Colors Flying High - Let's Play Persona 5 Royal

When I went through my screenshots and saw the dialog there, I swore I must’ve missed something. Then I checked it against both a video playthrough and the other LP, and no, I didn’t. What’s funny is they actually did change that bit of dialog in Royal - they added the “now listen up” line. You know, instead of making that entire scene make any kind of sense.

I don’t think they ever give an actual explanation, but my guess is that none of the schools wherever Joker’s from would take him due to the whole criminal record thing, and the only one that would is way out in Aoyama and that’s why he had to move - it’s not actually a condition of his probation.

The thing is, instead of wasting all this time repeating the same lines of dialog they could’ve put something in explaining it better.

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I actually kinda like the idea that the mystical power of the Persona is gained by facing and accepting your Shadow, but yeah, modern Persona suffers a bit from inconsistent writing on that front, and even what exactly the Shadow Selves we see in-game are even supposed to be.

Re: all the problems with the localization, I’ve heard that instead of necessarily being a rush job, it’s that there was a lot of executive meddling from Atlus Japan in the early stages/main plot part of the localization. It’s why a bunch of the Social Link dialogue reads a bit more naturally than the main plot, IIRC. And also why the VA is a bit more awkward and unnatural than we’re used to from Atlus USA games.

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I was thinking of how to justify John Persona as a name with something along the “Name the character Will Smith” advice instead of just a dumb joke that keeps making me laugh.

I did not know the plot of the game is he got in one little fight and his mom got scared and said “You’re moving with a random coffee shop owner.”

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Oh, so a little update on that as I go to record for the next update. There’s actually something else we get to name a bit later - that being the name of the party. What I think I’m going to do rather than go through like 38 minutes of cutscenes and dialog again (as opposed to the 10 or so minutes I’d need to get video of the cutscenes) is name the party John Persona. Alternatively we could do Fresh Princes.

I mean it has to be the French Princes. The only other idea I can think of is Masked Circle.

Click Here for Update 3

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t know why, but these thought bubbles make me think of the Milkman level from Psychonauts. “I am John Persona. My Personas are delicious. I have school starting today. I hope I do not get lost.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I only got this shot because I wanted to mention that if you ordered the overpriced collector’s edition of Persona 5, you got a Shujin bag like that one. I wound up getting “upgraded” to it without asking when I preordered, just like I did for Sonic Mania on the Switch. That’s why I have a gigantic statue of Sonic on a Model 1 Genesis on my shelf.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By the way, I should mention I had to re-record this four times because I forgot that AmaRecTV and FRAPS only play nicely together when the stars align. Some of the early shots in this update will be a little weird because of that. Apparently, I have to do this exactly like Persona 1 and Innocent Sin where I take screenshots at my native 2560x1080 resolution and crop the black bars off. This is why we don’t buy ultrawide monitors.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We could watch the TV (and I did in the video) but it gets repeated in a cutscene just a few minutes from now.

Sojiro: “Here, I’ll feed you. Just make sure you finish it before the customers start coming in.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yes. Curry for breakfast. I am John Persona, my breakfast is curry. The curry is delicious. I must leave now for my job on the road crew.

Sojiro: “What’s that reaction for? Just eat it.”

Sojiro: “It’s time for you to go.”

Sojiro: “Huh, turns out you do have manners after all. Hurry over to school. You’ll end up late if you get lost on the way.”

Sojiro: “Don’t forget to do that for me, all right? Now, you better hurry on out. You’re gonna be late if you get lost, country boy.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I guess this confirms my theory that moving wasn’t actually part of Joker’s probation, he just had to move because there were no other schools that would take him.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The station is down this street, which looks like it’d be an invisible wall in a Yakuza game… or in Innocent Sin.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game does this neat thing to mask loading where it’ll have outlines of people doing different things - the one on the train is different from the ones you get going between screens in the city. Like I said in the OP, this game is amazing in absolutely every way but the writing.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: All of a sudden, the door to the conductor’s area opens and looking back is Hitler wearing sunglasses and a jetpack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The entire subway is kind of a maze, with lots of dead ends. By the way, the sign on this platform corresponds to the real-life Tokyo subway system. At least, I’m pretty sure it does.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This sign is actually relevant. Big Bang Burger is Persona 5’s equivalent of the Chinese restaurant Aiya in Persona 4. I also only just realized that Aiya in P4 is a reference to Lisa in IS.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t know why I capped this other than that it sounds like a motivational shitpost on Twitter.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s some optional dialog here I want to get real quick.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is Ichiko Ohya. We will not know her name for quite some time. She looks kind of like a hybrid of Maya and Yukino.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Right behind Ohya is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS for an all confidants run. This is the Aojiru stand. We will be spending a lot of money here.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The exit we need to use is the Hachiko exit, hence the dog. If you don’t know who Hachiko was, Hachiko was a dog who belonged to a professor teaching at Tokyo Imperial University. You might’ve heard of that school if you’ve ever watched Love Hina - that’s the school the main character is trying to get into.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Anyway, Hachiko lived from late 1923 to March 1935. Every day, he’d meet his owner at Shibuya Station on his way home from work. Hachiko’s owner died at work on May 21, 1925 of a brain hemorrhage. Even after his owner’s death, Hachiko would go to the station every day to wait for his owner to return. He died on the streets of Shibuya on his way to the station.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: When Hachiko died, all of his organs were preserved and he was stuffed and mounted for display - he’s now in a museum somewhere. People thought he had died from having a meat skewer rupture his stomach, but scientists from the University of Tokyo did an autopsy in 2011 and found out that he actually had terminal cancer and worms. He died with four meat skewers in his stomach, but they had actually done no harm to him.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s also a statue of Hachiko near the station that is a popular meetup spot to this day. It’s in The World Ends With You.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Here’s a video of the upcoming cutscene, which catches a few things I missed.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh shit, it’s that guy from Assassin’s Creed!

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Meet this game’s obligatory Lisa Silverman clone, Ann Takamaki.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’d like to think that in a better-written game, she’d look at Joker and think the word “chinyan” for reasons she can’t quite understand. Joker would start having flashbacks to killing a giant bondage-suited dadmass in a Mayan ruin. What I’m saying is that Joker would actually be a reincarnation of the “other side” Tatsuya Suou and this would be a direct sequel to Innocent Sin.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gotta love that Ann has the 4chan logo on her hoodie.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who has a face that square.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: When you roll up to the club only you realize you’re sitting in the passenger side because this is actually the US and no one’s been driving the car but the car is still moving and you realize you’ve been ghost riding for the past hour and a half.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I missed a shot of him asking Joker if he wants a ride. It’s in the video, but Joker waves him off.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is Ryuji Sakamoto, our designated Mark/Eikichi/Junpei/Yosuke for Persona 5. In terms of ranking, he’s definitely below Eikichi (at Rank 1) and Mark (at Rank 2) but higher than Yosuke (Rank 4) or Junpei (Shit Tier).

9_2iVBrO_400x400: When Joker says “pervy teacher”, the app on his phone starts responding. Fucked if I can read any of that though, apart from the numbers. The only kanji I even recognize is the one for train station.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It’s hard to notice unless you’re running a video of the original game next to it, but they completely re-did Ryuji’s portraits for Royal. I also found out that apparently, the P5 cast have made appearances in a lot of mobage: Chain Chronicle, Granblue Fantasy, Identity V, one of the Sword Art Online mobage because the wiki has a fuckload of art for Ryuji from those.

