The Cool Crime of Robbery: Let's Play Persona 5

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rpg
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#1

Welcome to the nightmare that will haunt me to the end of my days, also known as this Let’s Play of Persona 5! The ultimate in bad ideas begins now.

For real, though, this is a fantastic game that takes what I loved about both previous games in the series (particularly Persona 4) and even Catherine and expands on them in great new ways.

This is going to be an SSLP with a few video links for certain cutscenes and the like. I’ll probably also put up boss fights just to give a feel for progression through the game. Hopefully I don’t get nabbed by Atlus’ streaming restrictions (if they’re actually being enforced in any capacity).

Have you beaten this game?

Yes. I have a NG+ file I’m holding onto that I might end up using in some capacity for this later, but the save I’ll be using is fresh.

What are you going for?

To see as much as possible. That means all or most Confidants. If we can’t fit all of them in I’ll find another way to show them off, whatever, but I’ll also be loosely following a guide to help out with it. I say “loosely” because the only one right now advocates maxing some of the party members before dungeon 3 and screw that. If we have to get them to Rank 9 and back off for a bit, that’s fine. The real issue is just stats and when to boost what, which hopefully will become a non-issue with help from this.

:siren:ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING SPOILERS THIS GAME HAS BEEN OUT FOR A WEEK AND A HALF:siren:


Part 1: ???
Part 2: ???-4/9
Part 3: 4/10-4/11
Part 4: 4/11
Part 5: 4/11
Part 6: 4/12
Part 7: 4/12-4/13
Part 8: 4/14-4/15
Part 9: 4/15


#2

[details=Part 1]Part 1: ???

Opening

There’s a whole nifty animated intro with the characters ice-skating through the streets, but let’s just jump right in here.

This title screen is pretty similar to Persona 4’s original opening screen, but with masks replacing glasses.

There’s a bunch more free DLC for this game, but this is the important one. We’ll explain why in time.

Similarities between characters or events to persons living or dead in your world are purely coincidental.

…The contract has been sealed. The world is not as it should be. It’s filled with distortion, and ruin can no longer be avoided. Those who oppose fate and desire change… From time to time, they were referred to as Tricksters. You are the Trickster… Now is the time to rise against the abyss of distortion.

A helicopter flies towards a cityscape.


It approaches a casino and the camera pans in.

Inside, there’s a commotion.


A black-clothed figure leaps stealthily through the air, crossing the room via the lights above.





Well, aren’t you pleased with yourself?

Music: Life Will Change


Stay calm! You can get away now!
We’ll retrieve the briefcase on our end.
…suspects…not…confirmed…hold…your…positions…
Hm…? What was that…?
Don’t worry about us. Just concentrate on getting away!

Our hero jumps across the lights stylishly.

Nice work as always, Joker.
I bet Skull wouldn’t pull it off that smoothly.
This happens because you have no sense for aesthetics.
Nobody asked you, Inari!

Just run! Get out of there!

Everyone remember where we’re meeting up?
No worries. I can guide you all.


The agents transform into masked creatures.



Joker leaps through the air…

…before landing directly on top of the enemy, grabbing its mask, and…

…ripping it clean off.


The enemy’s body bubbles up and explodes into a mass of red and black goo.

It then turns into whatever the hell this monstrosity is.

For future reference, this is the battle menu. It’s pretty rad.


Joker dispatches the creature with the help of the shadowed figure behind him.

Good. You defeated them with ease.
More of them? Be careful!



Joker dodges the attack with a sick backflip and jumps up to a higher floor.

Joker, behind you! Go through that door!


Dude, can he even hear us!?
Don’t worry, I’m picking up everyone’s voices. Just go, Joker!

Tch. We got away from those guys in black, but there’re still loads more of ‘em…

I can’t confirm the intruder’s location.


Joker quickly takes cover behind a nearby box.
Hide in the shadows, and sneak past when you see an opening!

From there, he can leap from object to object to conceal his presence.

Understood. I will continue the search!

Joker is now free to run up the stairs into another cutscene.


These guys aren’t playing around.

Something wrong? The exit should be up ahead.

Through there…?
Nnh…! That’s just how it is. After that commotion, the bottom floor’s–
--completely closed off. Hey, can you make it!?
Over there!



Joker hops the railing and runs across it to the other side of the room.


What a showoff.
You’re so reckless, you know that?

Joker lands safely, but…

…not alone.

Enemies, here!? These readings… It can’t be!

7
An ambush!?
Joker, can you handle this!?
Joker!
Oh no!


CHEESE IT, THE FUZZ ARE HERE


It looks like we might just make it away after all.

Welp.


Friendly Mr. SWAT introduces Joker to the butt of his rifle.


You have your teammate to thank for this. You were sold out.

Joker is appropriately shocked to hear this news.

Suspect confirmed! Cuff him!





Wake him up.

One of the officers splashes him with a bucket of water.



No dozing off. You still don’t get it, do you?




Are you thinking it can be used as video evidence?

So you’re not that dumb.

Please stop kicking me, kind sir.

cough Nngh…! wheeze

Obstruction of justice, blackmail, defamation, possession of weapons…

To think that all these crimes were led by a punk like this… And you seemed to be enjoying every second of it… Huh?
I was… enjoying it…? Everything’s hazy… I can’t remember…

And here’s the difficulty select screen. The difficulty in Persona 5 primarily just messes with how much damage you take and inflict, and at both extremes, how much money and experience you get. We won’t be messing with it and will keep it on Normal.

You should know your place.

A cop undoes the cuffs.

It’s a confession under your name.


The protagonist just bats it away with his hand.

I see. I need your hand to sign this, but…

And in retaliation, the cop stomps on the protagonist’s leg.


Don’t expect to walk out of here in one piece. We’re going to make you understand… One must take full responsibility for their actions…

I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t trust the police.

And here’s the naming screen. We’ll stop here for today because we already finished the vote elsewhere.

Videos:

Intro
Capture[/details]


#3

Daddies Cummies is the best name I’ve seen so far.


#4

[details=Part 2]Part 2 - ???-4/9

We’re just ordinary high school student infamous thief Mark Hamill. I know you guys picked this because of the “Joker” connection, but now that I think about it, it also works really well as a reference to “Trickster,” huh.

Outside, a figure approaches.

I’m Niijima from the Public Prosecutors Office.
The Prosecutors Office? What business do you have here?
Just let me through; it’s urgent. There’s something I need to confirm with the suspect.
Niijima-san, I believe this case is no longer in your jurisdiction. Besides…

I’m fairly certain this detective shares a voice actor with Dojima from P4 and it freaks me out every time.

There’s a call from your director. Hurry and get it over with. To be frank, you’re being an inconvenience.


I’m responsible for this case, yet I’m not even being allowed an interrogation!?
I’m calling because I knew you’d bring it up.
I will not be convinced unless I confirm it for myself. This is MY case.
sigh Good luck to you then. I won’t be expecting much though.
Ah, Prosecutor. I forgot to mention something important. Your time will be cut short. We can’t permit you to talk with him for long.
……
It’s for your own sake. His methods are unknown. After all, we don’t even know if it’s safe to simply meet and speak with him.

Why, sure. That sounds not suspicious at all.

…I understand.

Inside the interrogation room…

You’ll be answering my questions this time.

Can you hear me? It seems you’ve been through a lot. Almost anything can happen here… and I can’t stop them. That’s why I need you to answer me honestly. I don’t have much time either.

Oh, screw off with this transparent good-cop/bad-cop BS. Don’t tell ‘em a damn thing.

What was your objective? Why did you cause such a major incident? I didn’t think it was a prank from the get-go, but I couldn’t assemble a case for prosecution. It’s because I couldn’t figure out the method behind it.

True. There’s no way I could be convinced of such a “world” just by reading the reports. It seems you’re coherent. When and where did you find out about that world? How is it even possible to steal another’s heart? Now, tell me your account of everything. …Start from the very beginning.

Music: The Poem of Everyone’s Souls

All the light in the room drops out, and a blue butterfly flies past Maaku.

In Persona 3 and 4, the blue butterfly appears exceedingly briefly, but is implied to be Philemon, a character capable of awakening peoples’ Personas in Persona 1 and 2. He’s one of the only connections to the PS1 era of the series remaining, and this is his only appearance in this game.

The voice of a young woman reaches out to Maaku.

A prisoner of fate to a future that has been sealed in advance. This is truly an unjust game… Your chances of winning are almost none. But if my voice is reaching you, there may yet be a possibility open to you… I beg you. Please overcome this game… and save the world… The key to victory lies within the memories of your bonds–the truth that you and your friends grasped. It all began that day… when the game was started half a year ago… For the sake of the world’s future… as well as your own… you must remember…

Maaku wakes up looking just unbearably like Harry Potter.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for riding with us today. We will be arriving in Shibuya shortly. This is the last stop for this line. Please transfer here for all subway lines. The doors to your left will open.

