OK, It's story time. Japan is moving into the modern era. The time is the mid-1920s, and the march of progress is pushing the supernatural denizens of Japan farther and farther into the edges of civilization. In response, the ancient contest of Hyakki Yagyou (The Hundred Demon Night, or Night Parade) has been called.
Five characters (your choice of MC) have chosen to swear the Covenant of Blood, registering them as champions of the Hyakki Yagyou.
Each character needs to muster their own force of mononoke (Japanese supernatural entities) and meet on the field of honor every seven days in battle over treasures known as the Amafuri-magatama (sacred stones fallen from heaven)
This isn't my first attempt on this game. The first time, I tried with the gal on the far right. Her name is Kuzuha, and her motivation is to collect as many magatama as possible so she can accessorize (at least, that's what she thinks her reasons are... it gets weird). I pushed through the game too fast, though, and the game's difficulty spikes in the third quarter. I ended up leaving it in favor of P3.
Second attempt was with the cat-girl, second from the left. That's when I learned that initial game difficulty is tied to MC choice. P4 distracted me that time.
This time around, I'm going with Yakumo, the kid in the blue hat, second from the right. He's sworn himself to the Covenant of Blood in the hopes of finding a cure for his mother's illness. He's also half-inugami (dog god) on his mom's side, which is why he's always wearing a hat.
--CHAPTER 1, FINISH!
OK, I've just beaten the game's intro, more or less. The first four weeks are largely scripted so that the player can meet the other four members of the covenant in and out of battle. In order, I took on Kuzuha, Suzune the catgirl, Kamoi the young samurai bibliophile, and Shiki the shrine maiden. The last battle was the toughest, largely because I let Shiki's three Yukinko (Snow Children) dominate the battle's field element, and they wouldn't let up with the special attacks.
As a particular element starts to dominate the field, different mononoke gain access to higher-level techniques. The element and level of domination required vary on the technique. Usually the technique's element is the same as the wielder's, but I know in one instance it's actually the opposite.
--July 5th, morning
It's been a while, but I haven't had much chance to advance the game this weekend. The first four Night Parade battles are set to be easier than normal,but from the second chapter on, I have to worry about elemental weaknesses more, and pick my battles to match my team. Thankfully, an important item gained early in the chapter lets me see which opponents are contesting which magatama, so I don't just jump in with a team of Wind-element monsters and find myself up against Suzune's Earth-based contingent of catgirls.
Also, there are dummy battles now. Every seven days the Night Parade happens and I HAVE to battle, but I don't necessarily have to make it count. There will be more battles available than there are magatama or oathbound opponents, so it's possible to put off advancing the plot in favor of leveling (plot and character advancement is tied to the number of magatama I've won so far).