Click Here for Update 47
: Morgana forces us to enter the hideout, even though we’re going to do the dungeon today anyway. The problem is that we have a few things we need to do first.
: Like practically every day, we need to visit Chihaya… except today, we need to visit Chihaya twice. The first time is to boost Charm, the second time is for a Money Reading.
: We also need to grip and sip. Don’t forget that, because I actually did. Twice. The first time was because I went right to the dungeon, the second time was because I forgot to do Chihaya first.
: “…Battle tactic? Ohhh, you mean the stuff we talked about before the summer festival, right? Yup, still got it.”
: “Very good.”
: “What are you guys talking about?”
: “We’re simply discussing how it’s important to spice up our battle tactics here and there.”
: “Spice up your…?”
: “Eh, don’t worry about it! We’ve got something crazy to show you later!”
: “Oh yeah, all the other ones until now have just been normal cities outside of the distortion itself.”
: “Thanks to that, we didn’t even know we were in a Palace our first time goin’ into Kamoshida’s.”
: “That’s still part of the Palace though. The city may not have been distorted, but it was cognition. The Palace rulers may have been criminals, but they were social enough to know the city layout.”
: “But Futaba probably doesn’t… in fact, I bet she isn’t even interested in the outside world.”
: “Hence why the whole thing is a bleak desert… understandable, considering her lifestyle.”
: “I doubt many famous criminals are shut-ins like her though. Hopefully that means we won’t have to go through all this desert business in the future.”
: “That might not necessarily be the case. Many upper-class citizens travel by limo or plane, so they don’t know or care about city life…”
: “A plane…?! Damn, that sounds pretty good! I mean, wouldn’t you want to go to a Palace wayyyy up above the clouds if you could?”
: “I think a flying bank is quite enough, thanks…”
: “I have to say though, the topic of the area outside the distortion is fascinating. Depending on the criminal, there may be an exact replica of Tokyo within their Palace. I would love to examine the aesthetics of such a strange place at least once.”
: Funny he should say that, because the first dungeon in Strikers is Shibuya with a filter over it.
: “You don’t got a damn thing but art in that head of yours, huh?”
: “But it’s true that an observant criminal could have a true to reality city in their Palace… although even if such a place did exist, it’s not like we’d have any use for it.”
: The inside of the pyramid is now wrecked from the boulder… except for all the stairs the boulder rolled through to get here, which as we’ll see in a bit are untouched.
: I feel like “We might have to give up on it” was a common phrase in the writer’s room for this game.
: “No point sittin’ around though. Whaddya wanna do, Joker?”
: “Not a bad idea. Considering how humongous this building is, there have be other ways in.”
: “We will have to investigate every suspicious place we see, both inside the pyramid and out.”
: “Ugh, outside!? You mean we gotta deal with that heat again!?”
: “No complaining. Let’s begin our investigation right away.”
: So let’s leave, and then…
: “Yeah, I wonder why - I can’t believe you tried to crush us with an effing boulder! You want us to steal your goddamn Treasure or not?”
: “Hm, why don’t we make a deal? You wish to proceed further, yes?”
: “A deal, you say?”
: “There is a town nearby. I would like you to take back that which the bandit there stole from me.”
: "Oh yeah, I think I remember seeing a town on the way here.’
: “If you bring what was stolen back to me, I will give you a reward. I’ll even tell you how to proceed.”
: “Can’t you tell us any more details? Anything about this bandit, or what was stolen?”
: “You’ll learn all the information you need to know once you arrive.”
: “She said it’s nearby… we could probably see it from here, right?”
: “Good point. Let us observe the surroundings and search for any towns that may lie about here.”
: This part I don’t quite understand. They drove right past the town on the way here, and it’s the only town in this entire desert.
: They should’ve coded this so if you’ve already done this the first visit, Morgana would just go “Oh right, we saw that town the last time we were here. Do you want to just go there?”
: “Hey, isn’t that a town off in the distance?”
: “Yes, I can see what appear to be buildings over there.”
: “Want to head over to the town, Joker? It’s pretty far away, so this is my chance to shine!”
: And now we’re in… wait a second, isn’t this just de_dust2?
: We run into what is either Sandman or that one McDonalds commercial from the 1980s.
: Ann exploits their fire weakness and off we go.
: I could’ve negotiated, but then the red “show me the money” option came up and one thing kind of led to another and soon I was performing the Greatest Weapon in the John Persona Arsenal.
: There is uh, one minor problem though. Joker is so disgustingly overpowered that it’s kind of hard to not instakill things.
: This isn’t even close to the best I can do with the Greatest Weapon. Also as it turns out, the guide on Gamefaqs is wrong - I think the boost from Money Reading is actually 50%, not double.
: “Hm? What does he mean by ‘trader’?”
: “We don’t care about your welcomes. You’re a bandit, right? Just cough up the thing you stole.”
: “Wait! Ughhh, you just had to scare him off, Skull!”
: “We’ll have time to talk later. Let’s get after him.”
: I didn’t get a shot of the entire map, but this area is basically a maze with a couple of enemies in it, and then the big square area where we just met that shadow.
: That other red do you can see on the map is an Anzu, seen here being nuked by Makoto. God dammit Makoto that’s not how you do it, let me show you how you do it.
