As the party made their way to the shop, Jacob decided to tell his story. "Are you sure you want to hear this? Believe me; what I'm going to tell you is pretty big."
"Jacob, in this day alone, I have been informed that our goddess- who has been thought to be missing as she was the only one who didn't come down from Celestia- was standing right in front of me and is slightly smarter than a baby, you are on a massive quest to save Histoire from Arfoire and I saw Neptune transform into
something right before my very eyes. Believe me when I say I can take it," responded IF.
Jacob sighed. "Okay
here goes." He took a deep breath. "I am not from Gamindustri."
While Neptune didn't react at all and IF's eyebrow just rose up, Compa's head snapped towards him. "What? Then where are you from?"
Jacob wiped his forehead. "Well
I'll tell you a story. One winter night, my family was out watching a game of football. In retrospect, that was kind of unusual but, anyway, I was home alone. I decided to play a videogame. It was called "Hyperdimension Neptunia". In it, you play as a girl named Neptune," Neptune perked up at this, "who is the goddess of Planeptune, also known as Purple Heart. She must find Histoire, a tome which holds the answer to the world or something, and stop the onslaught of monsters."
"B-but that's a word to word description of
what's going on
" Compa's eyes reflected how she just realised what was going on. "
Are you saying that this is a
Jacob nodded. "Yup. All of it."
" IF was clearly surprised by this. "I mean, we say that people game over and the combat rules are like a JRPG but
I never thought that we were actually a video game. I had my suspicions and a lot of people, including me, often joked that this whole world functioned like a really bad video game but
wow." Then her eyes widened. "Hey! If this is a video game, then how did you get in here?"
"I put the game into my PS3 and
it blew up. Apparently the disc did something. Anyway, next I hear this loud screaming from above my house and then this pink blur smashes through my roof and second story floor and embeds itself in the floor on the first level of my house. As you can probably guess, that blur was Neptune." Jacob sighed, remembering his beloved gaming console that was forever beyond fixing.
"There's a link between Gamindustri and your world?" Compa asked.
"Apparently but I have yet to make sense of it. Neptune fell from the sky, so she evidently went from Celestia to my world. What confuses me is that we both got to Gamindustri by going through a sewer."
Neptune was confused. "But Compa said that I fell into the ground of Planeptune."
"Which means that you go down from Gamindustri to get to Jacob's world. To get back, you go down again," IF pointed out.
The entire cast was silent for a bit.
"Anyway," began IF in order to stop everyone from having a headache, "you must come from a very advanced world to be able to create fictional worlds and gateways to them."
"No I don't," responded Jacob. "The year was 2011 when I got here. We don't have technology on the scale of Planeptune or even Lastation. Whatever got me here, it wasn't from my world."
that is very odd," IF said. "In any event, this is very unusual and I'm tempted to think you're just some nutjob but... I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Not to mention it's kind of consistent with you; you look nothing like a Gamindustri resident and I've never seen a male that wasn't a silhouette."
"Wait; what?" Jacob was caught off-guard by that last part.
"Oh, you probably don't know. Well
a lot of people in Gamindustri are just black silhouettes. I don't know why but, seeing as we're the only ones with an actual appearance, it probably has something to do with being relevant to the plot," IF elaborated.
"I guess advertising that you were too lazy to give NPCs individual models wouldn't be good for sales." Jacob's joke made Neptune chuckle and IF smile but Compa was still quiet.
?" the apprentice nurse asked timidly. "Is that all true? That this is just a video game? That I'm nothing more than a video game character?"
Jacob sighed; he knew where this was going. "Compa, you're a breathing and thinking living being, a bunch of ones and zeroes or not. It doesn't matter."
"But-but do I have any choice in my life? I-I mean, I've played some games and-and the characters do some things that I wouldn't do
am I going to end up like that? Are my choices really my own?" Compa's eyes began to fill up with tears. "Did I
ever really d-do
Neptune walked up to Compa and placed her hands on Compa's shoulders. "Compa, look me right in the eyes." Compa acknowledged the request. "What did you do this morning?"
I treated your wounds and Jacob's-"
"Okay then, never mind this morning. What do you do most other mornings?"
