This vending machine...
Apparently, you can get the passwords for getting the weapon if you buy it from various japanese sites. Basically like those store exclusive pre-order for AAA games.
But thanks to the internet, we can just search the passwords online.
Here are the lists: (Thanks to Serela)
68997264 : Melon Sword (Exp earned UP)
16394122 : Gamer Japanese Fan (Item drop rate up)
28896765 : Animate Pen (Ignores defense(small))
75024087 : White Lance (Power earned UP)
71228829 : Akiba Cherry Blossom (HP Drain 10%, MP Drain 1%)
98530865 : Messe Dagger (HP&MP+10%)
28614360 : Tiger Axe (Ability to use 主砲, Main Cannon)
30723811 : D-Staff (one-handed staff, so you can use a shield)
As you can see, all of its effects were awesome. But the thing is... they have the power of tier 1 weapon. After a couple of stages, their offensive strength will be outclassed by generic weapon you find on the field. I didn't get Animate Pen, Tiger Axe, and D-Staff because their abilies are mediocre at best.
BGM: Magic Forest
Welcome to the third stage, Forest of Magic.
That is a lie, you insert new allies WITH Party command.
Anyway, the enemies here are represented by a walking mushroom? Hmm.... Mushroom youkai? Is that exist?
BGM: Battle 1
Enemies overview: Vampire Thorn have average HP, resists stab and thunder, and weak to slash and fire. They can sort of drain your HP by 25. Sakuya's sword will uproot them in single hit.
Each stages also has minimum level. If your character is below that level, they will receive greater amount of EXP, useful for grinding new character.
The fairies are back. This time with 100+ HP and attacks in the range of 20-30 (from the weakest sword user to axe). They have the same skills and weakness. Moving on.
Death Flutter, they has decent EVA and resistance to earth. Their skills allow them to act first and may cause Daze (cancel your action for that turn). Nitori's gun and thunder will one-shot them.
Next, we have Kedamas and Ochre Jelly. The Kedamas are the weakest enemy here and can be ignored. Ochre Jelly greatly resists physicals, but dies to fire and water.
Next we have our second Foreign God, Infant Demon. They have 200+ HP, resist dark and weak to light. be careful of their dark skill, they can hit for 30+ damage.
This pantless Foreign God is Apostle, 200+ HP, weak to dark and resists light. Do be careful of their multi target light magic (and single target magic), they deals 30 damage.
I hate these two opponents! The Land Turtle have high HP, resist fire, slash, and stab, but weak to water. It's not like they're tough, they're annoying because they can cover their allies,.redirecting all your damage to it. Matango has the highest HP out of every enemy here, it's weak to fire and earth and resists thunder. It's annoying because it will counter your attack with column targeting sleep spell, so bust out Sanae's buff. It hits maybe for 30 damage.
The third annoying enemy, Pu here, despite its low HP and weakness to thunder, it is immune to light and dark. Their 20 damage attack is not why they are annoying, it's because they have multi target paraylze spell that has decent chance to hit.
Dammit! I almost got myself wiped out there.
Last we have Yuki Onna and Mr. Gensokyo. Yuki Onna may be weak to light and fire (while immune to water), but she has pretty nasty multi target water spell that hits for 30 damage. Fire kills her instantly. Mr Gensokyo here has weakness to thunder and stab, resistance to earth and blunt object, and also pretty high EVA. It's attack are so-so, but it has multi target poison attack that will kill you in 2 turn should its poison connects.
Another 2 items in a row. I'm on a roll! All in all, I've got: 3 Irons, 2 Bamboos, Rock, Steel, Clouded Mountain Amulet (From Land Turtle), Shower Amulet (From Yuki Onna), Skill Ring I (From Mr. Gensokyo), and these two from the enemies.
So, let's get back to the forest. The gimmick of this place is Alice has set up a barrier. You open it by collecting dolls.
There are 5 more to collect, have fun! Don't worry, the gimmicks will be harder and harder.
Invisible path...! Marked by having lighter colors on the trees!
We also will occasionally gets 1 copy of character specific item.
Let me make Sakuya's tier 1 sword. Now I can murder Land Turtle in 1 hit.
It should be noted that the stronger the weapons are, the less ACC it will have. You may not need too much ACC right now, but much later on, this will be devastating to me.
Here's Marisa's house, located in the middle of invisible path. There's absolutely nothing here, no treasure, no enemies, no entering the house, and even no books like back in the prologue. I think the dev only make this because they want a set-piece for Marisa in the prologue.
Another obstacle, tall grass. You walk up to them to get rid of them, cutting it requires 3/4 seconds to do, which gives the enemies enough time to catch you. There will be a stage gimmick involving this grass.
