Hello again Simon faithfuls and welcome to another round of DDS. Last time we left off we took out Lupa and were heading off to face Varin, so lets see what we have in store.
Right so Varin’s dungeon in and of it’s self is strange place, the building doesn’t look quite like anything else we’ve seen in the Junkyard thus far. It almost looks like a country club of sorts. A country club that was photo shopped into the this world. The dungeon itself isn’t particularly difficult, it has a series of mini bosses, of which the hardest is the dragon worm thing Nidhogger or however you spell that things name, you know the white thing with like eight million legs that gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil. There are floating orbs in the main room and each time you touch one you have to go down some long annoying hallways to reach the mini boss. Though calling them mini bosses is almost an insult, they are full length fights none of which are especially difficult nor are they easy though. After defeating the bosses you finally have the option of going where Varin (colonel Beck) is. Except when you get to final room of the dungeon, there isn’t an enemy in sight. How awkward. There is however a voice that’s more then willing to talk to you. And he sure does recognize our fearless leader, clearly as we see Serph go flying. That’s not really strength I want to deal with.
The next thing we see is an attack on Argilla. Pretty easy to lift a girl off the ground by her neck right? Now funny thing there she is not a small woman. In fact she’s pretty damn tall, so that means that Varin must be one hell of a big guy. Here he’s questioning how on Earth she can possibly follow a man who devoured her. That’s kind of insanely freaky. Is Varin batshit crazy or in some alternate world did her leader (Serph) eat Argilla. Creeptastic. I would wonder if he wasn’t talking about Gale the unofficial spokesman of Team Embryon, but he clearly states that he does not know him. Heat makes it clear that he isn’t just going to stand of to the side and let this shit go down, but in his confusion over Varin’s words he to is thrown off to the side like a ragdoll. And those words “How many times must you die for this woman?” Argilla? Or Sera? Pretty vague eh?
Now here’s the scary thing about Varin though. It’s not the invisibility, nor is it his crazy strength, everyone in this game sans Sera has displayed the abilities of “crouching tiger hidden badass” at some point or another. Nope none of that is the intimidation factor, it’s in two things entirely unique to him. One: he knows, he is the only person who has any clues about the outside world, and the implications of the things he says is terrifying. Second is that his power is the exact opposite of Sera. Where as she possesses a calming factor, he puts people deliberately into berserker mode. See the Heat above for example. Sera in an attempt to prove she can be a strong character too, says that she won’t allow him to invoke harm upon her friends. It’s probably the second strongest moment she’s had thus far.
Varin isn’t happy about these people and there closeness in spite of everything. He wants out of the junkyard and he is very well aware of the fact that ripping Serph’s face off is the only way to accomplish that. So he turns into a freakishly ugly really gay looking monster. I mean look at this thing. It’s purple and pink and has this gaping suction looking mouth. And we were seriously supposed to be intimidated by him. I’m not buying it. So this guy has two different forms. The pink buggy looking guy spends the entire fight invisible and you have to guess out of six target spots where he is. Of course as per normal missing loses you a press turn icon. At the beginning of each turn Sera will throw out a vague hint as to where he is located. Really though it’s mostly just based on your own personal luck. And then we are right back to the existential kids corner. “What do you mean I was devoured?” Why do you know of all the key members of the Embryon tribe except for Gale? Being a Colonel it’s fairly easy to guess that Varin was former military, is it possible that these people were all the same military unit? Perhaps all the people of the Junkyard were military at some point. That would explain their advanced combat strategies. It would also explain why they have leaders chosen so easily. Perhaps in some other world they were all already leaders of different military factions. The idea has merit anyway. Gale was the ninja leader, that’s why Varin doesn’t know him 😉 Sera cast everyone into this mess huh? Also explains a few things. Wait so let’s back up a peg, so the woman crying in Gale’s flashback, do you think it’s possible that she was crying because he was being cast into this place? I mean it’s more plausible then him being a ninja overlord. So if Sera put them here then was it because she felt guilty that she came here of her own volition, or was she perhaps put here as punishment for damning all these important people? This game is so fantastic at making you wonder what the heck is going on. And Varin verifying that this is indeed some form of purgatory and that they are all dead just piles on even more questions. How did Sera cast them here, is the reason she can’t remember anything because she’s just an avatar, a rebellious piece of the entity known as Angel? Always this game and it’s questions.