Music: Recall~Hint

Maaku flashes back.


A drunk man is accosting a woman, who’s screaming for help.


Someone intervenes.

The man drunkenly slips and falls.


Maaku stares at his hands while the man recovers.


And Maaku is arrested.

Back in the present, we overhear a conversation.

To a person, though? That’s gotta be a joke! You really love all that occult stuff, don’t you?

Later, Maaku is walking through Shibuya, staring at his phone for guidance.

A mysterious icon appears.

Maaku taps it repeatedly.

Suddenly…

…everyone around him comes to a halt.



The flow of time has completely stopped.

Beyond the crowd, a blue flame emerges.


It erupts into a winged figure.



Its wicked smile transforms into a yellow-eyed version of Maaku’s own face.

And just like that, time has begun to move again.


Maaku does the only sensible thing and drags the app straight into the garbage can.

Music: Beneath the Mask -instrumental version-

And so we arrive in Yongen-Jaya.

Good to know. Whenever we need an objective, the top-right corner of the screen will tell us what we’re currently doing.


His house should be in the backstreets of this residential area…

We can also talk to people or just eavesdrop in their conversations like a goober.

Up ahead there’s a cop.

Yes?

Really? sigh

I don’t talk to cops.

…But we do actually need directions, so…

What, did you forget something?
I want to ask for directions.
Hm? You want to get to the residence at that address…? It’s in an alley a bit further back. Take a right after that apartment with the stairs.



I like how Maaku automatically turns away and puts his head down when he eavesdrops. He knows how much of a creep he’s being.

Up ahead we find the Sakura residence.

Even after ringing the doorbell, it doesn’t look like anyone will answer the door. Maybe he’s gone out…
Looks like no one’s home.

A deliveryman in a familiar uniform arrives.

Well, Leblanc’s in the back alley so I should make my other deliveries first… Mmm, next I need to take this package to…

Let’s turn back around and head toward Leblanc, then.

Here it is.

Inside, the only customers are fixated on the television.

The citizens can’t live in peace if this keeps up.
How frightening.
What could be going on? Didn’t something similar happen just the other day?


The manager notices Maaku.

…Oh, right. They did say that was today.
We’ll be going now. The payment’s on the table.
Thanks for coming.
This place is in the back alley, so there’s no worries of a car crashing in here.
A what now?
There’s been a string of those rampage accidents, you know. I just hope none of them happen around here.
It’s none of my concern.
Haha, we’ll see you next time.

They leave.

…Four hours for just a single cup of joe.


Uh, sure, let’s go with that.

…Uh-huh. I’m Sojiro Sakura. You’ll be in my custody over the next year. I was wondering what kind of unruly kid would show up, but you’re the one, huh? Have you been told? A customer of mine and your parents know each other and-- Well, not that that matters… Follow me.

I’ll at least give you sheets for your bed. You look like you wanna say something.

Let’s not get on this guy’s bad side immediately.

It’s on you to clean up the rest. I’ll be leaving after I lock up each day. You’ll be alone at night, but don’t do anything stupid. I’ll throw you out if you cause any trouble. Now then. I got the gist of your situation. You protected some woman from a man forcing himself on her, he got injured, then sued you. Right? That’s what you get for sticking your nose in a matter between two adults. You did injure him, yeah? And now that you’ve got a criminal record, you were expelled from your high school. The courts ordered you to transfer and move out here, which your parents also approved.

Thanks for the incredibly unsympathetic exposition, Sojiro.

It’s best you not talk about anything unnecessary. I am in the restaurant business, you know. Behave yourself for the year. If nothing happens, your probation will be lifted.

Cause any problems, and you’ll be sent straight to juvie. We’ll be going to Shujin tomorrow.

Shujin Academy–the school you’ll be attending. We’ll introduce ourselves properly to the staff there. There’s rarely a place that’ll accept someone like you, you know. What a waste of my Sunday…

Man, this guy sucks.

Your “luggage” arrived earlier; I left them over there.
I’ll be living here starting today… I should check out what’s in here…

You could check, but all you’d learn is “IT’S DUSTY” and “THERE’S CRAP EVERYWHERE.” Instead, let’s go ahead and open the box.

It’s full of clothes and daily necessities. I’ll change into more comfortable clothes for now.





Later…



Though it’s only natural you’d want to keep your room tidy. Why don’t you go to bed for tonight? You don’t have anything better to be doing, right? I’m going to close up shop and get out of here myself. I won’t be the one looking after you if you get sick from staying up too late, you got that?



Sleep takes time. Got it.

Attempting to leave the room causes the game to remind you that yes, you should go to sleep.







That day… I had to go home early…

Music: Desire

So here we are, in Maaku’s “Hometown Neighborhood.” An altercation is audible in the distance.




Maaku approaches.

No!
Don’t give me that shit…

Ow! P-Please, stop!


You think you’re worth causing me trouble? Huh?
I-I’ll call the police!
Heh, call them if you want! The police are my bitches. They’re not gonna take you seriously.
No… Stop…!

Someone called the cops, huh? Get in the car! Incompetent fools like you just need to shut their mouths and follow where I steer this country!

This ain’t a show. Get lost, kid. See? This is all because you’re so damn slow! Get in the car!






Our intrepid hero promptly… deletes it again. Oh well. Time for bed!

Videos:

Recall[/details]


#5

[details=Part 3]Part 3: 4/10-4/11

Maaku wakes up in an unfamiliar location.


chuckle








Oh, hey, Igor. You got something in your throat?

You’ll be able to hear it in his line in the clip when I post it but Igor is now voiced by David Lodge under a ridiculous voice filter instead of Dan Woren, because his Japanese VA died. For the P4 spinoffs Igor was either conspicuously absent or had his voice lines from previous games reused because of this. There was also that weird moment in Ultimax where he was voiced by Vic Mignogna, but let’s not talk about that.

Anyway, because his Japanese voice actor passed away, when they were forced to recast him they clearly went in the exact opposite direction from his more high-pitched voice in games prior, jeeeeeeesus.

Music: The Poem of Everyone’s Souls

The you in reality is currently fast asleep. You are only experiencing this as a dream.

Being dragged into the Velvet Room while you’re sleeping is a pretty common occurrence in Persona.

You’re in the presence of our master! Stand up straight!

This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter. It is a room that only those who are bound by a “contract” may enter. I am Igor, the master of this place. Remember it well. I summoned you to speak of important matters. It involves your life as well.


The state of this room reflects the state of your own heart. To think a prison would appear as such.

The prison, however, is new. In Persona 3 the Velvet Room was an elevator and in Persona 4 it was a limousine.

In the near future, there is no mistake that ruin awaits you.

I speak of the end to everything. However, there is a means to oppose such a fate. You must be “rehabilitated.” Rehabilitated toward freedom… That is your only means to avoid ruin. …Do you have the resolve to challenge the distortion of the world?

Could you maybe repeat that?

You didn’t decline, hm? Very well, that is enough. Allow me to observe the path of your rehabilitation. Ah, pardon me for not introducing the others. To your right is Caroline; to your left, Justine. They serve as wardens here.


…That is, if you remain obedient.

Caroline and Justine also follow the naming scheme of previous Velvet Room characters, in that they’re named after characters from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Justine is named after a character who was framed for a murder committed by Frankenstein’s monster, and Caroline is named after Victor Frankenstein’s mother.

I shall explain the roles of these two at another occasion. Now then, it seems the night is waning… it is almost time. Take your time to slowly come to understand this place. We will surely meet again, eventually…

Time’s up! Now hurry up and go back to sleep.


The next day…

Music: Beneath the Mask -Instrumental Version-

Ruin… Rehabilitation… What does it mean…?

Well then, let’s go introduce ourselves properly to the staff about your transfer. The school you’re attending is in the Aoyama district. It’ll cost you a bit to ride the train there, and the route transfers are a pain. I’ll drive you there, but just for today. Let’s go.

I failed to mention it before but Sojiro is voiced by the consistently amazing Jamieson Price. He’s one of my favorite performances in this game.

Do me a favor and behave yourself, all right? Don’t get me wrong–I don’t care what happens to you. Just don’t cause me any trouble.

Thanks for the concern, Sojiro.

Oh my god, what the fuck am I looking at? It’s like Wilson Fisk did a fusion dance with a runny egg.

Honestly, I hesistated on accepting someone like you, but there were some circumstances on our side… You might have done a variety of things in hiding in your hometown, but you will behave yourself here. If you are thrown out from our school, there will be no place for you to go. Keep that in mind. This is the teacher in charge of your class.

