— 2 —
Inside the accessory shop.
Having recalled an unpleasant memory, I grimaced.
The proposal event and the most horrible event that followed it, Demon Lord’s Blessing, were even now one of my traumas.
Even if a proposal succeeds, it did not equal marriage. That was the bad nature of this game, and what made Nekomimineko Nekomimineko.
Successfully propose before defeating the Demon Lord, and through the Demon Lord’s blessings, not just the character that you proposed to, but all of the characters that could potentially be married would be turned into inanimate statues.
Of course, there was no way to imagine that such a horrible event would happen when proposing, so the players that hadn’t received information about this in advance from the internet or other sources would undoubtedly fall into this trap, be surprised, despair, and then become furious.
The responses were such that some online forums had even set up dedicated threads to complain about this event.
It might have been understandable if this was the penalty for failing the proposal, but having something like this after succeeding? And to make it irreversible even by resetting, this was on a completely different dimension from being a bad joke.
As it is, I was also someone who had fallen for this. I generally tried to avoid looking at event information before clearing them, and so I was splendidly caught by this trap.
At the time, due to the extreme shock, I impulsively deleted my save data and ended up not touching Nekomimineko for three whole days. …Said another way, I had picked myself up by the fourth day and started the game once again from the very beginning.
Still, the shock had lingered, and turned into trauma. This was the reason that I had mostly played solo.
However, while this Demon Lord’s Blessing event had created a hell out of Nekomimineko players’ agonizing cries, within the eight Event Danger Ranks in the NekomininekoWiki, it was only classified as a C, as the third least dangerous rank.
When asked why, three reasons were given.
- It is still possible to complete the story as a solo player (after a certain patch).
- It is simple to avoid the event with prior knowledge.
- The resolution to the event is very straightforward, and there were no hidden strings attached.
Let’s explain these one by one.
To begin, with respect to the first point, the effect of this event was no more than merely being unable to use most of the helper characters.
Most of the characters in stores were normal NPCs unrelated to any events, in other words mob characters, so there was no problem with using the stores. In addition, story events were made to be completable (after a certain patch) even if many of the characters had been frozen by this event.
Since a practiced Nekomimineko player would probably be able to somehow clear the game solo, this event couldn’t be said to be game-breaking.
Well, to be perfectly precise, during version 1.00 triggering that marriage event in the early game causes the game to become unclearable and creates many other problems, so it was an event that was dangerous to trigger. However, there were many other events that caused even worse bugs to occur, so even at that time this event wasn’t much of a problem.
It might be hard to imagine, so as an example the ridiculously named dungeon Mino-tan’s Great Labyrinth was much worse than this in terms of pure risk.
As this dungeon’s name implies, it was a giant maze, and to help you, there was a special quest item that could be used to randomly change the maze, but until version 1.11 there was no way of refilling the number of times this item could be used.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately randomly changing the maze sometimes results in a situation where no paths to the exit exists. Together with the fact that there was a save point in the dungeon’s rest area meant that a tragedy was waiting to happen.
Thus, if when the number of available uses of the quest item drops to 0, and the maze is such that there was no route to the exit, and furthermore the player then saves, it becomes impossible to leave the maze, and the player becomes completely trapped.
At this point, the only choices left to the player are either to wander the maze for eternity searching for an exit that was impossible to reach, or to delete their save data and start over from the very beginning.
It was quite sad.
Since there was a bug that could make it impossible to clear the game, this quest, commonly referred to as Mino-tan’s House-Sitter Trap, was awarded a rank B before the patch.
With the patch, the ability to refill the number of uses of the quest item was added, so its current rank was a D.
Anyways, about the second reason, this Demon Lord’s Blessing event would not activate if the player doesn’t propose, so just by knowing about it beforehand this landmine could be completely avoided. This was like the Lizardman’s Trap, a type of trap called a First-Time Killer, which in other words means someone experienced could avoid it while whistling.
Compared to the dust tornado feared as The Sudden-Death Game That Blows Across The Desert that was almost unevadable and appears without warning while walking through the desert as part of a story quest that couldn’t be avoided in order to clear the game, this could be said to be much less dangerous.
Finally, the resolution to this event was simple and straightforward.
Purposely having the Demon Lord name himself, and even dropping a hint like “impossible to break by human hands”, it could be deduced that the way to break this “blessing” was to defeat the last boss, the Demon Lord Of The End.
In the midst of eviler and eviler quests from the mid game onwards, ones whose resolutions were so clear-cut were quite rare.
For example, the quest Mikhael’s Bluebird in the capital Lichter had great conditions of being bug-free, having no fighting, and having good rewards, but due to its overly twisted nature it had been specially designated as a C-rank.
This quest starts with Mikhael’s mother’s request to search for a bluebird with a strange power for the sake of the sick Mikhael, but the quest was not quite what it might seem.
As you bring back items that seem beneficial to Mikhael’s health from around the town, Mikhael slowly starts to get better, and eventually Mikhael presents you with a bluebird’s feather, saying that he picked it up in the garden.
