Yuuka: My, how have you been?
Shinki: Hm? You're...that's right, you were here too.
Why wouldn't I be? Weren't you complaining about Reimu and the rest earlier?
...You kept your memories at least, I see. Reimu and the others had completely forgotten...
They're mere humans after all, they shouldn't be compared to me.
...I suppose. I am a bit glad, at least, that I've finally met someone who knows who we are.
The era of the old world is over. You should stay in the shadows and enjoy your remaining years, don't you think?
I don't. That's why we came here. Don't you feel the need to complain as well?
Not at all. I believe that old world's fate as it is will lead to the most peaceful situation. Now, as members of the old world, we should reminisce, mm?
...Indeed. Let's see if you're still as strong as you were back then!
BGM: Legendary Illusion ~ Infinite Being ~ Sengoku Arr. ~
Yeah, I know I'm not using Yuuka, but I wanted to include that for completion's sake.
This was a really close battle, but we manage to barely squeeze out a lead as our battle counter runs down, then a final Pandemonium ensures that Makai won't be able to recover back their lead without killing one of ours. Which, thankfully, does not happen.
Shinki: No way...We've loooost!
The residents of the "old world"...the Shinki-led Makai group had abruptly appeared and attacked, but even they could not stand up to Reimu's army, and their leader was down on her knees.
Reimu: ...This should really be the end. There won't be any other weirdos coming from strange worlds anymore, will there?
Marisa: That'd be right outta a B-grade movie...This's a real big relief for me too. Now I don't hafta deal with that funny feeling in my head anymore.
Sara: Oooh...Lady Shinki...!
Louise: We have been such failures...
Yuki: Wahhhhhh! I'm sorry, Lady Shinki!
Mai: ...I'm sorry.
Yumeko: ...I have nothing but regret.
...Don't worry about it everyone, you all did very well. I definitely did not expect you all to be able to beat me, the goddess of Makai, though. Very well, I shall now explain our motives...
Alright, that wraps it up. Good job, everyone~.
I'm totally exhausted. But hey, an occasion like this calls for a huge party!
Yuyuko: My, that sounds nice. We will definitely attend!
Youmu: Lady Yuyuko, not again...
Remilia: Sakuya, go back and begin preparations at once.
Sakuya: Yes, Milady. The courtyard shall be the venue, I take it?
Luna: Yes! We can sneak in without hesitation this time!
Sunny: And what would you do after you sneak in!?
Star: Let's just attend normally, shall we?
Shinki: Uh, as I was saying, I'll explain...
Lunasa: ...It's starting to sound like a wonderful gathering.
Wriggle: The Scarlet Devil Mansion, huh...*shiver* I'm usually too scared to get anywhere near it...
Komachi: Whoa, this looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. I bet there'll be a lot of great sake too~.
Eiki: Komachi, you are being too gluttonous.
From the exhilaration of it all finally ending, and the excitement of the coming party, no one was listening to what Shinki was saying. Everyone ignoring her was slowly making her more and more agitated.
Shinki: Wait wait, what's al this about~!? I was just going to tell you all the details about why we started attacking!
Reimu: Does anyone really care about that?
Yeah, you already told us that you all got angry cuz we ignored you anyway.
T-That's true...So you shouldn't be ignoring me at the end either~!
...Excuse me, everyone. Would you mind listening to what Lady Shinki has to say? I promise it will not take up too much of your time...
...Is she really a goddess? Fine fine, we'll listen, so go ahead and explain yourselves.
Hehehe, since you want to know so badly, I suppose I'll be gracious and tell you. We...
I'll be headin' back then.
Ah, me too.
Honesty always works the best. It isn't a reason you should be so haughty about anyway, right?
It's all your fault, you know. Once I found out you all were having so much fun, who wouldn't want to join in!?
Yukari: My, I'm honoured.
It was more trouble than it was worth!
...At first, we thought that after the winner of Gensokyo was decided, they would attack Makai...But it seems no one ever had that intention.
Well yeah, all of us forgot...I mean, didn't know about Makai in the first place.
We thought that at this rate, we'll be completely forgotten. Even though Gensokyo existed here once...No one recognizing us is the same as us not existing. As ruler of Makai, I could not accept that to be the case. So, for the future of my precious children, that's why...