Ryuji: “Huh? In that car just now. It was Kamoshida.”

The game does a black and white flashback to an event that happened like, ten seconds ago. Just in case you forgot.

Ryuji: “He does whatever the hell he wants. Who does he think he is - the king of a castle? Don’t you agree?”

Ryuji: “…Wait. You don’t know Kamoshida? Are you for real? You’re from Shujin, right?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: No, I am John Persona. I work on the road crew. My milk is delicious.

Ryuji: “What? No other high school’s got a uniform that looks like this.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I mean yeah, very few schools have a uniform that looks like you frontlined for a ska band called something like “Awestruck at Third Base” between 2001 and 2003 before ska stopped being cool again and retreated back to the primordial ooze from which it will probably emerge again in 2031.

Ryuji: “Never seen you before though. Oh, you a transfer student?”

Ryuji: “Then no wonder you don’t know him. This rain ain’t too bad. We better hurry up, or we’ll be late.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh no, a broken film reel cut!

Music Interrogation Room

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Remember how I said Sae was the most awkwardly written character in the game? Every time we meet someone or are about to start a new dungeon, she’ll pop in like this. Sometimes it’s not bad. Other times, she’ll be asking questions that make no sense for her to ask.

Sae: “I assume you know of the uproar that the public calls the ‘psychotic breakdown incidents’.”

Sae: “You say that like it’s none of your business. It was all over the news, and one of the victims included a teacher at your high school.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Can you guess who the next villain is going to be?

Sae: “I’ve no doubt you’ve heard about it. On that day… were you still an ‘ordinary’ student?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I didn’t capture it but Joker asks her “What do you mean?”

Sae: “Let me change the question. You transferred to Shujin Academy, correct? An ordinary prep school that could be found in any city…”

Sae: “…that’s what it should’ve been.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The way she says that just sounds… off. I’m getting flashbacks to HALF LIFE: FULL LIFE CONSEQUENCES for some reason. Shit, is it too late to go back and name Joker John Freeman?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Has anyone ever spoken like this? I’ve watched depositions of things like the OJ Simpson trial where they had an attorney ask OJ Simpson where he’d been every five minutes for like three days. “And where were you between 12:00 and 12:05? What about 12:06 to 12:10?” and even the attorneys weren’t talking like this.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is the second time in the series the protagonist’s high school has turned into a castle. Technically the third if you count SMT If. The first was Snow Queen in Persona 1.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Yeah I mean, I know if I went to work and the building was replaced with a gigantic Japanese castle the first thing I’d do is go in. And by that I mean I’d stand in front of the gates, shout “FUCK THIS, I QUIT” and leave.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The world briefly flickers, showing the entrance hall for Shujin replaced by the castle interior. It’s very Silent Hill.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: If this was their school this would be a romance VN called something like Moderne Gothique Mysteria in which all the students are actually reincarnated European royalty from the 14th century.

Ryuji: “This SHOULD be the school… I think…”

Ryuji: “The sign was for the school, right?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Meet our first enemy. Persona 1 and the Persona 2 duology both had demons as enemies. Persona 3/FES and 4/Golden changed that, instead opting to have “shadows” as enemies that are separate from the traditional SMT demons. 5 kind of takes a half-stance. Outside of combat, the enemies are shadows, but once in combat they reveal themselves as demons.

Ryuji: “Geez, you freaked me out… who’re you? You a student?”

Ryuji: “Man, your costume’s impressive. Is that armor real? C’mon, don’t just stand there. Say somethin’.”

Ryuji: “We gotta run!”

Ryuji: “Stop standin’ around and run!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Notice how Ryuji’s footsteps leave pink splashes in the ground. There’s no plot reason for why it happens, it’s just a neat stylistic choice.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It’s kind of hard to see, but one of them nudges Ryuji with their shield and he goes crashing to the floor. It’d be kind of hard to call it a shield bash.

Ryuji: “Oww… y-you’re gonna break my bones, dammit! The hell you think you’re - aagh!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Dude gets nudged with a shield and he’s just out. Meanwhile, Eikichi took like what, six guys beating on him in Innocent Sin and was still standing?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The thing is, I don’t think this works quite as well as it did in Snow Queen. In Snow Queen, you already knew what St. Hermelin looked like before shit started going down and you could make the comparison to what it looked like after it turns into the Ice Castle. We haven’t even really been inside Shujin yet.

Ryuji: “Yeah, more or less. Looks like this ain’t no dream…”

obs64 2020-08-14 16-33-35-72

Ryuji: “Hey! Let us outta here! I know there’s someone out there!”

Ryuji: “Dammit, where are we? Is this some kinda movie set!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s a stock scream sound effect playing in the background.

Ryuji: “Whoa… whoa whoa whoa whoa… you’re shittin’ me, right?”

Ryuji: “This is real bad…! Isn’t there some way outta here!? C’mon, we gotta do something!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Just like Snatcher or Policenauts, we have to examine… I believe it’s any three out of the four hotspots in this room to progress.

Ryuji: “Say what!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: And here we have our first villain, the cartoonishly evil Kamoshida. I’ve seen people call him the only well-written villain in this game, but personally I think he’s kind of over the top. You’ll see what I mean later.

Ryuji: “Huh? Wait… is that you, Kamoshida?”

Ryuji: “This ain’t funny, you asshole!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m only posting full images here because Shadow Kamoshida’s expressions are just… something else. Half of them look like he’s the smuggest motherfucker alive, the other half like he’s in the middle of taking a shit.

Ryuji: “S-stop it!”

Ryuji: “Just go! Get outta here! These guys are serious!”

Kamoshadow: “Oh? Running away, are we? What a heartless friend you are.”

Ryuji: “He ain’t a friend… c’mon! Hurry up and go!”

Kamoshadow: “What’s the matter? Too scared to run away? Hmph. Pathetic scum isn’t worth my time. I’ll focus on this one’s execution…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This entire scene is very reminiscent of Eikichi’s scene in Innocent Sin.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Only instead of just sitting there and letting him take it, Joker does something.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: While Atlus was definitely going for the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing with Shadow Kamoshida, he’s actually got a pink speedo on underneath the robe.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I have to hand it to them, visually this cutscene is good. It’d be better if the plot here wasn’t generic shounen battle anime.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Joker gets hit and you can hear his glasses shatter when he does.

obs64 2020-08-14 16-38-57-46

SaturnJoker: And there’s the mask.

SaturnJoker: I didn’t realize it because it wasn’t really that popular in the west (not to mention the newest iteration came out after the original game) but this is Devilman as fuck.

SaturnJoker: Oh man it really doesn’t get much more Devilman than this.

SaturnJoker: Honestly though, Joker also looks a little like Tatsuya Sudou as a teenager, who we briefly saw in Innocent Sin.

SaturnJoker: Here’s Arsene, Joker’s starter Persona. There is actually a Persona info thing for each Persona in this game, which I didn’t find until near the end of the original. I’ll still be Personalogging like I did in P1.

Kamoshadow: “Who the hell are you!? Guards! Start by killing that one!”

SaturnJoker: Unfortunately, we don’t have a gun yet. Persona 5 is a game of endurance, and if you can wipe an enemy out in the first turn by shooting them, that’s going to reduce your SP usage a lot. Especially now that guns regenerate ammo.