Be sure to read the school rules. Any violations will send you straight to the guidance office. And if by chance you cause any problems, I won’t be able to protect you at all. …That IS your promise, yes, Principal Kobayakawa?
He is responsible for all his actions.
But really though, why me… There should have been better candidates.

I’m right here.

It was a sudden transfer, and your class was the only one that had an opening.
If you’re done explaining things, mind if we get going? I got a store to get back to.
Sakura-san, please keep a close eye on him. Don’t let him cause any trouble outside…
Well, I’ll be sure to have a serious talk about the situation he’s in.
Come to the faculty office when you arrive at school tomorrow. I’ll show you to your classroom.

I guess that’s what it means to have a criminal record. Turns out your past follows you wherever you go. By the way… if you get expelled now, I won’t hesitate to kick you out. Got it?


sigh School never changes, huh…? Come on, we’re going home.

Music: Restlessness

I can’t believe they pushed someone with a record on me. A male teacher would be better suited for this…
Why in the world was someone like that admitted here?
Who knows? It was the principal’s decision. I was told that it’s for the school’s reputation.
I would have thought that my volleyball team has contributed more than enough to cover that.
That’s certainly true.
Be careful, OK? Then again, if anything were to happen, I’d kick out a student like that right away.
I keep wishing that he’d just end up not coming to school. Still, that isn’t something I should be saying as a teacher…
Well, I should be returning to practice.
Oh, right. The tournament’s coming up, isn’t it?
Hehe, having such high expectations placed on you by others is quite a problem in itself. We’ll have to work hard to make up for the track team too.
Yes… that’s true.

Even the teachers hate our guts.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Instrumental Version-

You’re taking the train, starting tomorrow. …So how was it? The school, I mean. Think you can manage?

You brought it on yourself though. Still, you were expelled once already. To think you’d re-enroll at a different one. It’s not like anyone will be sympathetic with you. …If that’s what it was like at school, people might say stuff about me in the future too… What a troublesome kid I’ve taken in.

I was asked to do it, and I just… happened to agree to it. I’ve already been paid for it too, after all.

…Another accident? So that’s why it’s so crowded. There’s been a lot of those lately.


Passengers wait for the train.

It arrives, faster than they expected.


Inside, the passengers are panicked.



The conductor, eyes rolled back and drooling black goo, continues pushing forward.

The train derails.






The image moves to a corner of the screen, revealing a newscaster.

That was direct footage from the accident. According to the police, the engineer’s life was not in danger, despite his injuries. After questioning, even he could not explain his high speed when approaching the station. No further comments were made. Police are still looking for a plausible motive.

The camera pans out from the television, revealing Sae and her superior watching the feed.

It’s less an operating accident and more a crime of the company and the government.

Seems the company and the Ministry of Transport both turned a blind eye to the truth.

Wait, what? I guess the dead-eyed ghoul possessed by some unholy force didn’t make it onto the news. What’s this guy talking about?

Now onto our main story. With this derailment accident, as well as other recent incidents of unknown motive, concern is spreading among the general public. Just what could be causing such a drastic change so suddenly in these people?

More stuff like this has been happening? That’s terrifying.

Everything’s linked–that’s what you’re thinking, correct? …Ah well. Are you free? You and I haven’t gone for a drink in a while.
Thank you sir, but I have another meeting to attend. I must be going.


Not quite. I want your opinion on something.
Sure. Your judgement is quite often correct, though. Can we discuss this over sushi, perhaps? You are making a student work late, after all.
Conveyor belt only.

Poor guy.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Instrumental Version-

I wasn’t able to open the cafe today… …Whatever. Just head upstairs. There’s something I need to give you.


You may be under probation, but there’s no special limitations on what you do in particular. Besides following the law, that is. However, I’m obligated to report on you, which is why I’m having you record your daily activities.

So I’m living above a coffee shop owned by a grumpy old man whose only method of checking what I’m doing is reading my diary. Japanese probation is weird as hell.


…I’m about to leave right now. Don’t worry. I’ll be there in no time. …Uh-huh. I’ll see you soon.

Oh, but don’t mess up my store. If something goes missing, I’ll hand you right over to the cops. You got school tomorrow… You better head off to bed, all right?

I should write down what happened today in my diary…

Writing in our diary is actually how we save.

This is the only corner of the save menu I can actually show, however, because the rest is full of spoilers.

I have an early day tomorrow… I should rest up…

Before Maaku makes it to bed, he hears a ringing sound from somewhere.

That ringing sound isn’t coming from my cell phone…




Uhhh… I closed up shop, but I forgot to flip the sign to CLOSED. It’s too much of a hassle for me to go back, so you flip the sign for me.

Sorry. I make it a habit not to save guys’ numbers on my cell phone.

Okay, I changed my mind, Sojiro’s amazing.

Anyway, I’m glad you answered the phone over in the shop. OK then, I’m leaving you in charge of the door sign.

Time to head outside and flip the sign over.

Don’t savor this taste of freedom; you can’t stray more than ten feet from Leblanc in either direction.

Sign flipped. Time for bed.



Looks like I need to go out to Shibuya, then transfer there. More news about that subway accident… It sounds like a lot of people were hurt. I bet this’ll affect the timetables for tomorrow too…


It keeps showing up…

I should probably reboot my phone, just in case… My eyelids are starting to get heavy…


Hopefully I can get there without getting lost… I don’t want to be late on my first day. I should head out now…

Neat little detail: Maaku automatically grabs his bag on the way down.

Let’s greet Sojiro before we leave.

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

What’s that reaction for? Just eat it.

I can taste complex flavors within the bold spiciness…
It’s time for you to go.


Thanks. …Hurry over to school. You’ll end up late if you get lost on the way.


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.


Time to head to the train station.



It turns out the rumors about the Tokyo subway are true… They’re showing the news up on the LCD screen… It seems like there are still some lingering effects of yesterday’s accident…

I hear this game’s representation of Shibuya is pretty accurate, particularly the train station. I don’t know much about that, but I do know that it’s a pretty accurate representation…






…of being fucking lost.

We finally find our way out of here and above ground.

Could this puzzling accident be a coincidence? To ensure the safety of the people, countermeasures must be taken immediately…

This protestor, for example, is apparently parodying the real-life phenomenon of a group known colloquially in English as the Bible Distribution League. As you might have guessed, they distribute religious materials. Their counterparts in Persona 5 are more likely to drone on about the Sun God, but it’s fascinating what they bothered to reproduce here.

While running around aimlessly, we see this. Seems like Rise’s doing well for herself. Good for her.

And Kanami too.

We’ve finally made our connection.

Huh? It’s raining outside?
It just started all of a sudden… This is why I hate the early spring.
That reminds me… Did he take an umbrella…?
Huh? Who’re you talking about?
Don’t mind me. So, what’ll it be?
One house blend, please.
The effects of yesterday’s subway accident continues on today as various lines suffer delays and–
There’s been a lot of nasty accidents lately. You know, I mean the subway accident that the news is talking about… My coworker got caught up in it and is in the hospital now… But that aside, it’s kinda creepy. The people who caused these accidents supposedly went crazy all of a sudden. I heard that some of them suffered from nervous breakdowns during interrogation.
Huh.

We get off at Aoyama-Itchome.


Students run to school in the rain.

Maaku, however, is stuck hiding under an awning.

The mysterious app reappears on his phone.

A hooded figure hurries past to hide under the same awning.

Music: Encounter

She removes her hood.


The girl notices Maaku staring at her oddly, but doesn’t seem to mind.


A car drives up and stops in front of the pair.




Nah.

Maaku politiely declines.

The girl looks distressed before the car drives off.

A boy with bleached hair runs after the car.

…Pervy teacher?

The strange app responds to Maaku’s voice.

Music: Suspicion

You plannin’ on rattin’ me out to Kamoshida?

Huh? In that car just now. It was Kamoshida. He does whatever the hell he wants. Who does he think he is–the king of a castle? Don’t you agree?

That’s a bit of a labored analogy, but okay.

I’m a big fan of taking the options in Persona games that make the protagonist seem like a total dipshit.

Uh, it’s just a sayin’… …… ….Wait. You don’t know Kamoshida? Are you for real? You’re from Shujin, right?

What…? No other high school’s got a uniform like this. A second-year, huh… We’re the same grade then. Never seen you before though. Oh, you a transfer student?
nods
Then no wonder you don’t know him. This rain ain’t too bad. We better hurry up, or we’ll be late.


There’s a flash of purple and both Maaku and the other boy grasp their heads.

