Sailor Moon: Another Story (Part 5)
We continue the series looking at the 1995 Super Nintendo RPG Sailor Moon: Another Story. We continue the solo missions of the Inner Senshi as they visit exotic countries, meet interesting locals and avoid getting murdered by goth doppelgängers. Today: Sailor Jupiter enables incest. Gross.
Chapter 2: In Search of the Stones -Sailor Jupiter-
Alternative Title: Turns Out You’re Related
Last time we saw Sailor Mars in Tibet flirting with ghosts. I found it to be rather more enjoyable than Mercury’s rather simple storyline, owing to the 6th Sense twists and a less repetitive environment. Sailor Jupiter has the most enjoyable environment to explore right from the get go. This kinda makes me want to visit Canada…
I’m already digging this arc. For one, regular readers should already know how I feel about Sailor Jupiter (I am generally pro-Jupiter, which is something of an understatement), so there’s already that bias in place. She makes a good protagonist, being generally laid back and confident. The design of this national park in Canada, while certainly based off a $1 postcard, is vibrant, which makes a nice change from the repetitive blues of Switzerland or drab browns of Tibet. I really like the idea of Sailor Jupiter just chillin’ in nature – her whole theme is “life” and “plants” and junk, ya know.
Apparently Jupiter is not just a dab hand at cooking, she’s pretty good at fishing too, because in the next scene she’s already caught and roasted one. Apparently this forest is filled with green-haired cannibals because one stumbles out of the wood. Instead of just smacking this guy for sneaking up on her out of the woods, she invites him to eat. Now under Guest Right from Game of Thrones, Jupiter can no longer smash this guy in the face, who we learn is a guy named George from a mysterious secret village in the middle of a national park in Canada…
…what the hell?
Naturally Jupiter instantly falls in love with the green-haired mountain-man pillock because, of course, he looks like the senpai who broke her heart. Jupiter is clearly attracted to any person with whom the relationship is doomed to failure. She self-sabotages before she can even commit to a relationship by being hung up upon her largest romantic failure *puts away bullshit pop-psychology book*. I should write for the Daily Mail.
George (the writers must have literally flipped open an English book and found the first, whitest name they could think of) decides to reward Jupiter for her cooking with a pendant sigifying her ability to enter his village. No, none of that was a euphemism.
So… yet again we have two villages in the middle of nowhere in a far-off country that are so secluded as to not have contact with the outside world, maintaining living standards of the 1700s. Yes it’s repetitive and odd, but I sort of find all this rather charming…
After meeting about the 5th or 6th mute Pippi Longstocking-type local, Jupiter finally loses it and
murders every last one of them asks what’s going on, at which point she discovers that everyone thinks she’s now George’s new bride. Well that was a quick ceremony. The truth is, however, that George has a lady-friend by the name of Mary (another white-ass name they picked out of a book I’m sure), who lives in the neighbouring village.
Problem is, no one is allowed to mix between the villages, and as such their love is forbidden. Hrm I WONDER where I’ve heard this story before…
Jupiter is dramatically disappointed as she is in these cases, but vows to get these guys together. She really does not give a shit about Mamoru, does she?
Worth noting again how decent the writing of these characters are. With Sailor Jupiter I feel as though her dialogue, her reactions and responses, are spot on. It’s not like they’re playing on stereotypes of the character, I really get a feeling that these are the words the Makoto from Sailor Moon would speak. As such, this is all immensely satisfying, seeing Jupiter being the sole protagonist and deciding to get shit done.
So it turns out that George is the son of the village elder, and lives in a fancy mansion. All he gave us was a stupid pendant, I want YEN dammit! Oh I forgot to mention that, yes, like Switzerland and Tibet, every shop accepts Japanese currency.