SaturnJoker: Pyro Jack has been relegated to trash enemy, and all we need to do is use two physical attacks to kill them. There’s no point wasting SP because while Eiga (single target curse damage) does more damage than a physical attack it still needs two hits to kill. Speaking of which…


Origin: Arsene Lupin novels

Persona 5 Original

Gentleman thief from the Arsene Lupin novels by Maurice Leblanc.


SaturnJoker: Unlike the earlier games, levelling up is not a full heal.

SaturnJoker: Instead, you get the difference between your old max HP/SP and your new max HP/SP added to your total.

Ryuji: “What was that just now?”

Ryuji: “You like that, you son of a bitch!?”

Kamoshadow: "Damn you!’

Ryuji: “Hey! What was that just now!? And… your clothes…”

Ryuji: “Waaaah!”

Kamoshadow: “You bastards!”

Ryuji: “God, this’s effin’ nuts!”

Ryuji: “Anyways, let’s scram! You lead the way!”

SaturnJoker: And there go the keys. Too bad we don’t just have, you know, a gun. To shoot Kamoshida in the cell.

Kamoshadow: “Goddamn thieves… after them! Don’t let them escape!”

Kamoshadow: “You bastards! You think you can get away with doing this to me!?”

Ryuji: “I don’t give a shit! I ain’t down for any of this! C’mon, let’s get outta here!”

Ryuji: “On the other hand, there’s nowhere else we can try… alright, let’s get to hoppin’.”

SaturnJoker: Crawling segments are in first person, just like the old days of Persona 1.

Ryuji: “Hey, we gotta hide!”

Ryuji: “Over there… they’re lookin’ for us, right?”

Ryuji: “I ain’t playin’ along with this anymore! We gotta find a way outta this goddamn place!”

SaturnJoker: This feels exactly like the opening to Ni no Kuni 2. Next thing you know, it’ll be revealed that Joker is the US President.

Ryuji: “Hey, let’s get the hell outta this place!”

Ryuji: “This ain’t the exit!? What the hell is this place!?”

Ryuji: “H-hey… look…”

Ryuji: “Is, uh… is he okay?”

SaturnJoker: Unfortunately, we can’t do anything with the bridge or the statue yet due to plot-induced stupidity.

SaturnJoker: Meet Morgana. Morgana is the most fucking annoying piece of shit character in this game. He’s somehow worse than Teddie in Persona 4, and that’s saying something. I think a lot of that has to do with the bad localization.

SaturnJoker: About half of Morgana’s portraits were re-done for Royal.

Morgana: “Look, the key’s right there!”

Ryuji: "We’re trying to get the hell out of here! I mean, you obviously look like an enemy too!’

Morgana: “I’m locked up here, so how can I be your enemy!? Help me out!”

SaturnJoker: Yeah yeah, that’s what Yurt the Silent Chief and Knight Lautrec said.

SaturnJoker: For the rest of this update, Joker is more or less going to be Solid Snake circa MGS1.

SaturnJoker: Spoiler alert, he’s a fucking cat.

Ryuji: “They’re catchin’ up already!”

Ryuji: “Shit, there’s still no service. Ain’t there any way to contact someone outside!? How the hell do we get out!?”

Morgana: “Hey, you two! You want to know where the exit is? Let me out and I’ll take you there. You don’t want to get caught and executed, right?”

Morgana: “I never go back on my word!”

Ryuji: “This thing sounds like it’s all talk…”

SaturnJoker: Honestly, he sounds like another Yurt. Better run him through with the scraping spear through the bars.

Ryuji: “What do we do? Are you seriously not messing with us!?”

Morgana: “If you don’t hurry, they’ll catch you.”

Ryuji: “F-fine…”

Ryuji: “Shuddup and hurry it up! You wanna be locked up again!?”

Morgana: “Follow me, and stay quiet!”

SaturnJoker: If you feel like this day takes forever, you’re not the only one. I checked my in-game time at the end of this update, and over an hour passes between when you leave Leblanc in the morning and the end of the day.

Kawakami: “Sakura-san said that Kurusu-kun left the house this morning. Should I contact the police?”

Kawakami: "No, that’ll just be more of a hassle. *sigh * What did I do to deserve this?

Morgana: “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m lowering the bridge. You, Frizzy Hair. It seems like you pick up on things faster than our Blondie over here.”

Morgana: “Try checking around the mouth of this statue, okay?”

Ryuji: “How were we supposed to know how to do that!?”

Morgana: “Hmph, amateur. Come on, let’s keep going.”


Origin: United States

Persona 5 Original

Masked swordsman who fought corrupt officials and bandits in California while it was still under Spanish rule. Name means “Fox”. Created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 as part of a series of pulp fiction stories.

SaturnJoker: Zorro looks like the Heavy from TF2 cosplaying as Silver Chariot. I have to question which of the TF2 cast would cosplay Polnareff and really it’s down to the Sniper and the Scout.

SaturnJoker: On the left, we’ve got an Incubus. On the right, another Pyro Jack.

SaturnJoker: This is why using SP offensively is a bad idea. Look how much of Joker’s SP bar drained from that. We’ve got maybe five or six casts of Eiha before we’re out. Unlike Persona 1 and Persona 2, each move has its own SP or HP cost now. By the way, the Eiha doesn’t even oneshot the Pyro Jack.

SaturnJoker: You can’t see it in the screenshot because it happens too fast to capture, but the Pyro Jack gets a giant “WEAK” over its head and falls down. Like every SMT game since Nocturne, hitting an enemy’s weakness gets you an extra Press Turn (they simply call it ‘1 More’ in P5) that you can use to get a second attack in.

SaturnJoker: Both Joker and Morgana level up, and Arsene does as well. Only Joker’s Persona can be a different level than he is - for all of the other party members, their Persona will always be the same level they are.

Morgana: “Not bad. Your Persona’s pretty powerful.”

Ryuji: “Persona? Y’mean that thing that comes outta you guys all dramatic-like?”

Morgana: “Yes. You saw how Frizzy Hair here ripped off his mask when he summoned it, right? Well, everybody wears a mask deep within their heart. By removing that…”

SaturnJoker: So yeah, as you can see, they’ve tossed Jung out the window at this point. I mentioned it in the Persona 1 LP but in Jung’s school of psychology you can’t ever “take the mask off” because the mask (or persona) is a construct you use to deal with the outside world.

Morgana: “Hm, it looks like you don’t have full control over your power yet. The transformation shouldn’t normally dissolve like that. After all-”

SaturnJoker: What we have instead is that everyone is now Sailor Moon.

SaturnJoker: Even Ryuji realizes that substance has been entirely sacrificed for style.

Morgana: “Can’t you just sit still and listen for once, Blondie!?”

Ryuji: “Don’t call me Blondie! My name’s Ryuji…”

SaturnJoker: Don’t call him Blondie, he prefers Funky Winkerbean.

Morgana: “Actually, there’s no time for me to lecture you! You wanna escape this place in one piece, right? Let’s go!”

SaturnJoker: Morgana then hands us three Medicines, which are more useful in this game than they were in Persona 1 and 2, where you could buy Rattle Drinks almost immediately that healed several times the amount.

Morgana: “Come on, we should hurry. It’s not much farther to the exit. Just make sure you’re still good on HP, okay? There’s still a chance we’ll end up having to fight in here.”

Ryuji: “Dammit! I’m too flustered! I can’t remember anything right now!”

Morgana: “Come on, let’s go!”

Ryuji: “Hold on, dammit!”

Morgana: "What is it? We need to go, fast!’

Ryuji: “But… who are these guys?”

