human village for now. If you want to take me along for the ride, just come to the human village.  Keine: ...You're not planning on getting up to any mischief to the humans of the village, are you?  Kogasa: ........ Keine: Are you?  Kogasa: Oooh..... Kogasa has made a wise choice just now. But yes, we now have a new party member and like always, we'll keep exploring the dungeon first until we got and get her.  Now unfortunately, we're very far away from any other point we want to go to, but I'm not giving up on the spirit of adventure just yet. Since it's closer, I'll go explore the areas where the treasure chests were first. Getting there is also pretty easy, since now that we're level 5 our party outspeeds everything we can run into currently. So no more having to lose chunks of TP or MP to get from place to place.  And here we are now. Walking down this path reveals to me that there is nothing actually down it and instead it just connects to another area. Not really a short cut but it's less undiscovered area to bother me. Moving to the other path we can explore.  Right, there is yet another event over there as well as a staircase. Naturally both of those are out of our reach right now, so all we can do is go in their opposite direction.  And what do you know, the path leads us to another item. We've already seen this in the shop, but it's good just to be sure to screen cap that description. Anyway, this is a pretty handy item as TP is precious and not easy to raise in this game, and is probably best used on either a frontliner or someone with abysmal TP. Anyhow, since that ended up being a dead end, let's go look at the last piece of map we've yet to explore here.  Yet again, an event and item in view but out of reach. Moving up and around, we find that the path leads us to where we had run out of TP last time. So that's good to see. Moving up to where the item is actually gives us a straight shot to the item.  A necessity for fighting aliens of any kind. Anyway, all it is is one more of the standard +12% stat equipments. It'll go on Keine for now, as she is quite beefy with it and the piece of heart.  All that's let is one more place where all the paths seem to be converging to.  So let's see what we've got here.  I feel like it's worth mentioning that in Labyrinth of Touhou 1 Remilia was part of the starting 5 party members in that game, Reimu, Marisa and Patchy being a few others. Reimu: Oh my?  Marisa: Is this who I think it is? Remilia herself. Watcha doning here?  Remilia: It's not just me.  Sakuya was the fifth. She is also, unfortunately, being covered up by Remilia's  portrait here. Such is the life of a maid I suppose.  Such is the unfortunate life of a maid.  Marisa: ...Your gatekeeper ain't looking too chipper.  Remilia: She's only carrying our luggage and leading the way for us.  Sakuya: She can easily handle this. Isn't that right, Meiling? Meiling: Yes, it's no problem at all... Reimu: ... Marisa: ...Poor thing... Reimu: Anyway, you took the maid and gatekeeper with you huh? What are you doing here with them?  Sakuya: My, wouldn't our reason be the same as yours? What other business could we have in here?  Marisa: Whoa, really? You folks are here to solve the incident too?  Remilia: Hm? No, of course not. We're here for a picnic, obviously. By those words, that means you people are here to resolve this incident?  A picnic would be nice too.  Sakuya: Considering your group, I suppose it's not very surprising.  Lady, you've been in Gensokyo for more than a year you know how fast these things turn up.  Sakuya: We will have to enjoy our picnic quickly before you resolve this incident, then. Meiling, let's go.  At least she's considerate about it.  Meiling: Ye-yes... Remilia: Perfect then. My best regards to you if we meet again. Rinnosuke: In the eyes of the Scarlet Devil Mansion's vampire, all this uproar is only worthy of a picnic... To be fair, she is a vampire and the main issue is the tree sucking up plant nutrients and covering the sun. Marisa: Eh, if you start thinking of it as a picnic too, you might even start to enjoy our adventure.  Rinnosuke: .... I just want to go back home...  We have a lot of tree yet to climb, apologies Rinnosuke. Well, I'm sure we'll never have to deal with them again.  So, all that's left here to do is get that item. You can see where we haven't been that's near us on the map, and it's basically a straight shot from there.  This is pretty darn good if I do say so. It's way better than any of the other subequips we've gotten for stats so far, and the extra resists are also super nice. Great item for Momiji for sure.  With that, we've finally explored everywhere we can go on the first floor so far, with the only thing we can do being that boss fight neara the start. So, I'll just grind a bit until I run out of TP and head back to town.  We get a bit of a reward for our troubles once we get back too. Turns out I bought one manga meat too many. Now that we're back in town, let's check out our newest party member.  So Kogasa, The Cheery Forgotten Umbrella, as has been said already, is an Umbrella Tsukumogami who has a penchant for trying to scare people. She is, unfortunately, not particularly scary, but that won't stop her from trying to accomplish her dream. As far as stats go, Kogasa has very little going for her. Most of them are average if not bad, having an average attack stat for her offense, with her only real redeeming stat being her Defense, which is actually really good. This is bolstered as well by her faster leveling rate and great library cost, but as a dps she's lacking in speed and damage and as a tank she's lacking hp.  However, there is something amazing about Kogasa. Her MP pool is terrible, but this doesn't matter because she of her actually ridiculous MP regen rate. Reimu's regen rate of 3 per turn is considered good. Kogasa has 32. Thirty two. Thirty. Two. It's insane. In a recent version this was apparently changed to 8 - which is still amazing I might add - but I suppose the english patch never made it to that version.  As far as spellcards go, Kogasa only has three of them, her first bein an All hitting Nature element one, her second being a Dark single target hit, and her last one being a Row targeting cold attack. None of these are particularly impressive damage wise, but her first two skills can both inflict Terror and her first skill can inflict Shock while her second one can inflict a mind debuff, (even if it's a bit weird given she only hits defense.) All of her skills as well are centered around her inflicting Terror on the enemy - making it easier for her to do so and giving her buffs against people who Terror'd and even getting MP back when she attacks someone Terror'd. Because she didn't have enough MP recovery already.  Status Ailments And here it is, today's Tutorial. I don't normally like bogging down long-winded description after long-winded description, but given Kogasa is the first person to use status ailments, I figured now is the best time to go over them. The way ailments work is that they have a chance to apply based on your own attacks application chance minus the target's ailment resistance. Then, if it has a duration, its initial duration and time at which it ticks down is also dependent on how high your ailment resistance is. Debuff has a different duration but that can be for another time. The status ailments are as follows.  Poison: Deals 1% of target's HP every 100 ticks of time gauge, (.06% for bosses) 
Paralysis: Stops the victims time gauge. 
Heavy: Allies can't be switched. Enemies suffer -12% Spd and -50% Def. 
Shock: Halves victims timebar. 
Terror: Reduces all stats by 8%. Allies also lose MP on their turn.
Silence: Allies can't use Spell cards. Enemies suffer -20% Mag and -50% Mnd. 
Death: You just fucking die. 
Debuff: Stat reductions. So yeah, a lot of stuff and its very handy to keep these in mind when building out your party. Now, with all of these longwinded explanations over and done with, let's go back to the Great Tree to face off against this boss.  This'll be our starting team for the boss fight for reasons we'll get into later. Most of the equipment we have is placed on our two frontliners, Keine and Momiji because they're greatly tanky and it makes them even more so. Also, everyone has enough exp to get to level 6, but because our boss is CR 5 I'm keeping them there too.  Now, this is where Youmu was and we still have to deliver her sword to her. So let's see what this whole boss thing is about.  Youmu: It's not around here... But if I really lost it, this is the only place I could have dropped it... What am I going to do if I can't find it... Reimu: Oh, she's still searching for it. Marisa: Heeey, Youmu! C'mere and look at this sword.  Youmu: Eh!? Why is my Hakurouken with... ....Oh, I see. So that's how things are.... Glad to see that she's quick to figure things out.  Marisa: Hey hey, we just found what you were so frantically looking for. Can't ya act a bit happier?  Youmu: It was you guys who had my Hakurouken all along! Did you enjoy watching me panic all this time!?  Uh oh.  Rinnosuke: That's what happens when your usual behavior is so awful. Especially yours, Marisa.  Marisa: Ehh no way, you know I only borrow stufff, right? And you know that everything I borrow is put to good use in my house. Mostly. Rinnosuke: Don't just look unconcerned about this, you need to give a good explanation to that garderner about the situation. She looks ready to kill us at any moment now!  Reimu: That's probably impossible. Youmu's the type of person who, how to say this... Once she has her mind set one something, she'll never budge. And I mean that in the worst way possible. Hey Youmu? Can't we discuss this like reasonab- Youmu: Your deceitful words mean notihng to me! I will deliver upon you the same painful experience I went through! Reimu: See?  Rinnosuke: Uwaaaaah!! [Boss Theme] 
[Boss Battle Video]
And here we are, the first character boss of the game - Youmu. Character bosses have a different theme then the creature bosses, and it's awesome and I recommend listening to it if you don't watch the video. Anyway, Youmu is a pretty straight forward boss who I'd call the last of the main tutorial bosses. She doesn't have any real gimmicks to her that make her a tutorial, per se, but she does heavily reward you for having Rumia and Kogasa in your party.  All of her attacks scale off the attack stat, so Kogasa, Keine and Momiji, all of whom have superb defense, are great against her. Furthermore, Youmu's mind stat isn't that good, and she's weak to Mystic element as well as incredibly weak to the Dark Element. Elements that are three main attackers, Kogasa, Marisa and Rumia all have in spades. To start the fight out she uses her Single Target attack, Present Life Slash, which hits Momiji but is also physical element and doesn't do much damage to her.  On our end we go back on the offensive with Momiji just attacking, and Keine using her Three Treasures - Mirror to buff everyone's defenses.  Next up is Kogasa who is again, awesome for this fight. Not only is her spell card here super effective against Youmu but it also inflicts Terror and a Mind Debuff, making Rumia swing for much harder against her.  Moonlight ray did over 500 damage, which if you're not sure how much that is, Momiji did about 190 with her attack and  Kogasa 350 with hers. So that's a lot of damage for sure. Youmu counters with a Nature attack of hers, Slash Clearing the 6 Senses, wich hits everyone.  This did just about nothing to everyone but Rumia, and it almost killed Rumia. So after getting in another rotation of attacks, fearing for Rumia's well being I switch her out with Marisa and Youmu responds by clearing her time gauge and focusing. This essentially means you're on a time limit, because once Youmu's turn rolls around again she'll use an attack called God's Slash of Karma Wind. Which will easily deal triple digit damage to some of the less than tanky members. So, using Keine to go full offense and Marisa's Magic Missile, we just pump the gardener full of spells.  And without any real difficulty we managed to defeat our first character boss. And, with most of the loot and some neat gems to go along with it.  Youmu: Yes... You're right... The fairy who came by this way earlier was a lot more suspicious then you guys... Glad we managed to talk it out during the fight.  Youmu: When I think about it now, she was moving about in a really dodgy manner... I was too absorbed in tending to my Roukanken and just left my Hakurouken lying around after I was done tending to it... Marisa: And if you were actually thinking earlier, you woulda suspected Cirno first and not us, since she came first.  Reimu: Maybe Yuyuko intended for you to experience more things to fix your stubborn-minded way of thinking, and hid her intentions behind the facade of a random whim?  It's never really possible to tell with some of the more powerful folk of Gensokyo.  Youmu: Ugh, this is getting more and more painful... Keine: Wouldn't it be good for you to take her up on her advice and join us? We can use all the help we can get exploring this Graet Tree. You could take it as a chance to hone your skills and to broaden your horizons.  Dutiful to the end no doubt. Reimu: Well, how about I make it nice and simple and put it this way instead? As punishment for trying to kill those who helped you, you're coming with us whether you like it or not.  And straightforward as always.  Youmu: Aaaaargh! I got it, I got it! If it can help me train even more, I'll go with you, fine! Reimu: Good. Looking forward to working with you from now on.  Youmu: Yes, same here... *sigh*... What am I doing... Youmu: I still have preparations to make, so I'll be waiting for you back in Gensokyo. If you want me to join you, just call for me in the human village. I'll see you later.  And just like that, we have filled out yet another member of our roster. Like always, we'll go look at Youmu once we're done with this dungeon run, but there's still more to do before we go back.  Specifically this ol' thing.  Reimu: Bah, we can't progress any further. This could be a problem...  Marisa: This is probably Cirno's doing. Reimu: ...Ah, might be. She just had to go and do that, stupid fairy.  Same as last time, but now... Keine: What will we do now? We can't go on with this in the way. Reimu: Youmu, think you could do something about it?  Marisa: Seriously? That sword's pretty scary... Well, Steel does beat Ice.  Youmu: Ok, everyone else, please move back. ..... .....Haaah! ...There. Done, just like that. That was a piece of cake.  Keine: Ooh. As one would expect of the Hakugyokurou's sword master.  We've seen the name Hakugyokurou mentioned before and all it really is is a shrine in the Netherworld, a ghost hang out, and the place where Youmu and Yuyuko live.  Marisa: Damn, that was amazing. Not even a trace left of that huge piece of ice.  Reimu: Thanks! Let's keep going then. I still have to give that dumb fairy a piece of my mind.  And just like that we've solved the puzzle. That's right, the solution to the ice block was to bring a sword to it.  Also it seems our dungeon delving isn't done quite just yet. Although there are three paths here, the top and bottom one only lead to dead ends. The center one, however, is bit curved but otherwise straightforward until finally it leads us to... Glorious escape.  I just figured I'd screenshot our whole journey thus far before ascending to the next level. So, let's see what's up above.  Keine: The forest seems to be getting wider... It looks like we still have a long way to go.  Rinnosuke: Given how stupidly large it looked from the outside, it wasn't going to be something we could finish in a day. *sigh* ... You don't know the half of it Rinnosuke. Youmu: Come now, keep in your sighs. Let us hurry so we can take it out on the ice fairy!  Reimu: I don't think you were blameless in that whole affair, though... Youmu: ...She's the one who stole it, it's all her fault!  Keine: All right, I do agree with you. So stop that death stare if you could, hm?  Marisa: So we nab her as soon as we see her. Alright, let's get a move on!  I feel like we've lost sight of why we came here in the first place, but Cirno's days are starting to look numbered.  And here's floor 2 proper. With a whole new map to go explore. Normally, I'd say to cut it here because the episode has been going on for awhile, but I just want to get to one more thing. The small glowing thing at the top of the screen.  Reimu: What's up, Marisa? Is your stomach not agreeing with a fruit you picked up off the ground?  Marisa: Who'd do something like that? Hmmm... Would this do?  Reimu: Really now, what ARE you doing?  Marisa: ...Hmm. Nope, this one's better.  Keine: ...I did say to finsih any lavatorial matters before we started exploring.  Marisa: I told ya, that's not it! Geez, you all... Rinnosuke: Hmm...? Ahh, I see. I get it  now, Marisa. You're usng the masses of nutrients and bioenergies moving around the ducts of the Great Tree to set a Relay Point, right? She can do that?  Reimu: A Relay Point? What's that? Marisa: It's a li'l device that links the village and this area. Imagine if we had'ta start from the beginningevery time no matter how much progress we made. A real pain, right?  And it's not like your TP pools are getting any bigger too.  Marisa: Once we find points like these, when we enter the Great Tree again, we can restart our exploration from here. That'll make things a whole lot easier, all thanks to me. Go ahead and tell me how awesome I am!  Keine: Ohh, that's pretty good. It'll be very convenient for sure.  Marisa: Ain't it~?  Well, Reimu~? Not hearin' any words of awe-struck appreciation comin' from you~. Reimu: Don't be stupid, just hurry up and do it.  Shot down. Marisa: ...Better hope I don't rig something to prevent ya from using it.  Aaaaand just like that, we've gotten our first relay point. Now we don't have to walk through the whole of Floor 1 just to get to here again. So, that looks as good a place as any to cut it off. In the next episode, let's go see just what floor 2 has to offer us.  Task List   

