Lower Arato is a small region with lots of houses, but none of them are open for you this early - the dirty alleys are where you'll stay most of the time. The level begins with an in-game cutscene.
- MO1: "Reach road to Karuwari with Hisako Yao."
- MO2: "Find a letter."
- Lesser objective: Picking up the storeroom key.
He isn't really in a bad condition, he only looks like that. He has a special running animation that's only used in this level of this game, in effect slightly slower than normal running. He also gasps and breathes heavily all the time, as if extremely exhausted. He won't get any more exhausted no matter how long you run. His inventory still consists of a sole flashlight.
Yes, it's Hisako herself hanging out with you. She can die just as readily as any other of this game's sidekicks, even though you might think otherwise.
Hisako is an unique sidekick. Unlike any other, she is the one in control. You can't call her over, or order her to do anything for that matter. She isn't very manipulable by other means either. She sets the pace and you're helpless to wait for her to follow her slow, set route. If you get in front of her, she pushes you forward like you were nothing but flustered, Kyoya-scented air.
She has some long speeches reserved for you, for tutorial purposes, and they're all unskippable. Kyoya must be close to her in order for her to start talking, whenever necessary. She'll continue talking like normal if Kyoya leaves her side, but she usually stops doing anything if Kyoya is too far away after she's stopped talking. If you turn the sightjack-menu on (for a moment) at any time, her voice is cut short, but she won't immediately continue her next phrase, instead opting to wait a set amount of time. So there's no winning time with this. If an enemy attacks her while she's talking, the voiceclip is not cut short, but she usually stops talking (or moving) altogether until the threat has passed her by.
She unleashes some additional soundclips if you mess around too much. You try to leave too early, and she says "Wait. Where do you think you're going?" or "Please listen to me!" or "You can't just leave." If you don't instantly follow her, she may say "What are you doing?" or "Over here" in an angry tone of voice. You put your light on after the crouching bit, and she'll say "Don't put on the light. They'll find us!" You wait around too much, and she'll scold you: "Come here, now!" or "Please!"
As a sidekick she's moderately tough. She'll take about 2.5 strong hits by a shibito without dying. But the bad part is that with her unusual sidekick behaviour, she gets completely paralyzed by them, even more paralyzed than your usual sidekick. She has to follow her set route, which usually doesn't permit her to run away from anything. It's up to Kyoya to distract the shibitos if it gets to that.
At the beginning of the level she expects you to wait at the sightjacking-menu for some amount of time. You don't even have to do anything at the menu. After the clock's hit 14 seconds, (with you having spent a couple of seconds in the menu) she can start a 20~ seconds long speech. Then she'll run over at the steps and ask you to wait until she tells you to come over. She stops at the gate next to the cafeteria and continues to move further only after you've waited near her for a second or so. Then it's more running by the alley - and then there's a tedious crouching bit. After that she'll get up and talk to Kyoya even more. A bit of waiting. Then she runs to the bus stop, where she wishes to be pulled up.
After you've pulled her up, she'll walk to the exit by her own volition, in fact, even against your volition. If you're lazy, you may make her push you to the exit by getting in front of her.
The crouching bit
Hisako beckons you to crouch with her. If you don't actually crouch you do get noticed when walking through the route (which means bad news for Hisako who'll be crouchwalking for quite a while). You may crouchwalk beside her in a sort of quasi-romantic unison. Or, if you prefer, you can crash the party by getting a shibito to approach and attack her from behind - she skips this segment by normally walking the rest of the path, and you win a decent amount of time. But this is really risky. The commotion usually wakes up the shibito watching you from the street, and Hisako gets her ass kicked twofold.
An interesting thing to note is that the shibito at the street will not notice Hisako even if she walks through her view. She only notices Kyoya.
The bus stop
Hisako expects you to pull her up here - for some reason this can be very hard to do fast. First of all, you need to be on the ground – or have just started climbing - in order to get her to say the "I need your help," which seems to be requisite for being able to use the "Pull up" command. As you remember, during the first playthrough you receive a short tutorial on pulling up sidekicks right there. Afterwards it's just a question of some strict positioning and patience: sometimes the option of "Pull up" simply doesn't appear quickly. Tapping up the menu repeatedly might help with this. It's easy to fall back down, which is a very bad idea if you're in a hurry.
If you don't pull her up right away, Hisako says "Please!" in a harried voice. She'll also start to follow you around the level like a normal sidekick. But unlike normal sidekicks, she may still not be pushed around or manipulated. Also, she'll never automatically face you like normal sidekicks.
During the time she expects to be pulled up she may also say "Give me a hand. Are you okay?"
Other things of interest
- There's something wrong with Hisako's eyes. Look closer with .
- The barbershop's sign has fallen down and now whirls alone at the ground. Check it out if you feel like it.
- If you listen carefully, you'll hear the announcement Harumi does at school at the same time some time during this level.
- If enough time passes, Kyoya may start running normally. A glitch?
Amusing things to do
- At the beginning of the level Hisako will always face Kyoya. If you run around her, she follows suit.
- Well, landslides are always fun, and there's one at the north end of the level, going up from the cafeteria. If you try to run up the edge of it, you'll be treated with a special "backing away" animation that's only available in a couple of places. And more power to Kyoya: if you do the "backing away" with Hisako right behind you, she'll actually get pushed by you! That's the only way to push Hisako, ever.
- You may lead Hisako to her own death by jumping repeatedly off the Rokkaku's house's shed's roof to the shores below, with her following you, of course.
- For some ironic amusement, you should get a shibito to strangle her while she's telling you how she's "watching over our surroundings" and how you should be careful.
- Start strafing right over the sharpest angle between the first stairs you encounter and the ground. Kyoya's leg bends inhumanely out of place!