At that point, you might think that the quest is progressing well and continue curing Mikhael’s sickness, but as a result of that finally Mikhael becomes healthy, and you fail the quest.
In order to clear this quest, you have to go around town and bring back items that seem like they would be bad for Mikhael’s health.
As you do so, Mikhael gradually becomes weaker, and after repeating this many times, finally you discover the corpse of a dead bluebird on Mikhael’s bed.
There, the shocking truth that Mikhael was actually “a bluebird that became the woman’s son for the sake of the woman who lost her son” is revealed.
Just FYI, after that,
“Since I promised, here’s the reward. But, don’t ever show yourself in front of me again. …If it was going to end up like this, I shouldn’t have given you that request to begin with.”
Mikhael’s mother says, and you clear the quest. I swear that whoever created this quest is definitely a demon or something.
Well, comparing with something like that, this Demon Lord’s Blessing event was really quite straightforward. Sure this event was a big obstacle in getting married, but defeating the Demon Lord turns everything back into the way it was, and if the marriage event was started after the Demon Lord was already defeated then the Demon Lord’s Blessing event wouldn’t even trigger.
The producer comment that there was free marriage and a harem could even be created was in fact not a lie.
But why was there a need to defeat the Demon Lord before being able to marry? Trying my best to put myself in the game producers’ shoes, they might’ve wanted to say something like this.
“If you have the time to marry someone then why don’t you go clear the game.”
To which, the players’ response would undoubtedly be.
“Then why don’t you just say it straight!”
At the very least, that’s what I wanted to say.
Well, who knows what the truth is. One well promoted hypothesis was that this event was created from the wrath of an unpopular Nekomimineko staff who couldn’t get married, but either way, in the end this event had become accepted by most of the Nekomimineko players.
I mean, the only people who would play this game so long after its release date would either be Nekomimineko players who had already been trained not to be surprised at something like this, or those who had heard that Nekomimineko was a horrible game and decided to play just because of that. In either case, there weren’t any people left who would complain about something of this level.
For example, if the current me had triggered this trap, I might think welp, here we go again, but I wouldn’t be so shocked as to stop playing.
“Well, whatever… I wonder if you can steal items from frozen characters.”
In such a way, I would probably adapt in a few seconds and continue on playing. Get used to Nekomimineko and anyone would react similarly.
Sometimes a first-time player triggers this event and starts ranting in online forums, but gets dispersed with comments like “Something like that’s the default for Nekomimineko” or “Well, that’s the kind of game this is lol”. It became just an everyday thing.
This was a long explanation, but to sum it up in a sentence it would be something like this.
“The other events are also all kinds of bad, so people ended up not caring so much.”
It was really the worst reason.
That said, the Demon Lord’s Blessing event was cruel, and of the bug-free events it presented the player with extraordinarily large problems, and it caused much greater mental shock than other events.
However, even knowing that, there was quite a number of people who would purposely propose before defeating the Demon Lord and trigger this Demon Lord’s Blessing.
Of this event that was viewed as all negatives, there actually existed a rare skill that couldn’t be obtained except by triggering this event.
The special skill that is obtained when your most loved receives the Demon Lord’s Blessing, called the Embodiment of Fury.
With a name that seemed representative of the furious player himself that had triggered this event, this rare skill held a power that was considered balance breaking even within this Nekomimineko.
The Embodiment of Fury was a solo only skill, where on top of being able to be used only once in 24 hours, it could not be used if there were friendlies nearby, in other words NPCs that were not enemies. However, in exchange for that, its effect was very extreme.
For 30 seconds after its activation, the player’s base status values are all increased by 200%, but for the 30 seconds following that the player’s base status values are all lowered to a hundredth. It was a skill that was in many ways extremely broken.
Since the target of the skill were base status values, bonuses from weapons or masteries weren’t affected, but even then it was a more than potent ability. Magic that affected base status values were rare, and even top class magic could only increase the target’s strength by 50% at the very most, so the effects of this skill could be said to be on a different level.
If I could learn this skill, then it would probably be of great help to surviving in this world. But, that didn’t mean…
“U-um, sorry. Did I make you remember something that you didn’t want to remember?”
that I would consider even for a second of turning a girl like Train Girl, with her head lowered in front of me, looking like she was about to cry, into an inanimate statue.
“Ahh, sorry. It’s not something that you need to worry about, Train Girl. It’s just…”
I had said that the Demon Lord’s Blessing event was still to this day a trauma for me, but what pulled on my heart was not the event itself, but rather the fact that I had erased the data afterwards.
I’ve thought many times that I shouldn’t have deleted the data there, and should have defeated the Demon Lord by myself, returning my companions, returning Tieru, back to normal.
Of course, I understood that NPCs were not actually alive, and that they did not actually have feelings.
However, even if their existence were fake, my feelings of wanting to have saved them were real.
I did not want to have such regrets ever again.
“I’ve decided that I definitely won’t marry anyone.”