Skaia

Skaia

 

Swifxie

Swifxie (Swift + Pixie)
Mach Pixie Pokemon
Fairy | Flying

Appearance & description:
Small winged pixie fairy with an aviator theme: the face and eyes are colored in such way that looks like she is wearing aviator goggles, and the design of the wings make them look more like a cape than the usual 2~4 insect-like wings.

I know this is an stretch but the inspiration comes from something like this:

But with a cape instead of the insect wings, the arms in front in superhero style, and instead of a dress, something resembling a typical aviator attire, like pants or flight suit. Also the skin color wouldn't look so human, and rather than wearing actual goggles, the face around the eyes would colored as if it was wearing goggles. The shape of the eyes could also contribute to the illusion of goggles. I'm thinking Sunny Pixie would be good reference for the face, but I will edit this if/when I stumble upon, or request, an image that is more fitting for the description.

Abilities:
Reckless | Fashion Eyes
Hidden: Pixilate

Technical details Yet another Fairy Pokemon, and in a row, but oh well, I had in my mind to polish this Fakemon for a while, and I finally did it. Similar to Viciugrip, I gave it specialized stats, in its case for sweeping. I like to imagine this Fakemon outright charging at foes with a headbutt or self-harming moves, hence the Reckless ability and access to plenty of recoil moves, which also provide interesting coverage. I threw in a handful of Dark moves as well, with Blackglasses in mind to pair it with the Fashion Eyes ability.  

