The GWJ JRPG Club: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Q4 2023)

They come back to the


video game

bit in another one pretty soon, I think your next set.

I’m at just under 6 hours and have made good progress with a couple of characters, so I figure now's a good time to check in. I’ve stuck almost exclusively to the Remembrance section for now, although I’ve done one combat mission in order to continue a route. That’s kind of my plan for now – do the Remembrances as much as I can until I need to go and do a bunch of combat missions, then hop over and do that. I like the combat sections just fine so far, but the writing is why I'm here.

To that end, I’ve got Natsume Minami to 62% and locked behind a combat mission that looks like it’s pretty far away from where I am, and Yuki Takamiya at 82% and locked behind another Remembrance that I can't get to yet. So with those ones more or less stuck in place for a bit, I’ll drop down some meandering thoughts in spoilers, and I'll do some early speculation on villain(s), so beware if you haven’t done these two routes to this point yet.


So I pursued the Natsume route since her thing with the robot seemed interesting to follow, and then hopped to Yuki to find out about the men in black. But since then, we’ve confirmed the following:

1. There’s time travel hijinks going on
2. It looks like at least some of our heroes are clones of people from the future (like Natsume was someone important from the future (might have been starting the ARK program, I forgot), the punk Ogata was the CEO of Shikishima, Shinonome might have triggered the robots to attack humanity in the future possible as revenge for how Ida was treating her. And we also know there are androids running around, first as Tomi and then as “Erika Aiba”. The person who seemed to be jumping from robot to robot was a dude named Juro Izumi, which somebody called our protagonist by at one point in the prologue but was quickly corrected to the proper name of Juro Kurabe. So Juro is probably a clone of the dude who is android body surfing right now, who I assume sent his consciousness backwards somehow.
3. They also said that Natsume was the current commander of the robots, and then she got shot. I don't think that's going to make her the villain, though, especially since that power could be used for good. Right now, it feels like it's either going to be Morimura, since she’s the one who basically stops time in the future, and that seems pretty bad, or it will be Ida from the SIU since he seems mysterious and does something to Shinonome. I'm guessing that Juro Izumi isn't the villian, but whatever is going on with him is weird.
4. They called the robot BJ ‘Miura’ several times, so I assume his consciousness winds up in the robot. I haven’t done his route yet.
5. I actually started with Megumi since I wanted to see where the story line with the talking cat would go, but it looks like I have to do several combat missions to unlock the next beat, so putting a pause on that. I love Fluffy’s attitude, though.
6. So overall, we have time travel, probably clones, definitely androids, and maybe some body surfing. Seems like a wild ride. My guess is that the originals in the future sent clones and/or androids back to the past to help fix some of the stuff that went wrong in the future.

Also, I like the bit where Yuki and Nenji basically have to fight every time his underlings are with him, but talk friendly as long time acquaintances when they’re alone, like in the school or on the train. Got to keep up appearances, after all.

The next ones I want to pursue are Ei, Miura, and probably Gouto since those seem like important perspectives from what I've seen so far. But at least at this point, I have all 13 characters in my character selection (assuming no surprises), so I can just start working through things.

Honestly, this game (the story, the twists, the writing, the presentation) is already some of the most fun I've had with a video game this year. I'm really digging it.

Although I'm not playing, its been great reading the impressions from people playing through the game for the first time.

Feel free to share your favorite characters. Natsume was #1 for me, but Yuki really grew on me during the story.

Got up to 2-1 yesterday, and I've cleared all the story that's unlockable up to this point. It's a little weird, to me, that no character's parth opens at 1-10. A few at 1-5, and definitely some at 2-5 and 2-10, but not 1-10.

A thought crossed my mind the other day so I did some reflection...
Spoilers through 2-5 unlockable stories


There's lots of stuff going on with transferred memories, androids, and name swapping. Also, I believe someone mentions that in 2188 there are only 10 humans left alive, but we have 13 protagonists, plus a mention that 15 people are compatible with the D-Code. So I made a little chart with the information I could remember, plus what is in the Mystery Files I have so far.


So only three characters seemingly have another self with a different name, and only one of those two has a version of themselves in 2188 that we know about. Strangely, a character that is seemingly at the center of a lot of this, Juro Izumi, has never once been mentioned in the 2188 logs. I am also not entirely confident on the Shu/Ida match, since we do have other versions of Ida that look very different, and Miyuki mentions she gave Shu Ida's memories to try and learn what he is after. Can memories be grafted into a person who is not another version of that person?

There is also 9 people on this list that have 2188 versions we've seen. We have another 2188 character, Tsukasa Okino. Which means if that 10 people in 2188 number is right, two big players (Ida and Juro), and four of the sentinel pilots are constructs of Universal Control. Or they are divergent versions of a different character, like LastSurprise has been speculating, Ei is both Ei and Juro.

Malik spoilers...


Don't remember that 10 people comment. But if so there's an event in 2188 where one character assassinates another, using a bomb. Probably kills more than 1 person. Maybe the 10 count is after that event? I'm pretty sure everyone on your list and Okino are real people in 2188.

I think you've got everyone with two names covered in your list, except Tomi. There were some pretty early hints that she is also that idol. And then there was Android Tomi. But there are very different reasons and status between the people with two names and the copy versions we see of them in 1985.

Juro and Megumi 100%


So in Juro's final memory we see that Megumi is a child in 2188. Since she is in the game system, we can assume she was not infected by whatever her father was and what wiped out humanity in this time. We then see Juro and Megumi confessing their love for each other in Fluffy and I, but does anyone besides me find that a little weird? I know in the simulation they grew up and lived together in 2085 for 16 years, but still, the people they are based on are a military officer and the child daughter of one of his subordinates.

My previous spoiler plus Stele's comment, including content from Juro and Megumi 100%.


Oh right, I forgot about the implication that Tomi is Miyuki, but as far as we know, Miyuki only exists in 1985, we have not seen a 2188 version of her. Maybe that will come up when I jump into Shu's final section since those two seem linked.

