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

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#261
Part 149

Part 149: 11/19-11/20: Replay Value


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





Well, aren’t you pleased with yourself?

Huh? Oh, what the fuck now? Receiving an anomalous signal… It’s interfering with the image upload? What’s going on? Hold on, switching to an alternate track!


Joker motions for Crow to start.

Crow fires just past Joker…


…in the process snapping the support for the light rig.

Distraction successful. Though, uh… maybe a bit overzealous. Someone could have died. Wait, they’re all cognitions. Never mind.

With that, Joker heads off.

Over there! Let’s get rid of them!
All right! The enemies are focusing on Joker. A perfect diversion!

Totally. Skull could never come up with something like that.

Because he has no sense for aesthetics.
Shut up, Fox!

You guys can praise my marksmanship, if you’d like.

LOL, Akechi’s so desperate for praise.

Joker, do you read me?
We’ll recover the stolen treasure.


Joker places the Treasure for the team to retrieve.


The agents transform into masked creatures.



Joker leaps through the air…

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

…ripping it clean off.


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

It then turns into whatever the hell this monstrosity is.


Oh, hey Arsene. How’s it hanging?

You have progressed well through your recollections. Last spring, you awakened to this furious power. Now, use that power… and defeat the enemies before you!



This solo fight can be a bit annoying if you don’t have the proper Persona for it, but our Seth is up to the task. Someone asked if we could make the Arsene from the intro and I don’t think it’s quite possible, at least out of NG+. It just knows skills we don’t have access to yet. Making a high-level Arsene in the first place would be a massive chore, too.


Recall everything… Remember the bonds you have forged with your friends… If you are fated to continue past this point, then we shall surely meet again…

Bye, Arsene!



If we recover the Treasure now, we can split up and get away!
Run, run! Yahoo!

Where should we meet up?
No worries, I’ll navigate!
Hey, Joker!



He’s always so cool.
Reckless, I’d call it. Sheesh!

Huh? No way! What’s this reading?

An ambush?



The frame is off-center here because it’s just cooler that way.


Guess the drugs were too strong…

No dozing off!



What about the camera? Are you thinking it can be used as video evidence?

So you’re not that stupid.

I’ll tell you now, don’t think that you’ll get out so easily. Obstruction of justice, blackmail, defamation, possession of weapons…

Hey, I was only ever the victim of blackmail! Many times!

We can add murder too, right? It’s a full course.

We’ll make you understand. One must take full responsibility for their actions.

Your name, you little shit! Giving the silent treatment? If you don’t spill it, your friends will suffer instead.

“He’s bluffing! They only caught me!” That’s what you wanna say, right? That’s fine. You can believe it or not.


Sign your confession.

What’s happening? It’s getting worse!


Halt. No one else goes in there.
It’s urgent. There’s something I need to confirm with the suspect.

Niijima-san, your director is on the phone.

Don’t make me repeat myself. Niijima, this case is already out of your hands–
I will not be convinced unless I confirm it. Director, this is my case.
I never win when you’re like this, so I went ahead and cleared it with them. Good luck, but I won’t be expecting much.

Your time will be cut short. We can’t permit you to talk with him for long. His methods are still unknown. We can’t guarantee it’s safe, even just to talk to him.
Understood.






What’s going on?

What the–

Huh?

Oh god

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


#262
Part 150

this is easily the weirdest thing anyone’s ever asked me to do.

I don’t give a shit. Can you do it?

i don’t even like you. why are you coming to me for help?

Can you fucking do it or not?

maybe? i think? again, this is a weird case.

How weird?

a simple proxy to hide your computer’s location isn’t gonna work. they’ll sniff right through that. i’ll have to spoof the signal from multiple locations at once, and even then you’ll only have a five minute window to upload it from a public wifi signal. don’t do it from the same place more than once, and under absolutely no circumstances do it from your own home.

Thank you.

also, word of warning: there might be some… minor corruption of key words or phrases in the process.

What does that mean?

it’s an unavoidable part of the process.

I can deal with whatever it is. I’ve come too far to stop now.

you’re probably going to go to prison, lol.

Part 150: 11/20: Communication Breakdown

Music: Aria of the Soul

Now that you have traversed your long, perilous recollection, you truly have entered the present.
The effects of that drug are gonna wear off soon. This is your golden opportunity. You must grasp the truth that will save you from the brink of ruin.
The evil influence who wishes you dead is fast approaching.
If you want to win this unreasonable game…
If you wish to take back your stolen future…
Recall the bonds you formed with your allies… And grasp the truth that will save you from the brink of ruin.
laugh

Music: Interrogation Room

So that’s what led to your ending up here. What a disappointing end to the hero of justice. I still can’t believe it… but I now have a general idea of the methods you used for your crimes. There’s much more I’d like to ask, but my allotted time is nearly up… I do have a suggestion though.



Your operation was leaked, and you failed to change my heart. There’s no point in being obstinate now. You’ve corrupted the order of this country and caused an uprising against its very existence. You’ll most likely be given life imprisonment or the death penalty. …Unless you accept my proposal. Going forward, I will read a list of people who are closest to you and this case. Tell me honestly whether or not the following are involved with the Phantom Thieves.