" Compa sniffed. "I
make myself some toast and coffee
get my books and stuff for school
go to school and
do my work. Then I get home
play some games
maybe talk with Grandpa on the phone
then I go to bed." Compa swallowed. "On weekends, I like to go shopping for
well, anything. I like video games and I also like my GG manga." She began to smile. "I can't wait until-"
"Okay," responded Neptune. "Now, would you still do all that if you knew life was a video game?"
"Huh?" Compa was thrown off-guard by that question. "Well
"Compa, why do you read GG? It's because you like it, right?"
"So, video game life or no, you like reading GG."
Compa slowly nodded.
"And eating toast? School? Talking to your Grandpa? You enjoy all those things too, right?"
Compa nodded a bit less slowly.
Neptune smiled and took her hands off of Compa's shoulders and put them on her hips. "Then it doesn't matter if this is all a video game or not. You keep doing things that you enjoy. So what if it isn't real? It wouldn't make a difference if it was."
Compa contemplated all of this, nodding very slowly. "Thank you, Nep-Nep
" she responded as she wiped the tears from her eyes. "That makes me feel a bit better."
IF and Jacob looked at Neptune with disbelief. "Well," IF said, "let's get moving. We still need to get Jacob a weapon."
"Oh!" Compa walked ahead rather quickly with IF. "You're right, let's go."
Neptune walked up to Jacob's side. "Ooh, this gonna be exciting, isn't it? Your first weapon
what will it be? A sword? Maybe a shield? Maybe-"
"Neptune." Jacob cut off his companion. "When did you learn to say stuff like that?"
Neptune blinked. "You taught me in the tram."
Jacob's mind flashed back to after the tutorial dungeon. "Oh
well, thanks for taking my advice to heart."
"It was nothin'!" Neptune smiled. "Come on; let's go get your weapon!" Neptune grabbed the sleeve of Jacob's jacket and pulled him as she ran. However, Jacob ripped his sleeve free and he calmly walked while Neptune pouted.
After a bit of walking, the quartet finally arrived at a really tall building that had a sign above its doorway simply saying "Shop".
"Not very catchy," Jacob commented. "I presume this is the only place on the entire landmass to buy weapons and stuff?"
"Well, there are smaller stores for more specialised things but no one remembers the names of them," answered Compa.
"I figured as much. Now, inside we go." Jacob opened the doors so that the group could go inside and found that
well, the store was really big. There were isles upon isles of weapons that stretched across the entire floor. The walls were blue and the floor was yellow-ish and there was a counter on the far left of the room. It looked a lot like the kind of mega mall that you'd see in a children's sci-fi anime.
The party entered the store. "Okay, Jacob, you can browse and see if there's anything you'd like," said IF.
"I wanna browse too! Everything looks so cool!" Neptune was hopping up and down like a child at a candy store except she was less excited about eating what she wanted to buy and more about using what she wanted to buy to murder truckloads of monsters.
"Eh, fine then."
"Yay!" Neptune took off towards the right.
"See ya later." Jacob went off in the isle straight ahead.
"Wanna go look for something?" IF asked Compa.
"No, I'll be fine with you."
"Then let's look around for a bit." IF and Compa went to the left.
" Jacob could feel his excitement exiting his body and catching the nearest bus to a more exciting shop. "Swords
syringes? Why would a regular shop have syringes? Wouldn't that be exclusive equipment for nurses? Ugh, whatever. Why does this shop have so much of the same stuff? And where are the guns? You'd think the most futuristic city would have some decent firearms here. Are revolvers really too advanced for this city and are therefore reserved for the goddess? This makes no sense." Jacob's talking was temporarily halted when he came across a glass display at the end of the isle. When he looked at it, he was... well, he said "What the hell
While the item inside didn't look the part, it did have a "Jetpack!" label at the top of it. The item itself seemed to be some sort of backpack-esque instrument but it had a propeller in the back of it rather than on the back of it, making the propeller resemble more of a generator than an actual propulsion device. While the propeller was a dull grey, the rest of the "jetpack" was pitch-black with purple line markings, like Neptune's HDD mode. It was rather simplistic in design, yet it seemed like it could fly anyway.
Just then, Neptune came around the corner. "Hey Jacob! Look what I found: a sword! With an actual cutting edge! Now I can turn my enemies into swiss cheese and sprinkle them all over the puddings of their doom!"