In Juro's remembrance we finally get the 2188 version of him and Megumi, so that just leaves Shu and Tomi without 2188 counterparts. At this point, I am expecting them to show up since basically every other character has. But I wonder if Shu will be Shu in 2188 or if he will really be Ida. I am assuming that link will remain, but would be interesting if Ida and Shu were actually different people, and Miyuki was just using Shu as a vehicle for Ida's memories.

Ryoko & Shu 100%


And I knew it, Ida was the creator of DD-426. And based on Shu's story, we see the entire reason he sabotaged the Sentinel program and created DD-426 is because he wanted to force a loop and recreate Tomi how he wanted her. What an absolute sleazeball.

Cleared 2-5, unlocked a couple characters, and I think I'm going to try to push through their stories this weekend. 2-5 is the first map which I actually lost my first time around, and even on my second attempt, I got an A rank rather than S...


Those enemy Sentinels sure call for a very specific party setup, and I didn't have it the first time I ran through this. I think I had only one Gen 1 sentinel (Nenji) but the second time around I ran with Nenji and Ei, and added Juro too. Made the big guys go down much faster.

Yeah I had the same 2-5 combat thing you did a couple pages back with the spoiler analysis of what I did wrong, and who I should have taken to beat it the first time. It could have been done with 4 for the bonus goal if I knew what I was getting into ahead of time. Oh well. Repeating with 6 made it a lot easier.

I just hit the 12 hour mark, and I’ve gone as far as I can in the story without having to do a bunch of combat missions, so I guess it’s time to shift gears and go do that for awhile. Here are my completion percentages:


Juro – 88%
Iori – 85%
Megumi – 28%
Ei – 71%
Gouto – 14%
Natsuno – 62%
Miura – 37%
Hijiyama – 14%
Nenji – 37%
Tomi – 37%
Amiguchi – 14%
Yumi – 85%
Shinonome – 75%

And here are kind of what I figure is going on with everyone and where they’re from in the timeline, based on what I know so far


1. Ei – an AI or something from the future, claims to be assassin sent to kill Iori but doesn’t. Supposedly infected all the sentinels at a battle, but he said he didn’t. I’m guessing he was sent to kill Morimura and maybe her clones, so probably from 2188.
2. Juro – Probably the actual body of Juro Izumi, sent back in time to 1985 and with memories wiped. I think Izumi originated with Morimura and Megumi.
3. Iori – Probably a clone of Morimura, sent back in time to 1985. Morimura originated with Izumi and Megumi.
4. Tomi – originated in 2025, sent back to 1985 when her time got attacked? Actual person, not a clone.
5. Natsuno – Looks like she was from the far future, and so this one is probably a clone. Said to be current commander of Deimos, not sure what that means yet.
6. Ogata – clone of Shikishima CEO? Also, just a punk from 1985 for now, but seems to maybe have the Key inside of him? Also has nanomachines.
7. Amaguchi – clone of Ida, who is leading the SIU. Probably from same time as Izumi and Morimura.
8. Miura – from 1945, dragged into it when Natsume went back in time. Becomes the AI in the scout bot later somehow.
9. Megumi – Loved Juro Izumi in original time and now sticks with Juro Kurabe in hopes his memories come back or something.
10. Yuki – probably from 1985, just a punk who gets pulled into helping the SIU.
11. Shinonome – from 2064, lost in the battle there and went backwards to 1985. Was infatuated with Ida who did not reciprocate, and now feels drawn to Amaguchi as well. Seems to have met a younger Juro Izumi, and knew the originals of everyone (Izumi, Morimura, Ida), but when they were older
12. Hijiyama – haven’t done much with, but seems to be from 1945 where he knew Miura
13. Gouto – From 2064, just wants to know what’s going on. Could be a clone of a 2188 Shikishima executive.

And then finally just a bunch of random points I’ve been typing up as I play, since I’ve been keeping a word doc and trying to keep tabs on things. I initially thought I would do a few characters at at time, but now I’ve done all of them and I’m not going to spend a long time reorganizing all my thoughts. Stuff below is all heavy spoilers for each character as I went through them, so stuff discussed could be superseded by later events; but I’m not going to try to update all the old notes.


Everyone says that Juro Izumi no longer exists, but he’s running around as an android in other routes. So are they lying? I was working on the assumption that none of our protagonists are probably ultimately villains, so I’m less suspicious of Morimura now, and I guess Ei really was an assassin like he told Iori, since to kill Morimura and maybe her clones. But Gouto could just be wrong, or maybe he’s lying about what happened to Juro Izumi. And I have a hard time believing the deal with the pills is all on the up and up for Shinonome. And probably Ei as well.

NANOMACHINES SON (for Ei's route specifically)

The Tomi we see here in Ei’s route is almost definitely an android, who I’m guessing is also the one who gets in a fight in the bathroom and loses later on (as seen in Natsume’s route). And also possessed by Juro Izumi later. Poor girl, might be having a rough go of it.

Also, they just casually mention (between Ei and Miura) that the underground mainframe is in a UFO, like that had been set up elsewhere. It totally wasn’t up to that point, although I think in a Shinonome route they mentioned that the resonance has to do with ability to connect with the UFO.

So then onto Miura’s route. Interesting they called their part in WW2 “the Pacific War”, but I also haven’t read their history books, either. We get a fire bombing of the town, and it’s interesting that we have what I assume is Miura!AI telling Natsuno to follow Miura!original around. Got some time shenanigans going on. It could just be a generic AI scout, but I assume it’s Miura. I also don’t know that I care about Miura as a character, but I like his fish out of temporal water bit moving forward about 40 years but still in Japan.

And then I did Miura’s last open segment where Natsuno basically dropped him off at Juro’s house for a few days in his route, and then I jumped over to Juro’s route for no particular reason and saw the exact same event from Juro’s POV. And since I saw them immediately next to each other, I noticed that the two were probably 95% the same, but there were very minor dialogue differences. I wonder if that’s a lack of polish, or two separate “events” on the timeline/multiverse.

