Singleplayer is the mode in which nearly all of the actual plot takes place in. The game is played in an open world environment consisting of 2D paths that link and intersect with each other by way of an overhead map, and each individual path in the game between cities and other important areas is an exploration level with enemies, treasures and hidden areas and paths to go through. Though there are rarely any specific objectives besides getting to the other side of the path alive, players are graded for their performance on every individual path on factors including completion time, enemies KO'd, damage taken and secrets/items discovered. If the player happens to get the highest possible grade on a path, they are awarded with the option to skip that specific path next time their route leads through it, if they so choose.
Between paths are cities and other settlements, where the player can stock up on helpful items, increase stats and abilities, play diversionary activities for rings and rare items, and accept missions from the populace for rewards, plot advancement and additional paths to travel through. While these places are generally peaceful and law-enforced, sometimes the player may be ambushed in certain areas, or a fight or other criminal activity occurs nearby that the player can break up if they choose to. When an actual mission is accepted, the player must move to a starting area somewhere in the map (though sometimes the starting area is right where you're standing, eliminating the need), at which point the player must traverse through the immediate area and complete a set objective of some sort - for these missions players aren't graded on a by-path basis, but rather for the entirety of the area in which the missions take place in.
In Singleplayer, Psi does not start with all of his default abilities, and has to earn them throughout the course of the earlier parts of the game. This is not necessarily to limit the player, but to gradually introduce them to the general character mechanics one at a time where they're appropriate. Once Psi's abilites are unlocked, they remain for the rest of the game and any subsequent playthroughs, and eventually add up to the exact extent of his abilities in Multiplayer when properly balanced. Psi alone is the only one affected by this - other characters already have the entirety of their moves arsenal when they're unlocked as partners, and do not need to be trained.
Once Psi's flight abilities have been trained far enough, he alone can take to the skies during city-to-city travel by picking up great speed and leaving the ground, flying over the space between paths to cut corners and head directly for his destination by way of a Shmup minigame. Like he can on the ground, Psi can cast chargable TK Pulse projectiles at enemies to attack from a distance (and can even be aimed just the same), but he can also perform a charging melee attack that causes him to dive in a beeline towards his enemy of choice, getting in close and kicking them into submission. However, Psi isn't a natural flier, and needs to fly through strategically placed boost rings in the sky to keep his momentum up - otherwise he falls from the sky onto the nearest segment of traversable path on the ground.
Main Story Missions
NOTE: The following is a heavily abridged indication of what the full campaign has to offer - once the story is fully set in stone, each entry here will be given its own individual page, and be rewritten in much greater detail. Also note that due to the somewhat free-roaming nature of the game, some missions and sagas may potentially be completable in an order entirely different to the way they're ordered here.
Afraid of the Dark Arc
A former Intimidator comerade of Psi's reveals that he met Akumaryu recently, and that he seems to be having some trouble with his current task. When Psi follows the Intimidator's directions and finally meets Aku once again in a series of ancient ruins, Aku attacks Psi with no warning or reason whatsoever. As Psi chases him through the area, Aku goes into alternating phases of all-out-offense and feigning ignorance, at one point even claiming that it's his twin brother attacking him. Psi doesn't buy it and continues chasing him, right up until he bumps into two Akus staring each other down, revealing that it was in fact his actual twin brother, Rikku. Now faced with a 2-on-1, Rikku goes down relatively easy, and flees the scene before he can be caught. Aku explains the situation, specifying the way in which Rikku abused his similarities to his brother to get Aku in trouble for his actions. When Psi mentions that the ruins look somehow familiar and important to him, Aku decides no harm can be done of taking a break from his current tasks to accompany him...
Psi and Aku explore the local ruins, and Psi quickly learns that the whole place is the crumbled, overgrown remnants of a city he knew back in his own timeline. The level itself is purely ambient exploration, and as such has almost no combat in it. Deeper into the ruins there is a delapidated but still functional blast door that requires a password to access - the password can be found by searching the ruins of nearby buildings for nearby computers that still work, and reading backstory journals from them for information. When the password for the door is entered, the door fails to open but the locks disengage, allowing Psi to lift it into open position telekinetically. Most of the complex inside is not recieving any power, making it dimly lit if not pitch black and leaving many of the doors locked - Aku can restart generators all over the place with his lightning abilities, not only restoring some of the lights but disengaging locks on nearby doors to allow Psi to lift them out of the way. This also activates various security measures in the process - most of which being turrets now functionally useless, but some that can afford to fire off a shot or two if given the chance to track the player. At the end of it all there is a control room which is, remarkably, still functional despite the sorry state of affairs. Apon using it, Psi dives into the computer's databases, only to learn that not only did he betray his own race by helping the now-omnipresent Denuons back in the day, but that he was actually shot by one short of completing the task he was given.
Psi is understandably pushed over the edge by this most recent revelation and inexplicably blacks out in the process. When he comes to, he finds himself in a whole new world vaugely resembling the one he was just in, but in a sense, demented, twisted and full of demon-like folk who seem to want Psi dead badly. After fighting off an initial assault from them, Psi spots a series of fleshy pillars in the distance, with a massive portal above it that presumably leads back to Denuo. Firmly believing he has to stop the demons from using this portal, Psi flies over to the pillars and singlehandedly takes down every last one of them in an unstoppable fury. Once the last demon is dead, the world fades back to familiar Denuon settings without Psi even entering the portal. Shortly afterwards he is confronted by a flustered, enraged Akumaryu who saw the entire thing happen - unknown to Psi, he had been hallucinating the entire time, and rather than conquest-bent demons, he had been brutally murdering the military and innocent civilians the entire time. Until stated otherwise, authority figures and some citizens in most cities will continue to display hostility towards Psi once this mission is completed.
