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

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#201
Part 99

Part 99: 9/6: Mementos Sucks

Really sorry this update’s so late, folks. I’ve been a bit busy as of late, and looking at what this update entailed… can you blame me?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

We’ve been putting this off for far too long, and now we reap what we sow. It’s not just a Mementos update, but by far the longest one yet. May God have mercy on our souls.

We’ll start with this one first… This intel is on an atrocious land speculator. He’s trying to threaten the old couple who manage the theater in Yongen to make them move out. If we don’t do something, things will probably get even worse.
So he’s trying to do this because they declined his offer. We cannot allow such a horrible method to succeed.
Very well. I will go along with this.
There are still more. Next is… This intel is on a malicious cheating gamer. Apparently he’s been cheating at the arcades to show off recently. It’s been nothing but an annoyance to the other customers though.
Let’s change that immature jerk’s heart fast. We’ll show him that a real man fights fair and square.
Very well. I will go along with this.

…Really? No objections? Makoto? This dude is cheating at a video game, he’s a minor annoyance at absolute worst. Fine, whatever.

There are still more. Next is… This intel is on a harassing boss. He steals the achievements of his underlings without doing any work himself, all for his own profit. Apparently many of the workers have quit because they couldn’t handle his spiteful nature.
Using his position of power for wrongdoing? Such a horrible boss must repent for what he’s done.
Let us beat that rubbish mentality into submission.
There are still more. Next is… This intel is on a dangerous assailant who’s shown up in Shibuya recently. He only targets the weak. Many have already fallen victim to him.
Seriously? The hell are the police doin’ about this? Guess we gotta be the ones who punish this dude.
Let us beat that rubbish mentality into submission.

You don’t need to chime in on every single one, Yusuke, especially if you don’t have that much to say.

There are still more. Next is… This intel is on a college student who is abusing animals to relieve stress. Apparently a lot of cats have died by his hand…
How can someone even do that!? I don’t believe this.
I could never forgive a human like that. This will be revenge. There are still more. Next is… This is about that doctor in Yongen-Jaya, Takemi. She’s in a real pinch right now. An old boss of hers, Oyamada, is trying to crush her clinic to save himself.
This is the doctor in Yongen? Shit…
This guy is hiding some serious medical mistakes. It turns out he’s quite the criminal.
All right, we gotta operate on that dude’s rotten heart then!
OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running. There are still more. Next is… This intel is on the couple related to Kawakami’s former student. They are quite the foul pair of people. They’re using the incident where that child died to try and extort money from Kawakami.
What…? Threatening her is bad enough by itself, but using a deceased child to do it… That’s just too much. We have to do this.
Mm-hm. I’ll show off my skills in front of Lady Ann.

Well, at least none of the others had to find out about Kawakami’s side job.

OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running. There are still more. Next is… This intel is on the stage mother who mistreats her daughter, the shogi player Hifumi Togo. She controls every aspect of Hifumi’s career, and has thus ruined her daughter’s shogi life. She forced Hifumi to become an idol against her wishes and even plans to fix her upcoming shogi match.
She’s treating her daughter like some kind of tool. We have to release Hifumi from that state.
Very well. I will go along with this.
OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running. No objections, right? Mm… we’re good to go if you’re OK with it. That’s a unanimous decision! OK, all that’s left now is to take down the target in Mementos!

Ominous.

Yo, how many targets we got? 8 of em, yeah? Let’s do this.

Eight targets. Kill me.

Music: Mementos

It’s coming from below!


Music: Suspicion

It’s gotten even bigger.
This happened because we stole another Treasure… right?
I feel like it’s gonna keep gettin’ bigger and bigger.
I don’t think Mementos’s territorial expansion is caused by us stealing a Treasure. I bet it’s things like the number of searches for “Phantom Thieves,” the ranking of trending words… And the access counter on Mishima’s website and stuff. Even now, it’s slowly expanding.
The more we become the topic of conversation, the more Mementos spreads…?
nods
Maybe it’s the other way around…
Whaddya mean?
We’re the ones expanding it… Or perhaps, Mementos grants further passage as we become more prevalent in the general public’s cognition.
Like… gettin’ free admission for bein’ popular?
That’s rather well-put.
For real? That’s amazin’! Actually, you’re amazin’, Futaba! How’d you figure that out?
Piece of cake.
I didn’t know at all… What have I been doing…?

Music: Mementos



First things first, let’s get fusin’.

Music: Aria of the Soul

We’re going after our next Strength request, a Lachesis with Tetraja. The simplest way there is through fusing another Ame-no-Uzume using Principality and Lamia. You may remember that Ame-no-Uzume was the target of a previous request, which is why we’re not going to be registering this version in the Compendium/Inmate Registry (in case we want to make completing this Confidant easier in New Game Plus, because the Inmate Registry carries over). We could also try to just Gallows our Clotho, which also knows Tetraja and we’re going to be getting rid of this visit anyway, but I prefer to do these requests the traditional way (and don’t really want to deal with random skill selection).


Next up, Lachesis from Ame-no-Uzume and Isis.

The thread of fate is measured by my hand… I am the mask which determines your future…

Lachesis is another of the Moirae Sisters, or sisters of fate, from Greek mythology. She was the one who apportioned how much thread of life each mortal received. She was also the one who was said to choose each person’s destiny after measuring their thread.


Finally, Jatayu from Lamia and Suzaku.

I will gladly sacrifice my body to help you. If it brings you glory, a new mask I shall become.

Jatayu is a valiant bird from Hindu and Malay legend. From what I’m reading here, it attempted to rescue its old friend Rama’s wife Sita from the devil-king Ravana (and lost) in the Hindu epic Ramayana, as well as defeat its uncle, the giant bird Garuda, in the Malay story Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (it lost there too). I’m not sure how I feel about having a twelfth of my soul dedicated to the Southeast Asian Bird of Jobbing, but this Persona will come in handy soon anyway.

If you’re wondering what skills I gave this Persona, it was Mafrei, Ominous Words, and Marin Karin.

Now, as mentioned earlier, this Clotho is old and busted. Lachesis is the new hotness. Sorry, girl, we traded up for your sister. It also occurs to me that we haven’t shown off the Electric Chair yet, and Invigorate 1 is a decent skill, so let’s do this.





Yikes.

And all that was left is a smoking item. This game’s fusion animations are fucking gnarly, I tell you what. Also in relation to Clotho, here’s what she looked like in the ever-understated God of War 2 (NSFW)! Sometimes I look back on that series and go, man, that was mid-2000s as fuck. What in the hell were we thinking? New one looks cool though, I guess.

Looks like you’re getting the hang of this. Well, that’s another assignment done…

No difficult questions, Justine. Just give him his assignment.
Understood.
Huh…? What’s with you? You’re not usually this cooperative.
I have no intention of abandoning my duty… but I would like to know the truth of this situation. After all, we possess a mysterious list which seems to have foretold the current state of affairs… Who wrote it? Why do I recognize the penmanship? Why does observing growth feel nostalgic? And beyond that… what was the true intent of its creator?
I thought I said no difficult questions…
To be honest though… I have arrived at a hypothesis.
What!? You know the answer…?
We manage the inmate’s power via several arcana, which symbolize the mystic nature of this world. In truth, the encounter we share with him is represented by the Strength arcana. Strength represents great power, a mighty will, and the awakening of the unknown…
Sounds about right.
Caroline… In our interactions, has the inmate been the only one to have had something awaken within him?

Perhaps… therein lies the answer.
Wh-What’s that supposed to mean!? Ughhh, dammit! Why do I feel so weird…!?

I’m sure whatever you’re discussing is important and all, but I really don’t give a shit about any of it and it doesn’t really seem to have much to do with me.

Sh-Shut it, Inmate! Can’t you see we’re in the middle of something!? And we already told you, there’re three tasks you’ve gotta do before you get your next reward! Although… this next task is gonna be the eighth one. There aren’t too many left on the list. You’ve come this far, Inmate. I hope you see it through.
If you do so… the answer will surely become clear.
And, uh… You’re more than just some random shmuck to us now…

Aww.

You’re the only one who can find the answer we’re looking for. You got that, Inmate!?
I feel like my bond with Caroline and Justine is growing deeper…

OK, next! You’ve only gotta bring us one more Persona before you get another reward!

We would like you to harbor within you.
You got that? A Hecatoncheires that knows Masukunda!

Well then, we’ve got eight fucking targets to take down today, so let’s jump right in.

Those two look pretty sure of themselves. Real smug lookin’.
So they’re blackmailing that teacher, Kawakami, by using that incident where their child died.
But Ms. Kawakami did nothing wrong, right? We have to help her!
Are you ready? Let’s go.

Seems like we’re starting right off with the worst of the bunch.

Music: Desire

FUCK YOU, PAY ME

Clothes, handbags, makeup… There’s too many things I want!
Hm? You’re Kawakami’s students…? Did you come to bring me money? That incompetent teacher is so worthless! She should be grateful to be a source of income for me!

Shut up! Kawakami got in my way! I was going to use what happened to my son to get back at people! I’m not gonna lose… I won’t lose to elitists like you!

Music: Keeper of Lust


This fight isn’t terribly difficult, but the reason there’s no video is just because I decided to try some confusion money farming… which only one of them is vulnerable to. Mr. Takase will throw money away no problem, but the Mrs. is a different story, and I waste a lot of time and SP before I decided to just look it up and confirm she wasn’t susceptible. It ends up working out great for me anyway, though: Mr. Takase was throwing out anywhere between 18-30 thousand yen every time it happened. This isn’t an ideal fight to farm money from, especially because they can use Masukukaja to lower your odds of hitting them with Confusion, but while he only threw away money a handful of times, it was still more than worth it.

In terms of what attacks they use, it’s really just basic medium Ice and Electric spells from the wife and husband respectively, some Physical attacks from Mr. Takase, and the occasional Bufudyne (Heavy Ice damage) from Mrs. Takase. As evidenced by these guys being the first targets we come across (though there’s one we missed and are going to have to loop back around for at the end), they’re pretty weak by virtue of the fact that we could theoretically have gone through Kawakami’s Confidant and reached them a month or two earlier in the story.

This fight takes… a lot of turns, so we get a few opportunities for Futaba’s new skill, Moral Support, to activate.


Her current rank lets her apply party-wide buffs at random points in the battle, something Rise could also do in Persona 4 Golden. These include:
[list]
[]Party Attack up
[
]Party Defense up
[]Party Agility up (in previous games this was known as Hit/Evasion to signify that it represented both your hit and evasion rates, but in the future I’ll just refer to this as Agility because it’s simpler, even though one of the Persona stats is also Agility and that might get a bit confusing)
[
]Party HP recovery (generally moderate)
[/list]
Now, there’s also one more, which Rise didn’t have. While I still think the absence of one specific skill from Rise’s toolkit means Futaba isn’t quite as broken as her, well…

Full-party Heat Riser is pretty goddamn fucked (Heat Riser is a skill that boosts all three parameters of Attack, Defense, and Agility at once. In Persona 4 Golden, Chie’s ultimate skill Dragon Hustle, which cost more than half her SP even at level 99, also let her apply a full-party Heat Riser. As you can imagine, this is stupid broken and can easily turn the tide of a fight). Reminder that Futaba learned Moral Support at Rank 1 of her Confidant, which was mandatory. As we rank Futaba up, we’ll unlock more functions of Moral Support that are also amazing, including one that’s somehow even better than this one, if you can believe that.

Outside of things relevant to systems that aren’t in Persona 4 like being surrounded or Mementos mapping, full-party Heat Riser is the only thing Futaba can do that Rise couldn’t. Still, incredible.


Music: Sunset Bridge

Name brands… Esthetic appointments… Without them, people will laugh…

We’re terrible human beings. Our son, Taiki, and his real parents were different… His parents were both high level elites at big name corporations. Always looking at us coldly… That’s why I let our son experience what it’s like to be forced to grovel!
It felt nice to see him gradually break down from working so much…

I guess there’s actual confirmation that the Takases totally worked Taiki for profit the same way they’re working Kawakami, yikes. What horrible fucking people.

I guess this is why everyone’s looked down on us… I’m not sure now if his birth parents really looked down on us…
I was happy as long as I was with Toshio, but I forgot all about it. I became obsessed with money…
Taiki really was a good kid…

It seems the Takase couple had a change of heart. I should call Kawakami and meet her in my room…

I’m just now realizing how weird it is that two different people have the exact same distortion, to the point where they appear together in Mementos and have their changes of heart linked. It’s not bad, just… interesting.

That Envy Chain we got is a new weapon for Ann, which despite its garbage Attack rating, has a high chance of inflicting Despair. We’re not really using Ann’s melee attack with any real frequency, so equipping it’s not a major loss, especially for such a debilitating status ailment.

Next up, Tsuboi, the cat abuser.

He seems a little irritated.
I heard he was abusin’ animals just to take his anger out on them.
I can’t let him get away with something like that!
You guys, don’t go easy on him!

Music: Desire

Maybe they die when I use ‘em to blow off steam, but the shelter was gonna kill ‘em, anyway. In fact, I bet those cats are happy to be so useful to humans!
What a poor excuse for a human being! I could never forgive someone like you!
Why don’t you complain to the irresponsible people taking their pets to the pound, huh? Well, who cares. You guys are superheroes, right? Then hurry up and destroy this rotten society!
We’ll take your twisted desires, but first I’ll show you the pain you caused those poor animals!
Huh? Wait, are you some kind of cat monster?

Let’s do it, Joker! I’ll show you the wrath of cats!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Shadow Tsuboi

Humans and cats are a prime example. Now, who is stronger: me or the Phantom Thieves!?

Okay, so the first thing Tsuboi will do is increase everyone’s ailment susceptibility using Stagnant Air.


Then he’ll use Flash Bomb to make people dizzy. He might also try to instant-kill someone with Mudo.

This guy’s pretty simple to deal wit–oh goddammit

ANYWAY (thank god the game lets you restart from the beginning of the last boss or miniboss)

Music: Sunset Bridge


That’s a good idea. Perhaps then, he’ll understand what those animals had to endure.
I-I’m sorry! Wh-What should I do?
Remember the awful things you did to those cats. Doesn’t it make you feel horrible?
sob I’ve done something terrible. I’m even less than an animal. I’m worthless trash…
I won’t tell you to give up your life. But you will spend the rest of your life in guilt.




And our reward is yet another Despair weapon, though this one actually does some damage in expense for not having quite as high an application rate.

Music: Mementos

We have so many goddamn lockpicks


Seems useful.


Mementos Scan doesn’t activate as often as you’d like (which is pretty much always), but it’s still good to be able to skip a floor.

Next target, Naguri, the punk assaulting people.

He’s got a crazy look in his eyes.
He’s been known to attack indiscriminately. I suppose he really has lost his sanity…
If we don’t make him have a change of heart, I won’t feel safe walking around in public.
We have to do this.

Music: Desire

Oh, geez, he’s the annoying type…
So, uh, can I help you? You didn’t come to pick a fight with me, did you? That can’t be.
Stop playin’ dumb, you crazy criminal.
I’m doing the world a service. We’ve got an overpopulation problem with too many old people. Just think of this as my own personal brand of justice. Anyways, it doesn’t involve you punks!

Urgh, let’s take him down, Joker!

Music: Keeper of Lust

You’ll regret picking a fight with me. I’m going to beat you to a pulp!

Naguri has a huge health pool, but also takes an absurd amount of damage more than normal enemies. My first attack, a medium Psy spell, did 455 damage to him. Rakunda + Bufula broke 1k. He’ll use Tarukaja, but even with that, his only move worth worrying about is Swift Strike. It’s a really easy fight.

Music: Sunset Bridge

“Sorry” won’t cut it. You attacked and hurt a lot of people, you know?
I… What can I do…?

Tell the police everything.
Turn myself in… I guess there’s no other way. I’ve been doing something truly horrible. I need to be punished for it…

Oh shit, a Charge skill card. Charge (and its equivalent for magic skills, Concentrate) boosts the power of the next Physical skill you use by 2.5 times. Rakunda plus Tarukaja plus Charge equals some Fist of the North Star, exploding a dude with your pinky shit.

We were fortunate to have caught him before anyone died. We should be quite grateful for that fact.

All right, next is Kishi, the credit-stealing boss.

God, he looks pigheaded…
This guy abused his position at work, right? Harassin’ the people under him and all that.
It’s people like him who create awful workplace environments…
Let’s talk to him.

Music: Desire

Stealing credit from your subordinates is one of the worst things you can do as a superior.

And you’d know, Fox!

That’s my way of management. It’s efficient—I give the orders, and my underlings do all the work. It’s a pretty easy job. As long as the numbers go up, that idiot president won’t say anything. If my underlings have a problem, they should just get promoted. But since I evaluate them…
How did someone like you ever get promoted? If I were the president, you’d be fired!
Shut up, kids! Your reasoning doesn’t apply in the real world! If you don’t get it, I’ll teach you a lesson as your high and mighty ruler!

Let’s go!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Your coming here happened by circumstance, but the results that follow—they’ll favor me!

Kishi will use Brain Shake to inflict Brainwash, but has a rather small HP pool and doesn’t seem to have many more tricks than that… until he casts Diarahan to fully heal himself. He’s weak to Bless skills, though, so we can take advantage of that to take him down before he drags this out too long.

From that fight Ann learns Maragion, a multi-target medium Fire spell, which we slot in to replace the strictly inferior Maragi.

Music: Sunset Bridge


You’re right. That vicious cycle should have stopped with me. What have I done to my precious subordinates? I made them take responsibility for my mistakes, sent them far away, messed up their lives… It’s all my fault… All mine…
How do you intend to take responsibility for all this?
I’ll read some business books. I’ll try to do what I can to become an ideal boss…
I want you to think carefully about what kind of boss you’d like to work for. Figure it out.

An amusement park guidebook!? Even if you abused your subordinates, I guess your kids were real important to you…

It’s nice to occasionally see a motive for distortion that isn’t “AAARGH I’M EVIL!”

Hang on, everybody… we’re halfway done… hooray.

Music: Mementos

Maybe this means we’re close to our goal?

Stunning insight, cat.

On the very next floor, we come to the end of this block, as well as Jochi, the man trying to evict the theater owners in Yongen.

Judging from the smirk on his face, it looks like he’s scheming something awful.
I heard he was threatenin’ this old couple, tryin’ to kick them out of their own movie theater.
If we leave him alone, he may resort to violence.
We can’t let that happen! Let’s go!

Music: Desire

It seems like you’re trying to use force to get people to leave their property?
Land development is important. Getting rid of stubborn people in my way is part of the job. I’m not just playing around, like you kids are doing!
We’re quite serious. We can’t let those who cause problems for others to go unpunished. That includes people like you, who use bullying tactics to get what they want.
You’re just pissy-smelling kids acting big. You should’ve stopped playing hero back in preschool!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Weak to Electricity, likes to use annoying Physical moves. Doesn’t really have a lot else in its kit. The thing about Mementos bosses is that the ones that don’t kick the shit out of you don’t really have that much going for them.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Please, isn’t there some way I can have the movie theater?

Yeah, know when to give up.
Oh, er, I’m sorry. I’ll give up. So please, forgive me…
I hope you’ll consider the feelings of those who get things take from them from now on.
I-I got it… I’ll be honest with my superiors. I’ll tell them that no one has any interest in leaving Yongen…
Not just Yongen! You better make up for the awful things you’ve done elsewhere, too!

Uh, wait a second. He said he was gonna get fired if he didn’t get his bosses this property, right? Doesn’t that just mean they’ll send someone else? Even worse, doesn’t that mean they’re going to keep doing this elsewhere? Hello? Nobody cares? All right.

This is some form of book, likely one that unlocks a new hangout.

Music: Mementos

The door behind Jochi opens upon inspection.

Sweet, now we can keep movin’.
Just be careful, OK? The deeper we go, the stronger the enemies get.

The word Akzeriuth, even with all these extra “Y”s, is giving me traumatic flashbacks to Tales of the Abyss. The root word of both is the Hebrew word Achzariyut, or cruelty.

That’s a sign of how much more twisted this place is. I’m sure the Shadows here are stronger, too.
Yeah, and looks like there are more enemies here than there were up above. Be careful, OK?


Eventually, we come to another rest area and I realize I’ve been neglecting to cover an easy-to-ignore source of conversation: Rest area Mementos discussions. In actual Palaces, the option to discuss progress is pretty pointless outside of the game giving you a vague hint of how much further you have to go, but in Mementos the characters actually stop and think about how goddamn weird this place is, holy shit.

Mementos is the Palace of the general public, correct?
Yeah, what’s your point?
Well, Madarame’s was a museum, Kaneshiro’s was a bank, and the teacher Kamoshida’s was a castle… Essentially, it seems that the appearance of a Palace is rooted in the distorted desires of its ruler. But in that case… why is this place a subway? Is that what the general public desires?
He makes a good point. I wondered the same thing when I first came here…
Even I don’t know the answer. The existence of Mementos is a pretty special thing to begin with.
Didn’t you say it’s the source of all other Palaces?
Yeah… It’s fundamentally different from just one person’s distortions. The layout changes every time too. Even its current appearance as a subway might be temporary. If that’s true, then…
Hey, I don’t wanna rain on your parade or nothing, but aren’t we here to check that out ourselves? Wouldn’t it be faster to just get to the bottom and be done with it?
Perhaps, but…
No, Skull is unfortunately right. This isn’t something we’ll be able to find the answer to right now. I’m sure the mystery will be solved if we can reach the depths of this place though.
Did you really hafta say that me bein’ right was “unfortunate”?

Later, we come across Pisaca, the one new enemy we encounter this entire Mementos visit. It likes to inflict Sleep and use Physical skills, and is weak to Fire.

Next, we encounter the cheater, Nejima. Still can’t believe we’re actually doing this. Besides, he’s just cheating at a video game, I really fucking doubt his distortion is so great that his Shadow will be able to put up any form of resistance against us.

He looks so… pathetic.
He’s cheating in a video game, right?
Yeah, he’s a cheater. It’s not something an adult should be doin’.
Let’s go.

Music: Desire

In the Gun About world, no one can defeat me! Cheating? I don’t know what you’re talking about… The winners are the ones who decide what is right! It’s the winners who decide what justice is! And what greater winner is there than me? I’m the god of the Gun About world! I am the god of the Gun About world! I am invincible! No one can ever hope to defeat me!

You, uh… You said the same thing twice, dude.

No matter how many come against me, no one can ever wound me!

Psh! Idiot! Let’s get him!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Shadow Nejima (You should actually probably watch this one)

Ain’t no matter what you throw my way, you won’t put a scratch on me!

So, the first thing we’ll notice, and this should set off some alarms immediately, is that this is the only voiced Mementos target in the entire game. I wasn’t kidding when I said “watch this,” by the way. You need to hear this dude’s accent.

Ugh.

Well, that’s just bad luck.

Come on, game!

Uh…


And he can enrage us, great.

A few turns of pointless, missed attacks later…

Look at him, acting all smug because of his cheats… We can’t do anything to him at this rate though. Let’s retreat for now and rethink our approach.

Wait, retreat!?

Music: Mementos

And then we just leave! The great and mighty Phantom Thieves, forced into retreat by a fucking PUBG hacker! What the hell is this game?

Yes… Unfortunately, it appears we do not have even a chance of victory.
Yo, Morgana. Ain’t there anything we can do?
I’m not sure. As I’ve already mentioned, the Metaverse is a place where people’s cognitions materialize. Even I can’t predict what will happen here…
Dammit! If only we could figure out what his ability is…

We know what his ability is, you dumbass. I just don’t get how “uses cheats in a video game” translates to “his repressed emotions have become an unkillable superbeing.”

That’s exactly right!
So we’ll need to figure out a way to break through his cheat…
That’s fine, but let’s do it somewhere else. It’s not exactly what I’d call safe here. We should talk more where there aren’t Shadows.
We can make it our homework then. Let us think more on this topic after we return to reality.

I hope it doesn’t add too much more work to your plate.

It’s fine, Makoto. I already have to do everything around here.

Homework… Eh, I guess that works. Anyways, let’s get goin’.

This is the sixth area on this floor, but counting the entire Palace… it’s the thirty-third one.
Thirty-three areas? I’m starting to feel kind of overwhelmed… Just how big is this place?
Who knows? This whole place, its overall structure… It’s all a mystery. Oh well. Just, uh, hang in there…!

We have to head back down, though, because we still have two other targets to take care of. This Mementos trip is a nightmare that will never cease. The game is at least kind enough to inform us when we return to the cheater’s floor, however, so we don’t accidentally go right back into his den.



Another good pull from a random locked chest, all right.


This interaction isn’t important, I just thought it was kinda charming.

We finally make it as deep as we’re going to go today for Mitsuyo Togo, Hifumi’s mother.

She’s using her just like a pawn, from what I hear.
That’s her own daughter… What is wrong with her?
I don’t know much about shogi, but I do know she’s a bad person!
It’s as you say, Lady Ann! Let’s get her!

Music: Desire

I gave birth to her. I raised her! My child should be devoted to serving me! I can finally be happy once Hifumi becomes a famous shogi player!

Hmph. …She thinks she rose in rank on her own skill, but most of those matches were fixed.

…What!?

I’m the one who’s been building Hifumi’s commercial value! If I didn’t get rid of all her rivals, she wouldn’t be where she is now! I enlisted private investigators and even criminals to find their weaknesses and destroy them! I paid off anyone who might have complained or spoken out.

…Don’t you work in a nightclub? How are you affording all this hush money?

Oh, and I even sold stories to those weekly magazines. Heroines and tragedies go hand in hand!

Don’t quote this line pretending it answers the previous question I just asked, because it doesn’t. They’re not paying you that much money for some dumb tabloid story about an amateur shogi player.

One more step, and my vision for Hifumi will be realized. I’m so close to victory! I won’t let anyone get in the way!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Shadow Togo

So, I’d actually recommend watching the video for this one, because hoo boy, this fight. At the end there I almost die several times, especially after an incredibly unlucky Mamudoon instant kills the entire party except for Maaku (twice). She can cast heavy Fire, Ice, Electricity, and Curse for over 200 damage per, use medium multitarget spells, and generally kick your shit in. More than once I either survive an attack with HP you can count on one hand or dodge an attack that absolutely would have killed me. It’s easily the hardest (real) fight we’ve been in all day.

And she has a lot of fucking health. But hey, at least she’s weak to Bless. Attacks do so little damage across the board, however, that it’s really better to Baton Pass over to Ryuji and have him use Assault Dive rather than go for the All-out Attack.


Morgana learns Magarula, which replaces Magaru.

Yusuke learns Counterstrike as well, though he’s a total scrub who gets all his kills by camping. It replaces his normal Counter skill, as the former has a 15% chance of reflecting Physical damage as opposed to 10%, and the effect does not stack.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I could never win on my own. I had to use Hifumi, I had to…

I never meant to make Hifumi unhappy. Never. But when she won that grade school competition… She started being called a “genius girl,” and I could never get that out of my head… I turned out to be such a horrible mother. I’m sorry, Hifumi, I’m sorry…

A Bead Chain is an item that lets you fully restore the party’s HP. It’s pretty good.

Mitsuyo seems to have had a change of heart. I should go check with Hifumi…

Finally, we’re on the last target, who we accidentally skipped because the system for telling you where each target is in each block is just Morgana saying “the closest one’s below/above us, I guess” which is about as intuitive as it sounds. Anyway, we’re going after Oyamada, who’s forcing Takemi to close her clinic. We could have conceivably done this target much earlier in the game, so it’ll be a few blocks behind us and pretty weak.

That bastard looks like he’s been eatin’ well lately.
Hm. He made a mistake in rushing a drug’s development, and now intends for his subordinate to take the fall.
People might die if we don’t change his heart! And a good doctor will have to quit…

Takemi’s no Freddie Highmore, that’s for sure. I hope you enjoyed this awful Photoshop goof because it took way longer than it should have.

Also, I kinda take issue with calling Takemi a “good doctor.” She tests her experimental drugs on high school students until they pass out. Plus, she sells a ton of weird pharmaceuticals on the side.

Yeah. We gotta do something!

Music: Desire

As head of the medical office, I’m superior to everyone! I deserve all your respect! You should be begging me to examine you! Be grateful I have the compassion to fix you trash!

Ah, you’re that kid who was at Takemi’s. So how’s she doing? She was sooo depressed when she heard her patient died. Oh, I’m so worried about her. Poor girl… Hehe… Hehehe… Hahahahaha! It’s been so long since I’ve felt so exhilarated! Did she quit being a doctor yet? If she hasn’t, then tell her she better hurry it up!

Wha–!? You dare talk to me, your superior, like that!? Grr… Your diagnosis is “arrogance with no chance of recovery.” I better “treat” you right away! And I’ll blame your death on Takemi messing up again!

Wait, what does happen if we die in the Metaverse? Is it a P4 situation, where we get ejected into the subway system or something?