Then when Juro was over at Amaguchis, house, they talked about a sci-fi movie where a guy lost his body and made a new one, bent for revenge. I got money that that’s going to be Juro Izumi’s story.

But then we see his dream where Juro Izumi (definitely older than our guy) kills his friends, and he calls Amaguchi “Ida”, aka the head of the SUI. And then Morimura shot Juro Izumi, so that would probably be why Juro Kurabe (I’m just now seeing the tie in for the name to the family from 1945) was being drugged up by her in the prologue to make sure he was docile.

And Megumi has feelings for Izumi, maybe from 40 years prior? Or the future? I’m not sure. Never got far in her route since it was blocked by combat missions.

Then I started the Iori route, but I got walled by the cat puzzle, so I jumped to Tomi. We then learned that she is 2025, so that one is the original, and now she’s back in 1985. So at least it wasn’t two different Tomi’s like I thought. Well, there is an android running around, not sure if that’s our Tomi or not yet.

And if Iori becomes Moramuri and and shoots at Juro Izumi in the future as a body surfer….. then what the heck happens between them to get to that point? I assume it has to do with wanting to stop Morimura’s plan for Project Aegis.

We already knew that some people are others from the past/future, but Ei mentioned that there were 15, presumably others who could pilot. So our 13 sentinels could be more than that. And who/what they are seems important. That seems like it’s going to set up a huge twist later. There’s so many things where someone just offhandedly mentions something really important in this game.

Also, Iori has the most annoying route so far, with the cat and food dialogue puzzles.

And Ei claimed to be an assassin from the future come back to kill Iori. Which could be around stopping Morimura from using her clone to do something. But we just don’t actually know what his deal is, other than that he’s dying from a disease and the pills help (or not)

And now to Shinonome’s route. It’s hard to see the playboy Amaguchi as this straitlaced Ida. And if Morimura was injecting Iori (her clone?) with nanomachines, and it had to do with implanting memories, then is the goal to give the memories of the originals to the clones?

And then to Gouto’s route – right off the bat we find that in 2188 people are cloning and trying to implant memories in the clones as a type of reincarnation. Which might be exactly what is happening to Juro, Iori, and Ei at the very least. Making Morimura a criminal again. And would explain why future/real Gouto, the Shikishima executive, called in the assassination. And the assassin on the other end of the call is probably Ei, which is why he said to Iori he was an assassin sent to kill her. But then Gouto's route hits a wall where EVERYONE else need to be over 80%, so he’s basically the endgame POV character it seems.

Then lastly to Nenji’s route. I wasn’t particularly interested in him, but I like his time loop and how he struggles to make sense of it or explain to Tomi that she just needs to stay off the train. Like, his lack of book smarts means he just doesn’t have the words, but he's doing his best out there.

But once I hit 30% for enough people, that opened up a new memory for Juro. AND SHIBA IS ACTUALLY JURO IZUMI MINDHACKING JURO KURABE. I was pumping my fist at that one, that was a really good twist. Now I have to go back and see how no one ever talked to Shiba like it’s the Sixth Sense or something. I guess Amaguchi was just cool with Juro making up an imaginary friend or something; that’s the main one I would have to double check.

But then maybe Shiba is like a whole other Juro Izumi from a separate world, and he’s the one doing the body surfing! So timeline wise, we have the original Juro Izumi who got in a fight and got hurt and was sent back to 1985 and had his memories erased, which became Juro Kurabe (maybe still in the actual Juro Izumi body), and then there was a second Juro Izumi from maybe the future or another timeline who was older and killed lots of the people and was body surfing in androids. And he's been implanting his own memories in Juro Kurabe in order to take him over or sort of reincarnate himself? Absolutely wild way to end my time with the Remembrances for awhile. So he's probably the one that Morimura shot.

As for favorite characters, I like all off the ones I’ve spent a lot of time with, except maybe Miura since he didn't seem that interesting as a character. Juro has main character vibes so I wanted to do other people first. I like Ei for the mystery since he seems to be jumping all around, Natsuno for the surprises and the cheerful attitude even while everything is kind of weird, but I now have a bit of an appreciation for Nenji, even though I haven’t done much of his route yet. He has the whole delinquent-with-a-heart-of-gold thing going on, and it seems like it’s an act he puts on when he's around the wrong people. He just wants to help but is kind of in over his head. It’s endearing.

More progress, this time in combat - I went from mission 1-3 up through 2-5 in a few sessions. Not tons of reveals, but there were a couple of unexpected bombs.


So battle 1-5 indicated that the different timezones are sectors, so sector 3 was 2025. So that would mean what they're doing isn't time travel, but instead just teleporting around form place to place. Maybe the space station people were building way in the future in 2188? I’m not sure what this actually changes, but I suppose it also explains how the Deimos were able to attack stuff in the past too, since it wasn't actually the past.

And in in 1-10, the idol who has only been talked about so far suddenly shows up and might be the key to winning the war? I haven't seen anything from her, other than being mentioned a couple of times when people wanted to go to the CD store. She might be tied to the face in the TV in Amaguchi's route, but I haven't played very far in that one to know.

And in 2-2 someone said it’s not their city, but a cage. So that probably confirms that what they're in is a recreation. Aligns with the whole sectors thing, maybe related to the space station again. So I guess I can assume that 2188 is the *present*, and most of the characters we've seen are maybe clones of the 2188 people? But why this cage/experiment?

With that, I can resume the stories of most of the characters. I think only Juro Kurabe requires a battle past what I’ve done so far. I'll probably to start with Natsuno again, since that was an interesting one, and get through as many stories as I can to stockpile meta-chips some more for upgrades.

Have reached about 25% or so Remembrance progress (might be a bit more) and have cleared all Area 1 Combat missions. I missed a couple of the optional objectives here and there and am wondering if that affects the trophy about completing all objective; I would think it does, but haven't really looked around online too much. It does look like I could revisit the missions, so it shouldn't be an issue, though.

Really enjoying it all so far, what with the various twists and turns the narrative has taken. I'm wondering how much effort putting it all together in a cohesive form it may require or if the game will do that for the player.