Some time after the previous mission (several side missions and at least one full saga later), Psi has demonstrated the Nightmare transformation repeatedly and is still wanted by and large by the public. It starts to catch Metal Coat's attention, who eventually sends for him and offers to try and find a way to stop the transformations, if only to stop him from wrecking the economy and ruining his business. After some experiments in the workshop, MC finally concludes it's the work of a body-less being taking over in brief bursts, and requires the original vessel it came in to seal it off - a Gem of Chaos. As it just so happens, it turns out to be Suzaku's, and the whole reason this happened is because Psi allowed himself to be exposed to it. Psi travels back to Suzaku's former fort to retrieve the gem, only to find that Suzaku has come back to life while he was gone. After a 1-on-1 fight as Lynness watches on, Psi defeats Suzaku once again, and after much deliberation he reluctantly parts with the gem - not for Psi's sake, but for his own. After the way it had controlled him, he only desires to see it removed from his sight, so he can finally persue his own agendas.
Psi gives the Gem of Chaos to Metal Coat, who starts the procedure of extracting Nightmare from him. Psi passes out during the procedure, and when he comes to, the area is in ruins. MC gives him the good news and bad news - the former, that Nightmare has been seperated successfully, and the latter, that he was unable to contain him in time, allowing him to escape and wreak havoc. Rather than have him retell the events in full, the player gets to control MC starting from the events shortly after Psi passes out, showing Nightmare breaking out of the shop rather explosively and MC chasing him wherever he goes. While Nightmare does stop to have a bout with MC every now and then, more often than not he will run far ahead of the player and terrorize the local populace, regaining lost health in the process. Eventually the city either becomes fully evacuated or loses its population altogether late into the scene, prompting Nightmare to flee to find more victims far too fast for MC to give chase. Back at the workshop, MC reluctantly agrees to leave his shop to stop Nightmare - not because of the threat he causes, but because the incident will cause bad publicity for his brand and he needs to save face to keep his customers. Until the next mission in the saga is started, Nightmare will continue to ambush the player between missions for a brief skirmish, before disappearing again.
Throughout various towns, rumours begin to spread of an artifact that can restore the memory of the one who possesses it - Psi, still searching for his past, follows every lead he gets with Metal Coat and Akumaryu, eventually leading him to a desolate ruin in the middle of nowhere. After navigating the ruin's labyrinthine passages and braving several near-misses with crumbling arcitecture, Psi finally finds the memory artifact in the centre of the building... only to catch Nightmare in the act of swiping it. Because Psi hasn't yet been fighting him to the absolute highest extent of his power, Nightmare has taken to using unorthodox tactics to draw it out, and against everyone else's better judgement, Psi persues after Nightmare, desperate for the secrets he literally holds in his hand. Even desperation doesn't draw out the worst in Psi, though, but recognising Psi's strong dependency on knowledge, Nightmare takes the simplest method and simply shatters the memory artifact in his hand, causing Psi to snap completely - making him trigger his Climax Mode willingly for the first time and assault Nightmare with a blind, indignant rage.
MC, being the genre-aware individual he is, anticipated how events would unfold long before they happened, and abandonded the scene long before, only leaving behind sentient cameras to capture footage of the ensuing fight. Akumaryu, meanwhile, is forced to flee for his life under player control as the fight rapidly decimates the surrounding landscape. Nostaliga Mode and Nightmare Dimension continue to clash in an epic midair duel between Avatars until Nightmare finally falls in honourable battle, just the way he had dreamt of from the beginning. Before he is sealed back away in the Gem of Chaos, Nightmare revealed the memory relic was a complete fake, and he had made the whole story up to make Psi realize his true power - and in turn, reveals that Psi is a body-less Avatar, just like Nightmare. In the aftermath, the footage captured by MC's cameras absolves Psi of any involvement in Nightmare's actions, after MC makes up a story in which he contracted Psi to take him down and stop his rampage - partly to help Psi out of his dillemma with the law, but mostly to regain his public image and his loyal customers - and as such, authority figures in cities will no longer attack Psi on sight.
Psi discovers an illegal convoy on one of the routes between towns, and decides to take it out. However, it quickly becomes apparent that these are no ordinary smugglers - the guards are Omega Eyes, equipped with sophisticated and exotic weaponry that only a talented scientist could have built and maintained. Part of the way through destroying the supply trucks, Psi is ambushed by Pinky and thrown from the convoy, then held at bay until the rest of the trucks escape. Psi isn't able to catch up in time, but the remains of the trucks he did destroy leave behind some vital clues that he can later use to track them.
Psi goes backwards along the route the trucks came from, tracking them back to their source. There he discovers a field of volataile crystals just like the ones several of the Omega Eyes had been using in weaponized form, being farmed like crops. The level can be ended in one of two ways - by destroying all of the harvesting trucks in the level, or by infiltrating to the roots of the crystals themselves and creating a chain reaction that causes them all to grow to super-massive sizes into a formation easily visible from the world map. EIther way, the harvesting operations in the area are greatly disrupted, leaving Psi to figure out what exactly the crystals were intended for elsewhere.
Psi visits the nearest city along the convoy's previous route and asks citizens if they saw any of their trucks pass by, using the Omega Eyes logo previously discovered from the convoy wreckage to help jog their memory. Some of them will point Psi in a direction or series of directions to lead him closer to the convoy's destination, some are in fact covert OA operatives that will lure Psi into a secluded area to try to defeat him, while others are generally unhelpful and don't give any useful information. Psi eventually tracks the convoy's route to a desolate factory, in which the Omega Eyes are manufacturing large missles with the same weaponized crystals as before. Not one to let something like this happen, Psi destroys all of the factory's important machinery, disables the remainder of the supply trucks that managed to flee previously and completely wipes out the Omega Eyes force occupying the area, but not before stealing some important looking equipment to use as a lead later.
After completing both of the above missions in any order, Psi is confronted by Cinder piloting an excessively pyrotechnical mech. He destroys it by attacking the exposed fuel tanks for its large flamethrowers, then causing damage to the mech itself after the blast rips most of the mech's armour off. After the mech is destroyed, Psi engages Cinder in a brief Mano a Mano fight on foot before he is rescued by Torcher's helicopter. While this boss fight is listed as a seperate chapter, it plays directly as a part of the second of the two missions the player completes prior.