: Believe it or not, Joker one-shotting everything like this is kind of a problem when we go to perform the Greatest Weapon.
: The final encounter here was another Sandman, so I grabbed him solely for compedium completion.
New Persona: Sandman
First Appearance: Devil Summoner
Fairy who sprinkles magical sand into the eyes of children to make them sleep. Those who resist get their faces sat on, those who still resist get their eyes gouged out.
: Sandman is the definition of a trash-sona: horrible resistances, godawful moveset and really low offensive stats. I think I deleted Sandman the moment we got him because he’s not even good as fusion fuel.
: I remembered this part being kind of annoying in the base game, and so I looked up the archived LP of it and it’s actually the same.
: “We’ll never catch him if we do nothing but follow his path… we should corner him somewhere.”
: “Corner him? But how?”
: “Let’s use that square from earlier. We sneak around him and trap him in there!”
: All you have to do is run around the other side, and the shadow will run back to the big square.
: “Don’t talk to us like we’re the same as you! We came here to save Futaba-chan! Now give us back what you stole!”
: We’re up against Garuda, who in the base game was the first Persona to naturally learn Wind Amp. We’re uh… quite a few levels ahead of the curve on that.
: Garuda has exactly two attacks: Garudyne and Magarudyne. Thankfully, Joker had Anzu equipped, so…
: We actually do this entire fight without Garuda ever landing a blow. Ordinarily, Garuda (like most Wind Personas) is weak to Lightning… but we’re two levels away from being able to break the game with Lightning the way we did with Wind and Ice.
: Instead, we abuse his other weakness: BULLETS.
: Yusuke truly is the best boyfriend.
: And that’s how you fight Garuda without taking damage.
: “Is this… some kind of papyrus parchment? It looks like there’s something written inside.”
: “Hey, no peeking at a girl’s belongings without her permission!”
: “Y’know, just what the hell’s happenin’ in her heart? There’s this bandit, those weird voices sayin’ ‘you killed her’ and who knows what else… it’s a total freakin’ mess.”
: “So does this mean that even though she’s the Palace ruler, she can’t control what happens in here?”
: “I don’t know… I’ve never seen a case like this…”
: “Regardless, we have no more business in this city. Shall we head back, Joker?”
: Huh. There’s a hole where the Sphinx’s head should be. I wonder why that is…
: “Why are you letting them just do whatever they want? This is your Palace, isn’t it?”
: “All that matters is that the map is now yours. Just come further in and… oh.”
: This is pretty much my reaction every time we have to do Maruki’s confidant.
: “Oww… first a boulder, then this… did we piss her off somehow?”
: “I don’t think it has anything to do with us angering her… I suspect the problem is that she can’t control her instinct to push people away from her.”
: “A simple defense mechanism… considering what she’s been through, I don’t blame her for mistrusting others.”
: “Joker, let’s save her! We’ve gotta help Futaba-chan open the door to her heart!”
: “Come on, let’s look for a way back above ground. Otherwise this place is going to end up our tomb too.”
: This entire area is honestly kind of a clusterfuck to navigate. It’s got three levels and only certain parts are connected. This is a little less annoying than it was in the base game.
: We run into Lamia, which I had gotten a couple of times as a result from a fusion accident but didn’t save because I was trying to get Life Aid.
: They’re weak to Nuclear.
: They’re also very weak to ice.
New Persona: Lamia
First Appearance: Megami Tensei I
Libyan queen who fell in love with Zeus. Hera murdered all of her children, causing Lamia to go insane and become a baby-eating monster.
: Lamia is another trash-sona that I deleted almost immediately after obtaining. Also, someone should re-write that myth so instead of becoming a monster, Hera curses Lamia with “And now you will be in every bad monster girl anime ever!” Truly a fate worse than death.
: The best description I can give of this room is that you just kinda dick around until you find all the chests or find the door, whichever comes first. There’s nothing really great in any of them… apart from a worrying amount of items meant to protect against instant death spells.
: Oh, is that the sound of an even more bullshit overpowered Lilim? I think it is.
: As soon as we turn the corner, we get into a fight with Thoth.
: I’m not sure if it was an error on Atlus’s part, but for some reason, Thoth is level 36 - he outlevels the red shadow here. He’s not a particularly good Persona… apart from being the only Persona to learn Megido.
: And… fuck. As it turns out, you can negotiate with him for a Megido skill card. I haven’t actually finished recording yet, so I’m going to go back and grab one of those… and then reload until I get it to mutate into Megidolaon via fusion accident.
: There’s two ways we can go - one leads to the obvious exit, and then this room which is a mini-boss. Unfortunately…
: By the way, does anyone else hear anything strange? There’s this weird sound playing over the game audio. I know I’ve heard it before, but I just can’t place it.
: The other way has a red shadow. Let’s do this.
: Red Shadows in Futaba’s Palace are Anubis, and as you can tell from Makoto being dead in this shot, Anubis is not fun to fight.
: Anubis is the ultimate combo of bullshit - he has no weaknesses, has a metric shitload of HP, and has three modes, each of which takes a turn to activate.
: In “Light Mode”, he uses Hamaon to attempt an expel-based instakill. In “Dark Mode”, he uses Mudoon instead. Anubis always gets an extra Press Turn, so he does this TWICE.