Sundown you remember correctly about Amaguchi. That's all I can say for now.

I missed my first bonus objective recently. Needed to bring Gouto but I had just overloaded him the previous mission, so will need to replay the stage.

The combat story makes a lot more sense if you complete all available remembrances as they unlock. Why that is the case will become apparent as you progress the story.

In the middle of the third sets of battles and getting to that point where I am ready for the game to be over. I want to see how the whole thing wraps up, but the battles are not that engaging for me. And bumping the difficulty would make them tedious rather than interesting.

I have now completed the game. What an incredibly fun story to ride through. Vanillaware has definitely earned my trust as a developer after both this and Dragon's Crown.

Final battle thoughts:


Wow, what a change from previous battles. This was a true test of endurance, I can't even imagine how bad it would be on the hard difficulty rather than normal. Just massive endless waves of kaiju to fight, barely keeping ahead of them reaching the terminal. I had to use all four of my special terminal actions, and I think I ended up using them all on EMP to disable shields and slow the kaiju down.

I went in with a team of Hijiyama, Juro, Natsuno, Keitaro, Megumi, and Yuki. MVP for this fight definitely goes to the trio of Natsuno, Keitaro, and Megumi, Their huge AoE attacks were the only thing keeping the hordes at bay while the others picked off the massive kaiju. Yuki did her thing of flying around one-shotting big kaiju with her quad-leg spike. Juro was probably the least impactful, not sure if Iori or another gen 1 sentinel would have been better. I think I was actually starting to clear the map of most the enemies and no more showing up when the stage ended.

Story thoughts:


I really enjoyed the mystery and story of this game. I was able to piece some of it together and make educated guesses early which was cool to see come true, but also see some of my theories fall apart. The story also felt really well paced, never felt like it was dragging or rushing through any story beats. I think my only complaint in pacing is how much story opens up right after the prologue, since you end up spending like 10-15 hours of no combat just going through character stories before you run out of unlocked remembrances. Maybe that is a little skewed since just one battle was enough to get 3 mystery points which unlocks a couple of characters early. And there's that big gap between 1-5 and 2-5 locks, nothing happens at 1-10 iirc.

I like the character pairings that we get at the end of the game. They all make quite cute couples, and we even get the Juro and Chihiro from two loops ago getting to continue their relationship. Although, I am no genetic expert, isn't 15 people too small of a gene pool to create a genetically diverse population? That aside, really cool concept and execution on the whole thing. Even when facing total annihilation, humanity continues to squabble among itself.

My total play time was 48 hours and 39 minutes. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested.

So, I've got most of the characters' narrative at over 50% save for that one dude that's unlocked much later and whose story progress keeps getting gated. I'm currently a little stuck with Juro at 55% and can't seem to get any new Key Words for my Thought Cloud that might open up a new sequence of events or even find a new set of variables to interact with. I keep getting strung into checking if Amiguchi wants to hang out, which he says no to, and then Juro goes home and that's that. Am back to focusing on clearing the second wave in Destruction mode, which I think I'll stick to until it gets gated again or I complete that part, then go back to clearing the stories of whatever characters keep opening up and then try Juro's path again to see if something's changed.

I'm really enjoying the different story twists. At times, I think I might be losing the thread, but then something comes up that ties it back together. I have some hypotheses about what's really going on, but I'll wait and see what the narrative has in store for me. So far, some of the story beats and milestones seem to confirm some of my suspicions, but I wouldn't put it past the game's story to pull a fast one over me, yet.

Yeah there was something weird with Juro. Like you had to go grab the papers first so that you had a choice to go to the nurses office, even though it wasn't your day to do it. You had to get them before one of the girls whose turn it was went and got them ahead of you.

Can't remember if that's where you are or if that was earlier, but I remember stumbling on Juro route with that for a couple tries.

brokenclavicle wrote:

... I'm currently a little stuck with Juro at 55% and can't seem to get any new Key Words for my Thought Cloud that might open up a new sequence of events or even find a new set of variables to interact with. I keep getting strung into checking if Amiguchi wants to hang out, which he says no to, and then Juro goes home and that's that...

If you are where I think you are at here, here is a hint.


Are you on the third branch from "Classroom After School"? If so, you are trying to find a way to get rid of Shiba. Check the front of the classroom for something to help with that.

Congratulations, Malkroth! I've leveled you up in the other thread.

It's been a busy week and I've taken some time away from 13 Sentinels: very full week at work, plus have craved something with a more traditional JRPG format so I've pivoted over to Ni No Kuni 2. But, I'm hoping to dive back into 13 Sentinels this week and explore some more of the story. In terms of progress, I've cleared 2-5 and am working on the stories that become available after; I've cleared most of them but not all.


Still have Ei Sekigahara to finish, I think.

Some more musings on the plot up to this point:


We've now seen a bunch of the characters' future (or really, past) selves: Renya is the Shikishima CEO, Iori is a researcher from a rival company that Shikishima bought out, Ei was an assassin hired to kill her (as Chihiro), Nenji became the guy who tried to pull the plug on the operation (a Shikishima board member, I think?), Shu is Tetsuya Ida, Yuki is a researcher and Natsuno's mom; Natsuno and Keitaro were crew on the spacecraft and a couple; Takatoshi and Tsukasa were also a couple; Juro hasn't been seen, but was apparently hired muscle who was involved in a shootout over the direction of the project. I don't think we've seen much of Megumi, Ryoko, or Tomi's future selves, except that we know that Shu / Tetsuya loved Tomi, and Ryoko loved Shu / Tetsuya.

Man, I feel like even writing that out forced me to remember some key details!

The big questions for me, at this point, are:

  • The game's strongly suggesting that Natsuno is responsible, somehow, for the pills that are used to help deal with the memory loss / brain decay that seems to be a side effect of the nanomachines. I definitely want to learn more about this.
  • If all (or each) of the 13 protagonists broadcast the signal to the Deimos that triggers the apocalypse, it seems like the society that set up these sectors was also planning for the loop -- that the loop is, somehow, part of this design. But if that's true ...
  • What is the point, exactly, of the loop? I'm not yet understanding what the 2188 generation was trying to achieve by it. Is it a means by which these 13 people can live forever? Or an effort to solve some kind of problem?
  • It feels like it's been quite a while since we've heard from Fluffy. How does he fit into all this?