Left without a lead to follow, Psi shows the various equipment he found in Concealed Enemy to Ekoi. He manages to identify their signature crystal as a compound that is not only amazingly sharp and expands aggressively with the slightest provocation, but also possesses a unique radiation that he can use to track it. Abandoning his shop to stop an immenent crisis, Ekoi helps Psi track the crystal's signature to a hidden Omega Eyes launch facility, with the launch timer already counting down as they arrive. Psi and Ekoi are forced to split up once inside to disarm as many of the missiles as possible in the shortest time, having to fight through OE generals along the way including the previously encountered Pinky and Cinder, as well as the bizarre Hatty & Gloves experiment. Psi finally encounters Torcher, the Omega Eyes general, standing watch over the last warhead - after boldly announcing his plan to destroy current civilization and build a new one in his image, in true Bond Villain fashion, the two have a brief punch-up.
Shortly into the fight, Torcher breaks off and cancels the missile countdown, triggering an early launch. He catches a ride on the warhead to ensure it reaches its destination, and Psi follows, causing the boss fight to leave the launch facility and proceed on the exterior of the warhead itself as it soars towards the nearest city. If Psi is knocked off during the fight, the player will have to catch up in Shmup Mode as Torcher holds him at bay with ranged attacks - Torcher isn't quite as lucky however if the same happens to him, causing the fight to end early. Unable to disarm the missle before it hits the city, Psi does the next best thing - he stops it with his telekinesis, hurls it straight at Torcher and slams him straight into his own fortress, ending him in a glorious, crystalized explosion. Left behind in the carnage is a white Gem of Chaos - indicating that Torcher had been controlled by an Avatar all along, and not been acting of his own whim.
In the aftermath of the Omega Eyes arc, evidence is discovered that not all of their weaponry had been destroyed - some of it had been sold to various factions across the map prior to the blast, making it a threat even after the OE disbanded. After handing the sales ledger to Ekoi, he is able to track the many supply shipments to their respective owners, and Psi, if only out of curiousity for who besides Omega Eyes would need that kind of technology, tracks down people on the list one by one. Before long, however, it becomes clear that most of the offenders on the list are in fact native humans, and that Psi isn't the only one hunting them - a reputable superhero, openly flaunting a Gem of Chaos, is also hunting down those with the illegally distributed weapons. Before long it becomes a race to get to one group before the other, and it doesn't take long for the previously graceful hero to show a jealous, spiteful side, even possessing the nerve to attack Psi directly at times just to get a shot at the glory. Long story short, Psi ends up making an enemy out of him, and at the end of the day he follows a completely different lead, claiming to be looking for the true origin point of the weapons but really just making up excuses to distance himself without looking like a wuss.
When Psi comes back to collect on the names on the list he's gone through so far, he finds the place being ransacked by Saviour, much to the dismay of a very furious Ekoi. While the player can make Saviour less aggressive by way of clever chat options, either way, Psi and Ekoi are forced to take Saviour on to protect the merchandice and their integrity. Eventually he is chased out of the store, but the fight still continues into the city, broken up occasionally by more mid-fight banter consisting mostly of Saviour finger-pointing and trying to make them look bad based on speculation and generalization, but at one point he reveals that the thugs they had been fighting earlier had actually been using a mixture of Omega Arms and Ekoi's OCI-tech, as if to imply Ekoi had been supplying them. Eventually Ekoi manages to prove his innocence by way of a security tape showing said thugs breaking into his store and stealing the display items, causing Saviour to reluctantly back off, leaving only a racist slur or two in his wake.
After a brief interrogation of some of the thugs from the previous incident, it turns out the Omega Eyes gear, too, is stolen - meaning the whole time, they hadn't been chasing the original buyers, and consequently, a red herring. Using the information extracted from them, Psi and Ekoi follow leads that eventually all lead to a small, lightly guarded HQ. There, they learn the true purpose of the OE tech they purchased: a small gang is planning a daring heist, using the technology not only to place them at a great advantage over local law enforcement, but also to create a scapegoat implicating remnants of Omega Arms in the crime, making it easier for them to avoid blame after the job. The bad news is not only is the gang already carrying out the heist in question, Saviour had been spying on Psi and Ekoi the whole time to save him the trouble of investigating for himself. Having learnt what he needed to know, Saviour keeps the two preoccupied by trapping them inside the building and crippling its foundations, while he hunts down the gang and takes them down solo to completely steal all the glory. Needless to say, while the masses think no different of Saviour destroying the mob's hideout, Ekoi and Psi both start to seriously doubt Saviour's supposedly noble intentions.
Wanting to see the full picture behind Saviour's behaviour, Psi and Ekoi decide to do some stalking of their own, this time following him back to his secret hideout. Then when he later leaves again, the two sneak into his place in hopes of getting some dirt on him. As it turns out, they get a lot more than they bargain for - right from the start, it's immediately obvious that Saviour's hideout is defended by the very same tech that was stolen by the previous thugs in the first place, including the Omega Eyes weaponry and the various OCI gadgets he had confiscated after ransacking Ekoi's place. It gets worse when the pair intrude deeper inside, as they find detailed logs and first-person recordings of Saviour's un-pulicised hits, including coverups of excessive force and racially-movitated arrests with no actual legal justification behind them. The icing on the cake comes in the form of Saviour having his own private jail sector deep within his hideout, housing illegally detained individuals that by all accounts are either being held for petty, minor crimes, or have not even broken a law at all and simply discriminate against Saviour's taste. With information and freed prisoners in tow, Psi and Ekoi head for the exit just in time for Saviour to return from another job, and hold him at bay long enough for his prisoners to escape before making themselves scarce.