That's why you came here and made such a big fuss, huh?
...Uh huh. I figured that if you all had forgotten or didn't know about us, we'll just teach you again. If we made you remember us, we would still exist.
Yuki: I...Lady Shinki...
Sara: You went so far for our sake...I feel so blessed!
Well, I can accept your reason for doing this. But why couldn't you have gone about it more normally!?
Eh, well...That would be kinda boring. Right, li'l Yumeko?
Please do not get me involved.
I needed us to make an appearance with a huge impact, so you all wouldn't forget us so easily again. And besides, it was all really fun!
...You don't care much 'bout how much it bothers others, huh?
And you lost anyway.
Ugh...It's fine, this whole venture was never about winning or losing.
???: We haven't lost yet!
The voice made everyone turn to it. It was the smaller Alice that everyone had forgotten about...But she held a certain grimoire in her hand, and an unnatural and eerie aura surrounded her.
What the heck? We were about to end it so nicely too.
...!? Lady Shinki, that's...!
Li'l Alice, no! Don't use that book...!
EX Alice: We...No, Lady Shinki will never lose against the likes of you! ...I can still fight...As long as I have this book!
As she flipped the pages of her precious grimoire, containing untold amounts of magical power, the girl began to absorb all the power within her body. The whimsical mood disappeared in a flash.
Patchouli: What power...How could one simple book hold so much power!?
Alice: (The feeling's coming back again...This is dangerous, but it's still trying to tell me something...!)
Hey, what the heck is that book? This magic power is far from normal!
It's a magical grimoire with the secrets of the Ultimate Magic written within...Li'l Alice wasn't supposed to be able to handle it!
I can't always be a kid anymore. I must learn to master this book and use it...! Yes, use it to destroy everyone!
Hey, save the exposition for later! She's comin' for us!
Good grief, all these troublesome matters just keep coming...But this must be...no, this DEFINITELY is the final battle! Now, let's give it all we've got!
BGM: The Grimoire of Alice ~ Sengoku Arr. ~
And here it is: the final boss. I don't know about you guys, but I was both surprised and totally stoked to discover who it is when I first played this myself.
EX Alice is backed up by four mooks, named after the card suites (just like her stage in Mystic Square
). Each has a different role. Club is a tank, with better defenses and Cover to protect its allies. Heart is the healer, who will spam Healing Light every turn. Spade has the highest attack power, and will liberally use Charge to inflict even more damage. Finally, Diamond will cast Cheer to buff itself and its allies.
Our strategy, on the other hand, was to rely on Suika for most of our damage output. With no battle counter cost to worry about, Pandemonium becomes the most damaging move anyone could do. Eirin backs her up as the main healer to keep her in shape despite the heavy recoil damage from Pandemonium. That is, until EX Alice managed to eliminate both Eirin and Suika at once with her Ultimate Magic.
Of course, we eliminate the card suites first, but not before they've left their toll on the battle. Not only did Diamond cast some buffs on EX Alice, but she buffed her own stats even further with her special, Ultimate Magic. This spell can do all sorts of things. I've seen at least six: it can cause heavy damage to all characters, or heavy damage + stun to a single target, or drain HP from one target, or heal her own HP, or cause mass enemy debuffs or ally buffs. Despite her status as the final boss and her intimidating HP, EX Alice doesn't really have fantastic defenses. However, once she gets buffed, she starts taking only 20-40 damage from most attacks. Given that she can recover 300-500 HP with some of her Ultimate Magic spells, that turns this battle into a painfully long war of attrition. And that's exactly what happens here.
Eventually, the battle came down to just throwing wave after wave of our own
girls at the boss. Whenever a character falls in battle here, another random member of our army will take their place. With each character dealing only 30-80 damage before going down (if that), we had to throw quite a few people before EX Alice would go down. However, Yuuka's mass attack buff helped what few characters remained do some respectable damage towards the end, and Keine's massive defenses kept her alive (and dealing consistant damage) throughout the entire battle.
After an excrutiatingly long battle, EX Alice finally goes down.
EX Alice: Agh...Ugh...No...No way...!?
