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

Willy Four Eyes

Chapter 31: Goddess Recruitment Drive, Part 1: Black Heart

As the final battle draws closer, Neptune is determined to get the other goddesses on her side. Unfortunately, she isn't specifically told how to do this (nor is the player, for that matter)1. The secret is through the oft-overlooked "Share" system, which shows up at the end of every side-quest dungeon. There are five bars, one representing each of the four lands, and a fifth one for "Other". Whenever a dungeon is cleared in a particular land, its "share" value increases while another one decreases. However, should Neptune decide that she isn't ready to complete a particular dungeon and uses her Reset Button to escape, those shares are considered "lost" and are placed into the "other" file (using Eject Buttons to escape from battle is acceptable and does not hurt your share score, and is even ideal to get a fast enough clear time for an S-rank, since they can be purchased for stupid cheap at the store). Apparently, conquering tougher dungeons confers more shares to a particular land, and getting enough shares should be enough to gather a goddess' attention, opening up other events related to her.

Neptune and friends take a look at the share scoreboard, and notice that Lastation currently has the most shares, so they head off there first.

Dear Neptune

Client: Ganache

Hello, it's been a while. This is Ganache. We've made some nice tweaks to our previous robot. I'd like to request your party to do a functionality test. Oh, but please sign the waiver beforehand, in case something bad happens...

Recommended Level: 55

Seeing that she really has no choice but to deal with some of the dungeons despite them being above her recommended level, Neptune takes on Ganache's latest invention, ignoring the small fry so that they can get a shot at the big monster.

  • Enemies: Mandragora, Hecatonchieres, Particle Cannon
  • Treasures: Metal (waist parts) (hidden), Tuffmil x4, Reflex x6

It doesn't take long for Neptune's team to gain enough shares on Lastation to attract Black Heart's attention, as they bounce back and forth between dungeons they had already cleared previously in order to boost Lastation's share value more quickly (and earn themselves higher spots on the global time attack leaderboards).

Versus Black Heart

Regaining her confidence, Neptune visits Black Heart again. However, gaining approval from a CPU protecting a landmass isn't so easy!

Neptune is still grumpy about being beaten up during her rebellious episode, but she figures that technique may be the only way to convince Black Heart to join. She heads back to the Lastation Basilicom by herself, with Black only agreeing to help if she is defeated in a one-on-one duel (a scenario likely to be repeated for the other two goddesses). Neptune obliges, and proceeds to kick her butt. Finally satisfied with Neptune's realization of her Goddess, Black Heart lends her sword to Neptune's party.

Transformation!, My Call-Outs (Black Heart skits)

A cute, yet strong, voice echoes throughout the forest in the dead of night. Whose voice could it be...?

Black Heart spends some time by herself trying to think of a cool phrase to shout out when she transforms, but can't come up with anything. Hoping to get some inspiration, she assumes CPU mode and runs through a list of new catch phrases, but it takes a while for her to come with something cool and/or original.

Guitar, Now In Session

Black Heart is influenced by a popular anime and impulsively buys an electric guitar. She hopes to start a band, but without anyone to call her friends, she can't really do anything.

Does She Not Have Friends?! (Nisa/Black Heart skit)

Nisa witnesses someone similar-looking to Black Heart at a convention. She pays a visit to Black Heart to confirm her suspicion... Despite Black Heart's denial, she was at the convention, guitar in hand (even though Nisa didn't say she saw anyone with an electric guitar). She makes Nisa swear not to tell Neptune what she saw.

A True Call-Out Is... (Nisa/Black Heart skit)

Trying to invent the perfect transformation call-out, Black Heart enlists Nisa for advice. Nisa says that it has to come naturally (that is to say, it's the kind of thing one has to make up on the spot...not that Nisa would ever want to admit that to anybody but herself or anything...)

Good Financial Advice (Gust/Black Heart skit)

Ingredients are necessary to synthesize any item. However, there is always a fee, even for goddesses. Black Heart asks Gust to make some medicine to help soothe her vocal chords, but is surprised when the budding alchemist asks for payment up front.

Don't Mix (Gust/Black Heart skit)

Black Heart yearns to become a famous voice actress. She succeeds in passing an audition to voice her favorite character, but...

She asks Gust to make her something "strong" to keep her awake so that she can practice her script some more. After she leaves, Gust tries mixing every energy drink she can get her hands on into a potion. Black Heart returns and chugs down the mystery concoction, leaving it up to the player to figure out what happened to her.

Voice Training (5pb/Black Heart skit)

Lyrica is troubled by Lady Black Heart's request. She was called in to help teach voice acting lessons, but unfortunately doesn't know the first thing about being a voice actress. She tries doing some tongue twisters, but it doesn't help much.

Converting Black Heart? (5pb/Black Heart skit)

Lady Black Heart showed off her guitar skills to Lyrica. The more she thinks about it, the wilder Lyrica's fantasy gets. She dreams of being one of Black Heart's backup singers and costume designers, and starts fangirling over her in private.

Unexpected Side (5pb/Black Heart skit)

Lyrica's feelings about Lady Black Heart begin to show as she learned more about the goddess. She's surprised to learn that Black Heart is a goddess of many talent, but doesn't like to talk about it to others, so she decides to keep it a secret from the others.

Death Wannabe (RED/Black Heart skit)

All goddesses possess one thing in common: guns. Red is excited about getting one of her own, since it's a bit different from typical heroic weaponry.

1 - The follow-up game (not so much a true sequel as a Continuity Reboot), Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, does a much better job of explaining the importance of "shares" and integrating it into the story, but that's something to be covered for another time.