Psi and Ekoi hurry to get the incriminating evidence to the authorities, but Saviour makes one last stand, cutting them off in mid transit. Left with no other option, Psi decides to take down Saviour himself in the midst of his own supportive fans, whilst Ekoi breaks away from the fight and instead opts to get the evidence to a nearby news station, battling off Saviour's irate, pissed off fans along the way. The action cycles between the two scenes at key intervals, breaking up Ekoi's approach with brief bouts of Psi vs Saviour action. Unfortunately for Psi, Saviour is virtually invulnerable as long as his ego is satisfied, making it impossible to deal any meaningful damage to him... right up until the news starts airing the footage they stole from his hideout, causing the crowd to react in disgust, deflating his vanity and giving Psi a very real chance of finishing him off.
In the throes of a villainous breakdown, Psi forcibly seperates Saviour from his Gem of Chaos - and consequently, the Avatar that had been controlling him. Nonetheless, in a rather ironic twist of fate, his host is detained for Saviour's actions on the basis that authorities still believe he's the same person, making him a victim of the same false justice Saviour regularly handed out. Despite being offered as a reward for their heroism, both Psi and Ekoi turn down the right to Saviour's Gem of Chaos, leaving authorities to confiscate it and keep it locked up until they have some idea of what to do with it. On the plus side, Ekoi gets to steal back all the stuff Saviour took from him several missions ago, as well as stocking his store with a few new goodies from Saviour's former arsenal.
Even though the main problem behind the Omega Eyes ledger has been solved, one last lead, irrellevant to Saviour or any of the thugs thus far, still hasn't been investigated. Not wanting to leave a case even partly unsolved, Psi tracks the last location on the ledger to a well hidden facility in dense jungle, with a number of derelict, dimly lit labs that seem to have been host to the kinds of testing that makes even Omega Eyes look tame by comparison. With almost zero opposition, Psi explores the place and takes notes of the things that happened there from notepads, computers and just general suspicious circumstances. Deeper inside, though, he encounters a group of massive, power-armoured hostiles, all of which flee and are seemingly warped straight out of the complex - save for one, who visibly suffers some kind of malfunction that prevents him from doing the same. After a suprisingly brutal fight, Psi manages to subdue him, only to find that the unfortunate straggler is a genuine human being, quite unlike the shorter counterparts that he was more used to seeing around the place. Not long afterwards, the complex is subjected to a heavy bombing from a distant force, forcing Psi and his partner to drag the soldier out of harm's way before the worst of it destroys the complex entirely.
As Psi escapes the complex, it quickly becomes apparent what bombed it - an alien battleship of gargantuan proportions. Once the facility is reduced to little more than a giant crater, the battleship turns its attention towards the nearest city and focuses its weapons on it instead, prompting Psi and his buddies to rush in and help those in need. Together they help evacuate the town whilst it's still under heavy fire, and take down hostiles identical to the ones in the previous mission between barrages wherever they may land to ensure the safety of escaping civilians. Late into the mission, Psi witnesses one of his favourite landmarks - a public library which held information that proved both interesting and useful to him in previous gameplay - instantly annihilated by a cannon barrage. Psi's inherent appreciation of knowledge causes him to snap and assume his powerful Avatar form, taking to the skies and wiping out the battleship's fighter escorts before going Mano-a-Mano with the battleship itself. After a long and grueling fight, Psi finally manages to shoot down the battleship entirely from the outside... only to find said battleship was only one of an entire fleet's worth still bombarding other population centres at the same time. Even beyond an Avatar's power to destroy them all singlehandedly, Psi is forced to retreat and watch the surrounding settlements fall one by one.
With only one option left, Psi - and nearly all the survivors in the area, for that matter - flock to the only major installation still held by the Denuons, a heavily fortified, maximum security prison complex / police station with enough stationary firepower to hold off even the titanic battleships capable of leveling entire cities singlehandedly. Psi and all of his previous allies meet up inside to suppoert the facility's turrets and walls, and in Psi and Sooku's case, helping to deflect returned fire to prevent them from incurring too much damage. When ranged attacks fail to subdue the fortress, the invading humans drop a land-based attack force to attempt to soften it up at close range - and even from within, if they are allowed to get close enough. Some time into the battle, Howard suddenly dashes in and punches Psi so far away he literally flies straight over the prison walls, isolating him from his allies and the raging battle outside. Psi is forced to fight Howard mano-a-mano when the turrets refuse to assist for risk of friendly fire, and because Psi's standard attacks are relatively ineffective against Howard's anti-flinch power armour, he's forced to use telekinetically-thrown objects strewn about the place to level the field. Eventually both sides of the battle suffer heavy casulties, and the humans, Howard included, are forced to retreat before taking even further losses - finally affording the Denuons some breathing time to reorganise themselves, even if it means only delaying the inevitable.
Although the Denuons had managed to hold the fort, they and most of the other remaining settlements are almost completely cut off from each other, which would leave the remaining resistance unable to support each other should another attack occur to any of them. Psi and Kit are sent out to scout the routes between settlements, not to engage any enemy forces along the way but rather, to find a way to travel safely between them. This mission is more of an open world exploration than anything else, and can be completed in any order and at the player's own pace as long as every marked territory is visited along routes unoccupied by enemy patrols. Typically, the shortest and most obvious routes between settlements are also the most dangerous, forcing the player either to take lengthier detours or to abuse hidden routes such as cave paths. At various points throughout the mission, Kit explains that he got seperated from Techron when the fighting started before he had a chance to get him repaired, climaxing right at the end of the mission when the pair find Techron, of all things, having a tea party with enemy troops. After trying, and failing horribly, to make any sense of the situation, Psi and Kit crash the party and drag Techron back to base. As it turns out, the idle conversation Tech had been engaging in prior to Kit's arrival accidentally resulted in some great intel gathering - including, among things, the fact that Artemis is involved in the invasion as a ranking officer, and some of the specs behind the gear that the invaders use.