And one more wild prediction:


The fact that we are viewing this story through a machine interface that divides and sorts information makes me think that maybe we, the viewer, are a character? Or that the UI actually represents something in the game, like we have our hands on the Keitaro Miura scout unit that preserved all that data?

Okay, big progress. I haven’t done any combat missions since 2-5, but I’ve done all the Remembrances I can up to this point (I’m at 85% now), and the next unlocks are at battle 2-10, which I think will let me get just about everyone else at that point after cascading unlocks.

Character percentages in spoilers.


Juro Kurabe – 88%
Iori Fuyusaka – Cleared
Megumi Yakushiji – 71%
Ei Sekigahara – Cleared
Renya Gouto – 14%
Natsuno Minami – Cleared
Keitaro Miura – Cleared
Takatoshi Hijiyama – 85%
Nenji Ogaga – Cleared
Tomi Kisaragi - 85%
Shu Amiguchi – 85%
Yuki Takamiya – Cleared
Ryoko Shinonome – 87%

Dumping all the notes I’ve taken up to this point in spoilers.


Resumed in Natsuno’s route. From her Aliens thought, she confirms that she saw a log from her 2188 self and that they are on a planet or something else, and are the ‘aliens’. I guess it’s been awhile so I forgot that part, but yeah, seems to confirm that our characters are (probably mostly) clones of the 2188 originals on a planet or the space station. Why this whole thing is going on, I don’t know yet.

In 2105 they claimed that they nuked the robots and there was too much radiation to go to the surface, but that can’t be true since people are out doing stuff in 2188. So basically our cast doesn’t have all the info – even BJ. And then we are reminded that Shinonome is being used by Ida (future Amaguchi), and I think I remember she kicked off the Deimos attack since she was mad about how Ida was using her (maybe). So anyway, maybe she’s a tragic villain in all of this.

Natsuno and Yuki are 100%

Correctly called that Ei was the one sent to kill Morimura.

But then when Ei talked with Ida in a ruined sector 2, it seems like what our battles are, in the Combat missions, are Project Aegis, since it’s protecting the terminals while they close. And then looping becomes impossible. So that still seems bad, and we’re abetting it.

And Ida confirmed that the real world is 2188, so I’ve actually correctly piecing some things together. Not sure what it means that ‘this world’ was created when Ei arrived. And when Ida says that he and Morimura ‘skipped’ the re-creation, he kept moving forward in time then, and that is how they looped. By still keeping memory when the world was reset by the Kaiju. And that Ei is a traitor, being used by Ida, to probably lose the battle agaisnt the Kaiju so the world can reset. But I hit a hard wall at his 88%, so I don’t get to find out if he goes traitor or not, or if he goes along with Ida’s plan.

So not sure if Ida is the bad guy for wanting to reset the world to block Project Aegis, or Morimura is for wanting it to freeze it. Maybe neither is good.

Next up is Miura, since he’s the one who gets the important data logs, so I assume that’ll be a big reveal. It turns out that that it was more 2188 stuff, but Yuki being a professor in 2188 was not on the bingo card. Nor was 2188 Natsuno being the daughter of 2188 Yuki.

And then Gotou just abducting child Morimura was weird, as well as calling her Ms. Morimura, so he’s fully timetravel hijinks now. But then Tamao disappeared to Universal Control, which sort of makes sense since the people we see aren’t “real”(?), so they just disappear when they die and come back when things reset. I’m glad I know about the whole resetting thing, else that would be really confusing. As it is, I have a lot better idea what is going on vs. It being really mysterious. This feels like the last two segments could have been really game changing if I didn’t already know the stuff it revealed.

Yeah, Miura’s route revealed a ton of stuff (that he was in BJ, that there wasn’t time travel, that chibi-Chihiro has a lot going on, that the game is taking place on a colony with sectors broken down by time), but at this point all this has been figured out. So it’s less impactful than it could have been.

Flipped over to Amaguchi. It was good to see the conversations he had with Juro to show that his imaginary friend wasn't there at all. And when Juro wanted to show tapes to Amaguchi, it got a whole lot more ominous knowing what Juro Izumi was doing to Juro Kurabe with them - like, who's memories were being implanted in Amaguchi? Ida's?

And seems that certain people (Ida, Morimura, Juro Izumi) all skipped the reset after the last cycle, and are running around in this one. Ida and Morimura are at odds, and not sure on Izumi’s game yet but he seems a wild card. Sounds like he’s a criminal, but don’t know what. So my guess is this Juro skipped a reset, the one who was absolutely jacked is the present one in 2188, and the Kurabe is the current clone.

Continuing with Amaguchi, I love his meeting with Ogata on the roof where they both explained in a sentence what’s going on with them and each was like “that’s too wild to be true” and the first said “yeah, I figured”. And then Megumi shot him, which I guess confirms that the gun maybe puts nanomachines in people which lets them drive Sentinels. I didn’t get far enough in her route to find what the gun was actually doing, I think.

Moved to Iori’s final chapter, and Morimura confirmed she was implanting her memories into Iori to take over, but Izumi messed it up somehow. And that she was implanting memories into Amaguchi (sure) and Tamao (what?). I guess Tamao is way more important elsewhere, since I don’t see how she’s so important outside of being a robot and beating the crap out of Izumi!Tomi that one time. And you can’t live through a reset, that just scans your data into a replica, which can now ‘loop’.

And “I may be just a schoolgirl, but I’m a schoolgirl with a giant robot” is a great line to end her route.

And then I got to watch Shinonome bust a cap on Ida in her route, which was made extra fun since it looked like it was chronologically immediately after a scene I saw just before where we was forcing Amiguchi to come along with him.