: Then there’s “Balance Mode”. I didn’t get a good shot of it, but Balance Mode has Anubis use Maeiga and Makouga to do a shitload of Curse and Bless damage. You can see the aftermath here.
: Fortunately, Yusuke isn’t gonna stand for this.
: “At least we have secured our escape route. We can finally go about exploring this place now.”
: “Let’s use this as our entrance from here forward. It should be more stable than the front.”
: Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to make a quick trip to the Velvet Room.
: Itemizing and resummoning Lilim costs like 20,000 yen… and this is the first of two times I wind up doing it.
: Unfortunately, we can’t really do much else with this alarm. There is a Persona I want to fuse, but we can’t do it just yet.
: While I was in there, I noticed something. During a Fusion Alarm, Caroline and Justine do the fusion dance from DBZ.
: There’s that music again! Is anyone else hearing that? Sounds kinda generic metal-ish?
: Oh fuck. I know what this song is.
: In Nocturne, Mot was a fight so infamously bad it became a meme. He had an ability called Beast Eye (which only enemies could have) that gave him something like seven extra turns every time he used it. It was very possible to die to him without ever getting a turn.
: Fortunately, Mot is pretty slow and has a major weakness to wind.
: He’ll also waste a turn doing this instead of alternating between Beast Eye and Megidolaon like it’s the PonPonPon song.
: Being Rattled (the name of the status effect) is P5’s equivalent of Stone or Stop in Final Fantasy. It removes whoever it hits from the fight.
: ONE MORE GOD REJECTED. Oh, right. He’ll also summon weaker enemies but honestly, we can kill those in one hit.
: This room has a bunch of little platforms we have to jump between, but it’s really not complicated.
: In one corner is this giant ballista.
: If we turn around, there’s a grappling hook spot we can use.
: “Think before you go touching that, okay? It might be a trap. Although, I’m curious about it myself…”
: “As they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ Very well.”
: I’m pretty sure ballistas don’t work that way, especially on what appear to be foot-thick blocks of stone. Then again, this is a magic mind ballista.
: “I’m not so sure about that… it looks like pressing that button has changed something in here.”
: “Yes, there is now light being cast on that door. It is a markedly obvious difference.”
: “You’re right. Let’s go take a closer look.”
: “So shining light upon the door is what caused it to unlock…”
: “Wait, doesn’t that mean we can open the door at the great stairs the same way!?”
: “That’s a definite possibility. In any case, we should push on.”
: “Let me see… ‘The light shed by the god of the underworld shall become the sign for those who traverse the pits.’ What could this mean?”
: This is another very vertical area that’s just a lot of holding R2 and climbing.
: Ryuji, we just fought and killed one a few minutes ago.
: “This is Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld. It seems to have some kind of shining orb…”
: I’m really surprised they didn’t change this from the base game. Anubis is the god of the dead, not the god of the underworld.
: “That sounds kinda familiar. Something about light from the god of the underworld?”
: “Hm, this may come in handy somewhere. Shall we take it?”
: Believe it or not, this is actually slightly less tedious than it was in the base game. In the base game, you climbed up sarcophagi to get here instead and the room took longer as a result.
: “The god’s name is Anubis. It really isn’t that hard to remember, Skull…”
: As soon as we grab the second gem, a bunch of sarcophagi in the walls open up and start spewing out shadows. This is actually a good time to farm, because the respawn logic is different than it normally is.
: Normally, it takes either two room transitions or a transition into a save room to respawn enemies. These will pop out enemies as soon as you get close.
: The shadow that popped out of the sarcophagus turned out to be this dungeon’s Treasure Demon - Stone of Scone. We also run into a Naga for the first time here.
: And there goes Joker, doing enough damage with the “flow” buff and a baton pass to kill the entire party twice over and then some. Atlus should’ve coded a thing where if you get a Lilim this overpowered she reverts to her Persona 1 form and starts absorbing everything.
New Persona: Stone of Scone
Persona 5 Original
Stone used to coronate Scottish royalty. Later used by the English in their coronation ceremonies.
: If I had some way of making Lilim over again with the same skills but using this thing in the fusion, I would. It’s got all the second-tier single target spells and some really good abilities it can pass down.
: “That means we are directly above where we ended up after coming through the front entrance.”
: I like to think that Yusuke isn’t shocked by the fact that they basically just did a loop, he just gets like that any time he sees architecture.
: “We had to shine light on that one to get it open, right? Do you think this is the same mechanism?”
: I missed a couple of lines here, but let’s be honest, none of them were important anyway.
: We have to put both gems in, and then…
: “All right, we got it!”
: “So shining light upon it is what causes it to open. That is the same as the door underground.”
: “We can’t rest on our laurels though. Let’s stay cautious and proceed forward.”
: “…I don’t know if I’d phrase it like that. Anyway, let’s keep going!”
: The rest of the dungeon is split up into segments like this, with a door that needs to be opened and a second door that leads to where you open it.
: In the save room, we can get a pretty good look at what Futaba’s room looks like.
: I had another fusion alarm proc, but couldn’t quite use it yet.
: “That’s to be expected… we’re basically raiding her tomb, after all. We’d better be cautious as we go, you guys!”
: I fucking HATE how every character has the dumbass anime tic of saying “be cautious” constantly.
: “Talk about a close call… we almost found out what life’s like for a pincushion.”