One of the victims of the Kamoshida case—Ann Takamaki. Ichiryusai Madarame’s pupil—Yusuke Kitagawa. The daughter of Wakaba Isshiki—Futaba Sakura.

Hey, Sae? Sae! I think you skipped one? Just checking?

The heiress to the Okumura Foods legacy and daughter of its CEO—Haru Okumura.

Oh, there it is.

Those are your accomplices in the Phantom Thieves case, are they not?

So you won’t sell out your friends… Then let me change the question. …I find it hard to believe that high schoolers could have pulled off these crimes by themselves. Were there not others outside of your direct group who encouraged your crimes or lent their aid?

…You had the cooperation of people outside your group, did you not? Can you tell me about them?

…I see. So you won’t speak a word about either your teammates or your collaborators? Do you even understand the position that you’re in?


Might he be a part of your team too?

Aww shucks, Akechi’s such a swell guy we don’t even get the option of selling him out :3



It’s a setup, lady! I’ve been framed! You got the wrong guy! I don’t know a thing about these Phantom Thieves!

Even now, you’re still acting as though you’re a hero of justice? Your teammates have sacrificed you in order to escape, yet you wish to defend their honor? Why won’t you talk about them?




Sae slams the table.

…Then tell me! What is this “justice” you speak of?


What an awfully simple response! sigh You continue to stand firm… Are you implying that we have no evidence on you? …You’re right—we have nothing. And it doesn’t help that your story sounds like a fairy tale! But many people have fallen victim to this! We need to learn the truth.


After all this, you’re still–

Are you listening? The side effects of the truth serum should be wearing off. I won’t be deceived by such a poor act.

I feel like… I’m forgetting something important…


“Minor corruption,” eh?


…Can you hear me?


Although I find your story to be quite interesting, I won’t be able to speak with you any longer.


What are you getting at? …That’s right. No matter the results of this case, I won’t be receiving credit. I even had to call in a large favor just to conduct this interrogation…

That’s right… If I remember…

Niijima mentioned a special interrogation room, didn’t she? Good. It looks like we can make this work if we lure them there.


…Our time’s up. We’re done talking here. …Goodbye.

Why…? Because this is my job. Don’t ask me such odd questions. Anyhow… there’s one last thing I want to ask you. There’s something that’s been bothering me for some time now.

A short while later, I received word you were caught in the act… within some bizarre phenomenon. …But that was all I was told. You were told someone sold you out, correct? If that’s true, who could it have been? Don’t you have any idea…?

That’s right… There’s something I need to do…


…All that’s left is to figure out a way to hand it over. It’s all up to you, Leader.

OK then.

We’ll be counting on you to pull this one off.



Music: Disquiet

Sae slams the table again.

If you know something, you must tell me! I won’t allow things to end like this!


I’ve been told the lock on it is quite complicated. But, it’s only a matter of time until it’s cracked. What’s so important about this smartphone? Are you going to unlock it and show me the data?

She hasn’t slept for days while she’s been getting that app ready.





What are you trying to get at here? And what about this smartphone?

The traitor…?



Maaku recalls the voice of the traitor…

Sae slams the table again. Geez lady, what’d it do to you?

I need you to be clear with me! Who am I supposed to show this to?





sigh What are you plotting? I can’t even begin to fathom it.

…But it appears my time is up. This is as far as our conversation can go. This will be my last involvement with this case… Heh… …Very well. I’ve listened to your whole story, so I may as well play along to the end. And that honest look in your eyes… I used to view the world the same way too, once. I’ll place my bet on you.

nod

Music: The Spirit

Sae jumps straight from Rank 6 to Rank 10. Also, no romance option for her, which is weird considering how otherwise horny this game is. She’s voiced by Elizabeth Maxwell, a newer VA who voices Midnight in My Hero Academia, Ymir in Attack on Titan, and Urbosa in Breath of the Wild.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh

True Justice?

FUCK YEAH, SATAN

Music: Disquiet

I’ll be going now.

Sae’s ready to follow our instructions. But who ever could the traitor be!?


#263
Part 151

Music: Desire



Part 151: 11/20: Here Comes A Pleasant Boy

Oh, hey Akechi! Funny seeing you here! What’s the occasion?

Why do you seem so surprised?
I needed my director to step in to get access and I was directly responsible for this case. How did you get approval?
For the same reason you did. I am heading up the investigation team, after all. It’s only natural I’d have the right to interrogate our culprit as well, don’t you think?

…That was a joke, of course. I’m merely here to assist with the public security interrogation. I am surprised it’s this far underground though… There aren’t any others incarcerated here, yes? Nobody would ever know if things got a little violent…

Oh, you rapscallion, making your jokes about committing police brutality! America’s Japan’s sweetheart, Goro Akechi!

If I remember correctly… didn’t you say there was another culprit besides the Phantom Thieves?
That was but a lie I spread to set them up. Oh, I’m sorry! I forgot that I had deceived you too, Sae-san. After all, if you wish to trick your enemies, you must first trick your allies.