"That's nice," responded Jacob without turning to look at her.
Neptune caught on to his inattentiveness quite easily. "
whatcha lookin' at?" She didn't wait for an answer as she looked at what held Jacob's gaze; the jetpack within the glass display. "A jetpack? You want that?"
"If it actually works, then hell's yes I do," Jacob answered with enthusiasm evident in his voice as he turned to face Neptune. "Seriously, given three wishes, I would ask for world peace, all the spent resources in the world to be restored and doubled and the ability to fly without using a plane or a helicopter or equivalent."
Neptune blinked. "Why do you wanna fly?"
"Because flying is awesome! There's tonnes of freedom, it's faster and more fun than walking and I can go wherever I want without being impeded by the masses below. Simply, I want to fly because it's awesome to."
Neptune crossed her arms to show that she was thinking. "I dunno. It sounds like cheating to me."
"You transform into a flying butterfly girl in order to fight monsters with more power than an adventurer should have at your "level". Forgive me for not taking you seriously."
"But I float, not fly! Therefore, I'm not cheating!"
"Not that it matters because we "cheat" anyway by breaking the RPG rules. In any event, there are lives at stake and I consider them to be of slightly more value than sportsmanship. Anyway, I want to buy this. Did you find anything?"
"Indeedy-do!" Neptune showed Jacob the sword. "Look! An actual katana! With this, I can kill enemies much more easily!"
"Fantastic. Let's go to the counter."
but the jetpack's still in the glass box."
"I'm guessing I need to ask the store attendant to unlock the display to get it once I buy it. Come on, let's go."
"Tell me about Jacob," IF requested of Compa as she browsed the wrist accessories.
"Eh?" Compa wasn't expecting for IF to say such a thing. "Well
he's tall and he
cooks pancakes well and-"
"I meant in regards to fighting. I want to see what kind of weapon would suit him. Hey, here's a bargain bin." IF reached inside the wooden barrel with a "Bargain Bin" label on it. "Not the Spreader; who would want an assault rifle that's useless in three dimensions? Anyway, Compa, how well does Jacob fight?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. Well
he's a pacifist."
"Oh yeah, you said something like that. I thought a pacifist didn't approve of violence?"
"He's okay with that; just not killing. Except for when he tried to kick a Dogoo. He couldn't bring himself to do it."
okay then." IF went back to exploring the barrel. "Now, he can at least use a revolver but that doesn't cover melee because he doesn't have any martial arts experience. That means we need a close-range weapon for him and I don't mean something like this chainsaw." She dropped the item back into the barrel. "Know what his weapon of choice is?"
"I don't think he has one."
IF turned back to Compa. "
"Well, after we completed the tutorial dungeon, he told Neptune and me that he really should go home because he doesn't know how to fight and this place is very dangerous to him. I don't think he's fought a single battle in his life."
IF looked at Compa with disbelief as she supported herself with one hand on the edge of the barrel and the other on her forehead. "So, if I have this right, Jacob has no martial arts experience or experience with weapons period, doesn't approve of killing things and can't even hurt a Dogoo?
Compa meekly nodded.
" IF ran her hands through her hair. "Well
let's see." She looked in the bargain bin again. "You know what? I think a Spreader suits him just fine."
"You sure?" asked Compa. "We could always get him a shield-sword or something."
"It'll take him too long to use it well. Assault rifles don't need a lot of training and the spread means he might hit something. Anyway, it's only 350 credits and we have about 800. We can afford it."
"Okay then. Let's buy it."
Neptune and Jacob arrived at the counter at the same time as IF and Compa. "Oh, hey," said IF. "Found something?"
"Yeah, just waiting for the store attendant," answered Jacob just as a silhouette of a young woman came out of the door behind the bench. Oh God, she is a silhouette was coursing through Jacob's mind as soon as he glimpsed her.
"Hello, can I help you?" said the attendant while resting her elbow on the counter and her face on her hand.
"Uh, hi," responded Jacob. "I just wanted to make an inquiry about the price of that jetpack you have in the back." He pointed towards it with his index finger.
well, Jacob at least thought she raised an eyebrow. It was hard to tell. "You really want that thing?"
"Yes. Why does everyone keep asking that?"