Music: Keeper of Lust

Oyamada uses weak Almighty attacks. He probably does some other shit, too, but uh… Morgana got a critical hit with Lucky Punch and the resulting All-out Attack killed him. He was only alive long enough for two party members to take a turn. Laaaaaame.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I want to save people’s lives. And I want to do something great, and help make medical history. But I’m just a mediocre doctor. I’ve only gotten promoted because of my university connections.

Medical Chief of Staff is a little high in the ranks to rise to out of pure nepotism, isn’t it?

Takemi, though, was so creative. She had all these ideas, and her techniques were extraordinary…! Everything I ever wanted—fame, prestige—she earned in just a few short years… I was jealous of her. That’s why I tried to take all the credit for her new drug…

I like getting to just go “man, fuck you.”

Ha… Haha… If only there were a medication that works on jealousy… …… Takemi’s patient isn’t dead.

What!?

I thought she wouldn’t recover, so I moved her to the hospice wing for terminally ill patients. But that patient didn’t believe my diagnosis. She ended up transferring to another hospital. Of course, transferring to another hospital makes our own hospital and university look really bad. That’s why I made everyone tell the same lie: the patient chose to leave the hospice, and then died.

That’s really dumb and makes no sense!

She doesn’t have much time left, but maybe Takemi could do something about it.

Ha. A healing skill. Cute.

It sounds like the patient is still alive. I should go tell Takemi about this right away…

I’ve already recorded a bunch in advance so I bring you this spoiler alert from the future: We’re going to fuck around for over two weeks and not do that.

Well, that’s all of them. Holy shit. We’re done. I… can’t really believe it. It kind of just feels like a part of me died in the process.

The amount of time we spent in Mementos today spanned just under two and a half hours. For context, trying to fit more than an hour of recording into an update usually results in it being obscenely long. A full Palace usually takes around four hours, also, but keep in mind that there’s actual shit to do and forward progression in a Palace, and also I don’t ever fucking try to fit an entire Palace into a single update. This was a nightmare, pure and simple, so mind-numbingly tedious that even as I was playing it I had to split it up over two play sessions, and spending the last nine hours or so trying to wash my hands of it have been excruciating. I’m not trying to whine to you guys about how bad Mementos is, both because that’s pathetic and also because you’ll never truly understand it the way I do when I say FUCK MEMENTOS.

Music: Beneath the Mask


He is invincible at his game, so he is invincible in Mementos as well…
Then how about we just beat him at that game of his? Oh, but he’ll just cheat…
How ‘bout we ask for help from a skilled player? Supposedly there’s an insanely good gamer they call the “King” somewhere in this city. I’ve seen all over the forums how he managed to beat this cheater himself with orthodox methods.
For real!? Where can we find him?
I checked his account from the official server… But I couldn’t pinpoint what arcade he goes to. Sorry…
But if he’s really that famous, won’t it be easy to find him?
That’s true. OK, we should gather intel on the King at the arcades around the city.
I didn’t know someone could get famous just by being good at a video game… In any case, we might be able to get through this if we can find this King. With his help… we’ll crush that cheating jerk for sure!

There’s a bunch of dishes that need cleaning. Sorry, but I’m gonna need you to help with ‘em.

Eh, fine with me, I spent the day in the Metaverse so it’s not like I’ve got an evening period to waste.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

That’s enough help for today. Go on and head up to bed.
Have fun. I’ll make sure I keep working on you-know-what after I’m done taking a breather. By the way, Sojiro… are people on probation even allowed out of the country?

According to that one TV quiz we saw months ago, yes!

There’s no law saying they’re not. As long as it’s fine by me, it’s fine in the eyes of the law. I mean, not letting a kid take part in school events probably wouldn’t be good for his rehab.
Huh… But if anything bad happens on the trip, it’ll be the school’s responsibility.
That’s right.

Sojiro walks offscreen.


Aren’t you gonna ask for any souvenirs from Hawaii? No hula doll or anything?
No.
Heyyy, Mona’s acting weird!

Not necessarily…
Hey, don’t let the cat up on the counter, OK?

Morgana walks upstairs.

…Weird Mona.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Thank you. Take care of yourself, Yusuke. And Futaba, we’ll be relying on you for the analysis.
Leave it to me.
Just let us know if anything comes up, k?
A-OK!
Then off we go! Look after Morgana for us.
Have a nice trip!

Part of the reason it was a good idea to go to Mementos today is that we had nothing to lose because our evening would be consumed anyway. I’m going to pretend I totally knew that before I decided to go and it wasn’t just a lucky coincidence.

Everything’s fine. You don’t need to worry about me… You should just focus on your trip. It’s tomorrow, right…?

They’re called the Phantom Thieves, and they’re at the peak of their popularity. We’re going to try to find out who they are. This spring was when they made their first appearance.
The peak of our popularity, huh? I guess we should be careful not to get too carried away.



Uh… Never mind. Have fun on your trip…

Jeez, the cat’s being a huge downer. Can’t wait to go to Hawaii and get away from his bad attitude. Next time!


#202
Part 100

Part 100: 9/7-9/9: Aloha, Phantom Thieves

100 updates everyone! :toot: :toot: :toot: Time to celebrate with a Hawaiian vacation! I’m sure this will be vital to the plot and not a huge waste of everyone’s time, especially mine!

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


nods
I’ll look after Futaba and the cat while you’re gone. You owe me one.

Oh, thank you so much for taking care of your own daughter in my absence, Sojiro. What would we ever do without you?


Well someone’s excited for their vacation…

Music: Alright

It’ll take over six hours to get there, so why not sleep on the plane?
I’ll do that…
It’s almost time to check in.
Phew, looks like it’s gonna take off on time. I feel like a lot of flights headed to America tend to run late or get canceled… Is it just me or is Ryuji not here yet?


Coming late even on a day like this?
That’s all you’re bringing?
It’s only four nights, right? Ain’t it enough?

See?
I think that was sarcasm…


Ooh, sounds good!

Lemme join in too! You too, Makoto.
All right.





rubbing eyes Holy shit, she’s right…
How could you tell, Futaba?
You surprised? I snuck an app on Maaku’s phone. I can see all I want through his camera! You’re looking now, right Maaku? Mwehehe. You can’t underestimate the original Medjed.
Talk about a nasty trick…
I am so glad she’s not an enemy of ours.

In that critical scene, we find out that Futaba is watching us during our every waking moment! Hi-larious!

Hawaii (Watch this)

Music: New Beginning




Coming right up.


Ladies and gentlemen, we have begun our initial descent into Hawaii. We ask that you return to your seats and ensure that your seatbelts are safely fastened.



GAH



How long will you be staying?


So, in the original Japanese, Ryuji was speaking terrible, random English to this dude. I believe he says, “OKAY OKAY! I AM JAPANESE!” As can be seen here, the localization team didn’t even try to translate that joke.

Also worth noting: in the Japanese version, the Customs officer somehow has an even worse, less intelligible accent than Ryuji, because finding a native English speaker for his two lines would probably be a waste of time and money.

Music: Hawaii

Mmm, I love it! The tropical air…

You can find your buses that way.

sigh


Ryuji is freaking the fuck out.




Music: New Beginning

Wait a minute, in the lecture a few days ago the teacher said we’d land the morning of the 7th due to the time difference. What the fuck happened to that day? Did King Crimson attack?

(My guess is the game engine doesn’t let the devs go “backwards,” and since we already had a scene that took place on the evening of the 7th, we can’t have a scene following that taking place in the morning. That, or they just fucking forgot. One of those two)

Yes! We’re here! Hawaiiiiiiii!

Is this the smell of Hawaii? Actually, I’ve been wonderin’ since the airport, but what is this smell?
Supposedly the lingering scent of carpet cleaner. It’s coconut-scented. Plus, I’d say the scent of plumeria for the leis are amplifying the tropical atmosphere here.

Why is Mishima even hanging out with us

What are you, the king of random facts!?
I’m the type that likes to look up stuff beforehand.
Then tell me a cheap but good place to eat.
Do that after we’ve figured out room assignments. We can’t go out until we get our keys!
I wanna room with this guy.

Mishima? Why? Oh, you mean me.

I can’t?
It complicates roll call.
Everyone butts you out, after all. I bet there aren’t many people who’d be OK rooming with you.

Harsh.

Shuddup, we both stick out like a sore thumb, you know.

Oh hey, the second person out of two in the entire game who pronounces Ann’s last name the way a normal human being might.

No, not yet.
In that case, how about rooming with me?
And if it’s OK with you, do you want to walk around together once we’re free to go about? We’ve never gone overseas before, so we thought it’d be reassuring if we had someone who knows English.

They’re taking advantage of you, you idiot!

Well, see you guys later.

Then, is it OK if I room with you?

Oh god someone save me

Too many people here to be mean… fuck.

It’s decided then.
Anyway, don’t do anything stupid, OK? This isn’t Japan, you know.

Oh, I guess Ann just ditched those two girls she said she’d help, because we’re never going to hear from them again.

There sure are a ton of people here. And… a lot of tall buildings, like hotels.
It’s a little too clean here. It feels like an artificial resort.
Still, look how clear the ocean is. The palm trees definitely give off a tropical vibe too.

Makoto is the worst chaperone ever. She’s spending the entire trip hanging out with her friends.

I thought Ann was pretty impressive, but compared to the foreign ladies… eh.
Then stop looking!
You think so too, don’t you? Like, these ladies are massive, unlike the girls in Japan!

I’m struggling to find a way to interpret this other than “Ryuji likes them hefty,” unless he’s talking about cup sizes or something. Either way, TMI.

You like ‘em slim, huh?
Moving on, take a look over there. Isn’t that Diamond Head?

But why’s it called that? Are diamonds a local product?
Wouldn’t it say online?

Wait, people long ago mistook volcanic rock for it? The eff?
Might as well look up recommended places in Waikiki too. Oh right, I wanted to eat pancakes.
I wonder if there are any online recommendations of scenic spots.
We should check for cheap and popular restaurants then.
…Hey, we’re on our phones and chatting. This is no different from when we’re in Japan.
Even if we’re overseas, we can see all the news in Japan if we got our phones… It’s like… this ain’t what I was expectin’…
We should do something that’s more Hawaii-like.
What’s… Hawaii-like?
Hula dancing…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Oh, by the way, you know how the polls for the Phan-Site ranking’s started, right?

It’s been really lively, huh. I’m the one who made the website, but even I’m surprised. I can’t believe I’m part of such a huge thing! I’m so glad I’ve been rooting for the Phantom Thieves! On the contrary, did you hear about Akechi, that detective against the Thieves? The good-looking one. His popularity plummeted after Medjed was dealt with. Supposedly his official blog’s up in flames. He posed as some hero of justice, but that’s what he gets for not seeing eye to eye with them.

All dissent must be crushed.

To be blunt, I can’t focus on this trip. I keep thinking about the Phantom Thieves. Don’t you think about them too?

I don’t wanna talk about work shit here, Mishima.

…You sure are calm. Something this amazing rarely happens, you know? But, then again, I think I’m feeling a bit tired too… Let’s go to bed. Good night.

Music: Alright

I thought we were gonna be gettin’ alohas comin’ from all directions and stuff!
It costs money to enjoy that atmosphere, you know. There’s not much we can do as students.

What’s with the low energy, Makoto?
I just had to listen to the taxi driver complain for thirty minutes straight. I’m used to dealing with students’ troubles, but I never expected to have to do it overseas as well…
That must have sucked…
We should be doin’ some more excitin’ stuff! I mean, we’re in freakin’ Hawaii for god’s sake! Isn’t the school supposed to plan stuff? I wanna go divin’!
It seems there wasn’t enough time to come up with any kind of coordinated travel plan.

Okay, then what the fuck is the point of this trip, both in-universe and in terms of the game’s story? Hello? Why are we fucking around here?

That lack of coordination is what led them to using students as chaperones as well.
By the way, Maaku… you’re roomin’ with Mishima, right? How is it? Anythin’ interestin’?

Really? Mishima-kun is the one who made the Phan-Site, correct?
Phan-Site… Y’know, I do hear people talkin’ about the Phantom Thieves every so often…
Are they really mentioning us…?
I think so! We’ve already made our international debut! Man, just talkin’ about that makes me wanna go back to Japan so bad!
You really have no chill.
Come on, let’s try and forget about those things for now.

OH JESUS CHRIST



GHOST

Music: My Homie

What are you doing here!?
Wasn’t your school supposed to be going to Los Angeles?
Apparently they couldn’t land the plane due to a terrible storm brewing on the west coast. There were no signs of it letting up, so our destination was changed on the spot to Hawaii.

So, let me get this straight: That typhoon we saw on the news a few days ago hit the west coast of the US. That much I understand. But from there, Yusuke’s school trip, which was coincidentally on the exact same days and for the exact same duration as ours, instead of heading for a different airport on the west coast (or the plane just not leaving at all), decided to go to Hawaii? And they landed at the same airport on the same island, where they headed for the same hotel, where they inexplicably managed to find enough open rooms for another high school class in addition to the one that was already being served there. Is that about right?

I did some research just now and while it makes sense that pretty much any flight from Japan would land at Honolulu International Airport in Oahu (now Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, having changed its name in 2017, after this game likely takes place), which is fairly close to Waikiki, where we seem to be staying, that doesn’t explain the hotel issue at all. A cursory Google Maps search for hotels in the Waikiki neighborhood gives us this image:

Which, as you can see, means that there are several dozen options besides just wherever Shujin picked. I find it kind of unbelievable that Kosei could find enough rooms at any of these hotels for all of its second-years with no prior notice, even still. It is still summer, after all, even if only the tail end, and even if school is starting back up for most tourists. Hell, I have no idea how they even managed to afford all these rooms.

But Yusuke showing up out of nowhere’s pretty funny, I guess.

Could it be that what happened at the fireworks festival was his fault as well…?
Don’t go bringing any storms here, you got that?
I’ll do my best.
By the way, there’s nothing planned after this. What are you all going to do?
Uh… Oh yeah, I still gotta buy souvenirs. My mom asked me to grab some stuff for her.
I totally forgot about that! We need to pick things up for Futaba and Morgana too.
I was hoping to do some shopping myself.
Then it’s settled. I wonder what Morgana would want…
Man, our group’s totally the same even outta Japan…

Music: Break it Down

You’d think Yusuke’s school would be pretty cagey about him mingling with the students from another school considering there’s no travel itinerary for them at all.

Yeah, it’s been gettin’ real popular in Japan lately. I guess they wanted to branch out.
Now that you mention it, I read a news article recently about the success of Okumura Foods.
Ah yes, the company that owns Big Bang Burger.
Okumura…? Ain’t that the guy who’s at the top of the Phan-Site rankings?
Is that true?
I guarantee it. I don’t make mistakes about that kinda stuff.

Do I hear sarcasm?

Oh, now you understand sarcasm.

(to Makoto) Hm? What’s the matter?
Oh, it’s probably nothing. Just a rumor I heard about Okumura Foods… Supposedly… all of their overseas competition has mysteriously pulled out. Never mind. I’m surely just overthinking things. Sis’ habits seem to be rubbing off on me.
Hey, why don’t we take a pic together!? Y’know so we can remember the trip and all!

Another one?

Ooh, good idea!

Are you sure you don’t want to be in it? Thanks.

Can you not worry about that stuff for one second?




We still have some time to spare, right? Where to next?
There’s a convenience store down by the beach. How ‘bout there?
That sounds lovely. I would quite like a short rest.
All right, let’s head over there.

Music: New Beginning

You might be right… Oh, shoot! I forgot my sunscreen… I’m going to go buy another bottle at the convenience store.
I’ll go with you.

I’m so bored… By the way, you think we’re the “thieves” everyone here’s been goin’ on about? It’d be pretty freakin’ crazy if that was true, huh?

Hm… I had not heard of such rumors. It sounds wonderful. We are already here, so why don’t we confirm if that is the case?
Oh! Good idea! Let’s try askin’ around while we wait for Ann and Makoto!



You kids are from Japan, right? Are these Phantom Thieves special people like samurai or geisha?
Hm, I suppose that understanding isn’t necessarily incorrect for someone from a foreign country…

Oooooh!
I read about them in a news article recently. What of it?
That’s actually all I wanted to know. Thanks.

It’s so awesome how they kick the bad guys’ asses! I wonder how they steal hearts…
…He actually seems to be quite knowledgeable.
Damn, it’s crazy how many people know about us! This is freakin’ awesome!

Hey, ain’t she kinda cute? Maybe we should ask her some questions too.

Fun detail: the loading screen images for this part of the game have leis on.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Oh, hey. It’s Girl with Watering Can. Didn’t expect to see you again.

Free time is almost up. Shouldn’t you be heading back soon?

Oh, yes… By the way, your blond friend seemed very excited on the airplane coming here.
Hey, you’re that girl we saw watering the plants!
Sorry to surprise you. I’m another third-year who was asked to come chaperone this trip. I accepted the task to take my mind off of things, but I wasn’t sure how to spend my free time…


See you.

Welp, guess we’ll never see her or her unique character model ever again.

Hm, that girl you were talking to just now… Do you know her?
No, that was my first interaction with her. She said she was a third-year. Same as you, Makoto.

Uh, I don’t think you were the one she was asking, Yusuke.

Mm-hm. I’ve never really spoken to her though. Ah, it looks like our free time is over. Let’s head back to the hotel.

Music: Wicked Plan

Found it! One after another too…
What did you find?
Still working. Can’t tell you.
She can handle this without me…
(to self) Oooh, so much.
All I’m good for is driving them around in Mementos… I’m basically useless…
Kitty! Your mumbling’s distracting me! If you got something to say, just spit it out.
It’s nothing.

Lemme go!
You feel so nice.
I do not!
So smooth and silky. It’s kinda hard to believe fur this soft belongs to a human.
Don’t make me say it again! I’m a human…
Couldn’t you just be assuming that? I had the wrong assumptions about my mom for the longest time.
That’s not the same! I understand myself better than anyone!
That’s true.
……

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Oh, wow! The president of a company called Okumura Foods is rising very quickly up the rankings!

Come on, you can’t let this chance pass you by! It’s rumored that Okumura Foods exploits their employees. Stuff like underpaying staff to reduce labor costs. That’s how they have so many stores…


Why are you here?

Music: My Homie

Just hear me out! The guy I’m roomin’ with went and brought his girlfriend back to the room! I felt totally awkward stayin’ in there with them. I’m just gonna sleep here tonight.

It’s not going to be less awkward with Mishima around, dude.

Even though there are only two beds?



I know that feelin’!

Oh, jeez. This place is filling up. I’m half-expecting Yusuke to arrive because he got expelled or something.

Also appreciate the implication that Ann’s roommate is the girlfriend of Ryuji’s roommate. I ship it.

And she took the key! I stepped outside for just a second and the autolock kicked in! I can’t get back in my room!

How did you think hotel rooms worked, Ann?

Ever since the Medjed case, many people from overseas have been accessing the website… Isn’t it crazy? The Phantom Thieves are finally making their worldwide debut…! What should I do about overseas requests?
I don’t think we’re the ones you should ask about that…
They took down Medjed. I wonder who they’ll bring justice to next. It’s not just Japan anymore. The whole world’s waiting to see the Phantom Thieves’ next move.
That reminds me, what time is it?
yawn So sleepy… I’m feelin’ pretty pooped. You think this could be that jet lag thing?
It’ll be too much hassle for me to go anywhere else. I’ll just sleep in here tonight.

Wait, what? I dunno if that’s a good idea.

Don’t worry, I trust you guys.
I saw that one comin’…
There are only two beds… Even if someone sleeps on the sofa…
One of us is gonna have to sleep on the floor…

Uh, you can’t see it from this angle but Mishima was just sitting in an armchair a few minutes ago. It’s just below the camera’s perspective. I’ve never been able to sleep sitting up but that doesn’t mean it isn’t more comfortable than the fucking floor.

But are we really so insecure we can’t even share the beds? It’s a California king full bed, I promise we won’t touch Ryujiiiiiii.

So who’s that gonna be?

Oh hey, playin’ cards. Why don’t we use these to decide?


Goddammit, Mishim—wait, why the fuck didn’t Ann have to play!?

Hey, where’d Mishima go?
He’s in the bathroom.
Ain’t he been in there a while?

If he’s not back in five minutes I’m stealing the other bed.

The school trip… Shiho was really looking forward to this…

I believe this is the last time Shiho is ever mentioned outside of Ann’s Confidant and the only time it’s happened since Makoto joined. What a critical character that the game totally doesn’t just completely discard once she’s served her purpose.

Ann…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

…Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring the mood down. But it’s already been almost six months since then, hasn’t it? This all feels so strange.
Right? Hard to believe the rowdy kids at school are now famous all over the world.
Don’t you think we still have a lot to learn about each other though? Y’know, things like what kind of people we like… So, time to come clean, Ryuji.

Uhhh, well… She’s gotta have a good personality. I’m OK with anyone who’s modest and nice…
What about if two girls with equally good personalities confessed to you at the same time?
If they’re equally nice? Then it’d hafta be the one with the hotter bod.
So looks are what’s most important to you.

Your first answer was just superficial. The second answer was your true beliefs. Huh, so you really are that kind of guy…
That ain’t fair!

It’s kind of a bullshit gotcha question, but to be fair, you walked straight into it, dude.

What about you, Maaku? C’mon, spill the beans. What kind of girl is your type?

Wait, are you talkin’ about her…?

So, I picked the “mystery” option, thinking it was a joke, but no, Ryuji actually thinks I’m talking about a specific person here. I’m pretty sure I know who he’s referring to, but it’s weird that they’re even an option at this point. Picking one of the top two options results in the same answer, likely in reference to girls you can probably guess based on the answers themselves. If you pick the bottom answer Ryuji just gets mad at you for dodging the question. While I didn’t mean to voice preference for the character I picked here, I kept it in because it’s a really silly answer even if the game doesn’t seem to agree.

Well, we answered honestly. It’s your turn next. So, what kinda guy do you–


Uh-oh. Looks like Mishima’s having trouble in the bathroom.

So, what kinda guy do you–
M-My stomach… Hrgh…!


That doesn’t sound good…
Y’know, wasn’t he drinkin’ the tap water earlier…? That’s like, the one thing you’re not supposed to do when you’re outta the country.

First, I’m goddamn shocked that Ryuji knows anything about what you are and are not supposed to do when traveling. Second, I never realized it before but I guess this makes Mishima our very own Johnny Sasaki. Huh. It’s really rather fitting.

Music: Desire

Though it was some third-rate tabloid’s article, unnecessary information was leaked, after all. Besides, his investigation of the Phantom Thieves showed no progress since then… ……. Yes, there’s a possibility that he’ll betray us out of spite since he was let go. Well then, we’ll make it so that it was a “heart attack.” As usual, he’ll be left to deal with the-- ……. Oh? I wouldn’t have thought of that. Well played, sir. It no longer matters if we deal with one or two of those connected to us.

Ominous. But what could it mean?


#203
Part 101

Part 101: 9/10-9/11: Exploiting The Morphogenetic Field To Pick Up Chicks

So, it’s time for the second half of the Phantom Thieves’ Hawaiian adventure! I’m sure this part of the trip will absolutely justify the whole thing!

Music: Alright

Dammit, this isn’t how stuff was supposed to go!
What do you mean…?
We ended up walkin’ around same as we always do in Japan… I mean we even ate at a freakin’ Big Bang Burger! It’s like we never left!
Whine all you’d like, but that’s what the trip was supposed to be.
But weren’t some other guys gettin’ all cozy with their girlfriends or some shit?
I think…
Then that’s it! That’s what this trip is missin’! C’mon, we totally gotta get movin’ during our free time in the afternoon.
What are we going to do?
Make a once-in-a-lifetime summer memory! Hawaii’s famous for its beaches, and y’know… what happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii! We can get some girls’ numbers durin’ the day, then sneak away to ‘em at night! You in or what?

I can see no flaws whatsoever with this plan.

Me too…?
It’ll be great! Neither of us have girlfriends who’d get mad at us about it either!
I guess that’s true, but…


Oooh, you get a message? Who could that—Uhhh actually, you don’t gotta answer that. It might be something about you-know-what… C’mon Mishima, let’s go!
Wait, what just happened!? It’s only going to be the two of us, Sakamoto!?
Don’t gimme that look! We’re goin’ to Waikiki! Try n’ get a little more excited!


I should check when there’s nobody else around…


I can finally take a break from my job too… If you don’t have any plans, would you like to take a walk with me?
Looks like I’ve received some messages.

Oh yeah, I guess if Yusuke’s here that means Hifumi would be, too.

My school is giving us some free time to do as we please. Care to walk along the beach? It might help with new moves.
Looks like I’ve received some messages.

Wait, don’t tell me… Was it a girl!? C’mon, you gotta make memories with us instead! We bombed it on that beach in Japan, after all!
This is my last moment of free time. Who should I spend it with…?

So, we have three options here. We can go spend some time with Hifumi or Makoto, or we can go be losers with Ryuji and Mishima. Despite the fact that we have three choices in front of us, it’s possible to have up to five different options here. However, getting any messages beyond the ones we have now requires being in a relationship with the other two characters involved. We, obviously, are not dating anyone right now, so that’s unavailable. I won’t tell you who the other characters are, but if you think about what characters are present on this trip and who we haven’t gotten messages from, you can probably guess.

Anyway, we choose Hifumi. Why not, right? She’s cute.

OK, I’ll be waiting… in my swimsuit.
We’re meeting at the beach. I should hurry and change into my swimsuit…

Music: Break it Down

It seems like Hifumi has been waiting for me here…
Um… Do I look strange in this? Perhaps I should go change…


…Oh, thank you very much. Um… …Shall we take a walk?

Looks like they sell shrimp… Shrimp are symbolic of living a long life. Shall we have some?



…Yes.
How ‘bout them Phantom Thieves, huh? The guys that steal hearts!

Heard about it on the news! They’re all the rage in Japan, yeah? Say, if y’run into ‘em, tell ‘em I say hello. And ask ‘em to change people’s hearts so everyone loves shrimp!
S-Sure…

Oh, they’re quite… pungent.
We gazed out over the ocean while we enjoyed the delicate flavors of a foreign country…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

This is a refreshing break from staring at a shogi board all day long. …I feel as if I’ll be able to come up with some great new moves once I return home.

We would’ve had a more enjoyable time if I had made better conversation…


Um… this is for you… I would be delighted if you remembered this day…

It looks like a turtle… Something about the transparent stone reminds me of Hifumi…

The Honu Charm is an accessory only equippable by Maaku that gives +5 Endurance and +5 Luck.

If only we went to the same school…


I’d like that. …Sun is about to set. We should start heading back…

Yes.
The two of us basked in the stunning Hawaiian sunset. Just me and Hifumi…

Aww, how sweet. Too bad we’re abandoning this timeline! This LP is going sci-fi! By reloading a save I surreptitiously made during the brief moment of control I had yesterday SHIFTING MY CONSCIOUSNESS INTO ANOTHER TIMELINE, we can explore all three options!

oh god it’s so hot i’m burning up


All right, dude. Let’s get into our swimsuits and meet on the beach!
We’re meeting at the beach. I should hurry and change into my swimsuit…

Music: New Beginning

Um, that look in your eye scares me…

Let’s go make this vacation one to remember!
Will this really work…?

I don’t think that’s what he meant…
All right, we wanna go after solo girls that look bored, got it?

Makes sense, I suppose bored girls might be more likely to take pity on you.

…Let’s roll!

Time for Operation Babe Hunt 3.5!


Nope.


Uh-uh.


Negatory.

Music: My Homie

I can’t believe I’m hanging out with Mishima and he’s not even the most terminally r/incels member of the group.

Wait a sec, you smell somethin’ good?
It’s coming from that food stand.


Ah, it’s you.
Hello…
Hrm.
That stuff good? Shrimp?
It is… resplendent.

Even in Hawaii, it’s the same ol’ Yusuke.

Exactly!


Wouldya take a look at them!

C’mon, we’ll rock paper scissors for ‘em if this goes well.

The concept of playing rock-paper-scissors for dibs on who gets to bang these attractive older women is just fucking amazing even before you take into account this plan’s 100% chance of failure.

Crossing an ocean just for this…

Oh, y’all from Japan?

I’m pretty sure this is Amanda Winn Lee again (Yukiko/Ohya), but this time doing a fucking outrageous southern accent for some reason.

What a weird accent…

Are you fucking negging her, Ryuji?

Anyways, the four of us got some time on our hands, and–

Well, if you ladies aren’t doin’ anything, how ‘bout we go somewhere more fun?

Sorry, we don’t take too kindly to young’uns. I’m all about the wealthy, refined older men.
I wouldn’t have minded if you were those Phantom Thieves though…

Are you [i]fucking kidding me, Ryuji[/i]

Uhhh…
Buh-bye.
Come back in ten years.

What, is she gonna fight us?



Have a change of heart!

Oooh! I never thought of that!

I swear to god, you idiot

This is absurd…


Why me!?
Shall we eat…?

