truebluehorror: (The GALL)
Hey there it's me, the Jambes. You want to roleplay with me on some stuff that doesn't fit in game. Feel free to hit me up here.

Muselist:
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truebluehorror: (Horror)
Let's Play Whuzzah Whatta What What?

Shin Megami Tensei, translated literally as 'True Goddess Reincarnation' or sometimes as 'The Reincarnation of the True Goddess' is a long-legged console RPG series from Japan. The series began as a spin off from a series of light novels titled 'Digital Devil Story', a set of nine light novels, though the original game only borrows (spuriously) from content from the first two or three. The first game Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei for the NES was named after the title of the first novel of the series, though the story in it more or less merely condenses some elements from the first three novels. Megami Tensei II would break almost entirely from the novels and begin to move into its own beast. The first game of the series when it moved on to the Super NES, Shin Megami Tensei, would cement the series even more as its own creature, easily overwhelming the novel series that spawned it in popularity.

The game plays like many older RPGs, specifically dungeon crawlers like Wizardry: most exploration occurs in a first person view, with a party you need to outfit and attempt to have a working balance and chemistry for. The main draw of the Megami Tensei series, and the main element that has endured even since the first game on the NES, is that your party build is far different from most dungeon crawlers. While most games of this genre have you creating your party, assigning them a beginning fantasy race and class, in Shin Megami Tensei you build your party by talking with and recruiting the demons you're fighting. While your main protagonist is himself human, and you'll have fellow human party members, these members won't stay with you forever, and you'll find yourself having to rely on your ability to talk and relate to the monsters your fighting to recruit them to your side. Alongside this, while your protagonist and human party members will level up just like in a regular RPG, your demons (at least in the older installments of the series) will not. Instead, you have to 'fuse' the demons you've gathered to your cause together in a ritual, causing them to become newer, stronger demons.

While the game has roots almost as old as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and trails just a bit behind them in Japan in terms of popularity, the series had a hard time setting foot outside its native country. Only a few games made it to America, initial under the title 'Revelations', such as Revelations: The Demon Slayer on Game Boy Color and, more notably, Revelations: Persona and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment on the Playstation. The series wouldn't start receiving much mainstream attention among western fans until Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was released on the Playstation 2 in 2004 in American and 2005 in Europe. There are several reasons that could be attributed to these games not reaching Western shores sooner, simply financial reasons being one of them, but the fact that you recruited and fought alongside 'demons' wouldn't have set well with many good Christian mothers, at the very least.

Though, in truth, there are parts of the game that would have stirred far more ire than just that, as we'll see as we go on.

The first game was unreleased Stateside for years, though an English translation was made available in 2002 by translation group Aeon Genesis. However, considering the growing popularity of the series in the states, an official translation was produced and released by Atlus in 2014, only a mere 22 years after the game was first released.

So it's the horrible demon worshipping and fighting game our moms always thought Pokemon was? Cool.

Well, kind of sort of. "Demonic Pokemon" is a comparison that's often used for the Shin Megami Tensei series , and it doesn't help that series tried to bank on that comparison itself a few times. Exploiting elemental weaknesses and paying attention to your own elemental defenses in battle is an important point of ensuring success in Shin Megami Tensei. It's a core factor.

Or at least it is in later installments, starting primarily in the Persona series and being solidified in Nocturne. The earlier games, especially Shin Megami Tensei I and II, play far more like more standard dungeon crawler games. There are spells of differing elements, sure, but most of them are important because different elemental spells can cause status effects alongside sheer damage. The original releases of 1 had no elemental weakness/defense system that I am aware of; later releases of 1 did add some elemental weakness/defense mechanics, but they're still nowhere near as important as they are in later games. We're mostly interested in slugging it out in damage races and praying we don't get hit by status effects than we are in planning strategies around elemental factors.

That being said, there are still quite a few mechanics than just 'hit that/shoot that/set it on fire' that go on to the game, such as Alignment and different story paths that we'll get to in turn.

