It can't be helped.
Nobody has ever accused me of being an artist, so MS Paint is the best you're going to get. This pretty much says it all but let's go through the finale to this game anyway.
With Haze and Hypnos defeated, we return to Tokyo and get some time off while Julietta works on pinpointing the next dragon. Yoritomo stops by to take us dragon hunting in Tokyo and along the way, admits to being Mio's father - her mother was an artificial lifeform NAVI unit, all of whom died to the dragon flower sickness (which I guess explains both Mio's navigator abilities and constant sickness). He entrusted her to Dr. Nagumo (the doctor who has been working on a cure to the sickness) to raise, to protect her from people who might want to use her for her navi abilities. He feels pretty shitty about it, as he should, but oh well. He also mentions that he considers Yuuma to be like a son to him as well since he was born basically out of the same research that Mio's mother was from (and again, despite Yuuma's speed-aged appearance he's only 12).
During this 'break time' chapter you can finally start finishing up dates with the named characters in the game (13 in total). These are entertaining enough, you get to know more about each of the characters and they'll tell you more about their motivations and backgrounds. Also, almost all of the date lines end with heavily implied (but tongue-in-cheek) comical cut-to-black sex scenes, regardless of your character's gender. I was playing my adorable catgirl Lucier as main character during these parts and I think I slept with almost the entire Nodens corporation, from Allie to Julietta to Yuuma to Mio and many, many more including our friends from Atlantis and Eden. Just to confirm that character gender doesn't affect these scenes, I switched back to a male MC and reloaded before Yuuma's final date and it happened exactly the same way, so yeah. Finishing these dates also gets you really good weapons/accessories, so you'd better embrace swinging both ways for the sake of the gear!
Anyway, returning to the main story, Dr. Nagumo has finished a vaccine for the dragon flower disease, but it's not mass-producible and has only one dose, which he gives to Mio. She doesn't want to take it, but we convince her to since she's the best support Squad 13 has and if we defeat the true dragons then the dragon flower disease will disappear too. Meanwhile at the ISDF HQ, Yuuma is insisting on having the data from Haze and Hypnos installed into him against Dr. Nagumo's objections. He really, really wants to be stronger than Squad 13 and feels like as an artifical lifeform he has no purpose besides this. Well, surprise surprise, five true dragon essences was a little overboard and when Yuuma steps out he's got dragon claws hanging from his face and he's now completely enthralled by the idea of being the 'pinnacle of evolution' and fully on-board with the dragons' plan of forcibly speeding up the evolution of humanity by any means possible. He kills the head of the ISDF in front of Dr. Nagumo and Yoritomo, and rampages out of the base.
A common theme that a lot of characters have been noticing is that the dragons and their disease are behaving unlike a natural disease, it's more like it's selecting people to speed up evolution, killing off weak people but giving strong people even more power, which explains Squad 13's incredible growth in such a short period of time. Speaking of growth, Nodens CEO Allie has always been pretty enthralled by how quickly we're growing, nice of her to notice. Oh geez, wait wait wait! Too late. Nodens HQ and the entire world starts drowning in heavy, unbearable dragon flowers and dying off. The last true dragon is none other than our Nodens CEO who has been giving us missions this whole time, Allie, or 'ND' as she calls herself now. So what's 2nd true dragon ND up to? She's obsessed with growth and evolution, and her whole plan has been to find people capable of surpassing and subsuming all the true dragons and all humanity and to awaken as the new '7th Dragon' and merge with the whole universe to lead us into a new dimension of existence. There was never a 7th, there are only 6 true dragons, it was all a lie.
Just in case we're not aware of how fucked we are just yet, ND goes ahead and kills off most of our party members to go along with all the world's population that's dying. Urania and her Atlantis buddies, our Eden friends, all killed by ND. Yuuma lands on the scene, he knows what's up, ND wants him and Squad 13 to fight so that whoever wins can go on to become the 7th dragon. Mio tries to run up in Yuuma's face and get in the way with a cheesy talk about friendship and how strength isn't everything, to which Yuuma swings at her and Yoritomo lands on the scene just in time to cover Mio and take the fatal blow from Yuuma instead. The corpses and JRPG tropes are really piling up now.
