Saturday, July 18, 2015

Let's Play Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Chapter 05 The Continued Search for Father ~ Request of Kamishiro Yuuko

I'd best take this time to finally explain how hacking work, as I don't believe I've addressed it up to now. Using the previous dungeon's firewalls as an example, each level of hacking skill requires a different set of Digimon to use. To break through a level 2 firewall you need at least four Child-level Digimon to be in your party. Behind this wall is a set of sleep capsules.

To break through a level 3 firewall, you need four Adult-level Digimon. They don't have to be set as your active party (you can only have three active Digimon at a time) but you do need to have all four in reserve at the very least. This firewall hides an Emerald.

On our way out of the coffee shop, we lament our predicament. "From the finest beans comes a beautiful fragrance, and new fear is born..." All the talk of coffee in this game makes me wanna play Superstar Saga. I sure could go for a Teeheespresso right now.

All we hear is Kyouko licking her chops. (She "says"  jururi, a slang sound effect for slurping back saliva--Kyouko's hungry. It uh, took me a while to figure out what was going on in this sequence.)

We engage in a prolonged standoff before Yuuko makes a break for it, and the protagonist observes that she was staring at a poster on the wall for a national gourmet tournament, advertising Chinese yam ramen, Nakaochi tuna dumplings, and local specialty soft-serve ice cream.

>>What the... I heard drooling.
She definitely said it, she definitely drooled.
She didn't, drooling isn't ordinary.

When we return to the office, Yuuko is waiting for us with Kyouko. Once again, she's here with a request.

Yuuko: ...Hello.
>>...You were drooling?
Hey, were you drooling?
You said it, you said "jururi."

Yuuko: ......Hello.
Kyouko: Eh? Drooling? What are you saying? This is our client--
Yuuko: ...Kamishiro Yuuko.
Kyouko: Hm, well then Kamishiro Yuuko-san...This time, what will you request we investigate?
Yuuko: ...Yes. About my father...I want you to investigate him.
Touya: !?

Chapter 05 The Continued Search for Father ~ Request of Kamishiro Yuuko

We're to investigate Kamishiro Satoru, the previous company president of Kamishiro Enterprises. At first Kyouko thinks new information must have arisen regarding his suicide last year, but Yuuko yells that she's wrong. Her father did not commit suicide.

Yuuko: Ah...I'm sorry...I rose my voice...
Kyouko: No, that's fine. So then...why do you think it wasn't a suicide? Do you have positive proof otherwise?
Yuuko: I don't have positive proof...but that's why I'm requesting an investigation.
Kyouko: I see, naturally.
Yuuko: A clue, perhaps...the investigation the other day of "Yamashina Makoto." Last year, he was a researcher for Kamishiro Enterprises.
Yamashina Makoto resigned at the time of her father's death, and then concealed his own whereabouts. Hence, he may be related to Satoru's death. Not in a straightforward relationship, but she's certain Makoto knows something. Kyouko thinks that Yuuko is testing us. Yuuko apologizes, but explains that in these circumstances there are not many people she can trust. She asks us to excuse her for her rudeness in playing such petty tricks. In spite of that, Kyouko's willing to trust her because of the girl's forthrightness. We'll take the case.

Yuuko's phone rings.

Yuuko: Hello...Yes...No...There's no problem in particular. Yes, I'm alone. I understand, I'll return soon...tell Rie-san to please wait at headquarters for then...
Yuuko excuses herself to attend to some urgent business. Kyouko tells her to wait for the results of our investigation.

Our boss has the sense that this will be a pretty serious investigation. If successful, we'll be uncovering both the past and present history of Kamishiro Enterprises. We'll likely need the assistance of Detective Matayoshi on this one. Kyouko will once again open an investigation of Yamashina Makoto, while we take a second look at his home. She's not sure that new information will really turn up, but we've nothing to lose.

"Nothing to lose...Hm...Nothing?"
Her father often used these words. "Nothing to lose" (ダメもと dame moto) is a contraction of "Trying because you have nothing to lose" (駄目で元々 dame de motomoto) but Kyouko's father said "Nothing to lose, together" (だめでも、友と dame de mo, tomo to). It's a pun; he took the complete phrase dame de motomoto and broke it up into dame de mo tomo to, which changed the meaning.

Our next stop is the Toyosu community apartments.

We're being quite persistent, but no matter what we say, Makoto insists that he doesn't know anything about Kamishiro.

