Nippon Safes Inc. – Imperial makeover

From The Adventure Gamer

Written by Torch

In my last post, I managed to get sort of stuck. I imagine I could’ve brute forced my way through, but there’s only so many times one has the patience to try every action on every screen. Luckily commenter Vetinari came to my rescue with some much needed hints on how to proceed.

I only had a couple of items in my possession, but one of them was a saw, and I was pretty hung up on trying to make the saw in this chapter as useful as the wrench in Doug’s. Alas, what was needed was the “bowl” I found outside Doug’s apartment, that was in fact an empty perfume bottle ( or “flacon” ). Well, after filling this up with water from one of the fountains in the park, I can now go to the department store, pass the bottle off as a new one and ask for a refund.

Change is always possible for those who believe, Donna

I get 200 yen back, which in this game usually translates to 2 metro tickets. I think. I know I need one, at least. You see, I need to find the Sumo wrestler Buta Futotta to convince him to accept a challenge from Dino to fight him in wrestling match of the year, which has been heavily advertised, but they apparently haven’t selected an opponent for Buta yet. Great planning.

Now let me pause a bit to say that this next segment has got me thinking a bit about female stereotypes in games. I know the game introduced Donna as a “sexy chap without scruple”, but still I think this game is taking things a bit too far. Tag along, and maybe you’ll see what I mean.

For now, I’ve learned that Buta Futotta stays at the “Eternal Rest” hotel in Tozaiku district, so I need to get a metro ticket to get there. And now I have the money, so here we go. After a short stop at the newspaper vendor, and a trip on the metro, I end up outside the aforementioned hotel.

Is that the Avengers logo on the right?

Great hotel? With only 2-dimensional rooms? One point for Tyoko, though.

The hotel seems cheaper on the inside than the outside, and the hotel clerk looks strangely familiar

Yes, I’d like to Spoc… eh speak to mister Futotta.

The clerk is not very forthcoming with regards to spilling the beans (or fagiolis) on what room mr. Futotta’s in, even though Donna is ready to lay on the table. No, that’s not a misprint.

What’s the ESRB rating on this game, again…?

The clerk is not impressed, though.

No whatever could you mean?

Ok, so a little bit of suggestion never hurt anyone (I hope), but just wait. It gets worse. The clerk won’t tell me what room Futotta’s in, but he’s willing to leave a message for him, in his numbered-by-room pigeon-hole. I borrow a hotel pen, write a message and watch the clerk put it in the hole corresponding to room 127. Ok, now to get him out of the way. I discover that the pen has the phone number to the hotel reception printed on it, so I use one of the lobby phones to prank call him

Based on previous intel, I’m guessing that the first option won’t work

I tell him his moped is being stolen, so he runs out, leaving me with free access to the elevator. I ride it up to Butotta’s floor.

Why are all the rooms number 88? Or if they’re unlit LEDs, how do you make 127 with only 2 digits? It could be hexadecimal, but how do you separate 8/B and 0/D? I ask too many questions

The lower right door is Butotta’s “room”, so I knock on the door and

That went… hm… well?

Erm… what just happened…? If my powers of deduction are to be trusted, I believe it looks like Donna went to have sex with a sumo wrestler to get him to accept Dino as a challenger in the upcoming wrestling match. OR… wait… OR it COULD be that the “censored” sign was because Donna had to crawl in, accidentally showing her underpants when she bent down, and Futotta fell on her while he was running.. or crawling to greet her. Yeah…

Or if you have a better theory regarding the events that just transpired, please submit it in the comments section below.

Weird stuff indeed… At least the current goal seems to be achieved, so let’s head back to Dino to deliver the good news. After 2 trips on the metro, I meet up with Dino, only to learn that time must not move at the same speed in all of Tyoko

Moth…? Oh right. Mother. Sick.. and stuff

So in the time it took me to travel back to the main district and then to Kinza district by underground train, Futotta went to the same place, accepted Dino, fought the match and lost. Wow. Or maybe Kinza and Tozaiku districts are super close by, so Futotta could walk or take a cab in 5 minutes, and the train ride is like 2 hours each way. Yeah, that must be it. By the way, I do notice that I’m starting to make up excuses for the game’s logical ( and other ) fallacies.