: “How’re we supposed to get to the other side with the floor like this?”
: “This is the point where we check our surroundings carefully. There has to be something we can use…”
: I don’t know how I caught this, but Joker apparently T-poses while the grappling hook shoots out of what appears to be either his head or his shoulder.
: He then swings through arrows shooting out of the wall…
: And lands. I imagine Ryuji goes “Dude, what the fuck, did you just open your mouth and shoot out a grappling hook while T-posing?”
: On the other side is a room with another Anubis in it, which also has an obvious spike trap in the doorway. I couldn’t capture it working because it’s only on screen for a fraction of a second.
: “Yes, but unless we can do something about this trap, we will not be able to proceed.”
: There’s a hole we can jump over, and on the other side…
: Is Isis. She’s annoying more because she’s weak to Psi damage (and thus not easily instakilled by any of our existing super-nukes) than because she’s an actual threat.
: This next room’s just a lot of jumping across pillars.
: “Hold on, there’s an inscription on this stone slab here… ‘any who attempts to steal this gem shall be cursed…’ uhhh…”
: “Dude, we can’t let this ‘curse’ shit get to us, right? C’mon, let’s just take it.”
: So what does the curse do, you ask? It opens a couple of sarcophagi to spawn enemies, and if we try to progress…
: And also opens up an arrow trap blocking the way forward. What we have to do is return the gem.
: Right past where that arrow trap was, there’s a button we can press.
: Now that the spear trap is disabled, we can grab the gem and backtrack a room to that area.
: We run into Andras, and I think this shot tells you everything you need to know about them.
: I think this was one of the only encounters I skipped - I didn’t do the Anubis in this room because the party was one level away from being able to negotiate with it.
: Itaden Ofuda is another anti-instant death item. They’re basically there for when you go after Anubis.
: It’s a shame this dungeon is so meh design-wise, because it does one interesting thing that’s kind of hard to show off.
: In earlier dungeons, we had a ton of room to move and a ton of places to hide and get ambushes. Outside of me purposely getting spotted (say, to reset a room faster) it’s rare NOT to get an ambush.
: Futaba’s palace puts a lot of enemies on small platforms that are on the other side of a jump. There’s very few places to hide, and so in a lot of cases you’re only just barely getting an ambush.
: In the next room is another Anubis statue, but there’s a trap in front of it. I wish this was like Persona 1 and the game would just make going through the damage floor a viable option.
: Several minutes of running around a big, vertical square area later…
: “Let’s se… ‘Any who attempts to steal this gem shall be cursed…’ wait, it says the same thing!?”
: Does anyone else miss the Resident Evil 1 days of “There is a hole where something could fit. Will you use the gem?” because I sure do and I’ve never even played RE1.
: “But this statue isn’t actually holding a gem… what could be the meaning of this?”
: “Hold up, we got one with us. Wanna try puttin’ it in there?”
: “Hm, the atmosphere has changed in some intangible way… perhaps the curse has been lifted?”
: “That thing wasn’t even holdin’ a gem to start with! It ain’t fair makin’ us put one in! It don’t matter if this is some dog god or whatever… it just ain’t fair!”
: This actually isn’t the one that opens the next main area up. We have one more of those.
: Do you remember how in the other dungeons, finding the will seeds took effort and I almost missed a few of them? When you get here, Morgana will tell you there’s a will seed nearby. Can you guess where it is?
: A decent weapon for Morgana, but we have no reason to use him ever again.
: If you guessed “the will seed room is in this very obvious fork that you can just walk right into” you’re absolutely correct. I think the map designers just kind of gave up.
: This is the last room of this branch of the dungeon.
: “Odd. The design seems to be scrambled somehow.”
: “Maybe it’s kinda like a puzzle? Joker, can you change the puzzle?”
: Welcome to the world’s simplest slider puzzle. I don’t even know why this is here.
: “But what is it a picture of?”
: I think it’s like the artwork in Dwarf Fortress where it corresponds to a historical event only everyone is holding cheese and the cheese is screaming.
: “This adult seems to be reading something to a crying child? Hm, the emotions of the artist are oft depicted in the art they produce… I can sense… serious pain harbored in her heart.”
: That’s kinda right, this dungeon really isn’t the best. When I went through to work on the update, I had a really hard time telling what was what because everything’s the same color.
: “Is that voice coming from the mural?”
: So okay, hear me out here. This dungeon talks a lot, but says very little that we don’t already know. Now, what if instead of telling us pretty much everything about Futaba before we even got here, the game did it through… environmental storytelling?
: Get rid of these insultingly easy slider puzzles and just have the murals along the walls as you go through. Make them almost impossible to miss. People would understand the story without you having to explain every single fucking thing to them.
: “Based on its contents, it sounded almost like a suicide note…”
: “Could that be what Futaba remembers of her mother’s suicide?”
: God you know what I’d love to see? This dungeon done by Satomi Tadashi. Have Futaba as a kind of anti-Maki where instead of making a perfect dream world, Futaba has made one in which she really is the worst person alive.
: Like, as much as I knocked him in Persona 1 and Innocent Sin, I’m sure he’d still have done a better job than whatever this shit is. Granted, I’m sure the entire party (Joker included) would just be blatant copies of idols he’s horny for, but whatever.