I feel light-headed for some reason…
Uuugh, my head hurts… Dammit… I wanna go home…

Music: Interrogation Room

Time marches forward…



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

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

…Let me change the question. You transferred to Shujin Academy, correct? An ordinary prep school that could be found in any city… …That’s what it should have been. What happened around that time? Tell me everything–truthfully.

Music: To Another World

Inside Maaku’s bag, the app turns itself on…


Wha…!?

The boy is confused…

…because suddenly, there’s a castle.

The boy’s reaction is decidedly understated.

Yeah, this should be right…

What’s goin’ on here…? I guess we’ll just have to go and ask.

Sound idea.



Through the distortion, another building is visible…

Videos:

Velvet Room (Worth watching just for the snippet of Igor, that voice filter is something else)
Crash
Encounter
Castle[/details]


#6

I was so stunned when I first heard Igor’s voice in this one. I know roles get recast all the time for one reason or another, but I still don’t quite get why the death of the original Japanese VA meant recasting the English VA… Well, whatever.

Anyway, I love that saving is treated in-game as writing in a diary. It’s a small detail, but I’ve liked that idea since Tales of the Abyss used it for its synopsis.


#7

I had to pause the game and laugh for about ten straight minutes when I heard Igor’s new voice. It’s such a drastic change, and even 60+ hours later, I still just cannot take him seriously.


#8

[details=Part 4]Part 4: 4/11

Music: Suspicion

When we last left them, Maaku and Vulgar Boy were just entering this castle.


It should be… It said “Shujin” on the gate… What’s goin’ on here?

The sign was for the school, right?



Look at this weirdo in the knight costume. Real fuckin’ elaborate, you dork.

Who’re you? You a student? Man, your costume’s impressive… Is that armor real? C’mon, don’t just stand there. Say somethin’.

Music: Desire



…This shit’s real.

These cut-ins are a really great addition. I won’t be able to show them all off because they’re pretty frequent but I’ll try to at least grab one if I see it’s new.

We gotta run!

Stop standin’ around and run!




Oww… Y-You’re gonna break my bones, dammit! The hell you think you’re—Aagh!
Take them away!

Maaku’s vision goes dark…

Hey! Wake up!

Music: Disquiet


Yeah, more or less. Looks like this ain’t no dream… Ugh, what’s goin’ on!?

Dammit, where are we!? Is this some kinda TV set…?


In the distance, more cries of agony can be heard.

Whoa… Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… You’re shittin’ me, right…?

Music: Tension

Isn’t there some way outta here!? C’mon, we gotta do something!

We get a brief moment to interact with the cell here. Emphasis on “brief.”

Hey, should we hide in here and trick the guards? It prolly wouldn’t work like it does in the movies though… Huh? You hear that?

Music: Desire


Your charge is “unlawful entry.” Thus, you will be sentenced to death.
Say what!?

Huh? Wait… Is that you, Kamoshida?


Are you trying to disobey me again? It looks like you haven’t learned your lesson at all, huh? And you brought a friend this time… because you can’t do anything for yourself.
This ain’t funny, you asshole!
Is that how you speak to a king? It seems you don’t understand the position you’re in at all. Not only did you sneak into my castle, you committed the crime of insulting me—the king. The punishment for that is death. It’s time for an execution! Take him out!




Sakamoto shoves one of the soldiers over…

I ain’t down for this shit! C’mon, we’re outta here!

…and promptly gets punched by another.


Maaku makes a valiant effort to fight the knight off, but to no avail.

Just go! Get outta here…! These guys are serious!
Oh? Running away, are we? What a heartless friend you are.
He ain’t a friend.

Look, you hurt Maaku’s feelings. You should apologize, Sakamoto.

C’mon! Hurry up and go!
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…

What an amazing, despicable, punchable face.





A peasant like you isn’t worth beating. I’ll have you killed right now.

Music: Blood of Villain

Hm?







No, I don’t wanna die!
Hahaha!


The voice calls out to us again, and we see the butterfly once more…

(I totally forgot about this scene when I said Philemon only makes one appearance)

Another voice, deep and male this time, rings forth in Maaku’s head.

Are you forsaking him to save yourself? Death awaits him if you do nothing.







Everything turns purple, and Maaku starts screaming in pain.

Vow to me. I am thou, thou art I…



Maaku stops screaming…

…because there’s a fire in his eyes.

Execute him!

What was that…?




The blow knocks off Maaku’s glasses…



Hmph…



A burst of wind through the room knocks the knight off balance before he can strike.


Suddenly, a strange mask is attached to Maaku’s face.

Music: Awakening (Listen to this)

He tries to rip it off…

Um

Oh jeez

OH JEEZ





Blood becomes flame, and flame becomes the stuff of nightmares.




The fire rises from Maaku’s body and becomes a figure of its own, standing behind him.

It’s got a cravat and a dope top hat, and it’s here to party.


With a wave of his hands, Maaku sends the guards flying.



…Holy shit, Maaku.

Music: Will Power (Listen to this)



If you so desire, I shall consider granting you the power to break through this crisis.

Hmph, very well…
Who the hell are you…!? Guards!



The guards turn into strange pumpkin creatures.

You’ll learn the true strength of my men!



Let’s use a skill. Arsene knows a light Curse skill, Eiha, right off the bat, so let’s use it.



We can also attack with our physical weapon. In Maaku’s case, it’s a knife.

It did a good deal less damage, you probably noticed. While our starting weapon isn’t great, physical attacks are generally inferior to physical and magical skills of appropriate strength. There are certainly times to use physical attacks, but those moments are rather infrequent.

Music: Triumph



Sweet, Maaku leveled up. He can now cast Eiha a whopping eight times from full SP. If that seems low, just wait.

Music: Tension


Maaku examines his sweet new duds.

What was that just now…?


Sakamoto just runs up and bowls him over.

You like that, you son of a bitch!?



OK, it’s locked!
Damn you!
Hey…! What was that just now!? And… your clothes…!



“Kamoshida” startles the two by slamming the bars.

You bastards!
God, this’s effin nuts! Anyways, let’s scram! You lead the way!

Sakamoto hucks the keys as far as he can.

Goddamn thieves…! After them! Don’t let them escape!

You think you can get away with doing this to me?

C’mon, let’s get outta here!

Let’s turn around and talk to this “Kamoshida” fellow. What sage words does he have for us?

Hey, we gotta ignore him and look for a way out!

Okay then, let’s go.

Our only way forward, however, is blocked.

It ain’t openin’!? Dammit! Let’s try and find another way through!

Huh? ‘Sup?

Wait, think we can jump across?


Indeed we can.




Further in, we encounter more obstacles that must be jumped or crawled past.


They’ll prolly call for backup if we try and take ‘em on. We should go some other way…!

And so we’re forced to turn around and take an alternate route.


Over there… They’re lookin’ for us, right? I ain’t playin’ along with this anymore! We gotta find a way outta this goddamn place!

The enemies are now blocking the path behind us. No way to go but forward.


Hey, let’s get the hell outta this place!


This ain’t the exit!? What the hell is this place!?


Is, uh… Is he OK…?

Figures wearing strange masks are locked in cages. That’s troubling.

We can’t do anything to lower the bridge for now, so let’s continue forward.

Dammit! How the hell’re we supposed to get outta here!?




Look, the key’s right there!
We’re trying to get the hell out of here…! I mean, you obviously look like an enemy too!
I’m locked up here, so how can I be your enemy!? Help me out!



In the distance, the shuffling of guards can be heard.

They’re catchin’ up already…!

How the hell do we get out…!?
Hey, you two! You wanna know where the exit is? Let me out and I’ll take you there. You don’t want to get caught and executed, right?

I never go back on my word!
This thing sounds like it’s all talk…
If you guys think you can get out on your own, then be my guest!
Whadda we do…?

The shuffling grows closer.

Are you seriously not messin’ with us!?
If you don’t hurry, they’ll catch you.
F-Fine…

Now, where’s the exit, you monster cat!?
Don’t call me a cat! I am Morgana!
Shuddup and hurry it up! You wanna be locked up again!?
A-All right, sheesh! Follow me, and stay quiet!

Meanwhile…

Disquiet

Sakura-san said that Hamiru-kun left the house this morning. Should I contact the police…? No, that’ll just be more of a hassle… sigh What did I do to deserve this…?

So, we finally met our starting Persona, and it only took four updates! Arsene is based on Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief from French writer Maurice Leblanc (yet another connection I just now noticed). The first Lupin story, “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin,” was published in 1905. Lupin was a force for good in that he exclusively targeted worse villains than himself, which is absolutely relevant to the themes of this game.

As our starting Persona, Arsene learns physical and Curse skills. Also, I really like that we now have a Persona that’s not mythological or anything, it’s just straight-up fictional.