While the fort has endured the initial assault, nobody capable of repairing critical damage to the structure and defenses survived. After some negotiations, the fort convinces one of the other settlements to send a repairman, with Psi as the escort. Unfortunately for them, the repairman had been a priority target for the invaders since even before the invasion started, and they're attacked within moments of leaving fortifications. Psi first has to ride the exterior of an elevator heading to the ground floor with the target inside, holding off waves of flying units, then telekinetically halting the elevator itself when it's sent into an uncontrollable plunge from stray fire. Afterwards, the repairman hotwires a stray car and drives off in it, whilst Psi rides along on the roof holding off yet more reinforcements in pursuit. Kit meets with the two somewhere in transit and takes Psi's place, using his ranged weaponry to better use in his stead, whilst Psi stays behind to cut further reinforcements off until he's called back to base. When Psi gets back, he finds the repairman finally giving Techron some much-needed examination. He makes a startling discovery - Techron doesn't have an engine. Only a Gem of Chaos where it should be.
After some study, it's found that the Gems - Psi's and Techron's both, and presumably the rest of the set too - reacts to "ambient chaos". Which is to say, the more chaotic the immediate area, the more powerful they become. With this in mind, the brass thinks up a bold strategy to gain some of their land back by abusing this trait. Psi and a group of aerial fighters are set apon the nearest city captured by the invading humans with the intent of assuming aerial superiority and throwing their assets on the ground into a frenzy. Then, once the airspace is secured, Techron is dropped in from above to capitalize on the chaos and wear down any remaining resistance. True to character, he does so in the most unexpected form possible - by holding a rave and literally tiring them out through dance, making them easy pickings when reinforcements come in to mop up. With another territory recaptured, the Denuons get one step closer to the invader's core bases, as well as provide direct access between more of the existing settlements that otherwise had heavy resistance between them.
During more exploration between resistance bases, Psi bumps into Mimic, who hadn't been seen since the war started. He has no intention of siding with the humans, but is actively being hunted down by Denuons on the sole basis of his human-like appearance. After a brief fight with his own allies to keep them from Mimic, Psi convinces them to let Mimic into protected territory. Naturally, commanding officers are less than amused by the fact and immediately imprison the shapeshifter instead, prompting Psi to convince them that Mimic is on the same side and can be trusted, using topics gathered from his previous ventures - most notably, his large role in stopping the previous Black Life assault - and garnering support from other various officers to back him up. Unlike most other missions, this one focuses almost exclusively on Topic-based persuasion, prompting the player to dig quite deeply into their notebook for the best answers.
It's decided that Mimic be used to infiltrate a human stronghold, taking advantage of his resemblance to them and ability to change his own appearance failing that. Mimic goes straight for the motherload - A massive elevator structure that reaches all the way into orbit, once used for Denuo's now-decomissioned space programme but was then captured by humans to allow them an easy landing platform for orbital troops and supplies. Posing as a soldier allied to them, Mimic infiltrates the ground level of the lift to scout for structural weaknesses that can be exploited, and extract info that can be used to their advantage in a later siege, including their response protocol in event of an attack, their centre of security and a basic floor map. Again, the focus is not on explicit, blatant action, but the player must take caution in asking sensitive questions or performing suspicious activities that may blow Mimic's cover and force him to covertly change identities when the heat blows off to continue his mission.
After learning that a massive wave of supplies is imminent, Psi and Mimic act outside of orders and decide to take down the elevator by themselves, having no time for appropriate reinforcements to catch up. As a diversionary tactic, Psi breaks into the elevator complex by force and starts catching a ride upwards, drawing guards away from the ground floor and allowing Mimic to work with minimal resistance. The action alternates between characters at specific intervals, with Psi fighting off waves of enemies as his elevator rises higher, and Mimic planting increasingly ridiculous amounts of explosive in previously marked weak points under light resistance, starting with standard C4 charges, then moving up to large explosive barrels and higher, until Mimic starts commandeering fuel tankers and space shuttles and shoves them in every orifice of the ground floor. Right before the job is finally done, Howard is warped in on Psi's floor, proving to be a very difficult opponent with no reinforcements and a very small frame going for him. Mimic helps by severing the mechanisms holding the lift up, causing it to go into freefall with the two inside - after a brief scuffle during the elevator's return to orbit, Psi escapes and hovers in the empty shaft, while Howard is warped back out to avoid harm.
The falling elevator acts as an oversize plunger for the ridiculous quantity of explosives downstairs, causing them to explode on impact. Amusingly enough, the structure is still left teetering on needle-thin supports afterwards, causing Mimic to topple the remainder by throwing a rock at it. Psi is forced to escape the elevator structure by moving back up through it in mid collapse before it hits the ground - conveniently enough, straight on top of another human forward base, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
Psi is called in as reinforcements after an allied base is subjected to another attack from human forces. Leading the assault is none other than Artemis himself, curb-stomping a depressingly under-armed resistance backed with sophisticated weaponry of his own. After helping survivors stand their ground and charge back through enemy ranks, Psi and friends take out Artemis's personal guard before moving onto the main man himself. Artemis doesn't take the fight particularly seriously - he abuses his minigun Climax to overcome Psi's anti-projectile defenses, but other than that he fights more or less how you'd expect him to in a straght VS match. It quickly becomes apparent later into the fight why this base was singled out - there simply isn't enough weaponry to go around for the Denuons, they have no factories left to mass-produce more, and the base in question possesses almost medieval-grade standards as far as their armoury is concerned. In any case, Artemis escapes before he takes any serious damage, but not before inadvertantly revealing he has a Gem of Chaos in his possession. Without their boss in the field, the remainder of enemy forces are gradually pushed away and warped out, safeguarding the Denuons's land claim once more... but leaving a somewhat frustrated Ekoi and Metal Coat to cater to their demand for weaponry almost singlehandedly, and with no machinery to help them build, to boot.