: “But that’s the shittiest thing to do to a kid if that’s really how it all went down.”
: I went back to the first area to farm a little bit. All shadows in Futaba’s palace (apart from Anubis and Thoth) can spawn as disaster shadows.
: Joker does almost a thousand damage to that Anzu. And that’s without Nuke Boost or Nuke Amp.
: And now we can break the game again.
NEW PERSONA: Thunderbird
Origin: Native American Folklore
First Appearance: Soul Hackers
Legendary bird of Native American origin. Said to cause thunder and stir the wind with the beating of its wings. Features heavily in art from Native tribes along the West coast and Great Plains area.
: I fused Lilim with a Lamia to make Thunderbird. Like Lilim and Anzu, Thunderbird is special.
: Now, here I forgot something very important. Any time you fuse a demon under a fusion alarm, their name turns gold. I had assumed this only guaranteed a fusion accident if you attempted to fuse them again (which I had no intention of doing) but as it turns out that also happens if you try to itemize them.
: On a side note, how do you execute a bird that drains electricity on an electric chair? That seems… kinda counterproductive.
: Fortunately, we get what I was looking for anyway. Thunderbird itemizes into an Elec Boost card, or an Elec Amp under an alarm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
: We didn’t get a mutation on Mazionga (which would’ve been nice) but Thunderbird is one of the first Personas to learn a -dyne spell naturally. We now have our third gamebreaker… and with Electric Bloodline, he can cast all electric spells at half cost.
: I also grab Anubis while I’m at it. We need him because he is one of the components needed to fuse Lucifer. Have I mentioned that I am going to grind enough to fuse Lucifer? I am.
New Persona: Anubis
First Appearance: Megami Tensei
Egyptian god of the dead. Oversees mummification and weighs the souls of the dead against a feather.
: If he wasn’t a component for Lucifer, I wouldn’t have even bothered grabbing him. High SP costs combined with skills we already have on better Personas makes Anubis kind of useless.
: Anubis gave me a third fusion alarm, and I didn’t really have much to fuse (though in hindsight I probably should’ve gotten one of those all-boost accidents on a low-level Persona) so I made this instead by itemizing Arsene.
: “Huh? What is it talking about?”
: “I haven’t the slightest idea. It may be a hint of some kind.”
: Here’s a better shot of Andras.
: There’s a hole in the wall we can’t get through.
: The boulder knocked out that sarcophagus, so now we can go under the wall rather than over.
: This room has two rows of coffins in it.
: We also get a notification when we go to the top level that there’s a will seed, but there’s no obvious place for it to be.
: I’m going to skip a lot of the dialog here because it’s nothing dialog.
: “That may be a clue of some sort. Either way, we should search to see if anything has changed.”
: “Quite the impressive contraption. Why don’t we examine it closer?”
: On the other side is this button next to another stone slab. Have you figured out this insultingly easy puzzle yet?
: “It is the same color as the one from further in. There must be some meaning to all of this…”
: Pushing the button causes a security level increase and spawns an enemy, but does not put that enemy on alert… meaning you could also use this to grind.
: “Try touching it again, Joker. I see… so it’s possible to turn it back on as well. It looks like we should be able to turn the holograms on or off by accessing each control panel. Do you think this is related to that CODE from earlier?”
: I hate that Makoto just rephrased the infamous ‘wait a minute that card’ line from Bioshock Infinite.
: We’ve got six holograms and a five-digit number. One of them is blue, and we have the message B01010. Naturally, this means turning off the first, third, and fifth holograms to the right of the blue one.
: While this cutscene plays out, I want to talk about my thoughts on this dungeon.
: My thoughts are this. This dungeon fucking sucks. It’s boring, samey, full of nothing puzzles and nothing dialog, and it’s hard to tell where I am in my screenshot folder because of it.
: They could have cut half of this place out and it still would’ve been too long. What was, for instance, the entire point of that first part where we had to escape the underground bit?
: Moreover, they went for some generic Ocarina of Time Spirit Temple shit instead of coming up with something vaguely original. And no, putting random binary on the brick textures is not originality.
: The thing is, we’ve been in this dungeon for over two hours at this point. Two hours of samey platforming bullshit in what looks like a 2008 game developer’s idea of “next gen” punctuated by battles we can win with a single button press.
: And the thing is, it only goes downhill from here. The next dungeon was totally reworked from the ground up because people fucking HATED it, and from what I understand it’s still boring.
: What gets me though is that this is shit they could have fixed in Royal. It’s a full-price re-release. Instead, we had Hashino shrug and utter the equivalent of “Well, can’t be helped.”
: “It’s broken… well, I guess it would be a little more precise to say we broke it.”
: “We can’t get through like this! What’re we gonna do!?”
: “Perhaps we could walk over the giant boulders? Let’s try it.”
: There’s two ways we can go. One way leads to the obvious progression route.
: The other way leads to this platform with another slab on it.
: “If this code is similar to the prior one, these would surely be hints for those buttons.”
: “To be honest, it somewhat reminds me of binary.”
: THE SMART GIRL!
: “That makes sense, given Futaba-chan’s hacker background. Well, let’s go see if anything’s changed.”
: “There should be some connection between that and the code that appeared on the stone slab.”
: NO FUCKING SHIT! It’s the same fucking puzzle we solved not even minutes ago!