Summer Darj

Summer Darj

 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 6

[Title theme] Are you coming to enjoy the title screen yet? I think it's pretty cool, and really do like the theme. Anyway, in the last episode of SLPLoT2 we continued to explore the vast reaches that is Floor 1, as well as exploring a little bit more Gensokyo. Finding a few more characters and fighting our first boss, we now must find Nitori to help repair Kogasa's umbrella. To start this episode off.  Task List Just a neat thing I figured I'd do to keep track of all the things we still need to do. Anyway, on with the show. 
We're finally going to go over our old pal Rinnosuke, the Unmoving Used Goods Seller, and his stats and role in the game. Rinnosuke is originally from the Light Novel, Curiosities of Lotus Asia, as its primary narrorator. We've basically already learned most of what we need to, in that he's a Half Youkai and also the owner of a strange items shop. Part of why he can is that he also has the ability to both know an items name and also figure out its use, but not how to actually use it.  Now Rinnosuke's been putting his own prowess in combat down and so have I. And because it's true. Rinnosuke's stats are really bad, all across the board. Like, the only two stats he's average in is HP and Defense, and Keine and Momiji both easily outshine him there. To make matters worse, his Spell Cards aren't really anything to right about either and he only has two of them. First Aid is a small single target Heal, and Battle Command is a small single target buff to all stats. Not terrible but not really good either. Now, even though Rinnosuke is absolutely useless as a frontline member, he still has a role on every party. His skills. Now most of them are generally related to combat, and thus not super useful to him. Attack and Magic Debuff Add-On give a debuff of that stat to all enemies at the start of his turn, and weird creature knowledge makes it so the party does more damage to "Other" type enemies when he's out front. All three of these are nice but not really amazing to keep him out on the frontline for. Effective Formation Change, however, actually gives him something to do on his turn. When he uses his turn to swap a party member in front with one in the back, it automatically fills their time Gauge by 7500 + 800 per skill level, and at a max of Skill Level 2, they have 9100 in their time gauge when swapped out which is close to immediately having a turn.  Now, those are nice, but the real cornerstone of Rinnosuke's use is Gensokyo's Shopkeeper and Eagle-eyed Shopowner's Saga. The former increases item drop rates by 4% per skill level, up to a max of 40%, and the latter increase money drops by 2%, up to a max of 20%. He also doesn't need to be on the frontline for either of these to work. So, while virtually useless in combat, Rinnosuke does have invaluable utility in both of these skills and will make grinding way less of a pain.  Now then, let's go find Nitori.  Surprise, it's the last option in Gensokyo we haven't visited yet.  Reimu: ... Marisa: ..... Nitori: Weeeeelcooooome!  Reimu: Marsa, you got a paper fan?  Marisa: I don't have one, and there's none for sale either. Guess this wrench will have to do.  Seems our heroes aren't really fond of commerce.  Nitori: Are these threats normal for trying to greet my customers courteously? The Human Village sure is a scary place... Keine: These are the only humans who'd do something like that, so relax. But this is surprising. I've never heard of a kappa workshop in the village before. Nitori: For those of them who're not used to fighting, they'll flock to my workshop in search of all sorts of goods. How's that? Perfect plan right?  Maybe it's the blue in purple that Patchy gets her business model from.  Reimu: Very perfect plan.  Marisa: Except that there aren't a lot of humans exploring that tree. Nitori: Ehh? You're kidding right?  Rinnosuke: You're obviously using Reimu and Marisa as your base for human behavior. Normal humans are too scared to get anywhere close to that thing. Nitori: Eh... Ehhhh..... Aah... now I don't feel like doing anything. I'll just close the shop and go back.  Capitalism is a rough game.  Reimu: Hey don't worry about it. We're just the right customers for you. So be sure to prepare your best for us.  Nitori: Hah... a workshop whose only customers are the dirt-poor shrine maiden and her companions... My store is already looking bleak from the first day... Thankfully the tree is a much better source of income then Reimu's shrine, so I'm sure thing's will work out for you Nitori. Anyway, because we have Kogasa's umbrella, we are met with another scene immediately after. Nitori: Yeah, I'm right here. How may I help you?  Keine: Sorry to say, but we're not buying anything right now. About this umbrella... Nitori: What's with this broken umbrella?  Reimu: Can you fix it?  Nitori: Hmm, lessee... Hmm.....? Yeah, I can probably fix it. But I'd need materials.  Rinnosuke: What do you need?  Thankfully we have two of those three things, but the insect exoseleton still evades us.  Marisa: You're charging us?  Nitori: You're not going to ask me to do it for free just because I'm good at it, right? Right?  Reimu: Tch. But well, we don't have all the stuff you need. I guess we'd have to go and collect them. Nitori: Well, if you'd like that umbrella repaired, be sure to do so.  So, we're given our task as to what to do here now. Now then we can -  I underestimated how many scenes would play here.  Nitori: What's that?  Reimu: I'm asking you because we don't know either.  Marisa: We went ahead and picked it up, but it doesn't do anything special when we were carrying it. Does it have a use?  Nitori: Don't you have someone in your party way more experienced at running an items store than me? So what's it do, bro? Rinnosuke: Hm? Well... Even though I have the "Ability of Knowing the Name and Utility of Tools," when I see these kind of items, all it tells me is that there's no specific use for them. Just like Reimu and Marisa said, it appears to carry some traces of spiritual and magical power. So we may be able to use them to make some useful gear. ...And that's where you come into play. When you talk about making things in Gensokyo, the kappa are the first thing to come to mind.  Nitori: Hmmm? So you want to me to find a use for these things, huh... I can't fault your taste in choosing an inventor for these things, though! Oh well, there's no other customers other than you guys anyway, so I have some free time. I'll think about a way to put them to good use, and I'll let you know when that happens.  Marisa: Alright. Thanks in advance!  Finally. We're finally here. Despite that conversation we can't actually use items yet. But we can buy and sell items. You can sell just about anything but Special Items in this game, but the game won't let you sell equipment you only have one. Not that big of a deal. But we can also buy items here too. Only main equipment and sub equipment.  Right now we can buy the Miko Board, Manga Meat and Pure Sake - Wild Boar. Well, we can't really buy that last one, but it's in the shop. The shop will periodically update with more things as time goes on and we get further in the dungeon but this is all we have available to us. Also, it says we don't have any manga meat in bag because equipped items aren't counted as being in your bag. The sub equipment page is equally as interesting as the only items there are currently the ones wthat gives +12% to stats. Obviously for our darkness Youkai we want to buy two of these, but are a bit short on funds.  Is what I might say if this was live. Thankfully, the Tom that is speaking to you now doesn't exist within the present, and can thus easily farm off screen. With that done we're pretty much done here in Gensokyo. Though, I have wasted enough time doing nothing in particular and have been rewarded for it.  In retrospect, I probably didn't need to grind at all. Anyhow, let's get back into the great tree. Because I have the Manga Meat now, I'm just gonna cut over to where Rumia is and start back up from there. Rumia is the red exclamation mark in the top left, so we'll cut back to there.  Reimu: Here, we gatehred the 3 Manga Meat you wanted. Honestly, why did we even do this... The spirit of an adventurer is nothing without side quests to stoke it.  Keine: Sorry for the trouble.  Rumia: Ya~y, my Manga Me~at! Time to dig i~n! Tat was really good. Ahhh, my belly is so full. Hey hey, can I ask something else? Marisa: Geh, there's still more?  Rumia: Don't you have anything fun to do? It was boring waiting for the meat here.  Marisa: ..... In that case, how about you come with as we explore the Great Tree and kick some monster butt? Rumia: Ooh, that sounds like it'll be fun. Keine: Hey wait, you want to her to go with us back to the village? Are you sure that's safe? Marisa: If we leave her here, sooner or later, she'll get hungry again. And she might be craving human meat next time. So we gotta take her with us.  Well, good to know as cavalier as they can be about some issues, that our protagonists are still looking out for the everyman.  Rumia: Hey hey, do I follow you now? Reimu: Oh well... I suppse we don't have a whole lot of help right now, so anything we can get is a plus. Alright Rumia, let's go beat up some monsters here together. Rumia: Ya~y! Count me i~n! And just like that we've gotten ourselves another party member. Unlike everyone else who has joined so far, Rumia is not actually mandatory to complete the story - and neither are a lot of characters for that matter. But for the sake of both completion and convenience, I'm going to be doing my best to get all of them. Quite like when Momiji joined, Rumia does not automatically join our active party and instead goes back to Gensokyo. So we'll check her out later once we get back. So, with that over and done with, let's explore the path right on our map.  Which unless the game is doing its darnedest to mess with me, should have two items on either side of it. While going to explore this area, a random battle occurred too. It was just a few bees, a nut eater and a nut but the drops were certainly worth talking about.  With this, we now have everything we need to fully repair Kogasa's umbrella. We'll save that for after we finish our current of the tree though. Now then, let's check on if we can get those items as a straight shot. Going towards the one downward we find that. It is of course not a straight shot. And neither is this one. So the game is in fact doing its darndest to mess with me. Well, there still seems to be more path to follow here and downward anyway, so let's see what those reveal to us.  Downward, there appears to be both another item and an event. And since this path only goes up from here, unless it loops back around - not impossible - it's likely not going to lead us to either of those. So let's take the other path we found.  What do you know, we were actually able to follow a path to it, even if it did curve around to get there for some reason. Let's check out what we got here. Uhhhh... Rinnosuke: ...Is it just me, or did that laugh we just heard seem like it came from someone really dumb?  Reimu: ...Was that you, Marisa? Marisa: You're asking for a punch, aren't ya?  ???: Wahahahahaha! Well, when there's someone dumb to be found, there's no one better to fit the bill then this fairy. Reimu: ....Yes, I'm asking for a punch. Over there. And clench that fist hard.  Marisa: Sure.  Cirno: That hurts! What are you people doing!? You must be jealousof the strongest swordswoman's strength and beauty!  Marisa: Shut up or I'll hit you again. Reimu: You've been making a racket for a while... A swordswoman, really? You don't carry a sword normally, right?  Not unless it's that one time the fandom decided to give her a buster sword.  Cirno: It's not! Who cares about that! This is my sword, and it's the strongest!  Keine: She appears to be denying it vigorously, but it's likely that she stole that sword.  Reimu: You have to wonder what kind of sword master allows her sword to get stolen... Cirno: You're wrong! This is mine! She could just be that dumb and not realize/remember she's stolen it.  Marisa: ...So, where did you find it? Cirno: Ummm, let's see... I was wakling around here looking for something interesting and I came across this girl repairing her sword with a really serious face. I thought I'd bug hera bit, so I reached out for her wakizashi, but she was so focused on fixing her sword that she didn't notice me at all. So I went ahead and took it. She is just that dumb.  Rinnosuke: So she treated that as permission to take it...? She's quite something. Marisa: That girl's probably the only fairy who does that...And the fact that I can't assertively say so is what's real bad about fairies.  Keine: Wide open.  Cirno: Ah! Wai...! My swoooooord!! Keine: You're trying to swing that sword without proper training. All you were doing was clumsily flailing the sword around. Since you're small, the weight of the sword was too much for you. Not to mention that you were trying to swing it while flying, which is when you can't exert the full strength of your arm. That's why it was so easy to take from you.  Truly a scolding befitting of teacher.  Marisa: Ooh, not bad, Keine.  One stolen sword restolen.  Cirno: Grrrr! Give it back! Give back my sword!  Keine: No. I "took it" from some random nameless fairy. I have no obligation to return it. Stealing from others is not something you should do. Now, let's go apologize to her owner together. She is completely lost without her sword.  And moral at the end of it all too. Really, this game does it all. Cirno: Grrrrrrrrrr...! Idiiiiiiiiiiooooooot! Eat thiiiiiis!! Marisa: Gah!  Reimu: Uwah, cold!  Rinnosuke: ...Looks like that fairy escaped.  Keine: Indeed. She will need some punishment next time we meet.  Reimu: She's quite powerful for a fairy... But in the end, she's still a fairy. I doubt she can do any worse than that. She shouldn't be able to make any more of a fuss if we leave to her devices.  Marisa: Yeah... Let's just leave her be. We've found Youmu's sword and all, might as well focus on getting it back to her first. And just like that. We've managed to take the sword back from the sword thief. She may have escaped for now, but I'm sure Keine's justice will not relent on her. Also, the path around this event does not lead to the item that was just under us. So, we'll have to take the other downward path to see if we can get to it.  As you can see it, like every other path in this game, is not a straight shot. Also we have a new boss fight on the left hand side of the screen, and level 5 at that. But we'll get back to that later. Taking that downward path doesn't lead us to the item we wanted to get to originally, but it does lead here. There also seemes to be an iceblock in that distance. Can't imagine where that came from.  And there's our second one. That brings us to a total of 3.2% increased item drops, which is even further boosted by Rinnosuke's skill.  Trying to get back to that item towards the top of the screen yet again, we still have this path to go down.  Would you look at that, it brings us to an even further split. And it seems that there's also another boss fight here. Given how out of the way this place is, as well as how low Marisa's MP reserves are getting this could be a bit of a problem to actually back to and fight. But our explorers heart will keep us going all the same. Moving forward, we see that we can actually get towards this ice, and interact with it at that.  Reimu: Bah, we can't progress any further. This could be a problem... Marisa: This is probably Cirno's doing.  Reimu: ...Ah, might be. She just had to go and do that, stupid fairy.  Well, guess we'll have to find a way to break through the ice eventually. Anyway, checking the path opposite of the ice we find another item which is.  Not in our immediate reach. Go figure. Also got into a fight and tried restoring Marisa's MP by putting her on the backline, and we got out sped by most everyone so Rinnosuke lost a lot of TP from that. We're still able to win, being level 3-4 now, so the encounter isn't quite as bad as used it to be either. Progress! Anyway, one circuitous route later and.  Guess we didn't need to get lucky with item drops after all.  Now we have two options of places to go. Deciding it's probably for the best, I choose the downward path, which  then has a bit of a side path which leads us right to.  Oh boy. Well, might as well go check this thing out, since we're here and a pretty long ways away from the start with no convenient way back.  Marisa and Momiji also got back some MP, so how bad could it be.  Marisa: What's wrong?  Reimu: Just now, didn't you hear something?  Marisa: Hm? No, I didn't hear any-  ???: Hyaaaaaa......!  Marisa: ...I heard that.  ???: Hyaaaaaa......! Noooooooooooo...!  Not captured is her zooming across the screen.  Marisa: ....... Reimu: Umm...... Marisa: Just now... Wasn't that Chen, the Shikigami or Yukari's shikigami? That was her, right? What's that girl doing here?  Shikigami are more or less just ghosts or spirits that may just be a minor form of a deity. They are typically summoned and used as servants of some sort.  Keine: Ah...  Marisa: What's wrong?  Keine: That cat was probably running away from those enemies that are coming at us right now.  Marisa: Ehhhh!? ...That bleedin' ghost cat, making us clean up her mess.  Reimu: Can't be helped... Let's go Marisa.  [Boss Fight Video]
And here's our fight. Though it's classified as a boss fight, none of the enemies here are unique to this floor, even if I have yet to see a Forest Fairy. So, it's more or less just a battle against five higher level common enemies, which shouldn't be too much of a problem.  Or you know, it wouldn't if our party wasn't outsped by 4 out of 5 enemies and they all just dog piled on Momiji. She did her job as tank I suppose, but it's a bit unforutnate. Thankfully, these bees are still bees and one Asteroid Belt manages to tear them up, as well deal some good damage to the Kuron Nut. Sadly the Forest Fairies don't seem entirely too bothered by this. So, since we're without a full front line we use Keine to swap in Rinnosuke. From there we have Reimu, Keine and Rinnosuke all use their collective buffs to beef ourselves up against the enemies. Reimu is able to take out the nut, and Marisa and Keine are able to take down one of the forest fairies. Unfortunately, Marisa took a hard hit and so did Rinnosuke.  Keine also missed with her spell card against the one still alive, so it's healthy and we're both not and low on MP. Thankfully, Reimu still has enough to use one Yin Yang Orb which practically one shots it, and with just slamming it with a few more basic attacks, we manage to finally bring it down.  And while a bit touch and go we managed to do it. And with the bonuses active at that. Speak for yourself, Momiji just got full on destroyed.  Reimu: Chen would've had a lot of trouble with them, though.  Rinnosuke: Then why did she come here in the first place...? And you we know where that cat went?  Marisa: I think she didn't run towards the exit, but went further in.  Keine: *sigh*... There's no helping it, let's protect her if we meet again.  Just one more thing for us to worry about. Now, since both Momiji and Rinnosuke suffered a lot of damage in that fight their TP ran out and they made their way back to Gensokyo. Our MP is also looking pretty bad right now, so it would probably be a good time to call it quits. However, I still want that item and we're still a long ways away from the start. So, against better judgement I'll keep moving forward. Not like we really lose anything Game Overing anyhow.  So Moving back here, let's see where the path takes us.  To another path!  Though in actuality it's just a small bend to get to the item.  Don't you just hate when games say "prevent all fall damage" and you still die from falling anyway. My brief research has given me the idea that this is probably a reference to Terraria. Anyway, this is quite the good item, giving 50 Physical resist, and especially so on Momiji and especially against the last boss on this floor.  There's still one path more in this area, and I still have TP to burn through, so let's continue upward.  Well, it seems to link right back up to a path we've already been on. But, it also seems to go further north.  Where yet another item and event is. I'm not even going to pretend we can get right to that immediately, nor am I going to pretend we did. Moving a bit further got me into a fight, and because it was 4 enemies and I didn't have any MP it was a bit of a wipe. I won, but all of the TP my party had was gone. So we left the dungeon on our terms. And being proud of what we've done, the game has seen fit to give us two achievements.  Seems we're getting in our daily steps well.  Yeah, so apparently there's a hidden stat called BP in this game, or Battle Points. I have no idea how to view it, or even if you can. But apparently everyone in the party gets one for winning the battle. Then, if they were in the frontline at the start they get one, and if they were at the frontline at the end they get one. Supposedly this is actually an important stat for unlocking events, but I have no idea which ones or when so we'll just have to go with the flow I guess. Since this episode is getting quite long, I figured I'd just end it here. Attached at the is end is just items that I didn't properly explain but don't really need to as well our task list and the map.  Task List

Skaia

Skaia

 