To get some of their production capability back, the Denuons set out to steal back one of their factories taken by the invaders shortly after landing. Psi, Ekoi and Metal Coat spearhead the assault with plenty of reinforcements backing them, and after a brief scuffle with outside guards, successfully infiltrate the factory and start retaking the place from within. The peons from either side fight in the background whilst Psi and co take on the more important tasks - specifically, seeking out Artemis' 4 personal guard acting as ranking officers for the complex and taking them out. They all occupy seperate sections of the factory and can be taken out in any order, and each has their own specialties. One is a pyromaniac specializing in firebombs, one camps up high and snipes everybody from afar, one which cowardly flees from the player and drops explosives that he detonates if the player gives chase, and one that engages the player with an automatic shotgun and will try to shove the player away if they get within melee distance. Like before, a retreat is ordered once the ranking officers are unable to continue, putting the facility back into allied hands. Afterwards, Psi catches Ekoi and MC whispering things to each other somewhat suspiciously, but they maintain they are only cooperating for the mutual cause of not getting their asses blown off.
Not too long later, Ekoi and MC claim to have made an invention for Psi cooperatively - something, given their established business rivalry, is completely unheard of from them two. It turns out to be a large device that amplifies Psi's power to create a large TK shield, enough to protect a sizeable battalion from enemy fire. After some quick proof-of-concept and training excercises, they immediately set their attention on a target that had been a source of great grief for the Denuon resistance - a massive, heavily guarded artillery battery on the doorstep of the invader's biggest concentration of camps and bases, at the heart of their operations. Psi escorts a company of troops across a barren, crater-riddled landscape, and when allied troops call to him that a barrage is incoming, the player must grab the shield device telekinetically in order to activate it and protect them from the almost certaintly lethal projectiles. Halfway across the field, the humans mix things up by sending infantry after Psi's company, forcing him to alternate between shielding and defending himself from close-range attack - sometimes even both at once. Closer to the end, Artemis' personal guard makes one last ditch appearance, taking Psi and friends on together and cooperating with some effective (and somewhat unorthodox) team attacks but ultimately end up being defeated outright. Once the personal guard is defeated, the rest of the mission is a cakewalk - Psi's company simply waltzes on inside and decimates the battery with strategic bombings with virtually no resistance.
Afterwards, Psi is subjected to a rather startling revelation by Ekoi - the shield device he'd been using all throughout had no reason to actually work in any way, and was in fact little more than an overly intricate looking piece of metal. Ekoi and MC both had suspicions of the way Psi's powers worked, and this all but confirmed it - he could do almost anything he was led to believe he was capable of, even if it didn't make any sense whatsoever. This gives the Denuons a massive wild card that could end up winning them the war... but before they departed for the last assault, Psi had one last thing left to do, knowing full well they'd still need all the help they could get.
As it turned out, Suzaku had gone missing ever since the war started, and nobody, not even Lynness, had seen him around yet. She, Psi and Sooku set out in search of Suzaku, not intent on removing him from the picture, but rather, to seek his assistance in the war, even if it meant having to deal with him immediately afterwards. Naturally, Suzaku's castle was destroyed early on in the initial assault, but failed to reach as far as his hidden basement where he had been hiding the first time the trio had hunted him down, and to nobody's surprise, exactly where he was hiding right now. The player has several means to try and coax Suzaku over to their own side - if the completion of previous sidequests involving Suzaku is combined with appropriate Topic persuasion, the chapter can be completed without any violence whatsoever. Initially Suzaku is simply avoiding the war entirely and abusing his natural longetivity to outlast it, but once he's convinced the war will catch up to him anyway it quickly becomes a question of why he shouldn't just side with the humans for the sake of being on the winning side. Depending on how many speech challenges the player fails, Psi will have to rough Suzaku up to proportionate degrees to ensure his loyalty. Regardless of the outcome, Suzaku reluctantly agrees to help Psi out, but only towards a common goal - to ensure there is still a planet left in the end to prosper from.
In an idle conversation between Suzaku and Psi, Suzy speaks of the being that gave him his powers long, long ago, which triggers some confusion as even though Lynness is claimed to have recieved her powers from the very same source, she has no recollection of it. Looking to uncover the truth and perhaps seek his assistance to tip the war in their favour, Suzaku, Psi, Lynness and Sooku all set out to visit in person where he is likely still alive - in a tomb locked for many millenia by locks that respond only to Psi, and by some crazy coincidence, his weapon, which slots perfectly into various mechanisms as a key. The tomb is divided by seven massive blast doors, each of which delivers a riddle that is answered directly with the true identity of an Avatar. In between are minions that were once commanded by Suzaku as well as platforming puzzles loosely themed around moving the blocky environment itself into optimal jumping conditions. At the very heart of the tomb is the being responsible for turning Suzaku and Lynness into what they are now. When asked to help them in the war, he treats the offer as insolence and attacks Psi and co from the comfort of his throne. Later into the fight, he takes the fight standing up, and remains immortal as long as he's close to the throne, requiring the player to blast him away from it to finish him off. A potential ally lost, the rest of the gang leaves to prepare for the final battle, but Psi finds something when he stays behind - that the throne itself is the key for the last blast door, and the answer to the door's riddle is himself. It opens a personal study for none other than Destiny the First, whom was once also possessed by Psi a very long time ago and left behind premonitions that for the time being, is kept secret even from the player.
Plans for the final battle are finally put into place. Knowing full well that the humans have an Avatar of their own on their side, even if they aren't aware of it, the war effectively cannot be won as long as Artemis is supporting them. With Techron spearheading a ground assault to keep their numbers intact, Psi and a small squad fly straight for the flagship Artemis is commanding from, fighting through all resistance they encounter along the way. Once on the deck of the flagship, only Howard stands in Psi's way, guarding the only entrance. The fact that the fight area is floating in midair makes for an especially deadly fight, as a single good blow can send Psi sailing right over the edge if the player isn't careful. Eventually Howard is defeated, but not utterly - Psi leaves him behind on the deck, with a warning that the worst is yet to come. As Psi makes his way inside, he is confronted by an entire barrack's worth of troops, but they all lower their weapons and allow Psi to pass on Artemis's command over the PA. After meeting in his personal quarters, Artemis once again tries to manipulate Psi into joining him, but all Psi expresses interest in is taking Artemis down. Knowing a fight is unavoidable, Artemis conciously deactivates the flagship's shields, allowing fighters to cripple it into dropping from the sky, then escapes via a nearby window by shooting it out. Psi follows him, initiating a duel in mid-freefall.