: I swear, they were doing this to cover up for their godawful writing. Think about it. If they prevent you from actually thinking, you’re not going to notice that the game has no plot.
: Anyway, once we input the very obvious solution (turn off the coffin next to the red one, leave the next two on, and then turn the last two off) this door opens.
: Oh, right. In the base game, you had to do the second puzzle to get the boulder pathway to spawn. Otherwise, the puzzle was exactly the same.
: “I wonder what lies beyond it… I hope we’ll soon find out.”
: “By the way… what’s up with all the stuff here? Does it really represent Futaba-chan’s mental state?”
: “Hard to say, but… it does prove that she might not be as simple a target as we were hoping she’d be…”
: Going down the other hallway leads us right to this room.
: “This is the same mechanism as the one we saw before.”
: “Then we just gotta touch it and make something happen, yeah? C’mon, let’s try it out.”
: We’ve got ourselves another slider puzzle. This time, some of the pieces are rotated… and you can immediately tell which ones both by the picture but also by the fact that the game won’t let you rotate pieces that aren’t in the wrong position.
: “It seems the picture is complete.”
: “Is she… jumping in front of a car?”
: Nah, this is one of those Final Fantasy 6 things where she’s trying to suplex a car.
: “Could this be the moment when Futaba’s mother committed suicide? Hm? Another voice…”
: Here’s the thing. Imagine we didn’t know going in that Futaba’s mother had committed suicide. Imagine how effective this scene might’ve been. Instead, it’s just… not.
: “That’s horrible…”
: “So, did her desire to forget those memories cause her to repress them?”
: “We’re pretty far in now, right? This has to be past halfway.”
: This? This right here? This is practically Atlus ADMITTING this dungeon sucks. They have to fucking reassure you that it’s going to be over because for all you know there’s another six hours of this dumb bullshit.
: “Yeah, the Treasure is definitely close. You better be excited!”
: “Yeah, I guess you prolly wouldn’t be seein’ anything like this shit if we weren’t in a Palace.”
: “Seriously. This almost feels like a trip abroad or something.”
: “Hey, now’s not the time to be letting your guard down. I can sense lots of Shadows up ahead!”
: Yeah, we should proceed with caution. See? I could be a writer for this game.
: “It’s not a distance we’ll be able to jump either. What should we do?”
: We use the obvious hole in the wall that you can see on the minimap.
: We get into a fight with an Isis, but this time we get to see Makoto’s follow-up attack.
: The next area is a maze with some spike traps in it preventing you from getting the chest in the middle.
: The southern room has a button that disables the traps.
: The northern one has another tunnel.
: The button opens a couple of spawners and another button we have to backtrack to get. What is this shit, late '90s Rare?
: Joker remembers that Banjo and Kazooie are real and makes a note to ask them where he can find a big enough backpack to fit Yusuke inside.
: And this is why we have to backtrack.
: “This pathway of light is quite impressive. It seems will will be able to pass over it!”
: “It’s not gonna disappear while we’re crossing it, right? This is a little scary…”
: “It’d suck if we had to go through hell again ‘cause we walked up to her without thinkin’ first. So… what’s your call? You wanna keep goin’?”
: “Okay, but we should be careful.”
: “We almost did thanks to you! I mean, do you really wanna help us!? Make up your goddamn mind!”
: “Oh… not again! This is all because you picked on her, Skull!”
: Hashino must’ve been bored at this point, because we’re already doing boss re-fights.
: “This is my fault!?”
: Oh, right. I had mentioned in an earlier update about the buttrock cover of Last Surprise in Strikers, and this is as good a place as any to put it.
: Shoji Meguro had absolutely nothing to do with Strikers, and it shows.
: “Dammit, the hell’s up with her!?”
: “Can you just try to calm down? Nothing good will come of letting your temper flare up like that.”
: “She did say ‘there’s not much left’ though. The end of this Palace may be drawing close.”
: There’s another gem holder up ahead. You can actually see where I missed the gem on the map.
: I also grabbed an Andras, mostly because it surrendered to me.
New Persona: Andras
Origin: Ars Goetia
First Appearance: Shin Megami Tensei
Demon Marquis portrayed as an angel with the head of an owl. Controls anger and rage, and is basically a demonic hitman.
: "Hm, this sight brings a tear to my eye yet again!’
: “You’re so freakin’ weird, dude…”
: We’re now headed back to the first room, except this time on the second floor.
: The chest is a weapon for Joker that’s almost but not quite as good as the Great Thief Stick.
: To get the last will seed, we have to kick this board down to form a shortcut.
: This allows us to grapple up to a platform that was being blocked by the board, and gets us up to the last mini-boss.
: Meet Alilat. She is very close to being an ultimate Persona - she’s the second to last in the Empress arcana but is arguably better than the actual ultimate.
: I was trying to keep Thunderbird out to get it EXP, but I had to switch to Principality to exploit Alilat’s fire weakness.
: Note that even weakness hits will barely damage Alilat.
: After several turns of fire followed by All-Outs, the game gives me a Showtime to finish it. I took it since I wasn’t sure if there was enough HP left to get another All-Out for the extra cash.
: Fortunately, the money won’t matter much. You’ll see why in a bit.