…Let’s just head back.
Yeah, I’m beat…
Our wanton battle has ended in failure…

We get no reward for this bullshit. Time to try again!

had to dial emergency services last week because my 45-year-old son swallowed a bomb


Should I wear a swimsuit…? Well, see you later!
We’re meeting at the beach. I should hurry and change into my swimsuit…

Music: Break it Down

It seems like Makoto has been waiting for me here…
Being a chaperone is more difficult than I expected. I’ve had a lot of meetings… I honestly wanted to contact you earlier, but this is the first free moment I’ve had.

Didn’t we hang out like all day yesterday?


All right then… Let’s take a walk.

Oh, a food stand… Garlic shrimp? I’ve heard that’s a famous Hawaiian dish. Are you… adventurous when it comes to food?


I always just stick with the standard fare. Well, let’s give it a try…

Ah. Yes, we are.
How ‘bout them Phantom Thieves, huh? The guys that steal hearts!

How do you know about them?
Heard about it on the news! They’re all the rage in Japan, yeah?
Seems like we’re even making headlines abroad.
Say, if y’run into ‘em, tell ‘em I say hello. And ask ‘em to change people’s hearts so everyone loves shrimp!
O-Of course, I’ll do just that.


That’s amazing…
We gazed out over the ocean while we enjoyed the delicate flavors of a foreign country…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Oh, it’s already so late. My sister would be upset if she saw me laid back like this.

Really? That doesn’t sound like her at all.

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t particularly eager to go on this trip. But if it’s like this… I think I’d like to come again.




It’s a small wooden keychain… Its dignified, yet warm expression is reminiscent of Makoto…

The Tiki Keychain is also Maaku-exclusive and gives Magic +5 and Endurance +5.

It’s not the best souvenir… but it will remind you of the memories we made today.


Well, we should probably return before it gets dark.

…I suppose I can’t complain about that.
The two of us basked in the stunning Hawaiian sunset. Just me and Makoto…

And that’s all three.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Do you think I’ll have to go through this on future school events as well…?

But wasn’t he the one who invited me in the first place…? sigh I don’t know… It’s fun hanging out with Sakamoto, but he might be too different from me… Is getting a girlfriend my only way out of this situation…? Oh well… Anyway, we need to wake up early tomorrow. Let’s get some sleep, OK?

Music: Alright

I never thought I would have the chance to go on the one this year as well…
It barely even felt like I was outta the country though.
Even Yusuke showed up.
I’m simply glad the storm didn’t make its way over here…
It may not have been the most exciting trip, but we still had a good time.
Honestly though, I’m thankful we didn’t have to deal with the storm. They truly are dreadful…
(to Maaku) So, what’d you end up doin’ yesterday? You keepin’ secrets from me? That’s against the bro code!


The desperation in your face is quite unbecoming, Ryuji.
That’s enough, you guys.

It’s a shame they were too lazy to give Makoto any sort of reaction to that conversation because of her being the one we were hanging out with. One of my favorite minor moments in Persona 4 Golden happens if you go to the summer festival with Rise, then like a week later you accidentally let it slip and Yosuke is all “holy shit dude you work fast.”

(There is, however, a minor change in this scene if you spent the previous day with the guys instead, but it’s fairly small, consists primarily of Ryuji getting pissed, and would break the flow of the update, so if I post it at all it won’t be right now)

It’s almost time for us to leave.
It felt like this trip went by in a flash. I’m not sure if I want to go home or stay here longer at this point…
I’m ready to head home and get back to work!
Yes. It would be best for us to gather clues on that case sooner rather than later, correct?
Yeah! People’re totally waitin’ for us to take action!

Oh, Ryuji.

And that’s our Hawaii trip, I guess. Really, really… pointless, huh? Just kind of a massive waste of the time of everyone involved, and it probably only exists in the first place because they’d already commissioned the animated cutscene that leads into it. This game is very well-plotted and paced, you guys.



Crossing (Watch this)

Music: Disintegration (Also known in English as Mental Shutdown)


























Humpty Dumpty Wearing Bad Pee-wee Herman Cosplay, no!!!


#204
Part 102

Part 102: 9/12-9/14: Cat Fight

Welcome to Let’s Play Persona 5 one-oh-dos, the update I get inside your cabezas!

Music: Break it Down

Yo, welcome back. You get tanned a bit?
How was Hawaii?


gasp He’s been influenced…
Eh, I can understand why.
While you guys were off having fun, things here have gotten a bit more problematic.

In the in-game text this line is written as “were guys,” though it’s at least voiced properly.

Here is a graph of the profits for stores handling these items.
Double from last year!? Phantom Thief goods seem to be in especially high demand.
I didn’t know they sold that kind of stuff.
Should we try too? I mean, selling Phantom Thief merchandise.

Maybe I’ll toss some dry ice on the side. Y’know, give it that phantom-y effect… Uh, I’m just joking, all right?

i[/i]

I wonder how our guests consider this recent phenomenon.
What do you think, Akechi-kun?
Well…

Music: Suspicion

(not television)

There he is, the anti-Thief detective. I hope he slips up and self-destructs.

i[/i]

I can sense some chivalry behind their actions. They are clever to take the silent resentments of the public into account and relieve them. I believe that may be the secret to their popularity.
Well this is surprising. Your stance seems to have softened.
This doesn’t change the fact that they are dangerous. However… No, I shouldn’t say any more…
Come on, you can say it.
Oh no, I won’t be falling for that. I’ve learned my lesson after the previous backfire…

(not television)

These thieves are more popular than the police or politicians. What’s the world coming to?
Rude!
What’re you so angry about? Hey, I’m gonna go to the bathroom. Take care of any customers that show up.

Wanna meet now?


Fine then. Tomorrow.

A Phantom Thieves stamp. Isn’t it awesome?

Not really, no.

Who do you think the Phantom Thieves will target next?
I wonder… I’m really excited to find out!
I don’t care who it is—just do it already.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Yeah, all that nothing I did in Hawaii really drained me.


With Phantom Thieves inspired movies and TV shows in the works, this craze is still gaining momentum.

Oh, yeah. That sounds like a fantastic idea. I’m actually pitching a story of my own about a guy who plays Fortnite while dabbing with fidget spinners, because all trends are forever.

With the economy in a slump, some think that this may help give it the boost it needs.
People are really making money off of us? Where’s our cut?




We need to feed our plant. Apropos of nothing, I’m a very smart person who didn’t have to spend a half-hour replaying a week of in-game cutscenes because I forgot to feed this plant today, no sir!

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Never mind, you should probably get some rest. Don’t worry, it’s nothing important.

Music: Days of Sisters

You just got back from your trip and you’re already studying? How diligent.
I have souvenirs for you.
…The principal of Shujin Academy has passed away.

Music: Disquiet

Welp, fuck. I know we saw that cutscene, but there’s official confirmation.

Still, man, mad respect for somehow leveraging your position as a fucking high school principal to get in good with a massive political murder conspiracy. Or, wait, is that how you got that job? It’s really confusing and I’m not sure why they needed you there in the first place. If anything, I’m surprised you made it even this far without them realizing you were totally useless to their plans and killing you months ago.

Also, this is only tangentially related, but I find it kind of apt: the site I downloaded my portrait images from didn’t even spell Kobayakawa’s name right. We’ll miss you… uh… (searches for a reference I haven’t used yet) …Morgan Cortez from Catherine!

He suddenly stopped while crossing the road and was struck by a large vehicle. Death by external trauma.

Isn’t all trauma technically external? I mean, I know about hemorrhaging, but that’s usually caused by some kind of independent force, right? What would “internal trauma” even be in the first place, because I’m picturing like, blood shooting out of people’s veins with the pressure of a firehose now.

(Looks it up)

It’s referring to shit like damaging your vocal cords? Laaaaaame. And not really that “lethal,” which makes me wonder why you bothered to specify. Unless “internal trauma” means like, “organ damage” and not “my body is attacking me, jesus fuck”?

Also most of the Google results for “internal trauma” just give back results to a Steam game. Whatever. Thanks for indulging my idiocy, everyone.

They say suicide seems to be a strong possibility…

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, suicide.

Principal Kobayakawa committed suicide…!?
But would someone about to kill themselves try to go to the police station? He even used a taxi to get there.

Uh-oh, Sae’s Adachi-ing.

Do you mean… this might be another incident?
Even if he had a sudden shift in his state of mind… it’s still unnatural. I can only suspect that he had a “change of heart.”
Are you saying he was targeted by the Phantom Thieves!?

How are you so certain?

Come on, Makoto. I thought you were smarter than this. You’re not usually the type to shove your own foot all the way down your throat.

W-Well… In prior cases, the changes of heart seemed to be done to make people confess their crimes. It’s hard to explain, but this incident seems contradictory to their usual modus operandi…

Back off, girl! This can only go poorly!

Did Principal Kobayakawa seem any different to you lately?

Sae, thankfully, decides to inexplicably drop it. She’s not usually the type to let shit like that go, as Makoto should know all too well by now.

I don’t really know. He rarely contacted the students, after all…
I see… Could something have happened during the school trip…?

No. Nothing happened during the school trip, for anyone, anywhere. It was a gaping void of time.

Ah, you’re studying. I’m sorry to bother you.

Sae pauses for a moment.

Makoto.
Hm?
…Never mind. It’s nothing. Just don’t get dragged into trouble, OK?


Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

yawn I’m so sleepy. You over your jet lag?

Still sluggish, huh? Well, I can say the same for myself… Never midn that, though. Did you know about this? The Phantom Thieves are popular now! I was surprised when we got back to Japan. People’re actually payin’ attention to who we’re gonna target next. Ain’t that amazin’? I’m gettin’ really psyched. This is where we work hard! Let’s do something big again and surprise the world!

Ryuji, Makoto surely contacted you by now, right? You know the fucking principal died, don’t you?

There’s another urgent assembly…
Is it true he died?
He was really taking some heat…
What’s happening to this school!? Are we cursed?

Music: Suspicion


As many of you may already know… Principal Kobayakawa passed away yesterday.

The crowd begins to talk amongst itself.

I wonder if that suicide rumor’s for real… It happened in front of the police station, didn’t it?
I think I was passing through there at the time…

I know the feeling. I was in Syracuse, New York like, two weeks before 9/11.

The principal had been working hard to restore peace ever since the incident with Mr. Kamoshida. He only wished for everyone to be able to lead a normal school life, and because of that love…
Love? Bullshit. He was covering something up. Everyone’s been talking about it.
Maybe it wasn’t suicide… Do you think the Phantom Thieves took him down!?
The Phantom Thieves? Do they kill people?
I mean, Kamoshida did say he was gonna kill himself to make up for everything he did.
That would be amazing! Either way, it serves that principal right!
i[/i] Hell no. We didn’t do jack shit.
i[/i] Are people gonna blame us for this too…?
I would like to see everyone live up to our late principal’s wishes as proud Shujin students, and…

Music: Interrogation Room


No matter how I think about it, that would’ve been impossible unless Makoto was helping you… But… she would never do something so foolish…

I dunno. I’m starting to suspect Makoto isn’t actually that smart and she just seems more intelligent because she hangs out with us.

Also, I’m kind of getting fed up with Maaku’s shit. He completely sold Makoto down the river offscreen. What the fuck, dude?

And is it true that you were completely uninvolved with the Kobayakawa case?

What does this mean…? …… But I suppose targeting someone at Shujin again and actually taking their life would be nonsensical.

I have no reason to believe everything you’ve said. …However, it seems you aren’t the type of person who would lie just to protect themselves. I will acknowledge what I must. It’s more efficient that way.
I feel like my bond with Sae is growing deeper…


If you saw my investigation data, you would’ve had the same suspicions I did about Okumura. And if you looked into his Palace, you should’ve seen the answer to those suspicions. Tell me. What did the Phantom Thieves do to Okumura? What did you learn from him? Why did it turn out as it did? I need you to tell me everything.

Music: Disquiet

People are already talking about it online.
Nobody’s saying it’s ‘cause of the Phantom Thieves… so far.
People think he did it because that tabloid exposed how he was covering up Kamoshida’s abuses.
Could it be that… we’re responsible for Principal Kobayakawa’s suicide…?
Whaddya mean?
If we hadn’t changed Kamoshida’s heart, maybe this never would have happened…
But then Kamoshida woulda kept doing what he did if we didn’t go and take him down.
There’s a lot of opinions online. “It’s only natural that he died.” “Covering up crimes is wrong.”

Same, same.

The comments I’ve seen are similar as well. “Only the Phantom Thieves are on our side!” “I wish the Phantom Thieves would take down the police and the politicians of this country!”

Oh, don’t worry, folks. We’ll take care of the cops, all right.

It’s not just the news. There’s even Phantom Thieves merchandise now. I never expected we’d end up such a big deal…
It seems like the public would rather believe in us than in the adults. People are trying to get the Phantom Thieves to solve societal problems, not just personal ones.
This is kinda scary…
Are we really doing the right thing…?
I mean, the principal was coverin’ stuff up, right? I guess… he got what was comin’ to him.

Dark, Ryuji.

That’s…
Whoa, guys, let’s get back on topic. Weren’t we going to discuss the data we obtained from Niijima?

Why me…?

It seems she is searching for a common thread to tie them all together. Some parts seem to be speculation, but she has cited a beneficiary of the majority of these incidents.

The corporation Okumura Foods. More prominently, its CEO, Kunikazu Okumura.
Okumura? I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere…
From Big Bang Burger.

You know, they only got famous sometime in the past few years. They even had a branch in Hawaii.

The scene where the group talks about Big Bang Burger’s… err… explosion into the restaurant world and their parent company Okumura Foods is the sole sequence in the entirety of the Hawaii trip with any direct narrative purpose, and it’s just to set up this conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the idea of some totally inessential downtime for the group. It’s not that the game couldn’t use some fluff where the group just hangs out and relaxes; god knows there was plenty of that in Persona 4. But the Hawaii trip comes at a particularly inopportune time in regards to the story’s flow and pacing, feels pretty redundant after the earlier beach visit, and tragically just isn’t that fucking interesting at all. Persona 5 is a game that simultaneously feels loose as hell pacing-wise and way too rigid and tight for its own good, because while it has a lot of extraneous scenes, most of them are still plot-related and only exist because the game needed a better editor, meaning the game feels really overstuffed and none of the characters have a chance to fucking breathe. Most of the “gang hanging out” scenes have been unfortunately relegated to the text conversations because there’s legitimately just no space left on the game’s calendar for most of it. Hell, that more than a few plot-critical conversations happen via text message says a lot about how this game is structured.

But that’s enough of that rant.

It says here they benefited both from scandals and the resignations of their competitors’ executives.
That would seem to be the case…
This is too suspicious though. Only one CEO is profiting from these seemingly accidental incidents. I think it’s natural to suspect he’s intentionally causing them.
I get that, but still…
We have even more evidence than that. Tell them, Futaba.
I already tried putting Okumura’s name in the Nav. He has a Palace for sure.

That settles it then! He’s totally our next target!
That’s right. Okumura is at the top of the rankings, after all.
Hold on. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s evil. If we jump into this too carelessly…

He’s rich, Yusuke. He’s evil.

Music: Suspicion

Beyond that, this Phantom Thieves fad is… unsettling.
Yeah… The excitement levels don’t feel normal. We might want to let things calm down a bit first…
You too, Ann!? You’re just gonna go against what people want!?
Huh? No, but…

The group falls silent.

For real…?
L-Looks like we’re not gonna agree today then…

Uhh, what? Chill out, cat.

Even you, Ryuji! You just back down the second someone disagrees with you!
What…?

Music: Confession/Secret

I guess all you’ve been talking about is using the Phantom Thieves name to pick up girls anyway. Being hyped up because of the popularity is fine, but getting conceited over it is unacceptable.
Hey, aren’t you actin’ for your own benefit here too?
My appearance might have changed, but I’m still an admirable human! At the very least, I’m more admirable than some carnal blond monkey!

Well, you’re certainly being a raging asshole tonight.

DO IT, FISTFIGHT THE CAT, I’VE BEEN WAITING A YEAR FOR THIS

Sorry, but it looks like I’ll be getting the credit for solving the mental shutdown mystery.

Well, she was more useful than you, as a matter of fact.
Hey, that’s inexcusable!

All right then! Bring it on!
Ryuji, stop!

Well, this is goodbye!


…See you.

And just like that, Morgana is gone.

Dammit!

Now, you may ask, “Hasn’t Morgana been a massive asshole to Ryuji for the entire game?” or “Why the fuck are we spending valuable time dealing with Morgana’s poorly-fleshed out inferiority complex that adds nothing to his character besides making him incredibly unlikable?” or “What the fuck is even his plan?” or “Why should I even care that the cat who seemingly does nothing but narrate my life all day is gone?” or “This seems like a petty-as-shit grievance to full-on quit the team over, doesn’t it?” or “This bit stopped being funny three questions ago, are you finished yet?” Well, don’t worry! All this just means it’s time for…

Why, yes, I do believe it’s that magical part of the game where poorly-established character traits that will never be mentioned again after this take over the entire plot for multiple hours in a row! Who needs organic, compelling character growth and logical story progression when you can just have a character selfishly commandeer the narrative for the sole benefit of themselves?

Look, if I wanted to watch characters be assholes until the plot happened at them, I’d go play Persona 3 again.

……

I should mention that while I don’t actually hate Morgana I have absolutely no stake in his existential crisis whatsoever, mostly because he’s kind of a dick about it but also somewhat because in a sense it’s just a retread of Teddie’s whole deal in P4. Imagine that, I’m favorably comparing Teddie to something.

All right. I’ve managed by myself before, and I can do it again now. I just need to take down Okumura before those guys do…!


Music: Suspicion

The public believes in the justice of the Phantom Thieves. They have no interest in that principal.
I’m experiencing equal levels of frustration. My comments on TV turned everyone against me.

Oh boo fucking hoo, people are mad at you when you get paid to appear on TV. Cry me a river.

Then again, I won’t allow mere criticism to break my spirit so easily.
We won’t keep letting ourselves be defeated either. My suspicion after the hacker’s case last month is now conviction thanks to the principal’s death. The mental shutdown cases and the psychotic breakdowns are surely the Phantom Thieves’ doing.
I remember the data you showed me about Okumura Foods. Is that the basis for these beliefs?
There have been frequent occurrences of mental shutdowns surrounding Okumura recently. If only there was a clear connection between him and the Phantom Thieves… Well, it would be problematic if there wasn’t one.
So you’re jumping the gun here.


DAAAAAMN, Akechi! Fuckin’ smoked her!

It’s great to see someone actually get how weird and messed up Sae is. “Wait, you threatened the owner of a restaurant you like with revocation of custody… and then have the nerve to go back?” Of course, Sae won’t care because she’s a goddamn sociopath, but it’s nice to see someone at least attempt to cut her down to size.

It’s all for the sake of the case.
You may have the backing of the SIU’s director… but you’ve been far too aggressive, Sae-san. You’re trespassing into police territory. Don’t say nobody warned you if this becomes an issue later.

We first need to know what methods the Phantom Thieves are using. The police can’t make a move unless that becomes apparent, after all.
This opponent can’t be caught by following the rules. What need is there to stick to formalities?

Uhh, if you don’t know anything about the Phantom Thieves, especially how they do what they do, then you have basically no chance of catching them even ignoring the rules. Akechi’s a fucking cop, yeah, but he seems like the only rational one in this conversation.

So you wish to ignore protocol in order to reform society? I hope you realize that’s no different than what the Phantom Thieves are doing. It’s a shame, especially since we both want to capture the culprit behind the psychotic breakdowns…

With that, Akechi walks away.

Music: Desire


LEAVE IT BE. WE DO NOT HAVE TIME TO WASTE ON A SOLITARY FELINE.

Owned.

Sure seems that way, huh?

What… I can’t… see… Who’s… there…? Mas…ter…?


Worth noting: that was one of the only days in the entire game that was spent “normally” (read: we woke up in Yongen and fell asleep in Yongen) where we had no opportunity to control Maaku. Or, in other words, it’s one of the only days in the game we spend at home where we don’t hear “Beneath the Mask” in any form (at least at night). Normally we at least get the chance to walk around Leblanc’s attic and check the news, but it skipped right past that. In addition, outside of the Sae flashforward there were only two dialogue options. Weird.

Music: Confession/Secret


Me too… I kinda just expected he’d come home when he got hungry.

Nah, he’s a cat. He’s stubborn like that.

Oh, maybe he went to someone else’s place. Let’s ask.


Huh? He hasn’t come home yet?
The food’s still in his bowl.
Do you think he really just took off like that…?

Um, he’s not here, so… yes.

He’s a cat, so it’s possible he got into an accident…
Does he really seem to be the type who would go off and die on us like that though?
It’s just been one day! Y’all are worrying too much! He’s prolly just off doing his own stuff. I mean, he used to live alone, remember? Just don’t worry about it! I’m sure he’ll come back if something happens.

Oh well. Have a good day…

You think the Phantom Thieves murdered him? But why?
Think about Kamoshida’s victims. The principal’s just as guilty for keeping quiet about it all. People who take advantage of others for their own personal gain need to disappear. In fact we need a scumbag cleansing to purify the world.

CULL THE IMPURE, EVERYONE WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD DIE, I say without a hint of irony.

Music: So Boring

“The Okumura Way”…And it was even signed!

Well, uh. That’s certainly contrived a crazy random happenstance. Who’da thunk that the day after we find out about this Okumura dude the teacher brings him up apropos of nothing at all? It’s almost like this game is incredibly on-the-nose!

With his logical management skills, he revived his company that was on the verge of bankruptcy. He then started Big Bang Burger, a bold and creative venture.

So true. Big Bang Burger only hires the finest hamburger artists.

Okumura’s words are a philosophy on life itself! How could she sell that to a second-hand shop…?

I thought she “threw [it] out.”

But, in times like these, getting one’s mind to switch gears is key. Wouldn’t you agree, Hamiru-kun? Second-hand shops are also known as thrift stores. Do you know when the earliest ones appeared?

Correct. They were mostly run by religious or charitable organizations, of course… But larger businesses could donate unused stock to them, and use them as a tax write-off that way. It takes incredible business acumen to figure out how to be both profitable and charitable at once.

Which is why most people don’t bother with the second part!

I feel like I got a little smarter from being able to answer that question…

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Morgana’s not here, so not only is the dude sitting behind us probably wondering why he can breathe through his nose at school for the first time in five months, Maaku has to tell himself he’s smart today.

I just remembered; there are rumors that President Okumura may be getting into politics.

Foul: Improper Semicolon Use; Five-Yard Penalty.

Hold up, I’m being told the coach will challenge, saying that semicolon here is technically not a violation because the two clauses are both independent. Let’s see what the referees have to say about this.

Hm? The refs are back, and according to them “it’s technically permissable, but no rational human being would use a semicolon like that instead of a regular colon,” and so the penalty stands. They also say, and I quote, “I’m a massive hypocrite, lol, because I have no idea if I formatted that penalty call correctly.”

It is true that the current administration is incompetent in a number of ways… I would love to have a charismatic man like him leading the country.

Oh boy, a “charismatic” plutocrat with no political experience whatsoever running for the nation’s highest office? Can’t see any flaws with that idea!

In a different class…

We’re gonna wait together in case Morgana comes home!

Oh, right, he’s missing.

Anyway, come straight home! I wonder what’s up with Morgana though… He should just hurry and come back.

Music: Blooming Villain




THERE ARE TWO OF THEM! DIVIDE AND PURSUE!



I’m sure he’ll come back when he gets hungry.

Late last night, multiple glass windows were found shattered at the Okumura Foods Corporate HQ.

Music: Suspicion



Oh, really? How do you figure? Never crossed my mind at all.

Huh… Wonder if someone’s got a grudge against that guy…
However, there were no signs of a break-in. Identifying the culprit is expected to be difficult…

I mean, let’s think about this. Sure, it makes sense that he’d go there, because he said as much yesterday. But, um, how and why would he commit felony vandalism? Not only does he have no real reason to break shit, he’s a fucking cat. How would he possibly manage to deface a statue even if he was trying? In a game that made more sense I’d just assume it was a freak coincidence due to that, but we’ve got narrative economy on our side, so let’s just assume he did do it somehow.

Yeah… He may not seem like it sometimes, but he’s totally a capable cat when he wants to be. Either way, let’s go to Okumura’s Palace tomorrow. I’ll contact everyone.

nod

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-


He did say he’d go alone.
Does that mean he’s in danger?
The chances of that are highly likely.
Yeah. We should all go in after him. The Palace is most likely at their corporate headquarters. I’ll look into it a little more.
All right, let’s do it! We gotta look into those mental shutdown things too.
I’d prefer a little more caution, but this is an emergency…
Then we’ll go tomorrow. Don’t forget, everyone.

The “Phantom Thieves of Hearts” craze has captured the hearts of people of all ages. Why exactly do they have such strong appeal? We asked people around town for their thoughts.
It looks like the Phantom Thieves’ popularity is on the rise.




Apparently the windows at their office got busted.
Whoa, what happened? That’s scary…
Was it the Phantom Thieves? Eh, no way…
I wouldn’t put it past them…

The hell’s that supposed to mean, Random Asshole #312?


#205

I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think this thing with Morgana was that bad. Like, yeah, Morgana and Ryuji have been trading barbs the whole time, but Ryuji turned it up during the Pyramid, especially when Morgana couldn’t provide enough support for the team.

Between that and his dreams and not being able to talk about it even though he really wants to, his outburst reads to me like lashing out because he had all these negative emotions bottled up and no healthy way to express them.

Poor little fella…


#206
Part 103

Part 103: 9/15-9/16: When The Cat’s Away

Music: Confession/Secret

We don’t even get Beneath the Mask this morning, because we’re supposed to be ~all sad Morgana’s gone~. Peh.

I heard my sister’s boyfriend’s friend got a calling card!
Why don’t you put a request in to the Phantom Thieves?

All he does is dump overtime on me while he dashes off right at five. I wish the Phantom Thieves would work their magic on him…
What would that be like? If they changed his heart?

Totally unrelated, but man, Stephen Root does not look 66 at all (and yes, I know he’s only like 47 in this picture, shut up).

Well, they say you become the opposite of how you normally are.

It’s like they get hypnotized or something.

So I guess he’d become more open-minded, communicate better, and start taking initiative. He’d basically be as awesome as the president of Okumura Foods. …Please, Phantom Thieves! Please, make this happen!

Music: Disquiet


If anything, getting into the real building is impossible…
Mona seriously went to a Palace based on somewhere like this…?
It’s definitely on a different scale than the ones we’ve dealt with previously…
I searched Okumura online. He’s totally up to something. (to Maaku) Don’t you think he’s guilty too?

I’m positive I’m right!
We’re here for Mona.
I know, I know. We gotta make sure we squeeze the juice on those mental shutdown things outta him too.
You said you found the Palace keyowrds, right, Futaba?

Wait, what? We’re skipping the usual “figure out the distortion” scene? I mean, it was generally pretty pointless, but it’s weird that we’re just offscreening these now.

…What!? How the fuck did you figure that out!? We’re not even going to like, examine why he sees his workplace as outer freaking space?

And after a single line of mild confusion, no one ever questions Okumura’s distortion again. Hell, hilariously, I’m not even sure we’ve heard the dude’s first name spoken aloud yet, and I’m pretty certain not a one of us knows what he looks like. Not that it wouldn’t be simple enough to find out, I’m just saying we’ve never met this dude, know pretty much nothing about him, but somehow when coming up with guesses for how his fucked-up brain sees the world we immediately jump to “outer space!” Sure, why not?

Ohhh, so that’s why it’s called Big Bang Burger. Big bang is space lingo, y’know.
Um, not necessarily…

I was wondering what the hell Makoto meant by this because almost all the Wikipedia disambiguation results for “Big Bang” are after (and thus most likely in reference to) the adoption of the Big Bang Theory (Bazinga). Then I noticed a weird one:

There’s no goddamn way this was intentional, but it’s still pretty great.

So the concept behind the store-branch name came from the CEO himself.
Outer space, hm? How exciting…
We better be able to breathe once we get in there.


Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Y’know, maybe doing this in a public-yet-sparsely-populated area where we’re fully visible from far away the day after the building gained news attention for being the target of vandalism was a bad idea. We probably could have gone somewhere a little more inconspicuous and just like, walked over.

But, uh… I guess Akechi’s here now! Oh boy!

Music: Sweatshop

Wait, oops, that’s not right.

Music: Sweatshop (Listen to this)

Eh, not Dutch enough.


President Okumura must be on guard, what with everything that’s been in the news.
That bastard! He’s just causin’ more trouble for us!

Wait, what? That’s… confusing.

It’s as though we’re in a film…


C’mon, we gotta get lookin’ for him.

