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Nippon Safes Inc. - Been There, Donna That (Request for Assistance)

Written by Torch

The perceptive reader will know that in my previous post, I finished Doug’s chapter. It ended with him being knocked out by a mysterious stranger as soon as he’d escaped with the Jade Buddha he was assigned to steal from the Saku-Rambo monastery.

This means that it’s time to pick a new character to play. And for the very good reason of “why not?” I picked Donna Fatale, whose most important character trait - as we learned from the intro - is being sexy.

Yes, this is the game’s description of Donna

She played a tiny part in Doug’s chapter, as a woman in need, who would gladly repay favours with a kiss. Hey Nippon Safes Inc! The 90’s called and wanted its stereotypes back! Oh, wait, this game IS from the 90’s. Never mind, then. Let’s find out what passed for appropriate female protagonist behavior back in 1992.

Before I get underway, I figured that having gotten through Doug’s chapter relatively unscathed, I was well prepared for whatever Donna could throw at me. Well, maybe I was, but I still managed to get myself stuck. Both literally and figuratively. But let’s start from the beginning.

Donna’s chapter begins outside the prison, as Doug’s did. Despite claiming that the prison guard is a good friend, he refuses to call her a taxi, which pretty much leaves me in the same situation as Doug, where I need to get transportation to the city. I have a feeling that I won’t be hotwiring phone booths using soda can tabs, though.

Um, I’m pretty sure driving a taxi is a type of service

Hah!

Well, let’s check out our options. I can access the same stretches of the highway as in the previous chapter, but all the trash cans are empty this time. I do find a jar of mustard in the “Last food” shack, and for some reason Donna has no problem ripping the “Tyoko” road sign from its post and adding it to the inventory.

So what can you do with a road sign? My initial thoughts are to play the hitchhiking game, hold up the sign, and hope that one of the cars passing by will stop to pick me up. I have no idea HOW to do this, though. It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to interact with the cars, although I’ve been fooled by that before. On the screen with the phone booth, it’s possible to interact with the road itself, but not when I select the road sign. Maybe I could put mustard on it, and ...no, that’s just silly. Anyway, no cars seem to be passing by this particular stretch of the road. Maybe there’s a portal on each side…

I eventually stumble upon the solution, and this is definitely going on the list of stuff that annoys me about the interface. You see, if I select the sign, and mouse over a car heading east (where the city is), it says “Ask for a lift”, BUT THIS ONLY WORKS ON ONE SINGLE SCREEN. Several other screens have cars going both east and west, but in those others, the cars are non-interactable. There’s otherwise nothing special about this screen, to indicate that this is where one should be standing to be able to hitch a ride.


Well of course you wouldn’t be able to hitchhike without those trees in the background. They make all the difference.

Well, with that out of the way, I wave my sign ( and I don’t know what else ) around, and a car pulls over. The driver agrees to give Donna a ride to the city.

Ok, thanks. But I’m not playing monopoly with you.

I arrive on a similar stretch of highway, just outside Ti/yko, and the first thing I try is to pick up a road sign pointing towards the prison. Which works. Curious as to whether it’s possible to return to the prison the same way, I try to stop a westbound car, which also works. Aaaand it’s the same driver that pulls over. In a different car.

Nothing suspicious going on here, no siree.

Back at the prison, the road sign is back again, so I repeat the whole process to find myself back outside the city. Way to pad playtime. Anyway, now I know that I can return to the prison if necessary.

Ok, back in the city I head straight to the Hot Sushi, where Dr. WooKi is waiting for me. As with Doug, he wants Donna to find a valuable item. In this case it’s a sword, more specifically the “Katana shinjuku”. I’ve heard about this before, in Doug’s chapter, where I helped retrieve a key for Donna in return for a letter of introduction to the monks in the monastery. The sword is in the possession of the emperor, as we also learned in the previous chapter.

Now why would Donna do this? Well, Donna has a dream about dancing on “Breadway”. Normally, I would think this is a play on Broadway, but when it comes to this game, I’m not so sure. It could just be yet another typo. Although they also mention “HollyWould”, so maybe I should give the translators the benefit of the doubt, for once. Anyway, the (probably not-so) good doctor claims to have contacts in the industry, and promises to help Donna get her showbiz career started if she brings him the sword.

Ok, so I’ll steal a valuable artifact from the emperor of Japan, and you’ll “ring a few friends”. Seems fair.

Donna is clearly desperate to get a foot in the stage door, because she agrees. Alrighty, I guess we’re officially on a new quest.

Before I leave, I check in with our friends Max & Kos, the game developers turned in-game characters that have taken up permanent residence at the club. Thinking they might point me in the right direction to get started searching for the sword, instead Donna asks them to lend her some money. They’re not the types to give out stuff for free, but promise me a tip if I bring them some hot dogs. Guess I’ll have to find a hot dog vendor. Oh, and they tell me not to forget mustard. So I’ll have some use for the mustard from the worn-down shack by the prison, that’s probably been standing out in the sun for months, if not years on end. Yummy. Since I don’t have any money to buy hot dogs with, they give me 500 yen.

I don’t find any hot dog vendors in the city, so I head towards the park. But on the way there:

At least their intercom is more modern than the one at the monastery

When I entered this screen with Doug, there was no hint whatsoever that this place had any special meaning besides being a fancy backdrop. This time I get a proper introduction. I guess this means that the house will play a larger part in Donna’s story. Which makes sense, since it’s the emperor’s residence, and I’m here to steal his sword.