So you sound pretty familiar with this game. You've played it a lot?

Well. Kind of sort of. If I had to call this LP anything, it sure wouldn't be professional. We'll be calling this a half-blind run.

The hell does that even mean?

I mean I've played the game a lot, mostly on emulator...until about the halfway point, at which I've always had something come up that's kept me from finishing the game. With the official release of the game, I want to try and make a go at finishing the game in full, and hoping this project will help motivate me to do so.

So which version is the official one?

Throughout it's life span, Shin Megami Tensei has been released on several platforms: SNES, Sega CD, Playstation, and Game Boy Advance. The version that was released to America was a translation of the iOS port of the game, which itself appears to be a port of the Game Boy Advance version. It includes quite a few updates from the original, which I'll point out where I can.

So you talked about Alignments and different endings. What's that all about?

We'll talk about it in more detail as the game goes on, but in brief: the battle in Shin Megami Tensei isn't considered one necessarily between good and evil, but between values, expressed as the battle between Law and Chaos. There are three different paths we can take: Law, Chaos, and Neutrality, and each has a different outcome and ending associated with it, as well as some story differences.

So which of them are we going to play through?

Well, I haven't really decided yet. I'd like to do all three, but the game is long, especially for a SNES RPG, and I-

We shall traverse the path laid with wisdom: that most pleasing unto the LORD.

Alright, what the hell was that?

As I said, this is kind of-sort of a blind play through. Because of that, I have a couple of friends here to help me make a few decisions and point some things out for me, since the game can be, you know, tricky.

To call the program you are about to invoke and start 'tricky' is to downplay how dangerous it is to a blasphemous fault! It is a dangerous 'game' and in playing it you risk losing your very humanity.

My, uh...my friends are a bit opinionated. They won't be talking too often, only when necessary and-

I speak only the truth, and only to keep you from falling.

Alright then. So...should I let you introduce yourself or

Very well! Behold then, oh children of man, the very countenance of glory!



Behold, I am Metatron, the very Voice of the LORD Himself! You, oh man, in your ignorance believe that that which you create, the stories you produce, are but mere tales for amusement, be they told in your streets or within books or etched into the circuitry and programming of your machines just as your ancestors etched them within stone.



You come to false conclusions especially in regards to your technology. You believe your state has changed now from when you dwelt in caves and mud-thatched huts, that the tales your ancestors knew in their bones and their souls were in truth but mere superstitions, frivilious and unimportant and, more importantly, unrepeatable in the world you dwell in now, of which you are the master. Of which you believe that the technology you have mastered and the science you study is the actual hidden hand that guides the world.



But I tell you the truth - those stories are as true now as they were then. Becoming truer each moment. Your cities and your monuments and your governments and your institutions and your sciences and your learning are just as they always were and are still pillars upon which we hide and persist. We have never truly left you, though you in your vanity no longer seek us. We have always been here.

We are here still.




You recognize us no longer, and in part this is because you are so certain we never existed. But always are we among you.



But some of you remember us, acknowledge us, and when you truly seek power you so often reach out to those most wicked and blasphemous of us. You are vain and weak creatures, oh children of Adam, and always do you return to us, whether it be those who wish for you to prosper or those foul creatures who'd wish for your destruction. You return.



Your reliance and love for your own blood is the same as it ever was, has ever been, and still it avails you not, not for what you actually wish in your own greed.



Always do you in the end rebel against authority, the rulers appointed by and before you, who see to your protection. You continue to march to your own destruction, in praise of your own autonomy.

I think they get it. It, uh, it might be time to wrap it up.

Quiet I have something going here. You'll have a chance to speak when I am done.



You are shameless creatures, needing of guidance in order to ensure that your own inequity does not lead down the path of utter destruction.



It is His will always, the will of the Lord that even in your selfishness and sin, you might be saved. Salvation and purity shall always have its sacrifices; but know that always He has made it that it is achievable. He has willed it so.