Artemis fires at the player almost constantly during the fall, making it virtually impossible to approach him and deal damage. Shortly into the fight, the flagship explodes above them, showering debris into the play area that can both be used as cover and as a telekinetic projectile. After taking some damage, Artemis starts redirecting thrown debris back at the player by swinging on them with his grapple gun, triggering a back-and-forth duel that the player must react to swiftly and consistently to win out on. Eventually the ground starts to draw near, and Artemis is saved when a human fighter plane catches him on his wings, changing the boss fight into a Schmup perspective as Artemis not only fires on Psi with his existing sidearms and minigun, but also commands the fighter pilot to release flares and perform melee-esque barrel rolls when the situation calls for it. In this stage the player can't damage Artemis directly, but eventually the plane he is standing on gets shot down, causing it to come to a stop on the slope of a hill and allowing Psi to fnally catch up. The two then fight in close quarters on the jet's surface as it slides downhill towards the ground battle below, giving Psi a chance to dish out some serious damage on the way down before the jet finally comes to a stop right in the dead centre of the battlefield.
The fight continues as normal, and opposite sides fighting in the background stop to cheer out their best fighters locked in battle. Once Artemis is brought down to low health, he triggers a Climax Mode, but instead of withdrawing a second sidearm (he had already been using both pistols as much as possible up to this point), he withdraws his Gem of Chaos and inadvertently triggers his Avatar form, prompting Psi to do the same. In a fierce finale rife with frequent Clashes, Psi finally finishes the fight and defeats Artemis proper. Understanding what position he's in, Artemis attempts to provoke Psi into killing him in the name of vengeance - Psi instead reveals to Artemis his true nature as an avatar, and in the resulting fit of insanity, manages to talk him into joining Psi instead for "one last task". Infuriated by the sight of opposite races joining forces, Denuons and humans both try to attack them, but are each stopped by the opposite side, restarting the fighting even fiercer than before and allowing Psi and Artemis to simply slip away. The first part of Psi's plan is revealed in the aftermath - to unite all of the Gems of Chaos, force them onto new bodies for those hosts who had already perished before the war, and abuse the chaos resulting from the war to become even more powerful than the gods themselves.
Psi and Artemis hunt down Techron in the heart of a familiar but now hostile Denuon base, and manage to talk him into joining with them with relative ease. Using Techron's sensors, the group are able to track down two of the now-abandonded Gems of Chaos in seperate paths on the world map - the teal and red ones. After some deliberation, the group decides on a pair of new hosts best suitable for the new respective avatars - Lynness and Suzaku. Like the gems themselves, both of them are found in seperate areas of the world map, but they both flee after an initial confrontation and a quick fight, leaving them to reuinite and form an uneasy truce with each other for the sake of protecting themselves from Psi and co. Apon defeat, Psi forces the new Gems of Chaos into their possession, awakening them as the Avatars of Justice and Combat - at which point they quickly come to understand their coming roles and join the group, even though Psi obviously has a hidden agenda on his mind that he can't reveal yet.
The Avatar group tracks down the white gem to an underground location using Techron's eyes. In the time since the war started, the underground of the region had since become a refuge of safety for the Black Life race, which has scarcely been seen since Dread was last defeated. The visible hive mind in the area are timid and docile at first - even when attacked directly, they will simply flee and disappear from sight. The gem itself is in the heart of the Black Life refuge, guarded by a regenerated form of Dread who has since reformed his previously devious ways. When the implication is made that he take the Gem of Chaos himself and join with the rest of the Avatars, though, he is understandably infuriated (seeing as the entre Black Life invasion only ever triggered because of the gem's influences in the first place) and incites his hive mind brethren to mob the Avatars en masse. Dread himself doesn't join the fight until the hive mind numbers begin to noticably dwindle, and in addition to his normal fighting behaviour he will repeatedly abuse his Climax Finisher both to call in reinforcements and to cause serious harm to players that allow themselves to stay in one place too long. After chasing and being chased through the underground tunnel network, the Avatars manage to subdue Dread and his kind entirely, then forcing the white Gem of Chaos onto him to awaken him as the Avatar of Domination.
The gang tracks the last gem - the yellow one - to the peak of a plataeu far from the centre of fighting. Finding a host appropriate isn't difficult - because it corresponds to the Avatar of Compassion, Psi surmises that the best possible host will seek them out, and sure enough, an extremely furious Akumaryu bursts onto the scene, upset over the way his trust in Psi had been abused. Naturally nobody is able to convince him to join the easy way - if anything the suggestion just makes him even angrier - so as a show of good faith Psi asks the rest of the Avatars to stand aside and let him handle it. Throughout the course of the fight Aku generally keeps great distance between himself and the player, using greatly powered-up magick attacks that can only avoided by taking cover using the scenery appropriately. He will continue to remain in one spot and cast spells until the player catches up, at which point Aku moves again once he has taken a certain amount of damage in close combat. Once the fight is over, Psi uses a hallucinogenic fake-out to act as though he takes the brunt of one of Aku's attacks, only to strike him from behind with the yellow gem and bestow Avatar status on him.
With the seven Avatars united, Psi finally explains the reasoning for his actions in full. The writings left behind by Destiny I in a previous chapter pointed out that he had been an Avatar of Knowledge too, just like Psi, and he had learnt that the planet was essentially doomed to war on this scale at regular intervals to satisfy the desires of a god-like being who sees them as little more than personified fuel sources. However, Destiny was left in absolutely no position to stop it back in his own life span, and was himself doomed to perish by his own predictions. Using his astounding powers of precognition, he was able to see into eras eons into his future, towards a time in which fate would give them the best possible chances of overthrowing the horrible god, and had left messages for Psi knowing he would be the only one to uncover and unlock his tomb with the keys of various kinds provided. Of his own voilition, Psi had incited the recent outrage deliberately, justifying it as a "necessary evil" because it would strengthen the Avatars in turn, and increase their chances of taking the Creator down to finally create a lasting peace for the people of Denuo.