Renegade Platinum - Chapter 3

Welcome to Chapter 3 in the journey through Renegade Platinum. During my grinding session I found 2 shiny Whismurs though got distracted after screenshotting and killed the second one. The caught one has a Calm nature and is named Trophy as it is to be looked at and never used. Anyway, now that everyone is at least level 15, time to find Roark. First match in the mines leads with an Aron, unfortunately for it Gratis has Brick Break. Keeping Gratis in for the match against Phanpy Finally, a Riolu, which due to its baby status should not be that hard. Oooh, do I get to pick a free evolution stone? If so, it is obviously going to be a fire stone. Yay, free fire stone. Time to evolve Harmonius. Best Eeveelution has be obtained. Time for another trainer battle. All went down easy in one attack. Time for our first Gym challenge. Free experience mate. That is why. First up is a Rhyhorn, which dies to one Razor Leaf. Next up is an Omanyte, which to no surprise dies to one Razor Leaf. Finally, a Kabuto, which also dies to Razor Leaf. I don’t just want to win, but I will. First up is an Aron, which isn’t weak to Razor Leaf, but Accessible has Bulldoze. Second is an Anorith. Which dies to a Razor Leaf and a Bite, but not before lowering Accessible to 15 HP. Wanting to protect Accessible, I swap to Gratis. Who wins with one Brick Break. Now for the battle with Roark, and his full team of 6. Accessible leads against his Nosepass, beating it with one Razor Leaf. Second match is Thinkable vs Geodude. Concluding in Thinkable’s victory with Bubble. Match 3 is Gratis vs Cranidos. After a Zen Headbutt knocks Gratis down to 4 HP, it’s time to swap to Accessible. Who takes a Thunder Punch before finishing with Razor Leaf. His 4th is Onix, who goes against Modern. Modern is taken down by a Bulldoze, which I should’ve expected as I’ve seen other Onixs use it. Thinkable comes in to get the revenge kill with Bubble. Leaving Thinkable in to fight Roark’s 5th Pokémon, Larvitar. Which ends with Thinkable’s Bubble. Switching back to Accessible, who takes some Stealth Rock damage, to finish the fight with two Razor Leafs due to a held Rindo Berry. Our first Gym Badge has been obtained, along with Stealth Rock. Which I am going to make immediate use of. After being told by Barry that the next Gym is in Eterna City, we run into Looker. Sure. There were some just through the Ravaged Path a while ago. Did you look there? Okay, Looker is bad at his job. I find suspicious people in Jubilife right after he says there isn’t any. No Prof Rowan. You angered the weird spacemen, so why don’t you clean-up your mess. One Bulldoze should be enough to get the KOs. After a few rounds of sleep, turns out Bulldoze wasn’t strong enough to KO Glameow. The second Bulldoze got rid of the Glameow, but also crit Dawn’s Clefairy. A combo of Razor Leaf and Bubble defeated both the Cascoon and Silcoon. With the match against Team Plasma done, we move onwards towards Floaroma Town. The Aroma Lady didn’t do much. She also had a Shroomish, but Harmonius had Fire Fang. Next up is a Bug Catcher, but Fire Fang makes quick work of him. Next up cocky twins. A Helping Hand Charge Beam nearly knocks Thinkable out. Switching into Accessible meant the Spark and Charge Beam meant for Thinkable does next to nothing, and one Quick Attack later we win. Entering the Floaroma Town PokéCenter we find another TV crew, meaning more gift Starters. After having a simple match, with Future only taking a bit of damage against Chikorita and Totodile. All somewhat eh natures, but I’ll be boxing them for now. Time to head to the Valley Windworks. Yeah, but a little girl is worried about her dad. Round 1 vs the Grunt is easy. A Wing Attack and Quick Attack end the match with no HP lost. Keeping Future in for round 2 ends with Future getting a crit on Wing Attack OHKOing the Houndour. Round 3 is against a Gulpin, which through Minimise and Yawn, manages knock Future low and Poison her right after she wakes up. Thinkable comes in and manages to clean up. That is a smart plan mate. Unfortunately, you let me know where I can get my own. Heading over to Floaroma Meadows we see some Galactic Grunts trying to get free honey. In the first turn we manage to KO the Croagunk thanks to Aerial Ace. Turn 2 goes well, with both the Ledyba and Zubat going down to Aerial Ace and Bite. And finally, there is a sole Spinarak. Who gets OHKOed by a Wing Attack. Hurray for the grunts having the ability to keep a hold of their keys. The thankful guy also hands us honey, which no longer has the 6 hour wait time, and works immediately. Time for a catch. A Cherubi. I have never used one before, and it will be another back-up Grass type. The Sp.Atk drop isn’t ideal, but I have a few other Grass-types I can use first. Yup, your colleagues weren’t that great at keeping their keys on them. Well, I am here for fun. And the prize money you will give out. One Bulldoze knocks the Grimer out. Finally, it is a Koffing, which managed to lower Thinkable’s accuracy a bit drawing the battle out. The second grunt leads with a Kakuna. Which stacks Hardens and Iron Defences, allowing for an easy KO and setting up Stealth Rocks. Switching to Harmonius for the Pineco, who after getting lucky with two Protects goes down to a Fire Fang. Last is a Metapod, who gets one-shot by a Fire Fang. Next is Commander Mars. Yeah, but can you stop. It’ll eat into my simple life. It’s not that I don’t understand, more that I don’t care. Leading with Accessible to set up Stealth Rocks, but not before getting Toxic Poisoned. Switching to Future, only to get confused and then poisoned by Poison Fang, but two Wing Attacks is all it takes. Next up is a Yanma, which starts half dead, which doesn’t help against Fire Fang. Third is Mars' Bronzor, which takes two Fire Fangs to take down. Finally, it is Mars' ace. After having to take a Fake Out, Gratis barely holds on against a Façade and manages to deliver a Revenge, knocking Purugly out in one. If you are after Team Plasma, they left. How you didn’t see them is beyond me. And that is it for today. Next is Eterna Forest, which will provide the perfect place to spend a bit of time grinding Future and Harmonius for the match against Gardenia.

Azure

Azure

 

Nutter Butter

The fudge covered did a dirty. It's so creative the way this is shaped like a peanut, and the fudge covered is just a circle! They're finally here in Canada though, and the peanut shape is done so well, there was only 1 broken cookie in a whole family size package after moving around a fair bit before coming home. And commercial peanut butter cookies are much better than I give them credit for. 8/10
 

Renegade Platinum - Chapter 2

Welcome to chapter 2, last time we left off in Jubilife, but since I needed to train since I am paranoid in these games, and I need to go to Lake Verity and Twinleaf Town to get catches. So on to Lake Verity. Our Lake Verity catch is a Bidoof. This could be useful. Or not apparently. Some Pokémon on route 202 survived Shocking’s Tackles, but not this Bidoof. Thankfully the fisherman who gives the Old Rod also gives Dive Balls. And we get a Magikarp. I suppose Modest can work with Surf and Hydro Pump. But I do have Thinkable the Squirtle This is our team for the time being, Bouncy will be switched out at some point, probably for a Flying type. Of course I got tougher, I constantly over-level, and it still sometimes isn’t enough. Round 1 Shocking vs Starly. I have STAB Rock Throw. Round 2, Accessible vs Muchlax. He pulled a switch. Good news is his Munchlax is nearly dead. Fight a switch-in with my own. Time for Water Gun. Victory for Thinkable. And back to Accessible for the victory. With Barry’s levels being 10, 10, and 11, I believe I am a good level to take on Roark without any more grinding. I have 3 Pokémon with Super-effective STABs. It means I levelled more, and had counters. I doubt that. Get harder yes. Not win, though. Yay, now I don’t need to use Warm in battle with her low BST. And a new route means a new Pokémon. Starly is great. Here is Future, with a good nature to boot. Probably won’t be tanking Electric moves but shouldn’t be anyway. Now with Future in tow, off to Oreburgh City. Why is there a Shroomish here? Okay, well I have no berries so whatever happens will have to wait. Oh, the TM for Endure. I am certainly going to make use of all 99 copies I get. Time for a double battle. Yeah, well I don’t have a get-up-and-go attitude. I am naturally lazy. Well, my Pokémon are dead to me once they faint. Time to abuse the power of Razor Leaf and Bubble with their spread damage. The power of spread moves proves to powerful for the first round. Even with a 4x resistance to Grass, the Zubat suffered because of a crit. I wonder if this Ratata is in the top percentage of Ratata. Probably isn’t. Well, it faired batter than the previous 4, thanks to having a priority move. I am not a good substitute for a Rock trainer. He does have a counter to it though. Even with Fake Out, Razor Leaf is too strong. Time for Thinkable to take out his Machop. Well, that was easy. You were standing opposite another trainer. Why did you only see me? Then I hope you are worth it. “Miss I-have-a-shiny-gym-badge” starts with a level 10 Spearow. I think Roark had an off-day. The good old spread move combo working its magic again. I don’t think Razor leaf + Bubble will work on the Sunkern, but Bite will. Accessible’s Bite didn’t work, but since I forgot which one I was choosing moves for, Thinkable’s done the job. Bubble strikes again. I seriously doubt she actually defeated Roark. 2 Normals, one being part Flying, and a Cubone. All lower levels than Roark, and probably slower than Cranidos. Honestly, if she actually did beat Roark, this’ll be easy. Tunnel time. Let’s grab Rock Smash from the Hiker, and hopefully get Accessible to evolve from the two trainers. Yes, but I would like to refuse certain ones. Camper Curtis couldn’t stand-up to the power of Accessibile. I still have three steps left, and a Pokémon to catch. Once again Accessible pulling his weight. Time to catch a Pokémon. It’s a back-up Shocking. I’m going to kill it. Well mate, some people wearing spacesuits were blocking the way to Eterna City so that Gym was blocked off. How about you stop judging. Yeah, rub your super-speed in my face why don’t you. A news crew in a PokéCenter can mean one thing. Free starter Pokémon. I was expecting the Johto starters, but hey, we get to use Treecko first. Three evolutions for the price of one. Meet Big, Tremendous, and Historical. I was half tempted to name the Mudkip “Giant”, but let the generator keeps its job. Won’t be using any for now as my team is decently balanced in type coverage and will keep me from type-sharing. Anyway, lets get the two new catches available and then call it for today. I found my Shocking replacement. Aggron is a much cooler Pokémon than Golem and doesn’t have 2 4x weaknesses. Well, Modern is better than Shocking. Better nature and can also function as a counter to Roark. Though Geodude does learn Bulldoze relatively early so can’t be careless. Our final catch around Oreburgh is a Machop. Hasty is OK, I guess. Well help against stuff like Ursaring and Cacturne, but otherwise not that useful. Evolving into Machamp at level 36 is also good. Well, that is it for today. Next we’ll be doing Roark and maybe the Valley Windworks. In the meantime, I’ll probably level Modern and Gratis up to be on par with everyone else so ~15. Thankfully, there are good grinding Pokémon on route 207. Could’ve got a Larvitar there.

Azure

Azure

 

[Thoughts/Lessons] Japanese modifiers

Modifiers may be the most complicated thing to learn in the spoken Japanese language. I say spoken, because the language has three writing systems and fuck kanji in particular. Lemme explain, using a verb every weeb should know. 分かる "wakaru" (to understand) If you look in a dictionary for this word, that's how you'll see the verb "wakaru". And you've probably heard it spoken that way a few times too. But you've also heard it spoken at least ten other ways, which is what I'm here to teach you about as I pretend like I have a firm grasp on how these things work myself. Quick shoutout along the way to Yuta Aoki, who gives you free lessons via email. You should definitely go sign up for his lessons if you want to learn the language. You won't learn everything, but he'll give you the essentials to build a good foundation with, at least if you set your level to beginner. I should really move that up to the next level 🤔 Now then, time to transform our verb with a few of the plethora of modifiers Japanese has. It's almost like conjugating your verbs in Spanish, except on hard mode and you get to make frankenwords. So, let's take our dictionary form verb "wakaru" and assume you're talking to a coworker or something. Because Japanese as a language completely transforms based on how polite you're trying to be, and it's very important to know when you're supposed to use more formal "keigo" speech or more casual non-keigo (the two most common of four levels of politeness). The general rule is to save the casual speech for friends and family. There's a lot of things that happen when transitioning to keigo, one of which is the introduction of the most important modifier you'll ever learn, -masu or -desu. So if you're assuring the guy next to you that you - a stupid gaijin - understand what's going on, 分かる "wakaru" becomes 分かります "wakarimasu". There's probably some sort of rule on when to use -masu or -desu, but I don't know what it is, and won't pretend to. But what if you don't get it? Let's transform "wakarimasu" even more then, into 分かりません "wakarimasen". If you're talking to your friends? Let's drop the keigo and get rid of -masu, and now you've got 分からない "wakaranai" instead, not "wakaren". And finally, if it's past tense, you need -katta (vowel subject to change) or -shita on there too. Because I have no idea how I'm supposed to add both those and negative modifiers, let's assume you're talking about something that already happened that you understand. Now you've got 分かった "wakatta" or 分かりました "wakarimashita" in non-keigo and keigo respectively. You get all that? You can do a bit of research on the wonderful website jisho too. Just look up the word you're curious about, and click "Show Inflections". Oh, and did I mention nouns have modifiers too? The most important one is -suru, which turns a noun into a verb. Let's take 勉強 "benkyou" (study) and slap -suru onto it. Now we've got "benkyousuru" which is a verb instead of a noun. Weird, right?

Yui

Yui

 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 5

I got no tutorials or character analysis to bombard you with. Not yet at least. But I'm sure we'll find some time to get to another one. In the last episode of LoT2 we learned one way that we increase people's stats and we also met a few other folks in the tree. In this episode, we'll continue to scour the tree for any lost items that may be around here as well as just to see what we can find.  [Great Tree Floor 1]
It's hard to see but we're at one of the southern red exclamation marks, the one further from the entrance.  Continuing to walk through this dungeon we get a single random encounter and see an item straight ahead. Surprisingly, this is actually a straight shot to get there so let's go see what the item is. 
Naturally this is going to our resident ordinary magician to make her hit all that much more harder. Now that that's done with, we're hit with another dead end, so let's go walk up north here. Walking forward, we our met with yet another battle, this time against a new foe.  [Battle Theme] 

There's all types of things falling off trees that we have to fight here. These guys aren't particularly difficult, in fact they're basically just a lesser version of the Kuron Nut. Because we're not particularly strong yet, I don't really want to risk these guys messing us up too much, so I use Keine and Reimu's spell cards to bring them down.  And hey, we finally get an item drop. 
Factually inaccurate description. But yeah, this doesn't really do anything on its own, but we'll get to how materials are used later on. Like most things in this game. 
Continuing our journey upwards, we see yet another event right there. So, let's head towards it and see what's what with this thing. There's only a single random encounter in our way to gether, as it is actually a straight shot. 
Reimu: Hm, that voice is...
Marisa: Well, if it isn't Aya. What are you doing here today?...Nevermind, you crow tengu love these kind of scoops. You're always there when you can get a scandal-like article, and even more for this kind of news story... We've already learned some of this from Momiji, but because you don't need her to actually see this scene, it makes sense that we're just getting a recap on what kind of a person Aya is.  Aya: The truth is, I wanted to come here even earlier. I was pre-occupied acquiring information on another bit of good news I had heard, which ended up delaying my investigation of this incident considerably... Reimu: What's the big deal with being a bit behind schedule?  Aya: That delay means the rest of the crow tengu reached here before I did, and they're probably at the floors above by now. This head-start they have will be hard to make up... The life of a reporter truly is a vicious one.  Marisa: Ah, that's right, there's a lot of you paparazzi... Guess you lot have your own pressures.  Aya: So, do excuse me while I start my comeback rally now. I've got some catching up to do!  Reimu: She's all fired up.  Well,  I'm sure we'll see her again before long. Good luck on your reporting Aya. 
With that event out of the way, we'll continue moving up, starting to complete more of the map and get everything connected. 
With an item in plain view and nothing to obstruct our path, let's go see what's there. 
This is one of our first main equipment, and it's functionally similar to sub equipment only that each character can only have one equipped. This one here is basic but nice, and we'll slap it on Momiji so that she can actually use her Spell Cards while we're exploring. During boss battles it'll probably go on Reimu. Also, in spite of raising her max MP, she doesn't actually get that MP upon equipping it. So she's still pretty poor off for now. Moving on.  We get to find yet another item. 