ND tells us to kill her so that we can use her to finish deciphering the Dragon Chronicle and use it to do the whole 'merge the universe' nonsense. She's even brought her own dragon-killer swords with her, it's the quest and shop counter girls, Chika and Rikka! Their hearts form the dual swords used for killing ND, and they attack us on ND's command, forcing us to defend ourselves. At least Chika's painful never-ending overtime work at Nodens will finally be finished. This battle was very easy, after Hypnos my main team switched to Rune Knight / Mage / Vanisher, which is frankly just ridiculously overpowered. When we refuse to finish Chika and Rikka off, Yuuma goes ahead and rips out their hearts for us, RIP you two. ND decides things have gotten a bit too melodramatic and tells us to meet her later for the showdown now that we've got the swords, and of course we'll have to settle things with Yuuma before we get there too.
Anyway, now that almost all of humanity is dead maybe we should go yell at Julietta and find out what he knows about all this, considering he's been working with Allie all this time. We go with Dr. Nagumo (who is still alive for now) and Mio to go confront him. Here's where he spills his whole backstory - he used to be a researcher with the ISDF, which is the organization that took over world recovery efforts after 85% of the population died in the 2020-2021 dragon attacks. He became disillusioned when the ISDF only saved rich countries, countries they could get favors from, and left poor countries to rot, actually encouraging them to degrade even further and turning Julietta's dragon research into weapons to arm them in civil unrest and the like. He was totally on-board with Allie's idea of merging humanity with the Dragon Chronicle and evolving them all to the next stage, but he totally had no idea she was actually ND, the 2nd true dragon. Well gee, I guess that's okay then. Anyway, he's had a change of heart after seeing all of us working to save people in the past, present and future but it's a bit late for that, isn't it? Well, it's not like we have many living people left to assist us anyway, so we're not about to turn his help down. He and Dr. Nagumo work on tweaking the Dragon Chronicle just a bit so that instead of Squad 13 merging with it and becoming the 7th Dragon, we can instead break all the rules of the universe and basically rewrite everything from scratch, if we can pull it off. To do that, we still do need ND's true dragon sample, so while Julietta and Nagumo are working on that we go to our showdown with ND. If you feel like exploring Nodens company before setting out, you can go to every floor and all the NPCs are dead from ND's dragon flowers.
The route we're taking to ND goes straight through the building that the Murakumo group used as a base in 7th Dragon 2020-II, which means a nostalgic dungeon (and maybe a lazy excuse to re-use more assets). On our way we bump into Yuuma, who we must of course settle things with first. Yuuma's fight has a gimmick where he heals himself to full every turn so you have to take him from 100% to 0% in one turn. That should be tricky, but with Rune Knight and Vanisher it's actually ridiculously easy because Rune Knight's Brave Sword and Vanisher's Earthquake abilities are obscenely overpowered. Maybe I should have stopped using these classes past mid-game to preserve difficulty. Oh well.
Anyway, after Yuuma's dead it's time to finish things with ND. Again she blabbers about evolution and how it's like raising seeds into flowers, and when she's finally done talking turns into her dragon form and tells us to come get her. We do, pretty easily, again thanks to the late game Rune Knight, Vanisher and Mage skills being so damn strong. We take a sample from her corpse and rush it back to Julietta (Nagumo and Mio are already dead), and Julietta uses it to finish the altered Dragon Chronicle that he and Nagumo finished to give us a chance to turn things around, and activates it. Say goodbye to everything.