Oh well, I guess the passing of time was always a bit incoherent in this game. For instance, Donna, Doug and Dino are clearly in the same city at the same time, however the department store never opened for Doug, the hot dog vendor never showed up, and the restaurant hasn’t opened for Donna, despite us being well past the point in time where Dino needed to fatten up.

Also this next bit doesn’t help with regards to time related inconsistencies. With my newly acquired 50,000 yen, I go visit the tea house again

At least give me a montage!

Ok, Donna now knows all there is to know about tea making, and we have a diploma to show for it. I go back to the emperor’s mansion and talk to the intercom again. This time I brag about my recently completed education, and I’m admitted inside to join the staff.

That’s so imperial

The emperor’s Frankenbutler comes to greet me

Meh… I’m still going to go with butler

He tells me I’m to replace the previous maid and to comply with the emperor’s every wish. He then gives me a key to the exit and leaves me to explore on my own. For now there’s only one other room I can enter

Who’s there?

The bookcase contains no less than 3 items marked “knick-knack”, all of which I can take. Two of them look like some sort of pyramid/lamp/bookstand, and the third seems somewhat familiar.

Yes, this one

At first I can’t quite put my finger on where I’ve seen it before, but then I look back at screenshots from Doug’s chapter

See anything familiar?

I remember thinking that the “key” I retrieved for Donna by breaking that other woman out of jail didn’t really look a whole lot like a key. So what’s going on here? Did the key perhaps have the wrong image in Doug’s chapter? I can’t find anything inside the mansion to use the box/key on, though, so I’ll just leave it for now.

At the bottom of the bookcase is a cabinet that contains a safe. Could this be where the sword is hidden? Donna’s only comment about it is that “There are five strange holes…” Maybe this is where the key goes. Nothing in my inventory does the trick, though. Not even the boxkey.

On the right is the door to the emperor’s room. If I try to open it, Donna instead knocks on the door. The emperor looks out through a hatch and declines to speak to me at the moment

Maybe I should knock with the knick-knack

I go back and talk to the secretary-butler who tells me that the emperor is suffering from a bad case of heartbreak. He’s in love with the pop singer Suzy Yong, and apparently won’t come out until he gets to meet her or something.

After messing around some more in the house, I’m pretty sure I’ve run out of things to try here, so I leave and decide to check if something’s changed. And lo and behold, the Museum’s open!

That only took one a chapter and a half

So I enter, of course

And a line of butt-ugly statues

The “statues” are actually sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?) that all have a certain distinctive look, and this would be a golden opportunity for the game to insert some flavor and/or humor by including descriptions of them, but there’s nothing. If I select the “look” action, there’s no mouseover text. If I mouseover with “take”, I see the text, and Donna will move to a sarcophagus if I click one, but she definitely doesn’t pick it up. It’s all a bit inconsistent, in my opinion. I also try the saw, since that’s a thing I’m doing now, after the wrench in the previous chapter was such a useful item, but doesn’t work here.

Besides the sarcophaguses, there’s an enticingly looking fire extinguisher that I can’t seem to be able to pick up. If I click the exact right spot, I get up to the second floor by using an invisible staircase. On this floor, there’s not much to interact with, but a golden statue draws my attention. And this one actually comes with a description!

Ooh! “Laser”

When pulling out the saw, I notice that only the left hand of the statue is interactable. Could this finally be a proper victim? Yes! Despite looking like being made of solid gold or something, I can cut the hand right off using my saw that I found hanging from a tree and is probably made for cutting wood. Sweet! Now what to do with it…?

I go back to the mansion to see if there’s anything new to try, and it turns out the hand can be used to open the safe. I now recall that there were “five strange holes” in the lock. Alas, there’s no katana in the safe, just a piece of paper.