Sae! How rude! Akechi’s clearly here to break us out! He knows that we can’t trust anyone, not even you!

……!? My god…



Hm? Excuse me?

……? What is this phone?
It belonged to the leader of the Phantom Thieves. I believe you’ll need it for your investigation.
Not personally. I was acting alongside the Phantom Thieves myself, remember?
True. This is undoubtedly a great accomplishment. Good luck in there.

Sae walks past Akechi.




Oh god, he’s got the Adachiface!



Going in unarmed to interrogate a murderer makes me uncomfortable…

You can’t hear the noise I just made with my throat, but imagine a goose trying to laugh.




FUCK YEAH! 1-8-7 ON A COP! I’m into it! Yo, let’s bounce!

…Akechi?

That’s right. You and your little friends were vital to our plan. And now, it will be completed. Your popularity truly was quite stunning. That just made using you all the more worthwhile…



Hey, man. This seems dumb, but I used to be really into Payday 2. I know few things have the potential to bring people together like killing cops. I get it.

The Traitor Revealed

Music: Betrayer

Why did that guard’s gun have a silencer pre-equipped? Apparently it’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, but he does install the silencer when he grabs the gun. The gun model doesn’t reflect this, though. :v:


Maaku just stares forward like a complete imbecile here. I guess it’s shock. Who could ever have believed that Akechi wasn’t on the straight and narrow?



Nope. I just can’t comprehend what I’m seeing right now. It’s too absurd. This is a dream, it’s the only rational explanation.








Akechi’s true plan was to destroy all the Fruit Gushers safely stored inside Maaku’s head, noooo!



Maaku’s psychic connection to Sojiro causes a dish to break. Or it’s just synchronicity for narrative purposes, whatever. Either way, shit is awry.


#264
Part 152

Part 152: 11/20: A Very Elaborate Game Over

Last time on Persona 5, we got fucking murdered. Let’s see how that goes for us!

The Trick

Music: Trick


Akechi prods Maaku’s corpse with his gun.




Uhhh, you shot him square in the face, my dude. That’s kind of an awkward position to contort your hand into to do yourself.


Music: Desire

Shido! …Fuck, I forget who that is.

Oh, right, this dude.

Regardless, all that’s left is to deal with the remnants.
The continued deaths of these teenagers would be a bit much, don’t you think? I considered making it appear they had a falling out… but that would only amplify public frenzy… It would be best to have each of them meet with an unfortunate accident once the storm blows over.
Is there any possibility they’ll want to avenge their leader?
No chance. They’re nothing but cattle anyway… They have no backbone without his guidance. I will keep my eye on them just in case though.
I’ll be counting on you.
They will live their lives cowering in fear of death. An apt punishment for obstructing our work.
Make sure to kill that strange cat once you find it as well.
Understood, though I doubt there is anything to worry about. It’s merely a cat, after all.

Things will become quite busy once the word gets out… I’ll need to prepare my comments on the matter.

Beyond that… what of the director of the Special Investigations Unit?
Perhaps he’ll be struck by a mysterious illness sometime soon…






“If only I got to monologue evilly… one last time…”

What? The data for the next scene is corrupt… I’ll have to skip past it and return later. My sincerest apologies.

Bad News

Music: Nothingness

This next scene has a lot of unsubtitled VO and text. I’ll do my best to grab what I can.

And now we return to our continued report. This morning, the police have announced that they have detained a suspect who may in fact be the leader of the Phantom Thieves group.

The suspect is reportedly a young man…
Ann-chan, can I get you to look over here?


That group sure was something.
Y-Yeah…

How ‘bout we have you do an idol theme, y’know? That cool?

What a surprise to think that the culprit behind all this is just a minor.
But considering how quickly they announced his arrest, the police must surely be confident in the outcome of this case…

Hm? Well I’ll be…

Huh? Uh, yeah…
You stopped visiting so abruptly, everyone was worried about you. It’s your second year, right? Are you still doing track and field?


Also, the young man continues to remain silent, refusing to implicate any potential accomplices.

The girls stare at Yusuke.

I wonder if something happened…
Yeah…

Oh. Yes…

With your skills, there’s no need to worry about your future.


He’s just a high school student. How do you think he was contacting the others?
The police here can search any online communications. His accomplices may slip up eventually.

I can only assume this is the rest of the group.

Still, it seems the Phantom Thieves’ most recent targets have gone comatose. Actual harm has been done here.
Given the lack of physical evidence, their method is still a mystery. Regardless, the police are looking into attempted murder charges.

And actual murder charges.

From what I’ve gathered these messages are just praising “Alibaba” and badmouthing the Phantom Thieves. It’s nothing critical, it’s just weird that none of it gets subbed.


I thought I lost it this whole time! Hahahaha!
I’m sorry…
Well, your grades are excellent, AND you’re student council president. I’m sure you’ll be admitted anywhere you apply. That one Phantom Thief should have followed your example. You hear? It seems he was caught. Some high schooler. I wonder why he turned to a life of crime.



We also received word that the young man was placed on probation for assault.
Because of his previous record, he had to leave his hometown. Perhaps his motive lies there.