Morgana: “Do you really think you have time to worry about other people right now!? Besides, they’re-”

SaturnJoker: The Pixie here goes down in two hits. Morgana blows a Garu on it, which I was kind of surprised at because in the earlier games Pixie reflects wind. Persona 4 and Persona 5 typically leave reflects and absorbs until late game.

Ryuji: “Finally! We’re saved!”

Ryuji: “D’you trick us, you jerk!?”

Morgana: “This is the most basic of basics.”

Morgana: “That’s right! As I thought, you’re a natural at this. It leads all the way outside.”

Ryuji: “I see… then we just gotta get that metallic mesh off!”

Ryuji: “Seriously, we’re finally gettin’ outta here!”

Morgana: “You should wait on celebrating until you actually get out. Now get going.”

Ryuji: “But… what about you?”

Morgana: “There’s something that I still have to do. We’re going our separate ways.”

Ryuji: “Huh? Returned? Does that mean we got away?”

Ryuji: “I dunno what to think anymore… what was all that anyways? That castle, and Kamoshida, and that weird cat! The hell’s goin’ on!?”

Ryuji: “Huh? No! We were tryin’ to get to school, and we ended up at this weird castle!”

Ryuji: “Why would you think that!?”

Ryuji: "Like I’m tryin’ to say… I don’t know what’s goin’ on either!’

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Only trust your fists, police will never help you.

Ryuji: “C’mon, say somethin’!”

Ryuji: “Uh, that’s not what I meant…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Truly, this is the day that never ends. There are entire weeks later on that will go by faster than this.

Ryuji: “I’m sure we came the same way… what’s goin’ on here…?”

Ryuji: “That damn cop snitched on us after all!”

Ryuji: “Uh… a ca- a castle?”

Kamoshida: “Quite a difference from when you did morning practice at the track team.”

Ryuji: “Shuddup! It’s your fault that-”

Ryuji: “What!? This is bullshit!”

Kamoshida: “Come now. I should have been more considerate, too. Let’s just say that we were both to blame.”

Kamoshida: “By the way… you’re that new transfer student, correct? Akira Kurusu?”

Kamoshida: “That’s right… I remember now. Well, I’ll overlook this just for today.”

Kamoshida: “I’m sure you’ve heard from the principal, but cause any trouble and you’ll be expelled. Understand?”

Kamoshida: “At any rate, hurry up and go to the faculty office. I’m sure Ms. Kawakami’s tired of waiting. Good luck trying to enjoy your new school life.”

Sae: “A talking cat? …are you hallucinating from an overdose? I won’t put up with you if you’re simply joking around.”

Sae: “I’m going to have you continue the story. The one who received a ‘calling card’ from the Phantom Thieves was an Olympic medalist.”

Sae: “It all came out in his confession. He was guilty of everything - the abuse, the… violations…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: By “violations” she means “sexual assault”. I said Kamoshida is cartoonishly evil and I meant it.

Sae: “But there should’ve been no connection between the two of you sicne you had just transferred. Why did you target him?”

Sae: “That’s unacceptable! Try and recall it once again!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game keeps a summary of the story, which is usually a sign that either your game is way too fucking long or that you have no idea what pacing is.

Kawakami: “Being over half a day late on your first day? Can you explain yourself?”

Kawakami: “It’s true the train schedules are a mess due to the accident, but you’re still way too late. Will you pull yourself together? You were given fair warning yesterday.”

Kawakami: “More importantly… I heard you were caught along with that Sakamoto-kun?”

Kawakami: “Don’t get involved with him, okay? He’s nothing but trouble. He wasn’t like that when he was devoting his time to track and field, though…”

Kawakami: “Anyway, break’s almost over. Classes will end after fifth period today because of the subway accident. I’ll have you introduce yourself when class resumes. Follow me.”

Kawakami: “Be serious about it even if you’re lying to the class, okay? Do NOT say anything unnecessary.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: God this day should’ve been over forever ago.

Kawakami: “Settle down. …Well, I’d like to introduce a transfer student: Akira Kurusu.”

Kawakami: “Today, we… had him attend from the afternoon on since he wasn’t feeling well.”

Kawakami: “All right, please say something to the class.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I kind of wish there was a NG+ option where you could just go “I have an announcement to make… Kamoshida is a bitchass motherfucker”.

Kawakami: “Uhh… so… your seat will be… hmm… over there. The one that’s open. Sorry, but can the people nearby please share your textbooks with him for today?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Meet the character I hate the second most after Morgana. I forget what his name even is. Seriously, I draw a blank every time I look at him and I’ve played this before.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I looked it up. His name is Yuuki Mishina, and not only does he suck but his last name is similar to Eikichi’s and that makes it worse.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m sure people caught on from the way Ann looked getting into Kamoshida’s car, but yeah. This game starts out way darker than Innocent Sin did, and Innocent Sin was supposedly the “darkest” Persona game.

Kawakami: “Everyone’s just changed classes, so make sure you use that time to get to know each other.”

Kawakami: “Well then, let’s get class started. Who’s on duty today?”

Kawakami: “Hm? What’s wrong?”

Kawakami: “Are you sure you’re okay? Also… it seems like people are already talking about you, but I’m not the one who told them.”

Kawakami: “You should head straight home without stopping by anywhere. Sakura-san sounded pretty angry. Oh, and about Sakamoto-kun. Don’t get involved -”

Kawakami: “What do you want? I heard the police caught you cutting classes today.”

Ryuji: “Ugh… it was nothin’.”

Kawakami: “And you haven’t dyed your hair back to black either…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I don’t get why it matters. I mean, look at Eikichi. Dude walks around with skunk hair.

Kawakami: “Sorry 'bout that.”

Kawakami: “See? That’s why I don’t want you getting involved. Understood?”

Kamoshida: “A student with a criminal record, and the culprit of an assault case. At this rate, it’d be pointless how much I contribute to the school.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s so many badly translated lines that I’ve just kind of given up. It’s easier to pretend Persona 5 doesn’t have a plot. Skip through those cutscenes, fast forward through the dialog. Enjoy the visuals and the music.

Kamoshida: “Your troubles never seem to end, do they, Principal Kobaykawa? All right, I understand. I’ll continue to do my best to answer your expectations of me.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We can ask Yuuki about where the rooftop is, but there’s no point. We still have… like 150 screenshots before this day is over.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: On the third floor, we can run into this girl. Her name is Haru, and she’s probably the second best girl in this game.

Ryuji: “Sorry for callin’ you up here like this. I bet Kawakami already told you stuff like ‘Don’t get involved with him’, huh?”

Ryuji: “Figured as much. Then again, we’re in the same boat. I heard you got a criminal record. Everyone’s talkin’ about it.”

Ryuji: “No wonder you were so gutsy. …What was all that that happened? You know, how we almost got killed at a castle…”

Ryuji: “It wasn’t a dream… right? You remember it too, yeah?”

Ryuji: “Well, just 'cause we both remember it doesn’t mean much though… I mean, even if it was a dream, you saved me from Kamoshida.”

Ryuji: “So yeah… thanks, Akira.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: My name is John Persona. My milk is delicious. I must go now to my important job on the road crew.

Ryuji: “But man, that Kamoshida we saw there… you prolly don’t know about it, but there are some rumors about him.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Is the rumor that he’s actually Hitler? Or that he sells a legendary refrigerator if you walk up to him and order ramen with luncheon loaf on top?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Seriously there’s a local brand that makes this stuff and I have never to this day seen anyone order it at the deli. There’s no way it’s not a coverup for something but I’m scared to order it just in case.