Arsene and the protagonist are both voiced by Xander Mobus (and Jun Fukuyama in Japanese), whose most notable role prior to this was… the announcer in Smash 4. Huh.

Videos:

Awakening (Absolutely watch this)[/details]


#9

I’m super pumped to see this thread. Have always loved Screenshot Lps. Looking forward to the rest; good work so far


#10

[details=Part 5]Part 5: 4/11

Music: Tension

Last time, we inadvertently cut class, ripped off our own face, and met a weird talking not-cat. What was in that curry, Sojiro!?


Morgana stops in front of this statue.

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. Try checking around the mouth of this statue, OK?


Maaku pulls down the mouth of the statue…


…and the bridge lowers.

Hmph, amateur. Come on, let’s keep going!


Another guard pops out ahead. Sakamoto promptly begins freaking out.





Zorro!

Music: Keeper of Lust (Listen to this DDS-ass music, good lord)






It means they’re holding nothing back and are serious to kill us! I’ll back you up, so fight like your life depends on it! Let’s go!

Time for another fight. Let’s go.

Eiha works, but not well enough.

Rude.

This is how you fight!

Morgana takes the initiative here, by which I mean he’s outside of player control for this sequence. Unlike in 3 and 4, the player characters generally start in “Direct Commands” mode by default.

Also, yes, Morgana is male, despite his name. They go into it a bit later but I’m not gonna write around it for twenty updates.


The pumpkin-thing is weak to wind attacks, which happen to be Morgana’s specialty.



Use skills the enemy is weak to, knock them down and get more actions, that’s the 1 More system in a nutshell. There’s slightly more to it in this game, but nothing we can introduce yet.


Arsene learned a new skill. I’ll introduce skills when party members learn them, but for the record Cleave is a light Physical attack.



Hm, it looks like you don’t have full control over your power yet. The transformation shouldn’t normally dissolve like that. After all–
Rrgh, that’s enough! This crap doesn’t make any sense!
Can’t you just sit still and listen for once, Blondie!?
Don’t call me Blondie! My name’s Ryuji…

Finally getting a first name for Sakamoto here. We skipped basic introductions with all the naked kings and literal self-actualization.

Actually, there’s no time for me to lecture you! You wanna escape this place in one piece, right? Let’s go! Oh, but before that… take these. Use them carefully, OK?

Come on, we should hurry. It’s not much farther to the exit.



So, a cool new feature in this game is that you can restore all the party’s HP automatically out of battle. I don’t end up doing it much because it can end up pulling SP from a party member you want to keep topped up and you generally don’t always need full HP, but it’s good to have.

Despite the Medicines we just received from Morgana, this does not consume items. It instead uses skills, which are also usable from this menu.



Dammit! I’m too flustered! I can’t remember a damn thing!

It’s clearly some sort of sports uniform, and it has the name of your school on it. We’ve never even been there, but it seems pretty obvious what he’s wearing.

Come on, let’s go!
Hold on, dammit!

But… who are these guys?
Do you really think you have time to worry about other people right now!? Besides, they’re–
There!


I’m glad you stick to your guns. Looks like it’s raring to go too!


These enemies are weak to Curse skills, making Arsene perfect.

Oh my god this UI


Another neat addition is that the game will tell you if an enemy in the fight is weak against one of your skills, as long as you’ve already hit that weakness before. It unfortunately includes enemies that are already knocked down which can get a bit confusing, but it’s still really handy.


You really don’t get it, do you? Hrgh… There’s no time to explain. Look, I’m going. If you don’t want to follow, be my guest!
Dammit… Fine, I’m coming!

Glad we’ve settled on “abandon the needy” as our course of action. What brave heroes we are.

Music: Suspicion

Finally! We’re saved…!

…It’s not openin’! D’you trick us, you jerk!?
Don’t jump to conclusions! Over here!


Ugh, amateur… This is the most basic of basics.

We would’ve done that earlier if that was possible! The ventilation shaft, you morons! You guys should be able to squeeze through it one at a time.
I see… Then we just gotta get that metallic mesh off!



Seriously, we’re finally gettin’ outta here…!
You should wait on celebrating until you actually get out. Now, get going.
But… what about you?
There’s something that I still have to do. We’re going our separate ways.

Heh. You’ve got manners. Be careful on your way.

Ryuji and Maaku climb the shelf and leave.

Especially the frizzy-haired one, if my judgment’s right…

We transport once more…

Music: Suspicion


Huh? Returned…? …Does that mean we got away?

I dunno what to think anymore…

The hell’s goin’ on!?


Huh? No! We were tryin’ to get to school, and we ended up at this weird castle!
…What? Hand over your bag. You better not be doing any drugs.

A sensible reaction.

Why would you think that!?
Are you his friend?

Then you should go to school. Take him with you.
Like I’m tryin’ to say…! I don’t know what’s goin’ on either!
We passed by Shujin on our way here. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it. If you spout any more nonsense, I’ll contact your school. Is that what you want?
(to Maaku) C’mon, say somethin’!

Uh, that’s not what I meant…

Maaku walks off.

…Fine, I’m goin’!

chuckle Things are going as planned… Sae Niijima… That reminds me… sigh Better to leave it be for now.

So a Minister of Transport resigned after the subway incident, and this is “going as planned.” How does Sae factor into this? I’m not sure I like where this is headed…

I’m sure we came the same way… What’s goin’ on here…?

We received a call from the police.
That damn cop snitched on us after all!
It’s rare not to see you alone. Where were you roaming around until this time?
Uh… a ca-- a castle?
So you have no intention of giving an honest answer?
What’s this about a “castle”?


You seem so carefree, Sakamoto. Quite a difference from when you did morning practice for the track team.

How dare you speak that way to Mr. Kamoshida! …There’s not much leeway left for you, you know?
He’s the one that provoked me!
Do you really want to be expelled!? In any case, you’ll have to explain yourself! Follow me!
What!? This is bullshit!
Come now. I should have been more considerate, too. Let’s just say that we were both to blame.
Well, if you say so… Still, you’re coming with me. It’s undeniable that you’re extremely late.
Fine…
By the way… you’re that new transfer student, correct? Maaku Hamiru…

Ryuji shoots Kamoshida a glare before continuing up the steps.


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


We’re already pushing things here, let’s not go further than we need to, as satisfying as it would be to stand up to this condescending ass.

At any rate, hurry up and go to the faculty office. I’m sure Ms. Kawakami’s tired of waiting.

Man, fuck this guy.

Music: Interrogation Room


A talking cat…? Are you hallucinating from an overdose? I won’t put up with you if you’re simply joking around.

It seems like everyone thinks Maaku’s just high, both then and in the future. Including myself. Get your life together, man.

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

It’s true that what he did were deplorable crimes from… indulging his desire. He confessed to it all. But there should have been no connection between the two of you since you had just transferred. Why did you target him?


Try and recall it once again…!

Music: Beneath the Mask -Instrumental Version-

Ah, school. How great it will feel to be greeted with open arms to this hallowed hall of learning.

Or not.

Late on the first day, too. You like causing trouble for the school?

What’s with that attitude? Show some respect! Do you even want to be reformed? I bet this is a good sign of what you’ll be like here.



Rumors spread fast, I suppose. We’re already being labeled a criminal who smokes and drinks, the two worst crimes of all.

Hm? What’s this about Ryuji?

I can’t believe he’s still behaving like this after what he did to the track team. And he’s still not expelled because Mr. Kamoshida’s covering for him, right?
Mr. Kamoshida’s too nice for not abandoning a punk like that…

Yeah, I heard about him. All the second-years are talking about it. Apparently, he’s such a problem student that no other schools will take him.
Why does he have to come here…? I hope he doesn’t try anything funny with the volleyball team.
It’s fine. Mr. Kamoshida’s on our side. The transfer student won’t do anything to us.

I feel like we’re not getting the whole picture here. The students seem to love Kamoshida, but Ryuji…


What!? But you already promised to recommend me…
I’m sorry, but you’ll have to accept that this was decided by the school. They want to prioritize students from our highly acclaimed volleyball team…

This volleyball team seems really important to the school.

Oh no, Ms. Kawakami’s class! I got so caught up in what I was doing I forgot all about it! She’s gonna kill me.


Being over half a day late on your first day…? Can you explain yourself?

I mean, it’s technically true.

How could you have been lost for this long? It’s almost lunchtime. Well, it’s probably true that you’re not used to the area yet… but you’re still way too late. Will you pull yourself together? You were given fair warning yesterday. More importantly… I heard that you were caught along with that Sakamoto-kun?

Don’t get involved with him, OK? He’s nothing but trouble. He wasn’t like that when he was devoting his time to track and field though… …Anyway. Break’s almost over. Classes will end after fifth period today because of the subway accident.