The power of the grimoire of Ultimate Magic running through Alice was truly terrifying. The entire group barely managed to beat it together, and was left exhausted from it...But it was not all over yet.
Reimu: *gasp* *pant*...This is ridiculous...!
Marisa: It ain't called "Ultimate" for nothin'...!
It's not over yet! I haven't lost yet!
No way, she still has so much power left...?
BGM: Black Tortoise ~The Seven Northern Mansions~
Alice stood up again, and magical energy began to gather around her. But it was not from Alice...it was from the grimoire itself. It was clear that the grimoire now had its own will.
...The other Alice...The one from Gensokyo, jumped in front of her.
Alice: Stop! Throw that book away!
As if...! Who would listen to an order like that...!
(What can I say to make her stop...If I don't figure it out soon, she'll...!)
I can still fight, see all this magic power I...Eh?
Eek...Why can't I control this power...!?
Alice fell back exhausted, just like Reimu's group. But the grimoire continued to release a seemingly limitless amount of energy. It was reaching critical mass and enveloping its master as it went berserk.
Let go of that book, now!
I...I don't wanna...!
Why are you so stubbo...Argh!
The uncontrollable magic energy flew in all directions. The overflowing power then seized Alice, and lifted her into the air slowly...A small hole started to open in the space nearby.
Shinki: That hole...!? No! That hole was opened by this crazy power! Who knows where it'll lead to!?
Eh...N-No...!? Why can't I move my hand away from the book...!?
Hey, can't ya do anything!?
Patchouli: That's asking far too much. I can't generate magic power to counter that thing so quickly...!
Ugh, my charms aren't working at all either!
No...No...Noooo...! Someone save me...!
Alice whispered as her body inched closer and closer to the hole. The grimoire was emitting a magical wall that prevented anyone from getting close to her, or even destroying the wall itself. The only way to counter the power from the grimoire was to throw an equally large amount of power at it. But even the slightest mistake in judgment could cost Alice her life.
Everyone was starting to give up...then...
I have to...stop her...!
Wha!? It's dangerous, don't go in there...W-What the!?
Why...? Why isn't that wall doing anything?
Ya think I know!?
Alice had dived right into the swirl of energy. If it was anyone else, they would've been repelled...but the magical energy provided no resistance against her at all, and easily let her through to the center. It was as if the magical energy had decided to let her in...It was as if Alice instinctively knew that the magical energy would let her in.
...It's going to be all right.
Alice touched the grimoire, and the raging magical energy lost its force. The energy started to return to the grimoire. All the energy disappeared inside the book. It then closed istelf, never to be opened again.
Alice floated slowly to the ground, into the arms of the other Alice. She then placed her onto the floor. There were no longer any traces of the magical energy within her.
Are you all right? ...And how were you able to just waltz into the middle of that tempest anyway?
Hmm...All I can say is, I don't really know. And I get the feeling that we shouldn't be delving any deeper than that.
I agree. I've got things in my memories that're better off left alone too.
...I'm pretty sure that you're talking about something entirely different.
Yuuka: She's right, though. It'll cause a time paradox! Just kidding.
Wah! Don't interrupt us like that!
My my, such an impolite reaction, don't you think? Anyway...It's time to watch over the emotional reunion.
Yuuka winked, then turned to look at where Shinki was standing over the tiny Alice. The entire area was surrounded by silence.
BGM: Roll Back ~ From Now
Young Alice: L-Lady Shinki...?
Shinki: Li'l Alice...
Shinki opened up the palm of her right hand and slowly brought it to the air. Alice closed her eyes in fear of what she thought was to come...but it never came. Instead, Shinki's hands entwined around her back, and pulled her body close. A feeling of warmth enveloped Alice. Alice slowly opened her eyes to reveal Shinki's face right in front of her.
...I wanted to be strict and scold you...But I just can't.
Lady Shinki, why...?
It wouldn't change anything if I did, right? I don't know how you got that book...But you shouldn't do things like that.
B-But...I thought that if I left it at that, then we'd have lost...I thought that if I didn't protect you, then you wouldn't look after me anymore...
Hehe...Thank you. But you didn't have to think so hard over it...It was never a battle where our lives were on the line, after all.