Then in Ogata’s quest, we went looking for the key. We know already from another route that Natsuno has it, so what Okino wants with it, I don’t know. But some version of Juro Izumi is protecting her – no idea if it’s the body jumping one or the one that our Juro Kurabe is based off of. I assume it’s the latter, since he seems more heroic. So that would mean that Nenji’s memory is from his 2188 self, maybe the CEO of Shikishima when he was younger. So this is a recalled memory.

“He’s a talking cat who wants to save the world”

But the main think I think we learned from Ogata’s mission is that Okino and Hijiyama were doing something weird and I have no idea what they wanted to do with the key. And also that Ogata has fallen for Ida’s girl (Tomi). With some time based hijinks mixed in. Anyway, Ogato is done. I don’t really like these sorts of repetitions in a story (same reason I didn’t really like Iori’s story and Shinonome’s stories as much) but Ogata is a surprisingly fun character so I’ll allow it.

It’s also clear from this route that there are several factions going on right now – Morimura is doing one thing, Ida was doing another, Izumi is doing something, and Okino was up to something as well. I think Morimura and Ida will be both shown to be bad guys since their ideas (hold everything static in one, and go back to pursue love in another at everyone else’s expense) are both bad ideas. Not sure Izumi’s end game or what Okino is up to. Or Fluffy, for that matter. And Ei is doing his own thing as well. So mixed motivations all around.

Jumped to Megumi next, since I want to get back to seeing what Fluffy is up to. I’m not sure about the whole ‘witch’ thing, but they seem to just be shooting anyone with nanomachines/pilots. And yeah, fluffly’s invisible. Not as good as the Juro reveal, but still good. Could it be related to Shiba somehow, since they did a similar bit.

But she hit a wall where I needed Juro’s last story beat, so back to Tomi. And we learn that Universal Control is the mainframe puppetmaster behind everything. And it controls everyone since they’re….AIs or robots or something? But Miwako got left behind, maybe dead to the androids.

And then the last person to move onto was Takatoshi, since everyone else had gone as far as I could. I think the only thing I learned from that is that Okino is good, and also about the different access points. This unlocked the last chapter for Miura and Ei.

From there, I finished up Miura’s route and then Ei’s final chapter which is kind of like the wham episode that answered a few questions. Ida survived being shot, and also that Operation Aegis blocks Universal Control, so maybe it’s not as bad as I thought. And she’s going for it since we can’t loop anymore after this since Sector 0 is going away, which is what lets people loop. And we are clearly going for it in the Destruction mode, so I assume we trigger it at some point.

We also learned that humanity was wiped out by original Morimura’s nanomachine accident that spread. So then presumably all of humanity is gone at this point, since all on earth are dead, and the original humans were probably all killed by Deimos in the past before a loop. So the people left are all AI or clones or androids or something. I guess.

Now I’m going to try to summarize the big picture story based on what I know so far. It’s entirely possible I’ve forgotten a lot. Big time spoilers.


Overall summary
-humanity is sending out an ARK in 2188 or a few years earlier to reseed humanity on a new planet, after/while nanomachines were killing everyone on earth
-Why they decided to build the sectors at different points in time is unclear
-Our characters were all big players in 2188 at that time of various sorts (scientists, business men, engineers, or even assassins)
-Shinonome kicked off the Deimos attacking the ARK for reasons that are unclear, but my guess is related to Ida (it was only mentioned once and very briefly)
-The Deimos won the war and reset things, but several people (Morimura, Ida, Juro Izumi, and Miura as BJ) were able to send their memories into sector zero to back themselves up so they could try again. The last humans were dead at this point.
-Something once things reset, the people who sent themselves back went to work. I’m not sure exactly what Morimura was doing, but she would evntaully try to kick off Project Aegis; Ida wanted to resurrect Tomi as his girl and maybe kept sabotaging the fight against the Deimos in prior runs in order to have more chances to bring Tomi back so he could be with her. And Juro Izumi was body surfing as an AI and tried to wipe Juro Kurabe’s memories in order to take over his body and live a normal life as him.
-It looks like Project Aegis will be kicked off again, since we’re defending the points in the Destruction mode and that aligns with what needs to be done in Aegis. Presumably the remaining pilots would survive the process from being cut off from Universal Control, but I’m not sure if anyone else would, since UC is storing everyone that was teleported/vaporized by the Deimos attack.
-Earlier I predicted Ida or Morimura could be the villain. But my guess now is that Universal Control is the villain, since it’s responsible for controlling everyone and everything at this point, and is the thing that Aegis is designed to fight off.
-And not sure who set up the system where the pilots are constantly controlling the Deimos and calling them to attack (Fluffy’s gun clearly is tagging some people, but I guess others were called before that). Or what the Key that was in Ogata and is now in Natsuno actually does, outside of stalling the invasion of the sector where it is.
-And now people are fighting back against the Deimos. Different people like the Idol, Gouto, Fluffy, and Okino all seem to be doing what they can to prepare Sentinels or prepare pilots or make plans, but none seem to be working together as far as I can tell.

I love being at the end and reading everyone's thoughts. Sadly, because of the nature of the game I can't really participate in an active conversation because of how all the information slides together in your brain once you have it. I feel like this is the one game we've played that would have really benefit from a traditional book club format where you meet regularly and have a certain point in the story you are supposed to be at and discuss. But even still, it has been great experiencing it this way too.

Damn, today I played 2-10 and then promptly played one of the stories that unlocks after it, and -- what a rush! What a twist!

First, the battle:


This feels like a classic video game mission where you have one target and you're trying to go fast. And I really took advantage of the mechanics: I had a couple guys take out the shield generators, moved Yuki and Nenji forward aggressively, used an EMP pulse to take the golden Twintail's missiles out of the air, used another terminal move to reset my cooldowns, and brought Yuki and Nenji forward to the enemy. A Quad Leg Spike, then a Limiter Removal / Demolisher Blade took the boss right out!

Also loved the conceit that the 3rd set of battles will all be occuring over 14 hours, with no break, as we wait for the idol's ship to come back into orbit. And I'm here for the pop song that played over the battle, it felt very like Nier: Automata.

