Sailor Moon: Another Story (Part 10)
We continue the series looking at the 1995 Super Nintendo RPG Sailor Moon: Another Story. The final chapter begins with the Senshi prepping for their final show-down with Hell Destiny in Crystal Tokyo, as Usagi’s motivations are made personal…
Chapter 5: After the Battle (Part 1)
Alternative Title: Just Let Them KEEP Shingo
You may remember that in the last arc, things got super real as Sailor Moon witnessed the death of her former self and the end of the Silver Millennium. So not the best of days then. Well buck up, Sailor Moon, because as we enter the final chapter, shit’s about to get worse.
Well I say worse, but that’s really a matter of perspective if I’m honest.
So Sin’d plan is essentially to fuck with Usagi’s home life enough that she comes to the future, and into Sin’s fiendishly clever trap (spoiler: it’s not fiendishly clever). As adverse as I am to having any more of Tsukino Shingo than humanly possible, I at least like that the writers are trying to utilise characters and a familial relationship that is almost entirely absent from the anime. I guess Sin will have to pull out all the stops to be able to penetrate Sailor Moon’s home and attack her clever, handsome broth-
You know what, fuck it, just send the stupid bunny thing.
Well enough of Shingo, Mamoru is back to health! Well, mostly. That Barazuishou that Dimande dropped as he died really did the trick or whatever. As far as McGuffins go, that lasted 3/4 of the goddamn game and really felt pointless. Either way, this is a pretty cool pow-wow. I have enjoyed every single one of these so far, the Senshi talking together, trying to figure out their next move, interpreting Hell Destiny’s behaviour. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it adds agency to these characters.
Best of all is what they’re worried about: Mamoru points out that since Hell Destiny managed to get a Rainbow Crystal shard in the past, they’ve managed to change a heeeap of Destinies, and it’s unclear what has changed and what hasn’t. Which is freaky as hell when you think about it.
The Senshi all split up to find out if anything in their lives have changed. I realise that this doesn’t entirely make sense logically, that if their destinies have change then their pasts have also changed, and thus they wouldn’t know if something in their life had been different… maybe. I think I’m mixing up my rules for time-travel and whatever the heck this thing is, but whatever, I’m willing to go with this because it’s awesome and a little chilling.
Since they have nowhere else to go, no close friends or pasts to really check up on, Setsuna, Hotaru and Chibi-Usa (the bums of the Senshi, basically) go with Usagi.
And we get Shingo getting mesmerised by a goddamn animal… AGAIN. Nice call back, even nicer to make Shingo look like a complete sucker. If you thought Chibi-Usa was going to be completely useless in this fight, like all the others, you’d be wrong… because she doesn’t even make it to the fight.
We get Sin speaking through her little brother’s stupid animal thing, which is as hilarious as it sounds, and then an obligatory boss fight. Thank god I levelled everyone a ton in the basement of the Moon Castle last chapter…
When it’s done and dusted, Shingo is thoroughly kidnapped. No complaints here, but Sailor Moon is unfathomably pissed off about this. I don’t get that. It’s only Shingo. I mean, screw that kid. Anyway, more importantly, Haruka bursts in with some TRULY TERRIFYING NEWS.
As we get back to a meeting to discuss what else has changed, it’s pretty darn cool. I like the attention here, all the Senshi have had minor changes to them – Apsu couldn’t change more because, although it’s weakened, they’re still under the protection of the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal). That being said, it feels like there are some real stakes here. The spooky action-at-a-distance way of fucking up their lives is a great hook.
The Senshi all settle on the fact that they’re going to have to beat the stuffing out of a sick dying lady far in the future, and Pluto opens the Door of Time once again. We get to go to the Silver Millennium in Chapter 4 AND Crystal Tokyo in Chapter 5!? I’m being spoilt here! Those two things are by far the coolest part of the Sailor Moon lore there is.
*Pointless Cameo Fun Time* Right so we’ve had a bunch of random guys from the anime turn up, give 5 lines and die. Rubeus, Black Lady, Esmeraude… but at least they got a boss battle. At the Door of Time, Tuxedo Kamen faces off against Fiore from Sailor Moon R: The Movie, and the Senshi never even fight him.
You might think I’m complaining. I’m not. I am completely fine with spending less time in that battle system. I actually rather liked this, it makes the events in the movie feel real, part of the canon, in a way it didn’t really gel well with the anime series.
You know his sprite sort of looks like Elrond from Lord of the Rings…
Anyway, the FUTURE, MAN. Who cares what happens to Tux, I’m gonna buy me a goddamn iPhone 79s. They probably don’t take our currency anymore though. Anyway, it looks dooope. Crystal Tokyo has always been a source of wonder an inspiration in design and concept. The idea of being able to visit it playing as the Sailor Senshi is so perfect to me. True in execution it’s a bit limited, but dammit if this doesn’t send chills down my spine, the same ones as visiting the Silver Millennium on the Moon.
Too bad the holiday is cut short by the dick holograms of those gosh-darned Opposito Senshi, boasting of how they’ve got Shingo. They taunt them by saying how they have enough time to save Shingo or Neo Queen Serenity, but not both. Which is absurd, really, because there’s like 10 of us. Of COURSE we can do both. Maybe the Opposito Senshi realise this, because they immediately try to mess with the minds of the Inner Senshi.