The note on the gate says they’re looking for a new maid. I can use the intercom to call the staff or whatever, and ask about the vacancy. One of the criteria for getting the job is to be able to make tea. And probably not just any tea, but a super duper special traditional Japanese emperor tea. Or something. And Donna does not seem to be sure she can satisfy that particular requirement

What exactly was your current profession again, Donna?

So I probably need to figure out how to make tea. Noted. Moving on to the park, I whip out the map I made for the previous chapter. The layout is still the same, but the punks are gone, and I find a saw hanging from a tree

Did you saw what I saw?

And tadaa! A hot dog vendor

Is everybody here named Chan?

Hot dogs are 250 yen a piece with mustard and 225 yen without. Since I have mustard, I get the ones without, leaving me with 50 yen to spare, then return to the Hot sushi, where I find myself unable to combine the mustard with the hot dogs…. It’s the same issue as before. I select the mustard, causing the inventory to close, then right-click to bring the inventory up again, only to see the cursor return to the default no-mustard-holding red arrow.

Maybe I was supposed to buy them with mustard anyway? Maybe Donna has the strength to steal road signs but not open mustard jars? I return to the hot dog vendor, but no. He’s out of mustard… I try several more times to mustardize the hot dogs, and suddenly they combine. It’s possible that the answer was to select the hot dogs first, then the mustard. Though I’m sure that yielded inconsistent results as well.

Ok, whatever, back to the Hot sushi. I deliver the hot dogs and get 50 yen for my trouble. With the other 50 left over from the buying mustardless sausages, I now have 100 yen, which is the price of an underground ticket. But to where?

You may have noticed some seemingly random people wandering around, among them a geisha. In Doug’s chapter she only appeared on the screen outside the Hot Sushi, where you could actually talk to her, but here she also appears on the screen with the newspaper/underground ticket vendor. I suddenly noticed that - unlike Doug - Donna can address her on this screen as well. I can only ask her about the time, and…. If she can point me in the direction of a tea house.


You must be a hands-off type manager

One ticket purchase and a quick train trip later

No way she could have beaten me here!

When I talk to her here, Donna expresses a desire to enroll in a tea brewing class. Raise your hands if you thought it’d be that easy! Nobody? Good. Apparently there are 172 different types of traditional tea, each with its own special procedure for brewing. And I don’t know which type to learn. How about just learning them all?

Also the courses take place in the quantum realm, so you won’t have to spend any actual time attending them

Oh where would I get 50,000c? ( I presume they mean yen. Pointing out spelling errors in this game has become the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Unless “c” also actually means yen. In which case, sorry (not sorry), game ). What did the poster on the sumo wrestling area wall say again..?

Oh what a coincidence.

Just as I read the poster, Dino comes walking in. We know from Doug’s chapter that he’s looking to enter the wrestling competition, but it seems what happens here precedes the interaction with Doug.

Oh no, Donna! What about your scruples?

Oh right

Our sexy chap makes up a story about a sick mother that needs money for an operation ( money surgery, perhaps? ). Dino buys it and agrees to enter the wrestling match to win the money for Donna. But he’s afraid the great Buta Futtota won’t accept him as a challenger. Well, Donna is confident she can take care of it. Which means I have to take care of it. And I don’t know how. 

Well, let’s head back to the main district, and see if anything’s changed there.

Walking around, I try visiting Doug’s apartment. It’s closed but the pile of junk outside is suddenly searchable, and I find a…. well, the game calls it a “bowl”, but it’s more like a perfume bottle. It’s empty, but it used to contain a perfume called “Vice”, which happens to be Donna’s favourite. How fitting. Oh, and the department store is finally open. 


Why do you have to place the heaviest objects on the top floor? 

I’m not sure what to do in there though. There are a lot of different items to look at, too many to describe really, but I can’t pick up anything.

Please comment if you have any idea what kind of product this is supposed to be

I do notice that they have the “Vice” perfume here, so I consider trying an Indiana Jones-style swap with my empty bottle for a new one, but I can’t interact with them in any way besides looking. I run around in here until I manage to get stuck on an escalator, so that I have to reload an older save. Way older, in fact. I discover that I hadn’t saved since before I went to Kinza district to visit tea lady.

Retracing isn’t too bad when you know exactly what to do, though. After I come back from Kinza, I notice there’s an interactable magazine on the wall of the newspaper stand. It’s a story about the wrestler


I don’t know about you, but I would NOT stay at a place called “Eternal rest”. At least not without a fresh batch of garlic and holy water.

So my next goal should be to go to the Tozaiku district to convince Buta Futtota to fight Dino, so he can win me 50 000 yen, so I can learn how to brew 172 types of tea, so I can get a job at the emperor’s residence, so I can steal his sword. Where else but in an adventure game?

But first I need to find another 100 yen for an underground ticket, and that’s currently where my journey has come to a grinding halt. I tried sawing down the second parking meter, I tried trading in my Kinza ticket again, sawing the hot dog vendor, trading in the saw at honest Chan’s. In general, I’ve tried a lot of things involving the saw.

Maybe I’m supposed to do something on one screen that’s only possible on that single screen and not on any one of seven other similar ones, but I’m a bit tired of brute forcing the game at this point, so I’d like to reach out to you commenters and request a hint or two. If you’re able to provide assistance, please put it in ROT13, and if possible, maybe start with a subtle hint, instead of spelling out the whole solution at once.

Time played 9h 40m
Tioko/Tyoko mentions
Tioko: 10 Tyoko: 7
Inventory saw, Kinza ticket, empty perfume bottle

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