Another upgrade for Reimu's sword... which also reduces ACC.
Last, we will gain accesories that have a hollow star resistance against one status.
Elemental Shields will always block the element it's supposed to block at the costs of letting through all other elementals and inability to block physical attack.
So, we enter the deeper part of the forest. This will be the place where you meet Mr. Gensokyo, Yuki Onna, and those Foreign Gods.
Second and Third doll found.
Oh hey there, mate. Almost didn't see you for a moment.
So, two map later and we arrived at the save room.
As usual, save, heal, manage equipment and growth.
Anyway, since I still don't level up anyone besides these 6, I'll be fighting Alice with these teams.
It's still a normal day in Alice's house... but this will change soon.
: (A mist that doesn't go away, all the fallen youkai... It's clear that this incident is one that specifically targets youkai. The issue here is the nature of the mist, but...)
Hey, another person interested in solving this incident.
Hello there Shanghai, ready to serve your master?
: I'M BACK, MASTER.
Geez, don't talk in all caps like that.
: Ah, welcome back. So, how did it go?
: FINE. THE INVESTIGATION WENT OFF WITHOUT'TA HITCH
: I see. Please report to me what you found, then.
: LEAVE IT'TA ME.
The screen cuts to black while Shanghai is explaining.
: A mist that feels like it's inviting people to their deaths... huh. I see...
: THAT'S WHAT ALL THE YOUKAI ARE SAYIN' SO FAR.
Finally, new clues for our investigation. This confirm that Alice is not the culprit. Can we skip the boss fight, please.
: (Yes... I've been feeling something similar since I've woken up.)
: Good work, thank you. You can rest inside now.
: GOTCHA, I'LL TAKE A FEW WINKS.
: To their direct deaths... I wouldn't say my guesses are usually wrong.
: (But if it really is her, why is she targeting all the youkai...?)
: There you are, Alice!
Back to our main show again. At least her conversation is tied to the plot.
: Good job on making it here. I didn't expect you to get past my barriers.
Meh, It's just a piece of cake.
: Er, they weren't that much of a problem, were they?
: Enough of that. You're the culprit behind this incident, aren't you!? Stop it at once!
Guess no skipping the boss battle.
: Ehh? M-Me, the culprit...? Of course I'm not. What are you saying?
: But according to Lady Patchouli... This mist gives off quite a similar feeling to that of magic power. So it would be likely be the deed of a magician...
: Aha, I get it.
: You're right, this mist feels quite similar to the flow of magic power. But limiting investigation to that alone... Perhaps the SDM's magician isn't anything special.
: I'm not the culprit. In fact, I've been studying this mist the entire time.
: Really? It still sounds fishy...
: Then why have you been studying something that you have nothing to do with...?
: It has everything to do with me. This mist affects me as well, you know.
: But for someone like you, this mist ain't anythin' to worry 'bout, right? So why are ya studyin' it?
: I-It's purely my curiosity of it as a magician... I-It's not like I thought you would go to resolve this incident... So you'd be glad if I helped by studying it...
: I wasn't thinking anything like that, okay!?
Wow... A tsundere with their cliched dialogue.
: Yeah, probably not.
: *come to Patchouli* ...Did you just laugh at me...?
: My, did I let that slip? My deepest apologies.
This conversation actually make me chuckle a bit. It's funny seeing them acting all smug and mocking each other. Considering the previous cutscene are all boring.
Aya waste no time capturing this fight. Too bad I already beat her to it.
: This could be decent material! So exciting~
Too bad, you're going to fight... as a commander.
: You shouldn't quarrel, we don't know who's behind this yet...
: Right, Reimu?
: So we'll just beat up the most suspicious person!
Bring it on!
BGM: Boss 1
Alice will teach you that bosses in this game don't mess around. Indeed, if you use brute force, you will lose. Alice's gimmick is that on the first turn, she will summons a formation of dolls. These are:
: Taste the blade of these dolls!
: Can you break the wall of dolls, I wonder?
: Before the barrier of these dolls, your attacks are worthles [sic].
Knowing how the formation works is the key to victory.
Dolls Triangle is probably the hardest formation. It gives Alice a moderate protection against attack and gives her slight regeneration. The dolls have 200HP, complete immunity to light and dark (all dolls have this, so Reimu is worthless against them), and dies against any 4 elementals. Alice will use Silence, Acid Storm (multi target skill that may inflict PDEF down) and normal attack in this formation. The doll will use strong physical attack against you. They have a skill that hits for 2-6 times against random target, and each hits for 30 damage. Someone got hit twice? Congratulation, they're dead. If this formation gone for too long, Alice will buff their PDEF and PATK greatly, doubling their damage. And the doll can now wipe you out with just one move. If you still don't destroy it, Alice will add stronger attack to the mix.