But you took care of all of us, so it's our duty to...
No, it's not.
Shinki released Alice from her embrace, then put her hands onto her frail shoulders. Alice's clear and bright eyes shown right back at her.
Sara, Louise, and Li'l Yumeko can take care of themselves now...But you, li'l Yuki and li'l Mai all still need my care and protection.
But then we don't have any reason to exist...!
...Li'l Alice, I'll really get angry if you keep repeating that. I don't need some silly reason for that. Because...Because you're all my precious children.
...! ...I-I'm sorry...I'm so sorry, Lady Shinki!
The dam that held back Alice's tears finally broke, and Shinki gently held her close. Shinki then slowly stood up and turned to face Reimu's group.
...Now then, it's about time we head back. Thanks for all your hard work, everyone.
Sara: No, this was nothing!
Louise: It was fun, shall we come back sometime?
Yuki: Boo, you're mean and stupid, Alice!
Yumeko: Lady Shinki, the preparations required to return to Makai are complete. We may leave at any time.
As excellent as I expected, li'l Yumeko.
...You're going back, huh?
Yeah, we can't leave Makai empty for too long...I'm its goddess, after all.
Come back anytime ya want...Er, actually, you'll make me remember bad things again, so try not to come back too often.
Hehe. We'll win next time...Alright everyone, we're going home! ...Reimu, Marisa, Yuuka, and everyone else...And you, Ms. Possibility. Thank you very much for saving li'l Alice just now. Okay, let's go! Don't forget us this time~!
(...! She smiled at me...)
Shinki waved in the air, and a bend to Makai appeared, just like when they showed up. Once the last person when through it, it disappeared into thin air.
...It's all over...Though it feels like the best parts were already taken by a certain someone else.
Well, best 'ta give the others some of the spotlight too.
Yukari: And that brings the curtain down on Yukari Yakumo's war game. Did you all have fun?
Gah, don't pop up out of nowhere! And this all happened because of you! Stop doing these kind of things already!
Oh~? I thought it was very popular and highly praised. It was so interesting and enjoyable, wasn't it?
...Enjoyable for you, maybe. I'd rather have had some youkai start an incident.
Yukari, ya got more important things to think about. Hope ya didn't think I'd forget!
My, what are you talking about?
Don't act dumb! Ya know what it is, now grant my wish like ya promised!
...You're still hung up on that, huh? Well, I suppose a promise is a promise...What do you want?
'Course it is. What I wish for...It ain't so major, but...I want permission to be able to sneak in to every single place!
I'm the #1 collector of rare items in Gensokyo after all. And I'm sure there's even more rare stuff hidden somewhere in Gensokyo! The SDM, Voile, Hakugyokurou, Eientei...These are the ones that come to mind immediately. There's definitely rare items there, and in other places! Thus! In order to search for and appropriate those items...I want to be allowed to sneak in to those kinds of places.
...Ah, may I ask a question? It's not like they're strangers to you, so why not just go there normally rather than "sneak" in?
Ya don't get it, ya don't get it at all! Treasures that just fall into your lap ain't no different from normal valuables! Ya need to overcome barriers, persevere through hardships, and finally take it with your own two hands...That's when its worth shoots up like crazy!
Is this what one would call "Missing the Forest for the Trees"?
That doesn't matter. Ya heard my wish, so grant it already.
Patchouli: I feel the exact same as Remi.
Yuyuko: I don't really care either way, but I suppose Youmu may have something to say about that.
Youmu: Lady Yuyuko, we can't let intruders in so easily! I will slice all trespassers into pieces!
Kaguya: It's fine if you want to drop by...But stealing is a step too far, so I shall have to deny it as well.
Hey Yukari, what happened to my wish!?
I did say I would "fulfill it to the best of my capabilities". If it involves getting other people's permission, that's a different matter altogether.
W-Whaaa!? Then that's totally meaningless! ...Ahh, why did I fight so hard all this while for...
Geez...Does it really matter? You always sneak into their places already anyway. If you're allowed to, then all those "hardships" disappear too.
Nah, everyone's been gettin' more cautious lately. If I can't sneak in anymore...I'll be in real trouble...
