Reflections on a Strange Journey

Published November 13, 2019 by Iphis of Scyros

It may seem like a weird title for a post, but in a minute you’ll see that it’s actually a really stupid, cheap name for a post.

Because, see, I just finished up my third (and final!) time through Shin Megami Tensei:  Strange Journey Redux.

(See, I told you it was a stupid and cheap name for a post.)

For those who don’t know (which is most people in the world), Shin Megami Tensei:  Strange Journey Redux is the rerelease on the Nintendo 3DS of Shin Megami Tensei:  Strange Journey, which originally came out on the Nintendo DS.  It’s…it’s been out a while.  Like, quite a while.  Only it takes a long time to get through it three times, especially when you play four or five other games in the middle.

(Fair warning for those few who might be interested in playing it and haven’t yet:  there will be spoilers following.)

It wasn’t a subtle game to begin with, and time has not…made it more subtle.  Like, at all.

Thing is, its message has become more…apt with the passing years.

And yes, I suspect that Commander Gore there was named after Al Gore.  I’m not sure of that, but it seems probable.  (And as to why he’s wearing a tuxedo…it’s not entirely apparent, actually.  I mean, he dies, and then his corpse is stolen and reanimated by a demon, and when his reanimated self reappears he’s wearing a tuxedo.  The best I can come up with is that the medical team put him in a tuxedo for his on-ship funeral…which we didn’t see…or…something…)

Y’know, I should probably back up and talk about the plot a little.  This black dome called the Schwarzwelt appears at the South Pole and is slowly engulfing the world, and the hero is one of many soldiers and scientists who board several high-tech vessels that head inside to investigate and solve the problem.  Of course, it turns out to be filled with demons, because it’s a Shin Megami Tensei game, and that’s how those roll.

Some things about it are actually pretty funny:

I do not want to know what “delight my bliss” even means.  ;P

Anyhow, the humans destroying the planet angle, that’s really only gotten more intense, even though the words are all the same as they were before.

The original game had three endings, Law, Neutral and Chaos, where you could side with the angels, the humans or the demons respectively.  The angels and demons, of course, want to remake the Earth according to their desires, and if you take the neutral path then everything goes back to normal.

And in the new version, this girl, Alex, shows up to try to kill you, because no matter which path you picked, something went wrong after the ending.  Which is a lot more understandable with the angels and the demons, but…well, actually, it’s not so surprising with humans, either, as George (the AI in Alex’s suit) explains there.

So…yeah.  Real happy fun-times.

Worst of all, the neutral endings are usually the “best” endings in a MegaTen game.  In this case, the new neutral ending required the hero to stay behind in the Schwarzwelt forever (using a magical MacGuffin to stay young and super-powerful) to stop the Schwarzwelt every time it begins to reappear to take over the Earth.  When we see him at the end of the ending movie, his own AI (who has the most awesome voice, like, ever (well, duh, Takehito Koyasu)) mentions that the Schwarzwelt is recurring for the seventh time.  Now, yes, the game did establish that it had wiped out a few civilizations (possibly species?) before, but not six times.  So not only did Alex’s parents’ generation fail to learn and resumed destroying the world, but additional generations resumed destroying the world.

That is not what I call a good ending.

Anyway, in order to unlock the entire demon compendium (long story, don’t ask), it was recommended on GameFaqs that we go through three times:  old Chaos ending, new Law ending and then the new Neutral ending.  So I hadn’t seen the new Chaos ending yet.  So I decided to go to Youtube and see if anyone had posted the new Chaos ending.

And actually it was kind of better than the new Neutral ending.  Kind of.  I don’t know.  All the endings have some…uh…problems.  Lots of problems.  Not actually the point.

The point is that just as I was getting to the end of the new Chaos ending, my phone rang.

It was one of those spoofed number calls, goodness only knows what kind of computerized message on the other end.  Thing is, the number it was calling from?  After the local area code, the first three numbers were 666.

Seriously.

While I’m watching the Chaos ending where the demons win.

And then I call my brother to tell him about it, because how weird is that?

And he looks over at the desk thermometer he keeps in his office, and he sees the temperature in the room he’s at is 66.6 degrees.

Um, yikes, am I right?

I don’t know what was up with that, but it was weird and creepy.

And I shouldn’t be posting about it late at night.

*sigh*

Okay, moving on, my word count for today (didn’t think I’d forget, did you?) was 1,855 (plus I wrote a pretty long plot summary for a new idea I had, because somehow I always think of more new ideas during November than any other time, but I don’t know its word count), making a total for the month of 29,333.

Ooh, close to breaking 30k!  Woot!

(Memo to self:  never use “woot” again.)

There was a time when I always broke 50k in the first week of NaNo, but sadly those days seem to be gone for good.  😦

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