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

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#241
Part 131

Part 131: 10/27-10/28: Blaaaaackmaaaaail!!!

Music: Alleycat

……
We now resume our coverage of the Phantom Thieves, the suspects for Mr. Okumura’s death and others. The police have designated the Phantom Thieves as the country’s most wanted fugitives… And have decided to reward anyone with information leading to the capture of the Phantom Thieves.


Thirty million!? Hold on, I need to make a phone call.

And considering the high amount, it shows how extraordinary the situation has become. Reward money will be supplied by the police and the families of the victims, further–


I hope you understand the situation you’re in. Even people who didn’t have an interest before will be on the lookout for the Phantom Thieves. And it’ll happen every day, even at school. …Why did this happen?

This isn’t about me. Well, how do I put this…? I’m sorry I didn’t realize it. It’s also my responsibility that this happened. All I can do now is give you shelter. Just don’t become desperate and do something reckless, all right?

I won’t sell you out. As long as you’re here, there’s nothing to worry about.
I feel bad about what we’ve done to the chief. I’m responsible too.

Music: Desire

Oh goddammit

With this, the Phantom Thieves have become public enemy number one. ……. chuckle Exactly. …That will be when their curtain falls.

Why even have these scenes at this point? They’re all the same and we’re not learning anything new.

Music: Suspicion

Akechi suggested they go to this school, right?

Oh hey, it’s Pallid Fella again.

It’ll probably be the end of us if we start sniffing around now.
But… 30 million yen, man. Just let me dream a little.

Music: So Boring

I had braced myself for this possibility…
Actually having a wanted notice out for us feels kinda weird…
I’m not sure we’re gonna get away this time.
Our backs are truly against the wall now.
Discussing it here won’t do us any good though. Let’s talk about it more in person.

Music: Desire

And the reward’s thirty million yen? What is this, a comic book? Haha, it feels so unrealistic, I can’t help but laugh…
We’re finally being treated as actual criminals…
I’m positive now… Remember all of those what-ifs I mentioned before…? All of this was truly set up. How President Okumura ranked first, the fad before that, even Medjed… It was all to make the Phantom Thieves famous. On top of that, we were lured to target Okumura…
Yeah… The enemy likely planned to lay the blame on us from the start, after we gained popularity.
Then, what about everything we’ve done until now? Are the people whose hearts we changed and thought were corrupt actually not?
No. Because of Yusuke and I, the Madarame and Kaneshiro cases were coincidental… Wasn’t that the case with Kamoshida too? Considering what happened with the rankings, only the previous target would have been used to lure us…
What a cheap trick to use…
Cheap…? It’s nothing of the sort… There’s the fake Medjed and the site’s altercation. They might have even engineered the fad around us. So much time and effort has been put into this… President Okumura probably wasn’t their only target. Perhaps they intend to place all blame of past and future psychotic breakdowns on our group…



And there was that thing with Haru at the time. How’re we s’posed to ignore that, huh!?

That’s actually a really solid point, game! We couldn’t very well ignore that and to be honest we had little solid reason to, but let’s keep throwing blame at each other for this shit, sure!

…I’m sorry. This was all because I one-sidedly decided that my father was a criminal. All I could think about was my fiance. If I had only been able to cope with it more calmly…
Haru…
It’s not Haru’s fault. I should’ve spoken up too when Principal Kobayakawa died…!


Ryuji takes his frustration out on the poor couch.

He also catches himself mid-”fuck.”

Ryuji! Taking out your frustration on things doesn’t help anyone!
Hey, what do you think, Maaku? …Why did we lose? What did we do wrong?

It’s probably because… we weren’t acting like ourselves.
…Agreed. At the time, we only cared about the opinion of the general public.

…And saving Haru.

Yeah… that really is it. I was… so caught up in making a name for ourselves. I’m such an idiot…! I became a Phantom Thief because I hated those same kinds of adults…!

Oh god, that’s certainly a sentence.

What the hell are you talking about, Haru? This was your first one. You don’t get to talk like that.

I’m so irritated with myself…!
Makoto…

I know that we’ve been set up, and that I was a complete idiot too. But still… it’s so damn frustrating! Of course I wanna do something about this…

Max Mittelman sells the hell out of this scene as Ryuji, for the record. I have some qualms with the way it’s written but it’s some top-notch voice work.

Yeah. We’ll be in deep water at this rate… However, we have no idea who we’re up against… and whether they’re an individual or an organization.
Furthermore, they must be in a position of power, or have powerful backers, if they can go so far.
Are we really a match for this…?
Should we… end this now?

I mean, things might get worse for everyone…
Hey, what should we do…?

Music: Disquiet


Running away with our tails between our legs is exactly what they want…

Another questionable use of the word “aesthetics” when “ideals” would work fine, but whatever.

…I see.

Absolutely not like this!
Looks like we’re settled on “what” we want to do. All that’s left is “how” we go about it…
Yeah…

Music: Beneath the Mask


Um… About me yellin’ earlier. Bein’ framed, and the added bounty… It all felt like such bullshit. I lost it… I’m sorry.

That’s nice. You gonna apologize to the couch you punched repeatedly?

…You too? It is confusin’. We’re wanted criminals now… Maybe I haven’t changed at all since that time we went up against Kamoshida… I wanted to be a phantom thief because I thought even someone like me could be a hero… It made me so happy to be depended on. Guess it all went straight to my head. I thought I could do anythin’ if it was for justice. But that’d make me no different from our targets… I called them shitbags, but I must be the shittiest of shitbags. I can’t even joke about it…

Maaku… Heh, you’re right. I can start by changin’ who I am now. Thanks, Maaku. I feel like I can think straight now. Oh… I scared Haru and Futaba, didn’t I… I’ll have to apologize to them soon. Seeya!

Music: Suspicion


He wants us to gather at Leblanc tomorrow after school.
Who does he think he is, trying to boss us around like that!?
Tomorrow…? That’s sudden.

Yeah. We’re going to overcome this, together.
Regardless, I don’t want anyone disturbing our pace anymore. Let’s go about this calmly. Well, see you all tomorrow.
…We’ve reached a crucial moment. There’s no point fretting about it now though. Let’s just stay calm and wait for tomorrow.



I wouldn’t have expected anything less from you. I knew making you our leader was the right call.


We consulted a profiling expert for his analysis. He determined that “they’re either in their 20s to 30s, or in their 40s to 50s.”

That’s a wide fuckin’ net, and it’s still totally wrong!

They’re so far off the mark… Were they even trying?



Anon: lol this place went to shit
Anon: Oh how far they’ve fallen
Anon: This should make em show up
Anon: Is the admin an accomplice?

Only now does the government speak of taking countermeasures… but their actions are too little, too late! The government as it stands has been left behind the times. It is obsolete! If this is a ship that’s bound to a rotting dock and destined to sink, we might as well destroy is once.


I heard they’re splitting up to form a new party, so an election might come before the year’s end.
I’m gonna vote this time for sure! This man has my support.
You haven’t voted until now? That’s problematic as a member of society, you know…
Politics just never interested me before, but this politician seems pretty amazing. He’s passionate and thinks of the future. I mean, someone like that should be prime minister. I’m definitely voting for him.
Well, I suppose that makes sense since the other politicians seem so unreliable…

Music: Suspicion

That’s a good question, but might I have a cup of coffee first?

It’s not too late to just kill this dude, you guys.

Please keep this short.
There’s a bounty for information in addition to the arrest warrant… Those are quite desperate measures.

The group goes quiet.

I’m referring to Sae-san’s actions. I assume all of you are at your wit’s end as well. She must be considerably vexed if she’s gone that far. Make headlines with the arrest warrant, then use incentives to get testimonies. It’s not a bad method.
The police have nothing on us. There’s no way they can make an arrest.
True. I’m the only one who’s ascertained your true identities. However, the groundwork for fabricating testimonies and concocting a culprit are underway.
We don’t care about that self-gratification. Get on with it.
I’ll be blunt.

Makoto says nothing.

Huh? Really…?
Is this to prevent the investigation agency’s recklessness?
Precisely.
Still, there’s no need to change her heart just for that…
Indeed. It’s hard to believe that a single person can fabricate all that.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. What if I told you that those around her would turn a blind eye to false evidence?

The police!? Do a bad!? Noooooooooo!

It seems they’re more trusted than I thought. Their priority is settling the situation. They don’t care who the supposed culprit is.
No…
They’re completely rotten!
My objective is to find the true culprit. That must be the case for all of you too. However, the current situation is extremely bad.
If worst comes to worst, someone unrelated will be set up as the culprit, huh…?
Our only solution to this is to make Sae-san come to her senses. If she’s in her right mind, she can stop this situation. Her sense of justice wouldn’t allow it.
So that’s why…
The truth will be covered up, and an innocent civilian’s life will be destroyed… I can’t allow such a thing to happen. My own ethics won’t stand for it.
I mean, I guess I can understand how you feel.
And changing Sae-san’s heart will be to protect her as well.
How do you mean?
If the true culprit were to learn that she’s responsible for the investigation… what would happen? I’m certain they’ll aim for her life. She’s the perfect target to place blame on the Phantom Thieves.

Makoto stares at her lap.

So how about it? Will you agree to my plan?
Even though you’re particular about being just, you’re willing to get your hands dirty?
It can’t be helped in order to ascertain the truth. There is also one more merit in changing Sae-san’s heart.

It will become a warning to not mess with us. They can’t go public if someone in the investigation has a change of heart. It’d show their corruption. All that’s left from there is for me to discover the identity of the true culprit.

What do you mean…?
You’re gonna tell us to announce our disbandment once the real culprit is arrested… aren’t you?
As expected from a Niijima. So, what do you say? I don’t think it’s a bad deal for either of us.
Makoto… what’s your take on all this?
…It’s a well-made plan. …It even takes putting an end to our team into consideration.
I’m flattered to hear that.
Why are you willing to do all this, Akechi-kun? Why do you seek justice?

Yes. My contempt for such people drives my sense of justice. It isn’t some grand reason like society’s sake or some lofty ideal. It’s simply an absurd grudge… and extremely personal.

How cryptic!

Music: Confession/Secret

Dude…
You know, doesn’t he remind you of us…?

Yeah… like how some disgusting adult pissed him off.
We’re similar, hm…? Maybe that’s why I thought that I could ask this of you all… Won’t you cooperate with me on the mission to change Sae-san’s heart?

…Thanks. I was actually rather worried there. This mission can’t succeed without your cooperation, after all.
The Phantom Thieves will be disbanded, and everything will work out… I pray it does.
Mako-chan…
I’m OK. I never brought it up until now… but the reason I joined the Phantom Thieves is…

How fortuitous… and fucked-up!

I’ve also known for quite some time that she has a Palace.
Why didn’t you tell us?
It was too selfish of a reason… Though, I was too scared to look any further into it on my own…
Why don’t we try going there now to scope the place out? A lot of this will be new to me, so I’d like to get myself accustomed to it too.


I see. That’s unfortunate.
Will you tell your sister about this?
Of course not. It’s just…
You seem awfully evasive today. Is something the matter?
I just can’t make time today.

How suspicious!

Let’s call it a day then and resume this tomorrow.
I’m sorry, everyone.


Well, I guess that can’t be helped… Regardless, it all starts tomorrow. …I hope this goes well.

Music: Interrogation Room

The numbers are slowing down…

Not only that, Goro Akechi…? Then the Phantom Thieves targeted me as per his advice…? And he had already experienced the Metaverse by the time of the Okumura case? That can’t be… I mean, he never said a word… Although, his attitude did change suddenly around that time. Akechi-kun kept quiet about the most important details, and my own sister may be a Phantom Thief… If this is all true, I’m appalled as the commander of this operation. I alone was kept in the dark…

And if you were apprehended while falsely accused of those crimes, that villain would still be loose. That’s why you targeted me…? Not for your own preservation?

Well, it was kinda both, you see…

Believe you? I’m just considering it as a possibility. Then again, if you wanted to evade capture, triggering my change of heart wouldn’t guarantee anything. Your actions as Phantom Thieves would still be met with hostility.

If this villain does exist and is setting up your group… …I would be targeted next. …Did Makoto come up with that speculation?

Nope!

Perhaps I’m overthinking things…

Maaku’s vision gets hazy once more…


You need to keep your focus!

But the look on your face isn’t one of defeat… Why is that…?

…I’m amazed. It seems you can still talk.

Oh, yeah. To be honest, that was like eighty hours of game and fourteen real-life months ago, so I kinda forgot.

Those words normally hint at the existence of a traitor… However, if your story till now is true… one reason can be concluded. It’s frustrating to admit, but at a certain point—no, most likely from the start—I was a mere puppet… …Someone set up only to bear responsibility later. Someone “intended” your arrest, and the minimal staff directly involved were in their pocket. And if that’s the case, true integrity would side with you…
Sae is slowly starting to accept the truth… I feel like my bond with Sae is growing deeper…

No, I’m jumping to conclusions. I don’t believe your story yet. There’s something I need to confirm with you…

What happened in the time between entering my Palace and your arrest? Tell me everything.


#242
Part 132

Part 132: 10/28-10/29: Straight As An Arrow

Music: Suspicion

We’ll be going to Niijima’s Palace, so I want to look into her. Things like her work ethic and relationships. It doesn’t matter whether it’s public or private.

It’s kind of fucked up that we’ve basically just identified a likelihood that Sae is going to do some bad shit, Minority Report-style, and we’re already actively working to undermine her privacy. For some reason this bothers me more than the fact that we plan to brainwash her. She hasn’t actually done anything wrong yet besides be a total shit to Makoto, is what I’m saying.

Those would help us come up with countermeasures in case we hit a roadblock in her Palace.

I mean, I guess that’s a decent excuse, though Makoto would probably know a lot of what we’d need anyway.

I can look up more, you know. Stuff like her repertoire of underwear.

You tell her too!

I thought you’d like that…

I’m not a sex pest, Futaba. This game’s weird enough about that stuff already.

Ahem! Also, I may be overthinking it, but my voice–

Futaba grabs Morgana’s face.

Same as always.
Let me finish first! sigh …There’s something else we want you to look into.

My memory is a haze…

Anon: id bet money on the arrest
Anon: Akechi-kun, save us!
Anon: Record-breaking evil
Anon: stop shitposting lol

NEVER.

Music: Suspicion

First off, the investigation team has announced new progress in the search for the Phantom Thieves. Secondly, the opposition party has submitted a vote of no confidence regarding the current Cabinet. That along with Legislator Shido’s plan for a new party has sparked fears of governmental disbandment.

Oh my god THE GOVERNMENT HAS DISBANDED

Music: So Boring

Oh right, we were never told where to meet up.
At the courthouse.
Where’s that?
Hint: The government office district.
Kasumigaseki…
Indeed.
Oh, I’ve heard of that place. Never been there though.
Me neither.
It’s not somewhere normal people usually go.

You know, all those weirdos in civil service.

Whoa. Just looking at the map is impressive. The Police department, Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecutors Office, AND Public Security. The Diet Building is right near there too.
For real!? What kinda scary place are we going to!?
We won’t get caught, right…?
According to Akechi-kun, our identities haven’t been discovered yet.
So we are jut going to plunge head-first into enemy territory… Has anyone contacted Akechi?
We’re going to meet him there. Be on guard, everyone. We’ll be heading into a lion’s den.

Being in the general vicinity of public servants isn’t actually that dangerous even for us, unless they’re expecting large groups of teenagers to go waltzing up to the Tax Bureau or whatever the fuck and have set a trap accordingly. Honestly, the biggest risk would just be Akechi accidentally fatfingering the wrong group text and blasting “Hey Maaku, Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto, Futaba, and Haru. Ready for our covert Phantom Thieves business?” to the entire police department.

Let’s hurry up and get started. Akechi, what did you find out?

Music: Disquiet

I rarely get to see Sae-san directly, but I’ve figured out her course of action. On the 20th, an investigation will likely be done at Shujin Academy… as well as the Sakura residence.

Wait, I thought they didn’t know who we were, and the risk was they were going to arrest the wrong person? Why would they go to Sojiro’s place?

For… real…?
…Then that means, our time limit is November 20th.
But this should be a substantially forced operation. I doubt it’ll take place before the 20th.
We’ll take your word. For now, we need to focus on infiltrating her Palace.
I concur. And, we should probably get going soon. After all, people like us standing around here is quite unnatural. Well then…





Music: Wicked Plan

Oh, those wacky hijinks the Phantom Thieves get up to, hyuk~

I’m so sorry. Until recently, Futaba was actually a… well…
It’s OK, Sae-san told me the gist.
Oh, right. Akechi-kun, it may be best if you exchange contact info with everyone too, not just me.
That’s true.
Ooh…!

sigh I’ll send everyone’s contacts to you later…
Thanks.

Akechi looks around at everyone.

Well then, I hope we get along. I’ll do my best.
Though our positions are somewhat different, Akechi will be joining us for the time being… I feel like my bond with Akechi has grown even deeper…




And with that, Akechi has joined the Phantom Thieves, and gotten all the requisite gameplay benefits from his Confidant. Prior to this point in the Confidant menu, these skills were displayed as “LOCKED,” but we now have access to them.

Futaba hands Akechi back his phone.

She’s praising you… I believe.

Music: Suspicion

Then, shall we get started?

Maaku takes his phone out.

We need to figure out what Makoto’s sis thinks this courthouse is, right?
I often hear her call it a “place of competition in which she must always win.”
A competition, huh… That sounds like Sae-san.
It’d be unbearable if we were put on trial for a reason like that. …Although, a competition means it’s a match of some sort. Might it be a martial-arts ring?
Conditions have not been met.
Then… perhaps a stadium? Or maybe an arena?
Conditions have not been met.
There are other competitions besides fighting and sports.
Gambling, then!
How about a racetrack for horses? Other than that, there’s pachinko, but does that count as gambling?
We played cards during the school trip.

That doesn’t really help, Ryuji.

Conditions have not been met.
What else is there?
It must be a “casino”…
Candidate found.

Akechi is surprised.

I definitely see Sae-san in you.

What a cruel thing to say!

Welp, it’s time we head in then.
Beginning navigation.


Sae’s Palace




That’s it… huh? What’s going on here?

Seems like it…
Let’s go.
Right.


And so, we’re finally back here.

Music: Disquiet


Everywhere else seems to be a normal cityscape.


I didn’t know that the station and the courthouse were next to each other.
Our attire hasn’t changed… That must mean we aren’t considered threats or hostiles yet.


The police station’s also part of her work area though, whenever arrests are made for her cases. I’ve brought her food and belongings when she was sent on loan to the police.
We got no business with the cops, right? This might be the Metaverse, but I don’t wanna go in a station.
That reminds me, he’ll need a code name too.

“That reminds me” in this game seems to just mean “I thought of this for no reason.”

…Code name?
Phantom thieves can’t go around usin’ their real names, right? It ain’t cool either.

That’s not the actual reason we decided to use them, but whatever.

Just for reference, what is everyone else’s?
Skull.
Mine’s Fox.
We pretty much decided on them with how we look, didn’t we?

Haru is quiet.

What is it, Haru?

O-Oh, it’s nothing…

Okay, I get what this joke is supposed to be, with Haru’s nascent sense of justice leading her to pick the code name “Noir.” Then, as a reference to the fact that the rest of the team thought it was a bit odd, she feels embarrassed about it now. It just doesn’t really come across that well. First, because that was like ten hours ago and no one’s remarked upon or developed any of that since, and second because “Noir” is still a badass code name.

Then… perhaps “Karasu” will be best for me. You know, like a raven.
Are your clothes all black or something?
The reverse, actually. If our code names are to hide our identities, wouldn’t that be better?
Karasu… He’d be the only Japanese-sounding one.

“Noir” is the only French-sounding one, who cares?

Why not go with “Crow” instead?
All right, from here on out, you’re Crow.
Got it.

Music: The Whims of Fate (Listen to this)

This is one of the best songs in the game, which is fitting, because this is also the best Palace by a comfortable margin.


Sorry Haru, but you’re benched for now. Time to see what Goro has to offer.


We can’t go in the front door obviously, so we head up this fire escape and jump across.

There, we find a door waiting for us.

Music: Disquiet

Pfffff… Oh god, what the fuck, I don’t know if I can hold back the laughter… Look at this fuckin’ nerd!

Dude, you plannin’ on stealin’ stuff in that getup?
It just means that’s what he thinks a rebel looks like.

Like a parade float?

No, this is my mental image of a person who sticks to their justice.

Again, NEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRD.

Well, I think your mask is more apt for piercing rather than sticking…

But we’re in a flashy casino. There’s no doubt this is a Palace.
…Oh right, Crow doesn’t know too much about cognitive beings, does he?
Ah, yes. In addition to similar topography, cognitive people exist based on the ruler’s perceptions.
That prolly didn’t make much sense ‘cause of all the fancy terms he was usin’, huh?
In essence, since these ones look like real people, Sae-san’s view of others is surprisingly undistorted. But considering what I see before me, it’s difficult to believe it is not actually a real casino.
Not all cognitions are normal though. In Futaba and Okumura’s Palaces, we had to battle them. People may look normal, but we should be careful… particularly of those in positions of power.
Is this what you have to go through every time?

Hm, this is a first for me… I’m somewhat nervous.
Just don’t slow us down, Crow.
I will not allow that to happen.

OK, it’s time we head inside. Our deadline for this infiltration is November 20th. Any later, and we’ll get caught in reality. Of course, we’ll need to secure an infiltration route before we send out the calling card. As always.

Aww, he looks so excited.

Will you please stop interrupting?

M-My apologies.
Well then… let’s go.

Everyone nods.

Music: The Whims of Fate




This room is just jumping across lights until we come to a vent we have to crawl through.

Music: Desire


Come on down and I will tell you where it is.
Wh-What!? We’re not going to fall for a trick like that…
chuckle It’s not a lie. I only wish to do this fair and square.

Your Palace is a fucking casino. Fair and square my ass.

You aren’t going to run, are you…
We should do as she says. There is no point in hiding any longer.

That seems like a bad idea, but you’re the detective, I guess

Hoo boy, now that’s a look for a Shadow. Not gonna lie… I’m kinda into it.

The Treasure is located on the Manager’s Floor, at the highest point of this building.
…Why are you telling us this?
It’s as I said before… I wish to go about this in the fairest manner possible. First, I ask that you come up to my location. We will continue this there…

Shadow Sae snaps her fingers…


And she’s gone!





We technically have free roam of this room at the moment, but the only thing we can do here is enter a safe room. Let’s just head to the elevator instead.

Music: Suspicion


Perhaps it bears relation to a player’s club of sorts.
I can’t handle your technical speak! Just gimme it straight!

“Technical” isn’t the word I’d use, Ryuji.

Casinos typically have a membership system called a player’s club. Some locations even have areas cordoned off for particular ranks of player. Considering the setup of this place, I thought things may be similar here.
That’ll make this shit simple. C’mon, let’s join this player thingy.
I would agree with you, but…


As I expected. Registration will not be such a simple matter.
She must be daring us to challenge the security of this place to make it to her.
Tch, here it comes!



I promise to surpass even such lofty hopes as those.

Music: Will Power





Don’t worry. You can leave this one to me.


Akechi already had his Persona, so no fancy awakening for him, sadly. Akechi is pretty damn useful, though.

Akechi uses fucking lightsabers as melee weapons…

…and for a gun, he has a laser pistol with six shots.

He’s the only party member with access to the neutral Almighty element (Megidola is Heavy Almighty to all foes), can use Megaton Raid for Severe Physical damage to one foe, and can use a variety of Bless and Curse skills. He starts with Kouga and Eiga, single-target Medium Bless and Curse, as well as Hamaon and Mudoon, which are medium chances to instant-kill any non-boss with Bless or Curse.

He starts with seven of his eight skill slots taken, with the one we can’t see right now being reserved for Fortify Spirit, a passive skill that reduces the chance of suffering a status ailment. He also learns all kinds of other shit. Almost too much, I’d say. He can revive people. He learns an automatic Tarukaja spell. In the endgame he gets Debilitate, which lowers all three stat parameters for a single foe (which can lead to some stupid damage numbers if you set it up correctly).

He’s pretty versatile, is what I’m saying. He is weak to Curse, but his ability to use Curse anyway is great. His only real downside is that he’s something of an SP hog due to his starting lack of multi-target skills outside of Megidola, which can’t hit any weaknesses. If we want to knock anyone down with him, we’re gonna have to do it one at a time.

Speaking of which, we actually can’t knock this guy down with Akechi. He resists everything except Curse, which he blocks, and Bless, which he’s neutral to. It’s kind of annoying because we can’t see his cut-in or his finisher in this fight, but the fight’s also really easy, to the point where I won’t bother uploading a video.

Music: The Whims of Fate

And I am capable of much more. Now then, let us deal with the Shadows quickly.
Wait. Doesn’t it sound like we’re gonna get ambushed based on what we heard earlier?
…I agree. I’d like to deal with them as quick as we can… But now that we have an infiltration route, I’d suggest we return for now and prepare.
Very well, I trust your experience and judgment. Let us do that.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Agreed.
We will need to explain the steps to take though.
That is unnecessary. First we secure an infiltration route, then send the calling card. Correct? In doing so, the core of the ruler’s distorted desires will manifest into a physical form. By taking that core, the change of heart will be triggered. I deduce the steps would be something along those lines?
A+.
It ain’t as easy as it sounds. Don’t underestimate this shit.
I am not underestimating anything, I assure you.
By the way, Niijima-san’s Shadow seemed really confident…

Come now, there is no need for hostility. I will simply have to come to Leblanc every day in that case.
That’s not enough for now. Let’s prepare well for the coming task.
Ah, yes. My apologies for somewhat derailing this conversation.
We will be counting on you, Akechi. Failure is not an option here.
Yes. I’ll do my best to live up to all of your expectations.
The crucial moment’s finally here! Give it all you’ve got!



But I seriously believe the Phantom Thieves are innocent. By the way, I changed up the survey question. It’s already in flames though. It’s a problem for me too if people don’t think the Phantom Thieves are heroes… Just try and clear the stigma on your name as soon as you can, OK? I’m counting on you!
So people are turning on us even in his survey? Our popularity is really at an all-time low…



However… He’s not the only traitor! Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “You Again, Hawk?”


Well, we’re ready to start our Palace infiltration whenever we choose. But before we go:

This is Akechi’s Persona, Robin Hood. You fucking know who Robin Hood is. Merry Men, Sherwood Forest, Maid Marian, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, apparently fought in the Crusades which I didn’t know but is pretty fucked up, etc.

For real though, Robin Hood was a legendary outlaw of English folklore, a skilled archer and swordsman, who fought against the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took his lands for Prince John, who usurped the throne from the rightful King Richard. Sometimes he fought in the Crusades, sometimes he was just born a noble, it’s not terribly consistent and there’s tons of theories about its actual veracity, including one that posits he was a stock alias of English outlaws in general. Modern legends have updated some of this, too, but the legends are generally always that he fights injustice (like giving to the poor and stealing from the rich, of course) and remains loyal to the rightful king like the filthy monarchist that he is.

Also the game wants to keep Akechi being a party member “secret” despite the fact that he’s on the fucking boxart, so there’s no official Soejima portrait of Robin Hood like the other party member Personas. Instead, we have to use this concept art. Looking at it makes me realize that holy shit, Robin Hood is just All Might.


#243
Part 133

Part 133: 10/30: Beloved Smother

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: they’re def guilty
Anon: they’re running loose rn…
— DELETED BY ADMIN —

Poor Mishima.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)



I’m eating now. Maybe I should respond later…

Just concentrate on your food.

Come on, let’s finish eating and then send a reply once we go upstairs.


I’ll be counting on you.

Don’t worry, Maaku. I trust you. That’s why I ask that you lend me your help.
There’s no need to get too worked up about this, right? Take as much time as you need to get ready. Anything goes as long as it helps out our mission. You have our trust. You’re our leader, after all.

Music: Tokyo Emergency



All right, it’s now or never. We’ve got to steal Sae’s heart and clear our names… but first, we have a lot of fucking around to do. A lot. We want to unlock the last of our Confidant requests before we head into Mementos so we can knock them out all at once. Unfortunately, Iwai has one, is our only remaining night Confidant we haven’t reached that point for, and is currently gated by Rank 5 Guts, the last unmaxed stat parameter for us. We need to get his and one other Mementos request, but it’s going to take a bit.

It’s believed that all of them have been caused by the Phantom Thieves. The public remains terrified of the cruel and inhumane acts the Phantom Thieves are committing.
Dammit! What’s going on? None of that’s our fault!

The only one who can rebuild this rotten world is… that man.

You’re still blindly following the Phantom Thieves? They were nothing but a sweet, sinful trap. The Phantom Thieves played Robin Hood, but they committed those crimes just to please themselves. When they’re inevitably caught, it’ll be a poignant fall from grace, just like in the movies.





The only one who’s giving us a reason to hope is that one politician.
That Shido’s very competent. He worked his way up from the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. More than anything, I can tell that he’s a good, upright, and honest man. I like him.

Approval ratings remain low, and it seems that a dissolution of Parliament is inevitable…
I’m not surprised. Politicians do nothing for us. That’s the way it’s always been.