Nagamimi yells at us to wake up. Speaking of Nagamimi, he said he didn't quite know what he was either in his date conversations, but that he figured was probably something similar to Emelle and Aitelle, a wandering remnant of a dead planet or something similar. Anyway, we're in a conglomeration of the past, present and future, of all life forms and dragons, of all time-space, you get the idea. Nagamimi tells us that 'VFD', the will of the dragons to evolve to the next layer of being, is about to be born once it absorbs us. Normally that would have happened automatically, but the adjustments they made to the Dragon Chronicle gave us a chance to instead go try and beat down VFD and reverse everything. Oh, and he also goes ahead and drops a teleporter back to Nodens, but to a different time axis Nodens back when everyone was still alive. You know, just in case we want to go back and buy stuff, go on dates, do quests, etc. Uh huh. Anyway, it's nice for people who have unfinished quests at the end of Chapter 5.1 since once Chapter 6 starts literally everyone on earth is dead, I guess. We fight our way through this area with spiritual help and encouragement from our friends' essences who got clumped up in this huge clusterfuck of timespace. We also learn the identity of the mysterious observer who has been watching us this whole time, it's the 1st true dragon that seeded life on Earth, here to see how we decide to handle things.
It's time for cheese warp factor infinity as we finally face VFD and it speaks IN ALL CAPS ABOUT EVOLUTION AND THE NEXT STEP FOR THE UNIVERSE and evolves not just once, but to three different forms ('this isn't even my final form!'), some tentacle spire looking thing, then a seahorse/octopus looking thing, and then yeah, finally it just turns into a huge dragon. Each fight you can swap which of your 3 parties faces each form if you want (since you'll keep the LF/MN status of your last used party), but my Rune Knight / Mage / Vanisher party was able to just face all 3 forms by themselves. I'm kind of glad I didn't have this combo for the fight against Hypnos or that wouldn't have been nearly as epic feeling.
Well, we beat down VFD and sever the fabric of reality, and Nagamimi tells our main character to wish really hard. We do, and the universe rearranges itself. Next thing we know we're back in Tokyo next to the Seventh Encounter VR game, and a familar voice calls out to us. Hey, what a cute girl, who is - oh god, it's Nagamimi! She (!?) tells us that it's our fault that she has this form now, and gives us the lowdown on what happened - we rearranged reality from scratch, except we left out the part about dragons existing from the rebuilt reality. Oh and by the way, nobody knows who you are anymore! Well, some people who had really strong connections might feel something, Nagamimi says. So it's off to go check out Nodens in this peaceful dragon-free world. Nobody recognizes us until we reach Dr. Nagumo, who feels like he knows who we are just can't quite wrap his mind around why. Same thing when we go meet Julietta, he starts crying for some reason he can't understand and then shares that he's about to invent a time machine and feels like he wants to go make friends with people from the past and future...hoo boy.
We come back to talk to Nagamimi. Sucks being the hero who saved all of spacetime and nobody (besides Nagamimi, anyway) even knows you did it, huh? Well not so fast, Mio's coming back from grocery shopping in the plaza near 7th Encounter with Yoritomo, and as soon as she sees the protag, she drops everything and calls our name. Mio was the only one who remembered, she always believed we'd meet again. The protagonist says their VA's line about this being just the start for the two of them, and then credits roll. Daww.
So, yeah, that's about it. We rewrote the rules of the universe to get rid of dragons ever existing - but it seems things didn't work 100% as we expected, since some people still slightly remember us (and Mio completely does). Also, if you reload your finished game save data, a new dungeon opens up, a shadow realm that the 1st true dragon gatekeeps, pay up 50 Dz (basically, hunt every dragon in the game to have enough Dz to enter) to proceed to the post-game dungeon. I'm not sure how canon or serious the postgame stuff is, but I'll finish it before I put a review up, so still one more (probably short) update to go. I will be using a guide for optimum grinding/party composition for the postgame dungeon since I remember these things being pretty frustrating and crazy from 2020-II - taking a look, it seems the wikis have already identified how incredibly broken the Rune Knight (and to a lesser extent, Vanisher and Mage) class is.
There's not much to say...this was a pretty silly ending. You know, it seems to be a pattern in some Japanese media (which will go unnamed, I'm sure you can think of examples) where when the story gets too fucked up, they just throw up their hands in the finale and go "You know, forget it, just make everything melt, break dimensions, have the protagonist become God and fix or ruin the universe, whatever!".
It can't be helped.
Random JRPG blogging about the games I'm currently playing.