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Sailor Moon: Another Story (Part 11)

We continue the series looking at the 1995 Super Nintendo RPG Sailor Moon: Another Story. It’s the exciting conclusion, as the Senshi face off against Apsu at the very edge of time itself.

Chapter 5: After the Battle (Part 2)

Alternative Title: Dude, What Happened to Your Face?

 

We’re here, we’re ready, let’s do this.

You may remember that we kicked that one creepy dude’s ass. I think his name was Anshar? Whatever, apparently he was completely superfluous to the plot, the implication of his special powers that Apsu was manipulating has ended in nothing but a dull boss fight.

But now it’s time for the main event. The Senshi regroup, aware that Apsu appears to be continuing to manipulate fate from inside the Corridor of Time. A pretty cool place to have your evil lair, if I’m honest.

sdfds

“But it’s on, like, the 40th floor and the elevator is broken, so screw this I’m going home.”

Sailor Moon is rather surprised to see that the Tower of Time has returned, which is even more surprising to me as I forgot this thing existed. They didn’t make a big deal of it back in the previous chapter when we went to save Pluto, really. I’m not even sure what this is really meant to be, except for a cool end-of-game dungeon.

And it is a neat idea, even if it’s kinda lame inside.

sdfsd

“So it regenerates, which is pretty good real estate, but the location is just the worst.”

The inside is exactly the same as the last time we were here, right down to the strength of the enemies. You can’t even train up properly because they’re so weak. This really bugs me, because the fights are just as common. It’s the end of the game and  I’m dealing with trash mobs? No thanks.

Eventually we come to…

Huh. So that’s where he got to. Why did Fiore tie him up…? What… were they doing exactly…? Hrmm…

"It's not what it looks like. I was just... helping him with an art project, yeah."

“It’s not what it looks like. I was just… helping him with an art project, yeah.”

Of course he’s magicked in place, which means that we can’t rescue him until Apsu is downed. Which I like, keeps him out of the way, like he has been the rest of the game. This shall ever remain Sailor Moon’s game. He tells Sailor Moon to get going, and as if she needed more convincing, he leaves her with one last motivational speech.

sdfsd

“…yeah you kept saying that the last time we were making out, too.”

We get to Apsu in the place that Pluto and the grabby-tree were having a date. Looks a bit grim now, to be honest. Like the bottom of a latrine. Not the best place for a final battle. Yet again we have a scene where a bad guy tries to convince the Senshi not to fight, and she actually succeeds, the Senshi seem shattered for a moment. Usagi even gets another one of those images, this time of her and Mamoru meeting for the first time.

It’s a veiled threat that this will never happen if she continues to fight against Apsu. To be honest, I think the designers just wanted to capture this scene in 16-bit somehow, so crowbarred this scene in. I have no problem with it being here, except that I’ve seen these will-they/won’t-they moments time and time again in this game.

ssdfsd

I actually found this a charming little cutscene. Also it reminded me how much of a douche Mamoru was

Of course it doesn’t work and Sailor Moon gives a rather anaemic speech to get them motivated again. And we begin the fight! It’s obvious this isn’t the final encounter, there’s just something a bit pedestrian about it. Saying that, Apsu has a rather large HP pool, and it took aaaaages to chip away at her. Got a bit boring if I’m honest.

dsfs

“Come on, ladies! Let’s kick this old dying woman in the face 47 times!”

When she dies, it’s all celebrations, right!?

Nope, she’s still hanging on in there. And I like this, she’s at the edge of her life, begging someone, anyone for help. Man we really laid into her.

dsfsd

“Hey God, probably burnt my bridges here, but I don’t suppose you could smite my enemies or something?”

Thing is, Apsu still has one loyal soldier left to her… Sin. She resisted the pull of the Silver Crystal you may remember, and still is determined to see the world where she’s living in peace with her brother come to life. So the way she’s going to achieve this is by pulling a Final Fantasy VIII and letting Apsu totally junction her. How’s THAT for a reference.

This is a cool ominous scene. I like seeing Apsu defeated, and I feel like this isn’t a Deus Ex Machina to get one more fight, this feels natural and a bit scary, actually. The location and music helps enormously too.

sdfsd

“Well I guess we had to burst this sexual tension bubble between us eventually.”

Apsu is in the basement of the Crystal Palace. A really cool spot, actually. It really feels like the end of time, and Crystal Tokyo is the perfect place for a final altercation. The deserted palace with its Palladian architecture lends to this sense that you’re walking to your doom as you approach the basement.

So how is the end fight going to work with 2 teams? Well I’m glad you asked…

Sailor Moon refuses to let Chibi-Moon come with her, telling her that she has to guard the Queen, that if Sailor Moon fails, Chibi-Moon is the last line of defence. It’s a clever way to separate out the party, and get rid of the weakest character too. I believe that this is what Sailor Moon would say. It feels apt.