They’re going to be angsting over the fact they died for a while I would wager. I mean that is a fairly big pill to swallow. So back to this we’re all people who died thing. Does that mean that Serph did honest to god eat Argilla? Like he’s really Hannibel Lecter or something?I mean cause it’s one thing to turn into some crazed bloodthirsty monster and walk around munching on people, but it’s an entirely different story when your a human (or at least I would guess so) man and you walk around eating people. “Oh wow Serph this dish is amazing! What is it?” “Oh it’s liver, nice and fresh straight from Argilla.” And yet cannibalism aside Varin says that that woman, the witch who is destroying the world is the devil. I have to think that there are a few strange priorities going on there. I mean did we start eating people before or after the end of the world? Ooh maybe Sera is responsible for the zombie apocalypse and Serph was the first one turned into a brain eating rotting monster. And then he ate Argilla first! Still doesn’t tell us how Heat died for ‘that’ woman though.
And speaking of that woman, Sera is nowhere to be seen. There is a previously unnoticed door though. Hmm how curious. So leaving Varin’s body behind (this group really does waste a lot of food) the party heads through that door wherein Serph sees an afterimage of Sera with her back to him holding a picture frame. The words I’m sorry hanging in the air. Watching Serph pick up the frame and stare at the happy picture of the Embryon tribe as something other then Guerilla fighters is fairly painful to watch. Sera looks sad in the picture on the left, Serph looking at the same picture though, seems sadder to me. I think part of the reason is every time we see him for the rest of this scene he’s holding that picture close to his chest. It makes it hit a little closer to home seeing your silent unshakable protagonist holding something so tenderly. The only other thing he’s been that gentle with was Sera directly after fairytale castle. Cielo has the next revelation as he sees the cat (you know the one, I mean come on it’s in the games opening) leaping from the window sill. How did he know what it was? He’d never seen a cat before it didn’t make any sense. Gale expunges on this a bit further by bringing up their collective knowledge of parents and children. There are no children in the Junkyard so therefore they shouldn’t understand either terms, and yet no one questioned it when Lupa said he had a son. Cats, children, angels, devils, god, curses, betrayal, all these things that they shouldn’t by any means understand and yet they throw them out all the time, like it makes sense to them. My husband actually pointed out not too long ago that he thought it was really interesting how every time the concept of higher beings came up they glossed right over the subject and moved onto something else like it had never been brought up at all. Kind of like how when some thing crazy happens you say “Oh my god I can’t believe that happened” No one ever stops and says “What’s god?” instead asking you what happened. It’s kind of disturbing really how natural their reactions come of in that regard. Argilla is still hesitant however to point blame at Sera. It could very well still just be that Varin was crazy right? But that theory doesn’t explain everything quite as well as all this being done deliberately. Serph on the other hand is the nicest most understanding guy in the SMT megaverse, so instead of being upset or angry, he continues holding that picture close (funny that he didn’t show it to anyone) and insists that it doesn’t really matter all that much. After all Sera is still their Sera. And Heat Sera’s loyal puppy dog backs that up. Who cares that we’re dead. Wow what an exclamation and what’s so fantastic about this guy is that he genuinely means it. Who cares, we’re powerful now right? Look at what we’ve become! He declares with pride. And then immediately he gets significantly more embarrassed by his own outburst which is hilariously fantastic. Heat is such a goober. But there it is again the number one magic word in the Digital Devil saga world, th e word that has held the Embryon together through Jinana’s death, past Bat’s betrayal, and beyond Sera’s kidnapping, even the strange scenario laid out by fairytale castle wasn’t enough to pull them away from that word. Comrades. Always with the comrades. Of course you can’t be a comrade on your own. That’s completely ludicrous so in essence I think what goober brain here is trying to get across is that it’s thanks to Sera that they have the relationship they have. He’s also quick to point out that Serph could open his mouth and put in his own damn input. I love it when they deliberately poke at him being a quiet character and then immediately interrupt before he has a chance to speak. It’s like a running gag in this game. Cielo cheerfully points out that the speech had heart, but honestly it really sucked. Which is no surprise given that Heat is a socially awkward man child. SO the members of the Embryon share a quick laugh before something truly terrifying occurs. As the group stares on outside the window, the rain, the last consistent thing about the Junkyard, stops. The rain is from what I’ve read actually representative of the cycle of reincarnation and it’s the bodies of the fallen tribe members from the various tribes being returned to the Earth so they can become new soldiers and rejoin the fray in a never ending cycle. However with the rain ending that signals the literal and figurative end. They won, so the others will never exist again, which really kind of sucks. I kind of hope that Lupa and Jinana have already been reincarnated. With that the Gate to Nirvana has been opened. And I will join those of you reading this, there next week. Catch ya then!