Around this point, this guy moves in and starts selling sweet potatoes that restore SP during the day. It’s quaint, but not that useful.

Did… Did they scramble Kotaro’s brain because they’re bad people?
What? Who told you that? Don’t worry. Everyone’s all right, OK…?

Music: Tokyo Daylight

I’m just singing! I don’t need anyone’s permission to rock out!
You’re gonna break your mother’s heart if you keep this up, kid.
C’mon…
We’ve had to tighten city security because of the Phantom Thieves case. Pack your things and be on your way.

Young Rocker, nooooo!

The surge of darkness spreads… Sun God… please come back…

Now that the Phantom Thieves have been covered by shadows, the world will fall into darkness… Sun God, the people are scared! Now is the time for you to shed your light on the path…

And those weird religious protesters, too!? What’s happening!?

His aura of popularity was on at full blast. He kinda had the same smell as you…

What? Gross.

…Who’d you go with? A girl? You did, didn’t you?

Man, “Veteran Pick-up Artist” is getting pretty desperate.

Of course, I went with a girl. She’s a fan of Akechi, so…

I’m just glad the company survived in one piece—and that my family’s got plenty in our savings. By the by, how’s your guy? Oh, I’m sorry—should I not ask?
Well, actually, because he helped with the case so much, they promoted him to CEO. Ohoho…

What are you saying? Did something happen with your boyfriend?
I told him my real age and apologized. And then he said, “No way”… I broke up with him! I guess being honest really isn’t worth it!

A moral we can all get behind.


I figured out where the Phantom Thieves’ hideout is. I can sell you the info for a cheap price.

Whoa! Wait a sec, you involved with the investigation or something!? …Heh, yeah right. A kid like you? I don’t even care. Just get outta here.

No way, we’d just get killed. The police can handle it, so let’s leave this to the pros.
Hey, we can pick up more fares near those government agencies if they’re gonna get busy. But I’m not sure they can catch the Phantom Thieves. They can just make you go brain dead, easy.

Amazingly, we’ve gotten five times more contract sign-ups this autumn than we did last year! That’s because people know that Wanna-B-Alert will protect you when evil suddenly strikes! To celebrate our high contract numbers with our customers, we’re giving away Wanna-Wanna-kun dolls!

It also seems suspicious though. Doesn’t this situation kind of feel like it was all set up?
It’s probably the police sending a message. “This is what happens when you cross the authorities.” This whole thing even impacted the government. I doubt the police are looking forward to Christmas.

The Phantom Thieves are all over the news. People on the internet are always talking about them. If I won that 30 million yen reward, I’d reserve the entire cafe and have a humongous party!
Yeah, yeah. We’ll be waiting to welcome your arrival…

No way. It’d never work. Did you forget? Guys like us make for some annoying enemies, but we’re pretty useless allies.
You know what? That does sound like us, huh?

Wha…? But we just signed the contract… You know… I never thought I’d say this, but I…
D-Don’t worry! I borrowed 1 millin yen from my parents… The stock market’s small-time! I’ll win it big on the foreign exchange market! Celebrolution!

DUMP HIM

It costs 500 yen each try, so I can only play once in a while.

Do you have some time?

Yeah, then… let’s go… somewhere quiet.

Music: Suspicion

But my mom told them that it was the kid’s own fault for having his money taken… She just told them to leave without hearing what they had to say. Something’s wrong… with my mom. The other day she called my school to complain that the cost of lunch is too high. I begged her not to do it, but she said it’s for my own good… I doubt it was really ‘cause of me though. Once everyone finds out, I’m gonna get made fun of again… But… She told me that once you stop fighting, you lose. And that those who complain, win. My mom was never like this before… She never used to care about stuff like winning or losing…



You are ambushed by a wild MOTHER!

I knew it…
Wh-What?

Music: Tension

Constantly talking back to me… I knew someone new must have come into the picture. So? Are you the one who’s been such a bad influence on my Shinya?

Yes. Children should obey their parents. But he doesn’t! I want my obedient Shinya back!

S-Stop it…!
Will you take responsibility if my Shinya turns into a juvenile delinquent? All that time and money I spent on him, wasted! What are you going to do about THAT, huh?

Jeez lady, that’s an awful way to talk about your son.

Hamiru-san, hm? I’m going to remember you. You’re a high schooler, right? Hm, I may just have to tell your school… …One of their students is stalking my son.

This is supposed to be some massive threat but all I can think about here is that this scene is completely fucked because I’m doing it on a Sunday and am thus not in my uniform. What is she gonna do, call every high school in Tokyo?

Stop it… Mom…
Come on, Shinya, we’re going home!

He’s my son. I can do whatever I want to him! If you keep meddling with him, I’m going to call the police!

…Fine. Just know this: I don’t intend to lose. Now let’s go!
But…
Shinya…? You ARE Shinya, aren’t you!?
…Y-Yes.


I just wanted to say, I’m really sorry about earlier!

Crap, I gotta go… I don’t like the person my mom’s turned into. She won’t listen to anything I say… That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about today… Um, do you think the Phantom Thieves can turn my mom back into her old self…?

Oh shit!

Shinya appears to be on the verge of tears…
Please tell the Phantom Thieves… To change my mom back… to the way she used to be…

Her name? It’s Hanae… Hanae Oda… I gotta go. Let’s play again sometime… Um, and please don’t hate me…
I feel Shinya’s brotherly affection…

I need to do something about the target for Shinya… I should discuss this with everyone…

Music: Suspicion

And we meet immediately! Sure, why not?

And we’re gonna do it by changin’ his mom’s heart? …I bet that was a real tough decision to make.

I mean, we already changed Hifumi’s mom’s heart, and this time we actually have permission, even if it was given to us by a grade schooler.

I mean, he’s only in elementary school, right? This is a lot for a little kid to be dealing with…
You’re right… We should try to help him as soon as possible. As for the calling card, let’s have him deliver it himself.
I guess this counts as a unanimous decision?

So, we don’t actually have the request yet. Because we’re going to have Shinya hand-deliver the calling card, we need to wait until we next meet him to get the request.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Don’t know what to say… I’m glad you made it home…


What is it?
You got any idea who the true culprit might be?
Oh yeah! You said you saw a masked guy, right?
I wanted to ask about that too.
Did you really see him? That masked guy’s gotta be the true culprit, right?
If this so-called true culprit is acting alone, then there can be no mistake about it.
I see.
The next question is, who is that masked man?
Unfortunately, I do not know that much.
Ugh, you’re useless.
That is quite harsh.
Aw, you’re making me blush.
That wasn’t a compliment…
At this point, I have yet to even grasp any clues.

Man, you seem bad at this.

Perfect. Leave it to me. It may sound somewhat odd for me to say this, but I am an exceptional detective.

Ahahahahahaha what a shit

I assure you, I will catch the culprit. Look forward to it.
He doesn’t have any clues, but he’s confident enough to say he can definitely catch the guy… No wonder he’s a star detective. Even the way he talks about these things is different from us.

What a rube Morgana is.


So, I actually forgot to include the last time I went to Shady Commodities, but all I did that time was unlock the last tier of items from the previous set of purchases and buy some more transmutation catalysts. There’s a bunch of new, incredibly overpriced items, too. The Roland Medal is the big new thing, increasing all stats by +5, but we’re really just here to show that it exists, so we buy some washable armor and bounce. We probably won’t ever even end up laundering it.

About that… I think I would really rather stick to singing.
This is just business as usual for the industry. Besides, you need to understand something… In this world, it’s not enough to just sing. You need to be a star. You need to be entertaining. Got it?

Can we change this dude’s heart, please?





We’re ready for TRIAL BY BURGER.

What!? That sucks… All that time you spent studying hard is just gone!
I hate it when our parents just make us study all the time! I’ll get them back for this… I’ll get back all the games and manga they threw out!

Harsh.


Offisherrrrr! I got ‘em! I caaaaaught a Phantom Thief!
OK, quiet down, sir. Sorry about this. Now let go of him, and we’ll get you home.

Offisher! I believe I jus’ won th’ thirsty jillion yen rewarrrd. I caught… muh Phantom Thief.

“Thirsty jillion” makes me fucking lose it, it’s so dumb.

OK, OK. Who are you talking to? There’s no one over there.

GHOST

Hmm? Wha’ are you sayin’? Are you shayin’ yer not a Phantom Thief? Can’t fool meee! Yer a Phantom Thief!
OK, stop right there. Let go of him and head on home, OK?

Our club’s gonna bag that reward! Every one of us should be diggin’ up on [sic] dirt on the Phantom Thieves!
Well, hold on now. We don’t want to put ourselves in any danger.
Relax, buuuddy! We’re unstoppable!

Those who are swayed by fads are fools. The people of this country will never learn.
Is this really what we should be focusing on? Aren’t the elections at the end of the year?
Yes, and the ruling party finally split up. Although, it’s too late, considering the approval rating.

Our company’s been hurting financially too after investing in Phantom Thieves related stuff.
We’re always the ones getting the short end of the stick. I’ve had enough of this.
Politicians are also to blame. They’ve been ignoring that dangerous group for a long time.

Oh, it’s you. Your Japanese has gotten pretty decent.
I want to get better at speaking to customers. Communication is key. That’s why I started following current events more on the news.

Does that mean ya finally wanna come back home to the country?
No. I worked too hard to get here just to leave now. Just gotta hope they’re caught soon.
I’ll keep ya safe. We’re all real worried ‘bout ya, y’know.

Man, this poor idiot. She’s not gonna fuck you, dude.

BURGER TIME!



And we’re finally maxed out on everything! Iwai, here we come


#244
Part 134

Part 134: 10/31-11/1: Spooky Veggies

SpooOOOoooky Halloween, everyone! The only holiday I don’t refuse to acknowledge because it’s predicated on exploiting feelings of guilt to make you buy shitty cards for your family!

…Moving on!

Anon: waste of tax money imo
Anon: they’re def guilty
Anon: lol this place went to shit
Anon: Enough is enough!!!

Music: Suspicion

My sister is… serious. Her determination to win this fight is reflected in that casino. She won’t be easy to beat. I know that better than anyone. I want to understand our situation as soon as possible. Let’s go to the Palace today.

Naaaaaaah, I have to make a spookytime costume. Hell if I’m going to figure out how to make a sexy sheet ghost. …That’s not for me, for the record.

Sorry. Perhaps I AM getting a bit too high strung. But I can’t bear seeing my sister like this. We’ll stop her no matter what. If you’re going by any chance, let me know. I’ll make sure I’m ready at a moment’s notice.

Music: My Homie

Ummm… Mr. Hiruta, please come to the faculty office at once.
What…? …Everyone, make sure you study on your own until I return.



We don’t actually need any more social stats, so reading is kinda pointless. There’s only three reasons to keep reading: there’s a trophy for reading all of the books in the game (which is pointless for this LP but I may go for anyway if it’s expedient), unlocking the rest of the hangout spots (which is also pointless by this point but also unlocks a trophy), and getting the reward from Jinbocho by reading all the complicated “three session” books. I want to at least show off what the reward is, so we’ll be reading the last of those complicated books.

Would the tactics of the Casanovas in this book still work today? I wonder…




Music: Tokyo Daylight

Oh yeah, what the fuck are we gonna do with only twenty days?


Ah, don’t say that. I get scared just by thinking they could be lurking nearby… I’ve been writing all over the Phan-Site, asking the Phantom Thieves to give themselves up.

Are yours the comments Mishima keeps deleting? Nah, he’s probably only going after like, egregious threats.

It doesn’t seem like the police will catch them anytime soon. I wish Akechi-kun would save us…



President Okumura died ‘cause of the Phantom Thieves, right…? I heard they’re behind all the weird shit that’s been going on… They tricked us good, huh… Does that guy not watch the news or something? Way to bring the mood down… Dude, why’s he drawing this shit? Is he brave… or just an idiot? Come to think of it, isn’t he notorious? He’s got guts…

Maaku gains Guts +1. No, really. It’s pretty great, but it’s one-time, so don’t get any bright ideas.

They’re treating us like villains or something… Damn it…


They can’t be forgiven if they caused those mental shutdowns. I’ll quote you in my article. I wonder what the truth really is. Discerning what’s true from what’s not is a real challenge…

I personally agree with you, but critics of the Phantom Thieves won’t change their minds easily. I wonder what the truth really is. Discerning what’s true from what’s not is a real challenge…

Well, at least my favorite second-favorite fifth-favorite NPC is on our side.

(For those of you wondering, Yoshida, Sojiro, Foreign Barker, and Drunken Souse are ahead of her. Young Rocker, the religious protesters, and Homeless Man are just below and Fishy Hawker, Starry-eyed Student, and Busy-Looking Young Man are also somewhere on there just through sheer audacity. Hifumi is probably also in the top 10 or so but this game has a lot of good NPCs)

Yeah. We’re not getting all the important info we need since the mass media is unfairly biased. I wonder what the truth really is. Discerning what’s true from what’s not is a real challenge…

Um… I’d save it and live off the interest.
That’s boring!
Boring, but practical. Who knows what the new prime minister will do once he’s in office!

I’m certain. Many people can be counted among their victims.
It’ll be so exciting once they get arrested. You think it’ll happen sometime this year?
They announced that they’ve made progress in the investigation. It’s only a matter of time.

It looks like the guys in my team have been studying different diets and workouts, too. It’s like they’ve all changed. Did the Phantom Thieves get to them all or something?
No way, the Phantom Thieves are killers. They’d be dead by now if they were targeted by them.

Maybe the Phantom Thieves bribed him. I didn’t expect him to say they weren’t behind that murder.
I can never understand what these smart people are thinking.

Yeah, it’s a bit disappointing, but I’m glad nothing bad happened. I just wish those Phantom Thieves would get caught already.
The police are useless. Always telling us what to do, but they can’t catch the Phantom Thieves…

The thing is, this celebrity might actually be a criminal… What should I do?

PERPETUATE THE LIE THAT IS YOUR EXISTENCE

But then I-- Um, I mean, my friend, would live each day in fear of being arrested. If the Phantom Thieves had just stayed heroes, I never would have had to deal with all this. Er, you know I was just talking about my friend, right?


There’s a ton of theories that they’re connected to Shujin somehow. Do you know anything?
I don’t… I don’t want to believe they’re at my school…
Hey, try to look into it while you can. It’ll be too late if you have a psychotic breakdown…

What a fuckin’ hero this dude is.

Haru hangs out on the roof. She said she wanted to get Sojiro’s opinion on her vegetables, so maybe we can form a Confidant and hold an impromptu Halloween party at Leblanc at the same timeB.


Huh? At a time like this…? Is this perhaps part of your grand infiltration strategy?

She gets really mad at you if you say “I dunno,” heh.

giggle You make it sound like it’s really important. I suppose relaxation is pretty vital at times like these… In that case, I’d like to use this opportunity to bring my most recent harvest to Sakura-san.
This may be a good opportunity to deepen my bond with Haru…
I’d like to stop by Leblanc today… Could you join me?

Great! Let us go then.

Music: What’s Going On?

It’s all good. Not like I have customers to deal with.

How the hell does this place stay in business?

So… this is what you grew?
Yes. I’d like an honest opinion from a culinary professional.

“Culinary professional” is maybe stretching it a bit. He makes coffee and curry. Damn good coffee and curry, but that’s kinda it.

Let me see…

Wow, Sojiro went right for the throat.

I see.
But, it’s impressive you managed to grow anything at all up on a rooftop of all places.
I’m honored to hear you say that.
Y’know… I can’t say it tasted good, but it was actually somewhat refreshing. Kinda like how you feel good after taking bitter medicine.

“Eating your vegetables reminds me of how I feel when I drink cough syrup” is not exactly glowing praise.

Hmm… I first came across the plant in my house…

Wait, what!? What the hell are you feeding us!? I mean, it explains how it grew so fast, and on a rooftop of all places, but still! And you found it in your house? Jesus christ, are these veggies haunted? Is the vengeful spirit of Kunikazu Okumura infesting these plants!? Oh god, I ate a ghost!

Well, it’s still better than the last time I got haunted where I just spent four and a half minutes eating an awful pie.

Thank you very much for the input, Sakura-san. I’ll take note of that.


…He’s right. That was the same thought I had. I think I understand what Sakura-san meant when he said they were refreshing.

They may prove useful during Palace forays…


I agree! …I’m so happy. I didn’t expect this hobby of mine to provide value to the Phantom Thieves. This is actually the only thing I can honestly say I’m good at.

But it’s what I want to do. Oh, then… do you think you could help me out again sometime? Like you did today.
nods

OK, I’ll do my best from now on!
Haru seems a little more enthusiastic than before…

Music: Interrogation Room


There’s the possibility you even infiltrated their company building. Perhaps some sort of connection… …Tell me about this person!

Infiltrated their company building? Not in the real world, no. None of that’s true, in fact. I kind of assumed you were going to ask me about these weird veggies, actually.

Music: The Spirit

The Empress arcana represents concepts like nature, motherhood, femininity, and fertility. When reversed, it signifies dependence. Haru seems like a pretty good fit for most of that.



Haru can grow vegetables for us, which is a pared-down version of a similar system from Persona 4 Golden. This system is a little half-baked, honestly. The effects are undoubtedly useful, but they fall into the “too good to waste” category where we’ll never use most of them, and it’s so late in the game that we’re unlikely to have too many major difficulties going forward. There’s just not enough time to really take advantage of it. We’ll go into the effects of the vegetables next time we talk to Haru, though.

Music: What’s Going On?

I spent some more time with Haru before escorting her to the train station…

Music: Beneath the Mask

…My bad. All I can do is welcome you home…

People desperate for protection from the Phantom Thieves are keeping security companies busy. Events this horrific only happen rarely in history, and the terror among the people is palpable.

“Events this horrific only happen rarely in history”? What? Cut the editorializing, buddy, there’s bad shit going down everywhere all the time always.

We’ve got a bounty on our heads. We don’t have a choice—we have to find out who really did all this.

Here’s our current predicament: we need the Iwai request, but he’s not available tonight. We’re going to go into Mementos the second we get that request, but in the meantime, we just have to wait. So, we read.




Anon: False charges happen, but…
Anon: Is the admin an accomplice?
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: id bet money on the arrest

Really!? Who?
I might know…
If we report them, will we get 30 million yen?
Wanna just report anyone who looks suspicious?

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: they’re def guilty
Anon: This should make em show up
Anon: lol this place went to shit
Anon: Enough is enough!!!

Music: So Boring

Don’t it kinda feel different than usual?
Do you think?
I’m getting a weird feeling too.
What do you mean?

Hm? Is it just me that thinks nothing has changed?
Nothing seems unusual on my end. What about you, Makoto?
Someone ask for me? Everything’s normal over here.
We most certainly did not ask for you. Is Makoto sick today?
Sorry, I only just noticed the chat right now. I think everyone’s just agitated by the Phantom Thieves rumors. Try not to be affected by the people around you.
It’s important to stay calm in times like these!

Music: Tokyo Daylight




First up, we return Cry of Cthulhu and pick up Woman in the Dark.

How the hell did she set all this up!?

What are your thoughts on this flowerbed? I brought it here in the hopes of doing some serious gardening.
Wow… She’s so diligent…

We can only grow one vegetable at a time, and the rate depends on the species. Still, a few days is awful fast. Guess it’s that weird Okumura Foods genetic tampering.

Let me know if you’d like to grow any vegetables. So, what will it be today?

giggle That makes me happy. These vegetables should grow nicely here. What do you think?

The Moonlight Carrot restores all of one ally’s SP, and the Sun Tomato restores 100 SP for everyone. We’ll get more options as we rank Haru up.


Six days? Time’s kind of at a premium, so that’s a little disappointing. Oh well.

Hehe. I hope you’re looking forward to it.

Hey, what should I… …Nah, never mind. Let’s train!


Huh? What do you mean?


“Hanae Oda”…

nods
The Phantom Thieves are targeting my mom…?

Music: Alleycat



…She’s one of the bad guys. To be honest, I’ve thought that for a while now. My mom… Do you think they’ll actually be able to change her heart?


So… Someone has to give this to my mom, right? …OK, I’ll do it.

Both of these options sound really patronizing to me!

Well… It IS kind of my fault… that my mom got this way… She had to deal with a lot, raising me on her own… She had to get stronger… ‘cause I was so weak…

She fights with everyone, about everything, and ends up getting hurt… At this rate, my mom’s gonna break…

I was initially kind of on the fence about this one because it felt like a rather slight justification to change a heart (even if she was exacerbating Shinya’s bullying) but I feel better about doing this if the rationale is that she’s going to fucking destroy herself if she keeps this up.

I want my mom to realize that she doesn’t have to be strong for me anymore… But she won’t listen to me when I tell her that… That’s why I wanna help the Phantom Thieves. I wanna stop my mom.


OK, I’ll give her the calling card. She’s my mom, after all. I really want to help her! The next time you see the Phantom Thieves, please tell them I said thank you. And thanks for talking to them about this, Hamiru-san. I’m going to teach you my best, strongest move…
I feel like my bond with Shinya is growing deeper…

This upgrade to Bullet Hail causes it to do about 50% of enemies’ max HP in damage, which is great.

Hey, do me a favor… Don’t tell anyone you saw me crying earlier, OK?
Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Oh, and say hi to the Phantom Thieves for me. Later.

Music: Beneath the Mask



And now we can fulfill that request.

“Do you think the Phantom Thieves are innocent?” It’s funny that people make a big deal out of it.
Of course they’re not innocent. They’re wanted, so they’d be arrested on the spot.

The cabinet’s approval ratings hit rock bottom due to how they’ve dealt with the Phantom Thieves. With Representative Shido leading the criticism, many are starting to consider leaving the party. If the ruling party—the Liberal Co-Prosperity Party—splits, a snap Diet election is certain.
They’re having a falling out because of us? I don’t really get politics.


Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


Casasnova? He was probably more like a shameless pervert. Perfect vice is almost a virtue, I guess. Well, it seems you were able to learn the nuances of sex appeal.

I find these lines so funny for no reason.

Maaku gains Charm +3, but it’s a long book so it’s technically +4.

And we’ve finished reading the final Jinbocho book. Time for our reward!


#245
Part 135

Part 135: 11/2-11/3: Garden Variety

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: they’re def guilty
Anon: if ur innocent, show yourself
Anon: lol this place went to shit

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Why not read the fishing book, even if we’ll probably never go back there?

Music: Everyday Days

It’s a book about fishing, but it talks more about fishing gear and ideal mental states than fish.

I never thought there’d be ways to tell different types of fish apart while they’re underwater… We should go to the fishing pond sometime and test what you’ve learned!


Music: So Boring

There were those incidents in April, then the Phantom Thieves and the principal… sigh

Uhhh… did he just fucking say that?

Perhaps you’re wondering why I used such hip terminology, hm?

Oh god, please kill me.

Now then, Hamiru-kun. The word “wack” was also used in a coded language from history. What was that language?

It’s the only answer at all relevant to the game, shockingly.

Correct. If you knew that offhand, then I daresay you must be pretty wack, yourself.

I’m gonna jump out the window out of sheer mortification.

…I’m joking, of course. Still, you must be quite diligent in your studies. To thieves of olden days, wack was actually a noun, meaning one’s fair share. If you wanted your part of a haul of riches your group stole, you would demand your wack, you see.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

If today’s youth are freely using Thieves’ Cant to each other in broad daylight… Then truly, we live in wack times indeed.
…I’ve been listening to a lot of teenagers, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard them say that… …Still, he’s trying so hard, it would be a shame to correct him.

Would it really?

OK, let’s get everyone together!

Oh no, the game got mad at me for putting off the meetup again!

Music: Suspicion

Can we just get started?
The forced investigation will take place on November 20th. That’s our deadline this time.
Is there any possibility of that investigation being moved to an earlier date?
I highly doubt it.
How can you be so sure? Didn’t that want to catch us as soon as they possibly could?
They may be corrupt, but they are still a bureaucracy.

That’s a really good explanation, honestly!

Certain steps must be taken in order to continue forward. Unless their situation becomes extremely dire, they won’t act with only circumstantial evidence.
I’m impressed, detective man. You sure know a lot about internal affairs.
Yes, he is quite promising.
Well, this is purely a give-and-take relationship. You taught me the inner workings of the Phantom Thieves, so it’s only fair I return the favor. And I will be sure to contact everyone if the investigation team makes any odd movements.
That would be helpful.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

So, now that we’ve got the gang together, we might as well… back out and cancel the operation! We have shit to do today!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

First, we head to Jinbocho to pick up the reward.

I suppose I can sell you this book. I highly suggest you purchase it.

The reward is… another exorbitantly expensive book! Wow! For real though, this book is extremely helpful if you want that book-readin’ trophy because it doubles the number of “chapters” you can read per session. We buy it and resolve to never come back here.

We also decide to get all the books we haven’t bought from the Shibuya bookstore while we’re at it. At this point we have almost every book in the game. There’s only one we’re missing, but we haven’t done the prerequisite to unlock it yet. We’ll see about doing that sometime later.


Huh…? You sure we’re gonna be OK not headin’ in?

…Eh, I guess it ain’t gonna hurt gettin’ a change of pace.

It’s got to do with the track team… You mind hearin’ me out?

You’re a lifesaver, dude. I’m feelin’ real hungry, so let’s get some monja while we talk. It’s on me.

Music: What’s Going On?


This one’s on me. Don’t expect it to happen too often though. Wait… Where’s my wallet…? …Eh, whatever.

Goddammit, Ryuji. You promised a free meal!

He said the track team’s gonna try n’ ditch Yamauchi. They wanna start practicin’ without him. They’re trying to get their old coach back too… The one from before Kamoshida. Looks like they’re finally walkin’ their own path.



Oh shit!


It felt kinda bad, but that’s not where I belong now. When you first came to Shujin, people were talkin’ so much shit about you. But you took it in stride. You just did whatever you thought was cool, and didn’t care what other people said about you.

Actually, I cried myself to sleep many times, but let’s pretend it’s your thing.

I think that’s why people kinda get pulled towards you, man. Wherever you decide to be, that’s where you belong.


Y’know… back before I met you, I kept makin’ excuses for why I couldn’t fit in. It was always ‘cause of someone else. Kamoshida, the track team… Hell, I even blamed my dad. I was such a freakin’ loser…

I mean, those people weren’t exactly blameless in your status as an outcast.

But I’ve realized now… as long as I’m bein’ myself, I’ll always have somewhere I can fit in. It ain’t really the same place as before, but it’s damn good. …I’m just glad I found it.


Right next to me… or maybe ahead? Something like that.
I feel like my bond with Ryuji is growing deeper…



nods
Wait, but if you can’t see me, am I really showin’ you anything…?

Wanna see me self-actualize? …Wanna see me do it again?

Eh, whatever. I think we’ve been talking too long. We’re all outta monja… Wanna try grillin’ some toothpicks?

We’re definitely getting kicked out of this restaurant.

Let’s head home.

Music: Beneath the Mask

This is just the laundry we ordered the other day.

Highly supported by his peers, Representative Masayoshi Shido is rumored to be forming a new party. If an election does happen, it seems Representative Shido’s group will be in the eye of the storm.
Sounds like there’s going to be an election. You’re still not old enough to vote yet, right?

Iwai’s… still unavailable, so we’re just gonna have to keep reading until then.

Isn’t speed reading kinda antithetical to the whole point of reading, which is to go slowly and be absorbed into a work?

…Just kidding, who gives a shit?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

It’s an old book, but it seems to have the fundamentals of speed reading down.

You started flipping pages much faster towards the middle, so I thought you were skipping parts.

Jesus christ man, you speed-read the speed-reading book!? You’re a madman! You’ll kill us all!

I can already see that you’re able to read with more efficiency now!



Anon: what if they are LOL
Anon: stop shitposting lol
Anon: can’t know w/o a trial
Anon: Record-breaking evil

Music: Tokyo Emergency


However, fewer tips have been sent in than expected. It’s suspected people fear possible retaliation. The police are considering increasing the reward and are continuing to request information.
It just keeps snowballing… Is there really nothing they won’t do to catch us?

Music: Tokyo Daylight

We want to hang with Haru today, but she’s at school, and it’s a holiday. Thankfully, she’s visible from the gate.



I’m authorized to use the back entrance to the school. Come on, we can go in that way.



It takes some time for someone as clumsy as me…
Haru seems to be busy taking care of the planters by herself…

The game’s pretty brutal here, putting a Rank 5 Proficiency gate before Haru’s Rank 2, meaning you can’t even get her Baton Pass until you’ve totally maxed it out. Thankfully, Proficiency is pretty easy to max, if repetitive.

So you’ll help me? Well, if you insist.

Music: What’s Going On?

The soil here would be so healthy if you were here more often.
nods
Honestly… I’m surprised that my gardening can be of use to our work as the Phantom Thieves. This started as just a hobby, so it’s amazing to see it transform into a more practical skill.

…Coffee beans.


I mean, doesn’t the idea of a boutique cafe sound lovely?
nods
Anyway, I recently discovered the joy in the taste and aroma of coffee. I used to think it was purely bitter, but now I understand the depth of its flavor… To tell you the truth… I wasn’t even able to drink it before…


Um… can I share with you again?
nods

Just once I’d like the ability to say “no.”