George reveals that he could get married to Juliet/Mary if he had a sacred stone… by the name of Nephrite. Hrmm… it’s not like we needed more motivation to get these random Canadian teenagers to bone down but at least I’m not going to feel like this entire venture of Jupiter’s is useless. The stone, however, has been lost. It is a shade disappointing to think that if you just activate predetermined scenes, you’ll eventually stumble across it. Then again, that’s like all the RPGs in the universe, so…
MONSTER TIME. I’m a lot more used to this routine now, and it is a routine. The walk between villages is a lot shorter than before, however, and has the luxury of looking nice to boot. Jupiter is also pretty tough… but I took no chances and levelled up a bunch as soon as I was able. Not having another Nergal boss again. NEVER.
Right! New town! No idea what the shit it’s called, I didn’t pay attention. It is, of course, identical to its neighbouring town, even if they’ve sworn a blood-feud. Considering that this halves their already small gene pool, it’s a wonder these people can walk around at all on their undoubtedly webbed toes.
First things first, let’s see this Mary who we’ve lost out to then.
Oh there’s some squat unpleasant man in the doorway, I’ll just-
Well, so much for the friendly Canadians I’ve heard so much about. This guy is asking for an ass-kicking. I AM Sailor Jupiter after all. No?
Ah well. It turns out that Mary is locked up in her room. Goddamn, her father is a psychopath. And I still can’t kill him? Either way, she’s dropped the pendent that George gave her out the window (he apparently gives them to every person he meets, the slimeball). Mary is being awfully and happily loud about wanting to go with Jupiter to return to George, but with her dick-hole dad outside banging on the door, Sailor Jupiter has the obvious idea of them escaping through the window and-
So… Jupiter now in tow with an impressed Mary (she cares zero shits about the mess that’s been made in her room), we find out that the mayor’s house was built over, like ruins of an ancient civilisation. They have no idea what civilisation they’re actually talking about here, since the ancient Canadian peoples were several thousand years ago. This looks like a few hundred. Also it looks, like, Mesopotamian. I suddenly do not feel like I’m in Canada.
Which is just fine, frankly. This is all creepy as heck. Enjoying this ride, even if it makes no sense.
I was rather surprised how quick this is all going. The monsters are going down easier thanks to a 20 minute training session (*flex*) it seems. Also, right here is where we’re introduced to another Opposito Senshi, Marduk. Guys I think Marduk is my favourite.
Marduk spews a bit of rhetoric and invites Jupiter to climb a big-ass tree in town if she wants the stone, and just to drive it home collapses the tunnel over their heads. A little schlocky, Marduk, but at least you’re trying. I’m digging all of this so far, I think the brighter colours and the tone make me more eager to see out the story than the previous two Senshi stories. Not that they were terrible or anything, but this is definitely my favourite thus far. Only Sailor Venus can beat it!
Now that Jupiter knows where the Nephrite stone is, George realises he’ll have to get it back if he wants to marry Mary. Rather contrived situation perhaps, but I like that they’re trying to build a narrative separate from the Senshi.
George is pretty scared of climbing the big ass tree, so Jupiter essentially calls him a pussy until he agrees to go with her. Oh Jupiter you are my favourite for a reason.
So this is “one big-ass mother-fucking tree” as Samuel L Jackson might put it. Out of all the locations so far, I think I like this the most. It’s just so unusual, and obviously fitting for the Senshi who is associated with life, plants and tall stuff.
The inside is a little less impressive, just being 10 floors or so of nearly the identical tree-innards, but hey that’s not so bad for Another Story now, is it? I’ve been cutting this game a lot of slack, haven’t I? Anyway Marduk is just… hanging around. She’s just sort of pacing around, you actually have to go up to her and talk to her to initiate this event. Kinda interesting that.
Let’s talk about Marduk shall we?
Marduk is the coolest fucking deity from all theological history. Hands down, no contest, hey Thor don’t let the door hit you on the hammer on your way out. Marduk is an ancient Babylonian god who was chosen by the other gods to lead them into battle against an army of demons led by Tiamat, his success leading to him being crowned Supreme God.
How metal is that?