: The Crystal of Wrath gives you Auto-Sukukaja (speed/accuracy up) when equipped. The improved version from Jose gives you a skill called Wings of Wisdom that heals most status effects off the entire party.
: Wings of Wisdom would be pretty useful for the boss… if we had time to go to Mementos, which we don’t.
: “I’d expect so. Joker, if you please.”
: “It may be a rather difficult puzzle for us to solve…”
: Same deal as the last one, only this time most of the pieces are rotated.
: Okay so like, I get that the weird bird thing in the top-right is supposed to be Wakaba’s monitor… but what’s the other bird thing in the top-left supposed to be?
: “Yes! We’re done!”
: “A child pulling on her mother’s clothes?”
: “The one clinging to her mother would be Futaba-chan, right?”
: How… it’s literally right in front of you! I get that you’re a fucking idiot but still!
: God dammit. I went to record the night time part of 7/31 and the boss fight and just found out none of my screenshots took.
: “Is that the maternity neurosis the voice from earlier mentioned?”
: “I thought it was pretty normal for a child to want to spend time with their parents, though…”
: “Yeah. Looks like Futaba was a pretty lonely kid growin’ up…”
: “So these incidents compounded, forcing her mother to suicide?”
: “Don’t say that!”
: “Why’d she get so quiet all of a sudden? What happened to that snarky personality?”
: “Could her heart perhaps be growing weaker?”
: “We have to hurry and save her!”
: So uh… here’s the thing. I kind of lost the recording for the last part of the dungeon, and there’s a couple of parts I couldn’t re-record due to saving over them after getting the RNG I needed.
: There’s one (very small, basically a glorified tutorial) cutscene I missed and I also got a Megido skill card off a Thoth off-screen.
: “Hm? This door…”
: “It looks familiar…”
: “Why ain’t it openin’?”
: “It must be her cognition that no one can enter it.”
: “So the Treasure’s through here?”
: “Indeed. However, you need my permission to open this door.”
: “Then open it for us.”
: “I cannot. You must have her invite you in.”
: “What the eff. Ain’t this your Palace?”
: “What’s she mean, Mona?”
: “The Shadow is Futaba, but not Futaba herself. In other words, we need the real Futaba’s permission.”
: You see, each person has two horses inside of them. One is horny. The other is horny. Unless you’re Joker, in which case both horses are gay instead. Judging by the outfit, I think we can assume Futaba’s shadow is the horny one.
: Speaking of horny, a couple of days ago, I saw a post on my Twitter feed about Jane Jensen, the writer for Gabriel Knight.
: “So, we need to have Futaba-chan open her room and let us in?”
: After Gabriel Knight 3, when Jane Jensen left Sierrra, she tried a couple of things. She made another game - it’s called Grey Matter and is more of a horror thing. She also wrote a couple of books that uh… didn’t do well.
: These days, she apparently writes trashy gay romance novels. Anyway, I got a copy of one of her books (not the trashy gay ones) for like $3 just to see what it was like.
: The book is called “Dante’s Equation” and even though I’m only about 200 pages in, as far as I can tell the plot is about a rabbi who discovers a magical Kabbalah-based radio wave that makes people so horny they vaporize.
: It has a lot of things that read like novelization of Grace’s segments in GK3 and a character who is Gabriel Knight if he wasn’t a vampire and/or werewolf hunter.
: “Right. She’s a serious shut-in.”
: “How will we convince her to allow us entry?”
: “Standing around here won’t help. We’ll just have to give it a try… that’s what she wants, after all.”
: “I think that we should do it too, even if it means we have to force ourselves in.”
: “Someone sure is stoked about this.”
: “We have no choice but to sneak in again.”
: “Joker, it’s your call when we do this. Make sure you think of some excuses just in case Boss catches us.”
: Unlike the other dungeons, we don’t need to take a full day to send the calling card. We’ll send the card and fight the boss on the same day.
: “We’re countin’ on you, Leader.”
: “On that note, is everyone clear on what needs doing?”
: “Oh, that reminds me. Gimme the calling card. The one Alibaba sent us.”
: “What are you going to do with it?”
: “We’re the Phantom Thieves, you know? We gotta announce this. If the Treasure’s there when we get the room open, givin’ this to her will let us take it right away. Queen, help me think of what to write.”
: “I suppose…”
: After this scene, I decided to grind a bit. As I mentioned earlier, I went and farmed Thoth for a Megido card and leveled everyone up to 36.
: I also hit a new record for the Greatest Weapon. Unfortunately, all my (lost) attempts at replicating this didn’t work out: we simply do too much damage to be able to loop negotiations.
: Oh right, that cutscene we missed. After you see the scene at the elevator, you’ll get pulled into the Velvet Room and given access to a new mechanic: the Gallows.
: The Gallows sacrifices a Persona to immediately level up another one and transfers a skill at random. I used it to level up Thunderbird to get Ziodyne… though on this run, I didn’t wind up keeping him.
New Persona: Arahabaki
Origin: Japan (hoax)
First Appearance: Megami Tensei II
Japanese god who little is known about. The real god was likely associated with medicine and ironworking, but the portrayal of him in the Megaten series comes from a forged historical document “discovered” in the 1970s. While he looks like a dogu, dogu actually have nothing to do with Arahabaki.
: We want Arahabaki for the boss, because it will allow Joker to win while doing absolutely nothing. I had to fuse Lilim and Thunderbird to get him, but it’s worth it.