With their motivations realized, the Avatars ascend into the heavens towards the Creator's own realm - however, the Creator sees them coming and seperates them on arrival in preparation for his own plans.
The level starts with the Creator trying to brainwash Psi back over to his side in the way he knows best - with promises of vast, untold knowledge and answers to all the questions he'd ever had over the course of his journey. Psi seems to take the bait at first, but realizes that even if the Creator were being sincere, he would end up losing his memory again anyway so that the Cycle could begin anew when he saw fit. Psi breaks free of the Creator's manipulative speechcraft and finds himself in a realm strongly remeniscent of his Nostalgia Mode, filled with scenes of the earliest events in the game and populated by vicious white shades of previous NPCs. While they aren't particularly strong, they are extremely aggressive and respawn indefinently, requiring the player to flee strategically and make it to the end of the section in one piece.
Psi then arrives at a massive locked gate with slots for all seven of the Gems of Chaos, flanked by doorways representing the other six. Unfortunately for Psi, he was the only one who resisted the temptations offered to him, leaving him to hunt down and defeat the other six Avatars in their respective sub-realms to snap them out of it and talk some sense back into them. While each sub-realm has environments and enemies remeniscent of previous scenes in the game regarding those same gems, they all have a common set of new enemies and backdrop elements unique to the Creator's realm as well as powered-up versions of some of the old ones. Once all seven Avatars are united again, they pool their powers and gems together to open the gate to the Creator's inner sanctum.
What follows next is a myriad of puzzles requiring usage of every Avatar's skill set to some extent in order to progress, broken up by brief combat segments and a mini-boss fight consisting of shades made from previous Avatars, including those already defeated previously in the storyline but adding new ones for some of them, most notably peaking with Psi's equivalent by resorting to a surprise appearance from Jean Eric, whom Psi had thought was himself until midway into the story. Eventually the gang finally makes it to a solitary stairway where resistance finally ceases, leading to the first actual sighting of the Creator in the form of an absolutely gargantuan flying serpentine beast hinted at in various forms through previous mythology references.
Although the Creator's initial attacks are absurdly slow, his ridiculous size allows him to attack across an extremely large area at any given time, generally meaning the player has to run like hell whenever he winds an attack up. In their current state, none of the Avatars can do any noticable damage, but attacking the Creator when he's vulnerable still gives the player some Climax energy, towards which the player can activate their respective character's Climax Mode and do some real damage. As the fight continues, ambient levels of chaos starts rising, which allows Climax energy to regenerate on its own, eventually to the point it becomes virtually infinite - at which point all seven Avatars trigger their Climax Modes and Finishers at once, finishing the serpentine Creator off with relative ease.
As it turns out, though, the Creator is far from defeated - the Avatars had merely defeated his host body. As the Creator sarcastically congratulates them for making it this far, he grows seven seperate health bars to match that of his opponents, and takes the form of an ominous, shape-shifting ball of light for the final fight. Throughout the course of the battle, the Creator blatantly steals the majority of his attacks from other characters in the game, from ordinary NPCs to previous boss fights and even the Avatars themselves - however, he can chain seperate categories of attacks together as the situation warrants, effectively giving him the advantage in every situation if he so chooses. To make matters worse, his Climax moves consist of changing the environment around him to a hazardous location on the planet's surface - for example, the mouth of an active volcano in mid-eruption, raining magma down on the player.
Suffice to say, it is nearly impossible to keep every Avatar intact for the entire fight. The Creator may get cocky if he starts to take the lead, but if the player gets too far ahead of him he will abuse the best combinations in his arsenal to level the playing ground - and subsequently, taking down the Avatars one by one. Unable to assist in the fight directly anymore, they all gradually retreat back to Denuo to help out the people on the surface. Eventually, only Psi and the Creator will be left standing, by which point he should have roughly one health bar left. Inevitably, Psi loses. In his desperation, he actually pleads with the god simply to end the way chaos dominates and sustains the land. To his great surprise, the Creator sees some sense in Psi's words and actually obliges, but not in the way he would have wanted - his solution is simply to blow the entire planet up and make a new one.
The Creator summons an energy ball of colossal size and hurls it towards Denuo, threatening to violently tear it apart in a single pass. Psi alone stands between it and the planet and tries to stop it with some TK Pulses of his own, but is still weakened from the fight and loses all hope. Just when everything seems lost, though, Psi hears the Avatars telling him to get out of the way. As it turns out, they had been trying to get the rampaging population under control, and only just now had managed to direct their anger towards a more appropriate target - the Creator and his massive ball of destruction. As Psi gets out of the way right in the nick of time, the entire planet's population, human and Denuon alike, unleashes everything they have against the planet-threatening projectile, barely managing to hold it at bay for the time being. The sight brings renewed hope in Psi, and his health is abruptly restored for one last shot at the Creator himself, this time convinced he will win out in the end - not because he is more powerful, but because he believes himself to be.
The threat of Denou's destruction still looms even with all the opposition given, presenting a time limit to finishing the remainder of the Creator's health off and performing a cinematic coup de grace in the form of a unique Climax Finisher which places him right in his own massive projectile's path. With the Creator effectively helpless, Psi joins in with the effort of pushing back the massive projectile along with the rest of the Avatars, chanelling everyone's sprits into a high point and finally winning out over the energy ball's momentum to knock it back into the Creator. Just before he's sent away, the Creator abruptly freezes time for everyone, including himself, for one last discussion with Psi.
Right on the brink of being sent to death, he apologizes to Psi for everything he's put his people through and concedes responsibility of the planet to him and the rest of the Avatars, and as a parting gift, offers to answer just one unanswered question for him, which can be asked by way of one of the many conversation Topics the player has gathered over the course of the game. After telling a short story relevant to the topic given, be it relevant to a character, the lore of the game or Psi himself, the Creator gives his final farewells afterwards and un-freezes time again, allowing himself to be carried into distant space by his own projectile before it explodes with tremendous effect in the distance.