We get Marduk’s backstory here, and like the other Opposito Senshi, they’ve really thought about her motivations, and exactly why the perfect utopia created by Neo Queen Serenity and the Ginzuishou has cracks in it. Marduk is the most vocal of the girls we’ve seen thus far, as suits her loud-mouth character. She shouts at people in the street for being so naive to rely on the Silver Crystal, the thing which in Marduk’s eye has caused all the the wars, all of the strife over the past few thousand years.
And it’s hard to disagree with that, right? However benevolent the power of the crystal is, no matter what Neo Queen Serenity’s intentions are or have been, the allure of power has created such tragedy that we’ve seen. It takes a good writer to see that within the Sailor Moon mythos and construct this around it. Another Story goes above and beyond the usual fanfic.
We then see that Apsu has been in communication with Marduk for sometime, and that she’s lured Marduk to work for her with the ideal of stopping all wars… by getting the power of the Silver Crystal herself. So, like, that makes not great sense for Marduk, but hey I’m willing to go with the idea that she’s a bit thick. Either way, I’m impressed with the luring from Apsu and Marduk’s motivations, which at the end of the day, is paved with good intentions.
The Opposito Senshi are pretty cool.
After some maniacal laughter (maybe not such great writing), Marduk tells Jupiter to get to the top floor… and man it takes a while to get to the top of a tree. Who the hell built stairs inside this thing anyway? The monsters are at their toughest level for the arc once more, but luckily there’s an inn right at the base of the tree so training isn’t that hard. This has not only been the most enjoyble story in terms of story, characters and art, but also of the gameplay.
…which is still admittedly rubbish, but you can’t have everything.
At the top is… a branch? it’s very weirdly designed… I’m willing to suspend my disbelief when I’m enjoying myself, and admiring the background Canadian mountain range. Best of all is the somewhat of an anti-climax as Marduk proves to be rather clumsy, falling the 80 feet or so to the ground after tripping over her own feet.
The designers realised what a complete ball-ache it would be to have to walk the entire way back down, so they give you the option of jumping… which is, in fact, insane when you come to think of it, especially since George, a normal human, is still with me at the time of jumping.
At the bottom, Jupiter steals the Nephrite Hi stone from Marduk’s cold and pulpy body and gives it to George to go get married with. Man she really really does not give a shit about Mamoru. Hilarious. So that’s all over then, no need to a battle after Marduk accidentally killed herself then…
I trained a lot, the previous stories teaching me a thing or two, so this battle, while long tough and boring, was nevertheless not in doubt. I bought a LOT of health-replenishing nigiri. It’s always nice using rare attacks or even those that only existed in the manga. Jupiter Thunder Dragon we saw once a veeeery long time ago.
Once Marduk is finished, she runs away of course. Gotta get that sweet powerful Apsu juice for a rematch. Jupiter remembers that she should probably try to save Mamoru’s life, so goes to expedite the whole marriage situation between the Capulets and the Montegues. There’s a rather long and amusing scene of the two fathers shouting at each other, refusing to back down.
As it happens the feud started 20 years ago when George’s dad married Mary’s mum against the brother’s wishes…
That makes Geroge and Mary first cousins and they didn’t even realise. Now, I don’t hold with the emotional disgust response with this level of incest, marriage between first cousins is common throughout history, Charles Darwin’s marriage for one. That being said, it is still -quite- a long of genetic information they have in common there. Also remember these villages are remote and backwards – there’s a high probability that their ancestors all married their cousins too.
In other words these guys all have 8 toes on each foot I’ll bet.
Jupiter is handed the Nephrite Hi stone as a reward for… you know, breaking down that wall or whatever, and off she goes. I really liked this storyline, even if Jupiter didn’t get as much development as, say Mars. The whole thing felt smoother to me.
So yeah, looking forward to wrapping up the individual Senshi stories with Sailor Venus next time. They’ll have to really push themselves if they want to beat Jupiter’s story. This is all relative, of course. In reality a kitten could make a better game than this. But I love it nevertheless. I’m sorry.
Sailor Venus goes to Turkey, discovers she is totally a god down there.