Second, the reveal:


So I played Juro's final route, and I have to say I did not see it coming! Juro Izumi, aka Kyuta Shiba, aka escaped prisoner 426, is actually the hero?! He's the one who understood the Deimos code and knows what it takes to combat it -- and he's apparently been Fluffy, driving Megumi to help prepare the field for the upcoming battle? So here for this twist.

I love the idea that the thing that is calling the Deimos is in each of the protagonists, and probably every other person, because it is baked into the world: to create these new simulated worlds, Okino borrowed code from an apocalyptic video game that simulated a world that was about to be overrun by Deimos, not realizing that the simulation would prompt his own world's factories to carry out the video game's threats.

And, very much also love the idea that as we (players) playing the game, and level up our Sentinels, the protagonists are also playing the game -- trying to manipulate the code for their own benefit, to survive. Excellent mirroring going on.

It was fun to see one of the supporting cast members in a prior loop, too: Onishi the Ogre, the detective, as the warden of Juro Izumi's prison. And also fun to see why there is such a strong connection between Izumi and Yakushiji: that air lock scene really made me look at him through a new light.

The game's reeled me back in and got me excited. Onward!

For the second spoiler, since I just did that story beat in the last couple of days:


I'd still call him more an anti-hero than anything. He really did attack Shikishimi and shoot several of the pilots all to prevent the Deimos from coming, and now part of his plan was to take over Juro Kurabe by importing memories into him, with the goal of basically overwriting Kurabe with himself so he get into the action again. I guess we can debate how real Juro Kurabe is and therefore if it matters that he is replaced with the 'real' one, which is a fun sci-fi philosophical trope.

Was all that said, was it still justified to attempt to stop the Deimos attacks? Very possibly.

And yeah, I loved that Fluffy=Shiba reveal. I noticed they had the same thing going on where others couldn't see them in the Juro and Megumi routes, but didn't put 2 and 5 together.

Well, the game's done. I have to say, it is easily one of the best stories in a game I've played all year, and maybe one of the best of its game generation. Really loved the ending, all of it. I always enjoy endings where I can see what what happens to every character after the end of the game, even better when many of those characters are unexpected.

I won't go into detail about what goes on either midway or at the end, but it was enjoyable to see some of the plots I suspected be confirmed.

I went back to get the couple of trophies I missed on my initial playthrough; apparently I missed out on eating so yakisoba but it's super easy to get that last food item in Fuyusaka's story.

Re: Sundown's post:


Fair point, "hero" may have been a bit strong. Though I do think some of those actions read different in a reality where these characters are living through a cycle of multiple lives, like they're being reincarnated.

And some of the plot beats that hit at around the same time as Juro's story indicate that Tetsuya Ida has been falsely blaming him for things, anyway. I wonder if that's also true of him shooting those pilots, or if that's actually a thing that he did?

And brokenclavicle, congratulations! I'll get you leveled up.

And DONE at 30 hours and 44 minutes.

I really enjoyed this one! I think the first 2/3 were probably the strongest when we were exploring the mysteries but before we had many real answers. But I'm also surprised that it was able to tie things together, and had a strong final fight and ending sequence.

My notes from the last 1/4 or so of the game, starting with battle 2-9.


Got to 2-9 before I had my first Sentinel downed and had to repair it. Still won, though. I hate those gladiators, though. Only my melee attackers can do anything. Mostly the Gen 1s.

2-10 was fairly simple (just push forward and take out the shields!), but the music singing through the fight, but ending right as we got to the Twintail boss was a cool effect.

Moved to Juro’s final chapter. Okay, so 426 is future Izumi is the older, jacked dude (maybe the real original one form 2188) while kid Izumi is a separate person. And them presumably Kurabe comes from Kid Izumi. And then Morimura was the one who is behind the personality transplant. And Tamao Kurabe was fighting it, but the grandma Tamao is never seen in this one (so far). And orignal Izumi (426) was heroic even with all the bombings and murders and stuff, in order to stave off the kaiju attack. And 2188 Okino was the one who created the “UFO”. And then we get all meta, and the Deimos attack is based on a video game, and we are trying to put ourselves in a game-like system so that we can level up from fights. Wheee!

And then Fluffy and Shiba are the same hallucination, appearing to just Izumi and Megumi. I was like WTF when they pulled that, but I think I sort of saw the connection before earlier on (see my note before about how they had the same schtick. Maybe should have seen it coming. So I’m assuming Juro Izumi is an anti-hero at this point, but still on the heroic side.

Then on to finish Amaguchi. They’re not sure why the sectors are set up to different time periods. And oh, interesting. The Android!Tomi still exists, and as an android/AI is able to speak to Amaguchi as the Idol. Neat resolution to that thread, I did sort of wonder what happened to her consciousness after 426 swapped places with her. But then it comes together that the reason Ida was obsessed with Tomi before was that she was based on the Idol from the future and he was crushing on her. I also enjoyed watching Amaguchi and the black suits work together with teeth clenched in order to try to get out.

Then back to Shinonome – seems like she’s a bit of a punching bag in the story. She spends most of the story in bandages and having lost her memory, and then she got tricked by Ida into putting the code into a Sentinels to infect them, which pinned it on Ei. But we see that Morimura and Gouto are working together, which I’d mostly forgotten since it’s been awhile. At least she gets to shoot Ida later, even if it isn’t what finishes him.

Then started up Megumi’s route at 75%. It suddenly hit me that the deal Izumi struck with her involves getting his memories back, but really Izumi is just replacing Juro Kurabe’s memories with his own. So in a sense, Megumi would get Izumi back, but at Kurabe’s expense. And that Izumi was doing that anyway, regardless of if Megumi did the contract with him or not, since it was for his own ends to ‘recreate’ Juro into himself. So the contract was just to use Megumi at the end of the day anyway. I realized that right when the 75% chapter started. And that Fluffy originates from Juro and seems to project himself out.