Um, why are you hanging out with Sugimura, Haru!?

That Phantom Thief could never have changed anything.

So you’ve been coming home late. That’s what I’ve heard.


We have breaking news. The young man being held in custody has committed suicide. The police have confirmed his death, although details have not been released. To repeat, the suspect has committed suicide.

I’m just going to reiterate that none of this TV report is subbed, so if you’re one of those hardcore weebs who plays everything in Japanese even when there’s a perfectly fine dub sitting in front of you, you ingrate (and also, Persona 5), you have no idea what the fuck just happened, and it’s the entire point of the scene.


This station will continue to report any further updates as they arrive.

It may be difficult to uncover his methods now. Perhaps that’s why he decided to take this course of action.







Oh no! I think Ryuji’s the traitor, you guys! :ohdear:


#265
Part 153

Part 153: 11/20: Behind The Scenes

Music: Aria of the Soul



But why were you killed? Why did you have to die? Do you remember…? It seems you forgot an important fact while your consciousness was hazy. Indeed… Your “death” was a necessity for your escape from certain doom. chuckle What a tremendous plan. How might you be capable of executing such a feat…? Well then, let us rouse the memories which are missing…

That’s right. It was during the school festival…


Maaku shakes his head.


Pfff.

There’s no way he could’ve reacted like that if he hadn’t heard me.

My thoughts exactly. It was your social studies trip. We met him in the hallway of that TV station…


This whole deal feels sketchy.

Yeah. It’s impossible not to think that of him. OK… Let’s get everyone on the same page right away.

So Ann knew the whole time? But she’s a terrible actress!


If it’s possible, I want to eavesdrop on their phone conversation.
That’ll be tough…

I agree.
Hmmm… I’d have to plant a bug directly on the phone…
So it’s impossible even for you…



…That’s perfect.

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the details later.


Futaba’s going to do something…? I wonder if it’ll be OK…





It’ll be a gamble…
I think it’s gonna work. You can’t tell a thing.

Wait, you weren’t even in that last scene, Maaku!

This “game” is not over yet.

“Another fifteen hours, give or take.”

There are still things that must be done.

…That’s right. This is what really happened to me at that moment…

But before that, we need to rewind and see that Sae scene we missed last time!




Music: Disquiet

How do they know I have this…!?
Goro Akechi is evil. He didn’t come to interrogate the captured Phantom Thief… He came to kill him.

i[/i] We could say he stole the guard’s gun and committed suicide during his imprisonment… How about that? Yes, the guard will be one of ours. We’ll have to eliminate him after to destroy the evidence though…


Don’t trust the guard, either. He’s an accomplice as well. Now then, I’ll tell you detailed steps to take. You must save Maaku Hamiru.
You want me to… save him?




U-Um, nothing… Anyway, what brings you here? I thought you were done with your business…
Did anyone else stop by?

…… Nobody?
Th-There’d be no reason for anyone else to come down here!



It’s Akechi-kun. He had to take a sudden call, so he won’t be able to make it down today.
Huh?
…I’ve been asked to handle things instead.


I suggest you go into hiding at once if you value your life.
Y-Yes, ma’am…
And don’t say a word of what transpired here. Trust nobody. Forget this ever happened.

Well, that was simple! Now, where were we?

The Reveal









Maaku, you wily alive bastard.


#266
Part 154

Part 154: 11/21: Delicious Pancakes

Anon: AKECHI IS BAE!!!
Anon: kid had it coming, lol
Anon: he went down easy
Anon: he got what was coming

I didn’t expect him to commit suicide…
He’s a murderer. He deserved to die.
We can finally breathe easy now.
He killed himself huh? I guess we’ll never know his motivation.

Anon: The truth’s lost to the void
Anon: Akechi got the last laugh!
Anon: We’ll finally have peace
Anon: A worthy end for a villain

It feels like my consciousness is about to fade away…

Don’t fall asleep until we reach our destination. …Are you listening?

I see we’re just skipping how Sae managed to extricate Maaku from the police station, okay.

Could this be the effect of the drug wearing off? The memories I thought were gone are starting to come back…

Music: Disquiet


You weren’t paying attention? Well, I guess I can see how you’d be lost in thought right now. Anyway, we need to talk about how to get out of this situation.
Futaba’s monitoring of Akechi’s phone has confirmed it… He did indeed have an ulterior motive.
It’s on a completely different level than just that.
Not only was he trying to frame us, but he was the true culprit behind the mental shutdowns… His offer to assist us was simply a plot to frame the Phantom Thieves… and kill Maaku-kun. If we go into Sis’ Palace as he suggests, we’ll likely be met by a large ambush of police forces.
To think he would be this far gone… I know now what it means to feel a chill down my spine. Furthermore, he wishes to bring a police squad from reality into the Palace…
If the eight of us can enter at once, it’s not inconceivable to think a larger group is possible. He may even be able to bring in vehicles or other special pieces of equipment.
So this really was just a setup to shift the blame onto us…
He made us go after Okumura, then once we triggered the change of heart, he killed him…