Ryuji: “You know, the guy you met at the school gates. The ripped one. That asshole who was all full of himself at the castle.”

Ryuji: “No one says anything against him 'cause he’s some medalist who took the volleyball team to nationals.”

Ryuji: “The way Kamoshida was king of that castle felt crazy real 'cause of that. I wonder if we can go back to that castle again…”

Ryuji: “Ugh, forget it. Must’ve all been a dream! It has to be! Sorry to drag you out here like this. That’s all I had to say.”

Ryuji: “I feel like we’re gonna get along just fine as “troublemakers”. I’m Ryuji Sakamoto.”

Ryuji: “I’ll come talk if I see you around. Don’t ignore me, all right? Seeya.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So are we done? No, no we’re not.

Sojiro: “I hear you ditched half a day on your first day of school.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: It’s funny because when I was in high school, no one actually bothered to listen when the school called your house because of how inaccurate the reports were.

Sojiro: “Look, just behave yourself. One wrong step and your life is over. You do know what probation means, right?”

Sojiro: “Good.”

Sojiro: “…Yeah, I just closed up shop. I’ll head over in half an hour, as promised.”

Sojiro: “…no, it’s a guy. I just hired a part-timer.”

Sojiro: “Don’t forget to lock the door and turn all the lights off, okay?”

Sojiro: “…Yup, I’m leaving now. I told you, he’s a part-timer.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I seriously should’ve titled this LP “You can’t make me go to sleep”.

Caroline: “On your feet, inmate! Our master wishes to speak with you. It’s for your own sake that you take his words to heart.”

Igor: “Oh…? You’ve awakened to your powers - and special ones at that. Your rehabilitation can finally begin.”

obs64 2020-08-14 17-08-38-99

Igor: “There is no need to understand it for the time being. You will be training the power of Persona, which you have awakened to. Personas are, in other words, a ‘mask’ - an armor of the heart when confronting worldly matters.”

Igor: “I have high expectations for you.”

Igor: “There is no need to worry. You will learn when the time comes. By the by… have you come to appreciate the Metaverse Navigator? Using it will allow you to come and go between reality and Palaces.”

Igor: “I bestowed it to you as a means to train you as a thief.”

Caroline: “The Metaverse Navigator is a gift from our master! You better take care in using it, inmate!”

Igor: “It must be disheartening to make use of the Metaverse Navigator alone. Should there be others who would prove beneficial to you, I will grant it to them as well.”

Igor: “This is all for you to grow as a most excellent thief…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I get that this is supposed to be a commentary on how prisons don’t actually rehabilitate people, but the localization is killing me inside.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Thank fuck that’s over. We’ve only got… six more days of this, but I don’t think any of them are quite as long as this one was.

Whenever I start feeling sorry or myself about all the screencaps I have to resize for my own LP, I’ll remember you have to deal with like 5x as many.

I appreciate in the animated cutscene when John Persona is staring at Ann and at first she’s weirded out but then she realizes he’s just a silent protagonist and he’s incapable of doing anything other than staring blankly.

That said, I’m disappointed John Persona didn’t accept the ride from Kamoshida, and then that’s followed by just a five minute long cutscene of the three of them sitting in the car in silence on the way to school.

Unrelatedly, I wish instead of “Strange Creature”, Morgana’s title in the dialogue boxes before you get his name had been “A Talking Cat!?”

This might be a little nonsensical if you’re not familiar with the Persona 5 OST but:

I could not escape this image so now I have to inflict it on everyone else.


I’m honestly surprised I’ve never seen that. What’s funny is that I’ve never actually registered half the lyrics for that song in my brain because that’s just how English SMT music works. Of course, I’m not the only one - see the infamous incident when Slowtaku accused Atlus of putting an “ableist slur” into the opening cutscene track from the base game.

The only good thing to come of that is this quote, which I feel is a pretty good assessment of lyrics in Atlus games:

“Frustratingly, this does not clear up the confusion about what the singer is actually saying.”

So in Persona 4, there were dialog options you could only pick on a second playthrough because the first time your social stats weren’t high enough to pick them. P5 doesn’t do that as far as I know, and it’s kind of dumb that it doesn’t. I’d love to see a thing where John Persona gets into the car and has the option to ask Kamoshida to get a coffee on the way there.

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So while this is true that it is not something Jung came up with, I think the idea of “taking off the mask” is still compliant with his philosophy? If the mask is what we construct to deal with the outside world, destroying it would let out our truest, most inner self raw and bloody to the world. Like, the mask is what we use to face the world but there has to be SOMETHING underneath, right?

It might not be a thing Jung thought of, but it feels like it follows from what he set out. I might be wrong of course. And ultimately I just like the symbolism of it, divorced from Jung’s actual works. Everyone controls how they react to the world, putting up boundaries, and fully ripping those down to be your actual, strongest self feels really powerful to me.

You’re not wrong, but lets be fair sometimes you stop playing a game for a month and need to get reminded what all is happening, and in those moments I think it’s just nice to have around.

I looked up a couple of articles on this, and what I found is that you’re pretty much right - P5 is to Jung what all those Star Wars Expanded Universe novels are to Star Wars. In one of his books, Jung posits what happens if you were to completely destroy your persona and try to live like that: in other words, taking the mask off so that the only things that remain are your Self and your Shadow.

What he posits is that you basically become completely disconnected from reality. We’ve actually seen this before - this is more or less what happens to Maki in Persona 1, where she retreats into a dream world of her own design because she can no longer deal with the real one. Jung’s actual theory is something closer to the Shadowmen in Persona 2.

The symbolism is certainly interesting, and honestly Jung’s total bullshit anyway. I actually tried reading some of his stuff before replying to this and a lot of it is him quoting poetry for no reason.

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Timrod’s already responded, but I guess I’ll float my own thoughts and come at things from a different direction.

I agree the tearing off of the mask is powerful - or at least vivid - imagery. It works in a vacuum, but it has nothing to do with the context: How can your Persona represent your true self when you have the Wild Card?

The gameplay of the Persona series matches the theming–you use different Personas in different situations just like you use different personas in different situations. Taking off the mask is the complete opposite of that.

I’m not implying that previous Persona games have been perfect or great or–let’s be real here–even particularly good about working meaningfully with their psychoanalytic framework. Just that this particular thing in P5 does not work.

Maybe they’ll add that option in Persona 5 Imperial.

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It’s kind of weird to me they send you into the mind dungeon with the dark reflection of the P.E. teacher… before you even know he’s a teacher or anything of what he’s doing. Like yeah, it’s suspicious and all, but suspicion isn’t always reality. If you’re going with the teacher you met two minutes ago being cartoonishly evil on the inside it feels like the game should be going for a subversion then. Like if someone cuts me off I don’t automatically assume that they’re the dictator of the road and all vehicles must move aside for them.

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I hadn’t actually realized he detailed what might happen if you did fully remove your mask. Neat! On that note, fully embracing your inner most desires and becoming what is effectively a slasher villain who screws around with a person’s brain by beating them up in their mind palace IS pretty disconnected from reality. It’s just also presented as heroic here.

I also kinda feel like Maki, if she had been a stronger person, and didn’t have the fuckery of the SMT demon summoning devices around her, might have been able to handle barring her psyche to the world like that.