Pretty handy for this floor, this gives resistance to the Shock status ailment, which the Nut Eaters are able to inflict on us. I again, don't really know how ailment resistance is calculated off the top of my head, but I'm sure it's very lengthy and given Momiji only had 30 to start with 50 is a huge increase. Walking aroudn a bit, we get hit with another random encounter of 3 bees and a small kedama. They all focus fired Momiji and she was unable to hold up.  As a result, she lost 10 TP which was way more than she had left. So, we'll just swap in Rinnosuke and have him take the lead instead. After all, the party's still got a bit more TP left and there's still plent of dungeon left to go through.  Getting closer to where we wiped last time, there's an item off in the distance so let's see if we can make our way towards it and get even stronger.  Pretty handy but virtually useless with our current party, especially with Momiji having left.  Having cleared out that part of the map, and assuming the path to the side and up is just going to be a dead end, let's go down the path right next to us. Walking forward, we run into an encounter against two Korun Nuts, and because I no longer have Momiji I don't want to have to deal with this. Not said, is that running costs 3 times the TP you would've lost from battle. So this can make you lose anywhere from 3-15 TP depending on your HP. LoT2 does not subscribe to cowardice.  But it seems our journey was not for naught.  And with that, we've unlocked yet another fast travel point on this map. Given that it is right next to the first one we got, that will be very handy for when we inevitably run out of TP.  Taking the fast travel back to where we just were, it seems that there are even more events up on this path, which is even better that we just got this before running out of TP. Sadly, the event closest to us seems to not be readily walkable to, so let's turn around and see what else we've got to explore.  Going up and around, we seem to still be no closer to those events but do see two other points of interest. We find yet another staircase located in here, as well as a purple event. Purple events, as you may be able to guess, are just boss fights. Most of the ones on the first floor aren't that bad, but given we're still level 1 and given that we're down a party member and Reimu is just about tapped on MP, we probably don't stand a chance against any of them.  We ran into yet another fight, and now Keine and Reimu have departed from the party. You can see yet one more event and one more item on this floor.  So tantalizingly close. The path upward, as you might expect, doesn't lead to the stairs, because why would it. Instead, it leads us back to this event.   Marisa: Hm?  Oh hey, it's Rumia. And she's not just a ball of darkness this time, glad to see she got over that phase.  Reimu: Is that the only way you can remember us?  Marisa: We saw you over that side just some time ago, and we followed you to this area... What are you doing here?  Rumia: Nothing? This amazing thick thing growing all of a sudden seemed kinda cool, so I came to take a look. Oh, oh, oh, but that doesn't matter! I wanna ask you something! Do you have any Manga Meat?  Marisa: Hm?  Rumia: Manga Meat! It's meat attached to a large bone. It's hard to chew on 'cause it stretches so much. I played too much and now I'm hungry. Do you have 3 Manga Meat with you?  Rumia is known for being quite the voracious eater.  Maraisa: Ya got quite the cheeky attitude, asking us for something and being so rude about it.  Rumia: Hmph, if you don't wanna do it, then fine. I'll go to the Human Village to look for food.  Reimu: You've got some nerves to declare your human-eating ways in front of me. You know I'm really good at exterminating you youkai.  Rumia: I didn't say anything about eating humans, no? I just wanted to look for a meal in the village.  Spoken from a master thief herself.  Keine: Now now, she should be satisfied if we bring her some Manga Meat. It should be fine to gather them in our free time.  I don't know what's going on with Keine specifically in this patch, but she's got some words for our party for sure. Reimu: You're way too nice for your own good, always paying full attention to whatever someone says. It's so easy to take advantage of that kindness.  Rumia: I'm hungryyy~. Reimu: .... *Sigh* fine, fine. We'll look for it, so don't move from here.  Rumia: Yay! Thank you~. When it comes to finding precious items Reimu wants no part in that business, but feeding a starving Youkai is where she draws the line. Well, we've already found 1 of these things, how hard could it be to find two more. Our exploration doesn't continue for much longer, though, as we get ambushed. By bees of all things! They both one shot Marisa and Rinnosuke, so we game over and are forced back to town.  But hey, the game's pedometer is here to congratulate us. And with an energy gem no less. An item that increases whoever uses its TP by 1, usable up to a max of 10 times. A pretty handy item, as the ways to increase TP aren't all that plentiful to us. But what might be the Hakurei Shrine, you might be asking? Well, I'm glad you did. I'm glad even if you didn't.  Because we're going there!  Marisa: The donation box is empty as always too. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.  Reimu: ...Well, when this kind of abnormal situation happens, donating to the shrine is hardly high on anyone's list of immediate priorities.  It's never really on anyone's list of priorities.  Marisa: Reaaaaaaally? Is that reaaaally the only reason?  Reimu: ....What are you trying to say.  Marisa: Nothing, really. Anyways, why are we here at the shrine? Do we have something to do here?  Reimu: No, there's not really anything to do here at this moment. We should just come back after we exterminate monsters within that tree and accumulate experience. Then we can level up, and distribute bonus points obtained from levelling up towards any parameter we want here.  She's not even hiding it this time.  Reimu: Also, if we want to use any special items we find within the tree on a character, here is where we'd do it... But that's for later. For now, just think of the shrine as the place for level ups and bonus point distributions. Marisa: Why, thank you so much for the explanations.  Reimu: Well, I'm a main character. It's expected of me to do this.  Normally, I think it's the main characters job to be exposited at.  Marisa: So what. I'm a main character too. Rinnosuke: Ahem. Shall we stop this line of conversation...? So yeah, experience is meaningless without the Hakurei Shrine, as for reasons unexplained this is how we level up. You see we have a few options here, which can be to either level people up or Delevel them if you so desire. You can also set the whole parties level to be the same. I don't really know what the purpose of either of those options are, but hey it exists if you want to use it. Anyway, let's go level our characters.  The numbers on the left are her current stats, and the ones on the right are her stats after leveling. As you can see, leveling does a lot of good for stats and right now we can get Reimu to level 3.  Also as you can see, once we level up a character they get additional bonus stats that they can allocate to any of the stats you can see there. And quite like the stats we can be buy from Patchy, you can see this isn't a one for one thing, and instead is a multiplier in the overall stat formula. For Reimu we'll give her some more Mind and Magic up. Now, quite like the library I'll handle most of this off screen, but I do want to show one more thing.  While Reimu, Rinnosuke and Momiji can all get to level 3, Keine and Marisa can only get to 2. This is because characters also level at different rates. Again, I don't know why they decided to do this, but this is the hell I live in now. I should also note that despite joining the party later, Momiji does have the same EXP as the original four. So, despite being kind of an evil RPG, everyone gains the same EXP which is very nice given how many characters there are.  Moving on, there's the use special items area. This is where we use consumable items of all varieties. And since we have the Energy Gem, which is one such item, let's give it to Marisa. After all, she's our primary blaster and frailest member and has the lowest amount of TP. Lastly, there's also the Level Up Bonuses section. Basically, at any point we can just redistribute those bonus stat points we get for leveling however we want.  Now then, I've only gone over one tutorial today, so it's time to get my mandatory second one in. So in the main menu, there's a "Learn Skills" option, something I said we would get to later. And now is later.  Now there are too many things on this page to fit in one screen cap, but all those are are "increase stats." Every character  gets three skills that are "increase these stats" though the other locked ones can be unlocked later via special items. Every character also has Motivated Heart and  Hands-on Experience. One gives them bonus experience for being in the party of 12 at all, and the other gives them more bonus experience if they finish on the front lines. They don't stack with each other. Characters gain skill points every level, and you can use these skill points as well to gain Skills. Shocker. You can also spend them on Spell Cards to upgrade those as well. Skills themselves are just as fundamental to a character's identity and role as their Spell Cards. Now there are a lot of these and I don't know how interesting it will be to just listen to me list them all off.  But I will anyway for the sake of knowledge whenever we get a new character and do an overview of them. I'll also probably give one for our current cast of characters whenever I'm describing characters as well. For now, though, I'm just going to invest these points in Hands On Experience on everyone except Rinnosuke. This is also by no means a final decision as at any point you can just reset a character's skill point allocation at the Magic Library.  With that done, let's go back into the Great Tree and see if there's any exploration we can finish.  These fast travel points are very handy. After getting into a fight we'll start our investigation upwards, seeing two items on either side of our screen.   This game truly is such a tease.  But much less of one over on this side. And see, we've got an event to go check out too.  Yet another material we've acquired. I guess this isn't The Great Tree's Leaf so much as it is a great tree leaf. Also, you may notice that the text boxes are different colors, from Green to now Purple. I learned that you can just adjust this on the fly, so that's neat. Now then, let's check out that event.  Ever the one to jump the gun, it seems that I have once again beat the game to explaining something.  Marisa: Boss icon? Wuzzat?  Keine: It marks any spot which hides something that holds enmity for us. Before we go near them, we should be well prepared for the worst.  Reimu: It also says Lv something on it... What's that?  Marisa: It says "Lv3."  Keine: That's the "Challenge Level."  Marisa: What's that?  Keine: For example, if defeat the boss with a party average level of 3 or lower, we'd get some reward out of it. The challenge level boss marks the recommended level for taking the battle on. Basically, if the boss is fought at the challenge level, it will present some challenge to us.  Well, it seems like Keine has answered my Deleveling and Level Unification questions from earlier. Way to go Sensei.  Reimu: But if we fight the battle above level 3, then we don't get any "rewards," right? Keine: That is true, but the reward level is designed to prevent us from mixing up the means and the end, and do things like always grinding and never advancing. By the way, if we already levelled beyond the Challenge Level of the boss, we can always level down in the Hakurei Shrine. So we'd be able to meet the challenge even if we overshot the Challenge Level.  Good to know that the game is also aware enough to not just make you wonder if you're actually at the level to fight the bosses.  Marisa: Well, whatever is fine. Let's just go to where the icon is already.  So, to that end I'll probably do my best at taking the bosses on at their challenge level. The path to the boss is pretty straight forward, so let's go and deal with them right away.  Reimu: ...What's over there?  Reimu: Youkai exist to be exterminated.  Ever the extremist.  Marisa: I ain't too sure that it qualifies as a youkai.  Reimu: No point in arguing. Let's go! [Creature Boss Battle Theme]
[Boss Fight Video]  Also surprise, something I decided to do for every boss fight is actually record me doing the boss battle. This game has a lot of animations that I find a shame that I actually can't capture in screenshots as well as I think it's just nice to have some actual gameplay to watch. I'll still screenshot and narrate the fight here so if you don't want to watch the video you don't have to. And if you want to do both, then I guess you can. Also because I'm an idiot my mouse is captured in the recording and thus also all of the screenshots so I apologize for that.    Anyway, here's our first boss of the game. The Malignut Eater, an umbrella wielding squirrel. As far as enemies go this guy is pretty straight forward and pretty simple to beat. Now, his first turn is always annoying because he is faster then us.  And his first turn will always be to summon four additional Nut Eaters to aid him. This wouldn't be that big of a problem if it wasn't for the fact that he also instantly gives all of them a turn as well. So that's basically just four free pot shots we just take to our party.    Thankfully our party isn't short on AoE, and Marisa especially is good at. One use of her asteroid belt is enough to do the trick here and so we're down to just the one Malignut Eater after they take all the damage. Following that I use Reimu to start using Great Hakurei Border to bolster everyone's defenses, and just start spamming single target attacks.  Unfortunately, Momiji misses an attack. Which makes this a bit dicier, but with Keine's turn coming around we just use her to buff up the party. The rest of this fight is pretty rinse repeat, with everyone not named Keine using their single target spells, and Keine just using her party attack buff. Things do get a bit dicey though.  As he does get a turn and uses it to summon his army of Nut Eaters again. Making matters worse, he gives them all a turn immediately again, and you can see that our frontline isn't too healthy. Thankfully, because Marisa's turn gauge is filled just a bit higher, or at least I think that's why, she gets a turn before they do. So, with one more Asteroid Belt the Nut Eaters are destroyed, and one more attack from Momiji does the boss in. Turns out keeping the Cypress Stick on her came in handy.  And like that we won. Wooo. As you can see, Keine wasn't joking when she said we'd get some neat rewards - those being the Training Manual and Swiftness Gem. Also, something to make note of is that Bosses do have drop items and a lot of them have a 100% drop rate for their items. Unfortunately, not everything they drop is at 100%, in fact this thing has two things it could drop at a 25%. So that's a bit annoying but I don't feel like soft resetting to keep trying to get it. Moving on.  Poor Umbrella's been through a lot.  Reimu: Quit it. Let's not play the blame game here.  Keine: Whatever the case... what are we going to do with this umbrella now? That was a valuable item to that girl, if I'm right.  Marisa: Hmm, I dunno. If we wanna fix it up, couldn't ask Nitori? It doesn't look like fixing this umbrella would need very powerful materials.  Keine: It would be good if that was the case... For now,let's just take this broken umbrella with us. We can go back to Gensokyo to see that kappa later.  We may have won the battle but we have yet to win the war. So for now, we'll go have to find Nitori, wherever she is, and see if we can't get this umbrella fixed. Rather than just back track through the dungeon, I'm just going to call the episode here. In the next episode, we'll see if we can't start to solve some problems here on 1F. Until then, here's a map to show you how far we've come so far.   