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

For as long as I can remember, the company has been run by my father. Being liked by him was always very important. Some employees would even come to ingratiate themselves to me.

Most evidently, people have started trying to use my influence as majority shareholder to oust other employees. They say they come to me out of respect… but I know they really just want to use me. I’ve heard so many rumors…

There may be truth to that though. He’s been with the company for years, but has only started being nice to me recently. He even offered to assist me with asset management. I fear he has an ulterior motive though…

TRUST NO ONE

He even went as far as to recommend I sell my shares the other day. He said I could make a fortune… But I realized that if I did so, he would be able to strike the Okumura name completely. Takakura-san must be scheming to take the company for himself… …At least, it’s possible.


None of the advice I’ve gotten so far has been helpful either. Everyone only speaks out of their own self-interest…

Oh, and don’t worry. I’ll make sure I keep myself motivated, even through these difficult times.
I can sense Haru’s trust in me…


I need to make sure these vegetables turn out as good as possible for the Phantom Thieves.
nods
Well, see you later.

Again!? Ever since Okumura, there have been so many…
The Phantom Thieves are going way too far…
Are they getting carried away by their popularity?

What popularity?

Are the police going to do anything about this?

Anon: stop shitposting lol
Anon: Record-breaking evil
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: no way they’re innocent
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: Death penalty! Execute!

Music: Beneath the Mask


I have even heard them say we are assassins hired to deal with psychotic breakdown victims.
Ugh, that’s obviously not what we’re trying to do.
This must be part of the plan to shift the blame onto the Phantom Thieves.

Indeed. I have no intentions of letting this slide.
Man, this culprit guy really won’t let up. I don’t remember ever doing anything that’d make someone hate us THIS much.
He used my father as well…
I cannot fathom what his motive may be… We will just have to capture and interrogate him.
But before that, we need to change my sister’s heart. That’s our first step toward stopping him.
I must agree. The true culprit will be caught, but before that we must deal with Sae-san. If ranking is being taken into consideration, perhaps I will be targeted too… Just kidding.

Please don’t make jokes about this. You’re bad at it.

Probably relax at some luxury resort, then start my own business with the rest of the money… …Wait, we don’t have time for this. What’s our strategy for the clients we’re meeting tomorrow?
sigh Back to lame ol’ reality…


Double speed reading!

Unfortunately, we can still only read one book at a time, and we still have more than a few unread one-session books. But our stats are maxed out already so unless you really care about that trophy unlocking the rest of the hangout spots is the only thing we have to gain.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


It’s a famous spiritual spot well-known for its walking paths. Quiet places like this seem nice. I bet you’d really be able to relax if you took someone there.

Apparently, the Meiji Shrine has its own train station. That’s how popular that place is.


Though I guess you could always go alone if you wanted to pray or make a wish for something.

We’ll almost certainly never go here because it’s pretty redundant, but if we visit Meiji Shrine on our own during the afternoon, we can pray to increase our points with a Confidant, like with Chihaya. Unfortunately, it takes more time, but the tradeoff is that you can get more Confidant points per day.


#246
Part 136

Part 136: 11/4-11/6: Affecting Family Moments And Attempted Fucking Murder

Anon: this site pisses me off
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: why wasnt this done earlier?

Music: Suspicion

Good morning, Maaku-kun, Mona-chan. The Phantom Thieves are all over the newspapers and television. We’re outlaws now. We have to clear our name, for my father too. So, I’d like to make some progress. Why don’t we go to the Palace today?

I’m too busy fucking around.

I’m sorry for rushing you. I’m just worried about Mako-chan. There’s a lot to think about when the target’s someone close to you. Anyway, I hope it goes well. Let’s give this our all.
nods

Music: So Boring

The Phantom Thieves should target somewhere bigger, more global—not this tiny island country. Like… Oh, I don’t know, the casino city of Las Vegas or something. It was like a dream when I went there… Hehe, I might not look it, but I’m good at card games. The four suits of cards all symbolize something. By the way, Mr. Hamiru. Look at this.


Aren’t you an English teacher? Why are we talking about this?

Excellent! Yes, the answer is the Holy Grail. The heart was originally drawn as a cup.

Who is “they?”

However, there are cards that belong to no class, in other words, they have no suit.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

The only card without a suit is the joker. Some theories say it originates from the Fool in tarot decks, but no one knows where it really came from. However, both are trump cards that can bring about unexpected effects. How you use them is critical.
You heard her, Joker. Pretty good name, if I do say so myself. I kinda wish I’d given myself a cooler name…

I don’t even get what “Mona” is supposed to be.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Music: Tokyo Emergency

About my uncle, um… I wanna head into Mementos right now.

This won’t be an easy task…
So, are you free to go today?

We don’t have the option of hanging out with her normally due to her own Confidant request block, but even if she was available, this Mementos trip for the Hierophant Confidant takes precedence, just like when we needed to recruit her to deliver Shinya’s initial calling card. In either case, we can’t hang out with her until the relevant situation is resolved. The good news, though, is that either situation can be resolved on any afternoon we have free instead of waiting for Futaba to be available.

Thanks. This is a family issue, so I wanna do it alone with you. Oh, and I sent my uncle an anonymous letter, so the calling card part’s taken care of.

He’s saying, “money, money”… He forced Sojiro to pay back his debts. He made me go through horrible things, too. …Maaku, make him have a change of heart!

Music: Desire

Hey, did you bring me money!? Why don’t you sell that stupid shop and give me the money? It’s consolation money! It’s reparations! You have to…! You have to give me your money!

If I have enough money, I can keep gambling until I hit another jackpot! If you won’t give me any money, then I’m gonna destroy you!

I’m not getting destroyed by someone like him! Let’s go, Joker!

Shadow Isshiki

Music: Keeper of Lust


So, we’re going to regret Futaba’s decision to make us come alone here pretty much immediately. Virtually every advantage we have in combat evaporates fighting solo: we have less time to capitalize on the power of buffs, debuffs, and status ailments, have to use our only turn to heal in between attacks, and we just generally have fewer opportunities.

There’s also the fact that this boss is kind of hilariously overtuned. All this adds up to make this fight legitimately one of the most annoying fights in the entire game. The one thing we have going for us is that unlike Girimehkala, the Persona it shares a model form with, it doesn’t have any resistances—so no repelling Physical and Gun. That’s it.


Though given how this thing is capable of depleting 1/3 of Maaku’s health on a bad day in one attack, we’re not really going to be using attacks that are cast from HP.

Once or twice I managed to get a lucky Burn or Shock ailment off an Agilao or a Zionga.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capitalize on this because it fucking knows Fast Heal, that skill Haru started with that heals status ailments in half the regular number of turns. That’s not even the biggest fuck you, though:

See, I decided to switch to a Persona that’s immune to Physical to see if maybe I could cheese the fight, or at least get some relief.


Nope! If you do that, it switches to spamming Almighty attacks at you!

(I also in the process of writing this update went back and discovered that he doesn’t switch to Megidola if your equipped Persona is only resistant to Physical instead of immune. I had two Personas that fit this criteria, but unfortunately they’re both relatively weak and had bad skill lineups so I didn’t use them. Whoops!)

Anyway, I eventually managed to win by just spamming attacks, only healing with Beads (full health restores) when I was about to die. It sucked and I wasted some items I’d rather have kept. This is your fault, Futaba! Curse you for not being emotionally ready to tell your friends about the horrific abuse and neglect you suffered at the hands of a relative!

Music: Sunset Bridge

Oh boy, time to learn about what makes this piece of shit tick!

You were thinking about Mom…?
Even back then, I thought just being normal was OK… Then, my whole world changed when I won a lot of money through gambling. Everyone who thought I was worthless started being jealous of me. Haha… I couldn’t forget that feeling… It made me feel like I was smart and confident, like Wakaba!

I like the part of this game where I get to mock the sad backstories.

Ha… Haha… You’re absolutely right… But maybe I’ve realized that too late… Futaba, I’m sorry… Forgive me, Wakaba…
Uncle…


Sojiro’s safe now!
Youji Isshiki seems to have had a change of heart. I should check on Sojiro…

Music: Beneath the Mask


We discuss his private life and the type of person he likes… at only eighty percent speculation!
A lot of women have been calling him their ideal man, right? He’s even more popular than some idols.

First, let’s head in for a quick fuse. We need to pick up a matching Persona anyway.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Well, uh… you look kinda familiar. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was almost lawsuit-worthy!

Hatred and violence are the best, don’t you think? Wear my mask and let’s kick it on over to hell…!

FUCK YEAH

For… some reason, Hell Biker doesn’t have a real backstory. He’s a biker from hell. That’s it.

Music: Beneath the Mask

…You’re not to blame. I’ll chase out anyone who says otherwise.

Thanks. I’m letting you handle today’s curry.

Sojiro Sakura, I presume?

Music: Suspicion

Our apologies for coming in so late. We’re investigators from the domestic affairs court.


Moreover, this report stated that you are abusing your child… Futaba-san.
N-No… We didn’t make it… Uncle sent his report to the police before we could make him have a change of heart…!

Maybe shut up about that in front of all these people, Futaba. I guess it’s implied she’s whispering?

However, the anonymity of the report has led us to question the validity of its content. May we have a word?
…Fine by me. I’ve got nothing to hide. Please, take a seat.

It’s true that Futaba was living as a shut-in, but she overcame that weakness under her own power. And… I would never abuse her. She’s like a daughter to me.
And what about the assault claim? His criminal record points to a history of such violence…

The kid never laid a finger on that guy. He just stood in the way to try and protect Futaba.
To be honest, Hamiru-kun, we looked into your current reputation at school… And it seems there have been no issues whatsoever.

What? Everyone there thinks I’m a murderer and I got into a suspicious argument with the gym teacher like a week before he got brainwashed.

Now then, it’s our job to make sure children like you are safe. How is it… living with Sakura-san? Please, you can speak honestly.


And what do you think, Futaba-san?
I… I’m OK. I couldn’t go out for a while… but everyone helped me get better. I’m not afraid anymore.

Awww…

…I see. It’s quite obvious there was no truth to the report we received. I don’t think we’ll need to schedule any additional check-ins for Hamiru-kun either.
…Are you sure about this?
They wouldn’t have been able to answer so genuinely if they were trying to trick us.

I mean, you’re right in this case, but you sound like kind of a putz saying shit like this. I’m a very accomplished liar.

Besides, meeting them only served to to reaffirm my suspicions… These children are the real victims here. The truth of these things will be clearer to you once you’re a little more experienced.

Cool it on the sexism there, bro! “I guess you’re just too green to see past your emotions.”

Anyway, thank you for your cooperation, we’ll see ourselves out.


Music: Sunset Bridge

“Sunset Bridge” is a very underrated track, and it’s in moments like the ones coming up where it almost makes me cry.



There’s another pretty important person living here too.



Anyway,s I hungerrr! Gimme some curry!
Heh, so much for the sentimental moment. All right, sit your butts down. This is where you two belong.
Mweheh! C’mon, Maaku! It’s time to eat!
I feel like my bond with Sojiro is growing deeper…

This increases the SP restoration of curry from 30 SP to 50 SP. It’s still not really good enough to justify making curry.

What you said before… When you called me your dad… Do you, um, think you could say that again…?
Sorry, I didn’t catch that. My stomach was too grumbly! What’d you say?
Oh, never mind…


Anon: ooh, gonna make the big bux
Anon: stop shitposting lol
Anon: Record-breaking evil
— DELETED BY ADMIN —

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days


This seems like a fun place to go with a special lady… …In any case, it’s not somewhere you’d want to go by yourself.

Seaside Park seems to be a great place to go, day or night. It’s mainly a date spot, though.

You should invite someone to go there, but… Hmm… Who would you choose?

Music: My Homie

Uhhh, ahem… Mr. Ushimaru, please come to the faculty office at once.
What…? I don’t know what business this is… …You better study on your own until I return!





Everything from high-class, traditional cuisine to street food, like xiao long bao. This seems like a fun place to explore and try out street food.

There’s so many shops in Chinatown, aren’t there?

You should invite someone to go to Motomachi Chinatown sometime.

Music: So Boring

That’s a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?
Hm, I suppose Futaba’s ability to process information is truly world-class, after all.

I know so much now, it’s hard to make heads or tails of it. Suspicious people appear, then disappear. It’s been that, over and over again.
So they are manipulating information to keep anyone from reaching the truth…
Well, there’s one thing I know for sure. Whoever we’re going against now is more dangerous than we can possibly imagine.

Music: Tokyo Daylight




Oh, so you’ll take a look? Thank you. It really helps.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Within its gentle care, even a tiny seed can awaken, spread its roots, and grow up towards the sun. It’s almost like a mother. …Perhaps that aspect is why I find this place so comforting.

I was hesitant at first… but I liked it so much that I kept them long past the original request. I started mixing my own fertilizer, adjusting soil ratios… Now I raise these plants in complete secret. But um, Maaku-kun… I’m worried what the school might do if they found out about this.


In that case, we can be partners in crime! Honestly, Maaku-kun… I really enjoy the time we spend together. …It’s so different from how I feel when I’m around him.

Oh, sorry… I meant my fiance. That reminds me though, I wanted to ask your advice about him… This whole arrangement began when my father first introduced us around the beginning of this year. I was told we were just meeting his friend for dinner… but then he said that “friend” was to be my fiance. It was surprising… but I suppose I had always known I would someday be married off for political gain. So… I accepted, and that was the start of our relationship.

Haru sweats.

A-Anyway… I was never exactly fond of him to begin with, but now he has grown far worse. Recently he’s been suggesting we go on an “early honeymoon” together to celebrate our coming marriage.

Now, that’s just hilariously gross!

I can’t even stand to look at him though… let alone spend any actual prolonged time together. So, um… what can I say to decline his offer…?


As you know, my father passed away before he could fulfill his promise to rescind the marriage proposal. So… any conversation about putting a halt to the marriage will have to come from me. To tell the truth… I’ve already mentioned it to my fiance.

You go, girl!

But he refuses to listen to a single word I have to say. Apparently, he’s even been telling the employees at Okumura Foods about the contract he made with my father… How the company would have to pay extreme reparations if it got called off for any reason…

It seems like the megacorporation could probably afford to hire a decent contract lawyer to make this go away.

I just… don’t know how to handle this. I can postpone while I’m still in high school, but after that…? Thinking about it now, it seems my father’s death has turned out to be quite favorable for my fiance. After all, he’s now engaged to the majority shareholder of a massive company… I suppose in the end, all he really cares about is his own personal gain… But that’s not what a relationship is supposed to be built on. It should be something more… Something like… a love so intense that just seeing the other person makes your chest tighten up. Have, um… Have you ever experienced that?


But… there’s no spark like that with my fiance. Spending time with him is almost like some kind of training… Still, any hardship I go through now will surely help the Phantom Thieves eventually. I’ll get through this!
I can sense an earnest resolve from Haru…


Well, I think I’ll be staying here a little while longer. See you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Psychotic breakdowns—thought to be caused by the Phantom Thieves—show no sign of slowing down. Although police claim to have made progress in their investigation, many still have doubts.
This isn’t just our problem… We have to stop those mental shutdowns from happening.

Music: Layer Cake

Iwai is finally available tonight, so we take the first opportunity to go meet him.

I’ll do my best to protect you. But… I can’t guarantee your safety. …You can say no.
Should I go with Iwai to meet with Tsuda as his witness?


S’that right? I appreciate it. It’s gonna be under the girder bridge. It’s close by, so follow me.

Music: Suspicion

Wait, that’s the brat from your shop, isn’t it? I should’ve known he was working for you!
He’s here as my witness today. Now listen. I’d be glad to keep my mouth shut about your failed deal… if you stay away from my family. That includes me, Kaoru… and this kid here.

Aww…

Hmph. So you’re still sticking to the code, even in retirement.
Rules ain’t meant to be broken.
Heh, you’re as sharp as ever, Mune. Glad to see you haven’t lost your touch in your absence. I bet we never would’ve gotten duped by those Hong Kong motherfuckers if I still had you as my right-hand man. Instead I’m stuck dealing with the mess that idiot Masa made for me… Hey, kid. Sorry for getting a respectable teen like yourself wrapped up in our bullshit feud.

“Respectable?” Hahahahahahahahaaaaa… Man, that’s a good one.

I hope dealing with all this yakuza business hasn’t been too much trouble.


Tsuda-san, I gotta be honest with you… This whole thing has been a real goddamn pain in the ass. But it’s over. You’re finished.
I don’t think you understand, Mune…

JESUS CHRIST

Music: Tension

The hell’re you doin’…!?
I’m done playing nice with you. You’re gonna make me what I need one way or another, Iwai! And if you can’t do it fast, both your son and this little “witness” of yours are gonna pay for it!
Christ, Tsuda! You’re not some random thug off the street! You’re s’posed to be better than this…!
Times have changed, Mune. You’re hung up on bullshit like pride and duty, but you know what? Nobody gives a fuck about your goddamn code of honor anymore!
You bastard…!
Now you listen to me, you little piece of shit.

What an amazing line.

You’re going to make me those guns, and you’re going to do it fast. Don’t make me tell you again.


Based on what just happened here, I’m done for the second I give him the guns he’s lookin’ for. God dammit… …Look, kid. You should prolly go. I don’t got any more tasks for you. Just forget all of this…


I… I’m gonna make those guns for him. I gotta do what I can to protect Kaoru… If it means helpin’ out that psychopath, so be it…
It seems like Iwai’s been painted into a corner… He might end up dead if I don’t do something about Tsuda soon… ……
Tsuda… When did he turn into such a heartless bastard…?

Huh? Why do you… …Actually, it’s prolly best that you know. It’s Akimitsu Tsuda. He was famous around here for being an incredible martial artist back in the day.

I keep saying this is just a Yakuza game and it keeps going even deeper than I thought.

If you see him ‘round town, run. Go to the police if you hafta. They’ll keep you safe so long as you tell ‘em who’s after you.

The cops are kind of after me already, buddy.

nods
…Anyways, we’re done here. Thanks for all you’ve been givin’ me. And… take care of yourself, kid.



Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

It seems they only hold it around this time of year. Would you care to join me?

Sorry Haru, we have plans tomorrow. This trip to the Asakusa festival gives points with Haru and Ohya.

Hey, you don’t have many chances to go to a festival like that, do you? Why’d you turn her down?

I feel kind of bad.

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: lol this place went to shit
Anon: Enough is enough!!!
Anon: Oh how far they’ve fallen

Music: Tokyo Emergency

The only one who can rebuild this rotten world is… that man.

With the attention he’s getting, you’ll know soon enough. He’s the real deal. His words have soul… The Phantom Thieves played Robin Hood, but they committed those crimes just to please themselves. When they’re inevitably caught, it’ll be a poignant fall from grace, just like in the movies.

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! It’s a Hachiman Belt! Just wearing it makes you feel more tough!
It’s perfect for you flabby weaklings out there! You know who you are!

Great way to sell your product, asshat.

And it can be yours… For the incredibly low price of 9800 yen!

Fuck it.

Music: Tokyo Daylight



Money, money, money.

Music: Tokyo Emergency


All right, we’ve finally gotten all the rest of our Confidant requests, so it’s time… for Mementos! God help me.


#247
Part 137

Part 137: 11/6: Punishment For A Wrong Committed In A Past Life

Who’s got two thumbs and has to sort through another two hours of Mementos footage? …I can’t finish that joke in this format.

Music: Tokyo Emergency


Let me check our intel… We’ll start with this one first… This one’s especially dangerous. This particular intel is on an ex-mercenary assassin. From what I can tell, he acts like a homeless man, but secretly carries out assassination contracts. If not even the police can deal with him… it’s time for us to step in.
It’d be bad if we left such a dangerous guy out on the loose! We have to change his heart.
We need to take down the evil that can’t be judged by the law!

One.

There are still more. This intel is on the human incarnation of greed who borrows money and runs off with it. He’s changed his name and even had surgery to change his face. Not even the police can catch him…
When greed has gone that far, the only thing I can feel is pity. It seems it would be best if we helped change his heart.
I’m for doing this too! We need to trigger a change of heart in them.

Two.

There are still more. This intel is on the gamer boy’s helicopter mother. Apparently the skilled boy we know from the arcade is troubled by his mother’s overbearing actions. So, we’re going to change her heart.

Didn’t really sell us on why that one’s necessary, but okay!

This is about that boy known as the King, right? I would never have guessed this was happening… Things sound pretty serious. Let’s get moving.
Fine by me.

Three.

There are still more. This intel is on a man who is making a fortune teller suffer. He called himself the chairman of an organization, but he is nothing but a money-scamming fraud.
This must be regarding Chihaya Mifune… the fortune teller you had mentioned before. To think she has been dragged into such dishonest cult… What a despicable money monger… We shall bring his true nature to light in Mementos.
It seems tough, but I think we can accomplish this if you say we can!
OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running.

Four.

There are still more. This is from the owner of the Central Street airsoft shop. Apparently an acquaintance is threatening him. This acquaintance, Tsuda, is… a professional. If we don’t hurry, Iwai will be in serious danger.
That man’s pretty freakin’ scary… In any case, this time we’re goin’ up against a real criminal. He’ll be a worthy opponent.
It seems tough, but I think we can accomplish this if you say we can!
OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running.

Five.

There are still more. Remember that journalist Ohya who got us info on Kaneshiro? This is about her boss. He’s been harassing her, and keeping her from investigating the case in which her partner went missing. He has to know something that he doesn’t want other people knowing.
Truth is the highest art for a journalist. To think someone would be so imprudent as to impede it… Let us lend Ohya our assistance so she can gather the news she needs.
We need to take down the evil that can’t be judged by law!
OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running.

Six.

There are still more. This intel is on the parents of Futaba’s friend Kana. They’ve forced Kana to take immoral jobs so they can pay off their debt. …Ever since she was young, they’ve trampled over her life.
I’m gonna crush them… I’ll save Kana-chan!
That works for me too. OK, it looks like we’re all ready to do this! We already told Mishima, so the forum post is up and running.

Seven.

No objections, right? Mm… we’re good to go if you’re OK with it. That’s a unanimous decision!

And the cheater makes eight! Fuck me!

Don’t you think the change of heart is more important? Well, the decision is up to you.

Listen… shut up.

At the moment, our target count in Mementos is 8. Well, let’s go.

Music: Mementos

duh nuh nuh duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh





It looks like Mementos has expanded even further…
Hm? I thought public opinion of us determined Mementos expansion… and that has plummeted lately.
Our notability must still be on the rise, even if it’s because of our currently bad reputation…
So we’re like a celeb who gets more famous because of scandals? I don’t like the sound of that…
Either way, the further we go, the more powerful enemies we’ll meet. We need to be cautious in here.




Even seeing it with my own two eyes doesn’t help it make any more sense…
Uh, y’know this is a Palace, right? It’s not actually under Shibuya.
I suppose that’s true…

RYUJI: ONE
MAKOTO: ZERO

Hm, is the scale of a Palace proportional to its ruler’s desires and distortions?
Basically. Hence, the bigger the target, the longer it takes to secure our infiltration route.
Yes, but the size of this place easily supersedes that of any Palace we’ve visited up until now.
That’s because this is the Palace of the public. It’s incomparable to anything on an individual level.
So the size of this place reflects the distortions of the public… What a depressing thought…
That’s why we gotta reform society, yeah? All this shit down here just makes that even more worth doin’!
You know, sometimes I envy that personality of yours, Skull… …Only sometimes though.
You didn’t hafta add that last part!

Before we even get into a target area, Morgana levels up and learns Wind Boost to replace the useless Wind Break. His Wind attacks will now be 25% stronger.

Somethin’ about this guy tells me he’s nuts. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
He’s threatening Iwai… He’s doing this because he’s getting desperate, right?
He seriously intends to kill someone. We’d better change his heart immediately.
It’s scary, but we gotta do it!

Music: Desire

Who said you could come in here? This is my territory! I’m the Hashiba Clan’s second-in-command! Don’t come in without my say-so! Don’t talk, don’t breathe, not without my permission. You guys aren’t yakuza, so you obey me! You hear me? Those are the rules of this world!

Did I give you permission to say no? Dammit, you’re not taking me seriously, either. No one takes me seriously! You, the Hong Kong mafia, Iwai, even the guys in the Hashiba Clan!

Having fun listening to this grown-ass yakuza dude squeal like a little kid about how annoyed he is that he’s not being taken seriously.

Well, forget that! I’m not a joke! I’ll show you alllll!

It’s my favorite toilet friend!

Music: Keeper of Lust


(We take him down in three moves, he gets off a Bufudyne or whatever. He can use Evil Smile to inflict Fear and then Ghastly Wail to instant-kill anyone with the ailment, but he obviously never gets the chance to do any of that)


We trade Mind Slice for Heat Wave (Heavy Physical to all foes).

Music: Sunset Bridge

Once they find out I’ve been letting them down, I’ll be demoted from second-in-command… I’m just a relic from an old era. The young, college graduates in the Hashiba Clan laugh behind my back. Hehehe… Even the world of the yakuza’s been taken over by the intellectuals. That’s why I had to make this transaction work, no matter what. Even if it meant taking advantage of my subordinate… Mune… The Hong Kong mafia pulled the carpet under me. It’s what I get for breaking the yakuza code.

Yeah… I’m done with being pathetic. Sorry, Mune… I wish I could have a drink with you one more time.

Tsuda seems to have had a change of heart. I’ll go check with Iwai later…

One down… seven to go!

He looks super shady.
Well, he’s selling useless rocks and those brainwashing seminars to his followers, right?
If we let him go on like this, so many more people will end up unhappy!
Let’s go and strip this wolf of his sheep’s clothing.

Music: Desire

Give me your money or you’ll suffer grave misfortune! You could even die!

Oh, are you that maiden’s apprentice? You’re so very naive. People really believe this holy stone will save them if the maiden predicts bad fortune! Even if it doesn’t actually work, what does it matter if it makes them happy? People want to be deceived! Don’t you see? They’re all desperate to feel safe!


Shut up, shut up! Don’t you get in the way of me giving sublime salvation to the masses!

Music: Keeper of Lust

So, this guy uses a lot of Psy and Curse moves, including the instant-kill Mudoon, which is very annoying. Thankfully, Ryuji has both Endure and Protect, meaning that he can survive one instant-kill and take one for Maaku if need be. He’ll also use Brainwash people, but everyone in the party has Harisen Recovery so status ailments are not the debilitating factor they once were.

Here’s Akechi’s cut-in, by the way.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I was going to join a vocational school when I first came to Tokyo, but I ended up getting scammed… I spent all that money on what I thought was tuition. I was all alone, hopeless in the city… The police just laughed. “Those ads are obvious scams. You were dumb enough to fall for them?” That’s why I vowed to not let myself get tricked like that again. I won’t be a victim anymore. If it ever happened again, I’d be the one doing the deceiving!

I… I never really thought about it much. I guess when it comes right down to it, I really am just a dumb guy… Hahaha… haha… The maiden’s powers are real. That’s why I brought her on. I’m the only one guilty of lying. And I took advantage of the two of us happening to meet again.

Meet again? What?

I’ve been wanting to apologize to her for a while… I’m so sorry, Chi-chan…

The Prophet’s Hand is a weapon for Makoto with only 10 Attack, but a high chance to cause Brainwash. Speaking of Brainwash, I’ve heard people say it’s a good idea to Brainwash enemies to make negotiation easier, but every time I’ve tried this they haven’t joined me. Weird.

I wonder if Chi-chan is supposed to be Chihaya…

OH GEE, YA THINK? NEVER OCCURRED TO ME

Either way, Yuichi Fukurai seems to be a changed man. I should report back to Chihaya…

And that’s two.

Music: Mementos



He looks so suspicious.
Well, he is obstructing a news investigation to keep some incident hidden under the rug.
People died in that incident. He should be ashamed to call himself a journalist.
We’ll have to make him see the truth!

Music: Desire

Screw you guys. Snooping around together where you shouldn’t be… What’ll happen if this draws negative attention to me from the higher-ups!? Stop meddling around!

#FREEOHYA

It’d be better for the organization if we didn’t have rebels like her around! You must not care about dying if you oppose me! Just obey those with power if you wanna live!

Music: Keeper of Lust

He does not. This is actually kind of an interesting fight mechanically, though. See, he’ll start the fight by casting Megidola, which will deplete almost all of his SP. Then, he’ll use party-wide Physical moves (or just do nothing) until Invigorate 3 restores his SP so he can do it again. He also blocks or straight up absorbs a lot of elements, so he’s kind of tricky.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I can’t oppose the higher-ups. It’s easier to not rock the boat. Mass media is just another corporation, really. Passion for journalism won’t pay the bills. It’s useless, just useless to chase after your ideals…

…She’s really incredible. No matter what people say to her, she’ll never give up on finding the truth… I found her naive passion to be so annoying. It reminds me of all that pain I felt in the past. Back in the past, before I gave up. Before my passion rotted away and my wife cheated on me…

Just casually dropping the adultery thing at the end there with no context, okay sure.

Honjo’s Shadow disappeared. I should go see Ohya…


It looks a little anxious.
I hear he’s been repeatedly changing his name and face with plastic surgery to escape debt.
The police will never catch him, so it’s up to us.
Yeah. Let’s go!