It was really more of a “collision” than an “accident.”

I’ll have you introduce yourself when class resumes. Follow.

Be serious about it even if you’re lying to the class, OK? Do NOT say anything unnecessary.



He looks normal though.
But he might slug us if we look him in the eye…

…Well, I’d like to introduce a transfer student: Maaku Hamiru. Today, we… had him attend from the afternoon on since he wasn’t feeling well. All right, please say something to the class.

He seems quiet… but I bet when he loses it…
I mean, he was arrested for assault, right…?
…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?
This sucks…

Whoa, what happened to you?


……

Does that mean he hit on her before transferring here?
That means she’s cheating on him with Mr. Kamoshida. Then again, this is Takamaki-san we’re talking about…

Wait, what?

For real. That side of the room is totally awful.
Oh, right! The volleyball rally’s in two days… Everyone’s just changed classes, so make sure you use that time to get to know each other. Well then, let’s get class started. Who’s on duty today?
Everyone, please rise…

Music: Disquiet


The school fades out, revealing the castle.

Maaku grasps his head in pain.

Hm? What’s wrong?

sigh Are you sure you’re OK? Also… it seems like people are already talking about you, but I’m not the one who told them. I can’t even catch a break… Why do I have to deal with this? You should head straight home without stopping by anywhere. Sakura-san sounded pretty angry.

Great, now Sojiro hates me even more. This place sucks.

Oh, and about Sakamoto-kun. Don’t get involved–

Speak of the devil… What do you want? I heard the police caught you cutting classes today.
Ugh… It was nothin’
And you haven’t dyed your hair back to black either…
Sorry ‘bout that.

Ryuji whispers to you before walking off.

See? That’s why I don’t want you getting involved. Understood?

The principal and Kamoshida walk up.

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.
Now, don’t be like that… This school counts on you, Kamoshida-kun. You are our star. Still, a steady build-up is necessary behind such brilliance as well.
…Your troubles never seem to end, do they, Principal Kobayakawa? All right, I understand. I’ll continue to do my best to answer your expectations of me.

I should meet him on the rooftop

But first, let’s go talk to some more people.


Wah! What!? You’re talking about the one at the center of all the rumors online? Alcohol, smoking, theft, violence… The teacher would never approve of such an article.

Everyone’s afraid of him… I hope he gets expelled soon…
Our school’s seriously full of troublemakers. Didn’t something like this happen last year too?
sigh And we’re supposed to be an elite college prep school. I wish they’d fix this problem.

Okay, so Shujin’s “an elite college prep school,” which I suppose explains why the uniform is so snazzy. It makes it slightly less plausible that they’d accept Maaku in the first place, though, but hey, without it there’s no game.

Maybe he called someone up there so he can punch them.
Oh, do you mean like what happened at track practice last year? I heard it was a big fight…
Stay away from him! We only just started high school… I’m too young to die!

From what we’ve gathered so far, Ryuji quit track and field, most likely due to whatever altercation occurred at practice last year. Wonder what’s going on with that.

Then again, I’m sure you two losers get along because the both of you are nothing but garbage. Get it? You’ve already gotten on Kamoshida’s bad side. That means the whole school’s against you!

This place is intense. While I’m goofing around, I should mention that “Shujin” is a homophone for the Japanese word for “prisoner,” which just seems hilariously on-the-nose for the name of a school.

Time to meet Ryuji.

Music: Suspicion

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

Heh, we’re pretty much in the same boat. I heard you got a criminal record. Everyone’s talkin’ about it. No wonder you were so gutsy.

It wasn’t a dream… right? You remember it too, yeah?

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. So yeah… Thanks, Maaku.

But man, that Kamoshida we saw there… You prolly don’t know about it, but there are some rumors about him.

Yeah, the ripped mophead. That asshole who was all full of himself at the castle. No one says anything against him cause he’s some medalist who took the volleyball team to nationals. 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…

Sorry to drag you out here like this. That’s all I had to say. You know, we might be pretty similar. I feel like we’re gonna get along just fine as “troublemakers.”

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

I guess I’ll just head home for today…

Nothing to do but head home and face the wrath of Sojiro. Yikes.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Oh boy, here it comes.

It’s only your first day and you’re already showing up hours late?

And here I thought you got up and left on time this morning. Look, just behave yourself. Your life’s forfeit if anything happens. You understand the meaning of probation, right?

OK then.

I expected way worse than that. Sojiro’s a pretty chill guy.

Sojiro answers his phone.

…Yeah, I just closed up shop. I’ll be there in half an hour.

…No, I just hired a part-timer.

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

Sojiro, you cad, you.

Antonio Banderas, thou art I. As you saw, Morgana already has a Persona, Zorro.

From Wikipedia:

“Zorro (Spanish for “fox”) is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional character created in 1919 by pulp writer Johnston McCulley. He is a Californio nobleman living in Los Angeles during the era of Mexican rule (between 1821 and 1846), although some movie adaptations of Zorro’s story have placed him during the earlier Spanish rule.

The character has undergone changes through the years, but the typical image of him is a dashing black-clad masked outlaw who defends the commoners and indigenous peoples of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains. Not only is he too cunning and foxlike for the bumbling authorities to catch, but he also delights in publicly humiliating them. . . . His favored weapon is a rapier, which he often uses to leave his distinctive mark, a Z cut with three quick strokes.”
Morgana is relatively useful throughout the game for a few abilities he gets. He’s the party’s best all-around healer, being the only one to learn every HP restore spell, and does great damage with his wind attacks. He learns some incredibly useful physical strikes as well, which earn him a spot in the starting lineup for a good long while.

Morgana is voiced by Cassandra Morris, probably best known as Edea from Bravely Default. She’s one of the better, more consistent performances in this game.[/details]


#11

I love that, of the three things to suggest for the newspaper club member to write about, suggesting yourself is somehow the best one. “Hello, yes, I think you should write about that transfer student, who is hot and mysterious and everyone loves him, actually,” is still better than, “So there was this magical castle with a talking cat…”


#12

So Kamoshida is pure evil


#13

That’s what it looks like. Or at least has done some shitty things, and is going to get absolutely mind broken when he inevitably gets defeated. Cue tears and admissions of being a monster.


#14

One of my favorite little voice acting moments is when Ryuji goes “A Ca-Castle?”

It legit sounds like the VA flubbed it but it worked super well with the scene. So far so good with the LP!


#15

my favorite thing is when he says “FOR REAL!” I laugh every time.


#16

[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…

Aw shucks.


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…

Music: Disquiet

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.

Music: Suspicion


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!?




Music: Desire


…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.
Ah… You!?
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?
That’s right.
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.
For real!?

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…!
Ryuji…?
…This is bullshit!

You hear me, Kamoshida!?
Doing that isn’t going to open it, you know… Still, it seems you have your reasons.
Hey, Monamona!

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.
F-For real…?
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!

Simple enough.

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.


Quiet down!
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.”
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.
You 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!?


Music: Desire

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…?


Huh!?

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…?
What!?
These are only humans in Kamoshida’s cognition. They aren’t real humans that have entered from reality. They’re different from you two.
Cognition…?
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.
Ngh…

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.

Ryuji, move!





Morgana goes down.


And swiftly enough, so does Maaku.


No…
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.
…What?
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…!
Ryuji!

…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!


Music: Awakening

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]


#17

Pirate Ryuji is definitely rad as hell, even if I don’t like his mask as much as Maaku’s.


#18

Captain Kidd is probably one of my favorite Personas ever. Honestly a lot of the Party Based Personas are super good, but I just love the pirate surfing on a boat.


#19

[details=Part 7]Part 7: 4/12-4/13

We just got Ryuji. Time to fight.

Music: Will Power

Kamoshida’s cognition ain’t changin, right? Then I’ll act like the troublemaker I am!


Ryuji uses Electric and Physical skills, as I said last update. He doesn’t actually know any physical strikes at the moment, though, leaving just plain ol’ Zio to knock down these enemies. We won’t be using Zio all that much because of Ryuji’s garbage SP pool, but it’s handy nonetheless.



This is not a very trying fight.

Music: Disquiet

…How ‘bout that!?
Whoa… So Ryuji had the potential too…
Even if you apologize now… I ain’t forgivin’ you!
I told you that this is my castle. It seems you still don’t understand…


Oh…!

What’s going on…!?

Yeah, now that you mention it… But why is she even here!?