If you try to buff anyone, Alice will get pissed and will try to dispel that person. Though if you buff their RES... you just make Alice waste her turn.
Doll's Wall gives Alice very high protection and regeneration. The dolls have insane PDEF, great resistance against any physicals and weak against any elemental magic, earth will kill it. Alice will mostly use status effect against you, as long as you buff everyone's RES, it will not hit. The dolls will harass you with all 7 elemental Hands, this will hits for 20 damage. But considering you're being harassed by 5 dolls... If left for too long, Alice will buff their PDEF and MDEF, making them next to impossible to damage.
Alice Phobia only give the least protection but having the great regen rate amongs all formation. At this formation, Alice may sometimes do nothing, or maybe she will use Area Heal. The dolls is weak to their opposite element and greatly resist their own element. The dolls have a single target skill, and column targetting skill for their respective elements, this won't do much damage, but again, you're being harassed by 4 dolls. Keep this formation too long and she will buffs their PATK, and MATK. This will kill you in seconds.
If you hit a doll with its own element, it will counter by using multi target skills. So, no multi target elemental skill.
Destroying the formation is easy. It neutralizes it's protection and allow Alice to take full damage for 1 turn.
Because after that, she will summon her next formation. If you destroy all 3 of them, she'll only be able to use attack and the battle is your. Destroying all her formation seems to be the best strategy, but I decided to overcomplicating myself by trying to kill the formation and Alice in the same turn.
Anyway, I finally kill Alice. After killing her, you want to kill the rest of the doll FAST! Because the now-masterless dolls will join the nearest terrorist organization and volunteer to be their suicide bomber.
Their target? Us!
Yeah... I failed to kill the last one.
......I don't know whether I should be laughing or be pissed.
Anyway... Now I succeeded in killing her formation and Alice at the same time. Poor Reimu and Sanae, they can't survive 2 hits from Shanghai Doll and they are dicks.
Maybe I shouldn't overcomplicate myself for next time, eh?
: Victory is ours, Alice! Now, go and stop this mist already!
: I told you, it's not me...
: That's not suprising.
: ...If you're sticking to your story that long, I guess it's probably true.
*sigh* Have you ever heard of a criminal being declared innocent after he proclaims himself innocent despite the fact that he's really guilty?
: Which means here isn't the right place... Who would be the next most likely suspect...?
AKA our next victims.
: Do you know anything, Alice?
: Oww... Geez. Attacking without listening, then asking for my opinion...
: Ahaha... I'm sorry.
: So, what do you think, Ms. Alice?
: Well... To be honest, I don't have a strong hold on who the culprit is.
: What? You made yourself sound so amazing before, when you're not any different from me.
Okay, I'm starting to get tired of their bickering.
: Hmph. I'm not like you. I'm already one step ahead on grasping the true nature of this mist.
No you don't.
: The nature of the mist? There's something else about it...?
: That's what all the victims of the mist are saying.
: Aya, Nitori, Patchouli. Have you all felt something like that too?
: Ayaya, now that you said it...
: My body's all worn out thanks to the mist...
: So, what exactly are ya tryin' to say?
: Ahh, you mean that.
: Yes I do.
: You mean what?
: You two're the only one who understand.
: You're the slow ones.
Someone's connected with death? Come on, that's easy to guess.
: Doesn't the word 'death' itself bring anyone to mind?
: I see. Yuyuko... Saigyouji.
Our next (wrong) suspect...
: The lady from the Netherworld...?
: Yes, the master of Hakugyokurou.
: Yuyuko... I get it now. I wouldn't put this incident past her, indeed.
: That makes it quick, then. Let's head straight for Hakugyokurou!
: If you all are going, then I'll come along. I want to go there myself anyway, and ascertain the details in person.
Finally, one of the best party member.
: I don't mind, as long as you're not a bother. We already have such a large group, one more person wouldn't make a difference.
And it will increase even more.
: Thinkin' bout it, even if we pressure Yuyuko... Ya think she'd be honest 'bout the whole thing?
: That's true...
: In that case, why don't we kidnap...
Nonononono! Please do not bring her, please do not bring her.
: No one can lie in front of her and not found out.
That's a lie! It's wrong!
: That's a good idea! We can't let such a useful item go without capturing it!
Yeah... even everyone in-universe don't have respect of her.
: A-An item, you say... (I kinda pity Satori now...)
Stage 3 completed!