"Well, it's just that no one seems to want a jetpack unless it has wings or massive thrusters. Still, if you want it, be my guest. It's about 670,000 credits."
IF and Compa's eyes bulged out. Jacob's didn't. "That sounds like a lot
" he mentioned.
"We only have 880," IF informed.
Jacob mouthed an "oh" before looking depressed. "Aww
I really wanted that jetpack."
"Hey, if you can't pay for it, you don't get it," the attendant said. "Now, are you buying something or not?"
IF placed the Spreader on the bench. "We'll be taking this. Jacob," IF turned to him, "this'll be your weapon. Rapid fire and it fires five energy balls at a time in different-"
"I know how it works," Jacob interrupted.
"Well, do you want it or not."
It'll do." Even a child could tell that Jacob was disappointed.
Suddenly, Neptune had an idea. With absolutely no prior warning, she transformed into Purple Heart much to the shock of those around her.
"Neptune, what the hell?" Jacob commented.
"Y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y..." The attendant stammered.
"Sorry for being so sudden but this was important; I had no other way of proving to you that I am Purple Heart, the goddess of Planeptune," Purple Heart spoke to the attendant.
Lady Purple Heart?" It was amazing that the attendant hadn't fainted yet.
"My friends here are to join me on my travels to the other landmasses to get several items that may save the world from the monster infestation. However, we are in need of better equipment and you seem to have some good items. May we borrow them for an unspecified amount of time?"
"Neptune, are you seriously abusing your power for freebies?" IF asked, incredulous.
"We're about to go to many monster-infested dungeons and fight very powerful adversaries," Purple Heart reasoned. "We should arm ourselves appropriately, don't you think?"
"Yeah, but you're abusing your power for freebies. That's not exactly befitting of a goddess."
"It-it's okay!" The attendant waved her hands in front of her as if to make the issue go away. "I don't mind! Really! If it's for Lady Purple Heart, then sure! Take it!"
"Really?" Jacob perked up.
"Absolutely! I mean, if she says it's important then it must be important!" The attendant pressed a few buttons on the computer on the bench. The party looked back at the glass display and saw it opening up. "Oh!" The attendant suddenly spoke up. "I also have something for you in the back, Lady Purple Heart. It was made especially for you." She then retreated to the back of the store, leaving the confused party behind.
"That was odd," IF commented.
"Not to mention she's irresponsible to leave a 670,000 credit item open for anyone to steal. I'll get it now." Jacob walked over to the jetpack to retrieve it. During his absence, the attendant came back with a briefcase adorned with many amethysts and painted black. After opening the four combination locks on the front of the briefcase, she finally opened it to reveal
a pair of white metal gloves. Well, technically, they were gauntlets but they were still very underwhelming. While the back of the hands and forearms and sides of the forearms were made out of a metal for protection, the undersides of the hands and forearms were made from a synthetic material designed to allow flexibility. On the palms were symbols of a large circle surrounded by a ring. Smaller symbols were on the fingertips and were joined to the palm symbol by a line running down the bottom of the fingers. All of these symbols and lines were made out of a different sort of material. The back of the hand part of the gloves had the same symbol but the circle was an indentation with a blue orb in them. There were three long blocks protruding like black spines running along the lengths of the backs of the forearms of both gloves and there was an extension on each forearm that covered the elbows.
"What are these?" asked Purple Heart just as Jacob came back with his jetpack.
"These are special inventions made by ZECA, the leading corporation on this landmass. They were made to simulate the magic of Lowee to a degree and, as an added bonus, increase the arm strength of whoever is wearing them."
"Can I take a look at it?" At the attendant's nod, Jacob picked up the right glove and inspected it. "What can they do?"
"Right now, they just fire rays of energy that eat away at the opponent- you know like, how in anime, energy beams just shred the target to pieces rather than push them away?- or fire balls of physical force that push enemies."
IF raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean "right now"? Is this a test model?"
"Nope." Jacob thought that the attendant wore a smile. "These gauntlets are part of ZECA's efforts to replace the whole system of buying new weapons to replace old ones. You can upgrade these gauntlets with modules and new software. That way, you don't have to replace them ever again! You have to agree that not having to spend so much money on weapons is pretty neat, right?"