Skaia

Skaia

 

Coconut Cheerios

This feels like the closest to Frosted Cheerios without actually being Frosted Cheerios. The feel is there compared to other varieties, but you have to realize, so is the coconut flavor. It's nice. Some time ago they took away Frosted Cheerios here again and none of us (in the fam) are happy about it. It isn't enough, it really is closer to regular Cheerios with a slight flavoring tacked on compared to others, but even then, I somehow do find it closest to that, out of what we got. 7/10
 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 4

I could say, "hey everyone it's skaia again," but you already knew that if you clicked on this. You would also be aware that I'm still playing Labyrinth of Touhou 2. To recap the last episode that happened oh so long ago, we went to explore the tree proper, meeting up with a few new characters. And after speaking to one of them, Momiji, we got her to join our party. We also suffered our first game over of likely many, but not deterred at all, we'll keep exploring the dungeon.  But first, we'll do some more break down stuff. Exploring a few more places of Gensokyo as well as looking at two of our party members. First on the list.  [Gensokyo]
I think this says Magic Library. Don't know, but let's check it out.  ???: ...I figured you would be coming anytime now.  Reimu: Oh, that voice is...  Patchouli: Incidents don't get much more obvious than that, so I figured it was a about time the firefighters of Gensokyo started to act.  Marisa: If you know about it, then just help us somehow already. Like giving us some ancient spellbooks, or strong magic items. We'd welcome those with open arms.  Keine: ...You really don't beat around the bush, do you.  At least she has the decency to ask this time around.  Patchouli: .....Oh really. Well, fine, let's see... I'll raise your stats for you.  Marisa: Oooh, that's good! Alright, go ahead. Make it a big one, stat!  Patchouli: Who said I'll do it for free? ...Honestly, I'm not taking your money for nothing either. This kind of thing requires a lot of items and medicines. I'm just charging you for the materials.  Keine: So basically, we pay money here to get stronger?  Patchouli: Yes indeed. So earn all you can, and keep the money coming, if you would.  A true business woman. Well, purple is part red.  Anyway, my rudimentary memory of what this place was was indeed accurate. So as Patchy said, we can use her as a stat raising service. She also has a skill reset function, but that's not especially important to us right at the moment. So let's take a look at the status up feature.  As you can see here, we can pay to get any of our stats, barring TP and MP, increased. These even includes elemental resistances, though you'll note that those are also much more expensive then the stats. Now 4 money is a pretty trivial cost for an upgrade, even at this point in the game. But, as Patchy is a savvy business woman, where there is supply there is also demand, so the more you increase a stat the more you have to spend. I don't really know by what factor, but I gave Reimu 4 points of speed and to get a 5th, she needs 13 more gold.  Now, stats in this game are pretty interestingly calculated. But, there is so much math involved that I won't  actually go into the nitty gritty of it unless asked. But basically, an important thing to note is that when I buy a stat point here I'm not actually buying a point. Like, if I buy 1 point of Attack, Reimu's attack won't just go up by 1. Instead, it'll effect the formula and basically be applied to a multiplier. All this really means is that the way stats are calculated in this game heavily incentivizes min-maxing on a character's strengths. Basically investing in a character's good points will make them much better, while their weak points will never be better than just mediocre. So with say Marisa, we'll only ever really invest in her Magic and Speed, and just about always ignore her Strength and Defense.  If you thought that each character didn't have enough unique about them too, you'll also notice that different characters sometimes have different costs for their stats. Some are cheaper than others. I don't know why they decided to do this, but this is the world I live in now. I'll handle just about all of this off screen, maybe mentioning it here and there. Anyway, onto the next tutorial.  My ability to read wikis has told me this is the Human Village.  Marisa: As I thought, the villagers here're more restless than usual.  Rinnosuke: Of course. You two are the only ones who can remain... or rather, be excited about this situation. Normal people aren't that strong.  I feel like it's worth mentioning right now that both Reimu and Marisa are actually just humans. Reimu might be a shrine maiden with crazy and unknown powers, and Marisa is actually just someone whose really into magic, but they're still just humans.  Marisa: And we're the type of humans who solve these incidents. The ways of the world work well if ya think about it.  Rinnosuke: Anyway... It's been a long while since I was able to take a casual walk around the village. It sure has changed a lot everywhere. We've walked in the outskirt for quite a bit, but there are still lots of food and lodging facilities around here.  Marisa: A "long while" from you is probably from several decades ago... Really, yo half-youkai and your lifespans... Rinnosuke: (Ugh, she realized it...) W-well, whatever you say. From the looks of the village there really are lodging facilities popping up everywhere.  Reimu: Well yeah, with this kind of obvious incident going on, there wouldn't be anyone who'd be taking a faraway trip or anything. What about it?  I can't tell if Reimu is saying no one is visiting town or no one is leaving it, but I feel like the  latter makes much less sense.  Rinnosuke: From what I have heard, there are a lot of humans and youkai that have entered the tree. If we continue to explore the tree, perhaps we will find others who will help your exploration. As our party gets bigger, we'd need a place to gather everyone around.  I feel like you're grossly underestimating how many people we'll need to house. Reimu: Eh, really?!  Marisa: I thought that Kourin out of his store would be like a kappa out of water... That's really well thought-out. I'm seeing you in a new light now!  Rinnosuke: I can't tell if you're complimenting me or insulting me...I guess I'll just treat it as a compliment this time.  Hang in there Rinnosuke.  Rinnosuke: (Though honestly, I got all the gold from Marisa's father and permission to use their good name to get a large discount... But Marisa probably wouldn't stand for this kind of thing. I'll just pretend that it's all thanks to me...)  Supposedly Marisa's family runs a pretty large business in town, though what they sell isn't really known. Also for reasons unknown, Marisa has broken off ties with them and wants nothing to do with her family. So, Rinnosuke's probably making the smart move here.  And here we are. The human village. As Keine mentioned at the end of last episode, this is where we go to change out or party, as well as a few other things. We can also unequip our party of all equipment that's currently equipped across of all of our characters, which can be pretty handy when you want to keep changing out party members and trying new items on them. You can also register favorite team compositions and then just set your team to that, which isn't useful to us now but probably will be the more party members we get.  Keine and Rinnosuke also touched on it last episode but yeah. Your party is made of four frontline members and eight backline members. So expect to meet a lot of people to fill this out. For now the party is set up with Momiji on the left hand most side because she's a beefy girl, and Rinnosuke's now chilling in the back because he's not that useful in combat. He still has a use, don't worry, but I'll go over that in a later update.  Kamishirasawa Keine, the Half Beast of Knowledge and History. Keine is a were-hakutaku and elementary school teacher, first appearing in Imperishable Night as the Stage 3 mid-boss and boss, as well as having her Hakutaku form be the mid boss of the game's "Extra" or post game, stage. In her human form she has the ability to "eat" history and in her Hakutaku form she can "create" history. I'm not sure what this means, but hey it's a thing she can do. Sadly, her Hakutaku form doesn't really come in to play in this game, which is a shame.  Keine herself is quite like Reimu but a bit tankier, in that most of her stats are fairly average, but in Keine's case her HP, MP and Defense are all fairly solid, and also has over 100 element resists for nearly all of them. Ancient History is a Dark Element AoE attack that targets defense, while New History is Spirit element and targets Mind. Both scale off of magic. Three Treasures Sword is a party wide attack and magic buff, where Mirror is a party wide defense and mind buff. With her damage ratios and stats not being spectacular, she's not that good of an offensive unit, but she's certainly a great support.  Also, since we have a backline now, I might as well go over the HP and MP recovery stat. While people are on the backline they still get turns, and when their turn comes around, all that happens is that their HP and MP recovers by that amount. So it's quite useful to make use of, especially for higher speed characters that are bursty like Marisa.  On to our newest party member, Inubashiri Momiji, the Petty Patrol Tengu. Originally from Mountain of Faith as the stage 4 midboss, Momiji's one of those characters that doesn't even actually have official art. But, people like the white wolf tengu girl enough that she's been a pretty clear look and personality, which is not uncommon in the touhou fandom. As far as stats go, Momjii is our first Attack damage dealer and is quite good all around. She has really good HP, Attack, Defense, Speed and even her Evasion is quite nice. As far as tanking goes her mind also isn't bad, and her resistances are nice enough, especially against any physical enemy who will probably be targetting defense. She's mostly held back, though, by a downright terrible MP pool and only having two spell cards. For whatever reason the game hasn't put them both together on the same line here, but Rabies Bite is a single target Physical attack, whereas Expelle's Canaan is an AoE Wind attack.  So, overall, she's a fairly solid unit with nothing special and some clear limiting factors, but will still get the job done. Now, with all of that done, let's move on to the dungeon clearing.  [Great Tree Floor 1] 
As we were utterly defeated last time, we have no real choice but to start right from the beginning again. Well, while I could just try and go back to where I died, since we're right here at the beginning again, we can just get going upward. Also, something helpful is that if you press the "A" key, it brings up the map. This is pretty helpful for when you die and were exploring somewhere, as you can see all the red is the unexplored tiles that we've seen but haven't gone too yet. You can also see the treasure chests we weren't able to open as well as the fast travel point. All around helpful stuff.  Moving up, we can see that there's another event to get to and while it's needlessly curved, the path to get there is one we can take. So, let's check it out.  Marisa: Hey, we ain't extras over here.  Youmu: What would you all be doing, entering this place as a group?  Reimu: I could ask the same thing. What are you doing here?  Marisa: As for us, we're doing the usual, sticking our neck into trouble 'cause it looks interesting.  Youmu: Ah... Yes, that was entirely what I expected.  These two certainly have a reputation amongst the folks of Gensokyo.  Rinnosuke: Reimu and Marisa really do give off that impression to everyone else, huh... Reimu: Anyway, enough of that. What about you? You don't seem to be the sort to stick your neck into this mess.  Youmu: It's not like I came to this place because I wanted to.  Youmu: She kept telling me things like, "The Journey to becoming a worthy swordswoman begins with a search for an appropriate sword, which will also polish your skills. So Youmu, go look for a sword in that tree," and so on...  Reimu: Were you trying to imitate Yuyuko's voice just now?  Youmu: Ah, did it sound like her?  Marisa: Ehh, not really.  Youmu: Ah...  I'm sure with enough practice, you'll be able to get your voice acting career off the ground in no time. Don't give up Youmu!  Marisa: Anyways, you came here to do as you were told then?  Youmu: Of course not. No one could cater to Lady Yuyuko's every whim... And besides, I already have my Roukanken and Hakurouken. I just happened to come here to kill some time, enjoy the cooling atmosphere, and return to Hakugyokurou after. The garden still needs cleaning.  Reimu: Roukanken and Hakurouken... Those are the two swords you carry with you? The long and short one?  Youmu: Yes. They are both very good swords.  Rinnosuke: If we aren't seeing things... Your short sword, the wakizashi, is nowhere to be found...  Youmu: Wha-!? No, that's impossible! Wait, really? My Hakurouken's gone!? Eh, whaaaat! No way!? Keine: Umm..... Marisa: Ya know!, for a sword master to not be able to keep an eye on her sword... You may still be a provisional sword master, but it's still pretty embarassing, don't ya think?  Youmu: No, It's different! It was really there just a moment ago! This can't be happening! Where's my Hakurouken!?  Reimu:....Well, good luck.  Youmu: W-W-Wait! Please look for it wtih me!  Marisa: Sorry, no can do. We've got places to go.  Youmu: Uwaaaaah!! Where is iiiiiiiiit!?  So, quite like someone who loses one glove in a pair, Youmu is quite distressed about her missing sword. And though our heroes seem more or less ambivalent about the young Half-Ghost's plight, I'm sure we'll keep an eye out for it. Moving on from where we go, we run into a battle almost immediately.  [Battle Theme]
Because of how speed is calculated, which is different from the other stats, even with Reimu's increased speed these Nut Eaters are still too fast for us to get the jump on them. Thankfully, Momiji, Reimu and Marisa are all strong enough to just basic attack them and kill them. Momiji in particular one shot them.  [Great Tree Floor 1]
We seem to have a few events around us, but naturally there's no direct path to them from where we were. So, let's take the down path here and see where it leads us.  Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be much in our way and we can just get right to this item.  Like I said, not shy on their references. We'll give this to Keine to make her have as much HP  as Momiji and beef out our frontline a bit more. There was a path downward but it didn't seem to lead anywhere, so I suppose that other item over there will have to wait. As will those stairs.  Going up doesn't really seem to do us much good. We also ran into another fight where Keine again took a bit of a beating. So, with nothing else to do, let's back track a bit.  You can see we're pretty close to the start of the dungeon again, and going down another path we neglected before. Following down that, we get into another fight.  [Battle Theme]
I won't be screenshotting all of these but I figure it's important to showcase how necessary using AoE spell cards. The nut eaters all  got a turn off and did a bit of a wallop on us, but you can see they took a bit of damage already from basic attacks. Now despite there being five of them, all it takes is one Asteroid Belt for Marisa to kill them and clear the battle. Saves a lot of hassle and TP. Continuing down the path here.  [Great Tree Floor 1]
Seeing there's another event around here, we walk towards it and there doesn't seem to be much stopping us from getting there.  Reimu: What? ....Geh. Reimu: If it isn't Parsee. Why did you leave the Underworld to come here?  Parsee: It's not like I like to go out. I was on the upper tier of the Underworld, when all of a sudden, massive roots sprouted forth and stretched down to the bottom of Hell, blcoking the way down. I had no choice but to go up instead. Really, how can people carry on their life up here, whit such a bright light shining on them like this... Ahh, I'm so jealous.  Marisa: I see, that musta took a toll on you.  Reimu: Oh, I thought you came out here to attack humans. That's good, that's good, I was just about to exterminate you.  Our hero's a bit trigger happy.  Parsee: There's something I wanted to hear about: what is this Great Tree? Since when did something like this become enshrined on the surface? Reimu: We don't know either. It grew like crazy here all of a sudden, just a little while ago. It was really surprising.  Marisa: (...That's it. I just thought of something good.) And that's how it is. So, it looks like every youkai have been coming to this tree. After all, it looks pretty interesting.  Parsee: Every youkai... How interesting that sounds. Ahh, I'm so jealous. Marisa: I know, right?  Reimu: (Aaah, I see. That's how it is.) We're also planning to scale this tree to do something about it. Want to come along?  Parsee: ... Marisa: ...... Reimu: ..... Parsee: Just quit it. I've come here just a little while ago and I'm still being jealous of the light that shines so brightly up here on the surface. Marisa: Tch... Sadly, our fast talking protagonists didn't seem able to convince her to join. Though we've just met Parsee, we're not going to be able to do much about her at all until a bit later into the game. So we'll just leave her in her jealous stupor for now.   Moving on from that event, we see there's yet another event nearby.  Making a beeline for it proves useless and also gets us into another fight.  [Battle Theme]
Thankfully, this time we have Momiji with us, who is both evasive and tanky, and manages to tank quite a lot. The Kuron Nut is still strong, and if there was any more than one of them I'd say our chances still looked pretty slim. Thankfully, though, the other two enemies were easy enough to kill and with the combined effort of four characters the Kuron Nut falls as well.  [Great Tree Floor 1]
As you can see, we're getting further and further from our target, but that's just the nature of the beast.  However, it's not long before we find a stretch around to get to the event.  Marisa: What's that?  Reimu: That's a crying voice.  Marisa: I guessed as much.  Kogasa: Waaaaah... Took a screen shot too late this time. Also, Reimu isn't just being mean here, Kogasa is in fact a cursed object.  Marisa: ...The human part at least. Hey you, didn't you always have an umbrella with you?  Kogasa: *sniff sniff* ... Let me explain, it's not with me cuz... Reimu: Nah, let us guess. Since humans aren't surprised by you anymore at your usual place, you decided to try your luck in the Great Tree.  Marisa: You wanted to surprise someone here, but the monsters beat ya black and blue and your umbrella got stolen instead. Your bruises make it easy to guess.  A regular detective agency these two.  Kogasa: Ooh.... Waahhhhhh... Marisa: Nailed it.  Rinnosuke: I don't get it, she's an umbrella tsukumogami, no? How can she be here crying when they took her body away?  Tsukumogami is just a term for an object that is possessed by a spirit. In Kogasa's case its her umbrella.  Reimu and Marisa: No way.  Kogasa: Waaaaah!  Keine: ...If your umbrella was stolen, do you know where it is now?  Kogasa: I don't know.  Reimu: That's even more annoying.  Kogasa: Uwaaaaaaah!  Keine: .....*sigh*..... Well, it seems again we have a Youkai who has lost an important object to them and ever the alruists that our protagonists are, they have no interest in helping Kogasa out. Thankfully for her, I'm a completionist at heart and a softie for all things cute, so I'm sure we'll still be on the look out for her umbrella. Since we've done some exploring, done some explaining and met a few new people in this tree, I'd say that's about a good time to call it quits. So, we'll keep our exploration of the first floor up. Until next time, Hang In There Kogasa-chan! 

