Chapter 21: Pick Your Poison
Client: Sir President Stringer
Oh, gimme a break. One of the Gunners stored in Massive Storage 4 is a counterfeit. The hell's going on here?! Someone find the fake Gunner now, or the storage unit will be destroyed!
Recommended Level: 30
The Invasion quest has been a bit of an albatross for Neptune's team, because despite them all being several levels above the recommended level, most of the random encounters in this area give them are far tougher than they need to be at level 30. Neptune suggests toning down the difficulty and using their Eject buttons as much as possible. Paradoxically, the boss of the dungeon is much easier to defeat than the monsters roaming about
. They don't find anything special in the dungeon the first time around, but find some more Cardboard CPU armor upon a second passing.
- Enemies: Particle Cannon, Hecatoncheires, Mandragora
- Treasure: Cardboard (Shoulder) (hidden), 6 Tuffmil
After they leave, they equip themselves with some new items from the shop and head back to Leanbox.
IF and the Archbishop's Trap
In exchange for her meeting with the CPU, IF is given a vial of poison. Not able to comprehend the complicated emotions troubling IF, Neptune thinks all is well.
Neptune and Compa are waiting for IF to get back from her "shopping trip", but are unable to reach her by phone (Compa has one, but Neptune doesn't). Meanwhile, IF holds in her hand a bottle of poison strong enough to fell a Giant Enemy Crab
, but doesn't feel right about using it on Neptune. When she returns, she finds that Nep and Compa have stuffed their faces full of food brought to them by room service. Yvoire, having anticipated IF's second thoughts about poisoning one of her friends, went ahead and did the job himself, as the batch of food sent to Neptune knocks her out almost immediately. He shows up to "thank" IF for her hard work despite her not actually doing anything, and then has the trio arrested and thrown into a dungeon.
Basilicom, Aristocrats, Leanbox
As the party is rescued by a mysterious man, Neptune remains unconscious from the poison coursing through her veins.
A young aristocrat named Jade
(pronounced "Jad", as all of the NPC name pronunciations are in French
for some reason) busts them out of their cell, and sends some doctors to look after Neptune. Compa and IF don't trust him, but he swears that he's on their side, and plans to use them in his bid to fight against the Basilicom of Leanbox (Here We Go Again!
An antidote is needed to cure poor little Neptune, but there's one major problem...! The use of the poison goes back at least a century, and it takes Jade several decades' worth of old records to find a countermeasure. They argue a bit over who gets to watch Neptune while the other searches for the ingredients necessary to make the antidote, until Jade offers to do it himself.
Compa and IF lead the rest of the party to the Maado Forest, where the antidote's ingredients are supposedly held. Since the area's difficulty level has suddenly dropped down to newbie levels again, the reserves (Nisa, Gust, RED and 5pb) take over the battles while Compa and Iffy gather the ingredients for the antidote.
- Enemies: Bird of Paradise, Dendrobium, Weeping Grass
- Treasures: Dropwort, Hakobe (hidden), Gogyo, Radish, Shepherd's Purse, Hotokenoza, Turnip
Neptune Fully Healed
Compa and IF struggle without Neptune in the party. While making the antidote, Neptune finds herself in yet another strange dream world, where Arfoire is mad at Histoire for leaking her plans to the other CPUs. Neptune suddenly wakes up again, raring to go, but weak from being out cold for so long.
Jade and Turquoise introduce themselves to Neptune, and tell her about the split between Leanbox's Parliament and Sanctuary, and the civil war that ensued. Turquoise wants them to join their fight against the Basilicom, but the party isn't interested, so he simply offers to become one of their new clients, in order to help them fight monsters and resume their search for the Key Fragments.
(Semi-obscure video game reference time! This event and the trophy you get for completing it are a reference to an old Vic Tokai game called Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs. In that game, the king is on the verge of death, and you have to go through seven stages to collect the herbs necessary to save him. Thankfully, the Neptunia version cuts out the boss battles entirely and leaves the herbs together in the same dungeon.)