The heroic and noble Phantom Thieves act today on the behalf of creditors everywhere!

Music: Desire

Hey, we’d never accept any help from a guy as bad as you.
You better return all the money that you stole from others!
Shut up! Why should I? Banks are always taking money from people unfairly. I’m stealing back from the people who stole first. I’m doing what’s right! I’m carrying out justice!
I disagree. You’ve been running away, always hiding behind a new name and face.
Hmm? You guys hide your identities too. You know what? That makes you all hypocrites! I’m gonna take off those masks and see who you guys really are!

Let’s do this!

Music: Keeper of Lust


This dude will use more Curse, including instant-kill moves, which is something of a problem as Akechi is weak to Curse despite his ability to use those skills. He’ll also use Stomach Blow to inflict Hunger, multi-hit party-wide Physical attacks, and Life Leech to steal our HP. It’s weak to Electricity, though. I switch out Akechi for Yusuke in an attempt to capitalize on this for Baton Passes, but it dies before I am able to.

Music: Sunset Bridge


This whole time… I was a bad guy.
So, you were saying the Phantom Thieves were hypocrites?
I was wrong to have said that. I’ve realized my own mistakes, thanks to all of you. I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve worked so hard to fool the world, living only for my own greed. I’ve changed my face and name many times, but for the first time… you’ve changed my heart.

I’m gonna throw up.

Thermopylae is a garbage skill that increases the entire party’s Attack, Defense, and Agility for three turns. How is that garbage, you ask? It certainly sounds amazing, but it’s only usable while you’re ambushed. Considering how infrequently you get ambushed in this game combined with the fact that most of the time at this point Futaba will just Position Hack us out of it, it’s an obscene waste of a skill slot. Why the hell would you need to be raising all three of the party’s parameters in a non-boss fight anyway!?

From now on, live your life with an open heart with nothing to hide.

He can’t fuckin’ hear you, Yusuke. He already turned into a useless item.


This is the cheater, for the record.

All right! We have a plan this time!

No one can defeat me in the Gun About world! Hm? You guys again? I didn’t think you’d come back. You should’ve learned by now… Don’t think I’ll let you get away this time. Once the match starts… I’ll dash at you with an infinite combo loop! I’ll MURDER YOU before you can try to sabotage the match! I am the god of the Gun About world! I am invincible! No one can ever hope to defeat me! No matter how many come against me, no one can ever wound me!

I’m countin’ on you! We’ll get ‘em this time!

Shadow Nejima Revengeance (His voice is still really good, you should click on this)

Music: Keeper of Lust


A gamer taught you the moves to take him down, right? Teach that stupid cheater a lesson!

Thanks for the reminder, game.

You actually don’t even have the choice of doing anything else here.


yaaaaaaaaaaay

A gunshot that surpasses my cheats!? That can’t be true! Dammit! I’m the strongest! I’m supposed to be king! Me…

Music: Sunset Bridge

N-No… It’s not my fault! The company that laid me off… It’s all because of them! I have the skills and experience, but they want to “make the organization younger”!?
D-Dammit! Dammit!

That’s rough, buddy. Still, don’t… cheat at video games? I guess?

Don’t do this again! You better make amends for the wrong you’ve done!

Yeah! …What!? What’s he gonna do, sponsor a young, scrappy, underfunded esports team? Yeah, he better fuckin’ make this shit right with all the people he hurt. Forgive me father, for I have wallhacked.

I’m sorry… I was wrong…

An actually good skill, this time!

And now that we’re done with that waste of time, let’s move on.

Music: Mementos



All right, we can’t be losin’ our nerve now! We’re goin’ in!

Haru learns Makarakarn (block the next magic attack for one ally) to replace Psy Break.

We also get a chance to see Warning Shot in action here. Instead of negotiating properly, we can just hit Square…


And he’ll join automatically! I’m fairly certain there’s at least a chance this won’t work, but hey, it hasn’t let me down so far!

Now, this next tradeoff is kind of a hard one. Some would suggest I get rid of Defense Master (automatic Rakukaja at the start of battle), but instead I’m getting rid of Flash Bomb (Medium Physical to all enemies with a chance of Dizzy). While it means she’s going to be dealing solely Nuke damage outside of her melee attacks due to her lack of a Physical skill after Flash Bomb, that skill was already pretty obsolete. Besides, now her Nuclear skills will do 25% more damage.

I get chills just looking at him.
He’s an ex-mercenary who is now a professional assassin. He’s no ordinary person.
If even the police can’t handle him, then it’s up to us to take care of him.
Let’s approach him with caution.

Music: Desire

Sorry, but I don’t plan on going away. You kids playin’ hero should go home to your mommies.
We can’t just let someone dangerous like you go around, killin’ people.
You guys are more dangerous from my point of view. Look… As a mercenary, I’ve seen a lot of torture. And torture is all about killin’ the heart and soul. You’ve been destroyin’ the parts you don’t like in people’s character. To me, that’s evil.

I mean, he’s not… wrong?

Evil? Don’t be ridiculous! We’re doing our best to do what’s right!

Not a great defense, there.

It’s my policy to only kill on the job, but I’ll destroy you if you’re gonna get in my way!


Oh no! We have to save our friend Homeless Man!

This guy doesn’t have a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He can increase his attack and critical hit rate, but that’s kinda it.

Music: Sunset Bridge

The people I kill are all criminals! They escape the law, and the police can’t touch ‘em. I’m just like you Phantom Thieves! I’m working to get rid of evil in this world! So let me go!

Sorry, but we’re not the same. The Phantom Thieves would never murder people.
N-No… Help me! I don’t want to disappear!
How can you say that after you murdered so many people!?
You better accept that you lost already. Prepare yourself.
…Fine. Do what you want. Remember though: Evil that oughta be erased will just keep poppin’ up after I’m gone.
We’ll destroy evil in a way that’s different from yours. You can disappear without worry.

We’re gonna want to hold onto this skill card for a very specific reason.

Music: Mementos

We can now expand the range of our exploration.
Then let’s get goin’!

Adyeschach comes from the Hebrew word “Adishut,” meaning apathy.

Wow… This place is a lot bigger than what I’d heard.
I expect the Shadows here will be strong, too. Be careful!

This is Legion. It’s weak to Bless and uses Physical moves, including ones that can inflict Despair.

Even I don’t know that. The only thing I can say is… The sheer scale of this place… is astronomical.
Well, yeah, but c’mon. We all knew that already.
Oh, Mona… You’re always trying to act cool in front of Noir.
Th-That’s not true! I just wanted to make sure she knew!

Crush ended with ANN

Now HARU is my target of affections

Hehehe.

Why are there so many parents who try to control their children?
Don’t overthink it. Let’s worry more about helpin’ their daughter.
We have to change their hearts if we want to save Futaba’s friend!
L-Let’s go!

Music: Desire

It feels like 40% of the requests in this game involve gambling debts.

Why are the two of us so unlucky!? It’s bad luck we’re poor all year round!
We can’t let Kana go to school. She needs to make money for us. Her sex appeal, her innocence as a young girl, whatever… She should sell it for us…

Can we pleeeeeeeeeease give these guys just a little baby mental shutdown? It won’t even hurt! Probably!

You call yourselves paretns!? Kana-chan’s suffering so much because of you!
…It’s too bad. But she needs to make us money!
Kana needs to make money. Otherwise, our family will be broken up!


It’s not our fault! It’s all because we’ve got some bad luck!
Kana should just suck it up. Eventually, we’ll hit the jackpot. Then all of us will be happy!
…I knew it. These two are rotten to the core! Joker, please save Kana-chan!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Keep your nose out of other people’s business!

These guys can be a bit tricky, but most of the difficulty for me came from trying to exploit the money grinding trick. Not because I need the money (and with the hit rates for Confuse it’s honestly more annoying than it’s worth at this point), just because there’s something specific I wanted to show off.

If you confuse Mrs. Magario, she’ll give a tidy sum, same as usual. But Mr. Magario will only ever give 1 yen. I have no idea why this is the case.

Anyway, these guys can put you to sleep, use extremely powerful Gun attacks to make you “sleep.” The Mrs. can even use Spirit Leech to steal away one hundred of our precious SP away! Outside of that, the dude uses Curse and the lady uses Fire. Simple enough.

Music: Sunset Bridge

We were truly horrible parents…

…I know. I have to change my ways. I won’t make Kana do that kind of work anymore.
I’m sorry, Kana… We’ll reorganize our debt. We’ll be responsible for paying it back, not her. I’ll quit gambling. And I’ll start working. I’ll pay back all that debt, bit by bit…
You HAVE to! Don’t hurt Kana-chan ever again!
I started gambling to make some cash. Before I knew it, I forced Kana to do those shameful things. To think, I used to be a father who only wanted his daughter to be able to eat nice things…
You’re right, dear. Before anything else, let’s do our best to make Kana happy…

Remember how I said Sunset Bridge almost made me cry last time? I hate it forever now after all these dumb confession scenes.

Growth 3 gives the Persona who has it the ability to gain full experience even when not being used in battle.

Thank you, Joker. I think Kana’s going to be all right now.
The Magario couple seems to have had a change of heart. I should go check on Kana’s situation…

Music: Mementos


Man, what the fuck, Yusuke.

Here’s Akechi’s finisher screen, for the record. Now, this doesn’t tell the whole story, because the lead-in animation is really something to behold:

Witness the dance of my people. What a goddamn dorkus malorkus.

We’re halfway there, guys. Let’s plow the rest of the way through!
You’re pretty good at navigatin’. Sure is nice to have reliable info!
Why are you looking at me!?



Here, Robin Hood learns Kougaon, a Heavy Bless skill.

You’re getting close to the end… No doubt about it.
We’ve got to keep going just a little longer.

Music: Desire

She looks like she would bite us if we even tried to speak to her.
I heard she’s the definition of a helicopter parent. She’s really selfish too.
We gotta do something about this! Kids really look up to their parents, you know?

We have to stop her, you guys! She did a bad! …No, I can’t elaborate!

Let’s go, guys!

No one will help a single mother! Everyone just looks at me coldly! Everyone is my enemy! I have to fight them! I have to smash them before they can smash me!

What do you know!? You don’t know me! We have to be strong! We don’t have a safety net to catch us if we fall! I’m just fighting for my own happiness! I don’t want others to mock us anymore!

Shadow Oda

Music: Keeper of Lust

Oda can put us to sleep with Lullaby (something of a running theme today) and use that to score sick Technical hits when she follows up with multi-hit Physical.


As depicted here.

Trying again, we see that this fight I going to be really long and tedious because while she’s weak to fire, she doesn’t take a ton of damage from Almighty, meaning we’re better off swapping in Ann and Yusuke, hitting her weakness, and then Baton Passing over to Yusuke for the double buff over All-out Attacking. After almost eight minutes (!) of this, we finish her off. Not before she charges up and almost kills us even through a guard, though.

Music: Triumph

Oh sweet merciful jesus that’s a lotta level ups

Deathbound is a skill that deals Medium Physical to all enemies 1-2 times. While it can be better than Swift Strike if both of its strikes hit, in practice that’s a big if. The guaranteed 3-4 hits of Swift Strike make Deathbound kind of worthless, but I’m not quite willing to give up on it yet so I slot it in for Headbutt, a skill that never made any sense in the first place. If I’m the one headbutting them, why do they get hit with Forget?

Next, Ann gets Agidyne, an upgrade to Agilao, making her the first party member to learn a third-tier elemental spell outside of Akechi, who I don’t count because I forgot about him when I began this sentence.

Finally, Akechi learns Eigaon to replace Eiga. More Curse is nice, and Eigaon actually has one of my favorite skill animations in the game. Hopefully I’ll remember to show it off later.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Society sees me as a loser. I’ve got no money. I have no reason to be proud of myself… What the hell am I supposed to do…?

Shinya… I have Shinya… Yes… I realize that now. The greatest happiness… was with me this whole time. I have to be a good mother for his sake.

:toot: Free Soma!

This mother will have a change of heart, now… I should head to Shinya…

Music: Mementos


Finally, we get to head back.

Music: Triumph

And that’s over with, thank christ. That was the last big Mementos trip in the game, so we don’t have to worry about any more mega Mementos updates in the future. It won’t be the last time we come here, but we’ll at least be in and out pretty quick, comparatively. You have no goddamn idea how nice it feels to get this weight off of my shoulders.


#248
Part 138

Part 138: 11/6-11/7: Guardian Angel

Music: Beneath the Mask

And we’re back from Mementos, meaning that we have plenty of new Confidant opportunities!


Yep, we’re doing this. sigh Now that we have Kawakami at Rank 10, one of her… massages… will allow us to go out at night after exploring the Metaverse.

What!?

I did quit the maid job, but people can’t find out a teacher is seeing her student for personal reasons.

Okay, so:

  1. Uhh, you came here a while ago for your Rank 10 in plainclothes.
  2. I don’t understand how the maid thing is better for you. I’m still underage, girl, and this just ups the chance someone finds out you were working as a maid.
  3. Why do you still have that uniform!?

I can’t get found out, you know. I hope you don’t mind me dressing like this when I come help you.

Fine! Whatever! If it’s not obvious, whenever Kawakami comes to do a chore for you, she will be wearing the maid outfit. I guess they really didn’t want to swap out the model.

Music: My Homie

So? What do you think about the amount of force I’m using, Masterrr?

You have no reason to be doing that. Please stop!

Right? I’m a professional at this, after all. Huh. Your body is pretty fit. What the heck do you do to get it like this?


Ooh, looks like that was pretty effective. Oh, since you’re refreshed now, you can probably do something else before the night ends.
All right, I’m heading home. Don’t overwork yourself, OK?

Music: Beneath the Mask

Now, here’s a weird thing: When you get Kawakami to do one of the other chores for you, Sojiro leaves. But they want you to be able to hang with Sojiro after getting a massage, so he stays in that case. I guess Sojiro’s an even chiller dude than we realized because he don’t give a fuck that we’re calling maids that look suspiciously like our homeroom teacher who he has met to his cafe’s attic followed by suspicious moaning.

Anyway, we can leave now. Let’s forget any of that just happened.

Yes. I returned all the money I took. I was charged with a lot of interest… Now I’m bankrupt. What am I going to do…?

Looks like Akitsu had that change of heart.

What are you saying, Fumio-sama…!? What happened to you!?
Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I can achieve what I want to here. I’m going to start over fresh. I want to contribute to society in any way I can… What are you going to do? I need to atone for everything I’ve done.
…I see. In that case, I will follow your lead.
Looks like he had a change of heart, without any issues.

Homeless Man is gone…

Music: Layer Cake


I got a call from Tsuda. I wanna tell you the details. You got some time?

Come to the back.

Music: What’s Going On?

Tsuda rang me up a while back. Told me to forget everythin’ he was threatenin’ me with. I honestly thought it was some kinda joke at first, but I ain’t seen or heard from him since. Y’know, it almost felt like I was talkin’ to the old Tsuda somehow. My sworn brother… Hey, you think a guy can really go through a drastic change that quick?


I ain’t really one to talk, but you should prolly think about takin’ this a little more seriously, kid. Anyways, somethin’ fishy is still goin’ down… but Tsuda changin’ is a real load off my shoulders. Oh, and this prolly means our deal’s through with, huh? I mean, your end of the bargain was drivin’ Tsuda away… and you did that and then some.

What, from your perspective, did I actually do?

One more thing… I know I kinda fired you n’ all, but d’you think you’d maybe wanna keep workin’ here with me? I understand kids these days have all sortsa commitments, so I get it if the answer’s gotta be no…


Just don’t go expectin’ me to make the job any easier for you, y’hear? I’ll be countin’ on you, kid. I mean, uh… Maaku.
It feels like my bond with Iwai is growing even deeper…


Disassemble ‘em and wipe the prints off before we toss ‘em though, OK? Oh, and I’m not lettin’ you leave ‘til they’re done.

I feel like helping Iwai with my work has honed my Proficiency

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

Hey, nice work today.

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: they’re def guilty
Anon: can’t know w/o a trial
Anon: lol this place went to shit

Music: Tokyo Daylight


Homeless Man!

Yes, thank you… I started feeling ill once my memories of the past came flooding back. In exchange for a small sum of money… I did such terrible things to so many people… Was I saved by phantom thieves? It can’t be. They’re…

We need some matching Confidant Personas and we’re all out of space, so time for some fusion.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Pazuzu comes from Neko Shogun and Lachesis.

I shall become your mask. Now, let us walk together and take the reigns [sic] of this desert world.

Pazuzu is an evil spirit, god of the southwest wind who would bring famine during the dry seasons and locusts during the west. He also drives away other evil spirits, in effect protecting humans from plagues and misfortunes.

Hariti is fused from Kikuri-Hime and Thoth.

I shall become a mask of affection to guard you, like a mother watching over her weak child…

Hariti is a demoness originating from what is now Pakistan. Originally an ogress who slew human children to feed her own hundreds of offspring, Buddhist missionaries gave the legend a new twist where Gautama Buddha managed to convince her to become the protector of childbirth and children out of remorse and convert to Buddhism.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

I don’t know if fall is the season for sports, but consider your age and don’t overexert yourself. Well, I guess a kid like you doesn’t have much to worry about there…

What the fuck’s that supposed to mean?

So, what are you here for today?

Our next stop is the clinic, because while I’m really just here to pick up more of those sweet, sweet party-wide 200 HP restores, I forgot to show off her new inventory from her Rank 10.

She now sells five new items: magic repels and physical repels, a Homunculus, which will eat an instant-kill for any party-member, and Reviv-All/Renew-All. Reviv-All will revive every party member and restore 50% health, while Renew-All will do the same, but restore 100%. They’re both exorbitantly expensive, especially the latter, and I never felt the need for them, but they’re here if you want them.

Music: Tokyo Daylight




Iwai… not ready.


Yeah! Then, come with me.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


When I got home, my mom cooked dinner. She made my favorite, hamburger steak! Then she admitted that she was wrong and apologized to me for getting so mad about everything. She broke down crying and told me that she’ll be a better mother from now on…


It’s all thanks to the Phantom Thieves… and you, Hamiru-san. I guess winning and losing doesn’t matter when it comes to just being happy.

Well, isn’t it true? The reason my mom was able to change is that she lost to the Phantom Thieves. Losing wasn’t the end at all. It brought my real mom back. Man, I’m so happy right now. Am I weird… for feeling happy about losing? I mean, all I cared about before was winning.


Well, you might be right… Looking back at how obsessed I was with winning, I can see I was just acting like a kid. I wanna get stronger. Strong enough so that I can protect my mom… I realized something from you and the Phantom Thieves. Instead of destroying others, protecting and saving people is what makes a person strong. You listened to my problems, and even confronted my mom for me… I-I guess that was pretty cool of you…
I feel Shinya’s brotherly affection…


I heard more rumors that he uses illegal armor. I wonder why he’s cheating…


I might’ve cheated too, if I had known how.

OK, I’m gonna head home. Hey, Hamiru-san, are the Phantom Thieves… …Never mind! Bye!

Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Let’s play again sometime!

What are the police doing!?
Do your job! You’re nothing but tax thieves!
How long are you going to let the Phantom Thieves run loose!?
This country’s done for… Someone better take responsibility!

Anon: Record-breaking evil
Anon: innocent til proven guilty

That’s not a thing in this country. I guess I appreciate the sentiment, though.

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: no way they’re innocent
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: Death penalty! Execute!

Music: Beneath the Mask


That seems somewhat sudden.
I mean, didn’t they find a calling card in Principal Kobayakawa’s office? I thought you had suggested that idea yourself, Yusuke.
That was just a generalization.
But if Mako-chan noticed what was going on with you guys, somebody else might have too.

We’re terrible at hiding this, it’s true.

So you think that “somebody else” is trying to frame us? What’s gotten into you so suddenly?

What is all of this about? It’s too soon to be jumping to conclusions like this.
Well, I was hoping to hear a professional opinion on the matter… What are your thoughts, Akechi-kun?
The possibility is not zero, but it does seem a bit unlikely.
How so?
A normal person would never do such a thing. They would have no reason to callously murder your principal.
And what if they weren’t normal?
Are you implying they kill for the sheer pleasure of it?
No, not like that. What I mean is, you need certain special abilities to navigate through that world, yes?
Ah, so you’re saying the culprit is a Persona-user.
Yes.
I see… How perceptive. Truthfully, I was considering that possibility myself. But it is still difficult to think they have ties to Shujin Academy.
Why?
There would be no motive for them to carry out such a cruel plot. Clearly our culprit is acting behind the scenes to accomplish some grand objective. He likely has accomplices. It is even possible that he is being controlled by someone.
Controlled? By whom?
If we knew that, I do not think we would be in this much trouble.
I see… So even someone like you doesn’t know, Akechi-kun.
Looks like our genius detective’s not so much of a genius after all.
Haha, harsh as always.

More importantly, we need to focus on changing Sae-san’s heart for the time being. If we cannot do that, everything we have done will be for naught. We absolutely must succeed here.
He’s right. If we get caught now, all our hard work will amount to nothing. We really have to pull this off.


The Hachiman Belt gives us high Physical resistance.

Representative Masayoshi Shido submitted his formal resignation from his current party. With many representatives on his side, the Liberal Co-Prosperity Party will be forced to split. The House of Representatives will also dissolve if the motion of non-confidence is passed…
So the House of Representatives is probably going to dissolve… We promised to do that after this plan is over, too…

Do you know how much harm they’ve caused to people? They’re terrorists, I tell you! And you can’t count on the police. It’s time for the great detective Akechi to shine!
Where has he been, anyway? I haven’t seen him on TV at all lately…

Music: Crossroads

So you won’t believe how weird the chief’s been acting! Sit down so I can give you the details!

Now, take a seat!

He said he’s been concerned for my health… which is actually kinda creepy, now that I think about it. Anyway, that’s not all. He said he’s letting me re-open my investigation into what happened to Kayo! He told me he wants me to do everything I can to pursue the truth. I think… he was serious. I wonder what happened to make him change so suddenly…?

Of course I am. It’s just… The whole thing’s too convenient. It seems a little fishy, you know? I mean, you… asked me for the chief’s name the other day, right?

whistling innocently
Hmmm…
Why are you giving him such a hard time? Aren’t you gonna tell him the other good news?
I… I know where Kayo is.

That was part of the chief’s apology to me. Apparently he did some investigating on his own. So, he followed up on my journalist friend’s source and… it turns out she really is alive after all.

This is incredible news… So? Where is she?

Music: Suspicion


Oh dear.

That explains why she hasn’t been able to contact me this whole time. I really wanna go see her, but to be honest… I’m afraid. I’m afraid to know the truth. Not just about Kayo’s current mental state… but about what happened to her that night too.

Understandable. Sounds like it was a thoroughly traumatic experience for all involved, especially your “partner.”


Honestly, I shouldn’t be afraid to face the truth I’ve been chasing for so long… but I am. …I won’t let that stop me though. I’ll do this… I’m… going to go see her. No matter what happens, I need to see this through to the end. Otherwise I wouldn’t be Ichiko Ohya, journalist extraordinaire! chuckle I’m really glad I talked to you about this. I never would’ve made my mind up without your help. You know, you’re way more than just some high school kid. You’re almost like my guidance counselor.

…Thanks?

I can sense Ohya’s deep appreciation for me…


Everything with the chief worked out OK, but the higher-ups are still keeping an eye on me. So I’ll need you to keep the juicy tidbits coming! I can’t stop writing about the Phantom Thieves now! …All right, let’s see what you have for me today!
I enthralled Ohya with my stories about the Phantom Thieves… I feel like my Charm has increased…

Maaku gains Charm +3.

I can’t wait for next time!


#249
Part 139

Part 139: 11/8-11/9: I Am Become Goku

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: Akechi-kun, save us!
Anon: stop shitposting lol

Music: Suspicion

What are your plans after school? Our deadline is approaching. Why don’t we go to the Palace today?

God, everyone’s on my case about this Palace shit just because we’re all going to jail if we don’t do it. Relaaaaaaaaax.

I see. I won’t press you… However, our opponent is serious too. We have to do something. We can’t fail this no matter what. Please bear that in mind.
nods

Music: So Boring

What? You’re asking if the Phantom Thieves would be given a trial if they get caught? Of course they would. All they would need to do is prove a link between the deaths and their activities. In short, they would be put on trial for murder. Hey, Hamiru. Do you know what age you have to be in order to listen in on a trial?

That’s right. There’s no age restriction to watch trials. They’re open to the public, save for juvenile crimes. In other words, you can go see one yourselves. Well, I imagine the visitors seats will be full if the Phantom Thieves were put to trial. Everyone is dying to know who exactly the culprits are and how they did it.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

However, their method and how it connects to the murder must be proven in order to sentence them. The methods the Phantom Thieves use far exceed human knowledge. I’d imagine in order to prove it, they’d have to catch them in the act. Hmm…
……

Music: Tokyo Daylight


First thing we’re going to do today is continue to forget to pick up Haru’s veggies visit Chihaya.



Iwai isn’t ready.


At a time like this…? I guess if that’s really what you want to do… Is this a part of your grand strategy?

Hm. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to take things a little slower. Um, I need some help with a matter involving Eiko. Are you free?

Thank you. It’ll be nice to have you with me. Um, I want to dig up some dirt regarding Eiko’s boyfriend Tsukasa before we confront her about him. I was thinking of asking around the red-light district for info. Shall we head over there?

However, we’ll need solid proof of what he’s doing if we’re going to convince Eiko. I believe some of the promoters around here may know something. As my father always said, finding evidence takes serious legwork.

So, this is a unique event among this game’s Confidants, where we have to actually walk around with our partner and talk to NPCs. It’s brief, but there’s nothing else like this in the game, so it’s worth pointing out.


Tch… You wanna sabotage our business? I’d gladly talk some more out back if you want.
W-We should get out of here… I think it would be better if we asked someone else…

Wait… are you high schoolers?

Heh, what a good joke. You’re exactly the kind of person we like. Come right this way.

Tsukasa? Ohhh, is he a host or something? Sorry, but I’d never promote for a host club. Are you pranking me? Come on, I can’t talk to you forever. You understand?
…I take it he doesn’t know anything. We should try to look elsewhere.

For you, the glasses discount, the curly hair discount, the slouch discount, the couples discount…

Tsukasa? Sorry, we don’t have a Tsukasa discount. Mannn, it took a ton of effort to answer your question. You’ll come to my club to make up for it, right? C’monnn, you’ll get tons of discounts!
Don’t follow him! We need to work! …I’m a little worried though. I wonder if anyone actually has info…

…You have money though? You seem like a poor young kid.

I have like 600k on me, shithead.

Tsukasa? You bastard… You a friend of his!?

He’s usin’ the sake bottle trick…? Lemme make it clear for you: Get that girl outta there. Tsukasa’s known for wreckin’ lives. He “breaks a sake bottle,” then ends up sellin’ the girls to pay it back. Same thing happened to one of my friends… Dammit!
We have proof now. …Come on, it’s almost time for Eiko’s shift to end. Let’s wait for her in front of the shop.

Music: Suspicion

If her shift was about to end, why did she walk in from the right side of the screen instead of from the actual building?

Eiko… Your “boyfriend” is infamous around here for tricking girls into debt, then forcing them to sell themselves. Moreover, he’s probably doing it in conjunction with a criminal gang. You need to get out of there.
…You seriously came all the way here to tell me that? Ugh, get out of here, Makoto! I’ve had enough of your lying bullshit!
I have testimony from one of the promoters in the area. You’re not the first girl Tsukasa has lied to about a “broken sake bottle.” He doesn’t ask for much at first, but the interest piles up. Eventually he’ll ask you to sell your body for money. Please, reconsider this relationship.

I already have a date planned with him for today. We’re gonna stop by his club. So stay outta my way!

I came a little late after seein’ your text, but I guess you’re already here… Heyo, I know these guys. Wanna hop on over to my club with us? It’s gonna be a total blast!
They were saying some bad stuff about you, honey. Like how you get girls into debt and then force ‘em to sell themselves… They’re lying to me, right?
Huh? You believe that crap? Listen to me: Nothing like that’s happenin’ here. I’d never lie to you, princess.
It’s always “princess” with you. Why don’t you ever call her by her real name, Tsukasa? Or are there too many princesses in your life to remember?

……
Tsukasa…?
Hahaha, what’re you freakin’ out for? You just texted me, remember? I could never forget you, Makoto.

Oh shiiiiiiiit

I knew it. I’m the one who texted you. “I’ll b 5 mins late 2day, bb.” I even added tons of emojis at the end to make sure it seemed like Eiko. Admit it. Every girl you get money from is your princess, right? You can’t even remember names anymore.

Don’t you see, Eiko? This is who your “boyfriend” really is!
B-But… you tricked him! What would you know about love, huh? Tsukasa’s all I have! Just leave me alone, bitch!

Damn, girl!

Music: Alleycat

You already know the truth, you just don’t want to believe it! Stop lying to yourself!