Skaia

Skaia

 

Lion Bar

I finally got this to try, but I didn’t try it right away. *facepalm* It didn’t blow my expectations away, because I was allured to it for so long, but I half expected it to not meet my expectations, because I literally did nothing to try to get it despite wanting to try it for years. So, what is a Lion Bar, you might ask? It is a bar of wafer, caramel and crisp cereal in milk chocolate. It legit is just filled with a lot of things I especially adore in chocolate bars. And the packaging just did wonders to make it that much more appealing to me. I just now notice that Wikipedia cites Mr. Big as a similar bar in Canada, but idk why, it just never wowed me like this did. The packaging is also much more boring, but that’s kind of a given for Cadbury. They still make great stuff, though. Onto White! 99.99/10 In an attempt to not take as many pictures, some similar enough things were grouped together, which is honestly kind of a blessing. In a way, there could have been more blog posts, but if I don’t think I can say as much about certain things, then it would be more of a waste to separate them so much. I can at least show some more things off this way, and this is one of the best examples. It’s just one simple change to something else I got. All this stuff with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate, though, is weird. It’s good as someone that likes white chocolate, but it’s one of those almost too much even for me kinda things. 7.8/10 too much vanilla. 
 
 

Chapter 1: Tarvos, Gargoyles, and Tanky Amelias

Howdy folks! "Master" Tactician Wind Rider here, and welcome back to our adventure through Randomized Fire Emblem 8. Today, we will be going through the first chapter of the game and meeting some new faces. Let's get started. As it is the first chapter, strategy will still be at a minimum. Of course, that all depends on how these enemy units behave. Breguet seems to have tapped into his inner monster. Unfortunately, he's turned into the one monster class that our local Ranger can easily take care of. Between episodes (can I call these episodes? Let's just call them episodes), I have decided that I will try to train Eirika for the sole purpose of making her a staff bot. Though, that is easier said than done. Let's hope we can get a better magic tome. Seth shows Eirika how it's done... But doesn't kill the Trainee... Oh you've gotta be kidding me... It's like they're begging for me to use the Rune Sword on these enemies. Even doubling them, Seth can't kill these Amelia rejects, and I'm not wasting my Rune Sword unless I have to. The Amelia managed to take a crack shot at Eirika with a Javelin. Looks like I will have to use the Rune Sword. Also, help has appeared over the horizon! Let's take a look at our new friends Ok, I see promise... And then I see bench material. Gilliam has the honor of being our first flyer, and even comes with the Hawkeye skill, meaning that the hit rate of these random weapons won't matter to him. Put a few stat boosters into him and he'll be a solid unit all things considered. Franz on the other hand... While I do appreciate a healer, Franz is not going to be long term, not even mid term. At least Eirika can defend herself. Sorry Franz... You're hitting the bench. Gilliam shows us just how broken Hawkeye is in a game like this. It should be noted that the iron lance has 11 might but a shaky hit rate of 57. I feel like Gilliam is going to be my buddy by the end of this. That almost gave me a heart attack. That's my bad for not checking the inventory of these enemies. I thought I was going to lose Seth there. Thank you shaky hit rates. After some back and forth, we finally have some breathing room. However, we got some enemy reinforcements tailing us from behind. I decide, just in case those reinforcements prove too much, to beat Breguet right away. Unfortunately... Seth apparently isn't feeling like it. Dang it, Seth! You're supposed to be the carry. Should I get Gilliam to give you some accuracy lessons? While Seth is busy dealing with Breguet, I have Gilliam hold off the reinforcements. And we got our first level up! Our first... Unimpressive... Level up... Of all the stats... Skill is effectively useless on Gilliam. I hope this isn't an omen for things to come. So... Franz's healing of 10 HP isn't gonna be enough to keep Gilliam going. So I just decide to end it there. And that's chapter 1 complete. Tune in next time as we take on everyone's favorite enemy class in all of Fire Emblem. See ya 😉

Wind Rider

Wind Rider

 