How many times must I tell you until you understand? This is MY castle—a place in which I can do whatever I want. Everyone wishes to be loved by me. …That is, everyone besides slow-witted thieves like you.
Takamaki! Say somethin’!
Calm down, Ryuji! It seems that girl isn’t the real one. She’s the same as those slaves—a being made from Kamoshida’s cognition of her!
Are you jealous? Well, I’m not surprised. Women aren’t drawn to problematic punks like you.
Dammit…!
Clean them up this instant!

We’re outnumbered… Let’s scram before we get surrounded!
We’re not gonna do anything and just run!?

Thank god you’ve got a level head.
Ngh… Fine. We’ll expose what you really are, no matter what! You better be ready for us…!
Hahaha! I was beginning to get bored of torturing the ones here! Come at me whenever you want, if you don’t care about your life! Haaaahahahaha!
Ignore him. Let’s go!

pant Anyways! I don’t remember changin’ into this!

Uhh… Should I be happy about that? …Then again, it ain’t as bad as yours.
Did you find them!?
Quiet!
No. Search that way!
So what’s goin’ on? I’m completely lost, man…!
I told you before. When a Persona-user opposes a Palace’s ruler and becomes a threat to them, this happens. It’s to prevent you from being affected by distortions.
Is this… a skull?
Your appearance reflects you inner self. It’s the rebel that slumbers within… …Not that you’ll get it.
Nope…
Then stop asking questions and accept what you see for what it is.
Easy for you to say. gasp Wait, we’re in deep shit!
I said to be quiet!
We might’ve gotten away here, but we’re still screwed with Kamoshida at the real school…
That’s quite sharp of you! …For being an idiot. Relax. The Kamoshida in reality can’t possibly know about what happens here. A Shadow is the true self that is suppressed—a side of one’s personality they don’t want to see.
…So we’re OK?
Did the Kamoshida in reality remember about the execution?

There you have it.
All right! Now that we know that, all we gotta do is–
Wait. I guided you as promised. It’s your turn to cooperate with me.

That’s why I was super nice about teaching you idiots everything.
Huh? Cooperate?
Don’t you remember? I originally came here for an investigation. I need to erase the distortion from my body and regain my real form! That’s why we must delve deep into Mementos and–
Whoa, hold up. What’re you goin’ on and on about? We never said anything about helpin’ you out.

Music: My Homie

Huh? Don’t tell me… Are you not going to repay the hospitality I showed you? Especially you! You’re going to up and leave, even though you’re already part of my master plan!?

Is it because I’m not human…? Because I’m like a cat…? Is that why you’re making a fool of me!?
We’re busy! Thanks for everything, cat. You’ve got guts, bein’ a cat and all! See you around!
Hey! What the hell!? Ugh, seriously! Why’re you wrapping this up like everything’s hunky-dory!?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

…Thank god. We’re back. I dragged you around a lot, huh? …Sorry, man. Ugh, I’m dead tired… How you holdin’ up?

Me too… Man, I’m gonna sleep like a rock when I get home. But damn, if what we saw was for real, this is gonna get good! I totally remember the faces of the guys Kamoshida was treatin’ like slaves. Once we make ‘em fess up to any physical abuse, Kamoshida will be done. So… wanna help me look for those guys or any witnesses?

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Hey, so… If you’re thinkin’ of layin’ low ‘cause you got a record, I don’t think that’ll help… Everyone already knows. They totally got you pegged as a criminal.

Kamoshida opened his damn mouth!

No one else besides a teacher could’ve leaked it that fast! It doesn’t matter if it’s a student or a club; that asshole just wrecks things he doesn’t agree with. Just like he did with me…! No one’ll take anything I say seriously. Still, those rumors about him gettin’ physical might be real. And after seein’ Kamoshida’s distorted-heart thing in person, there’s no way I can just sit back!

We should know what we’re getting into, man. I’m not saying don’t do it, but this could have unforeseen consequences.

You gotta do this! I’ll help out too!
nods
I’m countin’ on you! Don’t worry; I’m hyped about this too!

Music: Interrogation Room


However, you did not. There are merits to having associates… That’s what you decided. Am I wrong?

Music: The Spirit



So, we’ve unlocked our first Confidant. These are just a themed version of the Social Links from 3 and 4. The tarot motifs return and everything. Speaking of which, Ryuji is not, in fact, the Magician, as one might think from his similarity in role to Junpei and Yosuke. He is instead the Chariot, which symbolizes concepts like determination and will power, but also a lack of control and aggression when reversed.

Right. I haven’t eaten anything since lunch. It’d be weird splittin’ off now, so why don’t we grab a bite somewhere?

Just follow me. I mean, I totally gotta hear about your past!

The hell, man! How much shittier can that asshole get!?

Are you for real? If it was me, I wouldn’t calm down until I punched that dick in the face. So… you left your hometown, and… you’re livin’ here now, huh? We might be more alike than I originally thought.

I don’t got a record like you do. I mean, that’s not the point. I guess it’s how we’re treated like a pain in the ass by the people around us, like we don’t belong. I did something stupid at school before, too.

Ryuji shovels the entire bowl into his mouth and slams it onto the counter.

The place you’re livin’ now is in… Yongen, right? It’s rush hour on the subways. I suggest you kill some time before headin’ home.


Ryuji places more of… something into your bowl.

Just lemme do it. I gotta thank you for helpin’ me. Anyways, I got your back like you got mine from tomorrow on. As long as we do something about Kamoshida, I’m sure we’ll both feel better about bein’ at school. Oh, yeah!


By “occasionally” they of course mean “constantly.” The deluge of messages in this game never ceases.

Just you wait, Kamoshida… We’re gonna start right away tomorrow. First, let’s hit up those guys that were kept as slaves. The volleyball rally’s tomorrow, huh? Shit’s recommended by Kamoshida. Makes me wanna gag. But thanks to that, we got no classes in the afternoon, and we can walk around unnoticed. Well, I guess we can work out the details tomorrow…


Meanwhile, at school…

I-I haven’t been sleeping well lately… Whenever I close my eyes, I keep thinking about too many things…
Shiho…

Music: Confession/Secret

Nationals are coming up soon, so I keep thinking… Should someone like me really be on the starting lineup…?
Don’t worry. Just be confident in yourself! Your skills have been recognized! It’s all because you work harder than anyone else!
…… Yeah… Volleyball’s all I have, after all…
More importantly, was that injury OK? It looked really swollen.
No, it’s nothing. It’s normal… Especially because a meet’s coming up…
……

Um… Mr. Kamoshida told me to get you.
Huh? What does he want…?
He didn’t say…
…… Ann, I…
…… It’ll be fine! I bet it’s a meeting about the starting lineup or something.
…… …Yeah. Well, I better go…
Yup. Good luck!

Shiho and the quiet student leave.

Hang in there, Shiho…!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

I take it you actually went to school today?

I guess you learned your lesson after what happened yesterday. Eh, as long as you’re not getting into trouble, it’s fine by me. I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but trust me, you’ll be gone if you start causing problems. In case you forget, your life is not a free one right now.
nods



You’re a bro, man… Welp, seeya tomorrow! Let’s save those guys who’ve been getting abused. You and me.
…Sheesh, are you even listening to me? Just stay away from bad influences, OK? Hey, I’m gonna head home for the night. I’ll lock the store up. Don’t go wandering out.


We ended up at that weird place when we used this nav app, right?

I deleted it earlier, but it came back… Think it’s being downloaded on its own somehow?

Basically, it’s gonna depend on how we use it. But first we gotta find evidence for the beatings. I’m counting on you, all right? Don’t go ditching school on me.



Music: Aria of the Soul


I thought about resuming our previous conversation tonight. That is why I have summoned you. What are your thoughts? Are you becoming accustomed to this place?

Ah, glad to hear it. It seems you have nerves of steel. Your rehabilitation determines if ruin can be stopped. Yet, such a feat cannot be done by you alone. But today, you entered a partnership with someone who awoke to the same power, haven’t you?

Involving yourself with others is an important foundation for your recovery. You’ve done well. That said, I am not advising the formation of superficial relationships. It must not be of frivolity, but a ring of those, who would, by morals or faith, lend you their strength. In other words, they are bonds with those who have been robbed of their places to belong. The expansion of said ring will, in return, help you mature as well.
Personas are the strength of heart… The stronger the bonds that surround you, the more power your Personas will gain.
There are countless people in the city who have talents that a weakling like you doesn’t. You better rack that noggin of yours and get them on your side. We’ll change that into power.



So yeah, just Social Links under a new name. But, there’s more, and that’s where this gets way more compelling.