Makoto: ...Something I haven't heard before? Of course, it's my first time hearing from you. ...No...Before that...Something on the news...? Th-that's wrong...from my daughter...I heard, I...think...I don't daughter...hear it from her...I...let me rest...suddenly, I'm dizzy.

According to Makoto, Chika said she went to Shibuya, to pick up some band's new single at Tower Records--"jimiken" he thinks, or some other name like that.

The area of Shibuya we're head to is through the eastern crosswalk, to a back street I didn't cover before.

Out here we meet Victory Uchida, a victorious personage whose goal is to become the future company president [of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc]. Out of respect for our potential to become a great man, Uchida gives us the Ninja USB and promptly disappears, wondering if we'll be able to find him again.

Uchida is likely based on a real person. I think it's possibly Uchida Naruo, who originally started out as a translator for Digimon World but became executive producer for Digimon Story sometime in 2005~06. I haven't seen any credit roll for Cyber Sleuth, so I've no idea if he had a role in this game. The gimmick with Victory Uchida is that he appears once in every chapter with a special item, but if we miss him then that item is lost forever.

The Ninja USB guarantees a 100% escape rate in random encounters. Considering that my party is functionally invincible, I have very little need of it, as that's running from free money.

California cultural buffs will recognize Tower Records as the once-omnipresent megagiant in music and film distribution. At one time a global force raking in one billion dollars in CD sales annually, Tower was put out of business in much the same way as Blockbuster, but like Geocities its Japanese branch outlived it as a franchise zombie. The Japanese branch was established in 1979 and as a result of going independent in 2002 has never closed, with its Shibuya store remaining a fashionable cornerstone of the landscape; it also appeared in The World Ends With You as Towa Records. (And like the fictional Towa Records and AMX, there is a real rivalry between Tower Records and HMV.) Unlike in the case of TWEWY, the crossover with Cyber Sleuth is officially sanctioned and promoted. TRJ's mascot, Tawa Reiko (a pun of Tawaa Rekoodo), is the shop's in-game manager.

Chika's reluctant to talk to us at first, but explains that her father used to be a workaholic that never came home. He's changed into someone that cares a lot about the family though. She suspects it has to do with changing jobs--Makoto now works for Nile Corporation.

According to Kyouko, detective Matayoshi once investigated Nile. Kyouko's father was also involved in the investigation, looking into "something suspicious" about the company. We get the keyword Nile Corp and instructions to ask around the Eden Entrance's company pavilion for more information, while Kyouko opens up the materials from Matayoshi and Kuremi Sr.'s investigation.

There's a Kiwimon medal sitting here by the map exit.

The store proper is filled with all kinds of musicophiles. Anison otaku, Jimmy Ken groupies, a salaryman-by-day, music-maniac-by-night.

We can't buy any of the music, so we do the polite thing and buy a capsule from the medal machine. This one's Metal Etemon.

 The shop outside sells elemental guards that reduce fire/water/plant/electric/earth/wind damage by 10% each.

When we use the keyword, an elite salaryman at the plaza tells us that Nile Corp researches and develops EDEN's avatar system, and was absorbed into another company a while ago. Nile Corporation no longer exists.

This has some interesting implications. Makoto worked for the company that developed the avatar system for Kamishiro Enterprises, but after Kamishiro Sr.'s alleged suicide, quit his job and moved to Toyosu while trying to cover his tracks. His EDEN account remained after his departure, and was targeted by account-hunting hackers working for Mr. Mephisto. But that system was also the one compromised most severely by Eater when we were attacked.

Matayoshi: Oh, Mr. Apprentice. Getting the hang of detective work?
Matayoshi's already at the office when we get back. It seems the investigation materials from the previous case with Nile Corp no longer exists. Matayoshi thinks it's only natural we wouldn't find anything when Kamishiro is in charge of storage. Detective Matayoshi has suspected for some time that Kamishiro illegally bought out Nile Corporation. He and Kuremi Sr. were investigating this bit by bit, but problems occurred. Pressure from higher-ups encouraged him to shut down the investigation prematurely, and as no blame could be placed on them, all of the investigation materials were handed over to Kamishiro. It seems we've seen the darkness within the white company.

(The "shiro" in Kamishiro can be alternatively read as a homophone for 白 shiro "white.")

