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There's a Nep for That (or: WillyFourEyes plays Hyperdimension Neptunia)
Willy Four Eyes

[table of contents]
Chapter 5: Heart Full of Black - The True Name of Evil

The Infamous Company

Chian informs the party about Lastation's questionable corporation, Avenir. However, it seems Avenir is suffering from monster attacks like everyone else...

The girls run into a mysterious man who goes by the name of Singe. He isn't happy to see them, and simply gives them their mission before he goes on his way to investigate a plant in the city. They go off and fight as many of the monsters as they can (in a cutscene, rather than a dungeon), and they tell Singe that they completed their job. Singe, a staunch perfectionist, demands that they ensure all of the monsters have been eliminated, or else he'll sever his ties with the crew. He seems to hate manual labor, and prefers to have machines do most of his jobs for him, anyway.

The Technology Exposition

The restaurant has become the party's hangout. As everyone gets excited about the Tech Expo, they hear some unbelievable news through a radio announcement.

Chian mentions that Singe is an alumnus of her school, and was every bit the Insufferable Genius back then as he is now. She then sends the girls to another town to get some materials from a merchant named Chevre. Before they are able to do that, the Basilicom sends a radio address announcing the cancellation of the Tech Expo. Officially, the reason is because there aren't as many participants this time around, but they believe that Parliament had pressured everyone on Sanctuary to cancel it. Chian gets especially upset, because that would have been the last chance her factory would have had to stay afloat, as the rest appear to be shutting down under increased pressure from Avenir.

Lost Girl, Black Shadow

A child has gotten lost in a dungeon! The crew heads out to save the child, but something seems to be bothering Iffy...the crew still doesn't have a clue where to go to find Lastation's key fragment, and she wonders why Compa and Nep are wasting their time with small jobs like this one. According to Compa, the person in question is simply an NPC silhouette, so they should be easy to spot. (In truth, ALL NPCs in this game look like that, and Nep appears to be aware of this fact.)

Lastation's Game Company (skit)

IF gets frustrated over her cell's bad reception. What's the cause?

She thinks that her TV show was interrupted by a tall tower owned by one of Neptune's favorite game companies. Neptune is surprised that IF can even get TV shows to broadcast over her phone.

The girls get a couple more blog updates from Black Heart. One post delves into the culture of Lastation, as most of the inhabitants are groomed to be engineers and technicians thanks to its low-cost technology courses. The one after it is her complaining about a sore throat.

Some more side quests pop up on the bulletin board:

How Dare You! Noob Goddess!

Client: Underground Overlord

It's not fair the goddesses get the spotlight in this world. I'd like to challenge them for the title of main character. I will await you in the dungeon created by the Dark God!

Recommended Level: 8

According to the dungeon's description, the target dungeon in the Windy Wasteland was created from a mad god with a pickaxe, so Team Neptune goes off to investigate. After sharpening their weapons on another Clione, their levels jump into the double digits for the first time. IF also finds the waist part for the Blaze Heart CPU unit. To her disappointment, the culprit turns out to be a standard-issue demon. Given the quest description, she (like a few other Nippon Ichi fans) was probably thinking Asagi was involved somehow.

Anti-Work

Client: Hermit Boy

Working is like becoming a loser...but my parents will kick me out if I don't work. Can someone go defeat a monster and say it was me? I promise I'll pay well.

Recommended Level: 10

The hermit wants the girls to seek out a monster named Gyuki. They've never seen anything like that on their journeys thus far, but they suspect that with a name like that, it might be related to the Jakis from earlier dungeons. Sure enough, it does, but it carries an axe instead of a club. IF has a bit of trouble finding the dungeon's treasure, because her beacon keeps pointing straight into a wall. After some looking around, she eventually finds it, in the form of the Blaze Heart's head piece. The girls take a beating from the Gyukis' assault and the Weeping Grass' poisonous spores. Compa gets knocked out again, so Neptune orders her to stay out of combat when they go to hunt the last Gyuki. despite their difficulties, they still get an S ranking for completing the job (even though it took them nearly 15 minutes to clear the dungeon). Naturally, the lazy boy takes all the credit, but at the very least he's still willing to pay them for their services.

Compa leads the crew to a place known as the Challenge Cave, where the lost child was last spotted. IF finds a Lucky Bangle in a hidden chest, but compared to their current equipment, it's pretty useless, and it doesn't even raise any of the girls' Luck Stat at all. "Whatever..." she says as they continue to comb the dungeon and relieve it of all its treasure. A Cockatrice jump-kicks IF in the face and induces a state of Low Tension, which slows her down, but also cuts her AP consumption in half, allowing her to exact revenge by killing it singlehandedly.

When they reach the end of the tunnel, they find that someone has already killed the monster. IF doesn't recognize the wounds as any part of Lastation's weaponry. While she's investigating, she's approached by a transformed Black Heart, who seems to have taken the same job as Neptune. Black doesn't allow Nep's bout of amnesia to avoid getting them into a fight. Neptune obviously knows that she can't fight the rebellious CPU in her regular form, so she transforms to match her strength. The others try their best, but it's Neptune who winds up dealing the most damage. When defeated, Black drops a Happy Bangle and then runs off. Neptune still doesn't remember what she did to make Black angry, and now IF's nervous becuase now they've made two enemies (including the witch from earlier). Worse yet, they're still no closer to finding the key fragment than they were before they took the side trip.

Apocalypse Now?

The party seeks a heretic to gather some important info. They learn this heretic is, for some reason, holed up as a hermit inside a monster-filled dungeon. Since the Basilicom won't answer their questions, the girls decide that they'll take any lead they can get, at gunpoint, if necessary.

They return to the Challenge Cave and head toward an abandoned mine. It appears to be more densely populated with monsters than most dungeons * , so they seek to gather their information as soon as possible before the heretic gets eaten or killed. They find a strange-looking Youth Bandage in a hidden treasure chest here. It seems to give a big boost to physical defense, at the expense of leaving the wearer much more vulnerable to elemental attacks. "Here, Iffy! I think this would look good on you!" Neptune says as she applies the bandages to IF.

The hermit heretic refuses to allow the girls to take him outside because he's waiting for a messenger, but is willing to answer the girls' questions about Basilicoms. The Lastation Basilicoms all seem to be at the whim of Parliament (the government side), while Sanctuary (the evangelical side) is largely ignored. Parliament won't do anything about Avenir because they only care about money, according to the heretic. He also says that Sanctuary's no better, and that humanity is doomed against Overlord Momus, no matter who the Basilicoms side with. The Overlord apparently has enough power to seal away one of the goddesses, and even the CPU had to retreat to Lastation to hide from him. When the heretic guesses that the girls had to defeat several monsters to get to him, he chases them out and leaves them to their fate.

IF doesn't believe a word he said, and is still skeptical about Histoire's true purpose. Just then, Histoire reaches out to Neptune to warn her to look out for a villain named Arfoire (the one responsible for sealing Histoire away in the first place). IF wonders if Arfoire and Momus might be connected somehow...
15th Dec '11 6:23:47 PM flag for mods
comments
This plot is getting more and more complicated.
FreezairForALimitedTime 16th Dec 11
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