Indeed. You should be prepared to use even myself, or your ambitions will not come to fruition. chuckle We have a deal then.
It feels like Igor has high expectations of me…

Igor is Fool, for the record, which symbolizes beginnings and free-spiritedness, but also naïveté. It applies more to the protagonist than to Igor, which is why it’s actually the protagonist’s Arcana. The Fool Arcana is special because it’s the number 0, which on its own symbolizes emptiness and possibility. All the protagonists of the more recent Persona games were of the Fool Arcana, and it grants special abilities to those blessed with it. I could be coy about it but there’s really no point: it’s the power to control multiple Personas.


What really elevates the Confidants above Social Links is that each of them provides specific abilities. Wild Talk lets us negotiate with enemy Shadows during a Hold Up instead of proceeding into an All-out Attack, while Arcana Burst gives bonus experience from fusion based on the Confidant Rank of the resulting Persona’s Arcana. We’ll go more into what those mean for us when we get to them.

Well, you will understand it all in due time… Continue devoting yourself to your rehabilitation.
Now this conversation’s over! Get lost, Inmate!

The next morning…

And why are they pitting us against the teacher team? Kamoshida’s gonna crush us.
We get to see his technique live and in person, though. We should totally get spiked on!
Yeah, OK. You’re gonna get your face smashed in. Just look at how banged up the volleyball team is. What the hell goes on during their practices?

Music: So Boring

As you all know, today is the volleyball rally. Head to the gymnasium once you’ve changed. Got it?

Volleyball

Kamoshida spikes…


…and the student fails to return.



So, if I’m understanding this correctly, this volleyball rally is just an excuse for the teachers, primarily Kamoshida, to dunk all over every student in school. What the hell is the stated point of this?








They show this spike from three different angles, because Kamoshida’s just that good.



The same student takes the spike right to the face.




Someone! Take him to the nurse’s office!




And Kamoshida continues on without breaking stride.

Later…

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Get to know each other better, my ass. It’s just a one-man show for him to stroke his ego. And how he acted like he was worried about Mishima? What an abusive d-bag…! …Well, anyways. Now’s our chance to go look for the guys we saw were slaves yesterday. Let’s look for the faces we saw at the castle. All the members of the team should be here today. I’ll be sure to find someone to spill about Kamoshida’s physical abuse. Just you wait, asshole.

The first one that popped out was a guy from Class D, so let’s start from there. That’s your class. Hopefully you can get him to talk without any issues. People have been avoidin’ me lately, so… Oh, but you’re kinda in the same boat, huh.



Returning from Persona 4 is the incredibly useful ability to warp around the map. The areas in P5 are generally a lot bigger, so it’s a life-saver.





The rumors are only getting worse. Now we’ve got multiple convictions for murder and pull knives on people.

Let’s see if newspaper girl knows anything.

I can’t… Every time I try to look into them, the higher-ups of our school pressure me out of it.
The hell!? So Kamoshida’s pullin’ strings behind the scenes?
…Can we stop this? I’d rather not get in trouble for talking to you guys.
Tch, fine…

Are you skipping out on the volleyball rally? I guess I expect it from you, transfer.
Hey, that’s the guy who was over at the castle.
You too, Sakamoto!? What do you guys want…?

What!? Wh-What are you saying? Of course not.
It’s Kamoshida, ain’t it? Look, I ain’t gonna tell anyone you squealed. Just tell us about how Kamoshida’s abusin’ you.
I-I don’t know what you’re talking about!

I’m not! You guys are talking complete nonsense!
Don’t try n’ hide it! We already know!
You… You know? You have proof?
Well, uh… I…
This is ridiculous. Please, leave me alone. You’re really bothering me!
…All right, that’s enough. C’mon, let’s go.

Crap. If we keep goin’ at this pace, the ball game’s gonna end…

Guess that’d be faster. I’ll check the Practice Building for people before clubs start. You handle the Classroom Building. There’s a third-year on the volleyball team that I remember. I think he’s in… 3-C? He might be around his classroom. The third-year classrooms are on the first floor. He was gettin’ beat pretty badly at the castle. He might have some injuries here too… Anyways, I’ll hit you up if I find anything. Seeya!

I know. I hate rumors already, but they’re only getting more and more complex as time goes on.
I wonder if he’s all right… I hope he’s not letting it get to him too much.
That’s just like you, Shiho. Always worrying about other people before yourself. Kinda like when you were there for me…


We’ve been discovered!



…It’s from practice.
Hey, I know who this guy is. He’s that transfer student who’s been hanging out with Sakamoto…
Oh, I get it. You’re trying to snoop on Mr. Kamoshida, right? Look, our volleyball team performs at a national level. Of course our practices are gonna be tough. Mr. Kamoshida’s just dedicated to training us. Don’t believe everything Sakamoto says.

D-Don’t talk like you know!
Hey, we should stop talking to him. What if he loses it and starts attacking us? I heard he even carries a knife around. Who knows what he’s capable of.


Him too…? Man, everyone’s too freaked out about Kamoshida. But I still got a lead. A first-year, new member. He just joined, so he might not be all wrapped up in Kamoshida’s web of bullshit yet. Pretty sure he’s in class 1-B. Try the first-year classrooms. They’re up on the third floor!

Up on the third floor, we find our target.

Whaddya want?

Wh-What…!? Why would you say something like that? I mean, sure Mr. Kamoshida’s strict, but it’s like this for all the other sports teams, right? Though, the special coaching he gave Mishima-senpai was prolly too far… O-Oh, uh… I seriously don’t know anything! Sorry!

P-Please… just stop talking to me… Ask someone else if you wanna know anything more…
Attention, attention.


So you didn’t have any luck either… Mkay, let’s regroup for now. See you in the courtyard?

Music: Disquiet


It’ll be quick. Anyway, what’s with you? Like, how you were late the other day was a lie and all. …There’s that weird rumor about you too.
Whaddya want with him?

…We just happened to get to know each other.
What’re you planning on doing to Mr. Kamoshida?
Huh!? …I see. I getcha. You’re all buddy-buddy with Kamoshida after all.
This has nothing to do with you, Sakamoto!
If you found out what he’s been doin’ behind your back, you’d dump him right away.
Behind my back…? What’s that supposed to mean…?
You wouldn’t get it.
Anyway, people are already talking about you two. I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, but no one’s gonna help you. I’m warning you, just in case. That’s all.


We just went to the same middle school. Anyways, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. I had no luck on my end. What about you? Did anything like someone’s name turn up?

Huh? I don’t get where you’re goin’ with that…
It might have been a different name…

Huh…? …Special “coaching,” huh? True. I always see the guy covered in bruises. Let’s go talk to him before he leaves then.

Sakamoto…? And you, too…!?
C’mon, we just wanna chat. Kamoshida’s been “coaching” you, huh? You sure it’s not just physical abuse?

What’re you talkin’ all polite for? Anyways… We saw him spike you today. Right in the face.
That was just because I’m not good a the sport…
Still, that doesn’t explain all the other bruises you’ve got.
They’re from practice…!
Is he forcin’ you to keep quiet?
That’s…

Mishima, isn’t it time for practice?
I-I’m not feeling well today…
What? Maybe you’re better off quitting then. You’re never going to improve that crappy form unless you show up to practice.

Well, Mishima? Are you coming to practice or not?
…I’ll go.

Bastard…
Same goes for you. Didn’t the principal tell you to keep in line.

Nothing beats some hot, fresh, spicy sass towards an authority figure.

Hmph. Just don’t get in the way of my practice. All these unsettling rumors are making the students anxious after all.

I’m sure you’d know all about that, huh?

That’s your own goddamn fault.
This won’t get us anywhere. Let’s go, Mishima. Shujin Academy is a place where those with aspirations come to learn. Unworthy students like yourselves don’t have any right to be here. Get with the program!
Yes, sir.

Kamoshida walks away.

That asshole…

…There’s no point.
Huh!?
Proving that he’s physically abusing us… is meaningless.

Your parents know? Holy shit, that’s dark.

This has gotta be a joke…
…Don’t be a pain. You don’t understand what I’m going through. Shouldn’t you of all people know that nothing’s going to help…!?
……!


No… I ain’t givin’ up. …I’ll try one more time to persuade the other guys. That’s… all I can do.

Back at home…




Yeah… It’s basically because Kamoshida made the volleyball team famous, yeah? Even so, that don’t give him the right to do whatever he wants!

Ann Takamaki. You met her in the courtyard, remember? You should know her. I mean, she’s in your class, dude. Ugh! What a load of bull! I can’t let it end like this. I’m gonna try and find someone who knows about what’s going one with Kamoshida during break tomorrow. Just you watch. I ain’t giving up!

Ryuji’s gonna keep trying. Good for him. We’ll see how that goes when tomorrow comes.[/details]


#20

In this game with a talking cat, fighting weird monsters, and having to deal with a king in a speedo, the most unrealistic part for me is Ryuji texting paragraphs with perfect spelling and grammar.