: By the way, one more thing. BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE DUNGEON, ENSURE YOU HAVE AN EMPEROR PERSONA ON YOU. I didn’t the first time and that was a permafuck.
: “We finally secured our route to the Treasure! All we need to do now is send the calling card.”
: “Indeed… we have finished the prearrangements, and now we shall face the true test. But this is no time to panic, Joker. Let us ensure we succeed after having come so far.”
: “…There you have it. Sounds like a pretty important task got pushed on you. No point in thinking about it now though. We have to do it. Once you’ve made up your mind, just give the order as usual at the hideout.”
: We have a one-day gap between the palace and the boss, but it’s short and involves Yusuke.
: We now have a new ritual apart from gripping and sipping every Sunday. Every single time we return from a dungeon (or Mementos) we will be calling Kawakami for a massage. This is why Kawakami is so powerful.
: “I might have quit my job, but it’d be complicated if a teacher visited her student for personal reasons… I can’t get found out, you know. I hope you don’t mind me dressing like this when I come help you.”
: Joker: “Dammit Kawakami I thought you were over being horny, screw this I’m calling Yusuke.”
: “So? What do you think about the amount of force I’m using, Masterrr?”
: “Right? I’m a professional at this, after all. Huh. Your body is pretty fit. What the heck do you do to get it like this?”
: One hundred pushups a day, one hundred situps a day, and never being horny.
: I forgot that we actually could’ve gripped and sipped tonight, had we missed it earlier.
: We wind up with almost 810,000 yen… which is admittedly more than I had on the run that didn’t record.
: And now we can use our night slot to advance Chihaya’s confidant.
: “But… I suppose my divine power isn’t completely absolute, huh?”
: “It’s not that… I just need some time to accept that reality. You know, I’ve wondered in the past whether fate really can be changed… but I always concluded that it was something beyond our control.”
: So what you’re saying is that you’re one of those people who think that there’s nothing left to chance, a host of holy horrors direct your aimless dance, and you live on a planet of playthings that dance on the strings of powers you can’t perceive?
: “Almost like the laws of nature. Eternal… impossible to defy… and yet, there exist people like you who can ignore those laws and impose their own will upon the world…”
: “How can you become one of those people, Kurusu-san?”
: Joker: “Smoke some weed and listen to a Rush mixtape. Don’t even try telling me you don’t have weed, you absolutely have weed.”
: “Trust in myself, instead of my fortune telling? I’ve never thought of it that way before! This city keeps finding ways to subvert my expectations…”
: I don’t think she’s being sarcastic here, but it sure sounds like she is.
: “There was nobody like you back in my hometown in the country, Kurusu-san. It was a small, traditional town deep in the mountains, populated almost entirely by older people…”
: Joker: “Okay so what you’re telling me is that you lived in a town where everyone was in their post-horny stage of life. Where is this village again? I need to ask Yusuke his opinion of the mountains.”
: Chihaya: “Oh, you’ve got the wrong idea. They’re like goddamn animals.”
: “The youth there are forced to be strictly obedient to their elders as well. Not explicitly, of course… oh, and there’s a small shrine in the center of the village. There, I…”
: Got locked in the shrine as the result of daddy issues and then had the shrine lit on fire and just barely escaped with your life, traumatizing a group of kids for life?
: “…It doesn’t matter anymore. I left that place to come to this city. It means nothing to me now!”
: She saw one of those Gwyneth Paltrow catalogs with the $60 vagina stones… even though that was 2017.
: “That’s why I sell Holy Stones. I want to help those who suffer from inescapable fates similar to my own. But… now I wonder if they really do much of anything.”
: Of course they didn’t!
: “After all, you managed to change the destinies of my clients without one. It is truly possible to alter fate with nothing more than mere words, attitude, and passion?”
: “If that’s the case, I won’t be needing this. I’m going to confront fate head-on, with my own strength. Although… the chairman would be really mad if he found out.”
: “O-Oh, don’t worry about that! Just forget about it… unless you want to suffer my curse, that is. Anyway…! If fate can be changed… maybe even mine can be corrected, right? It didn’t work for me before, but perhaps this time…”
: “R-Right! I look forward to our continued exchange! At least, until I can manage to change my fate… oh, and I’ll be sure to put some extra effort into my fortune telling for you!”
: “Thank you for today, Kurusu-san. Good night.”
: “Thank you so much for today. To be honest, I’m still feeling a bit lost… but talking to you about everything is helping me feel a little better.”
: “Oh, nonsense! That couldn’t be further from the truth! Talking to you helped me realize what I should really be doing! I can only hope my fortune telling is enough to pay you back somehow…”
: Joker runs his hand across the top of the 800,000 yen sitting in his pocket. “Yeah. Yeah it is.”
: “Kurusu-san… I’ll be putting in a lot of work from now on. Even though I can’t even imagine changing my own fate… but I will figure out some way to make it happen. I hope I can count on you to help me through the process.”
: “Until next time!”
: “Yusuke’s coming here tomorrow, huh? He’s definitely making the most of his summer vacation… yawn I’m going to bed…”
: Uh-oh. Next time, we’ll have Joker’s boyfriend over again, fight a giant furry, and win that fight thanks in large part to doing absolutely nothing.