The whole time he was workin’ with Makoto’s sister, he was really just some homicidal maniac! C’mon, we gotta take that bastard Akechi down! Isn’t that recording we got enough proof to do it!?
No, Akechi is merely a tool. His orders come from elsewhere… The grand mastermind behind this all. An unimaginable fiend capable of arranging the murder of a suspect of a police station…
Unless we find out who that is, we will continue being targeted even if we defeat Akechi…
But… what means do we have of learning his identity?
We’ll have to make Akechi say it… though once we do, that mastermind will likely eliminate us.
I think that will be the case eventually regardless of whether or not we learn his identity. The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because we’re an easy target to blame for his crimes. If he realizes that’s no longer possible and abandons that plan, he may opt to kill us immediately.
Dammit… So we don’t got a choice but to go with that bastard’s suggestion…
But if we go into the Palace as told, Maaku will get arrested and then murdered by Akechi…
Palace… The Palace…
…Actually, there’s something I’d like to say regarding–


Wh-What’s this all of a sudden!?
There’s a way… A way to get past Akechi And get the mastermind to lay off of us, all while learning his identity.
Really…!?
You gotta be kidding me…!
If he wants to kill Maaku, why not let him?

Hey!

That is, inside the Palace…
Yes. We could have him kill the cognitive Maaku-kun, all while believing he killed the real one.

Oh.

Yeah, that’s it!
It seems that’s our only option. Listen close, everyone. I have a plan for how we can carry this operation out…

However, the police intend on continuing this investigation until the case is fully solved.

Waiting upstairs. Go tell them to come on down. I’m gonna fetch him.

Makoto told me everything.

Eh, it’s ancient history now.

“You only tried to revoke my adoptive father’s custody at a point when he was the only person alive who cared for me in any way, including myself! Water under the bridge!”

But man, that goddamn detective!

Music: Break it Down


Hey, you big bastard!
How’ve you been?

You’re not floating…
It truly is a relief to see your face.

Still, how’d you pull this off? Isn’t this guy considered dead?
You weren’t told anything? I heard my sister brought him here though…
Yeah. She came over in a taxi, dumped him off, and told me to keep him safe. It was right after they announced he had “died” too. Almost gave me a heart attack.
I didn’t have time to explain…
Hey, shouldn’t we tell Boss what really happened?

Music: Suspicion


What we did was make that enemy kill his fake in the Metaverse.

Enemy? Fake…? What’re you talking about…?

Poor Sojiro has no goddamn clue what’s going on.

The true culprit behind all these incidents set us up. Our goal here was to determine their identity.
True culprit…? I see… So you guys were going up against someone else.
It was Goro Akechi.

You knew beforehand that he was the traitor, didn’t you?

Akechi himself gave us the chance to strike back. He made one fatal mistake.
Couldn’t you have just said from the beginning that Akechi was the real culprit?

I didn’t fucking remember.

That wasn’t something we could simply bring up. We couldn’t have you suspect Akechi. Besides, neither you nor the other investigators would have believed something like that, would you?
…True. Akechi was credited with the arrest of the Phantom Thieves. Not even I would think he was the culprit… In other words, you left him alone on purpose… That was a bold move.
God, I can’t keep up with any of this stuff…

Sojiro is basically my dad whenever we watch Westworld together. And also me.

He slipped up in regards to Morgana’s voice.

Yes. Morgana can talk.

Sorry, was that supposed to be a joke?

I love that Sojiro just thinks we’re fucking with him.

Oh! Our apologies. That’s completely true.
You surprised?
Does that mean… he said something just now as well?
But you don’t understand him, do you? That’s how it was for all of us at first too.
When you’re in the Metaverse, Mona talks like a normal person. Once you hear that and your brain realizes he can actually talk, you start to understand him in reality.

Wait, what? She should be able to hear him! She’s been to a Palace, and Akechi had never heard Morgana before in the Metaverse! Which is it, game?

…It’s a change in cognition! Most likely!
Thanks to Akechi’s lame acting, we figured out something was up.

Look who’s talking here.

But we already saw him drop a mega hint about it waaay earlier.



Bahahahahahahah, oh this game’s really pretty dumb but I kind of love it.

…That meant Akechi’d already been in the Metaverse by then!
And since he was lying to us about that, we assumed he had a hidden motive behind contacting us.
It seemed odd upon further thought. His reaction to my pancake comment was an honest one, after all.

I seriously cannot believe the major inciting event of the third act of this game revolves around an innocuous comment about pancakes.

That said, we weren’t so naive to overlook something like that.
That’s why we asked Futaba-chan to wiretap his phone.


Even that ace detective could never have imagined a program being installed so quickly. Futaba’s quirky nature proved to be a great help.

After a few days of listening this confirmed a his betrayal.

That would be the only way to arrest them, given their methods. I’ll deal with them after that. Let me see… We could say he stole the guard’s gun and committed suicide during his imprisonment… How about that? Public security questioning will occur on the first day… and with that room, my task will be simple.