Hey so while I really like the symbolism of wild card, since it represents that you can wear many masks which is true to real life… I also hate it because it means Arsene, this cool lookin’ Persona, is going to be used for all of two updates before getting trashed, and it interferes with what I think are more interesting symbolic things. I also hate it mechanically because it makes it possible to just build yourself wrong. I like the more persistent personas on basically every level possible.

As you say, it extremely doesn’t work in P5, and I feel like this would have been the best time to get rid of it.

This is entirely correct, but I wanna narrow in on the cartoonishly evil bit.

I’ve known people who are exactly like Kamoshida in real life. Sometimes reality is just unrealistic.

God dammit, site just ate an update I spent all day working on.

I think having one Stand or many Personas are both fine, but the people making these games clearly want to do the former, and have wanted that at least since P4. So they should do that, but either they don’t realize that’s what they want to do, or they feel like they’re obligated to keep doing things the way they have been. I mean, that would require a total overhaul of the battle system, and they’ve barely touched the battle system since P3.

Wow, you have bad luck with that, huh? I don’t like this editor and I keep expecting it to implode on me without warning, but it hasn’t happened yet. Whenever I’m making a big post I do back it up with a quick copy-paste into uh…actually it’s into Notepad++ because that autosaves, but I haven’t needed to fall back on a backup yet.

I actually was writing all my SSLP updates in Notepad++ and have all the text for them backed up on my HDD. I only copy-pasted into the browser when I was actually done, and then did some minor edits to fix any formatting breaks.

Fair point, I meant that Kamoshida in the mind castle was cartoonishly evil, and the sequence I have some issues taking seriously is the jump from “I don’t like the gym teacher” to the gym teacher stomping around a mind castle in a fuzzy robe and speedo yelling about how he’s going to execute students. Not as much Kamoshida in the real world.

Also for some reason his hair and chin make me think of Gym Gingham.

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9_2iVBrO_400x400: Glad that’s finally over. April 12th will also be a long day, mostly due to some new cutscenes and tutorials that were added for Royal.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game doesn’t give you a break after 4/11 - you just wake up in Leblanc and Joker goes right out by himself.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Gotta love that guy on the PS Vita. I think I got my first one around this time - it was already deeply discounted and I think I picked mine up for like $80.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: They’re not wrong - the Japanese economy kinda tanked in 2016. To understand why, you have to understand the situation the entire country has been in since the early 1990s.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In the late 80s, Japan’s economy was in this uncontrolled state of expansion known as “the bubble”. Stock prices shot up, real estate markets were booming, credit was being handed out like candy. The government didn’t want to touch it, and then in the early 90s they started intervening all at once.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The bubble popped, and it popped hard. Japan’s major stock index, the Nikkei, lost something like 35% of its overall value and has never touched its pre-crash levels.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: To try and keep their economy afloat, the Japanese government started doing all kinds of crazy stuff that most other countries considered outlandish until fairly recently. They started by lowering interest rates, until they hit zero. Part of why the economy tanked in 2016 was that 2016 marked the first time the government allowed interest rates to go negative - negative interest rates mean that banks charge you to hold your money. This caused a massive flight of foreign investors out of the Japanese economy.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: They’ve also done a couple of other things that probably were not the best ideas, like having the government buy stocks. Right now, the Japanese government owns roughly 8% of the entire Japanese stock market. They bought in at high prices, can’t sell because it’d crash the market, and can’t do anything with the shares. They actually almost went insolvent when COVID first hit.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I think I have file footage of this from the live-action P5 stageplay.

Kasumi: “I mean - excuse me, that seat was for this lady…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I think if I have one complaint about Royal (apart from the fact that they didn’t fire Hashino and do a complete plot overhaul) it’s that these scenes with Not-Elly can make the game drag a little bit.

Kasumi: "It’s all right. I can understand his position as well.

Kasumi: “I’m sorry I couldn’t be any help.”

Kasumi: “Please allow me to carry your luggage, at least.”

Kasumi: “Not at all! I train plenty.”

Kasumi: “Thank you so much for earlier.”

Kasumi: “For speaking up when I offered my seat on the train. You’re a second-year at Shujin Academy, correct? I’m a first-year there myself.”

Kasumi: “Thanking you totally slipped my mind back on the train, and I didn’t want to be rude to my senpai. Please, excuse me!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This honestly kind of reminds me of Densha Otoko - it was a thing that happened in the early 2000s on 2ch where an otaku stops a drunken guy from harassing a woman on a train. They wind up getting married. Supposedly it’s a true story but it’s 2ch so who knows. There was a live-action drama made out of it that was actually not bad.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This guy reminds me of an executive from Honda I met once when I was working temp jobs.

Ushimaru: “Hmph… you all look like you’ve been spoiled growing up. Can’t wait to see who disappoints me the most this year.”

Ushimaru: “A certain dictionary defines a year as a period of 365 disappointments. The book’s title is about as cynically satirical as the rest of it. It’s ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ by Ambrose Bierce.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Just like Persona 3 and Persona 4, we’ll occasionally get asked questions in class. This is one of the less bullshit ones - though I still think it’s kind of bullshit. I mean, it’s not like this is a book most people have read.


9_2iVBrO_400x400: Thankfully, Project Gutenberg has a copy available online. The guide also has the answer, but I don’t know how you’re supposed to figure this out without either looking it up or resetting until you get it.

Ushimaru: “Correct. ‘Malefactors’, to be specific. You actually knew that, huh?”

Ushimaru: “Sure, villains can affect the course of history. But remember that this definition is a sardonic witticism, nothing more. Here in the real world, villains don’t push humanity forward. All they do is spread chaos and strife.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Let me explain what this is. In addition to his combat stats, Joker also has a set of social stats. These are controlled by hidden numbers and level up when that number hits certain breakpoints. There’s five levels of each stat, and each confidant has a stat requirement to either access it in the first place or to advance it beyond a certain point.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: For a 100% run like we’re doing, it is absolutely imperative that we do everything correctly. Missing even one of these point opportunities can permanently fuck you out of 100% if you don’t catch it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Thankfully, one thing Royal changed is that all the point values are now fixed. In the original game, there were a few points where you had to reset until you got the RNG you needed. The music notes also are not indicative of how many points you got: one note is two points, as an example.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Joker in the background screaming “I did weed ONCE, okay!?”

Kamoshida: “Things have been pretty dangerous lately with all those accidents.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Ann is a model, because she’s Lisa and Lisa was an idol.

Kamoshida: “Hey, now… being a model’s fine and dandy, but don’t work your pretty little self to the bone. You mentioned you weren’t feeling well, right? Something about appendicitis?”

Ann: “Yes. I keep planning to go to the hospital, but I’ve been too busy… sorry to worry you.”

Kamoshida: “You must be lonely too. I feel bad for keeping your best friend at practice so often.”

Kamoshida: “Oh, and… be careful around that transfer student. He’s got a criminal record, after all. If something were to happen to you…”

Ann: “… Thank you. Please excuse me.”

Ryuji: “I wanna talk about that castle from yesterday. I tried tellin’ myself it was all just a dream… but I couldn’t do it.”

Ryuji: “I can’t act like nothing happened. It’s all connected to that bastard Kamoshida, after all.”

Ryuji: “I wanna find out what’s up with that place, no matter what. And y’know, you’re the only person I can rely on for this stuff. So, you in?”

Ryuji: “Nice! Okay, glad we’re in this together. I think we should try and retrace our steps from yesterday. In the meantime, you’re walkin’ to the station, right? Let’s go together.”

Ryuji: “Lemme know if you notice any other weird buildings on the way.”