But it is a hard path.




But come, I shall lead you, and under my guidance you shall not falter. What you call a 'game' is in truth a story, and a war, older than you can imagine, even though it has been bequested unto you to be the deciding factor in it. When we endure this, we play no game. Rather, we follow down a path towards truth and the creation of a new and glorious world.

But in your vanity, as always oh man, you consider it a game. Very well then.

Come.

Let us 'play'

















Do you think they understood my message?

Yeah. Yeah. It was good.

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Annotations

Considering how old a series SMT is and how steeped in lore it is, as well as the many references it makes to the real world, the occult, and mythology, I'll be ending each update with an annotation section to point out these references, as well as add information on the demons we encounter each update. As this is just the introduction, there isn't much that is needed for annotation. There is, however, one thing people might be curious about.

El Elohim.....Agla Amen: The phrase that appears in the computer during the opening crawl upon starting the game is apparently a passage from an occult text referred to as the Grimoire of Armadel, which itself is associated with the Key of Solomon, a text popular for (though not only used for or containing spells on) the conjuring of demons. The passage listed here comes at the end of the Grimoire as part of a summoning technique and, roughly translated, reads as follows:

Our eternal Lord, our God Sebaoth
Glorious things are spoken in the name of our God Adonai
And in the name of the Tetragrammaton that cannot be spoken
O Theos, Ischiros, Athanaton
You, O Lord, are mighty forever. Amen.

The passage itself is considered to be an example of "Barbarous Names", which were long strings of unintelligible words that were frequently found in medieval magical texts. More information on this technique can be found here. Much of the information and understanding of this passage was also found at this fantastic fanpost talking about the use of the passage in the opening.

UPDATES:
Update One | Update One Annotations
truebluehorror: (Dilbert)
Here's a roleplay meme to inspire muses what you want some fancy crap with this here fughedabout it I don't know how to do that anyway here be the muses



Alright here's the rules you pick a muse from above you call them out in putting their name in the subject line. You just comment with whatever you please, we play capiche? Make up a scenario from the start or we just do whatever let's just get it done it is as easy as 1 2 3 you see lets go
truebluehorror: (The Middle Cat)
Stealing from Marion because hey why the hell not I love this meme.

MUSEBOX

Mar. 25th, 2012 09:48 pm
truebluehorror: (FUCK YES!)
This here is a musebox thread.

I musebox RP stuff with others here.

What you wanna fight about it?
truebluehorror: (Hungry!)
During my first semester of college I was friend with a band of gentleman whose names and faces I don't remember too much anymore. That's not a particularly great way to begin a story, but in this case it's just a framing detail as this would be a "proto" group of friends, to speak of, that I would have before moving on to the cliche I'm part of now.

Either way, I can't remember the exact details of the discussion but we somehow got led to a topic about I can't even fucking remember. I think it had to do with writing articles for the internet (I can't remember what website we were talking about) that one of these gentleman was talking about contributing to. When asked if I would ever think about contributing to a site, my response was "No. I have nothing of importance to say."

But something I've come to find in the following years is that it doesn't matter if what you have to say is "important" or not as much as the fact that you say it anyway. Importance is a relative term and what may or may not be important to you might be important to someone else. Maybe in the same way, maybe not. But the fact of the matter is that if we want to understand each other, if we want to really communicate with one another, that involves finding out what's important to one another. And those little things that we tend to keep to ourselves, that we convince ourselves are of no importance because they don't deal with politics or religion or something on a grand scheme of things important to the develop of mankind in general does not change, doesn't degrade the fact they might be important in other ways. We all have dusty old books and cheap pieces of plastic that bend and maybe make noises and stupid brightly colored cartoons that flash on TV screens that we remember fondly and that were important to us.

Doesn't it make sense to think that those utterly inconsequential things were important to others too?