Nobody else asks me about my day, or how work is going… Nobody else treats me like I’m special… A perfect girl who lives up to everyone’s expectations could never know how I feel! Stop trying to feed me your honor student bullshit!
…This has nothing to do with being an honor student. I just can’t rest knowing there’s such evil in the world! And I damn sure won’t keep quiet while my friend has her life ruined! (to Tsukasa) As for you… apologize to Eiko! And stay away from her from now on!
Huh? You’re really startin’ to annoy me with this shit, you bitch…! Don’t think I’ll go easy on you ‘cause you’re a chick. I’m gonna teach you a lesson you won’t forget.

And the facade drops.



Wh-What was that, you bastard…!?


Wh-What? Dammit… I’ll remember this!

Apparently he doesn’t remember it, because that dude runs straight out of the game never to be heard from again. We’re just gonna let that dude go? No change of heart? He’s probably gonna do this again, you know. …Whatever.

Ugh… This sucks!


Was that girl fighting with a host?
They were really going at it…



Eiko… ……


Oh hey, we ended up here. Thought this place wasn’t open during the day.


You know, I have a bad habit of acting in the moment. I can’t help but get swept up in emotion… That’s why I always have to take extra care to keep myself composed. My father was the same way… That’s not the proper way to act though. There’s no telling what would have happened if you hadn’t stepped in.

How did you ever find somewhere like this…? You know so much.


It’s hard to believe you’re really a high schooler. You have so much more life experience than me… Honestly, spending time with you and getting to know Eiko has given me a great deal to think about. There’s so much you can miss by living with your head buried between the pages of a book… I thought I knew how the world worked… but the more time I spent with you guys, the more I realized how naive I was. I see now that there are some things I need other people to teach me. …Do you remember how Eiko said I would flunk a test about love? Well, um… I don’t know how to study that subject.

God, you’re a nerd.

…What should I do, Maaku-kun?
I should choose my words carefully…
I can’t learn about romance by myself…

Will he pick up on the subtle signs here…?

NOPE, REJECTED.

People say those kinds of things are destiny anyway, so I probably shouldn’t worry myself over it. And besides, I should at least try to focus on my schoolwork right now. Let’s work hard to achieve our goals together, Maaku-kun.
I can sense a strong bond of friendship from Makoto…

And that’s all it’ll ever be.


Heeyyyyyy, it’s my girl Lala! Stick around, why dontcha?


It’s like a nice spritz of lemon in the air. Makes me think back to when I was just a wee girl…
R-Right. Well, we should be going… Thank you again for today. I’ll see you later…

Music: Beneath the Mask


It’s definitely easier for the younger generation to win at speed shogi. Though wait, there is one exception.

I’ve been waiting for you! Can we talk?



Yes! Please sit down!

Music: What’s Going On?

The chairman turned himself in! It’s even shown up on the news!


It all happened so suddenly too. He confessed all of his crimes… The police came to question me after that, but they ultimately concluded that I’m innocent. Apparently the chairman took full responsibility for the ADP and admitted he was brainwashing all of its members. Oh, and speaking of members, some of them said they’ve stopped using the Holy Stones because of my advice. It was all the clients you sat in with, Hamiru-san! You know, I never saw this as a possible outcome in my readings. Not only have the fates of the ADP members improved, but even my own has begun to shift… It’s almost like this curse that’s followed me ever since the villagers called me a monster… has passed.


Right, I remember. Strong conviction is the only way to change fate. That reminds me, my readings told me I would accomplish my objective with the aid of the Trickster… But I’m not sure what exactly that was supposed to mean… It’s such a mystery… That aside, the ADP is finished. Nobody else will be deceived. Oh, I just realized something… Remember how I told you how the chairman knew I was a runaway? Well, I was wandering around te city with luggage at my side. Anyone could have figured that out, huh…?
nods

I know how fragile I was back then… but it’s still embarrassing to think I let myself believe he was a psychic! But… I guess some men are good at knowing when a woman is vulnerable. Are you one of those men, Hamiru-san…?

I don’t what you’re trying to say, and I vehemently deny it.

The truth is, there’s actually something else besides the chairman that I want to talk to you about.

This is so embarrassing…

Hmm, what an odd question. While I find the strange sexual undertones of my relationship with my homeroom teacher to be more than a little revolting, this isn’t a topic I have considered thoroughly. However, now that I set my mind to it, I find that there’s something… liberating about the idea of being with someone with more life experience than myself, however marginal the difference. It should also be noted that we as a people normalize May-December romances of the female/male persuasion, yet the opposite has been thoroughly stigmatized. I suppose there’s no harm in working to reverse that unsightly trend, now is there? So I must say that yes, if the opportunity arose I would not necessarily cast aside the possibility of dating outside of my age bracket. At least, once I come of age. I’m still seventeen, I’ll have you know, and it wouldn’t be right to begin such a relationship until then. But, this is all strictly hypothetical and I have absolutely no idea why you would ask such a question. Also, girls my age have cooties.

Sure, that’s close enough.

I-I mean, how interesting… Oh, sorry! If we have time to waste talking about nonsense like that, we have time to read fortunes, right?
I can sense a strong resolve from Chihaya…


Most importantly, the other members of the ADP are still confused as to what exactly is going on. So… I need to set things straight. This is partially my fault, after all. Right… The real battle starts now. …It’s getting late. I should close up for today. Good night, Hamiru-san.

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: 30 million yen OMG XD
Anon: that freaked me out omg
Anon: they’re running loose rn…

Music: Suspicion

Masayoshi Shido. He’s the only one. He’s the only one that can stand up for what’s right—the only one who will make good on his word. That’s the kind of person we need leading this nation, especially in times like these.
Shido leads the United Future movement, right? He was right—if we’d taken the Phantom Thieves seriously from the start, they’d be behind bars by now. Which’ll come first, do you think? Regime change or the apprehension of the Phantom Thieves?
……

Music: So Boring


It’s kinda tough to say that for sure though.
Maybe, but we can’t lose heart before we’ve even done anything. If we do that, we’ll just mess everything up, even the parts we can definitely succeed in.
Hm, you actually said something wise for once.
You wanna fight!?
You two get along so well.

Haru ships it.

Uh, how so?
That is an outrageous claim.
That’s what I should be saying!
Come on, stop it. Let’s try to keep tensions low. We’re all feeling anxious.
Even you, Makoto?
Yes. It can’t really be helped this time.
That’s not how I raised you. Get a hold of yourself, Ryuji!
Why’re you singling me out…?

Looks like tensions are high because I’m a huge dumbass who refuses to go to the fucking Palace!

Music: Tokyo Daylight


Why, it’s everyone’s favorite up-and-coming politician… Masamune… Shindou! …I’m bad with names.




Iwai’s finally ready.


Huh…? You sure we’re gonna be OK not headin’ in?

…Eh, I guess it ain’t gonna hurt gettin’ a change of pace.

C’mon, let’s go. I got something I wanna talk to you about durin’.

Aw yeah! Let’s grab some ramen after we finish trainin’ then!

Ryuji Rank 10 (I’d watch this)

Music: Sunset Bridge

By the way, the track team’s up and runnin’ again. Yamauchi got taken down pretty quick. You know Takeishi’s mom is the PTA prez, right? He told her everything. After that, she came stormin’ in with the other parents and forbid the whole scoutin’ plan. Wish I coulda seen the look on Yamauchi’s face. I mean, the school can’t ignore the PTA. And as a result, the track team’s back. Our old coach’s fillin’ in for now.

I think they might even go far in the meet.


Aw crap, the ramen’s gonna get soggy. Let’s eat!


I couldn’t stand how much they hated me. It only just made me think of how stupid I was…

And to be fair, you are very stupid.

Most of all, it made me remember how I lost my place with them. Hey, this ain’t like me, but… I managed to change ‘cause you were here helpin’ me. I got you all wrapped up in this shit, but you stayed with me ‘til the bitter end. …You didn’t abandon me. So… thanks, man.

Hahaha… …It’s funny, huh? This started out as us trainin’ for the Phantom Thieves. How’d it end up like this? Either way, it’s my turn now. If anything comes up, you tell me. I’ll help you with whatever you need.
nods
nods
I feel a strong bond with Ryuji…

Music: The Spirit


Second Awakening? Wuzzat? Eh, I’ll figure it out later.


Ryuji is probably one of the better main characters of P5, which isn’t saying as much as I’d like it to. That said, he’s a great dude and Max Mittelman plays him to perfection.

Music: Swear to My Bones

Oh shit, this track is killer.

That’s some nasty dandruff, bro.

Oh hey, Mr. Pirate!

Uhhhhh


Where’d the pirate go!?


OH MY GOD

Oh shit, it’s legendary hero of Journey to the West Sun Wukong! Wukong, also known as Seiten Taisei, is the main protagonist of that famous story. Seiten Taisei itself is a Japanese translation of the Chinese name “Qitian Dasheng” (which should be familiar for you FFXIV players this patch), a title Wukong gave to himself meaning “Equaling Heaven Great Sage.” He is also known as Son Gokuu. No, really. Journey to the West inspired a whole lot of OG Dragon Ball.

I can’t tell you much about the character of Seiten Taisei because this summary of his deeds is very long, but he got into a ton of mischief, wreaking havoc until Buddha imprisoned him under a mountain, where he remained until being saved by a monk named Xuanzang.

There’s a subtle link between Ryuji, Captain Kidd, and Seiten Taisei, and extra credit goes to the first person to tell me what it is.

Music: What’s Going On?


DUDE SHUT THE FUCK UP OH MY FUCKING GOD

I’ll be countin’ on you, Leader. And you can count on me too! Hey, now that we’re all fueled up, wanna race to the station?

When we get our party’s ascended Personas, they learn an Evade skill that will triple their Evasion against their weaknesses. We slot in Evade Wind for Bad Beat.

While Ryuji’s stats won’t go up when he gets his second Persona, he will gain a resistance to Fire and Null Electricity.

Music: Beneath the Mask


The challenging party’s got a lot of good politicians, so their chances were slim to begin with.
Now, after the psychotic breakdown stuff, people are putting their hopes in that one party leader.
Well, right now, there isn’t anyone better. Guess you can’t blame them for hoping.

The prime minister has once again emphasized that he will protect the safety of the people. Few, however, support him. If it comes to an election, the ruling party will fight an uphill battle.
They’re at their lowest approval rating ever… Ours isn’t so great, either.

I didn’t say a word about you guys to those dumb cops!

Nice, Mishima. Next time, you might even throw in a little profanity! Or not, baby steps, whatever works for you.

By the way, I wanted to talk to you about something… Are you free?

This final rank of Mishima’s Confidant is only accessible after completing a certain number of the requests he gives you. Thanks to our most recent trip to Mementos, we have enough.

I just want to relax a bit… Let’s head over to the park.

Mishima Rank 10

How I’ve changed. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to run away back when I saved him. So, I was thinking why that may have been.

Honestly, I was pretty desperate at the time, so I don’t remember much…

Are you gonna talk about how you peed your pants again?

Music: Sunset Bridge

But in the back of my head, I was thinking what you would do in that situation, Hamiru. I mean, you put yourself on the line to stop Kamoshida, and probably other villains too. So, I thought there had to be something I could do myself.



I wanted to go from the dull nobody everyone messes with to the famous world-renowned hero. But you helped me realize something important. Heroes aren’t heroes because they’re famous… It’s because they fight for other people.
nods
Looking back on it, what I really wanted to change was the weak me. The me on the volleyball team who let wrongdoing go unpunished, even though I knew it was unjust… The cowardly me who looked the other way when people I knew were in need of help… …Tell me the truth. I only changed because you stole my heart, right?

You think I’d still be hanging out with you if I had done that?

Is that so…? …… No, you know what? You really did change my heart.

Goddammit, Mishima, take the win.

All this time, I’ve been looking up to the Phantom Thieves, pretending to be a collaborator… And now I’m finally able to stop pretending… Truth be told, I had given up. I accepted that I was a zero… That my existence was meaningless. But I’ve learned. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself. Whether I sulk about my inability to do anything, or hang my head high and look to the future… My perception shapes the boundaries of my world. It all comes down to what’s inside my heart.
nods

Wow, man. That was almost deep.

I might still mess up every so often, but as long as you’re here, I’ll be able to stand up again. So I may not be the best person around, but you can feel free to rely on me at least sometimes! And… no matter what the world says, I’ll be rooting for you… just like you were for me!


Music: The Spirit


And we finally get the ultimate prize of Mishima’s Confidant, full experience for backup party members. It’s not that great since the experience scaling in their favor is rather generous anyway and so they’re never too far behind, but it’s still nice.

Mishima is… complicated. Not a great person, but ultimately not a terrible one either. Probably one of the most realistically-written characters in the game, including all the ways in which he’s kind of shitty. He’s voiced by Sean Chiplock, who voiced Subaru in Re: Zero, Santa in that remake of 999, Revali in Breath of the Wild, and he was also Replacement Liam O’Brien in SMTIV: Apocalypse.

Music: Sunset Bridge

That’s all I can really do for you right now… But I’m working on that documentary too. I even plan on making it into a book someday. I’d bet anyone who reads about the Phantom Thieves would find the hidden courage within themselves. Maybe that means I can use that book to change people’s hearts!

All right, I’m on it! Oh, but before that… I’m hungry. Come on, let’s grab a bite to eat on the way home. Maybe a buffet…? Wait, no. We should save that for after I get all my book royalties! Heheh, you’d better be looking forward to it!

Bye, Mishima. You were… interesting.


#250
Part 140

Part 140: 11/10-11/11: Now That’s Some Shit Coffee

Anon: Record-breaking evil
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: no way they’re innocent
Anon: Akechi-kun, save us!

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


Music: Everyday Days


I guess they keep it exciting by doing things like hiring famous actors as tour guides.

I was wondering if this was a real thing but sure enough, it is. Though that article isn’t in great English, whatever. I guess part of me is just surprised that planetariums are a popular date spot in Japan.

…In any case, it’s not the kind of place you’d visit alone. I recommend taking someone.

The planetarium in Ikebukuro is probably the closest one to here, so that’s pretty convenient.

And with that, we have every hangout spot unlocked.

It’d be fun to go with someone. Just don’t fall asleep while they project the constellations, OK?

Music: So Boring

Why’re you looking at me like that? I’m not sleep deprived because I want to be, you know. My neighbors have been careless lately on garbage day… The crows were cawing away this morning. Those trash nets the city makes us use only keep them away at the start. Crows are quick learners. On that note, do you all know how to write the kanji for “crow”?

Oh boy, a kanji quiz!

The characters for “bird” and “crow” look very similar, but the latter has one fewer line. What do you think, Hamiru-kun? Isn’t it easy to confuse with “bird”?


At least this one is kinda solvable if you think about it and ignore the obviously wrong answers.

Exactly.

Even though the kanji is missing the eye line, crow actually have pretty good vision.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

By the way, one reading for a different “crow” kanji is “ga,” to imitate the sound of it cawing. The character for “pigeon” is the same. It’s based on the bird’s coo, leading to the “ku” pronunciation. Crows are pretty smart, so you’d better study enough so that you don’t lose to them.

???

Crows are scary, lemme tell ya. When your eyes meet, they start flapping and… shudder

Music: Tokyo Daylight

>Hang out with her
Thank goodness. Is it OK if we study while we talk?

No!

Makoto Rank 10 (You should watch this)

Music: Sunset Bridge

Is it really a thing that Japanese students go to restaurants to study? I feel like doing that in America would get the cops sicced on you for loitering.

I think she knew it deep within her heart, and seeing him like that finally helped her realize.


Oh, and she told me she quit her job. Right now she doesn’t know what she wants to do, but she’s going to go to college and figure things out. So in the end, Eiko’s going to start seriously focusing on her studies again. I plan on doing the same as well.

Yes. I thought there was no point in continuing my studies, but… This time I’m not seeking anyone’s praise, and I’m not trying to show off my intelligence. I simply want to fulfill my own personal goals and dreams. Before now, I didn’t have a clear vision of what that meant. I was lost in life… But thanks to you, I’ve finally come to realize it.

Uhhh, what? You sure about that, Makoto?

Yeah, you should probably give up.

Also, to completely betray your own sense of justice! I fuckin’ read up on Japanese cops after the last time I complimented them for the futon thing; they’ll just hold people for three weeks with no charge to extract a confession! There’s a dude who got tortured for a confession and then spent 46 years on death row! I’m not sure that’s the kind of shit you wanna be involved in, because your sister’s already neck-deep in it and I thought you’d know better just from watching her!

There are too many incidents in this country that are never brought to light. That host was one.

You know that sometimes Japanese police just fabricate confessions and then pressure the accused into signing them?

Villains who prey on the hearts of the weak with cowardly, legally questionable methods…

I read that one prosecutor thinks that like a tenth of all confessions leading to prison time are coerced from innocent suspects, and that figure’s probably a rather low estimate.

My father risked his life trying to catch a group of those people. I will never forgive them. But I won’t be able to eradicate them all on my own… Instead, I want to head an organization that will destroy the lawless and help rescue victims.

Oh, I see. So you’re just hopelessly naive. Well, that’s a little bit better, I guess.

Yeah, that’s an amazing dream.

That is the justice I aim for. I also believe it will be a continuation of my father’s legacy.

Of vicious compromise in the name of an uncaring, unfeeling system?

Honestly, it’s a little strange that I found the true meaning of my studies outside of my studies. I think now I’ll be able to see the world even more differently. …Thank you for all your help. Must have been difficult babysitting the uptight Miss President, right?


I feel a strong bond with Makoto…

Music: The Spirit




Makoto is one of my favorite characters in this game even with this bad, bad decision taken into account. She is voiced, once again, by Cherami Leigh.

Music: Swear to My Bones



Good night, sweet bike.

In your place we get…

A fucking lame-ass Autobot that can’t even transform! Boooooo! I want the bike back!

Anat is a Semitic goddess, the daughter of the highest Ugaritic god El. She is a goddess of hunting and war, as well as fertility. She was also the wife/consort of fucking Yahweh.

Music: What’s Going On?

nods
nods Now then, in order to fulfill my dream, I’ll need to be accepted into my first choice college. giggle What a funny thought… Studying to become a head of police while working as a thief…

Hm. You may be right. The objective is the same, after all… Exposing the evil lurking in the dark shadows…

Not really what I meant by that. Did you know that there are actually too many cops in Japan and not enough crime?

Oh, that’s right. In thanks for helping me, I’ll gladly assist you with your studies as well. giggle You had best be ready.

Let’s go home.

Welp, Makoto was a fucking cop this whole time. Goddammit. Character ruined! I’m glad we’re not romancing you!

We switch out Defense Master for Evade Psy. Anat also upgrades its Curse and Nuke resistances.

Music: Beneath the Mask

A: The prime minister/B: You in front of your TV/For viewers just tuning in, you’re watching “Law Variety”! Now then, what’s your answer?

The correct answer is… B! You and me, we’re the ones running this country!
Article 1 of our Constitution states “the Japanese people hold sovereignty.” The power is yours! I may get flak for saying this, but I think every single person has the power to change society.
Oh, you got it right! So… what do you think? Do I count as a citizen?
It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

I can sense it just by looking at your face. The “death” aura is emitting a strange light… Please be careful. Well then, what would you like to do today…?

So, I’ve made some more progress with the ADP case! Sit down so I can tell you all about it!

Yes! Please go ahead!

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

They didn’t really believe what I was saying at first, but the truth of the matter settled in eventually… However… it seems like the members from the executive class are still brainwashed. I’m in talks with a lawyer right now though. We’re going to get refunds and outpatient care for all of them. I’m going to give back all the money I made from selling Holy Stones too. It’s the least I can do to atone for the ignorance I showed back then. That’s why… I want you to accept this, Hamiru-san. Think of it not only as an apology, but as a sign of gratitude, for helping me see the truth.

Holy shit! To tell you the truth, I had totally given up on ever seeing that money again!

Music: Suspicion


I mean, the chairman was obviously framed! Tell us the truth, please!
N-None of it was made up. As for the chairman, I need you to listen to me. Everything he told you in those seminars was a lie! The promises of a great future, the power of the Holy Stones, the need for donations… All lies. Doesn’t it seem strange that he kept asking members for money, even through times of financial stress? And beyond that, you guys should have known better than anyone where those “donations” were ending up. …Even I knew how horrible the ADP’s scheme was. That’s why I had to come forward…
No! That can’t be true!


Shut your mouth!

Uh-oh, the crowd’s getting testy.

I’m the one who sold you those rocks! If you’re going to get upset with anyone… it should be with me!
But… Maiden…
This can’t be happening…
…No. We must continue to place our trust in her. Please, Maiden… Cleanse us of our misery! If you leave us now, we will be fated to drown in sorrow…!

These idiots, I swear.

L-Look, the only way you can change that is with your own convictions! Neither I nor one of those worthless stones will be able to help you…
B-But then, how are we supposed to avoid our fated misery…?
No… A curse is upon us…!
Maiden, please…!

Music: Alleycat

Whether yer gonna be miserable or not’s all on yer own damn shoulders! You don’t need some divine power mumbo jumbo to be changin’ yer fate!

Y’all got that strength in yerselves! Fortune-tellin’ can’t hold a candle to honest-to-goodness willpower! And heck, even if thing’sre bad now, it’ll all be fine so long as you keep your heads up!

Bahahahahahaha, oh that’s dumb.

But… I stand by what I said. Nothing will ever change if all you do is rely on others. Take me for example. I thought I was destined to live as a monster… but I had the strength to reverse that fate. If you want to control your future, that’s all you need… Strength. The only way forward is through the fortitude of your own heart!
My… heart?
It might not be the easiest thing to accomplish at first. After all, your willpower has been constantly suppressed by all those seminars and donations… …I’m partially to blame for that. But that’s why I need to show you the light now and help you push on!
Maiden…
No. I’m not your Maiden anymore. I’m just Chihaya Mifune, the fortune teller who guides fate!

I know how they feel though. They want to cling onto the Holy Stones, just as I clung onto my role as the Maiden. All any of us ever wanted was to be happy… to avoid our fates…


No matter how many times I have to try, I will talk to them until they understand. And when they realize the difficult truth… I will be there to help them recover. Back in my villages, people called me a monster. Here, they revered me as the Maiden. Even now my heart continues to wander, yet you somehow saw the real me… Not the Maiden… Not a monster… Just Chihaya. Hamiru-san… Thank you.

Hey, no problem. This all started as me trying to annoy you by disrupting your predictions because you fucking robbed me, but whatever. Water under the bridge.

I can sense a deep bond of trust from Chihaya…


I mean, normally someone wouldn’t think to involve themselves in such a strenuous ordeal. S-So, um… There’s actually something I’ve been wondering for a while now… Is… fortune-telling the only reason you come to see me? I-It’s not… is it?
I should choose my words carefully…
Hamiru-san… Why do you come here?

And another one bites the dust.

O-Oh, I see… Sorry I suppose I was just feeling a bit self-conscious…

i[/i] Didn’t he say he liked older women…?
What was that?
Nothing!

But there’s nothing better than knowing my readings help others! Please come have your fortune read as often as you’d like! After all, we’ll forever be joined in our quest to oppose fate! Anyway, I should be going. Good night!

Anon: Death penalty! Execute!
Anon: they’re running loose rn…
Anon: this site pisses me off
— DELETED BY ADMIN —

Music: My Homie

I’m changing my lesson for today. Instead of a regular class, we’ll be reviewing last week’s materials. I suggest you listen carefully. But don’t think you can slack off, OK? I absolutely won’t allow it. No slacking off!
Kawakami’s graciously given us this free time, so we’d better put it to good use.



Hmm. Is it really possible to get better at batting just by reading a book?

It really went into detail about how you can identify what kind of pitch is coming at you… We should go to the batting cages sometime and try out what you learned!



We should thank Kawakami for this later.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Nine days left. We’re fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

No way… Is someone getting arrested?
I have no idea. If someone’s getting arrested though, I hope the police take them away soon.
If the Phantom Thieves hear this, we might be in danger. I hope we don’t get dragged into this mess.


Even if it’s a joke, I don’t wanna see it. That shit’s a straight up terrorist logo. I feel sick… Maybe Hamiru IS dangerous after all…?
They seriously despise us… This is too much to handle…

Awesome, tanked my own reputation for no reason!

Does that mean they don’t go to Shujin? That’s a relief…
Sure, but the police need to hurry up—they’re turning people into vegetables left and right.
The Phantom Thieves are so dangerous… Maybe Akechi-kun can do something about it.

I suppose it’s because I want to exercise my right to do it. Then again, it’s not like my vote will change anything.
I guess what I want to know is why doesn’t everyone go? I guess not voting is like having a seat change in class while you’re away! I don’t think I’d like that.

I pretended to be a Phantom Thief since I idolized them, but now I wonder what real justice is like. Hey, you think you could tell me what really defines a hero?

You’re right. Here goes. I guess a hero is someone who helps someone… who needs… help. Aw, I know that sounds dumb! It was all I could think of on the spur of the moment.

I think I get it. Even if I became a Phantom Thief, I wouldn’t be a hero if I didn’t help anyone. Hehe… Thanks, you really helped me out there. I guess that sort of means you’re my hero, you know?

Looks like Starry-eyed Student has made some startling personal growth.


So you’re saying the one-sided bashing is too much, hm? As you can see, there are some who express their doubts about the biased news reports. The media may need to consider whether or not they are truly being impartial. And that concludes our on-the-spot coverage.

This news lady who keeps railroading my answers for some reason is using it to attack… her own profession. All right, then.

The world will be swallowed by the surge of darkness… like the Phantom Thieves were!

How can I believe in murderers!? People have been losing their minds left and right, you know? What should I do…? Please tell me… Sun God…

Forget about economic reform, and focus more on the female form. We need to pick up more girls!
You already have plenty of girls though, Senpai!
W-Well, I’m thinking of learning from Shido. Maybe start the New Pick-Up Party.

Alone? What about your maid? Have you let the poor dear go?
We had to. Can’t spare any unnecessary expenses during this tumultuous time, can we?
Such an admirable woman you’ve become. Well, as they say—pride comes before a fall. Ohoho…

Just a lot of fake stuff. Any mention of the Phantom Thieves always brings in the trolls.
They used to be so popular…
That’s old news. Of course people were upset after finding out they were murderers.

I’d say yes in a heartbeat. I don’t want to bring my personal emotions into my work, but… Many people have risen up against society before, but this time, it’s on a different scale. I just really want to see what the Phantom Thieves would do.

No one knows how they commit their crimes. Are you worried no place is safe from them? Don’t be a victim of your own fear. Take the steps to be able to say, “My home is safe.” Sign up with Wanna-B-Alert now and get a security guard at your home three times a month for free!

I hear the girls at my cafe saying “Akechi-kun, save me!” all the time. Everyone sure likes him now. He used to be really unpopular, didn’t he? The whole internet was flaming him for a while.
Hey, people always switch sides! We gotta cheer on the good guys, whoever they are!
…Ugh.

Oh yeah, that one where they’re getting stopped by the police? I laughed so hard at that!
Akechi was right… Only fools would say the Phantom Thieves stand for justice.
…Hey, didn’t you like the Phantom Thieves? Ah, and Akechi’s gone now too.

Please, can you stop? You made a profit. Isn’t that enough?
No, not yet! We have to wait until it doubles in value! Yes, this country will change! Our celebrolution has only just begun!

This poor woman.

Our veggies have been ready for a bit, but I totally blanked on collecting them until now.






Now that we’ve harvested the Sun Tomato, we can plant a Moonlight Carrot.




Would you be interested in joining me there?

Then it’s decided. This particular restaurant is an expensive hotel buffet. Hopefully the coffee lives up to that reputation.

Music: What’s Going On?

Well, I’ve decided to start studying the topic more seriously by going out to places like this. I’ve been keeping it a secret from my fiance though. You see, just a single cup of the Dark Ivory coffee here costs roughly six thousand yen.


Either way, perhaps we should try it before passing judgement… Well, shall we order? I’ll be paying for your cup as well.

I want so badly to say “Kthx,” but alas, it feels too jokey.

But allow me to handle this. I invited you, after all.
nods
Hm, I wonder how it will taste.

Well, here we go…

There is a faint bitterness beneath the strangely mellow flavor… The coffee is clearly distinct from what Sojiro serves at Leblanc…
…It has a distinctly fragrant aroma, paired with a mild flavor. This is undoubtedly delicious, yet… I would barely consider it coffee.

I suddenly understand why it’s called “Dark Ivory.”


I’m glad you think this is funny, at least.

I just thought you might find it hard to enjoy If you had known ahead of time. I was surprised to hear it at first myself, but that was actually why I wanted to try it to begin with. Another rare type of coffee, kopi luwak, is gathered from the feces of a small cat called a civet. Interestingly enough, the flavor differs depending on what animal it was originally consumed by. Speaking of cats, do you think Mona-chan would be able to…?

Fuck yeah, let’s abuse this cat.

Oh, but we need Mona-chan for our operations, huh? We can’t afford to make him eat beans all day…

The only reason we shouldn’t do it, then.

Hm… Coffee is so profound…

You got that from cat shit beans?


Music: Suspicion

What a strange place for us to meet. It’s not often I see people your age at this luxurious buffet.