Ryuji: “…When’d they build something like that, though? We walked this way from here, right?”

Ryuji: “When you put it that way, I’m not so sure anymore… all right, this way. Lemme know if you notice something.”

Ryuji: “We’re at school. There wasn’t anything out of place along the way, right? I didn’t see no castle either…”

Ryuji: “We must’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. Let’s try again.”

Ryuji: “Don’t worry, I won’t mess up this time. Let’s go.”

Ryuji: “Is it smaller than we think? What do you think?”

Ryuji: “I already did that. I didn’t see anything like it around here.”

Ryuji: “Huh? Phone… Hey, that reminds me - didn’t you have a navigation app thingy on, back then?”

Ryuji: “I dunno if it was or not, but I heard stuff that sounded like one comin’ from your phone. Y’know, didn’t it say stuff like ‘returned to the real world’ or something like that?”

Ryuji: “Lemme see your phone for a bit. What’s this eyeball-lookin’ thing?”

Ryuji: “What? What a weird app… oh wait, this is it! I knew it - it IS a navigation app! There’s even your search history.”

Ryuji: “Let’s try usin’ it.”

Ryuji: “Then I’ll do it.”

Ryuji: “There we go! Then, we went in a certain direction, and-”

Ryuji: “Huh? What the hell?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This whole scene feels like it’s longer than it absolutely needed to be. You’d think they could’ve just had Ryuji go “I went home last night and looked for that castle on my phone, but there’s no castles anywhere near Shibuya” and skipped the whole walking around part.

Ryuji: “…Yeargh! Those clothes!”

Ryuji: “What’s with that outfit!?”

Ryuji: “I don’t get it either… what’s goin’ on here!? This makes no effin’ sense at all.”

Ryuji: “Ah… you!?”

Morgana: “The Shadows here started acting up, so I came here wondering what it could be… to think you guys would come back to the entrance when you barely managed to escape.”

Ryuji: “What is this place? Is it the school?”

Morgana: “That’s right.”

Ryuji: “But it’s a castle!”

Morgana: “This castle IS the school… but only to this castle’s ruler.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m at the Pizza Hut! I’m at the Taco Bell! I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, right here on Jamaica Avenue.

Ryuji: “The castle’s ruler?”

Morgana: “I think you called him Kamoshida? It’s how his distorted heart views the school.”

Ryuji: “Kamoshida… distorted… explain it in a way that makes sense!”

Morgana: “I shouldn’t have expected a moron to get it…”

Ryuji: “What’d you say!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s a stock scream effect here.

Ryuji: “What was that!?”

Morgana: “It must be the slaves captive here.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This entire segment of the game is not going to make any sense at all. Just a heads up.

Ryuji: “For real!? Oh shit… it’s for real!”

Ryuji: “We saw other guys held captive here yesterday… I’m pretty sure they’re from our school.”

Morgana: “Most likely on Kamoshida’s orders. It’s nothing out of the ordinary; it’s like that every day here.”

Morgana: “What’s more, you two escaped yesterday. He must have lost his temper quite a bit.”

Ryuji: “That son of a bitch!”

Morgana: “Ryuji?”

Ryuji: “This is bullshit!”

Morgana: “Doing that isn’t going to open it, you know… still, it seems you have your reasons.”

Ryuji: “Hey, Monamona!”

Morgana: “It’s Morgana!”

Ryuji: “Do you know where those voices are comin’ from?”

Morgana: “You want me to take you to them? Well, I guess I could guide you there. But only if he comes with us.”

Morgana: “It’s settled then!”

Ryuji: “For real!? … thanks, man.”

Ryuji: “Ain’t that where we escaped out of last time…?”

Morgana: “That’s right. Not barging in through the entrance is one of the basics of phantom thievery.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Unless you’re that Pathfinder group I played with where their definition of “subtle” was using a battering ram.

Ryuji: “How’re we supposed to know about that stuff…?”

Morgana: “I’ll make sure to teach you as we go. Come on, follow me!”

Ryuji: “So uh… sorry for draggin’ you into all of this… but I just can’t forgive that bastard Kamoshida doin’ whatever the hell he wants!”

Morgana: “Mm-hm. Now, make sure you do exactly as I say, all right?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Morgana does the whole Sonic leg blur thing when he runs.

Ryuji: “I was seein’ double or something just now…! Was that Shujin!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I feel like this game kind of goes overboard on making sure you know what’s going on. I mean, we already know that the castle is the school.

Morgana: “I’ve told you before. This place is your school. Regardless, we don’t have the time to stand around. Who knows when a Shadow might show up.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This next part is all tutorials, so I’ll be skipping a lot of it.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Like the rest of the Persona series post-Eternal Punishment, random encounters are no more. Instead, enemies show up on the map. If you manage to get behind them (this is fairly easy) you get an “ambush” that guarantees you a first strike.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This mechanic is not only useful, but kind of necessary as we’ll see later. It reduces the amount of SP you’re going to spend healing, which in turn means you can grind more.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The battle results screen is kind of neat in that Joker will motion to his party and then start running… until you realize he’s running around in a circle so you don’t lose your position.

Ryuji: “Dammit, they were here before! Where’d they go!?”

Morgana: “Quiet down!”

Ryuji: “Oh yeah, there were more of 'em further in, too!”

Morgana: “They might have been transferred already…”

Morgana: “It would be a problem if they discovered us now…”

Ryuji: “How can you tell?”

Morgana: “There’s a lack of distortion here, meaning the ruler’s control over this area is weak.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Anime_Butterfly_Meme.jpg

Morgana: “Now do you understand? This place is another reality that the ruler’s heart projects.”

Ryuji: "This is Kamoshida’s reality? Shit makes no sense at all!’

Morgana: “One could say it’s a world in which one’s distorted desires have materialized. I call such a place a Palace.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh, I call that the secret menu at this one burger place around here that closed a few years ago. They had some really dumb crap on that menu - and then they had the legendary Meatball Burger which was a burger coated in breadcrumbs like a meatball and then covered in sauce and mozzarella cheese, served in a grinder roll. That shit was incredible.

Ryuji: “A Palace?”

Morgana: “This is happening because he thinks the school is his own castle.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I said this game ties into Persona 2 in a lot of ways, and this is one of them. If you’ll remember, Xibalba in Innocent Sin was a dungeon formed entirely of people’s thoughts. Atlus took this concept and just made an entire game out of it.

Morgana: “You must really hate this Kamoshida guy.”

Ryuji: “Hate doesn’t even cover how I feel. Everything is that asshole’s fault!”

Morgana: “I don’t know what happened between you two, but don’t let your emotions get the better of you. His lackeys are everywhere inside.”

Morgana: “You’re curious about your outfit, aren’t you?”

Ryuji: “Yeah, I’m curious as hell about it too.”

Morgana: “That’s also because of this world.”

Ryuji: “More stuff that makes no sense…”

Morgana: “Anything distorts according to how a ruler pleases within his Palace. A school can turn into a castle like this, after all.”

Morgana: “In order to prevent such distortions, one must hold a powerful will of rebellion. Your appearance is a manifestation of that. It’s the image of rebellion that you hold within.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Honestly, it kind of makes no sense that this game takes place in Japan given that all but one of the characters in this game have images of rebels that are non-Japanese.

Ryuji: “Uuugh, I’m so fed up with all this! I’m more curious about you than his clothes! What the hell are you anyways!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Is this a Persona game, or am I playing Ace Attorney and I didn’t realize it? Shit, imagine if Phoenix Wright had a Persona. Edgeworth’s would obviously be the Steel Samurai.