If your party falls in battle (and mine did, several times…), you’ll be able to take control of Chibi-Moon and the remaining Senshi that you did not take into battle, and continue the fight. This last fight almost requires it, it’s so long and punishing. I had to go with the Inner Senshi and Outer Senshi. As much as I love the Outer Senshi, the teams are almost chosen for me just from the lore.

sdfsd

“Also because you get on my nerves and the only thing you’re good at is using items in battle.”

So. Apsu has joined with Sin, eh? Bet that looks pretty cool…

Woah. Uhhh… woah.

dsfs

“Still though if I had known I would look like this, I probably would have considered just giving up if I’m honest.”

And of course we can’t start the final battle without one last line from Sailor Moon… and I really appreciated this one. Great fan service, I got pumped up just from this.

"Why... why are you looking over there? My face is like in the opposite direction."

“Why… why are you looking over there? My face is like in the opposite direction. Goddamn these 16-bit pixel graphics”

So yeah, apparently that’s what happens when you cross Sin and Apsu together. You don’t get a clean meld, you get this demon-dragon lady. I like how Apsu is like “Yeah I know I’m ugly but whatever”. She looks cool! Worthy of an end boss. And this fight suuuuuucks. So damn long, just about spamming attack and items over and over again for 20 minutes.

I ended up having to use both parties, and scrapped by with the Outer Senshi. It’s tough, but it’s not that fun either. I really wish this system was better. Ahh well.

fsdf

“That’s the worst in-growing toe nail I have ever seen. You should get that checked out, Apsu.”

The finale, of course, sees Sailor Moon using the Silver Crystal to nuke the shit out of Apsu, thus restoring fate… I think? Does this mean that the Phantom Sisters are now alive? Or was their true fate to die anyway? Who knows, the game doesn’t think that deeply about it so I shan’t either. Anyway, cool crystal moment aaaaaaand that’s the game!

"Noooo

“Nooooo just before I could completely my master plan of making it so that Fox never cancelled Fireflyyyy!”

And all that’s left is the end cinematic! Not a lot really happens in it to be fair. We see that the Opposito Senshi are all back to human and, apparently, friends now that they’ve spent time working together to murder people. They welcome Anshar and Sin back with open arms, which is odd when you consider Sin was so dedicated to destroying fate.

Also she totally killed Dimande. Which gets her Brownie points of course.

All in all this felt rather perfunctory. I would have loved to seen something about Neo Queen Serenity… but nothing.

sdfsd

“OK, does any body mind if I kill Ishtar real quick before I’m definitely a good guy again?”

Anshar has one final moment too, overcoming his “class barrier” bullshit to give Chibi-Moon a gift, which she repays with a kiss. YUCK. Jesus, he’s a STREET URCHIN, Chibi-Moon. Oh well, Anshar is about to have to compete with a goddamn flying unicorn, so I think we can say this doesn’t last.

Gross.

Gross.

The goodbyes from the Senshi are really rather perfunctory, as though it’s the end of just another episode. In a way, I don’t mind this. You don’t need to be so conclusive here, the idea is to finish this off as though they’re about to walk right into the next series of Sailor Moon.

Hotaru has a rather sad ending, though. She feels her destiny returning to what it was, says some farewells and morphs back into baby Hotaru, with Haruka and Michiru apparently resuming parenthood rolls like they did in the manga. They’re leaving Tomoe dead then. So they’re trying to merge the manga canon… which won’t quite work, since Tomoe turns up in series 5 anyway, hahahaha. Oh dear.

dsfsd

“Oh one last thing before I turn into a baby, give me my GODDAMN PACIFIER” *pop*

And there you have it. Sailor Moon: Another Story COMPLETE. Sheesh it’s been a long run, no

Wait a second, we can’t end without Mamoru being a complete tool one last time though, can we?

NOPE.

NOPE.

That’s better. All’s right with the world now. I love that the end credits take place over a rather fitting image too… I really liked this. Made this feel like a dramatic conclusion, a real achievement.

Now THAT'S how you end a Sailor Moon RPG

Now THAT’S how you end a Sailor Moon RPG

Very satisfying!


 

In Conclusion

Sheesh, this game took me way longer to review than I thought. I’ve used it as a little break from reviewing episodes if I’m honest, not particularly keen to get into Sailor Moon Super S. Saying that, from next week I’ll be hitting that series hard. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, I plan to do one final post on Another Story, reviewing the game as a whole, and seeing whether or not it holds up as a game experience. I hope you’ve enjoyed these forays into a 1995 SNES game, and have found it as entertaining as it was to play and review it, too.

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