"Yeah, it is." Jacob placed the glove back in the briefcase. "Sticking with the same weapons and just upgrading them is a hell of a lot better than getting and selling obsolete gear after every mission."
"I agree; the old business model is a bit outdated," commented IF. "I'll be curious to see where this goes."
"I'm glad you agree!" The attendant gave the briefcase to Purple Heart. "As you are our goddess, Lady Purple Heart, I was asked to give the items to you when you visited this store."
"What on Earth made ZECA
think that Purple Heart would actually come here?" inquired Jacob.
"I dunno myself." The attendant shrugged. "Me and a lot of other people said that it would be smarter to drop the thing off at the Basilicom since Purple Heart would be there if she ever came down. Guess I was wrong."
"I see," answered IF. "Well, thanks for the gloves and the jetpack. We'll be going now."
"If I may
" Purple Heart transformed back into Neptune and held her- I mean, the shop's sword up to the counter, "Can I have this too, pretty please?"
"Neptune, you already have a sword. Where are you going to keep this one?" Jacob knew that Neptune had her own hammerspace but he was learning that pointing out inconsistencies with physics and logic in this world managed to make them unravel, so he decided to see how they wormed their way out of the luggage problem.
"She can just store it in her disc, Jake," Compa replied.
Jacob looked at her, perplexed. "What do you mean?"
Compa reached for the disc holder that was hanging from the left of her belt and pulled out her syringe. "Bags aren't really necessary here because we have discs that can hold many objects in a small space. We used to call them "pockidiscs" before someone said that sounded stupid and now we just call them discs."
that's amazing." Jacob didn't move at all.
"Wait; you've never seen a disc before?" The attendant asked.
"It's a long story," said IF. "It's best to just let it go."
"But does Neptune even have a disc?" Jacob asked. "I don't think I've ever seen her with one."
"Not to worry!" Neptune put the sword behind her back and it disappeared. "I have a hammerspace! I don't need a disc!"
" The attendant stroked her chin. "That must be part of being a goddess."
"Can I get a disc, please?" Jacob asked.
"Certainly! Here you go!" The attendant reached under the counter and pulled out a disc alongside a CD carry case with a handle. "I'll even throw this in as well, just so you can carry it more safely."
"Whoa, thanks." Jacob took the disc and put it in the first cover of the case. "So how do I put the jetpack in there?"
"Let me help, Jake." Compa took the jetpack. "So you just move this over like this
" She moved the jetpack over the disc case and it disappeared in the same way that Neptune put away her sword, "
and that's how you do it. Does that make sense?"
not really but I'm willing to go with it. Is there anything else we need?"
"Well, you do need the instruction manual for the jetpack, which I have here," the attendant handed it over the counter, "but aside from that, I wouldn't know."
"Don't worry, we're good," said IF. "Let's go, guys."
"Thanks, ma'am," said Jacob.
"You're welcome. Oh, and happy adventuring," the attendant responded before the group walked out. "Wouldn't you know it; the goddess herself! This day couldn't get any better."
"Thanks for that, Neptune," said Jacob as he placed the instruction manual into his disc. "I didn't think you'd actually do that. Not that I necessarily approve but I am thankful for the jetpack."
"Crap!" spontaneously shouted IF, causing Jacob, Neptune and Compa to look back.
"What's wrong, Iffy?" asked Neptune.
"I forgot to get the Spreader! Now we don't have a weapon for Jacob!"
Jacob didn't speak for a bit. "Hey, Neptune?"
"Hm? What's up, Jacob?"
"Could I use those gloves as my weapon, please? I mean, you have your revolver and your sword; I just think I could really use those."
Neptune pondered this for a moment. "Well
I'm not gonna use them, so sure, here you go." She gave the briefcase to Jacob who clearly wasn't expecting it to be as heavy as he thought.
you..." Jacob struggled to put it into the disc but he managed. "Why didn't they just put the gloves in a disc and just give that away rather than give us a suitcase that looks much more expensive to make?"
"I imagine it's for presentation," IF replied. "Functionality isn't that important as long as the thing that's meant to work looks really cool. That's why jetpacks mostly have big thrusters or wings."
"That's depressing," said Jacob.