Yes, the guard will be one of ours. We’ll have to eliminate him after to destroy the evidence though…


And thus, the dangerous criminal responsible for the mass mental shutdowns shall end his own life. When he does, you will become a great hero who saved Japan from evil. As will I, of course.

He’s no ace detective… Akechi is the perpetrator behind the mental shutdown crimes.
On top of that, there’s someone else commanding Akechi… Someone with great authority… so great that they can order an assassination in a police station. That’s why we had to make a move before they did.

The other Phantom Thieves nod.

I see…

Can you elaborate on that in more detail? What exactly happened in my cognitive world?
We’re sorry for using you without your permission. Your Palace had all the conditions we needed….

First, we required a place inside the cognitive world that was the same as in reality.



That’s why nobody but the person who uses the Nav even realizes they’re in the Metaverse.
Back with Kamoshida, we came in from the station without even noticin’…

You totally can’t tell the difference if there ain’t any distortions around.
We had already investigated Niijima-san’s Palace when Makoto brought this suggestion to us.

…Ha! Putting the Palace off for weeks was all part of my master plan to give us more time to figure out this other master plan! …No, not really.

To be honest, I didn’t quite understand it, but I went along with it.

Yeah, it’s good we have her heading up our operations.
Makoto is normally so calm as well… but once her mind is set, she gets oddly impulsive.
I did have a bit of a rivalry forming with Akechi… But I just couldn’t contain myself anymore once you became a target, Sis. The reason I joined the Phantom Thieves was to heal your heart, after all.
My own achievements were all that mattered to me… I was desperate. I wasn’t myself at all. I’m sorry I couldn’t see that.
That goes for the both of us.
We heard from Mako-chan that you were going to do the interrogation, Niijima-san.
And regarding its location… I take it you used the data from my laptop?
I’m sorry.
chuckle Go on.

I really like these little doodles that show up for this scene.

First, our clothes didn’t change when we were down in the interrogation room.

Once we heard that from Makoto, we secretly went to check it out without Akechi knowing.
There was also one more thing we absolutely needed to make this work…

Since he had yet to be caught though, there obviously wouldn’t be anyone in that room.

They looked no different from actual living people.
After that, we just had to work our way into the Palace like usual while keepin’ Akechi in the dark.

However, it was then that we were met with a terrifying, unexpected police ambush. As a result, even though we managed to grab the Treasure, we couldn’t get it out of the Metaverse…

Music: Disquiet

We had prepared an empty briefcase beforehand and merely acted like we were taking the Treasure. This was because we knew the police would be coming for us.
We made sure before the operation that the police would be waiting to ambush us. And just as expected, he totally took the bait.

And I had been interrogating him with no knowledge of this. But, how did you lure Akechi into this… cognitive world’s interrogation room?
All I needed were the coordinates. Hehehehehe…


Asking her about it now would drag the conversation on too long… I should talk to her later.

Oh, this would drag on the conversation for too long. That’s the only thing that’s too much for right now. The rest of this conversation is just impeccably paced, I totally get it.

It must have been truly hilarious for our leader who sat idly in the real world’s interrogation room.

So that’s why you gave me your phone… I only took it because of what you told me.
It’s a shame I didn’t have the opportunity to see that for myself.

All I could do was try to handle all the messages that started coming to me on his phone. Huh… So in other words, I’ve been to the Metaverse, albeit for a brief moment.
In our experience, there is little danger when someone enters their own Palace for so short a time.
That’s the other reason we had him give it to you. We needed you to listen to Alibaba, deceive the guard, and ultimately aid in his escape. By having you head back to the interrogation room, we could return you to the real world as well.
I mean, I had to think of some way to keep you from running into Akechi mid-assassination.
…Astounding.

Gross.

I’m so glad Maaku was able to persuade you during the interrogation. Even though we knew about Akechi’s plan, we were pretty worried about that part.
True.

Without Sis on our side, Futaba’s plan and subsequent breakout would have never been possible. That persuasion was easily our greatest gamble. We couldn’t consult Sis beforehand. It was absolutely the make-or-break moment of the entire plan.
Still, I’m surprised you could convince me in such a short time. Were you confident you could do it?

Then it truly was a do or die situation? That’s crazy. Either way, I can’t believe you went for such a risky idea…
If we could just tell you the true culprit’s plan, I knew you’d realize the bigger picture… Realize that Maaku-kun was telling the truth, and that there was a greater evil to pursue.
As a result, we emerged victorious.
Then the reason you kept this a secret from me was so you could catch the true culprit, correct?
Yes. Plus, you had lost control of yourself at the time…
This is stunning… All I can really do is laugh.
I’ve kinda figured out that you guys made Akechi kill a fake… But what did you do about the body?
The police never even checked it.

They had a coroner working to ensure Maaku-kun’s death was reported as a suicide. That coroner didn’t take one look at the scene, and just passed along a falsified death certificate.

First off, how the hell do you know this? Second, I absolutely, unironically love that the plot fucking hinges on the massive political conspiracy being both too lazy and too stupid to A: actually make sure there’s a corpse for its chosen patsy and B: keep watch over the restaurant that serves as both my home and base of operations. It’s honestly pretty great that these morons are so blinded by greed and ego that they fail basic procedures to keep their evil asses from getting revealed and overthrown.