Wait, we can see outside the front doors to a normal city, so we’re clearly in the lobby of the building. When did we get inside? Ann’s first line in the last cutscene would imply they teleported directly inside when they entered the Metaverse, which is… weird, because that’s never how it’s worked before. Also, if just being near the building is enough to suck us into the orbit (heh) of this Palace, where the hell did Akechi end up? Also, isn’t it like, really fucking weird that we can enter the Metaverse from Tokyo, walk over to this building, go inside, and see the entire Earth from within it? Or, to rephrase that question, what the hell?

It also probably goes without question that the building is almost certainly one of those “bigger on the inside” deals, because fuck, is this place massive. That I have less of a problem with than the weird, mind-bending sense of geometry required to justify being able to walk from the Earth into outer space. Unless the front door to the Palace is like, a wormhole or something. Yeah, okay, let’s go with that. It’s pretty space-y.

Also, since Morgana is obviously not here and thus has left my active party, I decide to sub in Yusuke for the sake of filling up the team. He will not see combat.

Yusuke’s big fat character portrait is completely obscuring Makoto in this image, for the record.

Let’s see here… Looks like a lever for the elevator to me. Aaand it should be working now!
For real? You’re amazin’, Oracle.
Mwehehe, that was nothing.
It’s certainly reassuring having you with us. Anyway, let’s try using the elevator.

First off, complimenting Futaba is how we got into this dumb Morgana mess in the first place, so maybe save it for now. Second, if Futaba had to jigger the elevator for it to operate, how could Morgana have possibly gotten any further than this? Shouldn’t we just assume he’s not here?



Oh yeah, I’m really feeling the space theme with this featureless grey hallway. Wait, that’s not fair. There’s like, a space tree or something. Not totally featureless.




They’re saying something…

Music: Suspicion

If you don’t like it, you can quit… However, you will not be compensated…
What’re they talkin’ about?



These robots are part of Okumura’s cognition, correct? That means they represent…

It’s really weird to me that for this dialogue option there’s no “serious” option. Both of them make you seem like a huge dumbass for not realizing what’s happening immediately. The reason it comes off so strangely is that Japan has a very real phenomenon of “occupational sudden mortality” or “overwork death,” also known as karōshi. Now, most of the time this is due to heart attack, but a lot of cases are just straight-up suicides, which is unfortunately not terribly surprising considering Japan’s high suicide rate. It’s also a widespread problem in South Korea and China, which probably won’t surprise you. From the Wikipedia page on the subject, one of the four “typical” cases of karōshi according to the International Labour Organization includes a nurse who died at the age of twenty-two after being forced to work thirty-four continuous hours… five times a month. It’s fucked up.

It’s also worth noting that due to government “encouragement” (read: they’re barely doing shit) for companies to limit the amount of hours an employee is “allowed” to work per week in response to some of these deaths, a lot of these hours are classified as unpaid (and often unrecorded) overtime, which companies have gone even further to limit by placing a monthly cap on overtime hours. However, due to incredibly stringent quotas and overbearing workloads, even employees who work at some of these companies can’t afford to take advantage of this and end up working at home or secretly staying at the office with the lights turned off, known as “cloaked overtime.” In 2007, Mitsubishi (a banking corporation, not the car manufacturer) instituted a policy allowing employees to go home up to three hours early to care for their families, and two years later only thirty-four out of seven thousand workers had taken advantage of this. And all this isn’t even getting into the societal expectation that salarymen go out drinking with their coworkers constantly. Yeah, that’s a real thing, anime didn’t make that up.

Also I thought it was a little weird that these overwork claims were being pointed at a food service company, as the immediate thought when they’re brought up is not “salarymen,” but sure enough, according to this Daily Beast article, one of the worst companies in the country, as selected by a group of journalist and labor activists for their prestigious “Most Evil Corporation of The Year Award” is Mister Donut (they didn’t actually win that award to my knowledge, but the article mentions them as a serious contender).

So, when I say, “maybe there should be a serious option here,” it’s in full acknowledgment of just how pervasive and toxic overwork is in Japanese society. But, uh, maybe the video game industry isn’t really in a position to be throwing stones there, so I guess I understand. All this makes for a rather morbid and serious last four paragraphs, though, so here’s an adorable dog dressed as a police officer!

Aww! Isn’t he cute? And he’s got plenty of free time to play with you after being put on paid administrative leave following that “officer-involved shooting” of a man with “no active warrants”! Looks like this Crime Dog is gonna take a bite out of… (checks notes) …black people.

What were we talking about?

Oh, right.

True, that’s what they appear to be externally. However, this is most likely how the workers of Okumura Foods are viewed by their CEO.
So he thinks they’re his robots!?
If they’re being treated like this in reality as well… then the company truly is exploiting them.
See!? Okumura IS a piece of shit! Just like I said.
Mona is our main objective here.
He doesn’t seem to be anywhere nearby. Let’s search further in.


Music: Sweatshop


Just up ahead, we come across a new room with some weird hologram in the center. We ignore it for now.

Instead, we head to the door on the far side.



The door has closed. Is there any way by which we can open it?

What does it mean by that?

ONLY REGISTERED PERSONNEL MAY PROCEED PAST THIS POINT.
This security system might be a bit of a problem…

Ryuji throws himself against the reinforced metal door that doesn’t even open outwards and is protected by a force field. He also kicks it for good measure. Brilliant plan.

The hell’s up with this!?

Well, for starters, you’re an idiot.

Music: Suspicion

Look at it… There’s no way we can force that thing open.

Oh, that means Mona hasn’t been able to proceed any further either. So if he’s here in the Palace, he would have to be somewhere before this door…

Okay, but what if he’s not in the Palace?


Music: Desire


…What? Oh! Hey, it’s Girl With Watering Can/Well-Behaved Girl! What’re you up to, buddy? Almost didn’t recognize you because you actually have a portrait this time! Guess you got bumped up to “recurring,” huh? Good for you!

Those clothes… Could she be…?
A black mask!? Wait, is she the one Madarame and Kaneshiro were talking about…!?
So… she’s the reason for all those people goin’ brain dead…!? It was a girl this whole time!?

Oh, I guess… we don’t realize who it is yet? For some reason? Even though it’s totally obvious even from the second you first meet Girl With Watering Can that this character is going to be Important? Actually, scratch that, ever since the fucking fireworks cutscene where we actually first saw her? The same fireworks cutscene that was immediately followed by an insinuation that Makoto knew who that girl was, which never pays off and is in fact actively contradicted by this segment of the game? Hello?

Like, come on Ryuji, you’ve met this girl twice now.

Are you the one who has been following us!?
Say something, dammit!


It says “Mysterious Voice” but I’m going to spoil the next five seconds for you: It’s fucking Morgana’s voice. Sorry.

Mona!
You’re OK!
[ Long time no see, Panther.
Uh, it hasn’t been that long.
If you came for the Treasure, you should just go home with your tail between your legs.
Actually, we were looking for you.
The Treasure will be taken by me and this…



That’s… well… really dumb-sounding. Like, you might call her “Beautiful Thief” or the “Thief of Beauty,” but using “Beauty” like that as a proper adjective sounds incredibly fucking awkward, to the point I’m suspecting it’s yet another direct Japanese translation the localization team was forbidden from modifying.

Upon my search, it turns out “Beauty Thief”’s Japanese pseudonym was “Bishoujo Kaitou,” bishoujo meaning roughly “beautiful girl” and Kaitou being the Japanese word for “phantom thief.” So yeah, it’s pretty literal. I’m still not sure why they didn’t choose “Beautiful,” an actual adjective, but whatever.

Beauty Thief…?

Music: Wicked Plan

Oh hey, the goof-off music started. Guess the rest of this scene is gonna be one huge fucking joke.

I’ll have you know she’s a Persona-user too!

She really called herself that…?
Any tension that was in the air has just gone out the window…

You can say that again.

Mona already said that…

Do you even understand what it means to be a phantom thief? An admirable phantom thief is…
Yeah, tell them!


Yes, that’s right…?

This chick seems really good at this.

Enough with the idle chitchat!
You started it…
Mona, who the hell is she?
Wait! I’ll fix this…

Me?
Learn to take a hint!
Huh…?




So, I guess Morgana met up with this girl and not only told her about all of us, but has also been feeding her scripted insults to recite upon our meeting? That’s… real pathetic, bro.

I dunno… It kinda feels like she ain’t dangerous at all…

We will take the Treasure!
You already said that…
We don’t have time to chat!

No point, it won’t open–

Don’t underestimate us.

Music: Run, Run, Run!

Behind you!

Here they come!
Huh? Huh!?
Snap out of it! We need to go!
We’ll meet up later at our usual spot! Let’s hurry!

Music: Wicked Plan

Bet you’re tired…
That was quite rough… I haven’t felt exhaustion like this since I first awakened to my Persona.
What’ve you been looking at all this time…?
Sorry. I just didn’t wanna stand around and wait. The burglary at Okumura Foods is circulating the news again.

Uuugh! Dammit! Why’d they keep comin’ after only me!?

That door most likely had a biometric-authentication lock, so how’d she get it to open…?
I wonder who that girl could be.
We were told that she’s a Persona-user, correct? Do you believe it’s true?
Well, she did look like one…
Did Mona betray us…?

Yeah…
I don’t think he’s betrayed us. If he had, it’d make more sense for him to directly threaten us, such as exposing our identities.

Yeah, except for the fact that the only human beings who can understand him (not counting the one he somehow managed to shanghai into this) are all in this fucking room. Maybe if he meows at the police long enough they’ll listen to him.

Either way, how the hell’s Morgana related to that Beauty Thief?
Considering her tone and physique, she looked about our age.

This could be totally innocuous, but it’s Yusuke so I’m going to assume it’s creepy.

…I feel like I’ve seen her somewhere.

For real? Where at!?

“Oh, I dunno…”


“Did I really say that? It’s just so hard to remember.”

At school… I think.

But, now that you mention it… I feel like I’ve seen her too…
Is she a student of Shujin?
I just feel like that’s the case. She did have a mask on, after all. The registry in the student council room has photos of every student. Let’s check them all tomorrow. If we can figure out the identity of the Beauty Thief, that may help us regain contact with Morgana.
nods
Futaba and I should further probe into Okumura Foods then. It’d be best if we investigate how sudden mental shutdowns are connected to them.

Sounds like a great idea, my man. I’m sure just poking your nose around will get you more information than the prosecutor we stole all that data from was able to uncover over a period of months.

We’re gonna take them down…!

Music: Beneath the Mask


People are going on and on bashing Okumura Foods.
Apparently they’ve been secretly using low-quality ingredients brought in from overseas…
Furthermore, any employees who were suspicious of Okumura were let go without reason. That coupled with the mysterious death of a rival company’s CEO…
What’s this all of a sudden?
Things are going up in flames. I don’t really get what kicked it off though.

They’re acting like spectators or something.
It wasn’t like this just a few days ago though…
Could there perhaps have been a whistle-blower from within?
C’mon, we’ve got even more reason to take Okumura down now!
Can we really accept all of this information as truth though?
Either way, we need to do something about Morgana.
Yup. Anyways, seeya all tomorrow!

“Witnesses report seeing a small black cat somehow manipulating a slingshot to shoot rocks into the glass.”

Police suspect that this is the work of a single criminal and are currently investigating. Okumura Foods released a statement, saying they have “no clue” who the vandal might be.
It sounds like the police are investigating Okumura Foods.




They’re getting sued. Apparently they’re pretty shady.
You mean how they screwed their employees for the sake of profit?
If he’s that corrupt, then he deserves to be targeted.
This is where the Phantom Thieves should come in!

Anon: Make him beg!
Anon: corrupt companies suck ass!
Anon: they better not ignore this
Anon: im getting so hype rn

Oh, hey, the messages updated again. Looks like people are getting pretty impatient with us…

Music: Confession/Secret

Whoa, the CEO of Big Bang Burger? Why?
Apparently they’re really shitty to their employees. They never pay overtime, yet work people hard enough that one actually died… I also heard that a pissed-off former employee is the one who trashed their corporate entrance. There’s a lot of terrible rumors about them, including that they strong-arm their competitors…
Yikes. I just ate there yesterday… I never really thought about how they make so much food for so cheap. I hope nothing weird’s mixed in…

Music: So Boring

No. Next question.

I bet Morgana made her say it…
Uh, it’s still a weird thing to say, even if he told her to. Plus they lied about her being able to use a Persona too…
We don’t know if that is indeed a lie though.

Yeah, that’s gotta be it. Though that actually worries me more…
We can’t take her lightly. She has Morgana on her side, remember?
I agree with Futaba. At the very least, they’re one step ahead of us.
True. An amateur would not have been able to open that gate.
They’ve clearly figure out something we don’t know. We’ll need to uncover the identity of that masked girl…

Music: Wicked Plan

Man, this girl’s hot! Aww, but she’s younger than me.
Ryuji!

Get back to work.


They’re all starting to look the same to me…
Think we can really find her?

You can say that again.



Wait, what the fuck? Okumura had a daughter the whole time and nobody even checked!? We’re the worst Phantom Thieves ever!

You’d also think a prominent CEO’s daughter would draw at least a little attention, but what the hell do I know?

Wasn’t the Beauty Thief like this too? Especially the fluffy hair.
That’s gotta be her!

But why was she at the Palace?
We could just make her spill the beans herself.
She may have already gone home for the day, so let’s try tomorrow. I’m going to lock up. I’ll see you all tomorrow.


Well ain’t that a fine coinkydink.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)




Girl, what’s up with your forehead?


If you could help me unload this…

You’re a second-year, aren’t you? That makes me just a tad older. Um… Have we met somewhere before…? Oh, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m–

The only daughter of Kunikazu Okumura, CEO of Okumura Foods. Care to explain why you were inside your father’s Palace?


Wow, you’re remarkably chill about this.

You looked really good in that biker gang outfit!

Makoto looks around for eavesdroppers before continuing.

So why did you become a phantom thief?

Music: Suspicion

Things have grown quite serious lately… That’s why I want to make amends, even though it may only be for my own satisfaction. But I wonder if this is just running from the problem…
Where did you meet Morgana?
It was pure coincidence. I found a lonely-looking cat in front of our office building.
And that was Morgana?
Mm-hm. And when I followed him, I ended up in the Metaverse…

So let me get this straight: After leaving the group in a huff, Morgana walked all the way to the Okumura Foods corporate headquarters in Roppongi. Not only did he somehow know exactly where this building was, he managed to get on and off the subway multiple times to get there. Then, by sheer magical fucking coincidence, he happens to run into Haru, Okumura’s daughter and the only person who can get past the door in his Palace, who decides to follow him for pretty much no reason. Then, he enters the Palace, pulling Haru in with him, despite the fact that however the hell he manages to switch between the real world and the Metaverse without using the app, it has never been established that he can bring other people with him.

Sure, sounds plausible.

There’s no way for me to change my father’s company… But if I became a phantom thief, I thought I’d at least be able to change him…
…Isn’t there any way we can work together?

Haru shakes her head.

What you’re doing is unnecessarily causing a stir among the public. Besides, the Phantom Thieves, who should be helping the weak, are not helping their own teammate.

In our defense, he’s kind of an asshole.


Maaku and Makoto share a glance. Also, where the hell are Ann and Ryuji? If they already left then they probably would have also seen Haru before I did, and if they’re still inside they’re taking forever.

And help Mona-chan, who gave me a chance to do just that.
But aren’t our objectives the same? It’d be better if we work–


Maaku and Makoto look at each other… again. This game has a lot of really weirdly directed scenes.


It seems getting her cooperation won’t be possible. Let’s consult with the others on our next move. We shouldn’t ignore Morgana either.

Music: Disquiet


Gah! Sweet merciful Shylock! That fucking nose, dude! Should I… should I be showing this? Is this a hate crime? Man, this is unfortnate!

Okay, yeah, I know this isn’t actually a Jewish thing, there’s no possible way it was intentional. But come on Soejima, this is just over-the-top. He looks like Robert De Niro in Raging Bull dressed up as Vincent Vega. He looks like Bucky Barnes, the suspicious new guardian of the Baudelaire orphans. Fuck it, he looks like Steve Carell in Foxcatcher trying to impersonate me, awful hair included.

Also I looked up this dude’s VA because I didn’t recognize it and he’s done some notable stuff, like Kittan from Gurren Lagann, but most importantly, he’s motherfucking Spandam from One Piece.

You know, that dude whose entire character design was Mankind but a total wimp and with the serial numbers filed off? This isn’t important or relevant in any way, it’s just all I can fucking hear now!

…That’s right. Make it a priority.

Phantom Thieves? Hmph…!

No, not at all… Um, what’s this about Phantom Thieves?


It’s jealousy of the successful. Nothing but the barks of the masses who lack the resolve to sacrifice what’s needed for their well-being. Both the young and the old are overjoyed with some foolish idols. This country has no future.

Okay, wow, this is certainly some dialogue.

Hashino-san, please let me go home, I need to see my family.
Not until you finish writing the rest of Okumura’s lines.
Oh god, this character is such a flat boring caricature, what the hell am I gonna do? Well, maybe if I half-ass it he’ll just fire me. bangs out the rest in two minutes I’m done, sir. It’s not terribly subtle, but–
I love it! You’re promoted!
Hot dog!

Are you still having doubts about me?
No…
More importantly, I hope things are going well with that young man.


He may not seem like it, but he’s still the son of an influential politician. Be cordial with him. He’ll eventually become a necessary connection for this company—or rather, for me.
I understand… I will do the best I can.
Good. That’s how a daughter of Okumura should be.

Remember how one scene ago I said this game’s cutscenes were weirdly directed? Well, in this scene Okumura sits down, crosses and uncrosses his legs multiple times, and then stands back up. It doesn’t really convey anything at all and kind of just seems like they thought the scene was too “static” so they had him move around pointlessly.

Alternatively, it’s actually a really accurate and understated portrayal of ADHD, and I’m going to say it was absolutely intentional. Thank you, Katsura Hashino, for being such an understanding and empathetic artist.

You’re welcome. Also, the gays are hilarious.

Anon: we all agree on Okumura
Anon: This should be easy~
Anon: Take down Okumura first!
Anon: Annihilate all corruption!
Anon: If they don’t, who will?

Why are the Phantom Thieves letting him go free?
What’s the point of that poll!? Hurry up and take him out already!
I’m disappointed. What kind of heroes are they?
Just hurry up and send a calling card already.

Music: Beneath the Mask


They were thanking us for resolving requests that we didn’t actually complete.
It’s prolly just a prank.
But those requests are indeed resolved. Someone must be going into Mementos other than us.
I think it’s Morgana.
Agreed. He’s probably taking the Beauty Thief with him too.
We should look into this. I was thinking of persuading Okumura-san at school, but she’s been avoiding me.

Wait, how is that possible? We confronted her today, and then we went home. How could she avoid you at school if she only met you at the end of the current school day? What the hell?

I’m not sure how I feel about you saying that. I mean, we’re the Phantom Thieves…
The method is indeed a classic one, but it is a safe bet.
Yeah, I think it’s better than just looking for them randomly.
I’m gonna have all sorts of snacks! No teachers to stop me on this field trip!
Welp, why don’t we get this over with?
Let’s do it tomorrow.



Former Okumura Foods employees have begun raising their voices in protest. Their complaints include unpaid overtime and health problems caused by overwork. Some protestors started to get violent outside their headquarters in a fierce dispute with police. It’s highly suspected that this protest is related to the window vandalism incident a few days ago.
It sounds like a lot of people are protesting Okumura Foods.

Wait, so did Morgana not vandalize the windows? But the vandalism was the entire reason we went to Okumura’s Palace! He was just there by coinicidence? That’s bad writing!

Wait, shit, I think there’s a plot hole here… Hmm… Fuck it, I’ll just do some more coke.


#207
Part 104

Part 104: 9/17-9/18: Animal Cruelty

When we left off, we had discovered that someone was cavorting around Mementos filling requests all willy-nilly. It’s probably Morgana and Haru, who we need because Haru is the only person who can get us further in Okumura’s Palace Morgana is our friend, I guess.

Anon: Exploitation is not OK.
Anon: we all agree on Okumura
Anon: This should be easy~
Anon: Annihilate all corruption!

Music: Confession/Secret

I mean, there are tons of other companies that do the same thing.
Maybe they’re singling him out for all of the praise he gets? Besides, there are a bunch of strange rumors starting to surface about his company…
Oh, you mean like all that stuff happening to his competitors? Don’t tell me you buy that occult BS. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.

Skeptical Guy: believes in phantom thieves but not mental breakdowns. For more information, watch his YouTube channel where he roleplays a statue of some really old Greek dude to find out why the Phantom Thieves are the best and why eating tuna will turn you into a gay feminist dolphin or some shit!

Music: So Boring

Come on, you’re young! Hawaii doesn’t even count as going to a foreign country. It’s full of Japanese tourists. I bet you were able to speak Japanese wherever you went, weren’t you? The shopkeepers will use Japanese to pressure you into buying things as if their life depended on it. I’m used to it though, so I actually haggle with them in English. Mr. Hamiru! Show me how much your English has improved. We have a saying in Japanese: a skilled hawk hides its talons. What hides its claws in English?

Oh. That’s just way too easy. Worth noting: 99% of people got this one right, but like one dude actually picked “pig,” it seems.

Very good! “Cats hide their claws” is the saying. Are you hiding some claws of your own? There are actually a lot of other expressions involving cats.
I feel like I got a little smarter from being able to answer that question…

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

“A cat has nine lives” for instance.

Oh, Morgana better have nine lives after all this bullshit.

It means that cats are so resilient that they wouldn’t die even if you killed them.

That’s absurd. I dunno about cats, but people die when they’re killed.

In another class…

I mean, duh. He was doing tons of shady shit.

Hell yeah!
That aside, does everyone remember the plan for today?
Yes. We’re to hold a stakeout in Mementos.
You think they’re gonna show?
We’ll just have to wait until they do.
For real…?
We can’t go back until we make up with Morgana.
I’m sure they’ll come.
I hope you’re right…

Music: Mementos

I know already! And why’re you just sayin’ that to me!?
We need to be wary of the Beauty Thief too.
So we’re doing a stakeout here.
We better be ready for the long haul!

Hold that thought.

Music: Wicked Plan

You guys are seriously slacking off way too much!
Do you have business with us?
Aren’t you fulfilling the requests on the Phantom Aficionado Website? Even leaving comments?

“Fulfilling” is spelled here as “fulfulling.”

It’d be best if you don’t accept them so recklessly.
The police will track you down in no time. If that were to happen, we’d be caught up in it as well.

Uh, we never really acted with all that much care ourselves in regards to what requests we took on. We’re still going after a fucking arcade cheater, guys.

Also Yusuke’s second sentence here is just remarkably callous. Chill out, dude.

That’s not what I intended…! But… that would be my fault…

Why’re you apologizing!?
They’re telling us for our sake. We should be thanking them.

So I’m the one you’re here for?



Ryuji!

Goddammit Ryuji

We’re sorry too, Morgana. We weren’t taking your feelings into consideration at all.
Lady Ann…

Forehead has a point.

Ryuji didn’t really mean what he said, you know? He wants to apologize…

Ann elbows Ryuji.

Well, it’s like… It was my bad too…

What the hell is wrong with you dude



Sometimes this game just says exactly what I’m thinking, and it rules.

Ann’s setup was completely ruined.
Oh, is that right!? So I AM just some useless cat to you guys!

Now, hold on, just because Ryuji is a total idiot doesn’t mean that’s what we think! It’s what I think, but I’m not an actual character in this narrative, so that’s irrelevant!

You’re so full of yourselves, but do you have the skills to back that up!?

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Try and catch me then! Get in, Beauty Thief!

Haru gets in.

If you can’t do this, don’t count on me ever coming back!

There they go…


Geez! This isn’t what we came here to do!

We need to go after him and talk things through.

And yep, we have to chase Morgana through fucking Mementos, christ


Morgana takes off down the right tunnel.

Hm… We are facing a car here. Does it not seem somewhat reckless to chase him on foot?
You sure give up easy. There are dead ends all over this floor. We can do this if we manage to corner him in one.

When Futaba says there are dead ends “all over,” she of course means that the entire floor is composed of nothing but dead ends, because who gives a shit about level design for an area we won’t spend even two minutes in?



Hmph, how naive. You really think you’ve captured me?

FUCKING HELL, DUDE

Shit, look out!

You just tried to kill us, man! What the fuck!? I’m super not okay with this!

When we inevitably reconcile, I’m not letting this fucking cat spend all day in my bag and make it smell like turds.

Sheesh, what would he have done if he ran us over!?

You’re maybe understating the gravity of what just transpired a tiny bit. The cat just tried to commit Murder 2: This Time It’s Personal!

Also:

Woopwoopwoopwoopwoop

Stop complaining and let’s get after him again!

All right, geez. No need to get snippy, Makoto.

And we’re in pursuit again.


Mona! Will you listen!?
Shut up! I’ve got nothing to talk about with you guys!

Okay, just don’t try to run me over agai–

Well, that’s just rude. Also, the “whoosh” sound effect is absurdly loud.

Ngh, not again…!
There will be no end at this rate…

Music: Tension

What was that!?
It came from over there! Let’s go take a look!

The Phantom Thieves run to check it out…

Oh no! Morgana crashed!

Music: Everyday Days

…Or it’s funny, I guess? That our “friend” just got into a “car” accident?

Yup. Mona, are you OK!?



Music: Wicked Plan

There’s nothing I have to talk to you about.
Come on. There’s no need to keep being so stubborn.
I can’t just give in like this! I have my pride to protect!




God, we’re fucking idiots.

Shoot!
It seems we’ve fallen for the oldest trick in the book…
Ugh… Those two…
It’ll never end at this rate… What do we do now?
I don’t hear the sound of his endgine at all… Could they have left Mementos…?
Our lack of vehicle puts us at a severe disadvantage… We should probably just head home for today.
Dammit! Freakin’ Morgana!

And, uh… that’s the end of our Mementos stakeout. Real riveting stuff, there.

Are you sure that was what you wanted…?
…Of course it was!

Uh-oh! It’s Well-dressed Man!

Music: Desire

I would never do such a thing…!



Haru!


nyeeh

Oh shit!

Dammit… I really am… useless at this rate… Someone… Anyone… Is anybody out there…!?
Will you shut up, you stupid cat!?

Well-dressed Man crouches down to pick something up. I assume a rock or something, but this is a fairly tidy alleyway that doesn’t seem to have anything to pick up, and also he never actually throws this mystery item so it’s kinda pointless either way.

Seems like he’s already getting it wakka wakka


Was that… Mona’s voice!?
Hey, over there…! That doesn’t seem right to me…!

Wait, we exited the Metaverse within spitting distance of each other? What?








Oh god, it’s Mitsuru all over again. I assume Haru at least knows how to eat a fucking hamburger though, so that’s one point for her.

Fian-- What? But she’s clearly fighting you!
(to Haru) …How dare you make a fool of me. I’ll be telling your father about this too.


I’m fine, but Mona-chan–

Was that person really your fiance?
nods

In yet another example of stellar cutscene direction, Haru nods while facing directly away from the camera, meaning it barely registers.

Whoa, so you’re engaged then!?
That didn’t seem like an ordinary fight though… Shouldn’t you talk to your parents about it?
…I think it’d be useless.

“My dad sucks and I’m not sure my mom actually, like… exists, so I’m kinda stuck here.”

I’ll just be told to beg for his forgiveness, even if it means groveling on the ground… sobs
…It seems she has her reasons.

Would you let Haru rest for a while?
Of course. We’ll take her to your place, yeah?
nods
…Thanks.

Music: Alleycat



I’m sorry… I fell asleep…
Did you get enough rest?
nods

Morgana looks down pensively.

Mona-chan…?
…Anyway, it’s just as I told you a moment ago. I can’t have you guys risk your lives anymore for someone useless like me. To be frank, there’s no assurance that I’ll turn back into a human either… This can’t be called a fair deal. That’s why I think we should split up.
chuckle Who said we’re acting as Phantom Thieves for your sake? I’m doing it to expand my own horizons.
No need to tiptoe around the situation. We’re splitting up.


Do you remember what you said to me when I found you collapsed in the Metaverse? That you’re a Phantom Thief. That you’re going to get stronger and have the others acknowledge you.

You love being here, don’t you?

Music: Sunset Bridge

I was lying to myself too, but when I formed a contract with my Persona… I understood it all.

Aww, what? Morgana cost us an Awakening scene for Haru here? Goddammit, man, is there anything you can’t fuck up? Err, I mean…

Doing this because my father is doing something horrible… was nothing but a superficial reason. The truth is, I–
Don’t want to get married, right?

Maybe don’t step all over Haru’s moment, Ann. Geez.

I thought that since an adult with responsibilities made the decision, it couldn’t be wrong. I was such a fool, tied down by vague notions and stayed quiet as my marriage partner was chosen…

Oh man, that’s certainly some grammar there.

But I won’t tolerate this anymore.

Phew… That’s how I truly feel.
Wh-Why’re you looking at me all of a sudden?
Mona-chan, why is it that you always talked about becoming human again?