I think a big problem with people a lot of times is a lack of communication. In a lot of ways we live in a culture of mockery, primarily fostered by the internet and many of the cultures/subcultures within it and seeping more and more into real life. It can be debatable just how bad this culture is (after all, mockery can sometimes be done in a form of fondness) but I think the fact that we take to mocking so easily is in part a sign of how much we try to avoid actual contact with each other. We downplay and degrade a lot of things for several reasons now, not just out of scorn. But at the same time even though mockery is taking on several different layers/reasons for it now, we still fear it because while people love to be the center of attention that doesn't stop the fact that they hate what can be perceived as negative attention or attention being called to their faults.

But the problem is we tend to see little things, the real important things as faults. And while people may talk about them, they rarely see how important they are or consider them as such. Because sometimes even more than large thinks like political affiliations it might be things like fandoms and interests like that that connect people to one another. The road to communication and understanding is much wider, and has many more ways to walk it, then a lot of people perceive. It's just that we perceive these still legitimate pathways as terrifying back alleys. As seedy little places no one would want to go and that we go down alone if we go down them at all because it'd be assholish to ask anyone else to come with us.

But the thing is people travel down them just the same. And it's always better to travel in a group than alone.

I guess the point of this was more that I think people have come to think about many of the things they care about, be they video games or cartoons or movies, as unimportant. And that isn't true. Because talking about those is as much a path to knowing each other as talking about whether your a Republican or a Democrat or something in between. Don't think you're bothering people talking about small things, take pride.

And who knows. Maybe that small unimportant thing in your life will lead to one of the biggest influences in not just yours, but others, lives as well.
truebluehorror: (Strange Makeouts)
People naturally have others that have inspired them in their lives. Mankind, in a lot of ways, is a single organism. A kind of hive-mind really, and we decide what we admire and draw from others when we find something we like. We find something in others that we aspire to be.

As a writer, there's quite a few people I have to thank for how and what I write. I think I'd just list and talk about a few.

There's more shit going on underneath here )

Book Meme

Jan. 10th, 2012 12:22 am
truebluehorror: (Sailor Moon)
Book meme!

Bold the ones you've read COMPLETELY, italicize the ones you've read part of. Watching the movie or the cartoon doesn't count. Abridged versions don't count either. BTW, according to the BBC if you've read 7 of these, you are above the average.

List under Cut )
truebluehorror: (I am a grump today)
I'm a kind of depressive guy. And because I'm a depressive guy, I ramble about it a lot. Usually, I do this on plurk, but because I'm so much of a whiner, and because the people who have friended me here have essentially outed themselves enough and implied they want to see what I put in a journal, I'm going to try and contain a lot of my whining to here from now on. I'll at least have the decency to put my bullcrap behind a cut so you don't have to see it first thing, and I'm going to try and keep these rare, but I don't really make any promises on that because my mood is like a fucking tsunami.

Alright here we go.

weh weh weh )
truebluehorror: (Strange Makeouts)
I'm a writer. Or at least I'd like to be. To say I've kind of been slow, or dragging in the department of actual writing for the last few years due to both actual reasons and excuses I've found for myself would be pretty generous. That being said, recently I've managed to get back in the swing of things, you might say, and have begun work on a short story in the last week or so.

I haven't finished it yet, but I'd like to share the beginning excerpt of it here. Keep in mind that this isn't going to be great: it's a first draft, and thus needs to be cleaned up. Ideas that have started in it are somewhat malleable and starting to change/contradict as I try to piece together the actual world, so don't be surprised if things don't flow too well/don't make sense entirely yet. Keep in mind, also, that this is just an excerpt. That being said, I'm open to any criticism, preferably constructive, people might have to provide for what they see.

Anyway, here we go.

The dust storm was still going strong )

This is the first "section" I guess, of the story, and has more or less been copied without correction from the rough draft I have in front of me. It shows, as there are a lot of parts, even after just having typed them, that are rough and awkward and that I've ended up retconning slight parts of as the story has gone on. But that's part of the point of a rough draft, as well.

I'll put up another excerpt later, either tonight or tomorrow.
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