Oh, he’s a friend from school. Maaku-kun, this is Takakura-san, the new president of Okumura Foods.
nods
nods By the way, it looks like we will be able to avoid litigation. We somehow settled on decent terms. You don’t need to worry. Oh, and about your shares… you should consider letting the company hold on to them for the time being. I’m sure you have enough on your plate already, given everything that’s happened to you.
Well, I…
Ah, I’m sorry to bring that up while you two are enjoying yourselves here. That aside, how are things going with Sugimura-kun? You know, these days you need to reserve a wedding hall almost a year in advance if you want a good one. Sometimes it worries me how laid-back you are, Haru-chan.

Tactful Man is on the scene!

R-Right. We’re in the process…
Well, I should be heading back to the office now. Oh, but please allow me to pay for your drinks.
N-No, that’s quite all right. And, um… about the shares… I can handle them for now. I’m going to protect that which my father left for me.
…I understand. Please do try to reconsider though. Well, if you’ll excuse me.

I mean, I’m just an inexperience high schooler… but I can’t leave the company in Takakura-san’s hands. Hey, um… what did you think of him?


But… I agree. I really don’t know whether or not I can trust him… Right now, the most prevalent rumor about Takakura-san is that he was pleased by my father’s passing… I mean, he was certainly the person who stood to benefit the most from it… It’s hard to deny that fact. But… he says he’s trying to rebuild our company image. I just can’t tell if he really means it… …You know, sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have money… if I was normal. Don’t get me wrong, the company is definitely important… but it’s often nothing more than a source of stress. With you guys though… I feel like I actually belong. That’s why I’m going to work extra hard to make sure my harvests turn out great!
I can sense a strong resolve from Haru…


He’s been really showering me with presents lately… One night he even left a bouquet of roses on my pillow. But… he would have needed one of my servants to help him accomplish that, right? What a scary thought… Even worse, Takakura-san has been hurry us to get married after what happened to my father. He claims it’s because of the profit the marriage will bring to the company… …But there has to be more to the situation than just that. Anyway, I’ll look a little deeper into Takakura-san. Perhaps he truly was pleased by my father’s death… Maybe I should start by asking the employees who are trying so desperately to win my favor…
nods

Aren’t you going to finish it?

Well, goodbye.

Arrest those damn Phantom Thieves already!
Should the Diet really be dissolving at a time like this!?
Shouldn’t the safety of the citizens be the top priority?
How are we supposed to feel safe?

Anon: Death penalty! Execute!
Anon: 30 million yen OMG XD
Anon: they’re running loose rn…
Anon: who cares either way?

Music: Beneath the Mask


It seems they have no evidence that can truly be called as such.
Well duh.
However, it seems they have no intentions of changing their plans.
They’re going to investigate at both Shujin Academy and Leblanc, right?
Indeed.
Hm. I can understand Shujin… But why Leblanc?
The key is Wakaba Isshiki.
Is it cause of my mom’s research?
Correct. Her study of cognitive psience is closely connected to this case. Of that, there can be no doubt.
Then this guy’s really the mastermind behind all of this?
That would be the case. There can be no mistake… The one who erased cognitive psience from this world is surely the culprit behind everything.
And getting rid of the research was to ensure only they could use its powers?
How perceptive of you. Yes, that is the only logical conclusion. Both Sae-san and I were searching for clues about that research. But just as we were about to deepen our investigation, this commotion began. And to make things even more troublesome… There was only one person with strong connections to both Shujin Academy and Leblanc. And that person turned out to be the leader of the Phantom Thieves.
So the culprit had calculated all of this in advance?
Heavens no. That would be impossible. This was a miracle created by the coinciding of multiple chance situations.

Y’know, shitty luck is still luck.
Yes, your luck really is impressive.
At any rate, that’s the current state of things. And that’s why we must obstruct the investigation at all costs.
Yes, that’s our intention.
You really do have something special about you. I can say that with confidence now.

Mr. Shido’s new party, the “United Future,” sent a motion of non-confidence against the cabinet. It was approved by a majority vote, which then led to a dissolution of the House. An election is expected to be held before the yearend, and each party has already begun preparing.
Oh, sounds like there’s going to be an election. I wonder who’s going to win.

What!? Why’d you change your mind all of a sudden? Isn’t it too late to do that now?
I have to make my parents pay for throwing away my stuff. So I made a bet with them. If I make it into a better middle school, then they have to buy me everything they threw out again.
Whoa, that’s so cool! It’s like what they say on the news! Evil people deserve to be punished!

You’re like, completely surrounded! Get your asses out before shit goes south! Pretty much pissed off all of Japan, huh? Must be scary, buuuddy!

You’ve never gotten into politics. What’s gotten into you?
I saw this feature about all the recent incidents on TV. I realized we can’t rely on the ruling party. They’re the ones ruining Japan. They’re the reason why people like the Phantom Thieves run loose.
Would a shift in political power change anything? I can’t really imagine that happening…

Don’t worry about it. Can’t trust the ruling party anymore. Might as well let someone new take a shot.
Japan’s like a team of great players who don’t have a coach. It’s so strange—like people here don’t care about their own country…

What, really!? Who? I wonder if we were friends…
Well, he always said he wanted to make our town better. It’s a real uphill battle, I hear, though.

If this gig I’ve got goes well, I’ll be able to make my debut soon. Mm-hmm, that’s right. …What do you mean I don’t seem happy? I’m just worried about all this Phantom Thieves stuff, that’s all. I’m sure it’ll settle down soon. I’m so close to realizing my dream… I need to keep working really hard…

Music: Crossroads

The public blames the Phantom Thieves for both incidents, but something doesn’t add up… Maybe you’re rubbing off on me. But I guess a journalist’s gotta question everything.

Do you have a minute…?

Thanks. Stop standing and sit down.

Music: Suspicion


She’s gotten so skinny, she looked almost like a stranger… She wouldn’t say anything either. I think she had a… mental shutdown, is it called?

Oh no, that’s terrible! …It wasn’t me.

Yeah. I was expecting it to be bad, but… it was still pretty jarring to see her in person. Her doctor said they found her collapsed in the street just about a year ago now. She had been wandering along the coast without any belongings, so the director’s wife took her in.
…Is there any hope of recovery?
…All we can do is pray. Either way, Kayo is still a suspect, so bringing her back here would just put her in danger again…
So we’ll never know what happened with that bureaucrat?
Not necessarily. I have her hairclip. It looks like an ordinary accessory, but it actually has a miniature camera built inside.

Remember that voicemail where she said she had something big? Well, it was all in the hairclip.
So then…!

Music: Desire

…It was a picture of the bureaucrat’s secret meeting. The other party must be the one behind the slush fund. And that other party…

Again with Shido. God, I’m hearing his name all over the place. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence though.

Shido…? You mean the politician? I can’t believe someone close to him could be so horrible…

Gee, I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that this Shido fella might not be on the up-and-up!

Yup. It’s pretty clear that confidant was blackmailing the bureaucrat, and killed him for not paying up. Kayo must have managed to escape, but then ended up suffering a mental shutdown somehow… I’m not sure what could possible cause something like that though… In any case, maybe that’s why they decided to leave her alive… Heh… They underestimated her journalistic talent.
That’s an amazing story… It’ll be a huge scoop if you’re right!
But given the current situation, it’s going to be difficult to write an article about it. I wouldn’t have Kayo’s testimony, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to corroborate her story. I’d get crushed if I tried to take them on without being fully prepared…


I’m gonna do whatever it takes to pursue the truth! I said I need to be fully prepared, didn’t I? It’ll just take a while.
So then…!
I’ve resigned myself to a long battle anyway. I have her photo. Now I gotta get some solid evidence, and lay the groundwork to prove her innocence. I’m going to avenge Kayo! (to Maaku) …Well then, our deal’s over. It’ll be too dangerous for you to stick around from here onward. You understand, right? The opposition won’t think twice about taking down anyone in their way. I’m sure I’ll get targeted… so to be safe, you shouldn’t come here again.


You must have nerves of steel…
Geez… You’re really never honest with yourself, Ichiko-chan. You’re not gonna find anyone else who listens to you as encouragingly as this guy. You know that, right? It’s gonna be a long battle against a tough enemy. You should have him by your side through it.

Uh-huh, sure. And what about you, kid? You’r not afraid to face the danger ahead, are you?

Fine. If you’re sticking your nose in this on your own free will, then there’s nothing I can do. I’ll solve this case on my own… but I appreciate having a friend who’s got my back.

We don’t carry that… There’s some generic stuff in the back though… Oh, and I’ll grab an oolong tea for the kid.
Mannn… Lamest kickoff party ever! …I guess the booze doesn’t matter though. It’s all about the company!
I feel like my bond with Ohya is growing deeper…


Music: Alright (Elp Version)

I know at first it was for the articles, but you don’t have any obligation to stay now, you know. Ohhh, I know. Did you take me seriously when I told the chief we were a couple? Geez, you kids today are so naive!
I should choose my words carefully…
That couple act…

Sorry, but no, I’m not into you like that. Maybe if I was the kind of person who drummed for fourteen straight hours and got deeply into Nicolas Cage.

O-Of course. Thank goodness…! It would’ve been way too much trouble to be with a minor… …What’s taking Lala-chan so long? And what’s with the heat? I mean, don’t you think it’s hot in here? All this heat is making me tired…

Oh, never change, Ohya.

Bye!


#251
Part 141

Part 141: 11/12-11/13: You Come At The King

Anon: 30 million yen OMG XD
Anon: this site pisses me off
— DELETED BY ADMIN —
— DELETED BY ADMIN —

Music: Suspicion

It’s already the 12th. We have about a week until the investigation. Can we make it so we can send the calling card? Let’s go to the Palace today!

We’ll go when I feel like it! Get off my case, mom!

I’m sure you have a plan. You’re you, after all. I don’t want to be arrested for a false accusation. I want to find the real culprit after all. Let me know when you decide to go. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

Music: So Boring

No.

Have you ever heard a recording of your own voice? Were you surprised? That’s because when you hear your voice normally, you hear it through your bones. The voice you hear in a recording that makes you feel uncomfortable is unmistakably your own voice. Now then, Hamiru-kun. Has hearing someone’s voice over the phone ever felt strange to you? Do you know why hearing someone’s voice over the phone sounds different than their real voice?

I’m impressed. That’s correct. It’s practically not even their voice anymore. To transmit data, cell phones use a certain way of encoding your voice into digital information. And when your phone has to use that data to reassemble a voice, it can only do so much.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Oh? You think you’d be able to tell if you were hearing a computer talking? As long as the tone and intonation match, the listener’s brain fills in any other differences. Most of our communication is based on assumptions.
Yeah, my voice just sounds like meows to people who don’t know me. Geez… Assumptions are dangerous.

That’s not quite the same thing, Morgana.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

The ruling party disbanded, so our country and economy’s doomed! But I can stop all that. I hope.

Come on, buddy! Don’t be like that. I’m just looking out for your future… …Psh. Kid’s not buying it. I guess you’d have to be a real idiot to fall for that line.

Nooo! I don’t want my brains scrambled! Daddy! Daddy, help meeeeeee! Heh, playing Phantom Thieves at a time like this? They’re cowards who ran from the police. All I do is save money from idiots who’d waste it. Society ought to be grateful to me!




Ohya’s ready after only one try, awesome.

There’s something I wanna talk to you about while we’re at it.

Hamiru-san, you’ve improved so much compared to when you first started. OK, let’s play.

Shinya Rank 10

Music: What’s Going On?





Actually, yeah I did! chuckle Have you noticed that my playing style has changed? I feel calmer when I’m under pressure now. I wonder if it’s because I’m not so obsessed with winning anymore…

Good for you, man.

Hey… I invited some people here today. They should be arriving any minute now…


Oh hey, those kids you terrorized. Good times.

Music: Sunset Bridge


I finally realized that I was being selfish… Please forgive me. I’ll understand if you guys don’t, but… …I promise I’ll pay back the money as soon as I save up enough.
(to Quiet-looking Boy) …Well, what do you wanna do?
……
That’s all I wanted to say… Thanks for coming.

Wait! I’m not very good at Gun About… Will you teach me how to get better?
Huh? Then…

Hey, it’s the pro gamer…!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it, kid? You want to play a game? I haven’t faced any worthy opponents lately.

Shinya looks over to Quiet-looking Boy, who nods.

…I’ve gotten better since we last played, you know. Now I can stay calm during a battle. I’m gonna blast right through that pitch black armor of yours.
…So then, you believe the rumor that’s being told about me, eh? Well, a full display of my skills should put an end to that lie.

…Take that. Don’t aim for the body… …And that!
…Tch! This is BS!
Whoa, the champ can’t even get off a shot!
Takekuma’s about to lose! The king’s going to win!

Stop using that armor and start playing fair and square. It’s unacceptable to break the rules just to win, whether you’re an adult or a child. And if you don’t stop, I’ll tell everyone.
…No, I won’t admit defeat! I just can’t! It’ll be the end of everything!

The video’s worth it just for this one line, because Takekuma sounds exceptionally whiny here.

No it won’t. Your life will go on, even after you lose. But if you don’t change now, then it might really be the end for you. And then no one will be able to help you. I don’t want you to go through that.

…Is that a threat?

…… Well said… for a kid… I’m not going to enter the tournament. See ya.

The King’s the new champ!
No… I’m not. I haven’t won the tournament yet. Besides, it’s thanks to you guys… that I was able to get stronger.

…I’m so happy right now.


I’ve always thought that winning was the coolest thing. But being nice is pretty cool too… Losing wasn’t the end. It was just a new beginning. Through all the pain, and with your help… I was able to change.
nods
Now it’s my turn to help others. My mom, my friends… even people I don’t know. I wonder… Will that help me become a member of the Phantom Thieves?


D’oh, guess there was no point in trying to keep up the charade.

Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. …… Well, this is the last time we’ll play together. There’s nothing left to teach you, and the Phantom Thieves seem to be having a rough time… Thank you… for hanging out with a lonely kid like myself. I’ll continue to do my best. OK, put out your hand.



Music: The Spirit


Despite the plain description here, from cursory forum searching I have discovered Oda Special actually seems to do three things. The first is exactly what this text implies, that all of your handgun bullets (so no Gun Skills, sadly) now have the classic SMT skill Pierce applied to them, so they’re no longer subject to enemy resistances and will deal full damage no matter what. Drain/Repel/Null/Resist Gun are no longer a problem. This is only mildly useful, but apparently this skill also prevents Joker’s gun attacks from missing, too. Still, not worth all that much. Warning Shot is still Shinya’s best skill by a mile. However, when I did research on this skill for this update, I found multiple sources online stating that Oda Special also ridiculously ups Joker’s critical chance with guns, to something like eighty percent. What the fuck. So I checked up and sure enough, I’m getting lotsocrits, but in practice the rate is more like fifty percent or so. Still, abso-fucking-lutely incredible.

Anyway, Shinya’s a decent kid. I’m used to Barbara Goodson’s voice for him, but it’s still a little weird.

Music: Sunset Bridge

…You’ve gotten really good! But you’ll still never be able to beat me!

Didn’t you just learn the Important Life Lesson that it doesn’t actually matter?

You won’t lose to anyone else though! chuckle I’ll be supporting you, no matter what…!
Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Later!

Bye, Shinya. Truly it was we who… got smoked.

Music: Beneath the Mask

How will the Feathermen, who are slowly succumbing to avian influenza, get out of this one!? Next episode… “Broken Wings.”

Music: Layer Cake

Well, it’ll make my job easier if the cops have their attention elsewhere, y’know? So, you’re here ‘cause you saw my message, right?

I’m gonna give you hard time [sic] like I promised, OK?

Time for you to do some work around the shop, Mr. Gun Enthusiast.

This thing’s an antique. I’m not gonna sell it to anyone less than a real gun expert.

I heard he got excommunicated from the clan. Apparently his boss found out what happened. Serves him right, huh?


I mean sure, that bastard pissed me off, but I never once wished he’d up and die on me.

Not even when he was going to murder you and your son? And also me?

This whole thing’s been real crazy though. I mean, Tsuda used to be the role model for upholdin’ the code… I guess this is what he meant when he said times’re changin…



Music: Tension

The hell’re you doin…!? You motherfucker! Hey, hold on!

That bastard Masa’s abducted Kaoru!

Masa? Oh right, him. That dude what from the diner.

He damn well better be, or else Masa’s a dead man! God, that piece of shit…! He knew about Tsuda’s failure the whole time… I bet he was just waitin’ for a chance like this.

Right. They’re over at Seaside Park. I’ll grab the keys n’ lock up! C’mon, let’s go!

Wait, why am I coming?

Music: Desire

Ahahahahaha, what is Masa doing? “Hey man, I got this knife! I wanna show it to you! Just gonna hold it vaguely in the direction of your son and hopefully that works as a threat! There totally aren’t like eight different ways for him to easily escape this situation! The devs just didn’t want to go to the trouble of doing a more sensible pose? What are you talking about? It’s probably way more complicated than you’re suggesting, shut up!”

Take it easy, Mune-san. All I did was give him a friendly ride home from cram school. Ain’t that right, Kaoru-kun?
Dad… I’m sorry. He said he had some stuff to tell me about you… Then, he…
Kaoru…
Man, ain’t he just a great kid?

And what’re you, Mune-san’s little errand boy? Wait… I remember you. You’re that weirdo from the diner.

Fuck off. I heard you the first time.
…So, what’re you gonna make me do?
Great question. Y’know those modded guns you were gonna give Tsuda? It’d be real nice to get my hands on ‘em. There’s a lieutenant spot open now that Tsuda’s gone, but I still need to prove my worth before I can get it. And you’re gonna help me do just that.
Sorry Masa, but you got some real shitty timin’. We just broke ‘em all down. There’s nothin’ left.
You think that’s gonna dissuade me? …Y’know, I know everythin’ about Kaoru-kun’s situation.

What…!?

Dad? What does he mean!?
Don’t you remember what I told you in the car, Kaoru-kun? About your dad? About what he thinks of you?
R-Right… I’m just… a burden, aren’t I? That’s it, isn’t it? Tell me, Dad. I can handle the truth!

You’re at (very loose) knifepoint, kid. Can’t we have this conversation some other time? Man, this is some hot fresh melodrama if I’ve ever seen it.

That ain’t true! I’m tryin’ to protect you, Kaoru!
Hey, this family bullshit is real touching n’ all, but we’re s’posed to be negotiatin’ here, remember? Why don’t we start with a delivery date? The sooner the better, in my book.
You bastard…!
Oh, don’t gimme that shit. None of this would be happenin’ if you didn’t go n’ take that brat in.
I knew it… Everything really is my fault…
Kaoru…


Hey, what’re you two chattin’ about over there?
Kaoru, listen… There’s somethin’ I [sic] been keepin’ from you for a while now… and you’re prolly not gonna like it. Truth is, your real parents didn’t die in a car crash. You were abandoned by your mother when you were still a baby. That’s why I took you in. Believe it or not… I was actually part of the yakuza back then.

Oh man! I can’t believe you really freakin’ told him, Mune! He’s not lyin’, Kaoru. From what I heard, your mom tried to sell you to us just so she could get her hands on some easy drug money!
Sell me…?
Yup! Then when Mune here wasn’t buyin’, she just dumped you and ran! And that’s how you ended up with a yakuza dad. Pretty crazy, huh!? Ahhh, that’s a relief! I’ve been tryin’ to hold that in all day long. I couldn’t wait to see the look on your face when you found out!
……
Man, this is hilarious. Boo freakin’ hoo, how sad… Ahahaha!
Enough. All of that might be true… but it’s in the past now! I’m not a child anymore, and I’d never let a stupid secret like that get to me!

So what if my mom dumped me!? Or if my dad was part of the yakuza!? We might not be related by blood, but we’re connected by the gecko…! So you know what? I don’t care what you have to say about us! I’m me, and Munehisa Iwai… is my dad!

Aww…

Heh… chuckle Attaboy, Kaoru. Listen, Masa… Let’s put an end to this, right here, right now. We can start fresh.
You seriously still don’t get it, do you? Kaoru-kun’s–


Music: Tension


Oh shit, Tsuda! Also, he’s not even holding the knife on the same side of his body as you anymore, Kaoru. Just fucking run away.

T-Tsuda… I mean, sir!?
Don’t give me that. I know you ratted me out to the boss. You never have been good at keeping your mouth shut.
N-No, it wasn’t me!
Uh-huh. And what do you think you’re doing waving that knife around? Huh!?

Your kid’s got guts, Mune. Like father like son, huh?
Looks like it. So, what now?
Well, I’ll start by making this idiot repay his debts. I haven’t thought much about what comes after. All I really know is… this is where we say goodbye, Mune.
…Take care, brother.
Let’s go.

Music: Sunset Bridge

And now that Masa’s busy digging his own shallow grave, time for a family chat.

Yeah. I was a little afraid… but it’s all better now.
Heh. Honestly, I’m surprised you stayed calm through all that. Guess you’re maturin’ quicker than I even realized…


Y’know, I’ve been so busy makin’ sure he doesn’t end up like me that I forgot to see who he’s actually becomin’. Heh… I can’t believe I’m only just realizin’ this now. Hehe… And it’s all thanks to you, kid. I appreciate it… for real.
It feels like my bond with Iwai is growing even deeper…

Hey, all that excitement made me super hungry… Why don’t we go back to that diner?
sigh You seriously eat on a whole ‘nother level… You might even end up taller than me someday. C’mon, let’s head over there.
Let’s go!
The three of us enjoyed a peaceful dinner together…

Huh…? Who could that be at this hour…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

We have about a week left, so why don’t we take a break?

Because we haven’t done anything yet, Haru.

There’s a thriller that’s out called “Pach-Saw.” What do you think? If you can handle that kind of stuff, that is.

You guys are gonna fuckin’ hate me for this, but uh… tomorrow was actually the date I had decided we would go into the Palace about an in-game week in advance. And even if it wasn’t, we don’t need points with Haru, we’re full up on social stats, and there’s just no good reason to waste a day hanging out when we could be ranking someone up. I’m sorry. But, then, why choose “Decide later”? Well… you’ll see.

Anon: Oh how far they’ve fallen
Anon: lol this place went to shit
Anon: Is the admin an accomplice?
Anon: if its not them ill eat poo

I love these messages so much.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Yeah, that’s how much time we got to nab that Treasure.
There’s that, but it’s also how much longer we’ll ge to stay as the Phantom Thieves.
Yeah.
Now that you mention that, it is quite an odd feeling.

That’s not really an answer to my question, but it’s good motivation!
Well I guess all we can do now is do this shit like we always do.
Yeah. For Makoto’s sister.
Thank you, everyone.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Now, I said we wouldn’t be able to do Haru’s movie event. But I never said we wouldn’t see it. I felt bad about it, so I saved my game in the attic when I regained control and decided to accept Haru’s invite.

(Also, Haru’s “Maaku-kun? I guess you didn’t want to go?” there is heartbreaking.)


All right, let’s meet in front of the movie theater in Shinjuku!
All right, let’s go see the movie today.

Pach-Saw

Music: Break it Down

Let’s go inside. I’m so excited…

Haru likes scary movies, good to know.

Music: Some weird low humming

Coward voice: Please! No! The elephant! It’s coming this way! AAAAAAAAAAGH
Elephant noises
Deep voice: GAME OVER.

I-I-I-I can t-t-totally handle th-this sorta s-s-stuff…!
After watching this scary movie, I feel like I’ve got more Guts than I did before…

Maaku gains Guts +3.

Music: Break it Down

How was it for you? Do you like scary movies?


There’s a brief pause in the video at this point, because I had to put down the controller I was laughing so hard. Haru’s great.

Thanks for hanging out with me today. I had a lot of fun! It’s too scary to watch these alone. And I didn’t have any friends I could ask before, so… I’m really happy that we could watch it together! Ah, it’s time we headed back home.

Now we reload back to the earlier attic save we made in the daytime.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! 20 cans of Mystery Stew! Customers keep coming back for its, well, mysterious flavor!
It’s perfect for using it as a punishment on someone! Ugh, the smell’s leaking out…!

Despite the weird way it’s being sold, we absolutely fucking want this. It’s absurdly cheap for what it does and it’s enough to last the entire rest of the game. Buy it.

But I’m sure we can expect great things from Mr. Shido! Election day can’t come soon enough.
I don’t mind who wins, as long as I can live out the rest of my days in peace and quiet…

Autumn is here, and the leaves have changed color. This season, the cool air feels a bit lonely…
Stuff like feeling lonely doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m single and happy with what I’ve got.

I hate Mommy and Daddy! I wanna be with Kotaro…
Will you stop!? Kotaro is an old dog! You can’t push him like that!
whine
I hope the Phantom Thieves come! I hope they steal Mommy and Daddy’s heart!

This dog girl subplot is really sad.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

It’s been pretty crazy out here. You’ve seen all the stuff about the Phantom Thieves on TV, right? I was thinkin’ I might come home. Nobody takes me seriously. Dunno if I have what it takes to be a star… Huh? What d’ya mean that ain’t rock n’ roll? Why you gettin’ mad about this? I thought long and hard, and…

I think I’ll get into politics. We women should take a more active role in our society!
Wh-What’s with all this? Did you just have a change of heart?
I’m gonna start volunteering at the election office. I bet there’s a lot of hot, energetic men there!
You never learn, do you…



Money boosted!

Music: Tokyo Emergency


And now we’re ready to (finally) head into the Palace.


#252
Part 141.5

Part 141.5: 11/13: Seasons Don’t Fear The Reaper

Music: Tokyo Emergency



…Juuuuuust kidding! We’re not going into the Palace just yet. We’ll reload a save and do that next update. First, though, there’s something I really need to show off.

Music: Mementos

Yeah, there’s been an outbreak… I’m sure lots of people are suffering through it.
I see… Those feelings might have an effect on Mementos…
What’s this flu gonna do to it?
It might have something to do with people’s negative emotions…
Uh… what’s that even mean…?
I’m not entirely sure. This is a first for me too, so let’s go find out with our own eyes.

Hmm, whatever could the effect of Flu Season be? Well…

Music: Last Surprise



…It’s despair. Remember despair? The ailment that makes you totally unable to act, drains your SP, and kills you after three turns? That seems a little overpowered, doesn’t it? Well, just you wait!

See, Mementos weather effects apply to any fight in the main halls (so the boss areas are unaffected), not counting ones where you get ambushed for some reason. Any fight. If you remember back to the very early updates where we went to Mementos and got a certain warning, you might already know where I’m going with this.

Music: Mementos

We’re going to hang out on the early floors so no Shadows bug us and just sit in a dead end waiting. For what, you ask? Why, we’re waiting for it to spawn.

Five minutes or so later…

The rattling of chains can be heard…

There he is… off in the distance.

The Reaper!

Music: Last Surprise

After one failed attempt where he killed me, I decide to let him ambush me because he doesn’t get two turns at the start when he does that. Unfortunately, he can’t get the despair effect when this happens, so no dice. I eventually just hit him again and it works. And boy, does it work.

One thing I should point out is that I was wrong once again: Anat can transform, just not in a cool way. The animation of Johanna rolling up pre-skill use still happens, but Makoto doesn’t hop on, it just transforms into Anat at the very end. Lame.

This fight honestly isn’t worth not cheesing, for the simple reason that The Reaper takes almost no damage from anything. Almighty does slightly more (Akechi’s Megidola does about 3 times this), but still not enough to make even a dent.

The Reaper has an absurd amount of SP for the record.

And we beat it. :toot: That was easy guys, I don’t know what the big fuss was about.

We get 72 thousand experience for… that. Whatever, I’ll take it, but it sucks that I have to reload and lose it all.

Only 3500 yen!? What!?


And that was enough for our entire party to level up about nine times. Cool. We probably won’t end up doing that again without reloading, but it’s a neat trick that the game seems to all but encourage you exploit. For this LP, I’m fine with doing things the intended way… mostly.

Anyway… next time, we’ll actually finally enter the Palace. I mean it this time.


#253
Part 142

Part 142: 11/13: Hamill’s Nine

Okay, so, let me get this straight: you knew that you were getting arrested if you failed to change my heart?
Yep.
But instead of doing something about it, you fucked around with your friends for two weeks and put it off until the last minute?
I don’t see the issue here.
sigh

Music: Tokyo Emergency

We’re doing it right now, idiot!


Music: The Whims of Fate

Someone requested the lyrics so here’s a video with them. They get stuck in my head a lot, it’s great.


Music: Aria of the Soul

We’re just here to free up a slot, so we fuse Queen Mab from Kikuri-Hime and Lachesis.

You who holds my mask shall soon understand the true might of the fairy queen…

Queen Mab, also known as Medb or Meive, is the fairy queen in Celtic myth. She was immortalized in Mercutio’s monologue in Romeo and Juliet.

Music: The Whims of Fate

Now, time to enter the Palace.

And for that, we will need to have a member’s card.
Where’re we gonna get one though? There’s not too many places we can go right now.
Hm… I doubt we will find one simply lying on the ground in the main hall. I suggest we head for the backroom.
Huh…? But why?
I will explain later. In any case, let’s try to find an entrance.

These Unicorns use Physical Strikes and are weak to Curse.

Oses also use Physical along with charging up and inflicting Rage. They’re weak to Bless.

Yusuke learns Deadly Fury, an upgrade to Rising Slash that keeps the Baton Pass strength boost and ups its attack power from Heavy to Severe. I apologize for saying Ryuji is straight-up better than Yusuke, which isn’t exactly true even yet; Yusuke does have higher base Strength, and learns his Physical skills a bit sooner. His support skills are just marginally less useful.

Then let us check around. We may find something useful.
Like… what?
Mwehehe… I get it… You mean some kinda customer data terminal.
Haha, I am glad you’re so quick to understand. Though even if I were to find such a terminal, there is nothing my meager skills could do about it…
That’s where I come in. Leave it all to me!

These are Powers. They’re weak to Curse and use Physical and Bless skills.

Makoto learns Marakukaja to replace Rakukaja.

These Kikuri-Himes have no attack skills whatsoever, preferring to use Makarakarn to repel our magic at us, as well as heal themselves. They’re weak to Fire.

This is a Valkyrie. It’s not weak to anything. It has Physical attacks and Dodge Phys as well as Counterstrike, so Physical attacks aren’t recommended.

We eventually come to a safe room.


That thing really don’t want anyone gettin’ past there, huh… You wanna try attackin’ it?
Or we could always find another route. We may be able to sneak around it and avoid fighting. What do you want to do, Joker? We’ll follow whatever you decide.

That you suggest there’s an alternate path means there absolutely is one, so I’ll go with that.

Understood. In that case, let us find another way in.


Back near the safe room, we can climb up some boxes to find an alternate route through—what else?—a vent.


Now, we’re on the other side of the door the Shadow was standing in front of, and we could just leave… but nah. Let’s fight it anyway.

You can do it. I’ll do my best to support you guys too!


And we get a free ambush out of it.

These girls are weak to Wind and can use strong Electricity and Fire spells, along with Concentrate to up their power. Not that they get a chance to do much of that.

Hey, it dropped something… Is this some kinda keycard?
It might help us open stuff up further in. We should probably hold onto it for now.
Then let us be grateful for its existence and proceed onward.

A bit further in, we come across more guards in front of a different room.

Talk about bein’ heavily guarded. They’re practically screamin’ at us ‘bout how there’s something important in there.
It would be foolish to overlook this, though perhaps even more foolish to meet them head on… What is your call, Joker?


Right next to that corner is a barred door.

There’s an authentication device next t oit though. Let’s try using the keycard from earlier.


Great. Now we’ll be able to get through here, Joker.

The room contains nothing but another vent.

But the vent leads into the guarded room, meaning we intentionally went back and did a skippable fight in order to skip a different, harder fight.

OK then, let’s hurry up and take that guard down!


Very well then. We shall defeat it at once!

And we score another ambush.

And the great thing about getting an ambush is…

Motherfucking BULLET HAIL can trigger! The rest of this fight is pretty simple, though he resists Physical and Dodges Electric attacks so Ryuji’s not that useful. He mainly just tries to crit us with Miracle Punch.

Ah, aren’t those what we are looking for? Oh… There are no names on them. They’ll be unusable if they remain unregistered.
Mweheheh! I can handle that!


I wasn’t sure what name to give it, so I just thought of a random one: Taro Tanaka.
That’s way too simple! Aren’t they gonna figure that out?

“Taro Tanaka,” for the most of you who aren’t going to get that, is the Japanese equivalent of “John Doe.” I only understood it because I vaguely remember the name used as an alias from Durarara!.

Um, they already know what we look like, and that we’ve intruded into the Palace… …Then again, it’s prolly better to be safe than sorry.



Joker, you can hold on to this card and the map. Don’t lose ‘em, ‘kay? As for the Taro Tanaka card… Hmmm… Crow, get rid of it next time you see a garbage can.

Hm…? Why me?
These kinds of chores always fall to the newbie.
…Oh.

We can also use that elevator now, right?
According to the map, it would be quicker to use this path than to go back the way we came. Come, let’s hurry on.

Everyone nods.


Stop fooling around and throw out the damn card, Akechi!


Valkyrie is strong against Gun, so firing at her gives us a chance to see Oda Special in action. Yep, that sure is 8 damage.

Anyway, we eventually wrap around to the earlier area with the chandeliers we hop across, but before we go to the elevator, we’re going to go back to the Velvet Room.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Power and Legion make Ananta.

The power of creation that has awakened inside of you shall henceforth be within your mask.

Ananta, or “Shesha,” is the king of all nagas in Hindu mythology and one of the primal beings of creation, depicted with as many as one thousand heads. Vishnu rested upon Shesha, and upon waking up created the universe. At the end of each Kalpa (time period allotted to the earth) the serpent destroys all of creation.

Next up, Daisoujou from Mithras and Queen Mab.

Daisoujou is… fuckin’ weird and creepy, and I’m just going to post the wiki’s description along with the game’s here, holy shit:

P5’s description:

“A monk who died while fasting, his spiritual power allows his body to continue to exist without rotting. It is said that he will appear before people on the day of salvation.”

That’s not so bad, right? I mean, except for being wrong, because that’s clearly not a preserved corpse but a fucking skullman, but whatever. Well…

The wiki’s description:

“Based on the Buddhist mummies, Sokushinbutsu. These monks performed self-mummification by starving themselves for about three years. At the end of these three years, they were entombed alive with just enough room to sit cross-legged. A tube was placed in the ground, leading to the tomb for air. The monk had a bell with him and every day, someone would listen for the bell to make sure the monk was still alive. When the bell no longer rang, the air tube was removed and the tomb was completely sealed. A thousand days later, the body would be exhumed. If it was preserved, it was revered as a god.”

Fucking hell!

You may also have noticed the skill Samsara. That’s a unique skill to Daisoujou that cannot be passed on from fusion. It has a high chance to instant-kill every enemy on the field. It’s pretty great.

Finally, we’re going to fulfill the request for a Bugs with Samarecarm. Bugs is an Advanced Fusion from Pixie, Pisaca, and Hariti. Hariti naturally learns Samarecarm, so we just need to make sure Bugs gets it.

You the badass with the mask? C’mon dude, let’s play!

Bugs, or the Bugbear, is the literal Boogeyman. It’s used by mothers to frighten their children into behaving.

I see you have brought us a Bugs with the skill Samarecarm
Hmph. You make it seem easy. Well, the assignment is done…

So, uh… me and Justine had a little talk. I dunno how to put this… but we don’t know each other too well, even though we’re so close.
We have also come to realize that each of us complements the faults of the other quite nicely…
I don’t think I’ve ever had a deep convo like that with anyone before. Oh, and it made me remember something super important. I bet you wanna hear what that was. Isn’t that right, Inmate!?


The thing that I remembered… is something someone once told me. You explain it, Justine.
Essentially, the twenty-two arcana represent a journey… The Fool embarks on a pilgrimage through the numbers, overcoming Death and eventually obtaining the World. In short, this journey is the tale of one’s path through life.
So we realized something. If this wild card thing—the potential of the Fool—proves that you’re a traveler…
Then your becoming stronger will lead us all in the right direction. That may be the true meaning of rehabilitation. Or perhaps it is something beyond even that… Regardless, one thing we can be sure of is that this list was written with the intent of being completed.
Understanding and having faith in that intent is the change this list has brought about in us.

Not that somebody like you would be able to comprehend that. But for us… it was something really important to learn. Oh, and… I think we might know who that voice in my head was too. I can’t tell you right now though.

First of all, we don’t have any way to actually prove it.
Secondly… if it is indeed true, everything we have come to know would be thrown into question. Regardless, we have grown able to reflect on ourselves thanks to you. This may not be something I should be saying to you… but I have quite enjoyed out time spent together.
You hear that, Inmate!? You’d better overcome this ruin stuff! Keep surviving, all the way until we learn the truth… together!
We vow to do everything in our power to assist you… For the sake of your future, and our own.
I feel like my bond with Caroline and Justine is growing deeper…


Don’t expect us to play nice just ‘cause we believe in you though! We’re gonna be as strict as ever!
Now then, it is time I assign you the final task before you receive your immensely powerful reward.

Please bring us a Seth with High Counter. Speak to us again once you have obtained it.

Music: The Whims of Fate


Joker scans the card.

Authentication complete. You can now access the following floors: The Standard Floor/The Members Floor.
It didn’t say nothing about the one for the manager…
Well, the floors we have access to are limited by player ranking. That must mean the members floor is the highest we can go for now.
It’s impossible to mess with the data on the card too. It’s nothing like the ones I’ve seen before.
So we can’t go directly to the manager’s floor… In that case, what exactly should we do?
Our first move should be to head upward. Either way, we have no more business on this floor.
Please select your desired floor.





Music: Desire


You wanna just get this over with right now, huh? That makes this easy. Bring it on.
Do not speak to me as though you are my equal. I am the manager of this casino, as well as its number-one player. At the moment, you lack the qualifications to fight me.
It would seem she looks down on us.

Got any more stunning insight to share with us, Councilor Troi?

And what if we would like to battle you, no matter what?

Uh, we’re not actually here to fight her, guys. We’re supposed to at least pretend the boss fight isn’t mandatory.

I had to win time and time again in order to reach my number-one rank. If you want to face me, you must continue to win as well.

Continue to win…?
It must have to do with the fact that this place is a casino.
Correct. Do you have the confidence to win…?
We might just pull the rug out from underneath you if you aren’t careful.
I don’t expect much from you… but I’ll be waiting.

Shadow Sae snaps her fingers.


Music: Suspicion

It’s going up…
I wasn’t expecting to come all the way to a Palace only to end up gambling…

What about you guys?

The group looks around at each other.

Looks like this is going to take longer than expected.
We don’t got time to waste!

Sorry, my bad.

No need to worry. Leave this to me.
You know how to do this?
I’m well-informed on what it takes to win. In any case, we need to hurry and change her heart. If she acts recklessly, both her chances of promotion and reputation as a prosecutor will drop greatly. Sae-san didn’t use to be like this, did she?
My sister must have lost her sense of justice because her desires became distorted…
Do you think there was a particular event that triggered her Palace’s creation?
…I believe it’s related to my father’s death. My sister took on all the responsibilities of dealing with it herself. Trying to earn a living wage, gain a promotion in a male society, and uphold justice at the same time… Those things may have weighed her down and led to the distortion within her heart.
…My apologies, but we don’t have time to be sentimental. The longer we wait, the more people will learn about us. The investigation will advance as well. Hence, we must infiltrate this Palace as quickly as possible.
She did challenge us to reach her, after all. Niijima’s Treasure must be at her managerial base of operations. Either way, we have to get there!

Everyone nods.

Well, we’ll see what else this Palace has in store next time. But that doesn’t mean we’re done here for today! Now that Akechi’s joined our party, we can do something I’ve been anticipating for a while!

See, for 60 real US dollars, you can buy a pack of all the DLC costumes off the PlayStation Network! And I’m an idiot, so of course I decided to buy it for the sake of showing it off in this LP!



There’s another 12 of these popups.


By going to the “Outfits” section of the Equipment menu, we can put on outfits that change our appearance. This does nothing to affect our stats, but that doesn’t mean nothing changes. We’ll go into what that means in a later episode!

Now, without further ado, it’s time for the…

Yes, I’m putting on something of a fashion show here! We’ll be covering the basic set of costumes in today’s appearance. Hope you like awkward camera angles and shit-ass JPG compression, because those are the real stars tonight!

Why, it’s the incredibly stylish Phantom Thieves! Well… mostly stylish. Poor Akechi here probably thinks he looks cool as hell, while I’m just thinking “I hope he doesn’t rip his band uniform.” He also breaks the male trend of cool, impractically large collars. Gotta say I don’t understand Makoto’s antipathy for her outfit, it’s dope and the cape (not visible here, sadly) rules. Haru’s might be my favorite, though, especially with the ammo belt. Why does Ann’s costume have a boob window? Yusuke’s weird tail always makes me laugh, by the way. I’m also less sure how much I like the pirate look for Ryuji the more I see it.

This is also Morgana’s only costume for today’s show, but look forward to his appearance changing in future installments.

Maaku goes for the standard look, but pulls it off. There have been many jokes made in the past about how Ryuji’s shirt here says “HOMO RULES” instead of “NO MO,” and I can only say I approve. Gotta wonder how Haru manages to have a totally unique uniform for both seasons without the faculty complaining, but she pulls it off. Makoto also manages to make a fairly standard uniform her own. Akechi loses points for his tie clipping into his shirt, sadly. All I can say about Yusuke is that Kosei’s purple shirt for the summer uniform is cool as hell.

Maaku is the only person in the game who looks good in the Shujin turtleneck, which unfortunately kind of includes Makoto. She makes up for it though with her… vest? Whatever the hell that is, it’s nice. I like how Ryuji just lets the suspenders hang out of his pants. Ann’s hoodie is dope and if I was a girl I would buy one. Maybe I will anyway. Haru’s sweater is goddamn adorable and I will not hear otherwise. Are the gloves a standard part of the uniform of whatever school Akechi goes to? The fleur-de-lis on Yusuke’s shirt is pretty cool I guess.

Maaku, rocking that watch, nice. Ryuji’s shirt seems to say “ON U R MARK” instead of “UR,” but okay. I like the sunglasses clipped onto Ann’s shirt there, and the shirt wrapped around her shorts. Haru’s unfortunately looking rather plain. Futaba’s got a cool shirt, but the person playing Tetris on it really needs to step up their game. Really like Makoto’s blouse here. That shirt is not doing you any favors, Yusuke buddy.

Like the v-neck, Maaku. Not liking Ryuji’s hoodie so much, it’s a little gaudy, though that’s just him I guess. Ann’s wearing like a letterman jacket or something, which is an odd fit for her. Please cover up, Futaba, and I don’t just mean that because you’re probably really cold not wearing your jacket on your actual shoulders. Haru and Makoto both look nice in their coats. Akechi’s sweater-vest just cements his dork status, though. Nice jacket, Yusuke.

Now we get to the awkward part of this where I review a bunch of teenagers’ swimsuits… yeah, pass. I only included this in the first place because we haven’t seen Haru’s yet. Though Yusuke’s hoodie is real silly and I appreciate it.

Really like both of these outfits, but what in the goddamn hell is “JL MK !”?

That’s all for today’s installment of The Phantastic Phantom Phashion Phrenzy, please join us again next time, where this is going to get a little weirder!


#254
Part 143

Part 143: 11/13: 6500 Miles To Graceland

Music: The Whims of Fate

I’m glad this song is good, because outside of the occasional switch to Last Surprise for a battle, it’s all I hear for most of this Palace!

It should be quite clear. We must play in the casino and win. Customers are divided into the different floors based on the rank of their play. If we wish to enter a higher floor, we will need to increase our rank.
So that means we gotta win and gain the right to head up. And as I mentioned earlier, a different kinda member’s card is used depending on your rank. We’ll have to obtain a card for the high limit floor somewhere around here.
For real!? Ugh, what a pain!
Why don’t we begin by walking around this floor? That should be a good method of gaining intel.

This room is fairly empty outside of some treasure spots, the cashier’s desk up ahead…

…and a safe room, natch.


So all of this is going according to her plan… I cannot help but feel we’re being manipulated here.
First, we will be providing you with a welcome gift. Please accept these coins.

We receive 1000 coins and a handy/gaudy counter to keep track of them that will stay onscreen all the time outside of cutscenes and battles so we don’t ever forget whose rules we’re playing by!

He’s just giving them to us!?
Perhaps this is a show of confidence. It seems she truly has no intention of losing.
Now then, to the left of the counter is the dice game area, while to the right are the slots. Please head to whichever strikes your fancy.

Furthermore… this is a map of the members floor. Please accept it.

That means we should probably start with the dice game… right?
Ah, one more thing. Casino coins can be exchanged for prizes at this very counter. Please feel free to ask us about this service.
Prizes? What do you think we can get from there…?
Our most desired prize is a member’s card for entry into the high limit floor. However, the price of exchange for this item is 50,000 coins.

I see… I believe I have figured out Sae-san’s intent behind this.

That’s absurd! 50,000 coins!?
chuckle We also allow players to borrow coins if need be, up to the current total on their card.
I don’t wanna do that! Owin’ cash to a weird-ass casino inside someone’s head is way too scary!
Oh well… Standing around here won’t get us anywhere. So, should we head to this dice game?
Actually, do you mind if I speak to you all beforehand? There is something on my mind.

It would not surprise me in the least if they were rigged somehow.
You think she’s cheatin’!?
Remember, this is a courthouse in the real world. Sae-san is quite particular about “winning” here. To compound that, defendants in Japan are prosecuted at a rate of 99.9%. Victory is nigh unattainable.
What!? How can a percentage like that really be possible? Are all those verdicts the correct ones?

What do you think, Ann?

Not exactly… The investigators are human too, after all.
Then…
You are not the first to poijnt out the rigged nature of this system. The prosecution is near unbeatable. That’s why cases of false accusation cause such a stir: They are exceedingly rare.

I think this is supposed to say “cases of exoneration” or something similar. “Cases of false accusation” implies that people being falsely accused is rare, rather than people being found innocent. Also, that still sounds awkward, but hell, it ain’t my job to fix this.

But it’s total bullshit gettin’ arrested even when you’re not guilty!
Indeed, and if we do not hurry, the Phantom Thieves will fall victim to a similar fate.
…We’re going to win this, no matter what.

Now that we’ve regained control, let’s head for the dice area. First though, we see this present. The presents are a little different from ordinary treasure spots.

Grabbing one will give us 100, 150, or 200 coins on the spot. It’s nifty but ultimately totally unnecessary unless you completely fuck up somehow.

Y-Yeah, I guess… That’s not really how a normal high schooler would describe it though…

Yusuke’s a good boy, Ann. Don’t try to change him.

In any case, we should proceed further in.

First, let’s head into one of the dice rooms.

Please enjoy this simple game in which you guess the total number that will appear on three cast dice. A correct prediction will double your bet, while three matching dice will triple it. Most importantly, matching sixes is a supreme victory! Regardless of what your initial bet was, the payout will be quintuple that! Buy-in for this game is only 25 casino coins. Would you like to play?

Would I!



Damn!

Would you like to continue playing?
>Continue

Let’s go again!


Dammit!

Three attempts later…

What is it, Akechi? I feel a hot streak coming up!

Wait, you mean cheating…?
Even if we continue playing here, there is no chance of victory. We should retreat for the time being.
But we won’t be able to earn coins if we don’t play.
Yes, that is exactly why we will stop them from rigging the game. Considering the scale of this operation, I doubt they are cheating via analog methods. I expect there is a control room of sorts that determines the win percentages for the entire area.
So that’s where we’ll strike. All right, let’s go look for anywhere that seems suspicious!

After reloading to keep my coin count pristine because I’m incredibly dumb like that, we find this vent on the north wall.


Super convenient, don’tcha think? Anyway, based on what Crow was saying, the games in here are all totally rigged.
Oooh, so we’re gonna catch ‘em in the act! I guess that’s easy… C’mon, let’s get to it!

This Ganesha has the same attacks its boss form did last update, but it’s weak to Psy this time around.

Queen Mab here is also near-identical to its boss form from the last update, including its Wind weakness.

Climate Decorum is a skill for Haru that doubles her evasion against all skills during Pollen, Rain, or Flu. It’s decent enough but we’re probably not going to get a chance to use it with Akechi subbed in for her. We slot it in for Fast Heal anyway.

And another safe room.



A fifth!?

(We’re not a fifth. The game doesn’t recognize that we’ve progressed since reaching the beginning of this floor, and even still that’s a really low estimate that makes me suspect they cut something)

Further in, Ryuji learns Elec Boost to replace Deathbound. His Electric attacks are now 25% stronger.

Subrecover SP restores 1% of the backup party’s SP after battle. This is clearly not enough to really rely on even just as an incentive to switch between party members, but it does mean we can now Auto-Recover with impunity because Morgana and Ann will recover most of what they lose if we don’t take a lot of hits.

Akechi also learns Attack Master to replace Kouga. Attack Master gives him Tarukaja at the start of battle, and it’s pretty useful. Weird that he gets it instead of Ryuji, though.

We also run into this Treasure Demon, Orlov. At this point I’m saving most of my bullets for Oda’s Down Shot to use on Treasure Demons or pesky enemies without weaknesses.

And we make it to the control room.

So this is the cheating control room… What should we do, Joker?

Very well. Let us dispatch it swiftly.


Bullet Hail on a miniboss always feels nice.

This dude is weak to Bless and goes down right quick.

Morgana learns Diarahan, which fully heals one ally, to replace Diarama.

Ann learns Burn Boost to replace Dormina. We haven’t used Dormina since Kamoshida’s Palace, and while it was handy there we don’t really need it now.

Yusuke learns Masukukaja to replace Sukukaja. Sukukaja is kind of lame. Masukukaja is fucking awesome and well worth a skill slot.

Makoto finally learns Freidyne to replace Freila.

C’mon, we should stop the rigging.
Hold on a moment, I have an idea I’d like to discuss.

Oh god, where did the rest of you come from!?

I’ve devised an easier way of doing this… A way to get all the coins we need.
All of them in here?
Is that even possible…?
It is now. I’ve deduced how to win the games.

And everyone’s gone again.

You can do that!?
Wait, this is a job for me! It’ll be a breeze!
Cheating seems somehow wrong though…
The odds here are stacked against us. We would never win if we stuck to normal methods. We do not have any time to waste either. It would be best for us to focus on our objective.
…You’re right. Changing my sister[‘s heart is the ultimate goal here.
I feel bad asking this, but may we borrow your expertise yet another time, Oracle?
I’m game! But man, you sure give a lot of orders for a noob!

The other rooms should at least be back to normal honest gambling now too. Anyway, I marked our special room on the map. Make sure you use that one!
Perfect. Now, let us head into the fray.

Let’s head over to the marked room, then.



Both buy-in and payout are five times the normal amount! A single customer is limited to four plays!

The buy-in is 125 coins! Would you like to play the game?


(It doesn’t matter what you pick)

Would you like to continue playing?
Of course.
Excellent, sir. Please predict the next sum.

We roll again…

Would you like to continue playing?
You bet we do!
In that case, please predict the next sum!

We can play one more time, right? We’re gonna keep it rolling!
U-Understood, ma’am… P-Please predict the next sum…

Hot damn! We got a shitton of coins in like, no time!
We’ve retrieved the device. Our next move is up to you, Joker.

Wait, what device? What the hell are you talking about?

I thought we were done winnin’ here. Wanna go somewhere else?

Have we reached our goal?
It still may not be enough.
Are you seriously planning on taking every last coin in here?
Ahaha, it was a joke. However, it would be nice to have a little more coinage on hand, would it not? Everyone wait here. Skull, I would like you to come with me.
Why me?
Because I am the “brains” here, am I not?
Huh? Oh, sure.
…Time to see what he’s made of.

That was amazing! It was like magic!
I could totally get addicted to this!
Where are Crow and Skull?

Whoa…
So… heavy…

They just give you another 3000 coins because we need a certain amount for the next section. I guess Akechi rigged a different table? With the “device?”

We still have a long way before we reach our goal though. Now then, on to the slot machines.

What he said.

Here you will be playing a game that requires you to match the patterns on the rotating wheels.
We’re here to win coins, not to play your game.
I am well aware of that. Though to be perfectly honest… I’ve been granted permission to kill every last one of you here.



These guys are weak to Nuke, and their only skill is Wage War, which inflicts Rage on the entire party. They’re chumps, though Akechi isn’t that useful since they Null Bless and Reflect Curse. I do learn in the process though that if an enemy reflects your own weakness back at you, you don’t get knocked down.

Wait, why didn’t the guests around us react to that battle?
It is probably due to Sae-san’s perception of the other people in the courtroom. Perhaps as she sees it, they only care for their own victory, while ignoring the needs of others.
That reaction is certainly different from what we saw on the lower floor. I wonder if that trend grows stronger the higher up you go in the court system.
It is possible. In any case, we can now freely access the Slot Room. We should go look around. …Although I doubt we will find a fair fight waiting for us in this scamming casino.

I would expect they’re all rigged to prevent us from ever winning.
Then should we deal with that first?
No, I believe it would be prudent to examine this slot area further. Casinos hold their higher-limit slots somewhere in the back. If we were going to circumvent their trick, would it not be more efficient to do so on those?
That’s assuming we’ll even be able to solve the problem.
I trust in your ability to handle such a matter.
A-Aight, let’s go look for that sweet, sweet slot machine!

Near the entrance, we come across this terminal.

Can you mess with it and figure out how they’re cheating, Oracle?
Wellll… this one’s on standby. Uh, basically I’m gonna have to activate it remotely from a main terminal somewhere else.
So this one is useless unless we can access the main hub. Oh well. We should at least commit this place to memory for now.

Off in the distance there we can see a tasteful bunny girl. Like in Madarame’s Palace, the female-variant Shadows don’t give chase, but instead summon additional Shadows upon spotting you.

The lady in the middle should be familiar—she’s a Kushinada, and we’ve already summoned one of her. She uses Matarukaja to boost her party’s attack and Mabufula to deal Ice damage.

These guys are Kumbhandas, and while they’re still only able to cast Wage War, their resistances are a little different—instead of Null Bless, Repel Curse, and a Nuke weakness, they’re weak to Ice and merely resist Curse (though they also Null Fire).



Let him feel like he’s on a winning streak, then make him lose big on the final round.
Tch, they’re tellin’ the dealers how to rig the games…
We anticipated as much.

Earlier I said I’d show off the animation for Eigaon, and while I might gif it later, here’s the meat of it. It’s dope.

This must be the main hall of the slot room.

Eventually, we make it into the main hall.

Let’s do that, then.

Wait, all cherries wins you 5,000 coins, BAR gets you 10,000, while a 777 gives you 50,000!? Whoa! That’ll get us all the coins we need in one fell swoop!
Assuming we can win, that is. If the reward’s high, the risk will surely be high as well.
Either way, our goal here is to gain a member’s card for the high limit floor. It would make the most sense for us to utilize this slot machine in some way, shape, or form. However…
Lemme guess, “We will need to stop their cheating first”? There’s no doubt this one’s rigged too.
Haha, I’m glad you understand. Now then, let us search the area. Hopefully we will find something that can give us a little more information about this slot.
There’s prolly a terminal for info back behind the thing. Try looking there, Joker.

Sure enough, it’s here.

Mweheheh… Let’s see… …Wow, they’re going really hard on this whole cheating angle. We wouldn’t have won a penny here.
Do you think you’ll be able to disable their rigging of it?
Not from this terminal. It looks like there are multiple different-colored control panels throughout this area. Out of those, I’ll need the red and green ones. I should be able to control things from there.
Do you know where we can find them though?
Uh, you know this is me we’re talking about, right? I can predict where they might be. One’s most likely near the entrance to this area. The comm link ran all the way out there. The other should be back in the staff passageway… somewhere. That’s all I can figure out.
Hm, so the entrance to the slot room… and some location tucked away in the staff passageway…
I guess we’ll just have to go looking for them! Let’s hurry up and get this done fast!

So, the wording here is a little confusing. When Futaba said “the entrance to this area,” I on my first run thought that meant “this room,” and didn’t know why the panel wasn’t here. It’s simple enough to check, though. That first panel we found is one of the ones we’re looking for here, so let’s go.


That means we just need to find the green panel now. Let’s go!

As for the green panel… my first run, I got stuck on this for maybe half an hour. See, I just couldn’t find it, backtracking everywhere. I even went back to the backroom of the dice area, thinking that maybe they were trying to trick me. Well, they were. Just not like that.

Hidden behind these crates to the left…

Why, it’s a treasure chest and the panel! The issue wasn’t that I didn’t know about this area, by the way. It’s marked on the map, after all. The issue is that the panel is infuriatingly hidden on a wall you have no reason to look at unless you’re coming from an absurd angle.

Whatever, here it is.

Gotcha! We’ll be done after this.
…Hold on.

Oracle, would it be possible to also tamper with the average win percentages for the slot machines?
So you want to take advantage of the system, just like we did for the dice game.
Essentially. My aim here is the giant slot machine.
You mean the one that’s 5,000 coins a play!? I don’t know if that’s really possible…!
Oooh, sounds like fun to me. Just gimme a sec.

The giant one’s still only on an 8:2 ratio though. There’s honestly no guarantee it’ll work properly.

Yep, that’s just about on the same level of fucked as everything else in our lives.

Does that mean it will miss two times out of ten? That’s somewhat concerning…
It should be fine. Nothing the Phantom Thieves do can ever be truly considered risk-free, after all. If we want to succeed, we simply have no other choice but this.
……
That seems like a sound argument to me. Very well, let’s leave this to Joker then.

I-I wonder if we’ll actually manage to score that 50,000…
She’s right. There’s a 20% chance the rig won’t work, and even if we win, it might not be enough.
This is a big gamble, Joker. Are you sure about this?

Eh, fuck it.

One reel stops.

And the second.

We did it!

50,000 coins, hm? …You truly are special, Joker.


You ever watch this video where two Australian dudes win the double jackpot at this Japanese arcade not-pachinko game and it’s just nonstop coins raining down for like, multiple minutes? That’s what this reminds me of.

Hey, doesn’t that sound like a jackpot to you?
What!? Who got it?
It is no surprise the customers are reacting to this commotion. We should leave for now.
But what about the coins!?
Those are just for show. The actual coin total has already been added to our card.

Then why was Ryuji pushing around that fucking cart full of coins earlier!?