Famous shmamous. I’ve never seen her performing at the Hot Sushi

This is the singer the butler was talking about, the one the emperor has a crush on. I try using the note on the door to lure him out, but it won’t interact. I go back and talk to the butler again, and he tells me what happened to the previous maid. She tried to steal the katana, so she was arrested and sent to prison. The katana was not recovered, however.

After this, there’s not much more here to do, so I go back into town. I know I at some point will meet with Doug, so maybe I could see if this interaction is available now…? I go to his apartment, and the door is actually open. When I enter, Doug shows up right after.

I have the strangest sense of Deja Vu. Or Deja vu II. Or maybe Uninvited

What happens next is a replay of the exact same sequence that transpired during Doug’s chapter. Which makes sense. Only now I know that Donna is bluffing about a lot of the things she said. She claims to know the emperor intimately, despite having only had a short (and rather hostile) interaction with him through a door hatch. She strangely also refers to him as “Puci puci”, despite not having learned this nickname anywhere. Like before, it ends with Donna promising to get a letter of introduction from the emperor, and Doug pledges to break the other maid out of prison and get the katana from her (or rather the key to where the katana is now).

After I leave Doug’s place, I notice that there’s something new hanging on the newspaper sellers’s booth. It’s a poster of Suzy Yong. As I try to take it, I’m faced with a new copy protection question

Hopefully enough to screw in a lightbulb

After finding the answer in the manual, I receive the poster. Hey, maybe I can show this to the emperor to get him to come out of his room? I hurry over to the mansion, only to be slapped in the face by the clammy hand of disappointment. Ok, maybe Donna could masquerade as Suzy, to fool the emperor instead? But how? I didn’t see a make-up room at the Hot Sushi, but maybe if I talk to the bartender or Max&Kos? Nope, nothing new there.

At this point I’m pretty much back to brute force. Being somewhat fatigued by how often I’ve had to resort to travelling all around town, randomly clicking stuff, I’m pretty close to surrendering and posting another request for assistance, but I’m not sure even TBD has done two requests for the same game, so I dial dosbox’s CPU cycles up to 11 (thousand) and make another sweep of the city.

Actually I manage to combine the sweep with a little bit of deduction. I do have 100 yen left, which equates to one metro ticket, so it’s likely that I’ll need to go to another district for at least one puzzle. Having learned about the other locations mostly from signs and Max&Kos, I check all metro stations, but I finally strike gold outside the department store. There’s an electronic sign that changes every time I enter and leave the screen. It seems to alternate between 3-4 different ads, and one of them is this

Is that the lonesome cowboy Lucky Look and his trusty horse, Wooly Jumper?

Curious as to whether this has been there the whole time, I restore to an earlier save to check, and it seems this particular sign actually won’t show up until after a certain point in time. I think it’s after I find the autograph in the safe. Nevertheless, I can now buy a ticket to the Subu district.

Lucky look before you cross

This is the same area as the Pachinko hut from Doug’s chapter, but that’s unavailable now. We’re here for the Lucky Look salon though, and that’s open. Inside I’m greeted by Figaro, the beautician

I feel that this is supposed to look like a celebrity, but I can’t quite make out who. 5 CAPS for the best suggestion

Figaro has several ideas for how to improve Donna’s appearance, much to her dismay, but we’re here to look like Suzy Yong, so Donna presents the poster, and Figaro agrees to a make-over.

You smooth talker you

Finally, a montage

The wonders of make-up

Now that Donna’s appearance is so drastically changed, I can’t help but wander around town to see if people react differently. Disappointingly, nobody notices anything.

All this work and you don’t even notice?! Men!

Ok, back to the emperor’s place then. This time, he’s happy to see me.

Erh… maybe I didn’t think this through properly

He’s less happy after he wants “Suzy” to sing for him, though, and despite vying for a career as a musical performer, Donna isn’t able to deliver.