Matayoshi continued to track the whereabouts of the stored materials even after Kuremi Sr.'s death. Right now the documents are stored deep in Kamishiro's main server, the Avalon server, what their employees sometimes call the "classified information database." Matayoshi hasn't confirmed its location with his own eyes, but surrounding investigations point to this. At any rate, it's enough for Kyouko to go on.

Matayoshi reminds her that her opponent is Kamishiro, the name known around the world for its top level security, but Kyouko counters that this is only the history of a conman. A closed gate can be broken through, as long as its opponent has a strategy. It only takes a fortunate detective to make the impossible to become possible. A con is just someone that crows "dawn" in the dead of night.

(Kyouko's comment comes from 鶏鳴狗盗 keime ikuto, an incapable person that relies on petty tricks, what I've chosen to call a "conman;" but 鶏鳴 keime by itself is a cocks-crow, so she's saying that they're mimicking a chicken's voice. 狗盗 ikuto isn't used on its own normally, but is written with the kanji for dog's thievery.)

To make our way into the Hangu Pass, we'll borrow the abilities of someone else. (Hangu Pass or 函谷関 Kankokukan is a historic way into ancient China. It was the only road to reasonably invade the Qin through, hence getting into Hangu Pass became a metaphor like a chink in a dragon's scales.)

Kyouko: It's about time.

Matayoshi is shocked by Yuuko's entrance, but realizes our gambit soon enough. No one will suspect anything if it's done through a relative of the Kamishiro family

Matayoshi: Please, miss! Lend us your power! 

Yuuko: ...Eh? Eh? Eh?

Kyouko summarizes the situation. She'll provide her cooperation; Yuuko has also had her own suspicions about the company. However, because she's a minor, her powers within Kamishiro are severely limited. She suspects that the most she can do is invite us into the lobby. Yuuko could invite the protagonist as a friend from school, but Matayoshi and Kyouko are too old to pass. Yuuko's concerned about how we'll access the high-security database though. Kyouko admits that while we're one wizard of a hacker, this may be impossible even for us.

>>...A cyber detective can make the impossible possible.
Someone once told me it only takes fortune.

Kyouko: ...It's just as he said, Kamishiro Yuuko-san. This is the cyber detective's territory, so please leave it to him.
Yuuko: ...I understand. I'll make the arrangements.
Matayoshi's worried about how we'll pull this off, but Kyouko has it covered. She's going to have us talk to Mirei about using a little program for our intrusion.

At the digi-lab, Mirei gives us a new hacking skill: Stealth Hide. This skill was created by improving on a program taken from the Dreameater, and can completely conceal our account information. In other words, we become a kind of "invisible man." Given our current half-digital state, we should also be able to use the Stealth Hide ability in the real world. Although it could be easily used to commit crimes, in light of our deepened ties to Digimon, Mirei doesn't think we'll abuse it. Rather, she'll be watching us closely. As a cyber detective, we'll surely uncover her own secret one day.

Kyouko contacts us with the URL for the Kamishiro lobby. This URL will grant our account access privileges to the lobby, but no further. From there, we'll be breaking into our "Hangu Pass." First comes the chicken's cry, and then comes the dog's robbery.

Before going ahead, I pick up a Tentomon medal at the medal machine, and sell off our current collection for 570 yen. In total I've now spent 2400 yen and made 2560, a net profit of 160 yen--which is a decrease in total profit compared to the previous chapter.

Kamishiro Enterprises' EDEN network is populated by company executives and middle management.

Familiar (Unenthused) Voice: Hey~ You're so late~ You made me wait~

Yuuko (Unenthused): You're way too late~ You made me get Ultra Super Worried, y'know.
...Oh, but it's not like I was that worried about you or anything.
Yuuko isn't very sure of how she should act for a friend. She tries to play the part, but really just sounds like she's doing a bad imitation of Nokia. When we tell her to talk like she always does, she doesn't get what we mean. She shows us around the lobby a bit, and when we get to the subject of how we're gonna break in...

We show off the Stealth Hide.

Mature Kamishiro Employee: Oh, lady Yuuko? Where did your friend go?
Yuuko: Eh!? M-my friend... That's...w-we're playing hide
Mature Kamishiro Employee: ...Eh? Hide, and seek?
Yuuko: Th-that's right. ...Is something amiss?
Mature Kamishiro Employee: N-no...there's no problem, I think...
Yuuko: The environment's well-suited to hide and seek...because it's so big here.
Mature Kamishiro Employee: it is, yes. It is here.
Yuuko: ...By the way, I'm "it."
Mature Kamishiro Employee: I-is that so...d-do your best.
Yuuko: ...Yes. I will definitely find them.
Mature Kamishiro Employee: ...That's the spirit! ...W-well then...good luck. And I wish the best to your friend too.

Yuuko recognizes what's going on with this program. It conceals our account information by sealing it away using the Digimon program, creating the perfect hiding place. This really is ours and Kyouko's "territory." But the hide-and-seek excuse will only work for so long, so we need to get to work right away.

There's a three-star Dark Tyranomon medal off to the right in the Kamishiro Enterprises' space. After talking to the employees and to Yuuko, she explains that the access for the database is in the employees' account data, so we need to sneak up on an executive and connect jump through their account.

To use Stealth Hide we need a Virus attribute Digimon in our party, so I swapped out Miss Mad for Burai in this chapter. Stealth Hide changes everyone's dialogue, as they react differently now that they can't tell you're around anymore.
The employee with the correct permissions is the one grumbling about his work on the left side of the area.

This leads to a longer digital network dungeon, littered with different types of healing capsules. In this dungeon we can encounter Nyaromon, Pukamon, and Gabumon.

That brings us to the amazing and criminally short Avalon server, Kamishiro's high-security database. The gimmick of this area is that we can't walk over the short empty spaces between platforms, we can only move over the small bridges, which turns the central platform into a type of micro-maze.

The encounters here are Plotmon, Starmon, Falcomon, and Gomamon. It's kinda pathetic that we're still up against primarily Child-level Digimon.

No sooner do we reach the end of the area, that Yuuko gets a call. Kyouko wants a status update. Yuuko is surprised at our progress and mastery over the Digimon program, but Kyouko in turn points out that Yuuko was quick to act in arranging this whole invitation. She's quick to grasp the situation and adapt; just who is she?

Yuuko: Th-that may be so, however...I There is no one else here.
Kyouko: Hm...n?
Yuuko: Now what?
Kyouko: Oh...! This is...we've been hit.
Yuuko: !? J-just now...!?
Kyouko: ...This is bad. It appears we're being watched.
Yuuko: What...!?
Kyouko: It's likely your Digivice in the real world. Somebody planted an eavesdropping program on it. We should have caught it's using a special frequency to transmit. Hmph...quite the worthy opponent.

Kyouko doesn't like saying this, but she tells Yuuko to withdraw immediately. Yuuko protests. She doesn't want to leave while we're still in there, but Kyouko shows no hesitation. We're her assistant; we'll simply have to handle this ourselves, and she knows we can. Yuuko has no time to worry about others right now, and talking anymore will be dangerous.

Deep inside the Avalon server, we reach this terminal. That document has a lock on it, which we'll need our hacking skill, Code Scan, to break. Code Scan requires a Data Digimon to be in the party, so if you forgot to bring one, enjoy backtracking to the Digi-lab to swap one in.

Dataplate: Accessing download successful.

But just as we get the data, we hear voices approaching.

It's a group of ZAXON hackers! We use the Stealth Hide skill to vanish. They're complaining about the world-renowned Kamishiro's ridiculously simple security. But we can't really worry about what they're doing here just yet--our hero feels a cyber sneeze coming on. Cyber sneezes arise while diving in cyberspace, but has different properties from a real sneeze. Namely...


...They cancel out our active hacking skill. The ZAXON hackers have no idea where we came from, but at first they mistake us for someone from Kamishiro.

Familiar voice: You all... What are you doing here... !

It's Yuugo! The hackers are all shocked to see their boss here, and Yuugo's just as surprised to see them.

Yuugo: You all...impersonating Kamishiro employee IDs? ...Or rather, you were granted permission? Someone from Kamishiro called you here...? ...Who? Who ordered all of you to come here?
Demonic Hacker: W-well now, who can say, y'know...?

Yuugo: ...You disgrace the pride of ZAXON.

Jimmy Ken: Hiiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Demonic Hackers: T-there it is~! Jimmy Ken-san's "Satanic Mesmerizing Air Guitar!!"

Jimmy Ken: ...Thank you, good work, Yuugo-sanwww Meeting you in a place like this, it's so ironic~ Too ironic, it's the opposite of rockwww...ah, you gettin' it? This feeling.
Yuugo wants to know what Jimmy Ken is up to, but he avoids the question. He spouts a lot of hot air, calling Yuugo names, but then cryptically stating that "Yuugo-chan" can't stick around. (And in possibly his worst use of English yet, Jimmy Ken tries substituting "DEATH" in place of desu.) He tells Yuugo to just wait there while he knocks us black and blue--will we become Jimmy Ken's "plaything fan"?

Relative to his debut, Jimmy Ken is weaker than in chapter 3. His two Meramon have both evolved into Perfect-level Blue Meramon, but he didn't bring along an equivalent Vamdemon to complete the team. So he has the raw power but not the crippling status effects of his previous party, and Andiramon's Meditate ability restores enough HP every turn that we don't really need to use healing items in this fight.

Every turn the two Blue Meramon will use Cold Flame for 150~250 damage each, with a 10% chance to increase their own Brains by 10%. Aside from having somewhere in the range of ~1800 hit points, there's really nothing special about these two.

After the first Blue Meramon goes down, Jimmy Ken will use his unique tamer skill, "You getting' it? This feeling." This debuffs his remaining Blue Meramon's defense by one stage, and in exchange buffs his Attack and Brains one stage.

Burai's Roundmoon Kick and Bruno's Dragon Impulse carry us in this fight. Afterwards, Jimmy Ken gives us two Memory Ups.

Jimmy can't believe he lost again, blaming it on his weak, totally not-rock Digimon. He makes all kinds of lame excuses. Something wrong with his tone, he can't stop clearing his throat, you gettin' it? This feeling.

Failure of a ZAXON Hacker: YYES, OFCOARSE!!
Jimmy Ken: Well, that's thatwwwww
Jimmy takes off with the hackers in tow. Yuugo recommends that we run as well; security is sure to be on the way, and if we get out now we have a good chance of escaping. Kyouko gives us a call telling us to do the same. Our "enemy" has caught on to what we're doing.

Yuuko meets us on our way out, asking if we found it or not. It seems Kamishiro already knows about the ZAXON hack from moments ago. The company's in an uproar. Fortunately, our own work can be dismissed as theirs'. Yuuko thinks the company won't want to publicize this hack, but we need to hurry back to the office.

Our enemy definitely caught us with our pants down, planting a bug on Yuuko. The good news is that we have the data we wanted, and it does have records of an illegal acquisition regarding the Nile Corp matter. But there's something else interesting in these files.

In addition to Makoto, there was one more senior researcher at Nile Corp--Suedou Akemi. Yuuko and Matayoshi both recognize the name; Matayoshi as a misanthrope that rarely makes public appearances, and Yuuko as the person who laid the foundational work on the EDEN network. He was researching mind data, which EDEN's virtual reality service depends on to implement its avatar system. She had no idea he worked at Nile Corp.

Matayoshi regrets having to ask this, but he wants Kyouko to leave this case to him. He wants another chance to set things right. "It's my--no, our way of doing things." If that's his professional opinion, then Kyouko has no objections. "By all means, take it. ...And, give my regards to dad."

(When Matayoshi says "our," he uses oretachi, the hyper-masculine "our." He's excluding Kyouko, and the other people in the room, from that inclusion. The implication is that his way is also her father's way. Matayoshi is carrying out the investigation both for himself and for Kuremi Sr.)

Kyouko assures Yuuko that with the Nile Corporation case in the detective's hands, we'll continue with the investigation of her father. Yuuko says little--merely nods and excuses herself.

Kyouko feels bittersweet about this investigation, but congratulates us on a job well done. We must be exhausted after all that, both physically and mentally.

I'm still feelin' fine!
>>Our troubled client... And an enigmatic case is calling to us...!
Dazzling rewards are waiting for us...!!
Kyouko thinks we have our heart in the right place, but the case can wait. Taking breaks is an important part of the job. We'll never finish anything when we're overworked. And right now, we have an important mission.

>>You don't mean...a labrat for those weaponized drinks!?

(Phonetically "weaponized drinks" is meant to be omitted in favor of just "those")

But all is not lost. This time, we're going to choose the ingredients.

Kyouko: That's it, first of all...between salmon roe and sea urchin, which do you prefer? By the by, I prefer both. After that, I'd like to try making oden. [...] So, what's good? Fish cakes, surimi cakes, radish, beef... Actually, in light of the occasion, why not all of them at once?

 "You got 1000 Cyber Sleuth Points."
"Would you like to save?"

1 comment:

  1. -Looks at Victory Uchida- ...Wait, what's he doing here!?