Skaia Plays Labyrinth of Touhou 2 - Part 3

And here we are again. Back for another episode of Let's Play Labyrinth of Touhou 2. In the last episode, we explored some of the areas in Gensokyo, learned about some game mechanics and made it into the Great Tree proper. In this episode we're going to keep exploring the tree. But first, it's been 3 episodes, so I feel like I should explain MORE GAME MECHANICS.  More specifically we'll be looking at our party members and how the stats in this game work.  So, here's Reimu. These are basically all of the stats a character has and boy howdy are there a lot of them. We've already been over HP, MP and TP. ATK and MAG are roughly the same stat, as your base Attack command uses whatever the higher of the two is, and each spell card has its own scaling, so some character's spell cards scale on atack while others on magic. DEF and MND are your defensive stats and generally line up to their respective attack stat - ATK will generally hit DEF and MAG will generally hit MND. SPD effects how fast your turn gauge fills and EVA is your evasion rate. I will be honest, I don't know how this is calculated I just know that 8 is bad.  There's also the resistances. The first 8 things on the left is elemental resistances, how much damage each person takes from elemental attacks. The 8 elements are Fire, Cold, Wind, Nature, Mystic, Spirit, Dark and Physical. All you really need to know here is that the base value for a resistance is 100, and having more means you take less and having less means you take more. The ones on the left are status ailments, but we'll go over those at a later date. HP and MP recovery rate are also not really relevant right now.  All characters have their own base stats and stat growths, though only the things in the STATUS area actually grow with level, except for Evasion and I think TP. Those can only be increased through external means.  So, just reposting here. Let's go over Reimu, the Flying Mysterious Shrine Maiden's profile here. Reimu has been the main protagonist of Touhou since time immemorial, and she is a very classic main character to start the game out. She's generally incredibly average in most stats, though has a high growth in her MP and MND. In the second screen you'll see the green boxes on the right, which are all of her spell cards. The other boxes are all skills they can have, but we'll go over that later as well.  All of Reimu's spells are spirit element, and they are also composite spells, using the combination of her ATK and MAG stat to hit the enemy. Exorcising Border is a big party wide HP Heal and Great Hakurei Barrier is a party buff, raising defense and mind. Reimu's average stats generally leave her not super good at being a damage dealer, though she can help clear common mobs early on. Her support spells as well are really good, but use a lot of MP, so until her MP starts to grow she won't really be super good at supporting either. But, once enough time passes, this girl will prove to be one of the best defensive supports in the game. Even without being a kouhai.  Next up is Marisa, the Ordinary Black Magician and stable secondary protagonist of the series. Marisa is what you would probably expect of a glass cannon mage. She's got high mind, high mp growth, is fast and a high magic stat. In return her attack, defense and HP are basically non-existent.  All of Marisa's spells are Mystic Element, and all of them deal damage except concentrate. Magic Missile is single target, Asteroid Belt is AoE, and Master Spark is a huge single target nuke that consumes all of Marisa's MP but deals more damage the more MP it uses. That being said, its starting cost is so high that Marisa can't even use it right off the bat. Meanwhile, concentrate just buffs her magic stat. So all in all, a real magical powerhouse of a unit.  While I could go over the other two members in our party, I feel like that's enough mechanics talk for the moment.  [Great Tree Floor 1] 
Getting back to where we left off, we were right next to this red exclamation mark. So let's check out what this is.  So this didn't turn out to be much, just a bit of a short cut. Sometimes you'll find these along the path, and they're pretty handy to cut down on backtracking time. All the same, we don't actually want to be on this side since there's still more tree to explore up north.  Thankfully this one isn't inconveniently roundabout to get to, so let's check it out.  Reimu: What? ...Oh, that... Rinnosuke: What's there?  Marisa: That's Rumia, a youkai that can manipulate darkness. She collects the darkness around and forms a bubble of darkness around her, but it seems to blind her as well.  Rinnosuke: ...Quite the eccentric youkai.  Reimu: I wonder if she can hear me if I  call her from here? Hey, Rumia~.  Rumia: Waha? Someone called? Oooh- I bumped my head. Awww~. Owwww~.  Rinnosuke: ...Looks like she went somewhere else.  Reimu: That was predictable... Well, it doesn't seem like much came from our run in with the dark youkai, but I'm sure that's not the last we'll see of her.  I suppose our next goal should be the green exclamation mark above us. Before that though. [Battle Music] 
We get a run in with two new enemies. You might notice that Reimu is at 50 HP right  now, and that's because the NUT EATER is faster than all of our characters. As a result  it went first, and hit Reimu once. It also delayed her next turn I think, so as you can see, even low level enemies don't joke around. Thankfully, Marisa is able to one shot it with Magic Missile.  The Kedama got a turn though, and nearly killed Marisa. With a little help from Rinnosuke, I ensure that Marisa gets to go before this guy, and with everyone's combined effort it still half healthed Keine, but we managed to kill it.  [Great Tree Floor 1]
As you can see, the game was not lying. Despite the beating we took everyone's back to full. But we can't adventure for all that much longer, especially if we take fights like that, with how low Marisa's TP is getting.  As it turns out, what looked like a straight shot to the Green Event seemed to be a bit of a dud. But we've got a different green event and a red event near us so let's see if we can check those out.  And with a little bit of a bend, it looks like we can.  Marisa: Yeah, I think I saw that girl before. Hmmm, what was her name again... Eh, wha? Where did that tengu go?  Marisa: Uwahh! You startled me, how did you get so close? ...Ah, I remember now. You're Momiji, one of the Youkai Mountain's guardians, aren't you?  It should be noted that Momiji, in spite of her wolf like appearance, is in fact a tengu. Though you might think of Tengu as those weird crow people with long noses, Momiji is of that species. Something known as a White Wolf Tengu. People also often depict her with crow wings, but I don't think that's actually canon, nor do I think wolf tengu actually exist either. But hey, what's fantasy without a little embellishing.  Momiji: Being called a guardian is a bit too much. I'm just part of the patrol.  Reimu: So, what would a patrol tengu be wandering around here for?  Momiji: The Great Tengu orderered us to investigate the Great Tree instead of patrolling the mountains. I wouldn't have come to this place otherwise.  Marisa:...Aren't the crow tengu already doing that?  The crow tengu actually have black crow wings and probably fit what you would more standardly associate with a tengu. Except they're cute girls that don't have enormous noses.  Momiji: That is quite likely... But they are doing so in hopes to get their hands on a scoop first. I am here because I happened to pull the short straw.  Reimu: Ah, I see.  Reimu: Oh my, going home so soon? Marisa: Since you're already here, explore this place with us. You'll probably get more direct information that way, ya know.  Momiji: I'm sorry, but my duty was only to patrol. Besides, the crow tengu will surely return with more information anyway. Though I don't know how accurate information would be...  Like Momiji said, the crow tengu that's here is probably looking for a scoop and is definitely known to embellish a few things.  Reimu: Those crow tengu like gossip way too much, what proof does anyone have their information will be correct?  Marisa: And besides, those crow tengu only care about getting news before the other crow tengu for their next edition...  Momiji: .....Right. Marisa: Compared to these crows, the information coming from very serious white wolf tengu will be much more reliable, isn't that right?  Reimu: And the Great Tengu told you that the Great Tree is a higher priority, right> I be patrolling the mountain is a real bore, especially after getting involved with a major incident like this.  Momiji: ...That's true. And the crow tengu would probably proritize making their newspaper over actually reporting any accurate information they get... *sigh* ... You're pretty good at winning people over. The Great Tengu never did say to "make haste in your report," I guess... Putting things that way does have a certain logic to it. I am willing to help you for a while then. Marisa: Sweet. We're in your hands then Momiji.  And with some fast and smooth talking from our protagonist duo, we get a new edition to our party.  As she says, she's not going to be a part of our party instantly. We have to leave the dungeon first and then we can add her into the party. So, we'll take stock of what she can do later.  So, with that event finished, let's continue to explore around the area and see what else we can find. Walking a bit left and up gets us to a rather curious looking area.  While I still haven't full figured out what each color of event means, these metallic green ones have a purpose that's always the same. They're treasure chests. And three of them all lined up like this. Thankfully, because we visited Akyuu we can actually do something about these lock boxes so let's look at the center one and see what its got. Obtained Special Item, "Mr. Midnight Oil Set" 
Obtained Specical Item, "Items Discovery Weekly!"  What a haul to hit.  Taking a look at the item screen, quite like everything else in this game, there is a lot of items. Both in number of subcategories and how many each category has. The items we just got aren't too useful on their own, but they're all very important to have.  As seen on the screen, the Money-Growing Tree gives us 1% more money from battle, which stacks to a max of 25% once we get 25 of them. The Item Discovery Weekly does the same for item drop rates, only for 1.6% capping out at 40%. And Mr. Midnight Oil Set does the same for experience, 1% capping at 25%. So again, on their own none of them are particularly useful, but once we start getting more of these the value starts to rack up.  Now there's nothing downward that we can go check out at the moment, so we'll just look down the next most available path.  [Battle] 
So right off the bat we are met wtih two pretty fierce looking enemies. Both of them are faster than the rest of our party and both of them saw fit to go and attack Keine. You'll also note that my party's position is a bit shifted and there is a reason for that. Basically, the party members on the left are more likely to get hit then the other party members. So, I've elected to put our two tankiest members there to be the damage sponges. Anyway, despite their threat, Keine is able to use one of her spell cards to hit everything  and with just a regular follow up attack from Reimu.  We are victorious. You'll also note that the numbers on the right are actually filled now. Basically, these go up the more you fight, so basically the longer you dungeon crawl the better your rewards are going to be.  [Great Tree Floor 1] 
Getting back to the map, we appear to have been had yet again. There's no such thing as a clear cut path in this game, and we are simply just put out of reach of either another event or stairs. Also, because she was just beat up a bunch, even Keine is looking a bit rough on the TP. No matter, we'll just keep walking around until we can't any longer.  Continuing to walk down the path we do eventually get to see there are two more events here, albeit one is of course not within reach.  As it turns out, Green events are just item pick ups. You'll note that this is also a "sub equipment." All characters in this game have one main equipment slot and three sub equipment slots. So, let's go look at this.  Not super useful for any of our characters, as none of them are primarily physical attackers, but Reimu can make at least some use of it. The game also has a lot of fun when writing flavor text. Exiting out, we go back to our exploration only to see where else we can get going to. However, we are met with yet another battle. [Battle]
This is perhaps one of the worst case scenarios. The bee is fast and already whacked Keine, which is bad but not terrible. What is terrible is the three Kuron Nuts. Like all enemies in this game, these guys hit hard, have high defense and worse yet higher mind. This is an especially big problem because as she is now, Marisa and Keine can't hurt them at all. Reimu can, but only with her single target spell, as that hits defense instead of mind. Now, while we could try and escape, as we should, I'm going to see if I can't power through these enemies. This is also after a turn has gone because I forgot to take a screen shot at the start of the battle.  Being at the left, Keine also has the advantage of going before everyone else. And while I haven't said much on what she can do, the important thing here is that she has a party wide attack and magic buff. Using that is good, as now Marisa and Reimu will actually be able to benefit from it and fight back. Reimu goes to hit one of them with her Yin Yang Orb.  And while it does deal some damage, it's still not enough to even kill one of them. And with Marisa's turn now about, we'll try to use her to kill the bee and the Kedama. Her Asteroid Belt manages to deal enough to kill the smaller enemies, but these enemies show that they really are a tough nut to crack. Moving on to Rinnosuke.  You can see he doesn't have much in way of spell cards, and neither do damage. But one is a single target buff for everything, so we'll try to make good use of that.  Unfortunately, Reimu is not fast enough even with Rinnosuke's help to go again. And these nuts get a good hit off on Keine and knock her out, as well as one on Rinnosuke. They actually attacked him twice, but he was able to dodge one of them, get another turn and buff Reimu again. So Reimu goes to hit one of them with her yin yang orb but doesn't manage to kill it. It cycles back to the enemy's turn and well.  Yeah. The game doesn't mess around. Thankfully, the game expects you to game over, and it's not really a problem outside of having your exploration end prematurely.  [Gensokyo]
Marisa: The enemies sure hit hard. In battles, we should aim to defeat them before they can hit us.  Rinnosuke: However, if we go all out like that from the beginning, we'll run out of gas quickly... Keine: Well, it can't be helped for now. We're not used to exploring after all. As we recruit new members, get stronger, become luckier and chip away at it, our exploration area will little by little become wider as well.  Reimu: Hmm. I guess all we can do is keep going at it.  Marisa: Ah, by the way. For some reason, it feels like the enemies ain't targeting us equally when attacking. Am I just imagining things?  Rinnosuke: You're not. The enemies tend to attack characters that they have an easier time reaching.  Keine: Characters in front of the party will be targeted more often. Conversely, characters in the back will be targeted less. Amongst our current group, the shopkeeper and I are a little tougher than Reimu and Marisa. It might be best to put us at the front using the Formation option, to offer Reimu and Marsia a little more protetion.  Despite being a metaphorical and literal punching bag, he's still a good guy at heart.  Marisa: Ohh, well said, Kourin. We'll be relying on you.  But yeah, the game basically goes over what I already said about active party formation, with left being the front of the party and right being the back. I suppose it's a bit evil of the game to put Marisa of all people on the frontlines by default, but they're expecting you to die a lot anyway so I suppose it's better to get used to it early on.  In retrospect, maybe I should've left the dungeon after getting Momiji.  Reimu: Way to go, Mari! ...What did you just make me say?  Marisa: Nuh-uh, that was all you. Anyways, it's good to have more allies, but only  people can be in battle at once, yeah? Is there any reason to get more allies than that?  Rinnosuke: Of course there is. Only 4 people may participate in battle at a time, but you can still bring 8 others with you. The more people you have, the more battles you can endure, and the wider you can explore for each run through the Great Tree.  Keine: Furthermore, people resting in the back during battle will sowly recover HP and MP. If someone's spent, you cna shift that person to the back, where  they'll slowly heal back up until they've recovered enough to fight at the front again.  Rinnosuke: ...Though, we don't quite have enough party members to do that kind of rotation, so don't worry about it yet. Just continue on as you are now, and give it more thought once we're up to 8 or so party members.  Reimu: Hmm. Sounds like it'll be best if we make full use of the advantages of having many people to work with as we progress onwards. Friends are good!  Keine: ...By the way. This might sound a little naggy, bu do take note that you have to go to the Human Village and switch your party around to add new party members to the exploration team. Make sure to give the Human Village a visit later.  Don't worry Keine, we'll get to that later.  Reimu: ...What did you just make me say?  Marisa: Nuh-uh, that was all you.  Keine ...I give up, just do whatever you want... Rinnosuke: You have it tough. Good work.  Keine: *sigh*... Is this really going to be okay...? Don't worry Keine,  I'm sure it'll work out...Somehow.  After getting that sage like advice from our main duo, we are also greeted with an achievement pop up.  I earned this. Now that we're 100 Money richer, it seems like a good time to call the episode. In the next episode, we'll explore more of Gensokyo, as well as look at two of our party members. Until then, later. 

Skaia

Skaia

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