This one was first reported back in 2008
in Japandemonium, but I'm only just now trying it out with a very discounted copy I bought not long before the earthquake hit.
Last night, the nameless protagonist of Dengeki Academy
(let's call him Sho, for convenience) and his probably-girlfriend Kizuna were checking out rumors of a ghost at their school. In the cafeteria, they find this girl stealing food. She's a bit weird, but they don't realize how weird at first. Kizuna even semi-correctly identifies her as cosplaying the character Shana from Shakugan no Shana
-- semi, because this actually is
Shana, as she proves by destroying a ghost-like monster that conveniently pops up. She's crossed the barrier between the literary and real worlds in search of a fated human. This turns out to be Sho. Instead of bothering to explain, Shana grabs Sho and teleports them into the first book world.
Apparently someone is attempting to disrupt the story worlds, changing or outright preventing major events crafted by the Entertainers who crafted those worlds.
Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu
For the record, I have no idea what this book is about, and neither does Sho, so at least we're equally lost. Apparently, someone or something is attempting to sabotage a crucial plot point early in the book, where Iriya first meets the male protagonist and gets a swimming lesson. In fact, the pool where this event takes place has been drained. Searching the pump house reveals that someone has taken the control handle, but they also dropped a key card to the secret military base on the far side of the school.
No, it is not explained why there is a secret military base on the far side of the school grounds; I am assuming that this is covered in the novel series.
All throughout this, Sho is getting bits of combat tutorial at each random encounter. The A button attacks, for up to a basic three-hit combo, but it can be combined with the up button for jump attacks, the down button for strong attacks, or the Y button to add a boosted skill attack to the combo chain. The B button defends against many (but not all) attacks, while the X button switches out the active party member. Combat really resembles the Tales formula, only with a single fighter at a time on my side.
On campus and in the base, the main enemies are soldiers, armed with either combat batons or machine guns. The minor boss of the area is a pair of Men in Black types, and once the pump handle is retrieved these guys become semi-regular random encounters as well.
So, the pump is repaired, the pool is refilled, and the protagonists can continue their fated encounter so that the story will flow properly. Yay. Oh, there's a boss?
This guy is not from Iriya no Sora
. In fact, he shouldn't be here at all, because only the chosen guardian is supposed to be able to cross literary boundaries. He's the boss of the Men in Black, though, and he's a lot tougher than anything else so far. His bomb attack ignores defense, and he can summon a squad of lackeys to surround the player and open fire. Once you figure out how to avoid them, it's pretty easy to do so, but Sho took a lot of damage in this one.
But in the end, Enomoto is defeated, and he dissolves in a burst of static. Weird. Then Sho and Shana return to the "real" world. A copy of Iriya somehow coalesces out of the ether to follow him. As explained, this Iriya isn't actually the book Iriya, but a magical shadow copy that still has her (lack of ) personality. She can also fight, so there's that. A quick trip around the school shows that Iriya's co-protagonist is also roaming the halls slightly confused, and Shana's male co-protagonist is out in the garden. In the cafeteria, there's a merchant, and I sort of recognize him. Which leads us to book 2...
Spice and Wolf
This is the only book featured in this game that I have actually read, even if I never actually finished it. Unfortunately, Sho is too late to save this one. Enomoto's group already managed to disrupt it, wrecking its reality and consigning it to oblivion. We don't have a name for this group yet, but according to Shana they are working for the forces of Boredom, and intend to make the entire world completely uninteresting.
In order to begin the resuscitation of Spice and Wolf
, Sho needs to find the seed of the plot, a crystalized essence of the seminal plot point. It took me far longer than it should have to find it, because in my slightly sleep-deprived state I forgot that the first big scene happens in a horse-drawn trader's wagon. See, it actually pays to read these books... Anyhoo, the book world is still a mess, but there is at least some hope.
Now all I need to do is find the actual next book that needs attention: Kino no Tabi
. It's not on the shelf, like Spice and Wolf
was, even though it was specifically named as my next destination.