At first, I only thought of this team as a temporary dwelling until I regained my memories. But I wasn’t making any progress on finding out what I am or why I was born…
Morgana…
…I wanted a reason of my own—a reason to stay with the Phantom Thieves. I don’t have anyone I want to save or get revenge on. Someone like me has no reason to stay here… That’s why… to me… this team is…
Come on, say it! You can do it!

Ann’s just killing every moment she can tonight, huh?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

That was refreshingly honest.

If you stick with me, there’s no telling what kind of trouble will come up! You better be sure about this!

I’m really, really not.

It’s a little late for all that, don’t you think?

About eleven years, to be precise.

Of course we want to stay with you too.
clears throat Uhh, so… well… …I’m sorry I worried you guys.

I’ll make sure to work hard to pay my dues. It’s too late to cancel our deal, got it?

We’re re-forming our give-and-take deal.
I feel like my bond with Morgana is growing deeper…

Endure will let each party member with the appropriate Confidant Rank withstand one otherwise-fatal attack per battle. It’s pretty fucking vital for the endgame, and we’ll want it on all our characters we plan on using heavily. We’re not quite into “mandatory” territory yet, though, which is good because most of our party’s currently hovering between Rank 5 and Rank 7.

Welll, in the end, wouldn’t you say that your encounter with us was destiny?

No idea what the fuck this means, but okay.

Hm?

Oh crap! The last train’s comin’ up!

Let’s continue this another time.
I…
Stay at our place. I’ll arrange it.


Man. This place is as drab as always…

Glad to see you’re happy. We spent five days worried about you, and then you just turn up, almost kill us via hit-and-run, and then come crawling back after being emasculated, even though it turns out the entire reason you left was to prove your worth to us, which ended up being wholly at odds with nearly every single one of your words and actions in the interim? Like, we thought you were just mad for poorly-defined reasons in relation to us not going after Okumura immediately, but then it seemed like you were just mad because Ryuji was mean to you (which was pretty damn hypocritical, I might add), and then it turns out you were just harboring a massive inferiority complex and wanted to be accepted even though we spent several days explicitly chasing after you? I don’t really understand the logic here. Furthermore, you only came back once it was proved thoroughly that you couldn’t hack it by yourself, which is weird because none of the underlying issues behind your initial leaving of the team have been addressed. Or wait, maybe they have been, because there actually weren’t any. It’s confusing. Also, again, you tried to kill us, dude. Not cool.

Music: Beneath the Mask

It might not be easy for her to relax right now, but I hope this’ll at least help her cheer up a bit.

After our initial report on the protest, many people voiced their agreement on the internet. They are particularly calling for CEO Kunikazu Okumura to take responsibility.
All those employees have definitely been suffering. They must be at the end of their wits.

Not how anyone has ever phrased that, Morgana.




My body feels like a boulder slowly sinking into quicksand…

Aww, I guess I did kinda miss this dumb cat.

Anon: dat okumura stock drop lol
Anon: corrupt companies suck ass!
Anon: that ceo IS suspicious…

Music: Break it Down

What’s going on here? You brought over another girl?


No promises.

(to Haru) So, you found our cat, and even took care of it?

“Please don’t call the health inspector.”

Oh, it wasn’t a bother or anything.
I’m the one who took care of you though.
chuckle
What’s up? You seem happy.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a meal with so many people.
Make sure you go home today before it gets too late, OK? I’m sure your parents are worried.

No, I’ll go home. If my father suspects something, it’ll be more difficult to change his heart, wouldn’t it? I’ll contact you again so—Oh right!


You belong here, don’t you, Mona-chan?
W-Well, yeah…


Music: Disquiet

You won’t officially be registered yet, but isn’t that how things are with young people these days? Go prove your sincerity to him. You can do that, can’t you?

If it’s slightly confusing, this conversation is about Okumura deciding that Haru is moving in with her fiance, Well-dressed Man. They kind of talk around it, but we find out more explicitly one scene later and I see no reason to make this scene more awkward just to give that one slightly more impact.

Not only do you come home late, you’ve even stayed out overnight without permission… I thought I had been clear about the friends you choose.
Father, they’re not like–

I have my hands full right now with the company. Don’t cause any more trouble for me.



…I need to discuss something with everyone. Can we all meet…?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

I like the implication that Maaku hasn’t done shit today. It’s his day off and he’s just sitting on his bed.

Nobody wants to back out after we’ve come this far, right?
Of course not. It’s highly likely he has some involvement in the mental shutdown cases.
Yeah, we can’t just let that slide.
Plus, our fans’re really hoping we go for it!

Oh yeah, she said she wants to come chat at Leblanc tonight.

Why would you not tell us that immediately, Futaba?

Chat? About what…?
It sounded serious.
Let’s continue this at Leblanc then. See you there, everyone.
Haru… What could be wrong? I wonder why she wants to talk to us…

Anon: first step to world peace
Anon: we’re with you, p. thieves!
Anon: Please take down Okumura!
Anon: Take him out. It’s an order
Anon: Yeah, get that greedy CEO!

The Phantom Thieves wouldn’t let us down, would they?
They’ll definitely do it!
I want to watch the guilt eat him away…
I wonder what they’re going to tell us this time.

Music: Suspicion

It’s that same fiance guy, right? You know what’s going to happen…
Based on what Haru just told us, she’ll be taken to his house on October 11th… That means our deadline is the 10th.
But if we trigger a change of heart in your father, he’ll definitely be taken by the police. The label of a “criminal’s daughter” will forever stick with you. Your current living situation may change as well.
If I accept a happiness based on the misfortune of others, I’ll be no better than my father. And to be honest… I’ve actually left a request on the Phantom Aficionado Website before.

Huh, holy shit.

She did so around the time we were mulling over who to target next.
But… the Phantom Thieves didn’t make a move…

Yeah, uh… sorry about that.

That’s when I met Mona-chan. I thought it was fate.

The mental shutdowns, Treasure, and finally, the change of heart… Our interests have come together.
Would you cooperate with us now?
Of course. I should be the one cordially asking to be allowed on the team.
From here on, we may be going up against the culprit behind those mental shutdown occurrences. This’ll be different from our training in Mementos. You better brace yourselves.
You’re suddenly lecturin’ us?
You’re too naive! Haru’s barely a hair better than an amateur.

Wow, Morgana. So rude.

Oh, I see. So she got one of the shitty formless Patronuses, like all the lame D-tier members of the DA no one ever cared about. That’s rough, girl.

Weak? Really?
She can transform at the very least, but to be frank, she may slow us down. A lot.
I’m sorry for causing such trouble…
Nah, don’t worry about it. It’s actually convenient for us to target that CEO.

There’s a lot of negative comments in regard to the Phantom Thieves. “The names of obvious criminals have come up, so why haven’t the Phantom Thieves acted yet!?”
The way they’re getting heated is on a different level.
Don’t forget about the intel on the mental shutdown cases, all right?
Of course! We’ll get ‘em both!
October… uhh, 10th, was it? We’re gonna change Okumura’s heart by then!

Music: Beneath the Mask

As Phantom Thieves, it’s our duty to punish him!

The company has remained silent in response to questions from the media. Intense questioning from the media will likely continue until they get a satisfactory explanation.
We need to do something before Haru gets wrapped up in all this.

Oh, and you didn’t get all rusty while I was gone, did you?



Next time, it seems like we’re finally going to begin the next operation!


#208
Part 105

Part 105: 9/19: Get Smoked

This is a legendary post.

Anon: im getting so hype rn
Anon: calling card plz!!!
Anon: Yeah, take Okumura down!!
Anon: Exploitation is not OK.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

If Haru’s sold off, our failure will sully the Phantom Thieves name.

“Sold off”? That’s a really weird way of phrasing that, man.


All right! New mission! Time to fuck around, ignore every single one of our friends and responsibilities, talk to every NPC in the game again, and blitz through the Palace in a single day, putting tremendous strain on myself as well as you, the viewing audience!

It’s the government’s fault. Why do they pick on people on the National Pension like us? Young people are pathetic, too. They’re so quick to complain and claim they’re getting exploited.

Surely this can’t be because they’re actually getting exploited, you fucking raisin? No, it must be those whiny children who are wrong.

You think so? I think they work just as hard as we did, don’t they?
No! They’re weak, I’m telling you!

Not quite sure what that was about…

We’ve been gathering stories about the corrupt bosses that people have worked for. We’ve gotten tons of responses so far. People have been sending stories of such terrible things…
They’re blowing things out of proportion. Young people today are just too soft.

Kill all the old people, it’s the only way to be sure.

One thing we’re going to try to do at least a few times for the rest of the game is buy more materials and transmutable weapons wherever and whenever we can. I have no idea if I’ll end up using any of this, but it’s worth a shot.

Oh no! The dog is sick!

Also, I guess we really are using the “sold off” terminology. That’s pretty uncomfortable, not gonna lie.

Huh? Kotaro seems kinda tired though…
whine
This summer was really hot, so he’s a little worn out… Let’s leave the bad guys to the Phantom Thieves and let him rest.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Stirring up the popularity of the Phantom Thieves was a success. Now we’ll focus on Okumura Foods!
We shouldn’t go too far… Okumura’s a major sponsor of ours, you know.
I told you, don’t get cold feet! Our viewers can’t get enough of the Phantom Thieves’ craze! We’ll get to bash both the police and the politicians. It’ll be double the fun. snicker

That is the fate of an economic supremacist, contaminated by the surge of darkness!
Stand up, Phantom Thieves! Apostles of the Sun! Go and fulfill the will of the Sun God!
Please remember this: The Phantom Thieves only exist thanks to the Sun God!

Thinking about what happened with Okumura Foods made me realize that…
I’m not sure that’s a good comparison… Anyway, how old did you tell your boyfriend you were?
…I told him I was 15 years younger than I really am.

Okay, I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but between her description as “Young-looking Woman,” her previous obsession with Akechi, and her rather extreme predilection for dating men massively younger than her, I think this woman might be an actual pedophile.

Oh? What’s this? Blue text?


Kishi? That dude we did a change of heart for like two weeks ago?

A…All right. Thank you!
Knock it out of the park and the drinks are on me! Just be ready for an all-night rager!
No, no, nooo—I can’t. My wife would kill me.
Looks like the change of heart worked.

It’s all lies! Everyone’s out to get Okumura Foods because they’re jealous of its success!
Are you sure? My husband, he never receives any overtime pay, so… I wonder if they’ll pin this on the CEO. He should probably just admit the truth. Ohoho…

The girls love lines like that. It’s all thanks to the Phantom Thieves!
Hoho, you’re starting to get the hang of it. Hit a homerun with that Love Thief line, did you?
Actually, the “Love Thief” line didn’t work out so well. I always hear it’s lame and hard to get…


Oh, got you interested, huh? Well, if that’s the case, you ought to see our new product!

Don’t be so full of yourself, kid. I’m no Phantom Thief, but I can make you beg for forgiveness, too.

Who knows? It’s not as flashy a target as Medjed though. Companies all over the country exploit their workers. Will taking down one of them change anything?
I’m sure it will affect public opinion. I guess we’ll sit back and watch what they do.

Ugh, don’t tell me what to do, you annoying jerk.
Whoa, it’s true! She’s a real-life tsundere maid! Yeah, harsh on the outside, and shy on the inside.

In case you’ve never watched a bad anime and thus don’t know what “tsundere” means, it’s basically what this dude just described, summed up in the oft-used phrase, “it’s not like I like you or anything.”

Gross… Gross, gross gross! Don’t come near me!

A fair response.

Must be a leak from the opposition party. I read about that on a news blog.
Really!?
See for yourself. Just search for “Okumura Foods” in the archives and you’ll find a lot of articles.

Don’t worry! I cut my losses! If I want to rule the market, I should know when to back out! I’m gonna live as a trader. No, I was born to be a trader!
Huh? Wait, what about your job?
Didn’t I tell you? I quit! We’ll rrrevolutionize ourselves and live like celebrities!

This game has so many pure, wonderful idiots.

But now, the real reason we came to the arcade.


…That’s the King.
Oh, I’ve heard about him. He’s just a little guy, huh? Must still be in grade school… He’s dual-wielding…?

…! No… It can’t be…

ahem Sorry, I’m terminally incapable of hearing the words “dual-wielding” and not freaking out after the copious amounts of SAO I’ve consumed.

Yeah, he’s playing two opponents all by himself. And it’s still too easy for him.

GET SMOKED

The King may have some tips on how to defeat the cheater. I should negotiate with him…

Music: Break it Down



Don’t take it personal; I turn everyone down. …Later.

Annoying, huh…? Oh, you mean that guy who cheats. It really makes me mad when he does that… But I can still beat him, so I don’t really care. Just forget about him.


Ohshit

So, you’re saying you wanna beat the cheater? You seem like a nice guy… but just let it go. The Phantom Thieves are really cool, aren’t they!? Are you a fan, too? Have you ever met them?


Oh god, I just noticed that his jacket says “NOOB” in addition to the “GET SMOKED” cap, this is amazing.

But, um… Teaching you how to play Gun About won’t be easy… And I won’t get anything out of it…

Geez, you’re really persistent. I’m just a grade schooler, y’know. How about this… I wanna get to know the Phantom Thieves.

…It’s probably impossible, but if you can help me do that, then I’ll teach you how to play. Well, whaddaya say? Is it a deal?

It’s a big ask, kid, but I like your moxie. Let’s do this!

…Wait, what? You’re not gonna say no!? Well, if you really want to THAT much, then… I thought for sure you were gonna give up… Wow, I didn’t see this coming. But the Phantom Thieves hide their true identities, right? Are you sure I can get to know them?

Huh? You’re gonna tell them my name? …… My name’s Shinya Oda. Tell the Phantom Thieves my name, and have them post it somewhere only they’d be able to access. That’ll be good enough as an autograph, and proof that they know my name.

We need something credible for this kid to believe us. Didn’t Futaba say she hacked into Gun About’s server or something? Let’s bring this up with her. Might lead us to some good ideas.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Futaba isn’t actually available to hang out today, but “activating” this stage of the Shinya sidequest “summoned” her. However, we still can’t hang out with her, because the game will make us go back to Shinya instead once we’re done here.

So, did he tell you how to take down that cheater?
He’s going to, on one condition: he wants us to introduce him to the Phantom Thieves. We can’t just give ourselves away though. That’s where you come in. Maybe you could hack into the Gun About server and do something?
But we won’t be able to get in touch with him that way…

A calling card…? What are we going to steal?
Oh, how about the home page? I already hacked into it, so it’s as good as stolen!

After you already used the home page once to send a message to that cheater, you’d think they’d have closed that glaring vulnerability.

Hm, OK. I’ll write a calling card saying that we’re going to steal the Gun About home page. After that, you’ll need to leave evidence that the Phantom Thieves hacked into it. The King will have no choice but to believe it was really us.
Oooh, this sounds like fun. I’ll put our logo smack dab at the top of the front page.
Perfect. We’ll go see the King. Oh, and we’ll let you know before we talk to him, so wait for our word to start the hacking.
All right, you can count on me.

Should we ask Futaba about the hacking?


It’ll be fine! Leave it to me! OK, I’m hacking in now.

Music: What’s Going On?

So, uh… Shinya. Oh sweet, innocent Shinya.

So, Shinya is voiced by Barbara Goodson, probably best known as Laharl from Disgaea… and it’s really just a hell of a performance. Here’s the entire event, just so you can hear it, but… click wisely.


Huh? HUH? There’s something written on it… “Thanks for your support. Please help those in need. This is a promise to you from the Phantom Thieves: We’re going to post a secret message, just for you, on the game’s official website.” …… Is… Is this for real? I mean, you can probably just buy one of these cards at the store…

“You were gone for like an hour, dude. I may be twelve but I’m not fuckin’ stupid.”



Just like they did on Medjed’s site! Which means… you were able to contact the real Phantom Thieves! No way! How’d you do it?

That’s so cool… So they want to remain anonymous… Wow, I can’t believe they sent me a message… I wasn’t expecting much from you, Hamiru-san, but you’re actually pretty cool. I wish I was able to talk with them—or something—though… But you fulfilled your part of the deal, so I’ll teach you how to shoot.

Music: Wicked Plan

You should be able to inflict a lot of damage to the cheater this way. …Let’s get started.

…C’mon, you gotta aim.

…No, no, no. You’re just stopping their movement by doing that.

Are you taking this seriously!? You gotta focus on your second shot!
He’s almost like a different person when he gets mad. His instructions are precise, but also spartan-like…

…No he’s not?

That’s what happens when he teams up with another player. And why everyone also watches him from a distance…

The second line there is delivered really strangely. The actor was clearly going for “sardonic” but it comes out as “rushed to meet non-existent lip flaps.”

I think you’ll be able to beat that cheater now.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Sorry…

Do you? Because it didn’t happen today!

But I think you have a lot of potential. More than most people! If you want… I can teach you a few other moves too! I have the ultimate trump card. So tell me more about the Phantom Thieves!

What’s this kid gonna want in return though? Are we gonna have to show up in-costume to Shinya’s birthday party?

I’ve made a deal with Shinya…

Music: Interrogation Room


Either you taught yourself… or you had a capable coach by your side… Where did you learn how to handle a gun!?

“I learned it from a child who’s really good at a video game. What’s that look for? I’m telling the truth, cop.”

Music: The Spirit

Yeeeeep, forming a Confidant with this young child, what of it

So, Tower is an interesting arcana, symbolizing destruction, revelation, and sudden change. When reversed, it represents avoidance of disaster and fear of change. It’s probably the most universally “negative” card in the deck.

Down Shot lets us spend all the ammunition in our clip to down a single enemy. This is pretty much only worth it on Treasure Demons and enemies without weaknesses due to the exorbitant ammunition cost, but it’s still handy occasionally. It should also go without saying that it’s fucking worthless on bosses, just like every other interesting part of combat in this game.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


I gotta go. See ya later!
Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Music: Beneath the Mask


I truly apologize for what has happened in this case.
So formal!

But I’m the newest member. I need to act respectfully.
We don’t really pay mind to those kinds of things. Furthermore, you’re already one of us.
Thank you, Mako-chan.

(pause)

…Do you mean me?
Sorry, I think my fingers typed that subconsciously… I’m just so glad to have found a friend my age.
Not a problem. That personal touch is actually refreshing.
Great. I hope we get to be the bestest of friends, Mako-chan.

(pause)

Uh, sorry ‘bout that. I sorta got carried away…

We have a new message from Mishima, while we’re here.

And if the land speculators aren’t coming by, they can actually start showing movies there again!
That might be a good place to go see a movie! You should invite someone to go with you sometime!

It has become clear that harsh work conditions are the norm at Okumura Foods. Escalating criticism of President Okumura has considerably worsened the company’s public image.
Our target’s Okumura! People will definitely stop bugging us once we actually take him down!


Shady Commodities time!

Music: Dark Net

This site uses text-to-speech for an easy-to-understand shopping experience!


We can only have one package incoming at a time, and the more we spend the more will be available. Simple.

Forget any silly doubts or skepticism you might have, and just sign up now!
This site is incredibly shady… So, are you gonna sign up?

…Is it really OK to use your real name on a site like this?

It’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiine.

Hello, and welcome to Tanaka’s Shady Commodities! Mr. Hamiru, you’ve opened the door to possibilities that normal people can only dream of! Now, you can find all the rate items you could possibly want!

We’re just going to buy literally everything we can: the Nirvana Ring, the Black Rock, the Five-inch Nail, and three Condenser Lenses. The Nirvana Ring gives high resistance to Bless damage. The Black Rock lets us transmute a Persona into an accessory. The Five-inch Nail deals 50 Curse damage to a foe, which is useful if you don’t have that on a Persona yet but not that useful because you can’t buy them in bulk. The Condenser Lenses are just crafting materials.

Good news, Mr. Hamiru! Wh-Why, you’ve already spent over 10,000 yen! Your member rank is now Black! Now you can purchase all of our Black-tier products! Your order will arrive soon. We understand your excitement, but we ask for your patience! We hope to see you again soon!

Fun fact: Tanaka’s is the only portrait in the entire game with no animations. Well, I assume. I didn’t actually check.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Ha… Heh… Hahahahaha!

Me OK? Yer the one talkin’ to a rock… jus’ sittin’… on the shide of the road… But even a rock like me c’n help people! Throw me! Jus’ throw me at th’ evil corporationsh!

All three responses are about the same, which is a bit disappointing coming from our old friend Drunken Souse.

That’s dumb! A phone is way better. If you had one, you could look at the Phantom Thieves fan site!
Oh, that’d be so cool! They have rankings and stuff, right?
Yeah, it’s really popular right now! I’m gonna ask my parents to get me a phone too.

I didn’t go to college to wind up at a company like that.
Anyways, buuuddy, while the Phantom Thieves take care of those assholes… We party, party, party!

Yes, even though many were skeptical of them until recently.
We hate to think, therefore we are easily controlled. Japan is becoming a country of imbeciles.
I guess that means there’s going to be people making a fortune off of them again.

The Phantom Thieves’ll take care of him. Don’t you worry. I hope they do it soon, too.
The fire department back home would’ve come to the rescue right quick.
Aaaaand this conversation’s over.

That’s so messed up! They treat their employees like livestock!
hiss
I’m glad my manager doesn’t treat me like that…

Young people seem excited about them too. They’re saying it’s a sign that times are changing. I hope their next target is that hotshot president. That guy’s an enemy to office workers everywhere.
They’ll target the president if they call themselves heroes. They already got my hopes up.

Shut up, you… chunky, hunky… cake of beef!

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother transcribing these fuckers’ dialogue.

Just you watch! I’ll reveal the Phantom Thieves as the monsters they really are!
What are you talking about? When you get angry, you’re more of a monster than they are!

This is important, you idiot. How do you think we get by? They’re a real important sponsor, one we can’t afford to lose, so we gotta take good care of them!


Let’s hang with Sojiro tonight.

Sorry, and thanks. Oh… The regulars’ll be here any minute.

What are you doing, people!? Grab your muskets!

I question whether anyone will understand that joke, but the idea of making a goof no one will get kinda cracks me up anyway, so it’s worth it.

Music: Break it Down

All I want in a relationship is spicy stimulation followed by some smooth, relaxing comfort. And I can get both of those things from my curry and my coffee. That’s enough for me.
He always dodges my questions like that. He’s so clever. By the way, what are your thoughts on So-chan’s life of solitude?


Anyway, the only thing I care about in life is making sure my customers are satisfied.

Also, your teenage daughter. I assume, anyway.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people relax in here. Come back anytime, OK?

But I guess food service relies on keeping the right distance from people… Not too far, not too close.

Music: Suspicion


Shit, haven’t seen this guy in a while.

Well… I just learned something VERY interesting! Futaba’s been shut off from both school and society this whole time, huh? That’s not good parenting.
Yeah? And what have YOU done to care for her?
You know quite well what I’ve done… and it’s about time you pay up.
Don’t be ridiculous. Futaba had a terrible life living with you… Plus, I already gave you most of the inheritance for custody! Is that still not enough for you!?
We could always find out in court. I wonder who’d win between a blood relative and a mere legal guardian…
You…
Oh, and not to mention that kid you have here! I’ve heard all about him and his criminal record. That leaves us with a “parent” who won’t let her go to school and a delinquent housemate on probation… Doesn’t quite seem to be the best environment for Futaba, now does it?

Y-You have a problem, punk!? I’ll sue you for intimidation!




Futaba-chan! Long time no see!


See what I’m saying? She’s a total wreck. This is clearly not a healthy situation.
She’s only like this because she saw you here!
Hmph, don’t make me repeat myself… You can’t beat me in court, so you may as well just give me the money.
Grrr…
Well, I hope you reach the right decision! Bye now!

“Bye now!”? That’s what he says after threatening to strip Sojiro of custody? Are he and Sae friends or something?

Sojiro…

Later…


That man… is Futaba’s uncle.

Music: Confession/Secret

It’s actually not that surprising. He alluded multiple times to being related to Futaba.

After Wakaba died, Futaba was passed around all her relatives… His place was the last. He treated her like garbage. He never fed her, and forced her to sleep on the floor like an animal. He didn’t even let her bathe… Once I learned that, I knew I had to step in.

My god, this dude is a fucking cartoon supervillain. This is the plot of the unproduced third Rescuers film, isn’t it?

I couldn’t stand for that kind of horrible treatment, so I decided to take Futaba under my care. Even back then, he was whining about all the damn expenses. I threw some cash his way, thinking that would put the issue to bed… but now he’s back for more. I don’t even know how he managed to find me here… Maybe paying him was a mistake.


Either way though, it’s my fault Futaba didn’t leave her room. I just didn’t know how to help her through it… I’d make curry, leave it by her door, and go. If not for you, I’d probably still be waiting for her to come out.

They say blood’s thicker than water, right? I wonder what’d be the best for Futaba…

Not that fucking dude! Holy shit, are you really considering this!?

Haha… Look at me, spilling my heart out to a punk like you. Though… it’s kinda weird. For some reason, I just feel like telling you this stuff. It’s like you’re peering into my heart… Heh, I guess there really is something special about you.
I feel like my bond with Sojiro is growing deeper…

There’s really no reason to be making coffee at this point in the game, especially once you unlock Affinity Reading, so I’ve never made use of Coffee Mastery. From what I hear, though, it upgrades coffee’s SP restoration from 30 to 100. Not bad.

I should be heading home. I’m still worried about Futaba. Don’t stay up too late, you hear? Oh, and… thanks.
I can see the compassion hidden beneath Sojiro’s actions… I feel my Kindness growing…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.


#209
Part 106

Part 106: 9/20-9/21: Fucking Mishima

Anon: If they don’t, who will?
Anon: first step to world peace

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

I do have some Big Bang Burger coupons, but we… probably shouldn’t go there anymore, huh?
Uh, no. I hear you’ll have a psychotic breakdown if you eat there. I mean, haven’t all of Okumura’s enemies died in strange ways? Maybe he feeds them poisoned burgers… What a monster.

Why would he poison his own customers, idiot?

You know, I voted Okumura on the Phan-Site… The Phantom Thieves have a duty to punish bad people. I hope they take care of him soon.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Back to school! …More talking.

All the craziness that’s happening is freaking me out. You think the Phantom Thieves’ll save us again?
Hmm, they’re probably too busy for us right now. First, they have to focus on Okumura!



That’s the spirit!

Hamiru-kun drew this? It’s like, totally perfect.
So Hamiru’s part of the Phandom too? This is awesome!
It kinda feels like the Phantom Thieves are gods or something. They’re fighting for all of us!
I wish they’d pick up the pace though. I can’t wait much longer!
They should just get moving on that shithead executive! Enough loafing around!
Phantom Thieves! Phantom Thieves!

Oh dear.

Not helping, cat!


How is this news just now getting out?

The newspaper club must stand strong despite it all. Go ahead and tell me what you want to know.

But aren’t you the entire newspaper club…? Eh, whatever.

Some say the Phantom Thieves are responsible, but it’s apparently confirmed to be suicide.

By a liar!

I wonder if there was anything we could have done to prevent this from happening…

Big Bang is attracting a lot of interest. It’s already pretty well known among high school students. Employee exploitation by companies is a social issue, so it might be interesting to do a feature on it.

I’m surprised you know about her! Most people don’t know that Okumura-senpai is the daughter of the Okumura who runs that company.

Because they’re all idiots!

People find out this company is exploiting its employees, and some look to the Phantom Thieves. The extremists are asking them to strike already. Maybe the Phantom Thieves are tired of it by now.

Yeah, I’ve seen her around. She takes care of the flowers in front of the school.
I heard she’s engaged. Can you believe that? She’s still in high school!
She lives in a different world. This school is just too weird…

Oh, that was you. I knew I felt someone looking at me. Well… We could start off as friends.
Yes…! This is my chance! Er, I mean, uh… Thank you… very much!

Mogami needed two full months to say that?

Who cares? Actually, shouldn’t you worry about how this might affect recommendations? I’m seriously going to be angry if I can’t get a recommendation because of all this!

Shujin is a wonderful school full of compassionate students and caring faculty.

It’s crazy how it all gets back to Shujin Academy again. So President Okumura is their next target?
I’m sure he is since he’s hit the top rank so fast. I can’t wait to see him break down and grovel.
I guess that’s what happens when you cut down labor costs too much. Business management is tough work.

“Treat your workers like human beings” is real tough, yeah.

That vicious transfer student,–
I’m right here, dude.
--a suicide attempt, sex crimes by a teacher, our principal died…
You’re right. That is a lot to happen in just one year. Maybe this school really is cursed.
That makes sense. A curse would explain why we can’t get any decent members or win any games.

The food there is cheap, but it’s filling. It might suck if Big Bang weren’t around anymore.
Nah, bad guys should be punished. And those press conferences where they apologize are fun to watch.

You don’t like places like that either, do you, Sensei?
Of course not. But it isn’t always clear whether or not something can be considered exploitation.
Whaaat? Really? Then maybe we should just get rid of all companies!

If I had only paid more attention. I failed to save him as a Phantom Thief of Hearts.

It’s kind of you to say that. Don’t worry. I won’t make that kind of mistake ever again. Yes, this is a test from fate. I’ll do all I can to live up to everyone’s faith in me!


We haven’t hung out with Ryuji in… checks …literally four months. Let’s rectify that!

Huh…? You sure we’re gonna be OK not headin’ in?

…Eh, I guess it ain’t gonna hurt gettin’ a change of pace. So, uh… I’ve been thinkin’ about what to do with the track team… But I realized I’m not the kinda guy to come up with epic plans that can save the day. So, I think I’m gonna do this the one way I know how. Can you come with?

I’ve gotta tell Nakaoka and Takeishi what’s goin’ on with that asshole of a teacher… I mean, there’s no way the track team’s gonna make a comeback without them. Come with me to the courtyard, man.

Music: Suspicion



You prolly didn’t realize, but I recorded Yamauchi’s whole convo back at the monja shop! I’m a genius, I know.

That’s your whole plan? You intimated you had something… I don’t know… dumber up your sleeve a minute ago. Also, I’m shocked you managed to figure out how to record a phone call.

Anyways, uh… I might need some backup here. Can you stick around?


Nakaoka!? Wh-What the hell!? Are you guys gonna gang up on me!?
Dude, chill. I just wanna talk. Listen. This here is what’s really goin’ on with the track team.

…… And the best part is, not only are Takeishi’s parents loaded, but his mother’s the president of the PTA. …… But until then, he can show the others the value of obedience.

Is this real…?
It’s Yamauchi’s voice, ain’t it? And on top of that, shit’s gone down just like he said.
…… Yamauchi’s right. I don’t have talent… I’m not like you guys. I ran so damn hard, but you two were always so far ahead… How’s a guy like me supposed to succeed? How am I supposed to be proud of myself!?

My dad always talks about how proud he is of his son… He told everyone I’d get a track scholarship like he did… That I’d follow in his footsteps as a second-generation Taisei grad…

From a cursory Google, Taisei (full name Taisei Gakuin University) appears to be a private university in Osaka, though it only gained its current name in 2003, so I’m not sure it’s the one this guy is referring to because his dad would probably use the old name. Also, the one I found isn’t actually ranked that high in terms of Japan’s universities, so actually it’s pretty unlikely that this kid is dying to get in anyway. I’m just going to assume they made a school up.

That’s why I listened to Yamauchi. He said if I was the captain, he’d write me a great letter of rec…
…So you trusted what he was sayin’ about Nakaoka ‘cause of stupid crap like that?

Ryuji: master of tact.

You couldn’t know how I feel… Nobody does!
Like hell I don’t know!

Sakamoto…

Music: Alleycat

Maybe you should stop tryin’ to live for them, and just try livin’ for yourself. You think you gotta betray people to be proud?
W-Well, I…
If that’s seriously what you think, you’re wrong!

I mean, the bastard’s never been interested in track before… But you kept quiet. You knew he was walkin’ all over you, and you just let him do it.
…Yeah. I was afraid… Without Yamauchi, we still wouldn’t have a team… or a place to belong.
…You missed runnin’ that bad? Y’know… it ain’t so scary not havin’ a place you belong. You can kinda be free that way. If anything, I’m more scared of bein’ a crappy person. I mean, I used to be like you guys… afraid, lyin’ to myself…

“Man, I’m glad I’m not awful anymore, like you guys are.”

That is, before I met this dude.


So… if you wanna hit me or something, go ahead. I’m ready.
In that case…
If you insist.




Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Woohoo! Violence toward a domestic abuse victim as comedy!

Hahaha, I’m actually starting to feel a little better already.
Me too. I think I can finally put all of this behind me. Nakoaka… I’m sorry.
I’m sorry too. So… you wanna bring back the track team?
Hell yeah!




…Thanks.


For real though… you were a big help. You were pushin’ me to be cool that whole time. It’s kinda like I was doin’ a sprint… and you were runnin’ next to me.




And now Ryuji gets Endure. Given that he’s pretty much a mainstay in our party at this point, this will be very helpful.

I think my mouth’s bleedin’, so we’ll hafta eat some other time. Later!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Are you among those who are waiting to see the president of that company meet his judgment?

Haha, I appreciate your honesty. I also can’t deny the excitement I feel in my heart. It’s clear that they have power. They have an ethical obligation to use it wisely. The pressure and expectations that burden exceptional people… I know it well, hahaha.

He has testified that he claimed to be a phantom thief in his post because he wanted the attention.

Wait, if he was just arrested, how could he have also testified? The more formal definition of that word specifically relates to statements made in court.

Police have warned people to be cautious of crimes that exploit the Phantom Thieves bandwagon.
I wish people would stop pulling stunts like this. But maybe this happens once you become famous.

Ugh, my head hurts…
Sojiro seems concerned about Futaba’s uncle… Is it OK for me to stick my nose into Sojiro’s and Futaba’s problem…?

YOU’RE A FUCKING PHANTOM THIEF, MY DUDE, THAT’S ALL YOU DO

And so we need Rank 5 Kindness to progress Sojiro’s Confidant further.

Music: Layer Cake

Iwai time!

I got work for you to do around the shop today. …You got some time later?

All right, come to the back when you’ve finished.

…It’s about that secret Tsuda mentioned. There’s more to it than my havin’ been in the yakuza. I just wanna make sure you don’t go sayin’ somethin’ stupid if you run into Kaoru ‘round here…

Music: Suspicion

She had this baby with her, and the whole time she was there she kept goin’ on about how she wanted to sell it.

Figured she was just some cracked-up junkie lookin’ for drug money. But then when I told her no, she sat the baby down and ran off. …That baby was Kaoru.

Thinkin’ back on it, I’m still not really sure why I took him in…

Yakuza™ 6: The Song of Life coming to PS4 April 17th! Preorder your special edition copy today and receive a hardcover art book, as well as…

…two drink glasses, two coasters, and some fucking ice stones for some goddamn reason (???)! Sure, why not?

What were we talking about? Oh right, bad parenting.

Not only did I have to leave the clan, but now I’m stuck runnin’ this shop I don’t even like. chuckle Every day’s an uphill battle. I still haven’t managed to tell Kaoru I was in the yakuza though…

…Lemme ask you somethin’. How would you feel if you found out your parents were wrapped up in some dirty shit?

Well, it’s implied our parents kinda suck already, so I doubt we’d care that much.

That’s how my mom was. She’d spend every night out drinkin’, runnin’ around town with all sortsa guys.

“And then when she got home she was mercilessly slutshamed by me! It was disgraceful all around!”

I couldn’t stand to see her destroy herself like that.
Often I wished I could’ve had someone else as my mom.

I mean, yeah, she sounds pretty irresponsible, but the part about the guys just seems kinda unnecessary, Iwai. I thought you were cool.

So… I didn’t wanna make Kaoru go through the same thing. I wanted to make sure he had a good childhood. That’s why I left the clan. I did everythin’ according to the code, but now Tsuda’s draggin’ me back… Once he remembered I run this fake gun shop, he came by askin’ me to make custom models for him.

We should get Iwai and Ryuji together to plot their ongoing war against the letter “G.”

Truth is, Tsuda’s got all sortsa dirt. Not just on what happened when Kaoru was a baby, but on me and the rest of my family too. Who knows what’d happen if Kaoru learned the truth… When it’s all said and done, he’s gonna try and take everythin’ I have. If word gets out about my past, people’re gonna treat Kaoru like he’s no different than me. After all, everyone knows shitty parents end up makin’ shitty kids… And once he’s got that stigma, he’ll be stuck with it. When shit goes wrong, he’ll always be the one who gets blamed. That’s how it was with me.

So, you’re trying to prevent Kaoru or anyone else from finding out that you used to be in the yakuza. But you still work at a shady-ass fake gun shop. How is that better? Also, I feel like it’d be really easy to find out you used to be in the yakuza! You even have a neck tattoo, dude!

…That’s why I turned to the yakuza. Nobody else would accept me. That’s also why I can’t turn Tsuda down. He’s just got too much power.


I bet Kaoru’s sick of havin’ a weak-ass dad like me. Anyways, I was tryin’ to stall Tsuda with bullshit prototypes while I figured out a way to stop him… But that bastard’s real good as keepin’ his cards close to his chest. Plus, he caught wind of what I was tryin’ to do and started keepin’ tabs on me 24/7.

Well, that can’t be economical for him.

Thankfully, that’s just about when you showed up, kid. sigh Sorry for bringin’ all that shit up out of the blue. …You prolly don’t want anythin’ to do with me after that, huh?


Iwai likes it when we neg him, apparently.

Oh, right. Just remembered I never gave you a reward for that info. Hm… How about I give you a discount on the special menu? That should keep you quiet for a while. Pretty good deal, huh?
It feels like my bond with Iwai is growing even deeper…

Oh hey, a discount for the service we’ve never once used and may never end up using because as it turns out it’s not very good. How swell.

Kaoru’s been eatin’ a ton lately after cram school. He’s prolly gonna have another growth spurt soon. Anyways, I’m closin’ up for today. You should head home too.
I feel like helping Iwai with his work has honed my Proficiency

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

Take it easy, kid.

Anon: Make him beg!

Music: So Boring


–is an important work in the history of literature for being the first to use the word “robot.”
Duh. Make him have a change of heart. These corrupt companies should just go bankrupt!
Hey! You’re in class right now! Quit talking about Okumura and the Phantom Thieves! Geez… Hamiru-kun! You were listening at least, right? The word “robot” didn’t come from English. So, what country did it come from?

Well, the word “robot” actually comes from an old Czech word–
Robotnik.
--meaning slave–
And we’re not slaves.
We’re very, very happy.

That’s right. It originated from Czechoslovakia, a European country. I suppose the question was a little obscure.

It’s literally my favorite fucking movie, woman.

The word “robot” comes from the Czech word “robota.”

Oh.

“Robota” actually means “slave labor.”

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Existing only for slave labor… Even from the origin of their name, robots are pitiful.

Yikes.

Well, you could argue we’re not too different ourselves, having to keep working in order to live…
She seems tired…

That’s sexist, David Tennant. For shame.

But anyhow, if Okumura doesn’t see others as people, we need to change his heart!

Music: Tokyo Daylight




We need more points with Iwai to reach the next rank.

And we get them!

Music: Tokyo Emergency

For whatever reason, instead of playing in Shibuya, the “operation active” theme for this segment of the game plays in Yongen. Weird.

Today’s a Futaba kind of day.

Whaddya wanna do today?

You know we’re in the middle of an operation, right? Are you sure you don’t wanna infiltrate…?

R-Really? Eh, I guess I can’t complain too much since you’re hanging out with me. If you’re free, it’s promise list time! What should we do next?


This is obviously spelled incorrectly in multiple different ways, but given Futaba, I’m not sure it’s actually unintentional.

Get in there! Go, go!

Music: What’s Going On?

“Learn about my generation.”

Question 1: “Why don’t you all _______?”

Wait, I think I can do the next one too! “Have a normal conversation with a stranger my age”! Hmmm, where can I find lots of young people…? By jove, I think I’ve got it! Let us be off, Maaku!
Wow, you guys have actually started getting pretty close. Not like that’s a bad thing though. Anyway, be careful out there.

I’ve heard all about the unlimited fountain drinks at these places… Well…? Where are they? I don’t see ‘em anywhere!

Oh goddammit

Oh crap, and you’re with a girl…?
Is this a friend of yours?

THIS IS THE BEST DIALOGUE OPTION IN THE ENTIRE GAME

Hmmm. How ‘bout I ask him to help with my promise?

Please no.

What promise…?
W-Wellll…

So, wait. You’re saying that you, a girl… want to talk to… me? I see. In that case, I guess I don’t have a choice. Nope, none whatsoever. I’ll just have to help you out.

Oh fuck, the nerd’s getting his hopes up!

Oooh, you’re so nice!

Yeah, nice. That’s certainly a word you might use, especially capitalized and in conjunction with the word “Guy.”

My name’s Futaba Sakura, and don’t you forget it!
U-Uh, OK… I’m Yuuki Mishima, but everyone just calls me Mishima…
Hrmhrmhrm. It seems like help always comes my way when I need it most. Maybe my luck stat’s really high.



Music: My Homie

Youth… The unknown frontier…
Hm, maybe I should try talking about my hobbies…

This isn’t a date, Mishima.

Do you like computers?
Mm, I’m always online.
Me too! What sites do you use? I usually keep to forums myself… Or are you more into streaming? I’d gladly subscribe to your channel.

you can’t see it, obviously, but i’m fucking apoplectic right now

i have literally never been this angry, and i doubt i can even get angrier

OH HEY MOTHERFUCKER, TURNS OUT I COULD

…Wait. What the fuck did you just say?



Holy shit dude, what the hell is wrong with you? Using internet-speak or memes in real life is something I thought we just fucking understood was verboten as members of a civilized society. The only person you should be discussing that shit with is your goddamn psychiatrist. I let Futaba off the hook for it because she’s socially stunted, what’s your excuse?

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE

…I’m shaking right now. Fu–Mothe–Shi–Godda–Hm. None of these are working. Excuse me for a moment.

…”Cock” isn’t that creative, guys.

Okay, so listen here… consults notes …fucktrumpet. I treat you with respect—not a lot, but certainly more than you deserve—and you bring this curse upon my family!? What the hell is wrong with you!? This is the end, asshat. You ever set foot near either one of us again I may actually murder you, Mishima. No court will possibly convict me. Say one more word and I’ll leap across this fucking table, so help me…

H-Huh? That’s all you took from that conversation…?

low pitched whirring sound Oh, hey. Thanks to a flaw in my programming, it seems my “Rage” value overflowed and reset back to zero! How quaint!

Ah, I’ve got it! The overwhelmingly forgettable appearance, generic speech style, and total lack of sex appeal… Nishima… Are you an NPC!?

So, the “correct” answer, “He’s the protagonist,” gives us three notes. “Savage” gives us none. Picking the third option here will give us enough points to proceed to the next rank, while the second will not. However, not only is the second option much funnier than the third, I’m not going to fucking compliment Mishima, are you insane!?

So, yes, I am actually, legitimately derailing this playthrough for the sake of giving Mishima a single minor burn. It’s worth it.

But it’d be even more savage to lie about what he is! And besides, NPCs are an important piece in the jigsaw puzzle of gaming!
You’re not making this any better…! And more importantly, my name isn’t Nishima…!

He doesn’t even correct her if you don’t pick this option. Laaaame.

Anyway, I’m glad you spawned here! I killed two promises with one Nishima today! “Learn about my generation” and “have a normal conversation with a stranger my age”! Aw yeah! I think I gained a ton of EXP on this adventure. And it’s all ‘cause you brought me here, Maaku. Thanks!
I can sense Futaba’s innocent joy…


Anyway, uh… what are you doing after this?

Don’t you fucking dare

Going home.
O-Oh… Right…

Well, at least we got to watch Mishima get shot down.

C’mon, Maaku! We’re off!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Okumura Foods has gotten a lot of flak for how its work conditions have worsened in recent years. It’s believed that significantly more workers are suffering than the general public is aware of. Some say it’s natural to rely on the Phantom Thieves when the government has been ineffective.
He really is a bad guy… And we’re the only ones who can take him down.

You know what we’ve never done? Visited Akihabara at night. Let’s go see what’s up!

And as you can see, there’s… fucking nothing here, because all the people left and all the shops are closed! Whoops! Hey, who’s… Oh. Hey Mishima, when did you relocate here? (He relocated here pretty much as soon as this place unlocked)

The Phan-Site’s blowing up! So, you did the request I asked you to do. Thanks! Hey, um… There’s something I wanted to talk to you about. It’s super important. Do you think you can make some time right now?

Hey, Mishima, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for getting so upset at your casual use of internet language that has become inextricably associated with both rampant right-wing authoritarianism and white nationalism as well as just being a terminally lame asshole. I know it’s not your fault, you can’t help being so offputting. Let’s hang out tonight, just you and me. I know we haven’t done that in a while.

You’re the only one I can talk to about this. We should go somewhere quiet if possible… How about Inokashira Park?

Music: My Homie

Mishima looks around for eavesdroppers, then continues.

This one’s massive!



He’s great at acting, has solid conversational skills… He’s even been in all sorts of commercials. If you manage to change his heart, everyone will HAVE to start paying attention to the Phantom Thieves. …He’s gotta be doing some shady stuff, I just know it.

You guys might not believe this, but I’m starting to regret deciding to hang out with Mishima tonight!

And no, I’m not saying that out of jealousy. I heard a rumor that a famous idol fell into his clutches… You need to act, on behalf of her fans!

…Are you one of her fans?


Anyway, isn’t it your job to listen to the public’s wishes? You have to change his heart!

Well? Pretty good tactic, huh? Aren’t I an amazing producer? Just you wait… I’m gonna put the Phantom Thieves on the map! You’ll practically be swimming in requests!

Mishima’s motivation seems to be growing stronger…

Music: Suspicion

I’m not boring… I’m not a zero… …….

Uhhhhhhh

Hey, take out your phone.



Don’t worry… This request will boost your popularity, guaranteed. After all, I’m the only reason you guys have gotten this far, right?

Sure thing, bud. Sure thing.

The Phantom Thieves’ success is thanks to me… and the Phantom Thieves are changing the world… That means I’m the one who’s responsible for those changes…



…Bye.

Well, this has been a one-two punch of some of Mishima’s Most Embarrassing Hits, but at least we can go to bed, end the update, and not have to see any more of him for the time bei–

Huh…? Who could that be at this hour…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

GOD

DAMMIT

MISHIMA

Are you into that stuff, Hamiru? Oh, right. You probably need all sorts of tools like that for your Phantom Thieves work. Well, how about it? It’ll be the perfect way to spend the day off!
Akihabara, huh… Well do you want to go with Mishima to the electronics shop?

The electronics shop visit gives us points with Mishima (literally useless) and Chihaya, who we don’t need points with. As such, this decision makes itself.

Oh sweet heavens, hitting “Decline” has never felt so good.

You’re not interested in electronics? Or did you have something else to do?

I just like disappointing Mishima, cat. And after the day I’ve had, I deserve to do something I like.


#210
Part 107

Part 107: 9/22-9/23: Avoiding Awkward Conversations

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)



I’ll be at the arcade today, so stop by if you feel like playing. I’ll teach you a bunch of tricks.

How’d you get my phone number, kid?

I’m eating now. Maybe I should respond later…

Oh, and make sure you eat your curry before it gets cold.
We got an invitation to go out. Let’s reply once we finish eating.

So, we have another day off. I don’t know what for. Probably Arbor Day or something, there are a lot of random Japanese holidays (I just checked, it’s “Autumnal Equinox Day,” and Monday’s day off was for “Respect for the Aged Day,” both of which are somehow even dumber than the joke example I just gave).

Music: Tokyo Daylight




We head over to Chihaya to boost our affinity with Futaba. It’s not enough, unfortunately.

I guess we should hang out with the child, failing other options (okay, fine, Makoto was actually available today, I just wanted to get the next skill before the Palace for some ill-defined reason).

You can get all kinds of Phantom Thieves stuff. I got a Phantom Thieves badge. I wonder what I’ll get next… You’re here to train, right? Well, are you ready?
What are you gonna do? Are you gonna have Shinya teach you how to shoot?

Let’s keep playing.

Music: Wicked Plan

Okay, so, how to explain this? In non-voiced scenes, Confidant characters will occasionally have little voiced “barks,” or short phrases that don’t match the text of the scene, but fit with the spirit. Why do I bring this up? Well, for this line, Shinya’s bark is “You bastard!”

…That’s right. He swears in the non-canon voice lines, but not in the text itself. This is fucking baffling to me.

Don’t you get it!? You can’t just shoot all over the place!

…Yeah, but he’s got such a bad attitude.
It’s like he’s bipolar.

I really wanna know if he calls him “bipolar” or something else in the Japanese text.

I wonder how long that high schooler’s gonna be able to keep up…
Gahhh! You haven’t gotten better at all! When are you gonna learn!?

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Thanks to you taking so long to figure it out…


I’ve always been good at shooting games… But I absolutely NEVER wanna lose at Gun About. So I guess I tend to get all heated up about it…

Do you understand, little boy?

Do I need to call your mom?
…Fine. I’ll leave, all right?



I… really wanted to keep playing.

You must have deep pockets, kid. Where are you getting all this money for arcade games?

…My house is so boring. No one’s ever there and there’s never anything to do. Adults and high schoolers are so lucky. They get to play all night long. Having that much time helps you get stronger… …I wish I could play all day instead of going to school. I’d never lose another game… …I need to get really strong, like the Phantom Thieves.





Seriously though, I can’t stop thinking about that employee. He was super annoying, huh? If he says something again, I might just have to use that move on him. The one I taught you, remember? You should use it sometime.

You’re gonna fake shoot him!?

I feel like my bond with Shinya is growing deeper…

Bullet Hail lets us sometimes follow up an ambush with a smaller All-out Attack using our guns. It’s pretty neat, and we’ll see it next time we go into the Palace.

Well, it’s just a move in the game, so it wont’ work against actual people… …I wish it did. Then I’d be strong in real life. I need to be able to win in real life… ……

Uhhhhh

…I’m gonna head home.
Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Later. Say hi to the Phantom Thieves for me1

Music: Beneath the Mask


We got 3 Condenser Lenses, a Five-inch Nail, a Black Rock, and a Nirvana Ring.

Oh, yeah-- You bought stuff from Shady Commodities.

Now, which of these is the punishment for forced labor, the most grievous offense? A: Ten years in prison./B: A twenty million yen fine.

The correct answer is… A! An inhumane executive gets ten years in jail!
Okumura Foods is likely only guilty of long hours and unpaid overtime—not forced labor. Many say the punishment for that’s too lenient: six months in jail or a three hundred thousand yen fine.
The punishment is too soft in both those answers! That’s why people are looking to us…
It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

I wonder… I bet it’s better than Okumura Foods though. But geez, are you OK? Don’t overwork yourself.
I have to work as much as I can to keep my job. Everyone else is sucking it up and pitching in…

Now that our package has arrived, it’s Shady Commodities time!

Music: Dark Net

Mr. Hamiru, you’ve opened the door to possibilities that normal people can only dream of! Now, you can find all the rare items you could possibly want!

Some new items in stock now. We buy the Spyware-laden Gear (which requires washing, and I only bought because I got confused), the Hercules Anklet (Strength +5), the Black Robe (for transmutation), and another Black Rock.

You’ve spent over 50,000 yen! Your member rank is now Dark! Now you can purchase all of our Dark-tier products! But wait, there’s more…! You’ve spent over 100,000 yen! Your member rank is now Chaos! Now you can purchase all of our Chaos-tier products! You’ve reached our highest member rank, so this is our full lineup. We can’t thank you enough!

All right, we’ve illicitly acquired some new shit, so let’s get to Confidantin’.

Music: Crossroads

But how the heck would you know, right? Riiiiiight?

What are you insinuating!? Oh, wait, I think she might just be plastered.

Hey… you have some info to share, riiight? Need s’more info on the Phantom Thievesssss. So sit your pretty lil’ butt down…

This is sexual harassment!

I’m expecting a lot from you… OK, take a seat!

I’ll shmack you if it’s not good enough…
…Hey, you sure you’re OK?

You’re usually kinda-- hic
Man… I haven’t seen her drink this much in forever.

You could… you know… cut her off? Just saying, Lala.

I’m… totally not drunk… hic

Oooh, you’re sharp, kid! Truth is, um… my quota got doubled.

Music: Suspicion

They’re shacklin’ me down so I won’t have time for anything else… Ugh, my chief’s such a shithead…


He’s clearly saddling you with more work so you won’t have any more time to date high schoolers.

Before this, I was starting to feel like a real journalist again… The rush of investigating Kayo’s case… uncovering the dark secrets hidden away by our corrupt society… But now? It’s gonna be impossible to run my investigation with this quota…
That doesn’t sound good.

They’ll fire me if I can’t reach my quotas! Hey, Lala-chan… if they fire me, can I live here? That still won’t help my investigation though… The incident’s over a year old, and the authorities aren’t doing shit. gasp Maybe Kayo really was the true culprit…


I mean if I don’t, who will!?
Watch your temper.
sigh What am I doing…? I mean, I’m the one who dragged Kayo into politics. It’s my fault this ended up happening to her… Y’know, she started out in book publishing, mostly taking photos of nature and wild animals. She was a genius behind the camera though. That’s why I thought she’d make the perfect partner for me…

Right. “Partner.” I’m hip to the lingo. I think it’s great, you do you, girl.

Hey, you can’t blame yourself. Kayo-chan was just as set on exposing the evils of society as you were. Isn’t that right?

Dammit, that incident is all my fault… That’s why I’ve gotta get to the bottom of it!


Y’know, it’s weird how calm I get when I’m talkin’ to you. It’s almost like you actually understand me. Oh, and… I’m sorry for snapping at you earlier. The stress must have gotten to me. It’s just, all this quota business is driving me crazy. I’m gonna have to put all my focus on that for now. I’ll still be counting on you for Phantom Thieves stories though… as long as you’re up for it.
It feels like Ohya is really starting to rely on me…


But I might be able to ask some of my coworkers for help. Journalists will do anything for a scoop. Now then, I’ll take any tidbits you have for me today. Hope you don’t mind if I get back to drinking though. This whole conversation really sobered me up…

That’s not how that works, but whatever.

Mm, it’s getting late… I’ll see ya later.

Anon: He’s definitely a target
Anon: Make him beg!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Aren’t they a bit late this time? I’m on the edge of my seat here…

Dude, it took like a month for Medjed to go down. Settle down, bucko.

Yeah, they can take Okumura down easy.

Not just him, but ALL companies that exploit their employees.
Yeah. We’re in trouble too, you know. Take out one, you gotta take out them all. It’s only fair.
Why are they raking us over the coals…?

Music: My Homie

chime …Is this on? Ms. Chouno, please come to the faculty office at once.
What could this be…? I’m off to the faculty office, so make sure you study on your own.




Learning about the spirit of the samurai seems useful, but this book looks difficult…

Seems like you still have some pages left. You should continue some other time.

One more session to complete that book.

Ah! The teacher’s back…!

Phew, that was close. Kawakami helped us get a good chunk of free time though!

Music: So Boring

In another class…


Someone please save Pleasant Boy, he’s been trapped in the Metaverse for eight days. He’s had to eat the burger robots for sustenance.

He’s in hiding now that everyone turned against him.
Public opinion has truly flipped between him and us, but I doubt he’s given up.
And if we don’t hurry, the public will turn against us next…
There are already signs of that.
Then let’s move! We can’t go wasting our popularity!
I’d like to stop my father as well, for everyone’s sake.
Considering Haru’s circumstances, we must follow through with this.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

First thing we do after school is head over to Takemi’s.

Not to actually talk to her, mind, just to buy pharmaceuticals.

We buy a bunch of Takemedics (200 HP for one party member, kinda pointless but I still wanna be prepared), a lot of Takemedic-All Zs (200 HP for all party members, nearly entirely redundant due to Mediarama but we’re saving these for a specific purpose later on), some Kajaclears and Kundaclears (negate enemy buffs and party debuffs), a large supply of Life Ointments (full HP restore from KO), a good number of Relax Gels (Rage/Despair/Brainwash/Fear/Confuse relief, because those statuses suck and Wakaba drained us of these), a few Nohar-Ms (Burn/Freeze/Shock relief, which we haven’t been hit with much but never hurts to be prepared for), and some Alert Capsules (Hunger/Dizzy/Forget/Sleep relief, and I’ll tell you why we’re buying these later).

So, some healing items, a full round of ailment relief items, and some debuff deleters. All in all, a pretty productive shopping session, which drains us of about 60k.

Oh hey, while I’m here, Takemi? Yeah, your patient’s alive. What? No, sorry, I have to go, can’t stay to elaborate. Maybe we can hash this out in a few days? I might still be busy though. Tell you what, we’ll definitely talk sometime next week. Just don’t take any initiative on this before that. I know she’s dying rapidly, but I’d really prefer to be there for the whole “Confidant” thing. Oh, you don’t know what that is, whatever. Kthanksbye.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Back to Chihaya.



And Futaba’s ready to advance.



And we get Money Reading as well.

Music: Tokyo Emergency



Anon: bros, cmon. we’re waiting

And next time, we’re ready to infiltrate Okumura’s Palace!


#211
Part 108

Part 108: 9/23: Frank Castle’s Long-Lost Daughter

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Let’s head into the Palace! Spoiler alert: This is by far the worst one in the entire game! Just like the rest of this arc, it’s interminably fucking long! Hooray!

Music: Sweatshop






sigh Might as well put him back in the squad, right?

All right, let’s go!

I didn’t forget the shit you pulled, cat. Just know that.


All of the other Palaces have seemed out of this world, but this one’s really in space…

Well, time to go back down the elevator.

Hm?

Your Persona is too weak to fight safely at the moment. Just leave that side of things to us for now.
O-Oh, OK…

A slightly different version of this same conversation can be had by talking to Haru directly before going over to the elevator, but it’s near-identical. In fact, I suspect it’s exactly the same in the original script and might have just been translated slightly differently in both cases.



This time, there are actual Shadows populating the Palace, so we have to be more careful.

This is Arahabaki. It’s weak to both Psy and Nuke but, infuriatingly, repels Physical and Gun. I think it also uses Despair and Makarakarn to repel magic attacks, but we have Makoto so we don’t see a lot of its turns.

Not much here but Okumura’s portrait, which I just love for some reason.

Eventually, we come across a different enemy variant, but there’s not much different about this one except its shape. No, the interesting thing happens when we successfully ambush it…

Music: Last Surprise

These eyeliner starfish are Decarabia.


They’re about to eat hot lead.

BANGBANGBANG

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG

We dealt more than 12 damage total, we were just only dealing 12 damage every hit. Still, Bullet Hail is just kinda weak. That, or our guns suck. It’s probably a bit of both. I actually meant to go buy new guns and upgrade them before this Palace visit, but I… uh… forgot, and I really didn’t want to rerecord, especially after nabbing a few Personas. Because I’m an idiot, I ended up rerecording anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

Also, I didn’t want to waste the money.

Anyway, here that animation is in handy .gif form:



Now, these devious Decarabia repel Fire and do not appear, at first glance, to be weak to anything our current party can throw at it. That is, until they give themselves away by using Tetrakarn to repel the next Physical attack made against them. So, we decide to test that.

Also, don’t worry, this enemy can’t use Despair, just Megidola, Tetrakarn, and Agidyne (Heavy tier Fire). Morgana only got hit with it because Tetrakarn bounced his own attack back towards him.

Sure enough, this poor enemy is weak against Physical (as a Persona, it isn’t, thankfully).

Also here’s some Slime palette swaps Black Ooze, which from this wiki I found appear to use Stagnant Air and Famine’s Scream to inflict Hunger (an enemy use-only status effect that turns party damage way down), as well as summon more of itself. I didn’t see any of these moves, because it’s weak to a lot of shit—Electricity, Psy, and Bless, even if it resists Physical and Gun.

Music: Sweatshop

We eventually return to the room from earlier.

Looks like a hamburger bun to me. I mean, we’re dealing with Big Bang Burger here.
I’m sure it’ll become clearer as we proceed. Come on, let’s go.

Whatever, let’s head to the door.

Leave it to me.




Was that an act Mona put you up to? Y’know… the beauty thingy?


(pause)

Uh… Is that a joke?
You moron!

I know it’s probably not actually intentional because this game is kind of scatterbrained in certain aspects of its writing but I like that Ann is the one who calls Ryuji out here, considering her explanation of her own inspiration to become a Phantom Thief in her Confidant being Just Fujiko Mine.

Ever since I was young, people around me have never seen me for who I really am. They would be kind to me just to please my father, and would get money and presents in exchange. Adults, teachers, even friends… It seemed like everyone smiled at me for their own personal gain.
That’s why you kept the details of your family a secret at school…


I wanted to be just like that! Even though I knew it was a fantasy… I still looked up to them.
Everyone goes wild over heroes at some point. It’s fine havin’ someone like that on our side, right, Joker?



Music: Blood of Villain


Same, what the shit!? Motherfucking Mysterio just showed up!

This is insane on so many levels…!

YEP


Ah, dammit, this asshat?

Him…!? Did he come into the Palace too!?

Remember what I explained to you earlier?
You mean about the cognition thing…?

OH MY GOD, THIS DUDE OWNS

It should also go without saying that they now have Christopher Corey Smith under an absurd spaceman voice filter, and it’s great.


Are those… the rumored Phantom Thieves? …I see! chuckle

“Overcome failure at any cost, even if it means betraying others”… You truly embody the Okumura motto!

That’s a real specific motto.

Why do you only ever think about gains and losses!? That’s why the company has a bad reputation… All because you treat people like they’re tools!

You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation, old man!


The cold reality of kicking people down is a part of business! Virtue and sentiment are for losers. chuckle Okumura Foods shall be the foundation of my victory!
His company is just a stepping stone…

Unless you make some compromises, I can’t introduce her to my father.
She needn’t be your lawful wife anymore… Take her as your lover, or whatever it is you desire.
Very well… I accept.
Lover…? I was raised under this company’s wealth… I even accepted a political marriage for you.

Father! You want me to be that man’s plaything just to satisfy your own ambitions?
Hmph, why fret? You should be overjoyed that you’re fulfilling your role as an Okumura daughter. This is the only value you’ve had from the very beginning.
So… even his own daughter’s life is a commodity to him.

Oh hey, Yusuke’s here, everyone. I kinda forgot he was here because he hasn’t said anything for the entire upda—holy shit, I already made this joke!

Haru’s Awakening (Definitely watch this)



Oh dear.

Music: Awakening


Ohhhhhhh dear.

Ah, gross!












Spotlight purely for dramatic effect.

Freedom for you must stem from betrayal. If you still yearn for it now… then you must not err. Now, tell me… Who shall you betray?







Music: Will Power

um.

UM.

HOLY SHIT

RIGHT!?










Heh. I know it’s corny, but I appreciate the line all the same.

Haru’s Fiance


Haru! Be a good girl! Come be my toy!

It’s getting kind of uncomfortable how every other Palace seems to involve the threat of sexual abuse in some fashion, but maybe that’s just me.

For the sake of changing my father’s heart, I cannot lose!
So this is Haru’s true power…!

All right, let’s do this! Time to pummel that scummy jerk!

So here’s Haru’s starting skillset, with the exception of one of her support skills, Fast Heal. Fast Heal lets her recover from ailments in half the time, which is theoretically kind of useful but in practice you’re still hopefully wiping that shit off ASAP. In dire situations, though, it lets her recover faster so she can use Amrita Drop, which cures every ailment for a single party member. Psy Break is a Break skill, and is thus garbage. Psio and Mapsio are Medium Psy, of course, but Triple Down is the interesting thing here, dealing Light Gun three times to all foes.

You may be wondering why we haven’t seen much in the way of Gun skills. At this point, we’ve even seen more of Bless and Curse attacks than Gun. Well, for some weird reason there are only four Gun skills in the entire game, and two of them are reserved for the absolute endgame. What that means is that not only does Haru fill a valuable niche with her Gun affinity, she’s probably going to be keeping Triple Down for the entire rest of the game. Because damn, is it a good skill.

Not that you’d know it from this fight, though. The smaller robots are weak to Wind, but resist damn near everything else, including Gun. They’ve also got an annoying habit we’ll go into later. Anyway, Haru’s affinities are Psy and Gun (though she doesn’t resist Gun like she does Psy), as well as weakness to Nuke, you know, the predictable shit. The rather paltry number of Gun skills in the game may lead some to the conclusion that it’s a waste of skill slots, and that they should focus on her Psy output. This is a fucking trap. Her Strength and Magic aren’t terribly far apart, but the skills she does get push the balance waaaaaaaay over towards Gun, to the point where I’ll probably end up disposing of most of her Psy skills.

Anyway, in terms of melee weaponry, Haru uses axes, and her gun is…


…a grenade launcher!? Where did she get a fucking grenade launcher!?

I haven’t really been going into the differences between the various characters’ gun selections, so I’ll start now. I can’t find any good documentation on any of this, so a lot of it’s just guesses! Uh-oh!
[list]
[]Maaku’s pistol is all-around fine, decent ammo capacity and damage. 2 clips of 8 shots.
[
]Ryuji’s shotgun is high damage, but low-ammo. I assume the accuracy suffers as well. 2 clips of 4 shots.
[]Ann’s SMG is low damage, high-ammo, with the caveat that she cannot choose her target, which is picked at random from the available enemies every time she fires. 3 clips of 12 shots.
[
]Morgana’s slingshot is a fucking slingshot. Medium damage, low ammo. 3 clips of 5 shots.
[]Yusuke’s goddamn AR-15 is moderate damage, high-ammo. 2 clips of 12 shots (!!!).
[
]Makoto’s revolver is high-damage, low-ammo. 2 clips of 6 shots, duh.
[*]Haru’s motherfucking grenade launcher is actually just okay in the damage department, but hits every enemy on the field. 6 clips of 1 shot.
[/list]
Characters cannot use more bullets than are in their clip in a single action, and they reload every action.

One thing these robots can use is Recarmdra, a nasty little skill.


Using it will fully restore the HP of the other enemies…

…while setting the user’s HP to 1. This is an enemy-only skill, naturally. The robots can also use Haru’s own Triple Down, which can turn into a massive problem. We want to take them out quick.


Thankfully, the party member the game automatically subbed out for Haru was Ryuji and not Morgana, so they go down quick due to their Wind weakness.

Haru’s cut-in is uncharacteristically cold, yikes.


Haru’s Psy skills, in addition to being trippy as fuck, hit FianceBot’s weakness rather well.





Oh my god it attacks by bowing this is so good and stupid

One more Psio and we get another AoA.


Adieu, shithead.

Milady is based on Milady de Winter, from the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The character is a spy for Cardinal Richelieu and one of the primary antagonists of the story, serving mainly to oppose d’Artagnan. I had kind of assumed she was more of a heroic character based on the nothing I knew about her role in the story, but no. She’s a murderer who commits countless grievous crimes and then gets executed. Ouch.

I’ve already gone into Haru’s skillset in some detail, so I’ll spare you from too much more, but just know she’s one of the best damage-dealers in the game. As for Haru herself, she’s voiced by Xanthe Huynh, which is unironically, without a hint of mockery, an amazing goddamn name. However… nope, I don’t actually think I’ve ever heard her in anything. Well, that’s not entirely true: she had bit parts in both SAO and One Punch Man, but I could not have told you that without checking and she’s probably one of the least known names in the cast. Her voice, while by no means bad, took a little bit of growing on even me when I first heard it, but at this point I’d probably rate her pretty highly in terms of performance among a cast that’s generally pretty solid all things considered.


#212

Every character is the best character after their awakening scene, but this time I’m confident in saying Haru’s the best character.


#213
Intermission 1

Let’s step back a bit. Well, a bit more than a bit. A few months, to be precise…


Music: Disquiet

My station has conducted a poll on that subject…


(dude on the left is talking here)

Where’d it come from?
OH crap, it’s got a loud voice!

Oh, I guess you’re just not using a disguise, huh Chief?

Hey! Makki!


A calling card?

Phantom Thieves of hearts? Are you kidding me?

I’m telling you, it’s a crappy world we live in.


Ann, you okay? That stance doesn’t look comfortable.

Gah! Yusuke’s lips are both non-existent and too fucking prominent!







Music: Life Will Change (Instrumental Version)













THE DAY BREAKERS Part 1: Peer Pressure’s No Good, Kids

So, yes, we’re doing “PERSONA5 THE ANIMATION: THE DAY BREAKERS” for our intermission. This is a one-episode OVA (original video animation) that covers the team (at this point just the initial four and Yusuke) trying to fulfill a Mementos request (specifically the creatively-named request “Phantom Thieves VS Burglary Ring,” the target of which was Kazuya Makigami, who was part of a burglary ring targeting restaurants, in case you’ve forgotten). Also worth noting: “PERSONA5” in the title there as one word, nice.

It’s pretty clear just from the minute and a half we’ve gotten through so far that the art is… um… not good? I don’t like blaming the people who make these things because I know the conditions must be agonizing, so I’ll instead say it was probably rushed to hell and back, considering this aired September 3, 2016, less than two weeks before the game’s Japanese release. I’ll avoid harping too heavily on it for that reason, but I’ll still capture some of it for your enjoyment, because holy shit are there some great bad faces in this thing. Sadly, no Double Chie.

I’ve been wanting to cover this since the Mementos visit where we actually got through this request, but I never did, and this brief intermission seemed like the perfect opportunity.



For some godforsaken reason, the only thing I can think of looking at Akechi here is that fucking “Here comes a special boy” Achewood strip.

Music: Alright

Most, if not all, of the music is ripped straight from the game.

A detective who’s also a high school student, Mr. Goro Akechi!

I’m just going to come right out and ask you… What do you think of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts?

…I believe they should be brought to justice in a court of law.



Sorry! Silly me, losing my key…

They start making out for… some reason.

Y-Yes, sir!



I love that he keeps saying thank you even as the dude’s closing the door in his face.

Totally dissing me!
beeping



Despite the art problems I mentioned before, this thing is honestly pretty interestingly directed: the picture in the second image above starts moving and zooms into the shot that becomes the third image.


I’m getting the feeling this dude doesn’t want to be here, considering they sarcastically call him “Boss” and he can’t stop fucking grimacing every time he’s onscreen, but maybe that’s just me.

Music: Suspicion

Are you gonna be much longer, Makki?
Hold on. Just one second…



If only they weren’t too stingy to install our security system…
…then this never would’ve happened to them.
laughing
Uh… I think you guys should hurry it up…
All right! Get going! (in English) Hurry up!


BEER

(I spent a few minutes looking for appropriate anime screenshots of cans of booze just labeled “BEER” but I couldn’t find any, rip)


The group inexplicably decides to honk the fucking horn as they peel out, alerting the entire neighborhood to their presence.

Carana Extra

Mission accomplished! (I have no idea who says this line for the record)

Me and Hashi-yan find shops with lax security on our computers at work…

Y-You’re talking kind of loud, you know…
We’re BFFs forever! Yeah, sharing the same fate and all! And if you ever turn on us…

The entire group clicks their tongues and motions their thumbs away from their necks.

After a second, Maki makes the same gesture.

Well, it’s guys like him that you gotta worry about.

A dog barks noisily in the background.




Uh, wow, man. This is a big-ass room. Like, look at that bed, it’s massive! Not just in Japanese terms, either! It’s easily twice his height!


Maki places something inside the drawer.


The literal translation of the original Japanese version of the Phan-Site is the “Ask the Phantom Thieves Channel,” so close enough.

If… If only the others… would just disappear…


The sounds of Maki’s quickening heartbeat are audible.





Goddammit Maaku, we really gotta work on that Proficiency when we get back to you.

You’re not Mr. Ushimaru! Imposter!


The rest of the class begins laughing.

Music: Wicked Plan

Ah, the good old days of just fucking doing and saying whatever the hell we wanted out in public, without a care in the world.

Shibuya these days. There’s extortion, beatdowns… A gang of crooks that rips off restaurants, even!
Gang of crooks? Sounds like bad news…




It’s this post on the Ask-a-Thief Channel…

Stop breathing down Maaku’s neck, Ryuji.

I did look into it myself…
Seriously? “I’m gonna end up dead…”Why doesn’t this kid speak up? Like there aren’t tons of options, like going to the police?

Ryuji, you’re a Phantom Thief. NO COPS.

Hey, come on. Lower your voice!

Maybe this choice of hideout was ill-conceived? NAH.

i[/i] Hey, my bad.
We need to take care of this before it’s too late.

I should mention that Yusuke’s Japanese voice is fucking absurdly deep. It’s only like an octave higher than Other Noted High Schooler Jotaro Kujo, whose Japanese voice is already the deepest sound audible by humans. Hilariously, both are portrayed in English by Matthew Mercer.



Wait, what? How did we find this dude? If we have his name, then I guess, but why would he give us his own name instead of the target’s? And if we have any of their names, shouldn’t we just be going into the Metaverse? We don’t generally do more investigating than we have to, which is kind of a flaw with our methodology, to be fair.

Another pretty good shot, here.

Music: Suspicion

“Yo, should we have our burglary meeting with that weird kid with the glasses just staring at us from behind that tree?”
“It’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.”



You serious? Both of you?

The thing is, our security firm, see… Well, you know. Thanks to that geezer of a painter everybody’s raving about now… Thanks to him, our company’s toast.

Looks like the Phantom Thieves taking down Madarame had some negative repercussions for the security company he hired.

If you’re fired, we won’t get any more leads for these easy gigs!

This is so messed up! Why should I have to suffer collateral damage? Well, but don’t you worry. I’m gonna find our next part-time gig, all right?
Hey, no need to go overboard or anything…


Morgana, why your head so smol





Another neat artistic choice: the last five images are one continuous shot from Maaku’s perspective, starting with the moon, panning down to the house (with Maki), crossing the street to the pole. It’s nifty.

And we’ve found… the house of the dude who called us? How does this help us? Also, why is Maaku’s Shujin badge so blurry? Well, whatever. We’re only a third of the way through this OVA, so we’ll check back later for more.


#214
Intermission 2

THE DAY BREAKERS Part 2: Oh Wait, I Had It Backwards

Previously on THE DAY BREAKERS, we engaged in some light stalking!



Yeah.
Then I’ll be on my way.
Right. See you later.

Let’s do it.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

We can just call in a tip and get them arrested…

…What? We’re the Phantom Thieves and you want to call the cops!? What’s wrong with you!?

True, that just might be the solution. Only a temporary one, though.
Huh?
After they get out of prison, what if they just pick up where they left off? If we’re really going to save any victims…
We’ll have to straighten out our targets’ hearts 100%.
Right. And that’s something that…
…only the Phantom Thieves of Hearts can do.

Actually, hold on a second, I think I agree with Ryuji for once. Wasn’t the point of the Phantom Thieves to take down targets the police couldn’t or wouldn’t? Why are we just going, “Fuck it, man! The System’s too busted to take down these petty crooks”? Yusuke seems weirdly hasty to jump to the brainwashing option.


Huh? Morgana…
It’s unanimous. That settles it.

Why don’t we show this gang of low-level crooks how overmatched they are?

Oh, hey, my bad, my bad!
Well, I think we should get some evidence first, just in case…
I’ve already thought of that.

Uh, what? Evidence? Why would we need evidence? Knowing that he’s eligible is kind of all we need, right? We can’t accidentally change the wrong person’s heart, and once we’re in the Metaverse he’ll just confess it all to us anyway. What’s the point, besides padding this thing out to a fat twenty-four min—oh.

Do they really exist?


Oh, for God’s sake!

They’re actually harder to find than you’d think. Restaurants with lax security. And by the way, you’re not allowed to smoke here!
That’s why I didn’t light up, all right?

At this point I paused on the old guy making this face:

and all I could think of was:

(talking loudly) Still, that manager there’s pretty careless.

Ryuji and Ann really shouldn’t be eating here, I hear they treat their employees terribly.

They say he’s got a whole stash saved up. Not only that, but he hates banks, and I hear he leaves all his earnings in the shop!

These stupid motherfuckers.


Nobody said anything to me about that!

You know, that dude Kaneshiro’s group has been acting scary lately, so…

Surprised they even managed to reference Big Money K in this joint.

(whispering to self) Don’t give me that!
Well, from now on, no more Shibuya for us!
It’s Yoncha Time all the way! Yay!

I assume this is supposed to be Yongen, as Yongen-Jaya is not a real place but instead based on Sangen-Jaya. They clearly say “Yoncha,” however, which means someone somewhere fucked it up.

What good would it do to target this place?

Um, why is the locksmith standing away from the door?

Hey! It’s unlocked, guys!

Let’s get this one over with!

It’s too dark to see anything.





hissing

Music: High Pressure

Where’d it come from?
Oh crap, it’s got a loud voice!

Recycled footage go!



We’ve never needed a physical calling card for Mementos targets before, but maybe we’re doing this one in style for some reason.

shrieking

And then they killed Morgana. Great plan, guys!

Just as we thought, they’re the crooks we’ve been hearing about.
Hey, but you’ve really got some balls, you know? Using the shop that’s taken you in as bait…
If they destroyed the place, how were you planning to explain it to your boss?

This was the exact reason we decided not to actually do this in the game, for the record. I find it kind of hilarious how weird and bad this tie-in is if the primary conceit of the whole thing is something immediately rejected in the main game the instant it’s brought up. Also, the other reason we didn’t bait them with Leblanc in the real game is that it’s kind of a shithole.

Maaku channeling his inner Tick.

A horrific screaming siren goes off, probably waking up Sojiro who lives right down the street, you geniuses.

That’s not what we heard!



Maki grabs the calling card and slips it into his pocket. Also, the “Sayuri” is missing. The fiends must have already stolen it.


How do you get your hands on stuff like that?
Is it from that Iwai guy, maybe?
Well, yeah.
That guy, he’s got everything, huh?

Maaku’s not really much of a talker, so the thought of him openly discussing his Confidants with the other Phantom Thieves is pretty odd to me, even if Ryuji has actually met Iwai in-canon.


Morgana purrs happily.

What the hell is going on, anyway?

Phantom Thieves? Give me a break. No way do they really exist… And besides… In the end, I…

So who in the world… ratted these guys out?

There’s a deafening subway horn, and the camera pans out…


Music: Life Will Change (Instrumental Version)


Let’s go, everyone!





Obscured figures dart through the darkness behind him.

This is the perceived world. The other reality given shape by human souls. We’re the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. We’ve come to answer the cries of the oppressed.
Cries? What are you talking…
Target: Kazuya Makigami.

Wait, Kazuya?

Nature of charges: “Help me! My older brother’s going to kill me!

Huh?

So, yep, the big twist is that this guy has been Kazuya instead of Naoya the whole time… except it’s ruined by our prior knowledge of the story around the burglary ring from the game, as well as Kazuya’s fucking name being written in huge capital letters in the subtitled calling card. I guess we were supposed to assume one of the other members was Kazuya and this guy was Naoya, and he was protecting them? Well, it didn’t work.

Also, should we really be telling Kazuya his brother snitched him out, even if only inside his head? I mean, there’s a reason we use codenames.

As for who Naoya is, well…


\

Remember this dork?

“Dear Phantom Thieves. I live with my older brother, who physically abuses me every day.”




How do you beat someone so hard your knuckles bleed to that extent? That’s just practicing poor self-care, man. Irresponsible.

“He’s threatened to kill me if I ever tell, so I can’t ask anybody for help…”

So you posted his info on a message board. Smart.

“It’s like I’m my brother’s slave.”



Kazuya’s breakdown here leads to some amazing faces, I tell you what.

“It seems my brother has been committing some kind of crime with his no-good friends.”
“And I think he’s been beating me up to vent his stress over that.”
“I’m begging you, please help me, Phantom Thieves! At this rate, I’m gonna end up dead!” That’s it.

You bastards…
First of all, I investigated any signs of domestic violence.


Something about Yusuke’s face here just cracks me up.


Oh hey, don’t mind me, just peekin’

I was able to confirm the domestic violence. But although I made some casual inquiries, I was unable to uncover this crime he’d spoken of.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

You guys are the gang of crooks we’ve been hearing about, right?
Do you have anything to say for yourselves?

Kazuya begins laughing hysterically.

Music: Desire

It’s MY gang of crooks! Don’t ever underestimate me!
Hey. Don’t tell me this guy is…
I thought he was just an underling who got forced into this.

This would be a lot more surprising if they hadn’t literally referred to him as “Boss.” Which is mighty confusing, by the way, considering that’s also Sojiro’s apparent nickname.

Yeah, that’s right! I’m the leader of this gang of crooks. Who prodded those idiots into taking on part-time jobs?

I only meant it to be like a minor prank, but those guys got too cocky!

“Hey man, we’re gonna go commit some larceny. It’ll be a hilarious prank.

Every one of them is a total moron! All they had to do was shut up and do as I say! Dammit, they piss me off!




Is that why you treated your kid brother like that, too?
That little punk was always following my ass, the tagalong! When he was a little kid, he’d shit his pants and go, “Brother! Brother!” Sniveling and wailing… but look at him now!

TMI, dude




Oh man, we’re gonna want to remove those from your fingernails

What are you—oh, don’t do that

Ohhhhhh dear


And the fight begins.


#215
Intermission 3

THE DAY BREAKERS Part 3: Fight Scenes Are Annoying To Capture In This Medium

Music: Blood of Villain




Kazuya, in the form of a Mithras, begins charging up.

The group runs to disrupt his spell….






…but Ann gets attacked by an Onmoraki and Ryuji by an Oni.



This excellent frame of Morgana is literally blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, and I’m very lucky I caught it.


Joker!

Music: Last Surprise

The use of music from the game is theoretically cool, especially because of the fact that this is meant to promote the game so why wouldn’t they just use that music, but instead just makes the whole thing seem weirdly cheap, particularly because there’s no original music of any kind in this thing. I have the same problem with the real-ass anime that just started airing, but at least that has a new OP and ED (and maybe they got some original music since the half-episode I watched). The Persona 4 anime, for its many, many faults, did not have this problem, having some killer tracks of its own.


Maaku speaks with two voices.

Thou art I.







Oh, so this is where all the money went. Makes sense.




Don’t get arrogant with me!



This is the OVA’s version of a Baton Pass, down to using the sound effect when their hands meet. It’s pretty cool.

Oh no, did we run out of money already?


Come out, Goemon!



What’s your problem? I managed to acquire the Unlocking Skill… So how stupid would it be not to use it?










Whoa!
I just provoked him a little and now he won’t let me go!


It feels so good to steal!
Huh? Panther!



The sight of Carmen with that massive cigar always fucks me up.




Carmen pulls Kazuya to the ground.


Obey me! Serve me!
Mona!





Jeez, that’s… kinda graphic.

How dare you hinder me! You scumbags!
Well, that’s a selfish way of looking at it! Straighten him out once and for all, Joker!

Morgana tags in Maaku…


Maaku actually does some sick flipping move where he wastefully fires bullets in about eight different directions. It looks badass and is utterly impossible to show here.

I stole it! The arrogance in your heart.


What the hell? Phantom Thieves…

What’s this? A treasure?

It’s the key to the drawer in my room. Give it to my kid brother. You’re Robin Hood figures, aren’t you?
Huh? Why should we do anything YOU…
Do you have a message for him?
“Burn what’s inside, and toss it.”



The domestic violence, and the robberies!

We’re that gang of crooks! The evidence… It’s all in there! (pointing to van)
Huh?


meow






Music: Sunset Bridge


Ahahahahahahahahaha this dork beat Kazzy in kendo or whatever and he got so pissy he turned to crime, cry me a fuckin river


Shut up! Keep your mouth shut!

What’s wrong? Was that someone you know?
Oh, no, I’ve never seen him before… But… Who is he? That guy…




Mission complete! So are we done with this job?
It’s too early to get so giddy.
Right. Our next prey is huge.

My own personal hot take: Morgana should not have fangs. It’s creepy. But also maybe that’s just his face here in general bothering me. His head looks weirdly flat.



Oh shit, boys! We’re going to the sky bank!

Music: Aria of the Soul


But that was just one possibility… What kind of story you will weave from here on in… That is up to you.

What is your name?

I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you.

Music: Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There

And credits! Well, that’s been “PERSONA5 THE ANIMATION THE DAY BREAKERS.” As a tie-in, it’s generally pretty lackluster, though when we consider this was the closest thing to the game’s release we had at the time, especially for English-speakers, I suppose it works well enough. The fight scene shows off everyone’s Personas decently and we get a taste of the Baton Pass, but the overall plot is rather uninspired, we don’t get a great feel for the characters, it’s more confusing than tantalizing to people who hadn’t played the game yet (which, at this time, was everyone), and there’s no Makoto. Not even “surreptitiously” stalking us, despite being perfectly positioned to do so! Lame. I give this OVA a 6.0/10. This has been yet another installment of Arist’s Anime Reviews, be sure to Like, Comment, and Subscribe!


#216
Part 109

Sorry about the hiatus, guys. This Palace is just… something of a trial. Also I asked Ari if he wanted to do it instead and he said no. Also, my computer’s been acting up lately. But enough of the excuses, let’s just… oh nooooooooooosdfgjkslegsd’aosdfksglk;weoi[fds………….hello

is this working?

it would seem so

all right then, hack successful

Wait, what the fuck is going on?

shut up. you’re being hacked. you shouldn’t even be able to see this

You’re typing this into a word document, dude. This isn’t a command line. You seem weirdly bad at this.

well, i’m not the one who compromised his entire system by downloading suspicious font packs, idiot. now shut up if you’re not gonna tell me what your passwords are, i’m trying to get into your bank account

I wouldn’t waste my time, I have maybe fourteen bucks in there.

then send my virus to one of your friends!

We’re having this conversation in the overlong preamble to part one hundred and nine of a Persona 5 Let’s Play that’s lasted over a year. I clearly don’t have any friends.

that’s true. most of the files on this system are video games and shitty pirated anime… ugh

Face it, you have nothing to gain here.

i refuse to give up! give me your money!

No. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got an audience of dozens waiting for me to horribly embarrass myself. Goodbye.

i’m staying, dickwad. hope your lp can survive my bullshit

It survives my own bullshit constantly, so I think it’ll be fine.

Part 109: 9/23: WARNING: SYSTEM COMPROMISED

Okay, so, when we last left off, Makoto was just leveling up, learning Mafreila to replace Mafrei, as it’s a straight upgrade.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)




(Haru) He disappeared! Is that OK?

