Or we could just call it Monmusu Quest: Paradox goes all Silent Hill. This is my playthrough of that hentai game, by the way. You can find the first part back here.
Tartarus II is the big pit in the south of this section.
There are no academics or any kind of organised excavation taking place here as mere normal humans can't get to this part of Ilias continent. There's just us as we descend the rope ladder (best not to ask how that got here) into the darkness.
Tartarus II. Silent Hill, JRPG-style. To be honest, I don't think Silent Hill's moodiness and atmosphere can be emulated with JRPG graphics. TTR make a good fist of it. Notice the metal grates on the floor and how they're fallen away in some sections.
Uh oh. Does that mean we're about to be attacked by Silent Hill-themed monster girls? The first Tartarus was freaky enough.
And Tartarus II doesn't want to be left out in the freak stakes.
I believe this might be the first Delphinus sighting of Paradox. Delphinus is the artist infamous for MGQ's more bizarre creations, including the plansect region (dubbed the Forest of Nope by some fans) and the warped angel designs of chapter three.
His monster girl is the machine girl with the purple shit oozing from her lips. If she gets hold of Luka she 'executes' him by placing him inside her lower half and milking enough semen out of him to fill a big tank underneath her.
And that's fairly mild in comparison to the abomination standing next to her. Is that a monster girl or a monster eating a girl?
The fact the plant-made-out-of-flesh is called Eater is ominous enough. Her temptation attack is to send out a big tongue and lick Luka's cock until he comes.
Human being looks tasty – also ominous.
I really wouldn't get too close, Luka.
Okay, let's never lose to Eater again.
We will now resume the grisly horror game Monmusu Quest: Paradox.
Even more horrible is I forgot to use the pocket castle inn before descending into Tartarus and I respawn miles away in the forest next to the harpy tower. Fortunately Luka has learnt the Merchant skill Wagon and I can use that to teleport back to the ruined village rather than battling back through the tunnels (or I could have used a Harpy Wing).
The third monster girl isn't quite as terrifying.
I think she belongs to the Beast race as Barnny's Beast Killer attack is quite effective against her, as is Remi's Imp Titjob pleasure attack.
Something has clearly gone wrong in this part of Tartarus. Spliced into the research lab surroundings are other bits of terrain – a wood, part of a cavern. Someone was playing with toys they shouldn't have.
Through the door and it's back to that town with the purple shit all over it. Is it Remina again? I don't know. A figure with glasses ducks into the house opposite.
Yep, it's Promestein or rather alt!Promestein. This is a younger version, before she became one of Ilias's chief henchwomen and one of the main antagonists of the original series. She tells them she's a low-ranking angel working in a library position. In keeping with her mad scientist persona, she's investigating the weird time and dimensional distortions associated with Tartarus. She doesn't think her previous work could have caused this as those were small scale experiments.
I'm curious how this scene would play out with Ilias given she already knows who Promestein is and what she'll become.
Young Promestein is still a bit mad. When she finds out about Luka's ability to open the doors at the bottom of Tartarus she asks if he can dissect his frontal lobe to work out why.
Luka declines for some reason.
You can recruit Promestein here. She joins the party as an excuse to investigate Luka further.
The word apoptosis crops up again (it was ominous graffiti on the wall in Remina) in Promestein's notes. In biology terminology that means programmed cell death. Given that we're dealing with parallel universes here I wonder if that means someone is going around destroying certain timelines/universes to protect reality overall.
Then it's across another Hades bridge and back to the entrance of the Tartarus pit.
Only now the pit is surrounded by forest. It looks like we're back in the past.
Walking north reveals the village is back to its previously prosperous state (this is the only possible way to go – the tunnels are blocked with fallen rubble).
When they enter everyone in the village mistakes Luka for his dad, Marcellus. It gets really spooky when they talk to the village chief and he hands them a letter addressed specifically to Luka. Spooky because they're about 25 years in the past and Luka hasn't even been born yet.
The letter is from Marcellus. But – as Alice points out – which one? This reality's Marcellus wouldn't even know he was going to have a son called Luka at this point. The letter must have been left by the Marcellus from their reality, able to travel between parallel worlds in the same way his son can.
This is starting to feel like Primer. I think I strained something in my brain watching that film.
The letter also reveals the next location. We're to look for Micaela, who's hiding out in the red light district of Enrika – the elf village in the big forest to the west of Iliasville. (Elves? Red light district? Oh right. Elves are supposed to be giant pervs in the MGQ-verse)
Time to get some payback on those damn fairies that beat me up the first time I left the first village.
Before then there's another job that can be unlocked here. The legendary cook Alfonso is alive and well in this reality. He whips up a salad Alice finds delicious and tells the party his one regret was not finding a suitable student. He buried all his knowledge under the tree outside.
I didn't find a specific trigger to move back into the main timeline. I think at this point the game just assumes you know to use a Harpy Wing to teleport back. Back at the ruined village the certificate for unlocking the Cook job can be found in front of the dead tree outside the ruins of the cook's house.
That's all for today. Come back tomorrow when we find out just how pervy the elves of Ilias continent are.