But then we learn that the point of shooting people with the magic gun expanded the D-Code and maybe increased the Deimos ability. But if we know from the Juro final chapter, that was probably to let us start going all video game and getting meta-chips and leveling up from the Deimos fights, so it was probably good, actually. And tells me that Juro Izume/426 was definitely not working with Gotou and chibi Morimura, since he’s unaware of all of this. And definitely opposed to Okino somehow.

And then Fluffy confirms that humanity was wiped out in the 22nd century (predicted) and that we are now millions of years after that (not at all predicted). That turned out to be a surprisingly important route, although you don’t really know it was that you were doing while inside that route. It paired really well with the Juro route, which makes sense based on how they are interlinked.

Then on to the Tomi route in the last couple of missions since they just unlocked. I loved when Tomi, Okino, BJ (Miura), Amaguchi, and Natsuno all met in the UFO and were just talking about “what are all of you doing here?” And then they started figuring out who else knows, and it was like “Miura knows about time travel? Really, that dude?” It was kind of funny.

But from there we learn that we weren’t on a space ship at all, but on the already terraformed planet. And we need to alter Universal Control. Which will probably mean Project Aegis.

And with that, that finally unlocks Gouto’s route since I now have above 80% with everyone (still one chapter left with Takatoshi that unlocks based on Gouto), so I guess it’s time to see what they’ve been holding back this whole time.

Chihiro was hiding a log but I’m not yet sure what it means. And apparently Izumi was hacking Morimura’s logs in 2188, and that made Ida think everyone was going to die? Not sure what is happened there. And the chibi-Chihiro is maybe the clone from the original Professor in 2188, and seemed to not like who Gouto was in the future either. And he said that “we” are the final phase, meaning that the current cast of likely-clones is? So they planned for humanity to be wiped out? And all the people had clones created (aka our cast, although they keep saying 15 people and not our 13 sentinels, so who are the other two? Okino and Miwako? Maybe the Ogre as well? I think I called the clone thing, but not that clones were the plan for human survival.

But Morimura didn’t expect them to survive? Great cliffhanger to make us go back to battles up to 3-5

All the fights in 3 were tough, got my first D in 3-1 since I wasn’t defending the missiles well enough, and a C in 3-3 since I couldn’t kill the Gladiators fast enough. Eventually I ignored them and send Takatoshi around to just kill the boss missile boats to give me some breathing room.

I finished up through 3-5 and jumped back to Gouto’s route, and the next chapter unlocked Takatoshi’s last chapter, so back over to there. That gave us something that was so wild there was no reason to think it was a real thing – they’ve only lived in the survival pods in the sentinels, and that all their experiences were like projections into their minds, there are no real civilians, all the interactions are in their minds. The pilots have never left the sentinels in their lives. This one was weird, like what does it actually change other than to have another twist?

But then maybe Professor Murimuri in chibi-Morimura’s body is one of the real villains of our loop, but she was also ultimately pushing for it’s success above all else? Killing anyone who gets in the way of resetting the loop (like adult Morimura), but things are out of her control. I kind of like a plan that goes off the rails, so the mastermind can’t really rule things. And our boy Gouto talks her into letting them fight the war for a chance at a future. Inspiring.

I suspected that Morimura was a villain early on. I was right, but it was the wrong Morimura I guess. And villain might not even be the right word. Anti-villain, maybe? But she’s also the one who accidentally destroyed humanity. At least, the original of our chibi-Morimura was.

Something that doesn’t work for me is that so much of the actual plot happened millions of years ago with people we only have a hint about, and so it’s hard to glean the what and the why our characters are going through what they are. I suppose it may be part of the theme, caught in a battle that they scarcely understand. But it could be made a bit more satisfying. I feel like my favorite parts of the game were the first 2/3 when we didn’t have most of the answers.

But with that, I have 100% in Remembrance.

In battle 3-6, when Ogata starts to confess to Tomi on open channels and the girls give him a hard time, and THEN Kurabe defends him and Ogata thinks that makes it worse? Actually kind of funny.

Up to the final battle – we need to connect UC realize there’s a problem? So it didn’t realize there was one beforehand? So did we go through many cycles with UC not realizing there was a problem because of the D-Code. I loved the final battle. It was Missile Rain: the map. And other long range instruments. Ei was still the MVP, since he was on a search and destroy mission for everything that looked like a boss, plus could neutralize stuff with the Surrounding AMP. Yuki was kind of a liability since she was so slow; I should have brought a second Generation 1 machine instead.

Finale and secrets – We were waiting for the pilots to be ready to live outside the pods, but no clear guide on how long that took. Original Shinonome choose to doom everyone since she was tired of humanity after being betrayed by Ida. And humanity was definitely wiped out a long time ago, maybe 22 millions years before based on The Truth file. We still need 2 years of training to get ready to go out into the world. Oh, and reseeding the whole world with plants and animals. But Tamao says we’re actual descendants? Still probably just means clones.

And there actually seems to be a happy ending after all that. If you told me at the beginning that our protagonists would all go off into the sunset unscathed, I don’t know I would have believed it. And we even got a good Where Are They Now!

Congratulations! I am so tempted to read your spoilers. Probably will finish the game over the next week or so.

Yeah, I finally went back and read some people's final spoiler thoughts. And rereading some of my guesses, and seeing where I was right and where I was very wrong.

I’m sitting at the doors to the end: specifically, I’ve finished all of the character stories and only have mission 3-10 left to complete. After that, I imagine digging through some of the analysis section to better understand what the heck I just watched.

I don’t know exactly how Mystery Points convert to meta-chips once everything’s unlocked, but I remember Stele saying that all of a sudden he got 2M chips. I can see something like that happening here, as I’m sitting on about 105 mystery points even after unlocking everything. I have never reset the consecutive win counter, and I also have times that I used the score multiplier meta-system function — clearly, I didn’t need to do either of these things!

I had to play one more combat after the game for my mystery points to convert to Meta chips. I think I only got like 1.2 million, but only had like 75 extra points. As you can tell by the analysis completion %, a lot more will unlock once you compete the game.

Never used the score multiplier, but did do the no reset thing, only had to repeat two stages for bonus objectives.