Akechi’s got the gambling madness in his eyes.

You wish to win more coins? I’m pretty sure we have enough.
More is always better than less. Then again, I suppose we are already good to go.
That’s right… We have 50,000 coins now! Let’s go exchange them for a member’s card to the high limit floor!

Good idea.

We head back to the counter.

While we’re here, we have enough to buy yet another Soma (full HP and SP restore to all allies) as well as a Bead Chain (full HP restore to all allies). They’re both well worth it.

We also pick up the High Limit Card. Eh.

I hope I was able to contribute in some meaningful way. Come, let us head over to the elevator.

Uh-oh, Shadow!

They’re greeting us in front of the elevator? This doesn’t give off a welcoming vibe though…
This must be due to the instigation of Sae-san. We should be prepared to fight.

Music: Blood of Villain

We merely followed your rules.
Hmph! I am the manager of this casino, and the rules deem that I am the victor!
It appears both the Sae-san of the real world and that of this world are at their wit’s end…
…I think our guests will be leaving now.

The Shadow approaches.

You’re the only one who’s gonna be leaving, black suit!
Things would’ve been so much simpler if we could do this from the start!


This enemy Drains Wind, uses Ziodyne and Garudyne, and can use Diarahan to heal itself to full. If only it had enough health to survive a full round, especially after Akechi gets a lucky crit on it…

Music: Desire

Criminal trials are but a gamble to be won, and us prosecutors arrange the gambling table. Hence, losses are unacceptable! We must win, even if it has to be on false charges!
Are you serious, Sis!?

pause

Mako-chan…
Don’t think such a petty trick could defeat me. I may have to acknowledge your skills—if you can make it up to the manager’s floor, that is.

I wish I didn’t have to hear that from Sae-san herself…
Sis is completely distorted! We have to stop her, quickly!

We all feel the same way.
There’s no time to waste. She mentioned something about a manager’s floor, right? Let’s try heading up there. We’ll change Niijima-san’s heart for sure.

Music: The Whims of Fate

You can now access the following floors: The Standard Floor./The Members Floor./The High Limit Floor.

But she’s so close I can almost smell her now. The next floor’s prolly gonna be the last one.
Welp, let’s get on up to the high limit floor!

And we ascend once more.

All right, during tonight’s Phashion Phrenzy, we’re taking a look back through Persona history! We’ll be looking through costumes from every main game in the series, as well as some related titles. It’s also worth pointing out that whenever Maaku wears an outfit from a different game, the battle music changes from Last Surprise to a track from the respective game! I’ll be including those songs as well here. The victory themes change too, but those are more incidental (read: I’m too lazy).

Music: A Lone Prayer

This track is the main battle theme from the PSP remake of the first Persona game. Don’t play that game, it’s not very good.

God we look like such fucking nerds noooooooo! What’s with the outrageously huge tie for the girls!? Morgana is dressed up as Trish, a fairy from Persona 1 who charged you to heal.

Music: Battle (Persona 2)

This track is the main battle theme from the Persona 2: Innocent Sin remake for PSP. That game is better than Persona 1 but still utterly impenetrable and totally irrelevant to modern Persona.

Much better already. Kinda flat, but still stylish. Morgana is dressed up as Trish once again, while Akechi is dressed up as a student from Kasugayama High School, probably Jun.

Music: Mass Destruction

This track is the main battle theme for the vanilla, FES, and male route of P3P versions of Persona 3. This is a great song but I would have killed for them to have included Wiping All Out.

I like this outfit on these characters more than I liked it in actual Persona 3. The Evokers are also a nice touch. Morgana is dressed up as Aigis, the real main character of that game.

Music: Time To Make History

This track is the normal battle theme of Persona 4 Golden. I’m glad it’s this one because I’m so fucking sick of Reach Out To The Truth, you have no idea.

Nice glasses, everyone. Morgana is dressed up as Teddie, naturally. Also the way Akechi wears his uniform is a clear callback to Naoto, hah.

Music: Old Enemy – Akira Volume

This track was remixed for SMT III: Nocturne and most people probably know it from there.

I like the uniform, but I know absolutely nothing about Shin Megami Tensei if…, and it wasn’t localized. Great pull, Atlus. Morgana appears to be… Raidou Kuzunoha? This game was an inspiration for the high school setting of the Persona series, and other elements like the Arm PCs seem to have inspired other games like SMTIV.

Music: Stage

This track plays in the third stage of Babel, Obelisk. I never got past the first stage, rip.

Catherine’s a really good game with really great style except all the transphobia. Maaku is Vincent, Ryuji is Orlando, Morgana is a random sheep I guess, Ann is Catherine, Haru is Erica, Futaba is Toby for some reason, Akechi is Boss (the first Atlus “Boss” Jamieson Price would play NOPE THAT WAS KIRK THORNTON), Makoto is looking stellar as Katherine, and Yusuke is Johnny.


#255
Part 144

Part 144: 11/13-11/14: The Pointless Interlude

Ah, we’ve made it to the high limit floor. Now it’s just a straight shot to–

Music: Suspicion

Beyond this point is the high limit floor. Do you have a reservation?

We shouldn’t cause a scene.

Why not? Why are we still trying to be all polite?

Do you have a reservation?
It seems there is some kind of requirement we must meet before we can access this high limit floor.
Even though we got the coins?

I can’t imagine how though…
Her cognition…? Essentially, Sae-san needs to think of us as being allowed to enter, correct? Hm. This casino is the courthouse in reality… So that floor must be a place only authorized personnel are given access to… …I would say it has to be the courtroom.
You really are an ace detective.
He’s come to understand the workings of the cognitive world so quickly.
I was just like that too, right?

It took you ages to get it, Ryuji.

Uh, code names?

I just… got a different sense of time, that’s all!
That aside, how are we going to get into the courtroom…?
Ryuji! Go piss off the police!

UH. CODE NAMES?

Hell no!
We just need to attend a trial. Still, how are we supposed to know which trials my sister will be attending…?
Leave that to me. I have some connections that come to mind. I will contact you once I manage to arrange a time. We should return to the real world for today though. Well, see you all at the courtroom.

Ah, so we come to another cognition block. Not counting Futaba’s because that didn’t actually impede our day-to-day progress, this is the second one… of two. Yep. What a great, involved gameplay mechanic.

Music: The Whims of Fate


Now returning to the real world from Niijima’s Palace. Thank you for your hard work.

It feels like we’re fairly close to the Treasure now. There’s no doubt we’re nearing the end.
I wonder how much we still have left… There’s a chance we’ll run into powerful enemies ahead… Or maybe I’m worrying too much… Well, I’ll be waiting to hear from you about our next venture.

Music: Beneath the Mask


I’m surprised she’s taking part in court at a time like this… She must be busy with the Phantom Thieves investigation as well…
She is originally a public prosecutor, after all.
That’s gotta be tough…
She may be our enemy, but I do sympathize with her in this regard.
Our enemy…
Oh, my apologies. That’s not quite what I meant.
It’s OK. You were just telling the truth. Anyway, we’ll need to act tomorrow, right? Thanks for letting us know.
You’re most welcome. At any rate, let us meet on-site after school tomorrow.
We really can’t fail this time. Let’s go about this carefully. After we go to the courtroom tomorrow, we should head straight into the Palace.

Yep! We’re heading straight into the Palace tomorrow! We don’t even get a choice! Why did they even make us leave?


Fineee… I’ll have you know I trained while working in Victoria. My skills are amazing. OK, I’ll head over right now, so just wait for me.

Music: My Homie


Music: Beneath the Mask

Th-The Phantom Thievesh! They’re… They’re hereeeee! Pl-Pleash don’t kill me! I wanna live! I wanna live! Urp…
sigh Everyone’s so scared… I guess people would be worried since we haven’t caught them yet.
Do not worry! I, Shido, will lead you! I’mma take care of ev’rything!

Do you know how much harm they’ve caused to people? They’re terrorists, I tell you! And you can’t count on the police. It’s time for the great detective Akechi to shine!
Where has he been, anyway? I haven’t seen him on TV at all lately…

…You think so? I believe the final outcome is a foregone conclusion. The new political party will definitely win. Their leader is a master of media.
I see… Although it IS a national election, which is basically a popular vote…

Music: Layer Cake

Let’s go see Iwai.

There’s somethin’ I gotta ask you to do. You’re free now, yeah?

…Kaoru wants to talk to you. Hold on; I’ll call him over.

Iwai Rank 10

Music: Sunset Bridge

I learned a lot about myself, so… I just wanted to show my appreciation.
Hmph… Intruding in on another private family moment.
You’re still droning on about that? I mean, it was quite a shock… but that’s what made you take me in, right? So who cares?
Whoa there, kiddo…
If you had just told me all of this sooner, you wouldn’t have been threatened.
Who your parents are and where you come from stays with you for your entire life. Thanks to my loser parents, I got bullied by complete strangers, and–
My father isn’t a loser though! He’s a brilliant business owner.

“Brilliant” is a word, sure. I’d probably use “mad sketchy,” myself.


Stop tryin’ to ruin the moment. sigh So in the end, I was just fightin’ my own demons… Stuck in my crappy childhood and all the problems I had growin’ up… My view of Kaoru was all distorted… ‘cause of my rotten childhood memories.

Did somebody say “distorted”!?

I forgive you.


Maaku laughs.

Why did you help my father out?

You willingly got involved in a yakuza dispute… Would someone normally take that big of a risk?

Hmmm… I’d understand if you were a member of the Phantom Thieves.

Goddammit, I am so bad at hiding this!

Fighting for the underdogs… like a gentleman thief, you know? People have their own opinions, but… I think the Phantom Thieves are super cool! I mean, the sexual harassment incident involving that teacher?

“And all that murder they did? So cool!”

We gotta go, Kaoru. The supermarket’s about to close. Aren’t you in charge of dinner tonight?
Oh crap! Please excuse me!

Kids grow up quick. They can be a pain in the ass, but they’re worth it. …All right, let’s close up shop. Go pull down the shutter.

Seems like he had a change of heart, just like them people they’ve been talkin’ about on TV.

I can’t be the only one who was saved by his change of heart. Wonder who else knows…

Heh, if you say so. Well, don’t worry. It ain’t really none of my concern. Man, you really had me fooled. That whole thing about being an enthusiast was all just BS. I hired you as a mere pawn… and now you’re Kaoru’s bro…

Oh, just dropping any pretense. Okay.

chuckle Interesting… All right, I’m gonna put all my effort into that special menu we talked about.
nod
I don’t like to owe nobody nothin’, so I’ll do my best for ya. …Because that’s the kinda support I can provide.
I feel a strong bond with Iwai…

Music: The Spirit


Oh boy, gun customization!

Iwai is cool. It’s just kind of a shame his Confidant is shockingly boring even with all its yakuza intrigue and the fact that his Confidant bonuses are, as you might have guessed from my repeated unfulfilled promises to utilize them, kind of useless. He’s voiced by Kaiji Tang, a guy I’m liking more and more. He mainly plays really gruff characters with similar intonations, but he’s actually got way more range than that.

Music: What’s Going On?

And the knives are just replicas. They’re even less useful than a butter knife, y’know?


…We were in the middle of closing shop, weren’t we? Well, let’s get to it.
I feel like helping Iwai with his work has honed my Proficiency

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

Later.

— DELETED BY ADMIN —
Anon: 30 million yen OMG XD
Anon: if ur innocent, show yourself
Anon: they’re running loose rn…

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days

Old movie posters are kind of scary. Maybe it’s the color…

It talked about movie techniques in such great detail. It really makes you appreciate film more… You know, we should go to the movie theater sometime!


Cinema Treasures apparently gives a 50% boost to gained social stat points from watching movies, just like if we had used Luck Reading. Apparently Cinema Treasures also stacks with Luck Reading so a first viewing can get boosted to 7 points, which can then be boosted to 10. We didn’t watch many movies though, so this wasn’t really worth reading earlier. The documentation on this one is kind of iffy but I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

Music: Disquiet



Just being here causes my body to tense up.
I’m shocked that Niijima-san can think of somewhere this solemn as a casino…
So Makoto’s sis is that lady who’s overflowing with the aura of a capable woman.
…Mm-hm.
By the way, what’s this trial about?
A politician who decided to make personal use of government funds.

I read about that in a magazine! He went on a vacation with his mistress to some fancy hot springs!
Aren’t politicians supposed to be loaded? Why’d he mess with our tax money…?

Playing with other people’s cash is a total no-go.
This may sound off, but isn’t Niijima-san supposed to be busy with our investigation? Does she really have time to be coming to a trial like this…?
Supposedly, she was on this case before being assigned to the Phantom Thieves… Normally, another prosecutor would take her place, but… Sae-san can be a bit of a perfectionist.
Hey, how’re we gonna get Niijima-san to notice us? (to Makoto) Did you tell her we’d be coming?
I don’t think she read the message though.
Do we have a backup plan?
…Not exactly, but I’m sure she’ll notice us eventually.


Hm…? I noticed a lot of students here, but is that Akechi-kun… and Makoto? Now that I think about it, there was a message about her coming… sigh That doesn’t matter for now.
See?

All right! Niijima can see now that we’re allowed in the courtroom.


Music: The Whims of Fate

And we head right over. That scene was totally imperative to the game, wasn’t it? Didn’t just stall this whole thing out another day, right? There’s absolutely no fucking way we could’ve just done this all at once, that’d be preposterous!

sigh

That’s all for now. We’ll finish the Palace next time.


#256
Part 145

Part 145: 11/14: Goro Akechi’s Gambling Addiction

Or alternatively: Goro Akechi’s Gonzo Arithmetic

Due to our forced egress from the Palace, we sadly no longer have Money Reading. What a shame. Oh well, let’s continue!

Music: The Whims of Fate



The area shimmers, revealing the courtroom, then shimmers back.

Dude… If this stuff’s still surprisin’ you, you’re gonna be in for a world of hurt from here on.
Hahaha… It still is a little hard to believe, I must admit.
Look, there is a counter up ahead. Shall we head there first?
I suppose there would be no issue in stopping by. Let us go.

Yep, let’s head to the counter.

First off, we would like to extend a welcome gift to you.

Another 1000 coins. Not much to brag about, but oh well.

Just 1,000 though. At least give each person that much, cheapskate.
I’m sorry, but the welcome gift can only be applied once per card. Furthermore… this is the map for the high limit floor.

OK, show us your prizes now. We want to exchange our coins for a member’s card.
chuckle We do have prizes, but that is unfortunately not one of them.

What? Then how are we supposed to get to the manager’s floor…?
I assure you, there is no need for a card. Please head over there…

Well, we cannot proceed unless we check it out. Why don’t we head over there for the time being?


Well, what do we have here?


There’s an area over on the other side too. That could lead to the manager’s floor!
There can be no doubt… We’ll need to lower the bridge to cross.
But how do we do that?
Hm, how indeed. Let us try investigating around here.

First things first, there’s a locked chest over here.

God, we have so many Lockpicks.

Another Bead Chain, nifty.

I wonder if the thing we need to examine is the device right next to where the last cutscene ended? Hmm…

The required number of coins to activate the Bridge of Judgment is 100,000 coins.

What…? We need 100,000 coins just to cross over there!?
It’s getting clearer that she has no intention of letting us proceed onward.
I don’t believe there is any need for pessimism though.

But think about how much that is! We were desperate just to get our hands on 50,000…
But we still obtained them in the end. We can succeed if we do that again, then double our total.
I suppose this is the high limit floor…
Indeed, there must be a high risk, high return game somewhere here. Though we’ll need to win too…
Our first order of business should be to see what kind of games exist on this floor.

First, though, let’s head back to the counter.

There are three items available for purchase here, none of which are terribly necessary. The “best” one is the one that doesn’t require us to swap out an SP Adhesive 3, so not one of the accessories. That would be the Golden Beam, a weapon for Akechi that fires bullets that inflict Despair. The other items are a Tyche Charm, which increases the user’s luck by 10 (!). If I had any faith that Futaba’s Luck stat did anything, I would buy this immediately. And the Despair Charm just nulls Despair. Not useless, but not worth much either. I don’t buy anything here just yet, but if you do decide to make a purchase, keep in mind that even with all the coins we have up to now available on the previous floor or this current one, there aren’t enough to buy all three. I might have missed a package on the previous floor, or needed to do some bonus gambling there, but if you buy all three items right now, you won’t have enough coins for the buy-in for the games ahead.

Now, let’s start by heading over to the House of Darkness.


You better not be lookn’ for a fight. We ain’t interested!
chuckle That won’t be necessary. You are valuable participants, after all.

Most certainly. The original intent behind the high limit floor is different from that of others. On this floor, VIPs are encouraged the send substitutes to compete in the games in their place. Consider it to be like the horses in horse racing. However… it seems you have no substitutes.
Of course we don’t. That should be obvious.
Indeed it is! Hence, you will be the vital participants in these games.

…So we basically need to be our own substitutes. Eh, sounds perfect to me! That’s way better than spectating!

Speak for yourself, Morgana. You’re on the bench anyway.

Splendid! Now, allow me to explain the rules. A straightforward maze lies directly ahead of you. I suggest you exercise utmost caution within, as the lighting is dimmed quite heavily. Your entry fee into this maze will be 1,000 coins… But if you can manage to reach the goal, well… you will obtain ten times that amount.

It is no wonder they call this the high limit floow. I doubt the maze will be as simple as it sounds…

One more thing: You are free to head backward in the maze or even leave the room if you so choose. …Well then, please enjoy.

Aww, you’re just paranoid! Sounds like fun!

Music: Disquiet

Aww, beans.

God damn! It’s so freakin’ dark!
This is definitely not “a little.” We’ve been tricked.

He didn’t say “a little,” though. He said “quite heavily.”

I’m sensing Shadows too. “Very simple,” my ass.
If we do not ascertain the layout and placement of the enemies, we will surely find ourselves in danger. I just hope there is an adequate way of doing so…

Wink wink.

In case you don’t immediately realize what you need to do, just tape down your L1 button for the rest of this segment, because it’s Third Eye time, baby! Using it will actually make it brighter for once. From there, it’s rather simple to detect the Shadows and find a way forward.

This is Norn. It can heal itself to full and use Wind and Electricity.

And these are Rangda, a staple of the SMT series. They reflect Physical and Gun, but are weak to Electric and Bless damage. They use Curse and Physical.

Eventually we follow the straight path until we come to a room with a bunch of NPCs huddled together. That’s odd.

And we see the reason why. The only door forward won’t open.

No way… It’s not opening!?
Impossible. We took the only path available straight to this point.
So, the participants are trapped in here to fall victim to the Shadows? …It seems they have no intention of letting us proceed further.
Dammit, this is cheatin’… Actually, it’s even worse than cheatin’!
Regardless, let’s search for a way past here. We can’t get the coins if we don’t reach the goal.

Thankfully, there’s an open vent conveniently placed right next to it.

Hm, how convenient. If they’re not going to let us move forward, we can force our way through here.
Haha, an unsurprising idea for Sae-san’s sister. I will go along with whatever plan we choose. The decision is yours, Joker.

We find ourselves high up in a new area upon exiting the vent.

This is Skadi. She uses Ice attacks, and can use the combo of Evil Smile and Ghastly Wail to inflict Fear, then kill anyone with the status. No weaknesses, but reflects Ice.

Now, the rest of this area is a long, tedious trek through identical dark corridors, with maybe a treasure chest if you go the wrong way. I’m not going to bother showing them all off, so let’s just skip to the end.

Music: The Whims of Fate

Is that it though? It feels like there’s more up ahead.

And another treasure chest.


The Morose Collar is a decent piece of armor for Morgana with Resist Brainwash.

Next, we enter this outrageously long hall.


What? You’re gonna have to speak up! You’re really far away!

Huh? That’s the guy who was at the reception desk…


Really, man? Why’s everything gotta be a goddamn trial around here? …Shut up, I know this is a courthouse, that pun was not intentional.

That bastard! What’s he tryin’ to do here!?
Leave your complaining for later. Our path’s been blocked, so we need to find a way around.

We could just grab the edge and hop over this, you guys. It’s not that tall. sigh Welp, time to wander through more backrooms.

Morgana learns Garudyne to replace Garula.

Haru also learns Psiodyne to replace Psio.

They’re really backloading these treasure chests, damn.


Oh sweet, another Soma! That makes three in our inventory, two of which we got from this dungeon.

Man, that long way ‘round shit is bull! Where’s that bastard from earlier, huh!?

We might as well reset the cards, even if we won’t actually be coming back this way.

Hey, isn’t this the thing that Shadow was messing with?

Oh, we have an escape route now! We can proceed onward without having to worry about it anymore.

Now that we’re past that, we’ve trapped the Shadow in a dead end. Let’s finally finish this.

You truly are pests… Every time you think you’ve crushed them, they just come crawling back in.
What was that, you bastard!?
I hope you’re ready. We didn’t appreciate that trap of yours.
He’s right! You didn’t have any intention of letting us get past that maze in the first place!
Ah, you are indeed correct! That is how things are supposed to be. You’re not worthy of victory. Now, won’t you just lie down and die for me? This isn’t an easy job, you know.

Awww, is that so? Well then it seems I have no other choice…!


This guy uses Electric attacks, and will eventually use Concentrate to boost them. It’s got more health than most of the other minibosses in this Palace, but this guy’s still kinda pathetic.

Ryuji learns Megaton Raid, a Severe Physical strike that finally puts him on par with Yusuke and Akechi in terms of Physical damage strength. It replaces Assault Dive.

Yusuke also learns Bufudyne to replace Bufula.

Considering how things were on the members floor, it’s no surprise this isn’t a fair game either.
And yet we still reached our goal. Come now, let us go. We have no more business here.
Hm, we will have to go to another game if we want to win more coins…

We’re then given the option to warp directly back to reception, which we take. But before we explore the other wing of the high limit floor, let’s take a little diversion…

Music: Aria of the Soul

The names of the Personas you have registered now fill more than half of the Inmate Registry. Our master is pleased with your rehabilitation and has yet again bestowed a special privilege.
We’re giving you a bigger discount on summoning from the registry! What do you think? Are you happy?
If you fill the Inmate Registry with even more names, our master may grant further privileges. Work hard toward your rehabilitation.

The summoning discount has now increased from 10% to 15%.

Today, we’re fusing Horus from Norn and Girimehkala.

I’ll be your mask from now on! Let’s fly together into the light!

Horus is an Egyptian god associated with the sun, and is the son of the god Osiris. The pharaoh of Egypt was thought to be the personification of Horus, and was responsible for keeping balance. In his battle with his brother Seth, the gods chose him as the victor.

Next, Seth as an Advanced Fusion from Thoth, Isis, Anubis, and Horus.

So you wish for the power to kill, even if others abhor you? In that case, I shall become your mask.

Kill? What? No.

Seth is the Egyptian god associated with deserts, storms, and chaos. He was married to his sister, which I guess ran in the family because Osiris, Horus’ father (and Seth’s brother) who he ended up murdering, did the same thing. He and his nephew Horus have a never-ending battle, with the upper hand shifting as it turns from day to night and vice versa.

Now, we’ve fused the Seth we need for the last Strength request. However, it doesn’t have the skill we need, High Counter. Oops. We could go through all the trouble of re-fusing it by leveling Dakini to 52, then fusing it with Pazuzu to make a new Horus with High Counter…




Or we could just do this.

We got this skill card from a request, upon which I mentioned we should save it for later. Well, now’s later.

Ah… Is that… a Seth with the skill High Counter?

Caroline and Justine Rank 10

You really made it…!?

Err, yes. I totally fused it and didn’t cheat at all, yep.

The inmate with all those pitiful Personas actually managed this…? H-Hmph. I guess I can compliment you this time.
Well done. You have far exceeded our original expectations. This may not be a proper thing to say to an inmate, but you have done extraordinary work.
You’re a real handful, but I gotta give you some credit.
As for the next task we will assign to you… There is nothing. You have fulfilled every duty available to you. As the ones who rule over power, our role is… ……

Rule over… power…? Why did I say that…?


Justine…?

I-It is nothing. Just… my head… Urgh! These memories… The one who first wrote this list. It was me… Or was it us…? Just… what are we…?

pant pant My apologies…
Don’t worry. This has happened to me too.


Caroline, do not shift the blame onto him…
Ugh… I hope you know you’re a real handful, Inmate!

Caroline and Justine turn to each other and nod.

But… fine. I’ll grant you that privilege. Heg, we’ve really gone soft, huh?

You still kick me into the Velvet Room. How soft can you possibly have gone?

Perhaps… Perhaps you are too embarrassed to admit how much his concern pleased you?


Anyway, we’re gonna give you a great ability this time! You’re gonna cry tears of joy when you get it! And, um, Inmate… There’s no doubt you’re a problem child. But honestly… we’re real impressed that you conquered all the trials we put forth.

Aww, shucks.

You hold a surprisingly great potential.
So… fight. I’m sure you’ll be able to accomplish anything you put your mind to.


Caroline and Justine nod.

Trickster… I believe in you. Prove to us that you can reach the truth.
We will be waiting for you, Maaku…

Holy shit, they know my name!

I feel a strong bond with Caroline and Justine…

Music: The Spirit


Now we can finally fuse above our level. Be warned, though: the fees are exorbitant.

Music: Aria of the Soul

You’re still in rehabilitation till you can get out from behind the bars. Got that, Inmate!?

Music: The Whims of Fate

Now, we can head to the Battle Arena.


Oh, it’s you guys… Our manager told us about you.

My, you’re so quick to anger. Wonderful. This would be quite boring if that wasn’t the case.
Oh! Yes, we do!

We do what, Haru? Did anyone read over this script before it went out?

(What I think happened here is that he’s supposed to ask if we have 10,000 coins to participate in the Battle Arena, but because we came here second that line isn’t playing correctly and got skipped over. I dunno, weird)

Oh, you have surely been busy. Very well then, allow me to explain this game to you. Here, you will prove your supremacy in a trio of fierce one-on-one battles. Then again… this is the pinnacle of our casino, the high limit floor. Normallu, our VIPs would prepare substitutes who would fight to the death for their sake… The attending guests then bet coins on who they think will win.

The entirety of this floor must be like that. Taking little risk for a high return is truly the optimal business strategy.
But can we even participate if we don’t have a substitute?
Hey, we didn’t need one for the other game! The same probably applies in here too.
As irritating as it may be, that is correct. Please participate. Registration will take place at the counter over there.

Of course! Our teamwork’s gonna take down this arena of yours!
Ah, now that won’t do. This is a series of honest one-on-one battles.

Correct, only one can participate. You’ll need to choose someone to act as your representative. The entry fee for this event is 10,000 coins. However, if you manage to succeed the trials, you will be granted ten times that: 100,000 coins.

Hm… This feels like a trap to me. An amount that high would certainly ensure great danger.
But failure to infiltrate this Palace will be the end of us.
So we don’t got a choice…
Very well. In that case, Joker should be the one to participate. We don’t know what kind of enemies may appear, so his high level of adaptability will be vital here.

I’m glad you understand.
I think I can at least provide backup from the sidelines. You won’t be alone, Joker!
Has your mind been made up? The battles will begin once you enter. Now then, shall you challenge the imposing Battle Arena?

Oh…? In that case, please head onward into the ring. The entry fee and appropriate prize total shall be calculated at the end of the game. Now then… prepare to know the true meaning of agony. chuckle





Music: Keeper of Lust


Odds are 1.1 to the house, 23.0 to the Phantom Thieves!

Remember this number kids, it’s going to be on the exam.

Wow, the Phantom Thieves are surprisingly popular! It’s rare to see odds in the double digits! Now, let us begin our serious one-on-one battle! Bring out the first contestant!

This isn’t one-on-one at all! They’re just ignoring the rules right from the beginning! Now then, it’s time for this hellish trio of battles to begin! Ready, set… go!

This first group won’t do much besides Cleave and occasionally just not act. They can Charge up, increase their Attack and decrease your Defense, but it’s rare and I only saw it when I was down to one. It’s still annoying having to deal with two of them, though. If only we had a Persona with both multitarget damage, Resist Physical, and a full heal spell…

Oh, wait. They go down real simple after we switch to good ol’ Hungry Monk.

You know, that’s a little hard to say… I’m just going to call him the Phantom Dweeb from now on! All of you betting on the house, do not fret. The second round of contestants is arriving now!

How cowardly! There’s nothing fair or honest about this!
Quiet down in the peanut gallery. Now, it’s time to die in this bloodcurdling battle!


Oops, I killed them all in one hit. You know, I was kind of dreading the Arena, but a good Persona can carry you through it no problem as long as you’ve got Diarahan at least once somewhere in your arsenal. The multi-target and Resist Physical’s just cake.

Grr, there’s no way in hell you’re getting away with this! Time for our final contestant!

Yowza… That’s a big one.
Go, grind his bones to dust! Let the extreme third battle begin!

Charge, wait, Megaton Raid, Concentrate, wait, Ziodyne, repeat. That’s his entire pattern. As long as we guard the Ziodyne because we don’t resist it, we’re fine.

Music: The Whims of Fate

Once again, justice prevails.
Th-the payout will be handed over after this… Please wait…


You were incredible! They never even planned on giving you a fair fight in there.
Yes, I e