Their tactic is essentially to break the will of the Senshi, evidently because they know they can’t beat them in a straight fight. We get an interesting, but ultimately rather plain replay of the scenes in Chapter 1, extended this time. Ami has her parents (divorced in real life) visit her, evidently still together, at her medical practice. Minako tries giving a love letter to a boy, but runs away before getting an answer. Makoto’s fantasy with the “Tall Sempai” is… well… uh… worrying.
So skipping swiftly along, hopefully Rei’s fantasy is a little more tame?
So yeah, Rei is still fantasising about jumping Mamoru. I actually find this rather brilliant. I like that they’re continuing to build upon this one thread in Season 1 that was dropped. It makes Rei all the more sympathetic and likeable as a friend, with her lamenting what could have been.
Also we’re all sex-positive here, aren’t we? Nice to see her taking the initiative in her head. Let’s hope it goes better than the last time.
In the end all of this is rather useless. The Senshi batter these thoughts aside and simply grow more determined to split up and get both Shingo and Neo Queen Serenity… which they do. Sailor Moon’s team goes after the Opposito Senshi, Chibi-Mon’s team finds Neo Queen Serenity. You can split the teams up in any way you see fit, but there are heavy implications in the dialogue that the Inner Senshi should go with Sailor Moon, and I’m a sucker for orders.
It just feels more fitting this way, too.
Sin, meanwhile, is playing baby-sitter. Shingo and her have a bit of a back and forth, where Sin basically tries to justify all the evil shit she’s doing by claiming it’s all for the perfect world she wants to create for her brother. I suspect she’s lost sight of how any of this will actually -help- her bro, but…
Sin also drops some rather large hints that Usagi is, in fact, Sailor Moon, but Shingo is so dense that he doesn’t appear to make this connection. Turd. Sin thinks so to, because she puts him back to sleep with a rather cool flashing action.
As the Senshi approach this “Dark Castle” (who even knows where the fuck this is, the Senshi just rock up to it out of the blue), Sailor Moon is the next to be psychic-ly attacked but, of course it doesn’t work. Always nice seeing Usagi and Mamoru in a domestic situation though.
The big show-down takes place, and it’s a gruelling 3 boss battles in one. You face all 5 Opposito Senshi back-to-back, and it’s toooough.
Phew! At the end of all this, there’s something of a cop-out, as Sailor Moon uses the Ginzuishou to seal the evil powers Apsu has placed upon her Senshi. Nergal, Ishtar, Marduk and Nabu all instantly turn good, regretting their behaviour. If you have the Inner Senshi with you, they’ll even have a parting phrase… it’s all rather lame actually. What made their backstories so interesting was the thought that they were genuinely motivated to fight against the Senshi by way of their lost loved ones after the Black Moon attack.
Here it’s just like, oh well, that’s that then. At least the Phantom Sisters had some pathway to redemption, this feels tacked-on.
The only person to resist the Ginzuishou is, in fact, Sin, who, because of her motivation being for her brother, cannot be cleansed. I suppose that motivation was truly real all this time, nor do I think it’s something evil that can be expunged from her like the other Opposito Senshi.
After Sin scrapers and the others leave for… you know what, I have no idea where they leave to. Rehab maybe. Anyway, Shingo gets a once-over and since he’s all fine, it’s time to move back to the Outer Senshi to see what they’re up to…
The Outer Senshi, with Chibi-Moon as the lead, has a few boss battles of their own. Now’s the time for some serious training, because damn if the enemies around here aren’t tough as hell. Good thing I stocked up on items before Chapter 5 because there’s nowhere to buy from here.
The Crystal Palace has an energy field around it, hearkening back to Sailor Moon R, except this time you’re on the outside. Anshar is refusing to let you in because, if you do, he’ll have to fight you and poor widdle baby boy loves Chibi-Usa too much. Well how about you just stop being a dick then?
To break the field, it’s really vague. You have to wonder around until you stumble upon these plain-looking crystals that really blend in with the aesthetic of everything else in Crystal Tokyo. Still, you get the fight the Witches 5, which is cool!
Crystal Tokyo in execution is pretty depressing. Sure it looks cool, but there’s no one here. The shops are empty. You’re bombarded with random battles. It was fun being in the Silver Millennium for precisely the opposite reasons. Still, I’m glad we got here at all.
Inside the palace, you have to deal with Anshar shouting at you to stay away, as though he’s touching himself and doesn’t want his mum walking in on him. It’s pretty pathetic actually. I think you can actually walk away and progress the story without fighting him, but after him begging for you not to fight him I kinda wanna smash his face in, so let’s do that then.
He actually refuses to fight, which makes sense because we’re 5 kick-ass ladies ready to murder a kid, but Apsu turns up pissed off like nothing before and brainwashes him into a rather crappy boss battle. Remember when Apsu saw great power within Anshar? I thought there was going to be some kind of hidden power he had that she needed, but that never really went anywhere. Which I’m fine with, this guy ain’t interesting.
Sailor Chibi-Moon manages to save Anshar’s life (so you DID beat him to death then) with the Ginzuishou of the future, and, well, that’s that for old Anshar I guess. We never got to see Neo Queen Serenity did we…?
The Senshi all meet back up, and it’s time to find Apsu and kick her ass. This is when they keep talking about the Tower of Time, which is highly confusing. What the hell is the Tower of Time…? In any place, it’s where Apsu has been messing around with Destiny (for Playstation 4), and that’s where the showdown will take place… on the next and final blog post that is!
The exciting conclusion of Sailor Moon: Another Story, as Sailor Moon challenges fate and remembers she hasn’t been studying for her entrance exams for like the past 3 weeks.