Just go “na na na na naaa”. I’m sure he won’t notice

He accuses me of being an imposter, and goes back inside his room again… Sigh… back to the drawing board…. Maybe Donna can learn the song? I go to the department store to see if they have any sheet music or CDs of Suzy Yong, but I can’t find any. Maybe I could watch her on TV? The only TV I know of is in Doug’s apartment, but that’s closed now. Or is it?

It’s actually open. I go in, and Doug’s not there, so I can look around. In the “larder”, I notice I can interact with Doug’s supercomputer. Donna isn’t really impressed with the specs, but discovers a CD-ROM inside, which I can take. I try using it in the computer again to see what’s on it, but that doesn’t help.

On a hunch I discover what I would classify as a very silly solution. Very silly indeed. If I go to the department store, I can…

Hi, I would like to trade this used CD-ROM with unknown contents for a new, copyrighted musical CD

I wish I was kidding. In exchange for the CD-ROM, I get Suzy Yong’s latest hit. The perfume bottle I can see, but this is really stupid. Oh well, at least I’m closer to learning the song. I try Doug’s PC and radio again to see if I can play the CD on them, but nope and double nope. Sigh… Off again to look for a CD player somewhere…

Going to the Kinza district again, I notice the TV tower is open. I go in and find a karaoke machine. Wow, that’s a really natural thing to find in the lobby of a TV station.

Friends don’t let friends do Karaoke

Ok ok, whatever, let’s just get this over with. Insert the CD, and Donna can finally learn the words to the song.

Ooh, I was so close

Learning the song gives me a new sing action, that I can use on the door in the mansion

The bass clef is actually wrong. The dots should be to the right of the curl.
Now you know!

Finally I manage to properly impress the emperor, who invites me in to his room

So how did Donna already know the nickname if she learns it here..? Lucky guess?

Donna asks for a letter of introduction for Doug, which is granted, and the emperor then declares that they are to marry. Which was not part of my plan. He gets rather upset when Donna says she needs to “think about it”.

It’s good to know I have a choice

He takes my entrance key and leaves. So now what? In his room are two wardrobes, so I start by checking them. One contains a nondescript “bottle” while the other contains and equally nondescript “doll”. I’d say the bottle looks like a canister of gas or pressurized air, and the doll looks like the blow-up type. And my suspicions are confirmed as soon as I ( after some fiddling ) manage to combine them

The doll is neatly folded so as to appear unused

Good thing they put censored bars over the naughty bits.

I can’t leave by the main entrance, but as I accidentally click on the window on the left, Donna jumps out and dives into the river outside. I’m not sure what the payoff was regarding the doll, but my guess is it was used as a flotation device.

The butler runs out to search for Donna, leaving the door open, and afterwards our (anti)heroine emerges safely from the water, looking smash…


Luckily the letter of introduction was written on waterproof paper probably, so I hurry back to Doug to exchange quest items. After a repeat of the interaction from Doug’s chapter, it’s back to the mansion again to finally get the sword. As I enter, it’s anyone’s guess where the sword is hidden

You’re getting colder

As I mentioned earlier, one of the knick-knacks I picked up from the bookcase looks exactly like the key I got from Doug. And to make it even weirder, either one can be used to open the safe

A key in the hand is better than two that look like a box

Maybe the graphics artist had a flu or something the day they were designing the key. Anyway, I open the safe, grab the sword and head outside to freedo….

I’m starting to see a pattern here

And with that, the chapter ends, much the same way Doug’s did. I think the brown coat and the gloves resemble what Dr. WooKi was wearing, but why would he do this, if I’m on my way to delivering the promised item(s) to him? It doesn’t make sense, so make somebody else wants these too? Well, still one chapter to go before we can get to the bottom of this. At least Dino seems like a nice guy.

Time played 13h 5m
Tioko/Tyoko mentions ( accumulated)
Tioko: 10 Tyoko: 9
Inventory Saw, 3 metro tickets, 2x knick-knack, 2x knick-knack/safe key, Suzi Yong autograph, Suzi Yong poster, Katana Shinjuku

Original URL: