[details=Part 6]Part 6: 4/12
I feel exhausted. Maybe it’s because of all the weird stuff that’s been happening to me…
Music: Aria of the Soul
Maaku wakes up in the Velvet Room once more.
On your feet, Inmate!
Our master wishes to speak with you. It’s for your own sake that you take his words to heart.
First off, let us celebrate our reunion. Oh…? You’ve awakened to your powers. And special ones at that. Your rehabilitation can finally begin.
There is no need to understand it all 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. I have high expectations for you.
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.
…I bestowed it to you as a means to train you as a thief.
The Metaverse Navigator is a gift from our master! You better take care in using it, Inmate!
Devote yourself to your training so that you may become a fine thief.
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. This is all for you to grow as a most excellent thief…
Hmph, it’s time. Go back and enjoy whatever rest you might have…
Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)
Fate… and awakening…? More importantly… I need to hurry and get ready for school…
Didn’t you hear? The guy totally lost it. It’s been happening a lot lately.
All these accidents are because people are suddenly losing their minds, right?
Well, between the economy sucking and how depressing the news always is, it’s not that surprising.
On the path to school, we get another opportunity to eavesdrop.
I am not looking forward to that. Why’d I have to be on the same team as Takamaki? She’s only a magazine model because of her stupid ridiculous body. Being near her disgusts me.
Yeah, but we can’t just ignore her, either, because of what happened with Mr. Kamoshida.
Dealing with her is such a hassle. I wish she’d just not come to school.
Seems like the other students have something against Takamaki.
Anyway, time for class.
Music: So Boring
Hmph… You all look like you’ve been spoiled growing up. Before we learn society’s rules, maybe I should start with the rules of being a decent human being. Hey, new kid.
The Greek philosopher Plato divided the human soul into three parts. A soul is composed of appetite, spirit, and what else?
Correct. So you knew that, huh? Plato’s teacher, Socrates, said that evil is born from ignorance. People who’ve been babied, taught that evil is due to individuality, can only become society’s scum.
He seems like a punk, but maybe he’s actually serious about studying?
I feel like I got a little smarter from being able to answer that question…
This right here is our social stats screen. The five stats in this game are Knowledge, Charm, Kindness, Proficiency, and Guts. These aren’t terribly relevant yet, but in the future these are going to be the bane of my fucking existence. They still don’t show you how close you are to the next rank, too, which is really frustrating.
From that we got Knowledge +1. I’m not sure if different activities have different outputs in regards to what’s displayed, but I am fairly certain that the five stats have wildly different thresholds in regards to how much is needed to rank up. Knowledge takes forever, for example, while Proficiency can be done far more quickly.
Bizarre incidents have been occurring frequently. Those are but the actions of such scum. We don’t need crude people like that in this school. Understand?
After class ends…
You looking for a ride home? Things have been pretty dangerous lately with all those accidents.
Sorry, I have a photoshoot today. It’s for the special summer issue, so I can’t afford to miss it…
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?
Yes, I keep planning to go to the hospital, but I’ve been too busy… Sorry to worry you.
You must be lonely too. I feel bad for keeping your best friend at practice so often. That’s why I asked you out in the first place. Oh, and… be careful around that transfer student. He’s got a criminal record, after all. If something were to happen to you…
…Thank you. Please excuse me.
Holy shit, what a dirtbag.
I wanna talk about that castle from yesterday. I tried tellin’ myself it was all just a dream… but I couldn’t do it. I can’t act like nothing happened. It’s all connected to that bastard Kamoshida, after all. 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?
Ooh… Looks like I managed to talk some sense into you. I think we should just try and retrace our steps from yesterday. In the meantime, you’re walkin’ to the station, right? Let’s go together. Lemme know if you notice any other weird buildings on the way.
Ryuji doesn’t seem like a bad guy. I should probably just go along with this…
When’d they build something like that though? We walked that way from here, right?
When you put it that way, I’m not so sure anymore… …All right, this way. Lemme know if you notice something.
We’re at school… There wasn’t anything out of place along the way, right? I didn’t see no castle either… …We must’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. Let’s try again.
C’mon, you gotta stick with me to the end. Let’s go.
One more attempt later…
Is it smaller than we think it is? What do you think?
I already did that. I didn’t see anything like it around here… Huh? Phone… Hey, that reminds me—didn’t you have a navigation app thingy on, back then?
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? Lemme see your phone for a bit.
What’s this eyeball-lookin’ thing?
Wait, what? What a weird app… …Oh wait, this is it!
Oh man, I’m such a genius! Let’s try usin’ it.
Why? All we’re doin’ is startin’ an app.
Kamoshida… Shujin Academy… Pervert… Castle… Beginning navigation.
There we go! …Then, we went in a certain direction, and–
…Huh? What the hell!?
…Yeargh! Those clothes…!
That happened last time too, huh!? What’s with that outfit!?
You LIKE it!? What’s goin’ on jere!? This makes no effin’ sense at all…
Stop making a commotion.
The Shadows 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.
What is this place? …Is it the school?
But it’s a castle!
This castle IS the school. …But only to this castle’s ruler.
The castle’s ruler…?
I think you called him Kamoshida? It’s how his distorted heart views the school.
Kamoshida… Distorted…? Explain it in a way that makes sense!
These games always need one party member who needs everything explained thoroughly to them just in case the player’s even denser than they are.
I shouldn’t have expected a moron to get it…
What’d you say!?
What was that!?
It must be the slaves captive here.
The screaming continues.
Oh, shit… It’s for real! We saw other guys held captive here yesterday… I’m pretty sure they’re from our school.
Most likely on Kamoshida’s orders. It’s nothing out of the ordinary; Ir’s like that every day here. What’s more, you two escaped yesterday. He must have lost his temper quite a bit.
That son of a bitch…!
…This is bullshit!
You hear me, Kamoshida!?
Doing that isn’t going to open it, you know… Still, it seems you have your reasons.
Do you know where those voices are comin’ from?
You want me to take you to them? …Well, I guess I could guide you there. But only if he comes with us.
I just want to get a better look at your powers. Even if you don’t agree, I bet this guy’ll go on even if he has to do it alone. Are you gonna leave him?
It’s settled then!
For real…!? …Thanks, man.
All right, let’s do this. Follow me!
Ain’t that where we escaped outta last time…?
That’s right. Not barging in through the entrance is one of the basics of phantom thievery.
How’re we supposed to know about that stuff…?
I’ll make sure to teach you as we go. Come on, follow me!
So, uh… sorry for draggin’ you into all of this… But I can’t just forgive that bastard Kamoshida doin’ whatever the hell he wants! Really though, thanks for comin’ along. I owe you big time!
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves (Another Version)
Mm-hm. Now, make sure you do exactly as I say, all right? …Follow me!
The room changes appearance suddenly, then changes back.
I was seein’ double or something just now…! Was that Shujin!?
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. Come on, this way!
It looks like we won’t be able to avoid conflict from this point forward.
Oh well. I’ll just teach you the basics of battle right now. You had better remember all of this. As a rule of thumb, try to ambush as many enemies as you can. Attack them from behind whenever possible. You’ll need to rip off their masks to momentarily break the control the Palace ruler has over them. If you succeed, the enemy will be caught off guard, allowing us to jump in for a preemptive attack.
So we wanna ambush ‘em and go for the first strike… All right, I got it!
Uh, you know you’re just going to be watching, right? You can’t use a Persona… Anyway, let’s go!
Sneak up behind, tear off the mask…
…and get to act first in battle.
However, ambushing can really mess you up sometimes if you’re not careful, because the enemy gets two actions after your party acts: Once guaranteed after the full party goes, and then again after the order resets and it gets its usual action. If it’s a strong enemy it might get to act twice in a row, and if it’s hitting weaknesses it can be even more than that. It’s a bad scene all around. I’m not saying don’t ambush, but know what you’re getting into if you can’t kill the enemy in one turn.
Music: Last Surprise (Probably listen to this)
Also worth noting is that we get our first taste of the battle theme here, Last Surprise. You can listen to it now, but for the true experience of reading this update just play the first ten seconds, stop, then repeat 3 times or so, because you’re not gonna hear any more of it than that fighting these enemies.
Oh yeah, there were more of ‘em further in too…!
They might have been transferred already…
It would be a problem if they discovered us now… Hey, let’s head into that room. We should be able to hide in there until they leave.
Music: Wicked Plan
gasp pant How can you tell?
There’s a lack of distortion here, meaning the ruler’s control over this area is weak.
Now do you understand? This place is another reality that the ruler’s heart projects.
This is Kamoshida’s reality…? Shit makes no sense at all!
One could say it’s a world in which one’s distorted desires have materialized. I call such a place a “Palace.”
This is happening because he thinks the school is his own castle.
So, it became like this ‘cause he just thought of it like that!? Hahaha… That son of a bitch!
You must really hate this Kamoshida guy.
Hate doesn’t even cover how I feel. Everything is that asshole’s fault!
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.
Yeah, I’m curious as hell about it too.
That’s also because of this world.
More stuff that makes no sense…
Anything distorts according to how a ruler pleases within his Palace. A school can turn into a castle like this, after all. 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.
Uuugh, I’m so fed up with all this! I’m more curious about you than his clothes! What the hell are you anyways!?
This is, well… It’s because I lost my true form. …I think.
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. Well, I ended up getting caught though… Besides, I’ve been tortured by Kamoshida too! I’m gonna make him pay for sure!
What is this, a comic book? This is seriously crazy…
If we’re gonna keep going, we should hurry along. I’ll be counting on your skills this time too, rookie. Got it?
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna force it all on you. I thought it might help, so…
Ryuji, did you bring a gun to school?
That’s a toy!
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?
So you were planning this from the start… Well, fine. If you’re ready to go, we’ll resume our infiltration.
And so we obtain the sacred power of GUN.
Let’s use this time to sort through our current situation.
Music: Have a Short Rest
Safe rooms are a new concept to the series. They let you warp between them, leave the Palace, save, check your progress, serve as checkpoints when you die, and even let you use special healing items within them.
And what of the slaves?
They’re all in the training hall. I’d assume they’re screaming in pain by now.
Very well. By the way, I heard we may have intruders around. Stay on your guard.
Did you hear that?
I think that’s just a little further ahead. Let’s go!
The way to the training hall should be just past those bars…
So… what’re we gonna do? Do we gotta fight it?
Seems so. Just don’t let it notice you beforehand… If it does, the Palace’s security level will rise.
Being forced to leave the palace at 100% is dire indeed. We’ll have to take care not to get caught too many times.
Being at 0% is awesome because you can just ambush from wherever you want. It’s great. You can be smack dab in front of their face and as long as they haven’t “noticed” you you’re golden.
One fight later…
Yeah, it’s a little further. Make sure you watch out for any guards along the way.
No, nobody yet…
Shoot… I had a feeling there would be a lot of enemies. It’d be impossible to dodge all of them…
Then, what do we do? Should we try and take ‘em down like before?
It’s not that simple. We still have a long way to go, so we should be conserving energy.
I-I see… Sorry… Dammit, I wish I could fight… I’d at least be able to help out a little bit… But all I got is this toy from earlier… I’m such a loser.
Huh? Do you mean that gun?
Yeah… It looks real n’ all, but it doesn’t shoot anything…
I see… Well, there is a way… Okay, we’ll use that to take down the enemies!
What!? Were you listenin’ to me? It don’t even shoot pellets…
Don’t worry, I’m sure this’ll work. Attack away, Frizzy Hair!
Wait, dude! I keep sayin’, it’s not gonna fire anything!
You have the gun with you, right? Point it at a Shadow and fire!
Guns are a good source of knockdowns against enemies weak to it. A lot of winged enemies are weak to Gun, for the record. There’s a price, however…
How about that? Surprised? Be mindful of how much ammo you have left!
Limited ammo. There are ways to restore ammo but they’re not very good. While it’s technically true that dumping an entire clip into an enemy will generally do more damage than a physical attack, there’s no reason to, especially because ammo is so limited and you’re generally not going to be upgrading your gun for better damage very often. It’s pretty much never worth it. Of course, weapon types vary across party members, and have different ammo counts and do different amounts of damage.
Morgana for instance, has a Bart Simpson-esque slingshot…
…that he wastefully tears through ammunition with.
This is a cognitive world. As long as our opponent sees it as real, it becomes such. It’s a good thing it’s realistic-looking.
…I don’t get it.
I wasn’t expecting someone with your brains to understand. How about you, Frizzy Hair? Did you get what I said?
I feel kind of bad for Ryuji, constantly getting shit on by this fucking cat.
Maybe I was expecting too much…
Wait, if it’s better havin’ something realistic, why do you got that slingshot!? And it was just as strong as a goddamn gun! What about your whole cognitive whatever!?
W-Well, um… sigh Fine, you can choose to understand it however you want. Oh, by the way, we should decide how we divvy up our roles in battle from here on out.
He totally dodged my question…
As you can see, there are quite a lot of enemies. It’ll be important to coordinate our moves well. I can keep providing intel for us, but you should decide how we fight, Frizzy Hair.
Whaddya mean by “how we fight”?
Basically, what we do in battle. He can order us directly, or let us decide what we do. …Though I guess I’m the only other one fighting right now…
So, we can set Morgana to take orders from us from now on, which the game helpfully does for us.
We can also automatically use skills that will hit the enemy’s weakness, if we know it.
Finally, to speed up trash fights, we can use Rush, which will quickly make every party member auto-melee.
You guys gonna take it down again?
I guess that’s our only choice… But wait, this might be a good time… Okay, I’ve decided! I’m going to teach you two a special way to fight enemies!
Something like that! Let’s go!
First, knock down all the enemies! Everything starts with that crucial step!
All right! Now rush on in for an All-out Attack!
All-out Attacks are better and more stylish than they’ve ever been, and in this game every character gets a unique pose for starting one that defeats all enemies. It’s awesome.
Wh-What was that super-move thing you just did!?
I told you, it’s called an All-out Attack. If you manage to knock all the enemies down, you might be able to use it to beat them all at once.
Yeah… That was over quick…
It’s a concentrated attack on defenseless enemies, after all. Now as I mentioned before, I want you to be the head of our command. You can decide when we use this.
That last bit is important; if Maaku or everyone but Maaku are incapacitated for one reason or another, no All-out Attacking.
Kamoshida’s… Training Hall… of Love…? What kinda bullshit is this!?
The slaves are repeatedly beaten with sticks by the guards.
How many times do I have to tell you to keep your voice down!?
But this is beyond messed up! How do I open this…?
You’re tellin’ me you wanna stay in a place like this!?
Wait a minute… Were you planning on taking these guys out of here?
We can’t just leave ‘em here!
How stupid can you be…?
These are only humans in Kamoshida’s cognition. They aren’t real humans that have entered from reality. They’re different from you two.
It means there’s no point in saving them! They’re different from the real ones in the real world. You could say that these are extremely similar-looking dolls.
The hell!? Why’s it gotta be so complicated!? So the school’s a castle, and the students are slaves… It’s so on point that it makes me laugh. This really is the inside of that asshole’s head…!
Still, this is horrible. It must mean he treats them as slaves in the real world too.
In the real world too…? Wait, I know these guys… They’re members of the volleyball team—the one Kamoshida coaches for!
They must be physically abused every day… There’s no way they’d be so beat up normally.
Don’t tell me… They’re going through similar shit in reality!?
Most likely. I mean, this proves that Kamoshida thinks of them as slaves.
So it might be for real… I heard that Kamoshida’s usin’ physical punishment. They’re just rumors, but… If they’re true, wouldn’t this be somethin’ to report to the police…? I’ll use these guys as evidence.
We can use the navigation app, but the camera’s a no go!?
A navigation app?
That’s what we used to come here. What about yours?
My camera app won’t open.
Whatever you do is fine, but we’re gonna get caught if we stand around like this. We need to head back!
Hang on a sec! There’s no other way… I’ll just memorize their faces before goin’ home!
Time to gather evidence.
Urghh… Please, no more…
Students run on a treadmill towards a pot.
Not givin’ athletes water even for tough trainin’ is a common thing in the real world too… That sack of shit…! I’m gonna try and memorize all these guys’ faces before we go back… Mkay, I’m done. Let’s check and see if there’re any more!
It hurts… It hurts…!
A cannon repeatedly fires explosive volleyballs at a student.
The hell…? This ain’t trainin’ at all… It’s just violence! This means he’s been doin’ something similar in reality too, right…? Damn that bastard…!
What, exactly, is similar to this? This is just insane.
I know, I know… Just gimme a sec. I’ll memorize ‘em quick.
Hey, are you done yet!? We’re cutting it close here!
Don’t freak me out like that, you goddamn moron! Anyways, I got all of ‘em!
Then let’s stop wasting time! We need to scram!
Chances of intruder activity are extremely high! All personnel, increase security measures!
To think you’d make the same mistake again. You’re hopeless!
The school ain’t your castle! I’ve memorized their faces real good. You’re goin’ down!
It seems it’s true when they say “barking dogs seldom bite.” How far the star runner of the track team has fallen.
The hell are you gettin’ at!?
I speak of the “Track Traitor” who acted in violence, ending his teammates’ dreams. Oh, I can only imagine the pain of the others who were dragged under with your… selfish act.
What a surprise. So you’re accompanying him without knowing anything at all? He betrayed his teammates and crushed their hopes, yet he still carries on as carefree as ever.
You’ve come along with this fool and are now going to end up dead. …How unlucky of you. Go. Kill them all. Don’t sully my castle with garbage.
Morgana goes down.
And swiftly enough, so does Maaku.
What a worthless piece of trash, getting emotional so quickly… How dare you raise your hand at me. Though it was only temporary, have you forgotten my kindness in supervising track practice?
It was nothing but an eyesore! The only one who needs to achieve results is me! That coach who got fired was hopeless too… Had he not opposed me with a sound argument, I would’ve settled it with only breaking his star’s leg.
Do you need me to deal with your other leg too? The school will call it self-defense anyway!
Dammit… Am I gonna lose again…? Not only can I not run anymore… the track team is gone too ‘cause of this asshole…!
So that’s why…
Once these two are dealt with, you’re next. Hahahaha…!
…You’re right. Everything that was important to me was taken by him… I’ll never get ‘em back…!
Stay there and watch. Look on as these hopeless scum die for nothing because they sided with trash like you.
All you think about is using people… You’re the real scumbag, Kamoshida!
Ryuji’s Awakening (Watch this)
Since your name has been disgraced already, why not hoist the flag and wreak havoc…? The “other you” who exists within desires it thus…
There’s no turning back…
Music: Will Power
Ugh… This one as well!?
Kamoshida must be getting real sick of these fucking teenagers bleeding face blood all over his castle.
This effin’ rocks! Now that I got this power, it’s time for payback… Yo, I’m ready…
The guard transforms into another Shadow.
So, Ryuji’s joined our party now, and he brings with him maybe my favorite Persona design. Maybe. There’s some good ones.
Captain Kidd was a Scottish pirate (or maybe not, there’s apparently some debate about this). He is, notably, not fictional, but the legend that he left behind treasure after his death inspired works such as Treasure Island and motherfucking One Piece.
Ryuji fills an interesting niche we haven’t seen bef—He’s Kanji. He’s Kanji almost exactly, down to the Electricity/Physical affinity and shit SP pool. And he’s the good Kanji from Golden, not the bad one from vanilla. The only meaningful differences are that Kanji got the Elec buffs and Ryuji gets multitarget physical attacks, but that’s kinda it.
Ryuji is voiced by Max Mittelman (and Mamoru Miyano in Japanese), who’s honestly pretty great even if I did spend the last few months complaining it wasn’t Ben Diskin. He’s a newer VA whose most prominent role is almost certainly that of Saitama in One Punch Man.[/details]