By Jeriaska . May 19, 2008 . 6:35pm
The Players made it to Towa Records, but not without taking considerable losses to the Reapers. Both protagonists, bitter about how events have unfolded, lose some confidence in their ability to last a week in the Game. Neku remarks that his partner would be better off paired with someone she gets along with, like the friend who taught Shiki how to sew. You notice Shiki keeps sneaking glances at her cellphone where a snapshot of her friend is displayed. Eri taught Shiki to knit her psych, the ragged stuffed animal Mr. Mew the Cat. Neku insists the doll looks more like a pig, and that she should have picked a more useful weapon, like a knife or a lead pipe. Adding to the tense mood, you discover that most of the items at the Shibu department store are still outside your price range, and the clerks will treat you with contempt if you loiter there.
Day five thereby starts off with the characters roaming outside an eyeglasses store on Tipsy Toes Hall. The mission texted to their cellphones is to free Spain Hill from the Noise within 200 minutes or, naturally, face erasure. On their way to the elevated district of Shibuya, they pass a man in a business suit on the sidewalk who is worried about a mysterious new supplier to his company that has requested his services. Wondering whether or not it is safe to accept the business offer, the man places a ten yen coin on a sheet of paper with white, black and brown characters at the edges. He has chosen a fateful day to act superstitiously, as on a whim you can slowly move the coin to the white edge of the paper with the stylus and influence the business decision. Having pushed the plan through, so to speak, you gain the ability to "imprint" the Reaper Creeper game on the bystanders in the Realground. The meme, an important idea transmitted via your psychic powers, will come in handy when you need to get through to folks who cannot see you from their vantage point in everyday reality.
Before you can advance much further, a hoodied Reaper will halt your progress and order you to erase two of the largest Noise symbols in the area. With four pin slots open at this stage in the game, you can enable a mix of a hand-to-hand attacks, projectiles, and powerful finishers like the Piercing Pillar, while still having room for a healing badge. The recently acquired Masamune pin acts similar to the Shockwave attack, allowing you to slash up at opponents with the stylus and knock them into the air. Scanning the area, you will be looking out for two grinning grizzly Noise emblems. Upon commencing battle, you will find that the hedgehog Noise with the explosive porcupine quills you faced as a boss in the first chapter is now a normal enemy. Be careful grizzlies as well, who will station themselves next to roadblocks and send the obstacles flying at you with a powerful swipe of the claw. Chaining together two or more battles will increase your chances of unleashing a fusion attack on the enemy and acquiring more loot after the battle has been won.
Once Shiki and Neku have taken out two of the largest Noise emblems in a chain battle, they can head to the AMX music store. Buying new tracks inside the store, you can switch up the default "It's So Wonderful" song that plays on the phone menu. AMX carries tracks "Dancer in the Street" and "Underground" for your listening pleasure, and you can activate them under the items tabs. Putting Neku's ESP to use right outside the store, you can scan for parasitic yellow Noise hovering around a depressed young man in a suit and tie. Purging the parasite, the man will rise up out of the doldrums with newfound determination to acquire a ticket to the Tin Pin slam-off. Overhearing his plans gives you access to the slam-off meme for imprinting, which will later prove to come in handy.
Before long, the party reaches their destination, Spain Hill. The mission determined by the Reapers dictates that Shiki and Neku must take out the Noise to escape erasure. However, before you can even make a dent in the swarm of enemies in the area, more foes show up. Shiki suggests something might be drawing them there, and sure enough, an argument between schoolgirls Ai and Mina outside the Mexican Hot Dog restaurant seems to be attracting the enemy.
Imprinting the first of your memes on Ai, she will ask Mina to play the Reaper Creeper game. In order to compel the two to tell the truth by convincing them that an invisible Reaper is present, you can take up the stylus and move the ten yen coin to the white colored character on the paper. Be sure to move the coin very slowly and deliberately, or the schoolgirls will assume it's a random gust of wind that is responsible.
Having altered the course of events to reveal the truth, it turns out that Mina is not trying to steal Ai's boyfriend, Makoto. She was acting in secrecy to get Ai tickets to the Tip Pin slam-off with her boyfriend, the bummed businessman seen earlier. With the squabble neutralized, the yellow Noise in the area scatters and the timer on Neku's palm disappears.
As usual, the party's success operates as a cue for the antagonists to appear, this time represented by the giant Reaper Higashizawa. Acting on behalf of Game Master Kitaniji, and in clear violation of the Game's rules, Higashizawa sets a pack of Noise on you, led by a powerful gray grizzly. The boss has its fair share of hit points, making a heal badge a valuable asset for evening the odds. Striking the bipedal bear with the masamune a few times will catch the creature off guard, then you can strike it with an ice pillar attack to bounce it like a bunny across the screen. So long as your characters are passing the light puck without being cornered and mauled by the enemy, the fight should be over in no time.
You are treated to a retry battle sticker once the battle is over, which lets you recover from a Game Over to redo the battle you lost. Before slinking off defeated, Higashikawa takes a moment to target his hatred on Shiki, accusing the Player of being an all-around envious and self-hating human being. This strange manner of trash talking proves mysteriously effective at brining out Shiki's insecurity. Why this insult should bruise her ego, Neku cannot understand. Higashizawa says he will see you on Day seven and disappears, and on that note ends the fifth mission.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.