…The bad guys have that much influence?
Murder in a police station would be reckless otherwise. We also knew of a possible conspirator.
Thanks to Futaba-chan’s messages and the guard’s demeanor, I eventually came to understand… And since the higher-ups at the police knew nothing of this, they were thrown into disarray. As a result, Maaku-kun’s suicide during imprisonment was reported on the news, just as Akechi planned.
And with that confusion, he was able to escape with Niijima-san’s help.
I made sure nobody would check the morgue for his body, and thanks to that, nobody knows he survived.

How did you do that?

Thinking back to the interrogation though… I can’t believe what they did to Maaku-kun. The callous use of violence and even drugs is utterly abnormal. If he had lost consciousness and hadn’t been able to tell Sis about the phone, he would’ve died… I’m… truly glad you made it back safe, Maaku-kun.

Don’t get forward with me, Macopto. I have my sights set on Haru.

Music: Alleycat

We made sure to live normal lives while he was being interrogated to avoid drawing any suspicion.

Oh, so that’s why you were all “surprised” when you heard the news despite that making no sense.

Even with that, I couldn’t help but worry for him in my heart…
Well, I knew right away that our plan worked out.
I wanted to believe… but considering what we were up against…
Ryuji’s a bit on the dense and carefree side.

I had to be patient and avoid this place until things settled down. I finally feel relieved…

They haven’t exactly “settled down” yet. It’s been like a day.

We knew he was alive, but… It was difficult to not worry until we could confirm it in person.
Now that I think about it, my interrogation was just a formality for the head commander. What a joke letting me interrogate someone who was meant to die. They just wanted to avoid backlash… Very well. From here forward, I will do my utmost to assist you. …You saved me, after all.
That’s reassuring to hear.
I’ll do whatever I can to help too. Just let me know. Let’s take a break for now though. This old brain is pooped. Oh, and feel free to use the first floor when you guys want to get together to talk. You’ll need a hideout where you can be safe. Just say the word and I’ll close shop early.
Are you sure?
This guy can’t leave. Plus, you won’t make much progress if people can hear you from downstairs. It’s not like this place is the liveliest joint in town. It won’t be a huge loss for me.

How on earth does Leblanc make money?

Heheh.

And that’s all for this installment. But that doesn’t mean we’re done with this conversation. Join us next time for Even! More! Talkiiiiiiing!


#267

One thing I really like about the plan is the characters all admitting how risky it was, it kind of hangs a lampshade on how convoluted aspects of the whole thing are and how much is left up to chance. Also the little doodles are indeed great.


#268
Part 155

Part 155: 11/21: Evil Exposition Execrably Elucidates Earlier Events

Music: Desire

Surprise! You didn’t think that the only people who were going to get long-ass conversations tonight were the Phantom Thieves, did you? It’s time for some good, old-fashioned evil monologuing!

…That sounds familiar…

Enter.

That’s the death certificate of the principal offender, correct? Is there a problem with it?
No. Nothing in particular. More importantly, you’ve done well with regard to the prosecutors.
The cause of death for the SIU director has been settled as a “stroke.”
I had him work quite substantially on forging evidence. His loss should be mourned.
It was thanks to his efforts that I could enter the Phantom Thief’s interrogation room too.
The SIU is in disarray with his death. I’ll take my time choosing a successor after the elections…
At any rate, I’m now praised as a hero, and I owe it all to the Phantom Thieves.
All possible hindrances are now gone. There’s no doubt that this election is mine. evil chuckle

I’ve written out the phrase “evil chuckle” too many times in this LP.

Discussion is swirling around potential nominees as the deadline for candidacy announcement nears. Candidates will announce on the 23rd of this month, while voting will be held on the 18th of next.
Elections, huh? Don’t matter to us. It’s not like we can vote in ‘em yet anyway.
Why don’t we resume our conversation?

You thought we were done? Ha!

Music: Suspicion

Well, the Phantom Thieves’re back together! We can finally take it to Akechi and the bastard backin’ him!
Have you figured out who’s behind all this?
Akechi accidentally let that slip after the murder. He said, “Shido-san.”
Shido… Feels like I’ve heard that somewhere.
He is unmistakably a man of power if he has such strong connections to the police.

…Who?

We Phantom Thieves are shockingly out of sync with current events.

I believe he’s a politician… Remember, Ryuji? You said his speech was too loud.

It’s certainly possible that Shido is the mastermind…
Huh…?
Do you have some kind of evidence?
Nothing material. However, there are various conditions which align with that possibility.


On top of that, he’ll most likely become the next prime minister if he wins this upcoming election.
No…
Did he set us up with that election in mind?
If he is behind all this, that would be in stark opposition to his honest, public image.

A politician? Lie!?!?

So his current position and popularity is just him benefiting from the mental collapses…
We’ll make him have a change of heart, no matter what it takes.
Mom…


I had a feeling he was wrapped up in all this. Just based on the connections I had from my previous job…

Music: Disquiet

GASP

I think the one who crushed Wakaba’s research and confiscated her materials was probably Shido. From the moment Wakaba died… I had a hunch he was involved. But there wasn’t anything I could do, so I chose to protect Futaba and went into hiding.