Morgana: “This is, well… it’s because I lost my true form. I think.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I should mention that if you’ve played Persona 4, you will see Morgana’s story coming from a mile away.

Morgana: “But I do know how to regain my true form. The reason why I snuck in here was for a preliminary investigation of those means.”

Morgana: “Well, I ended up getting caught, though… besides, I’ve been tortured by Kamoshida too! I’m gonna make him pay for sure!”

Ryuji: “What is this, a comic book? This is seriously crazy…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The subtitles say comic book but they’re not accurate, he clearly says manga. I feel like if you’re gonna keep shit like honorifics in, you kind of can’t do that.

Morgana: “If we’re gonna keep going, we should hurry along. I’ll be counting on your skills this time too, rookie. Got it?”

Ryuji: “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna force it all on you. I thought it might help, so…”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game fucking chickens out on just giving the characters real guns. I’d say they did it because it’s “problematic” for high schoolers to carry firearms but then SMT V apparently will have a character who is a high schooler and uses a gun.

Morgana: “That’s a toy!”

Ryuji: “But it looks totally real, so it’ll at least fake ‘em out. I brought some medicine too. You know what they say, ‘Providin’ is pre… something.’ Huh? Huh?”

Morgana: “So you were planning this from the start… well, fine. If you’re ready to go, we’ll resume our infiltration.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Even though we have a gun, we can’t use it yet because the game expects us to sit through more bullshit first. There’s a tutorial about how what we’re in right now is a save room where you can save and switch out party members. I’ll skip that. We’ve done Snow Queen the hard way, we can handle it.

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Morgana: “Did you hear that? I think that’s just a little further ahead. Let’s go!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s another tutorial here about Security Level, which is the other mechanic that ties in with ambushing enemies.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We’ll almost never see the security level meter because ambushing enemies reduces it and most of the game it’ll be at zero. The higher the security level, the more enemies spawn. If it reaches 100%, you get thrown out of the dungeon. We don’t want that, because we need to do every dungeon in the absolute minimum number of days possible.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This fight is against two Mandrakes, making their first appearance in the Persona series despite being in most of the mainline SMT games.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: They don’t do a whole lot of damage and go down pretty quickly.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m going to skip a little bit of the dialog here, but this is where the plot gets real dumb.

Ryuji: “But all I got is this toy from earlier… I’m such a loser.”

Morgana: “Huh? Do you mean that gun?”

Ryuji: “Yeah… it looks real n’ all, but it doesn’t shoot anything…”

Morgana: “Okay, we’ll use that to take down the enemies!”

Ryuji: “What!? Were you listenin’ to me? It don’t even shoot pellets…”

Morgana: “Don’t worry, I’m sure this’ll work. Attack away, Frizzy Hair!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: So instead of doing the logical thing and giving Ryuji the gun, we’re giving it to Joker. Even if you assume that Persona 1 rules regarding fighting demons without a Persona are still in play (read: getting hit by magic instakills you) it’d still make more sense to give Ryuji the gun.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: We now have access to the best command: GUN.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In the base game, guns were laughably useless due to their low ammo count. In this game? They fully expect you to start each fight by emptying your magazine. This will probably change my playstyle a bit. In the base game, I never bothered upgrading guns until the end of the game, because there wasn’t a point and it saved money not buying them.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: In Royal though, guns rule. You can see here we took out the Pyro Jack with five bullets (I think one missed) and I was still able to do like half the Mandrake’s HP in damage with the remaining three. With a full party, it’s definitely possible to gun down the earlier enemies in Kamoshida’s Palace without them ever getting a turn.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Morgana’s gun is a giant slingshot, which from what I remember in the base game was the worst of all the gun types. I should mention that Joker’s starting gun is a Tokarev TT-33, a Soviet-made pistol chambered in the 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev round. These days, you’d be far more likely to see a Type 54 instead: they’re Chinese-made knockoffs of the TT-33 that are usually chambered in 9mm parabellum and have 9-round magazines instead of the 8 that most TT-33 models had.

Morgana: “As long as our opponent sees it as real, it becomes such. It’s a good thing it’s realistic-looking.”

Ryuji: “… I don’t get it.”

Morgana: “Because they recognize it as a gun, your ammo capacity is limited in battle. But your enemies are expecting you to come at them with guns loaded, so your ammo’s replenished in every new fight.”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: I’m pretty sure the reason the game is hammering this in so hard is because Royal rebalanced a lot of enemies around you starting every fight with a mag dump. Most people who played the base game would never do that just on instinct alone. Also, this cutscene makes fuck-all sense. Morgana knew the gun would work… but just didn’t say anything.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: This is followed by another tutorial fight where they tell you yet again “Go ahead and magdump! Devil bust the shit out of these fucks like you’re the SMT 1 protagonist!”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Mandrakes are a bit more spongy than Pyro Jack is.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game then gives us access to direct commands over our party members. There’s an option to have your party controlled by the AI like in Persona 3, but why the fuck would you do that?

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game even forces you to pick. You can change it whenever, but always pick Direct Commands. Otherwise, you get shit like this. Don’t be Mitsuru and waste your SP on Tentarafoo and Marin Karin. Be Elly, who spends her SP spamming Megidolaon for shitloads of damage.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: There’s an enemy at the end of this hallway, and now it’s time to show the Magdump Principle at work.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Joker nearly kills both of them in one mag dump. SP? Skills? Who cares, I’ve got a gun with a magically refilling magazine.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Another tutorial fight. Remember that finisher that Not-Elly did in the intro? We’re going to learn how to do that.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: The game forces us to cast Eiha, which the Pixie is weak to. This knocks the Pixie down, and because it’s the only enemy on the board…

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Now that we’ve got them at our mercy, we can use an All-Out Attack, which hits for a shitload of Almighty damage and bypasses defense. These can only be used in a very specific circumstance:

  • All enemies are knocked down and you are in a Hold Up
  • Joker is not under a status effect that would prevent him from attacking
  • There’s at least one other party member alive and able to attack.

9_2iVBrO_400x400: If nothing else, Persona 5 is pretty stylish. This is also Joker’s Final Smash in Ultimate. I should mention that the finisher screen you get is decided based on who made the last move before the Hold Up was initiated. It also only happens if all the enemies die from the All-Out Attack. This means it’s much harder to do with the non-Joker party members. I think in my playthrough of the first game I saw Morgana’s maybe once after I made an elaborate setup to force it.

Ryuji: “Kamoshida’s… Training Hall… of Love? What kinda bullshit is this!?”

9_2iVBrO_400x400: Oh shit! It’s Nemesis Tower! If you haven’t read the Persona 1 LP, Nemesis tower is part of Snow Queen. It’s a tower ruled by a crazy bitch who captures a couple of people from the protagonist’s school and tortures them because her powers are based on hatred.

Morgana: “How many times do I have to tell you to keep your voice down!?”

Ryuji: “But this is beyond messed up! How do I open this!?”

Ryuji: “You’re tellin’ me you want to stay in a place like this!?”

Morgana: “Wait a minute… were you planning on taking these guys out of here?”

Ryuji: “We can’t just leave 'em here!”

Morgana: “How stupid can you be?”

Ryuji: “What!?”

Morgana: “These are only humans in Kamoshida’s cognition. They aren’t real humans that have entered from reality. They’re different from you two.”

Ryuji: “Cognition…?”