"I still think it's kind of unfair that you get all the cool toys, though." Neptune put her hands on her hips. "I know you're a secret DLC character and everything-"
"No I'm not."
"- but that doesn't mean you should get the best items."
"Neptune, as far as right now, all of us have a weapon and a gadget for miscellaneous purposes. You have a sword and a hammer for crushing things. Compa has a syringe gun and a bell for summoning monsters, although I have yet to figure out what practical use that is. IF has her daggers and a bangle for finding invisible treasure chests. I have energy firing gloves and a jetpack for getting to out-of-reach places. I think this is perfectly fair."
Compa spoke up. "Jake, I think the problem isn't that you're breaking a rule but rather that you have the cooler items."
"Well, as I have little to no combat experience, I still think this is perfectly fair."
"Nep, just drop it," said IF. "Anyway, now Jacob has his weapons and a jetpack. What's going to happen now?"
"Well, we need to hurry up to the next landmass so we can get the Key Fragment to free Histy!" Neptune declared.
IF crossed her arms. "The different fragments are guarded by monsters, so the source is really whoever ordered the fragments to be guarded. That Histoire character must have something to do with it, too. Saving the world, hm? It could be a big fib."
Jacob shook his head. "I doubt it; I don't think this game is sophisticated enough to pull a twist like that."
"Maybe but you can't be too careful. If this is all true, however, then leaving it you three will probably spell doom for all humanity. I'd be fine with Jacob because he's sensible but he doesn't know how to fight and he doesn't know his way around, unless I'm mistaken
do you know your way around Gamindustri?"
IF sighed. "No choice, then. I'll join you. You're travelling, right? Then you'll need someone who's been to a lot of different lands."
"Yay!" cheered Neptune. "Iffy's joining us with her own consent this time!"
"I think you mean by my own volition. Anyway, about those fragments
if they're guarded by monsters, it might be pretty easy to find them after all."
"Why would you think that?" asked Jacob. "I mean, I've only been here for almost two days but I can already tell that there's a lot of dungeons here, all filled with monsters. How on Earth does that make it pretty easy to find the fragments?"
"Ah!" Neptune exclaimed as she held up a finger. "But Histy said that the fragments were guarded by strong monsters!"
"Neptune, we got the first fragment in a tutorial dungeon."
Compa stepped forward. "Um
maybe Histy meant strong as in relative to us?"
"Definitely not," responded Jacob. "By that logic, we'd get the next fragment in the very first dungeon we go to for each landmass and I don't think there's a single game in existence that could screw up narrative pacing on such a basic level."
"This only makes me think that Histoire really is pulling our chains," said IF.
"Or maybe the writers weren't paying attention."
"We don't have time for this!" Neptune shouted. "The world's in danger and we need to hurry up and get the fragments!"
"I agree; it's not like sitting around and arguing over Histoire's intentions is going to fix this monster crisis," said Jacob. "IF, how do we get to the next landmass?"
"We'll need to get a permit from the Basilicom to access the Sky Harbor. I'll take you there."
"Hey, speaking of
what's a Basilicom again?" Neptune asked.
IF turned to look at Neptune with disbelief. "How do you not- oh, right, amnesia. Forgot."
"I'll explain, Miss IF." Compa turned to Neptune. "Basilicoms are holy organisations run by those who serve the goddesses. There are two parts to a Basilicom: the Sanctuary, where the goddesses are cared for, and the Parliament, for political activites."
Neptune still looked confused. "Whoa, stop. Why not let the people at the Basilicom explain it? We're heading there anyway," IF put in her two cents.
"Ah, okay. We'll continue this when we reach the Basilicom. Okay, Nep-Nep?"
"Alrighty then. Let's go!"
And so the party ventured forward to get to the Basilicom.
"Uh, for clarification, the Basilicom isn't at the end of some dungeon, is it?" Jacob asked.
"What? No, it's only on one of the surrounding islands of Planeptune. Easy sailing," responded IF.
"Thank God. Let's go."
And so the party ventured forward to get to the Basilicom without Jacob butting in with some annoying question.
yeah i had a feeling how come the male characters are shilouette did you hear any sonic reference like "don't blame me if i collect rings floating by the ground.' neptune stated or what compa said 'you will fall in some spikes and game over' and so much more. sonic shilouette too