Well, that settles Marisa's wish. What about you, Reimu?
Eh, me...? I...
A wish...She hadn't actually thought of what she'd wish for. The Reimu from before, and the Reimu standing here now wouldn't be able to answer that question...But it would be for very different reasons.
...C'mon, let's get ready for the party. We have to get it done before the sun sets.
What's that supposed to mean~?
Meiling: Ah, so we're having one after all. I'll head back first and start preparing!
Sakuya: Ah, I shall go as well.
Cirno: I've seen that mansion from far away a lot of times, but I've never actually went there.
Daiyousei: Cirno, let's eat a lot of tasty food~!
Rumia: Yeah, I'm hungry~!
Letty: ...I suppose I can stay awake a little while longer.
Lyrica: A party is a perfect place for our music! We'll send goosebumps down your arms~!
Mystia: I'll sing with all my heart!
Tewi: I'll collect admission fees~.
Reisen: ...All of you should stop that.
Yes yes, anyway, let's get a move on~! ...What? You've been grinning to yourself for awhile now.
Yukari: ...Ehehehe. It's a secret~.
Can't you actually smile without making others suspicious for once? ...Whatever, we're heading off first!
Hey, wait up...!
Reimu flew off into the sky. She saw no one in front of her, but she did not need to turn back and look. There would be people around her, looking towards her, and following after her. That was something she now knew...She would no longer live alone. Instead, she would live for herself and for everyone else. She did not know how to phrase her feelings in words...But surely, in the not-too-distant future, she would learn.
The Hakurei shrine maiden, Reimu Hakurei, the protector of Gensokyo, simply smiled quitely to herself.
End Credits Theme: In the True Mind
Yukari was drifting over the Hakurei Shrine. From her position, she could see Reimu sweeping the shrine grounds as usual. The atmosphere was quiet, showing no hint of the ruckus that occurred just a while ago. Yukari looked down on that scene, fully satisfied. Beside her was another figure, looking at Yukari with a similarly-satisfied expression.[/i]
Suika: ......Heh heh.
Yukari: You've been staring at me for quite a while now. Do I have sake on my face?
Even if you did, I don't need it. I'm...I'm just glad that it all turned out well.
...Yes, and it's all thanks to your strength. Were you really okay with that unpleasant duty I gave you?
Ahaha, you were worried about that, Yukari? It's fine, fine! Oni used to be like that in the old days after all.
Hehe...Still, thank you.
Well...It's still a bit too much to expect her to change immediately. But it's definitely happening, however slow it is. You were watching then, right?
Oops, I was found out? I wanted to convey to her the importance of her friends and allies. The ones that would always stand beside her.
Back when youkai and humans got along much worse, the Hakurei had to be solitary and aloof. The blood grew thicker with each generation, weakening their hearts...But that era is no more. I started this entire game all to teach Reimu about the concept of friends and allies.
Hey, wait a sec...What about all that stuff about incidents?
That's inclusive of my original intent. If Reimu's heart remained as weak as it was, if a truly major incident occurred...She would surely make a mistake.
Well, I'm sure she has an idea of what the right thing would be now. I'd be really mad if she didn't, anyway.
Ahaha, indeed...Now, it's time for us to stop being busybodies and keeping an eye on her all the time. Let's just watch over her every so often now.
Right, I'll go over to the shrine for a drink then~. Call me if anything happens!
Suika waved goodbye and flew towards the Hakurei Shrine, leaving Yukari to take one last glance at Reimu. Yukari caught her just in time to see her raising her head to greet her guest.
Reimu: What, you're here again?
Marisa: Of course, it's like my daily routine. Am I interferin' with anything?
...Nah, you aren't. Take a seat and relax for a bit. I'll go make some tea.
As ya wish...You're bein' real weird, though. Did ya eat somethin' bad?
Weirdo...Hm, looks like we've got another guest.
Good grief, why does everyone always gather around here? ...Ah well, guess I'll go greet them!
BGM: Roll Back ~ From Now
...Gazing at the usual sky, feeling the usual wind, with her usual friends beside her...Friends as far as she could see, all of them looking towards the path to tomorrow...
"Their" journey had just begun.