What did you do to my portraits, dude?

oh, i deleted a bunch of files. nothing important, just some tiny pictures. what, you need that shit? good.

Everyone’s a fucking twelve-year-old around here, christ.

(Ann) Are you sure you taught her how things work in here?
(Morgana) I did… or so I thought…
(Futaba) What’s the point if she doesn’t get it?
(Makoto) Don’t worry. Cognitive beings have no correlation to their real-world counterparts. You’ll see when we get back. I guarantee he will be OK.
Then, he’s not dead?

This all sounds like shit to worry about before you murder him.

(Yusuke) That’s right.
(Ryuji) Dude, does this mean we got a new teammate? Good to have ya… uh…
She already has a code name.

…Noir?
It means black in French. I’d like to be a heroine of justice, but the Phantom Thieves are on the darker side of the law. I chose the name Noir to remind me of that.
…There you have it.
As long as she’s into it…
She created quite an elaborate backstory…

These guys are weirdly down about her choice of name. I think it sounds cool.

you would

Oh, shut up.

Noir. I like it. It conveys a dignity that won’t bow down to others, as well as a rebellious spirit towards society.

Okay, maybe it’s not that cool.

Thank you.
Don’t let your guard down, Noir. Our trip through the Palace doesn’t end until we steal the Treasure, after all.
Yes, sir!
Someone’s talkin’ all big again…

Music: Sweatshop

This is a good song. Let’s see how it holds up for the next four hours!

four hours? jesus, why do this to yourself

I actually enjoy this game.

it doesn’t sound like it!

Before we move out, let’s make an adjustment…

There we go.

why are you mean to the cat

He knows what he did.


Hm, that seems quite far off… It is difficult to ascertain the shortest route there as well.
We’ll just have to keep going on whatever path we find for the time being… Let’s go.

A bit further in, we find a door that won’t open.

No, this one isn’t a biometric authentication… but it might be hard to open it from here. We’ll probably need to look for a server or a terminal if we wanna break through.
A server, huh…

The entrance to the server room is cleverly hidden by a vent about six yards away. I make fun, but I totally missed this on my first playthrough and it was very embarrassing.

That’s such a boyish thing to say.
Oh, there’s a room like this at the office. It’s called the server room.
What are all these machines even used for…?

Mwehehe… Watch this… All right, that should’ve opened up a buncha doors! I managed to grab a map of the place too.

Hey Mr. Hacker, how does it feel to see this fifteen-year-old girl do your job better than you?

pff, this shit is so watered-down and inaccurate. now if you’ll excuse me, i have to do a hack via cyberspace to crash the corporate mainframe

I dunno about that… There are three more areas ahead: the barracks, the factory, and the airlock area…

They’re just giving us the entire map at this point and not even bothering with finding it in pieces, because they totally gave up on that idea I guess.

I was wondering about that too. Actually, I found one other interesting file when I was cracking into the system. It’s called “Project: Escape to Utopia”… There was some kinda blueprint inside too. It looks like whatever they’re making for it is ginormous. That factory can’t just be for burgers.
Escape to Utopia… What do you think that’s supposed to mean…?
It ain’t gonna matter if we can steal the Treasure and make this Palace disappear! Let’s hurry!

Outside of the server room, we come an elevator that does not respond.

Don’t this look like an elevator? It ain’t doin’ anything though.
But it doesn’t seem to be completely out of order either. Perhaps it’s at another floor. Let’s try coming back later.

that’s not how elevators work

I thought you weren’t paying attention?

there’s nothing on netflix

You should wa—wait, fuck you, I’m not giving you recommendations.

Further in…

Ugh, it still ain’t openin’ even after all of Oracle’s tinkerin’!? That bastard really doesn’t trust anybody, huh?
Skull…!
It’s all right. Father is clearly guilty of some horrible crimes… That’s why we will stop him.
We’ll still need to think of a way to get past here though. Can you figure something out, Oracle?
If it’s not a normal lock or a biometric one, I think it might call for rank authentication. Basically, you have to be at least a chief director to get through here.


Oh, you mean an employee ID! Those are used to authorize entry in the real world company as well.
You two are so smart! That’s gotta be it!
Then it’s decided. Let’s find an employee that’s the rank of chief director or higher and take their employee ID!

Back by the elevator, robots exit.

Look, there’re a ton of ‘em… You wanna start takin’ their IDs?
Not yet. If we go instead to their origin, there should be even more “employees” for us.
Oh, great idea. That should make it even easier to find a chief director! Let’s head there, Joker.


All right, let’s go about this carefully.

I did a scan of the area, but there are multiple large readings around here. They’re definitely different from normal robots, so it’s prolly one of them.
So we’ll need to find which one is the real one? But how exactly will we do that…?




Heh, perfect timin’. Let’s try askin’ them about this director guy.
That would be a foolish move. They’d report us immediately if they spotted us.
Fox is right. We’ll need to think of a way to glean info from them without asking.

Just walk up and eavesdrop like we do every day in real life!

Huh… So we’re basically eavesdroppin’ on ‘em…
It’s a divine skill of mine.
Impressive. I can see how you managed to wiretap Leblanc for so long…
That? Oh, that was nothing! Someday I’ll show you what real wiretapping is… Mwehehe…
I-In any case, there’s no denying that this is a smart move. We’ll just have to obtain information from the group about what their boss is like.
There appear to be a few of them further in. Let us go obtain their information as well!

This first room, which we’ll call “1,” has three more bots for us to eavesdrop on:

I WONDER HOW THE CHIEF CLERK GOT THAT POSITION…
NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WORK, THERE’S ALWAYS MORE TO DO…
THIS JOB JUST NEVER ENDS…

We’ve heard a good amount… What do you think, Joker?
(Maaku) I’d like to listen more./>I know all I need to know.
Then let’s get out of here before we get caught.

But that’s on the chief clerk, yeah? We’re lookin’ for dirt on the chief director, remember?
We don’t have to target that director guy right away though. We can go from the bottom up.
Now that you mention it, I doubt we could reach the chief director immediately regardless. We don’t have any employee IDs, so accessing the more secure areas would be impossible.

Oh god, this is gonna take forever.

like you have anything better to do

You just said you don’t have anything better to do either, dude! Ugh, can’t believe I’m getting roasted by this script kiddie.

script kiddie!? you’ll pay for that one

Oh, I’m so scared.

Well, for now let’s just identify the chief clerk with the info we have. And if there are any more rooms that you think we can get info from, be sure to stop in!

It’s at about this point that I think to indulge what I’m pretty sure is a myth about Futaba. Some people think her Luck stat affects the rate of her skill procs, which is why they let her equip accessories. I don’t think this is true and they just let you do it because fuck it, effort is hard. I thought I’d bring it up, however. I give her the accessory anyway because who cares, right?

Also it’s at about this point that I realize I only have three SP Adhesive 3s for some reason, having never actually bought a fourth for Ryuji, meaning he and Haru are gonna have to trade theirs back and forth for the entire dungeon! Hooray!


I don’t usually make too much note of safe rooms, but we’ll be visiting this one in particular a few times for reasons I’ll go into. Just know that if you ever play this game you should probably make note of this one.

This big one-eyed elephant (no, that’s not slang for penis) is Girihmekhala. He’s weak to Bless and repels Physical and Gun, the second enemy in this Palace to do so.


One robot…

…and then another.

There are two of the same robot!?
Didn’t I tell you I was getting multiple signals?
Moving on, we saw one of those red ones giving instructions to the smaller robots, right…? Does that mean that one of them is the chief director? Or just the chief clerk…?
Hm, should we defeat them both and take their employee IDs to find out?
There’s no need to waste our energy like that. If we can talk to each one and compare what they say to the intel we have on hand… We might be able to tell what rank they are.

Okay, so I took a screenshot of the map of this floor in order to more easily keep track of all the robits and the clues they give us. Wait… where is it?

yeah i deleted that shit lol

…fuck. Well, I guess I’ll just have to remake it, then.

Perfect. I feel no need to leave this unspoiled: we do, in fact, have to do this three times.

First, let’s go to 2 and get more information. Also Shadow Okumura just looks fucking dope.

he looks like an unmasked scooby-doo villain

Here are the fruits of our eavesdropping:

APPARENTLY HIS STOMACH IS DONE FOR. MAYBE THEY’LL DISPOSE OF HIM.
SOMEDAY I’M GOING TO MOVE UP THE LADDER AND MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE!
OW… MY HIP HURTS. I WISH I COULD TAKE A DAY OFF…
I HEAR THE CHIEF CLERK’S BEEN STRESSED OUT LATELY.

So, we have stress and sweets. Let’s head over to A.

If they find out who we are, we’ll be forced to fight. Be cautious.

Music: Disquiet


AH YES, I’VE SEEN YOU AROUND BEFORE… FALSE! THAT WAS A LIE. YOU MUST BE INDUSTRY SPIES! I BET YOU PLAN ON STEALING AWAY THE FRUITS OF OUR LABORS!
We won’t be able to avoid a fight at this rate. Let’s go, Joker!

Goddammit. Rewind!

…Well, rewind by suiciding. I’ve never actually seen this message before, but it seems to pop up when an enemy successfully escapes, as one did when I failed to die fighting it to reset the puzzle.

Let’s try that again. Back to A.

SO YOU’RE A PEDDLER? IT WON’T BE EASY CONVINCING ME TO BUY ANYTHIJNG, I PROMISE YOU THAT. NOW THEN, WHAT PROFIT WOULD BUYING YOUR PRODUCT BRING ME? HAVE YOU BROUGHT GIFTS?

WHAT A BORING GIFT! WHEN I SAID PROFIT, I WAS SPECIFICALLY TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING MORE VALUABLE!
It is time we make our decision, Joker. What do you want to do? Should we fight him for his employee ID?

Hmm… he doesn’t seem to like sweets. Let’s check the other one.

We also find the door to the next area on the way to B.

Yeah, you’ve gotta be a chief clerk or higher. Basically, we’ll need an employee ID card for this.
Ugh, you gotta be kiddin’ me! Are all companies like this!?
…I believe our security in the real world is even stricter.
You serious…?

And we make it to B.

IS THAT SO? YOU MUST BE HARD WORKERS IF YOU’VE COME TO SELL WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT. I’LL GLADLY LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. NOW THEN… DID YOU BRING ANY GIFTS FOR ME?

AH, YOU ARE QUITE IN THE KNOW. I’M A CONNOISSEUR OF ALL THINGS SWEET. I CAN’T HELP BUT CHOW DOWN ON THEM WHEN I’M STRESSED!

Definitely the right one, here.

Right, there’s no need for any more discussion. Take him down!

The grunts will use Triple Down and Recarmdra, and are weak to Fire and Wind. The big boss is weak to Nuke and will summon more grunts and use Heavy magic attacks.

The best way to take these guys down is to do as much damage as possible as fast as possible—sounds obvious, but these things’ll wreck you with repeated Triple Down if you give them an inch. If they have to heal with Recarmdra, they’ll all want to use it to heal each other from there, and you can take them down more easily.


But we’re looking for one that’s chief director or higher, yes?
This one should be OK for now. At the very least it’ll help us get to some new places.
Yes, we can now enter areas restricted to those of chief clerk rank or higher now.

Redundancy? How redundant!

EVERYONE, MOVE STATIONS! CONTINUE WORKING UNTIL YOU DIE!

Wait, what? Shifts…? Hm, it said to move stations… Perhaps the rooms we have already entered will have different robots.
We should go check it out. Oh, and don’t forget to look for places we can get into with that fancy new employee ID card.

Yes, so, not only do we have to search for three different tiers of ID card, but we have to search through all the old rooms for new boss Shadows and new information! It’s a nightmare! This is the reason I advised keeping the safe room handy, by the way—we want the checkpoints because we’ll almost certainly die at least once to a fucking Girimehkala and have to spend another fucking hour in these fucking hallways

EMBRACE THE MAJESTY OF SPACE!!!

this seems almost unbearably tedious. not just the game part, though that’s pretty bad. just like the entire concept of working with all these screenshots and transcribing all this dialogue

I assume you write code for a living?

i fail to see your point

Well, anyway, let’s start gathering the info we need to find the next boss. Here’s the map again, so you don’t have to go searching for it:

1:

THE SECTION CHIEF SAYS “PRIVATE TALKS ARE PROHIBITED” SO MUCH, IT’S LIKE HIS CATCHPHRASE.
WAKE UP, GO TO WORK, COME HOME, SLEEP… RINSE AND REPEAT, FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE…
MY INCOMPETENT BOSS KEEPS MANIPULATING ME. I ALWAYS GET THE WORST OF IT…

He sounds more competent than you, at the very least.

THE SECTION CHIEF WOULD GET REAL ANGRY IF HE HEARD ME SLAGGING HIM OFF LIKE THIS.

2:

HM, IS IT DAY OR NIGHT? I CAN’T TELL ANYMORE…
IT MUST BE NICE BEING A SECTION CHIEF. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS YELL AT PEOPLE.
THINGS MAY BE TOUGH, BUT THIS IS ALL FOR THE SAKE OF MY FUTURE…
THINGS MAY BE TOUGH, BUT THIS IS ALL FOR THE SAKE OF MY FUTURE… YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT. I HAVE TO KEEP BELIEVING THAT.

Yes, the first line of the last two are identical. No, I don’t know why.

Over at the door to the second area:

Yes, it opened!
We might end up getting a chief director ID eventually if we keep getting higher and higher ranks!
Agreed. Let’s go about this one step at a time. Oh, and if you’re feeling tired, be sure to stop in at a safe room, Joker.

These are Mothman, cryptids from West Virginia of all places. They’re weak to Gun and use Electricity.

This is the part where I learn that if I don’t pay attention and mash when Bullet Hail comes up, I don’t get the free damage. Shit.

Fire Boost strengthens Ann’s Fire skills by 25% automatically. We slot it in to replace Ambient Aid, which was a garbage skill.

Here’s room 3:

I’M USED TO GETTING YELLED AT. I DON’T MIND IT ANYMORE.
THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR ANY OF US IF THE COMPANY CAN’T TURN A PROFIT! WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PUSH ON WITH ALL OUR EFFORT. THIS IS JUST THE WAY IT IS…
THE SECTION CHIEF ALWAYS SAYS “THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.” IT DRIVES ME MAD…
HE’S SO COCKY, BUT HE BARELY DOES ANY WORK HIMSELF.

Yup! We’ll need a section chief or higher ID card for this one.
I’m truly sorry for all the trouble I’m putting you through…

You’re not forgiven!

Stop that. The only one who’s going to be apologizing here is your father, right?
Panther is correct. Let us go search for this next ID card.

All right, now to check out the bots. There’s currently no one at B, so there’s three options: A, C, and D.

Here’s A.

There’s one! It looks way different from the others.
What rank is it though? I wish they’d make them so you could tell just by looking…
Either way, let’s try starting up a conversation like last time without raising suspicions.

A:

I HAVE NEVER SEEN YOUR FACES BEFORE. WHO MIGHT YOU BE?
Y’know, the Phantom Thieves./>Just passersby./We’re employees.
YOU’RE PASSING BY IN A PLACE LIKE THIS? IS SUCH A THING EVEN POSSIBLE? HMM… THAT ASIDE, WHAT HAVE YOU COME HERE FOR?
>The chief director./We’re looking for Okumura./We want loot.
AH, SO YOU’RE ACQUAINTANCES OF THE CHIEF DIRECTOR. SORRY, BUT HE IS OUT AT THE MOMENT… WON’T YOU PLEASE WAIT QUIETLY? PRIVATE TALKS ARE FORBIDDEN WITHIN THIS OFFICE.

C:

HEY! WHO ARE YOU!? YOU CAN’T BE WANDERING AROUND HERE UNATTENDED!
>Sorry./No need to get so angry./Shut your trap.
ARE YOU TRULY APOLOGETIC THOUGH? I DON’T MEAN TO LECTURE YOU, BUT THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! I’M NOT SURE WHAT BUSINESS YOU HAVE HERE, BUT YOU CAN’T JUST COME INTO-- WAIT… JUST WHO ARE YOU ALL ANYWAY? WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A PLACE LIKE THIS?
>The chief director./Okumura./The Treasure.
HM? AND WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU CHILDREN HAVE WITH HIM? HE IS A VERY BUSY MAN. I DON’T INTEND ON SPARING TIME TO CHAT WITH THE LIKES OF YOU ONCE I BECOME CHIEF DIRECTOR EITHER. EITHER WAY, SUCH PRIVATE TALKS ARE FORBIDDEN IN THIS OFFICE! IT IS TIME YOU STOP TALKING!

D:

HEY! WHAT IS WITH ALL THIS RUCKUS!? WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE RIGHT NOW!?
>Sorry./No need to get so angry./Shut your trap.
ARE YOU SERIOUSLY APOLOGIZING TO ME? UGH, AND YOU HAVE SUCH STRANGE ATTIRE TOO… NOW THEN, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN HERE? THIS IS NOT SOME SORT OF PLAYGROUND FOR YOU!
>The chief director./Okumura./The Treasure.
THE CHIEF DIRECTOR, YOU SAY? WHY WOULD PEOPLE LIKE YOU BE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE LIKE HIM!? YOU MAKE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER! I FEEL FOOLISH FOR EVER TAKING YOU SERIOUSLY!

It’s clearly C from the clues here, though the original clue for “PRIVATE TALKS” seems to have been inconsistently translated as “PROHIBITED” instead of “FORBIDDEN.” Let’s just go for that one.

These guys murder me the first time I fight them because I still have Mothman active, whoops. The big dude’s weak to Wind.

Also, Ryuji attempts to learn Elec Break, but it’s worthless, especially on him, so we don’t bother.


An employee ID! This one says it’s for the section chief…
Ughhh, so he wasn’t the chief director dude either!? Can we just fight the president already?

EVERYONE, IT IS TIME TO CHANGE SHIFTS! KEEP WORKING EVEN IF IT DESTROYS YOU!
This is…

Come on, get with the program!
The employees must be getting switched out just like before. Why don’t we check the places accessible via the section chief ID card?

So, we’re two-thirds done with this thing, right? Wrong. This last portion takes me a full hour to complete. RIP me.

Hey, that hacker got awful quiet all of a sudden. Maybe he left. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Oh crap, that thing’s huge! What’s with him!?
If size shows the importance Father places on them, I suppose he should be quite high up…
We’re just gonna have to talk to him and find out.

Tetrakarn is a skill that allows Haru to repel one Physical or Gun attack on a chosen party member. It’s very situational, but it can come in handy.

Great, this one is open as well!
We’ve gotta be close to the end, right? Chief director is usually directly above section chief!
Don’t forget to be conscious of your condition, everyone. If you’re feeling tired, be sure to rest at a safe room.

We get it, [i]Mom/[/b].

Subrecover HP is a rather awkardly-named skill that lets Futaba heal party members who aren’t in the active party for 10% HP every battle. It’s not actually that useful, both because I almost never switch and because of how late it comes in. Also, multi-target healing out of battle hits everyone, so that’s even less reason to use it.

And at the last door on the map, the chief director lock:

Hm, another roadblock. Is this one rank authentication as well?
Mm-hm. We can get through here if we have a chief director ID card or higher. Though given the layout of this floor, it doesn’t look like this leads to a new area or anything.
So our main goal remains the door we found downstairs.
Why don’t we skip all this shit and just nab the president’s ID? I wanna get this over with!

BIG MOOD

I also discover that these things don’t just look like Daleks when one of them starts chasing me.

Okay then, let’s get the rest of these done. First the clues, then the conversations.

1:

IT’LL ONLY CAUSE TROUBLE FOR EVERYONE IF I COLLAPSE NOW…
IT-IT-T-IT’LL ONLY CAUSE TROUBLE FOR EVERYONE IF I C-C-C-COLLAPSE NOW…
I’M HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO WORK FOR THIS COMPANY! GARBAGE LIKE US ARE GRATEFUL FOR OUR WORK AT OKUMURA FOODS!
THE CHIEF DIRECTOR ALWAYS SAYS THIS COMPANY IS THE BEST OF THE BEST! I AM THANKFUL TO BE ABLE TO WORK FOR SUCH AN ELITE ORGANIZATION!

I’m pretty sure these last two dudes are undercover Pinkertons.

2:

BUT I WILL BE OK. THE HEART OF A ROBOT WILL NEVER B-B-B-B-BREAK!
ISN’T THE SECTION CHIEF’S LAUGH STRANGELY HAPPY? IT GOES “GRAHAHAHA.” NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I ACTUALLY LAUGHED…
THEY SAY IT’S GOOD TO STRUGGLE THROUGH LIFE WHILE YOU’RE YOUNG… I WON’T BE ABLE TO BECOME A REAL ADULT UNLESS I CAN PUSH THROUGH THIS.
AHHH, I’M FA-FA-FA-FA… FALLING APART…

3:

I’M TIRED OF THE SECTION CHIEF BOASTING ABOUT WHEN HE WAS YOUNG. I BEST HE WOULDN’T SURVIVE IF HE COULDN’T CLING TO HIS PAST GLORIES.
I WAS TOLD THAT OTHERS HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR ME. I AM BETTER THAN THEM! I HAVE TO WORK HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE!
I’M IN PAIN, BUT I MUST KEEP WORKING. OTHERWISE MY FAMILY WILL BE TURNED INTO FUEL…
I SIMPLY HAVE TO DO IT! WORK IS THE ONLY OPTION!

4:

LIFE IS ONLY WORK. THEY MAKE YOU SURRENDER YOUR HOPES, DREAMS, PERSONALITY…
THEN IF YOU WORK TOO HARD, YOU BREAK AND THEY DISCARD YOU. I WISH THIS WASN’T TRUE…
DON’T WORRY. SOMEBODY WILL SURELY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS EVENTUALLY.
I’LL JUST HAVE TO STAY QUIET UNTIL THAT DAY COMES.

A:

AHEM! WHO MAY YOU BE?
Y’know, the Phantom Thieves./Just passersby./>We want to talk to you.
YOU HAVE BUSINESS WITH ME? BUT TO THE EXTENT OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THIS IS OUR FIRST MEETING. WELL THEN, WHAT DO YOU NEED?
>What is your rank?/Where’s the chief director?/Nothing in particular.
MY RANK? YOU COULD SAY I’M SOMEWHERE IN THE UPPER ECHELONS. WHY DO YOU ASK?

B:

HMPH, WHO ARE YOU!? WHAT ARE TINY BRATS LIKE YOU DOING HERE?
Don’t be so rude./We’re the Phantom Thieves./>Are we in the way?
OF COURSE! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!? THIS CORPORATION IS THE BEST OF THE BEST: OKUMURA FOODS! YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE! MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHO ARE ALL OF YOU!? HOW DID YOU GET IN!?
We snuck in./>Through the front door./That’s a secret.
THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR? SO YOU MEAN TO SAY YOU’RE NOT ANYBODY SUSPICIOUS? YOUR LOOKS WORRY ME… BUT IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM IF I MISTAKENLY REPORTED YOU…

D:

UMMM, WHO’RE YOU AGAIN?
The Phantom Thieves./Passersby./>We want to talk.
I HAVE NO NEED FOR THAT. NOW, GET LOST. YOU’RE JUST IN THE WAY OF MY WORK.
Please hear us out./Are you the chief director?/>You seem unenthusiastic.
GOHOHO! MY ENTHUSIASM IS WHAT MAKES ME WANT TO GET BACK TO MY WORK. MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHO ARE YOU? I SHOULD REPORT EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU FOR SLACKING OFF!

E:

WHO’RE YOU? THIS IS NO PLACE FOR RUNTS LIKE YOURSELVES.
>Oh, sorry./Well that’s not nice./I’m no runt.
UGH, BRATS THESE DAYS THINK APOLOGIZING CAN GET THEM OUT OF ANYTHING. WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY? YOU DON’T SEEM LIKE EMPLOYEES.
We’re the Phantom Thieves./>We’re janitors./We’re salesmen.
JANITORS!? O-OH… WELL, GOOD WORK. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MEMORIZE JANITOR’S FACES IF OUR COMPANY WILL BE THE BEST OF THE BEST. …SO, WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU JANITORS HAVE WITH ME?

F:

HWA-HEM! WHO ARE YOU RASCALS? HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?

I have no idea why “HWA-HEM” is in special text. None of the clues relate to it.

WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE HERE AT OUR BEST OF THE BEST CORPORATION, OKUMURA FOODS?

And here, “BEST OF THE BEST” isn’t in red text, which I think is just them trying to trick you. Be consistent, game!

Are you the chief director?/>Nothing in particular./Let’s talk for a bit.
THEN WHY DID YOU COME HERE? LEAVE AT ONCE! YOUR PRESENCE IS MAKING ME FEEL QUITE ILL!

“YOU’RE IRRITATING MY VALVE, FOUL WORKER!”

…iS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT BEFORE I KICK YOU OUT!?
>Let’s discuss the past./Let’s discuss the future./Let’s make some small talk.
HOW ADMIRABLE. YOU WISH TO HEAR OF MY SUCCESSES, YES? EVERYONE WAS HUMBLE LIKE YOU BACK WHEN I WAS YOUNG. BUT YOUTH NOWADAYS…

So, uh… which one? Some of these seem to refer to the section chief, so we can safely ignore those. The problem is, there isn’t enough information to narrow it down. Well, the answer is that it was a trick question! See, whether by simple mistranslation or just general error, the lines here referring to the “section chief” are not here to trick us, because they do in fact refer to the chief director! Also, if we go back to F:

F:

>Are you the chief director?
HM? OHHH, I THINK I’VE FIGURED IT OUT. YOU MUST BE THE RUMORED PHANTOM THIEVES! GRAHAHAHA! VERY WELL, I’LL TELL YOU THE TRUTH. I AM INDEED THE CHIEF DIRECTOR! WHETHER YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THAT OR NOT IS UP TO YOU. NOW THEN… IS THAT ALL YOU WANTED TO ASK ME?

There’s more dialogue, which the game fucking encouraged us not to check for earlier by making it punishable with a pointless fight! So, yeah, F is the correct answer. I hate this.

Coporobo-MDL-?

The Coporobo will use Matarunda a fucking lot to lower Attack, so Maaku spends a lot of turns getting rid of that. It’s weak to Psy, though.

Music: Sweatshop

Perfect! We’ve finally found the chief director’s ID card!
This means we can go in that rank door downstairs now!

I don’t see what the door’s smell has to do with this, Ann.

Welp, let’s go check it out! Time to make like a banana and split!

Back downstairs…

Of course! Well… probably.

Don’t you fucking start

Hell yeah! Finally!
You know, it’s a little odd… I thought Okumura might be behind the mental shutdowns… But we haven’t found anything even remotely pointing to such a secret so far.
Something that important might be deeper in. Let’s just keep going.

And that, my friends, was the security card game, the worst part of the entirety of Persona 5 in my esteemed opinion. That took up an hour and forty-five minutes of this run alone, though to be fair I was intentionally running all over the entire place looking for dialogue and I died like three times. Well, at least the worst is behi–

YOU MOTHERFU


#217
Part 110

Part 110: 9/23: WARNING: SYSTEM DAMAGED

hellow evryonne, i’m am Artist. welcome to lets’ play.

Music: Sweatshop

right noww we in big space. big. space space

If it’s seriously that close, can’t we just go from outside? No point goin’ through there.
Hm… That might be worth a try.

i fix portraits. good now.


ride circle across whoosh

safe room, so no repeat bad card game



We have completed approximately one third of this Palace. Things seem to be going relatively well.

one three too low, we be here foreeeeeever!!!

I hope we can keep up this pace all the way to our goal!
Just make sure you don’t let your guard down. We need to stay focused in the next area as well.
Though to be fair, there are still two thirds remaining. Let’s try to pace ourselves from here on.

Just past this building. We’re definitely getting closer.
I find it somewhat odd that we have still yet to see anything about the mental shutdowns…
Well, this Palace is on the site of the corporate HQ, remember? If he never told any employees about it, we may not find any hints toward his involvement…
Worst comes to worst, we’re just gonna have to get that info outta the Shadow himself.
Anyway, let us hurry inside… I believe the factory comes next.

we make it to ufo biulding

nother safe room time to resWhat the fuck? Hey shithead, the hell is this?!

oh i let my little brother mess with your lp thing. he’s four.

Your little…? sigh goddammit why

listen, just let him keep doing it, i’m supposed to be babysitting and he finally shut up

Are you kidding? I’m not doing you a favor! Screw off.

aww, be cool, man

Bye.

fine. but you’ll regret this.

All right, now that we’re done with another small child’s interference, let’s explore the factory.

Do you think it’s related to that “Escape to Utopia” thing?

I’m not fixing the portraits. Fuck it.

Hold on a sec. Ain’t the guys in here movin’ kinda weird…?

Music: Regret

Robots collapse.

IT NEVER ENDS! IT NEVER ENDS!