“For dramatic effect!”

You guys would’ve definitely gone after him if I had. He would’ve just killed all of you, no doubt. That’s what he usually does to people who get in his way.

Oh, that works too. Still, maybe give us a heads up about the murderer.

It was then that I accidentally stumbled upon government research regarding the psychotic breakdowns. So, I tracked down the whereabouts of that research data and met with the associated parties. Boss was one of those parties. I would never have imagined all of this was connected… The mental shutdowns, psychotic breakdowns, Shido, and even the Phantom Thieves’ actions…
Way back when, Shido kept saying he was going to be prime minister one day. Nobody believed him though…
What’s going to happen to this country if Shido becomes prime minister? What about the world…?
The issue is simpler than that. This is nothing more than yet another selfish adult trying to impose his will on the public.
We gotta expose that rotten bastard!
Yeah, we’ll do it like always!
Then let’s check the Nav!

Candidate found.


Where would the location be?
…What kind of things go through a politician’s head?
I always think of dirty money and shady actions.

His Palace must be somewhere that politicians frequent. Any ideas, Maaku-kun?

Candidate found.

We got a hit!
How arrogant must he be to see himself as the ruler of the Diet Building?


Hell yeah! Nobody against it?
Of course.
He will be a worthy opponent.
Let’s win this, together!
Time for revenge!
Then it’s unanimous!
All we gotta do now is figure our what he thinks that Diet Building place is.
So, that’s the app that allowed me to enter the Metaverse.
An old fart like me can’t wrap his head around all this stuff…
We’ll have to deal with this before election day, December 18th. That means we need it done by the 17th.
It’s best we hurry before they discover there’s no body in the morgue.
Should we start tomorrow then? We can meet at the Diet Building after school.

Ms. Kawakami said he went back home for “family reasons.”
That’s what I told the school.

A+ excuse there.

Don’t let ‘em find out you’re alive then, all right? This whole thing’d be for nothing!

This operation has another purpose outside of escaping Akechi’s clutches. Shido tried to place all the blame on the Phantom Thieves and deceive the public at the same time. He has ruined countless lives, and even made Goro Akechi, a student, assist him with assassinations. A mere change of heart is too lenient a sentence for such an abominable criminal.

All right, murder! Let’s do this!

We’ll be making use of the police statement that the leader of the Phantom Thieves committed suicide. Our leader who is presumed dead will come out of hiding to deliver a grand statement. He’ll say he has escaped prison, not committed suicide, and was in fact almost killed by a criminal.
Everyone’s gonna flip.


Bahahahahahahahaha.

That’s why you needed such a daring trick as getting captured and appearing to be killed. What frightening teenagers…
But the true battle has only just begun. We won the first round, but we must stay on our toes.
Yeah, this ain’t the time to be celebratin’.
These people tried to trap and kill us. There is no end to their inhuman, conniving nature. We will need to be prepared for whatever may come our way.

The Phantom Thieves nod.

Music: Desire

Remember way back when Morgana left the team and I called it “The Dumbest Plot Point In The Entire Game”? Well, buckle up, because it’s time for…

Why, it’s that wondrous time when our villains drop everything to have an evil conversation where they recap the entire game… evilly! Why are they doing this? No reason. Both of them already know everything they talk about here! God bless infodumps.

Back then, you earned the media’s attention as a young politician who could rise up against bureaucracy. Because of that, those who wanted to preemptively deal with problems tried to tie you up in scandal.

I recall that’s when you came to me. You promoted yourself, saying you had “special powers.” If it wasn’t for the research on cognition that I dabbled in, I would have thought you insane.
I made those troublesome opponents psychotic, and erased any trace of that scandal.

Who’d think that tampering with a person’s heart could trigger a psychotic lapse or mental shutdown. And when someone like that said he’d support me, I has suspected there’d be an ulterior motive.

I believed that your ideals needed to be achieved for the sake of the country’s future.
Well, my faith in you was precisely why I pulled the plug on that research. I only need you using that power. It’d be troublesome if someone else uncovered how it works.
…Wakaba Isshiki, was it? That researcher. She wouldn’t have had to die if she just complied.

Any suspicions should be snubbed out. Even the smallest doubt should be severed at the root. After all, we had an active Public Prosecutors Office director on our side until recently.

“Now that I think about it, might have been useful to not murder him. That could have saved us some grief down the road, whoops.”

Astounding, isn’t it? To think the director himself often forged evidence to secure his promotion. He was quite surprised when you confronted him about it. He didn’t know who leaked that information. Well, I got that out of his Shadow, so technically speaking, he did it himself.

This country’s affairs have become stagnant. The political world is filled with old men who only act to preserve their own vested interests.

I mean, he’s not… wrong? Maybe this won’t be so bad! Shido 2016! Woooooo!

The general public has forsaken such political affairs and don’t even bother. Only ruin awaits us.
I must agree.
There’s no need to be ruined along with such incompetent fools. I will lead this country to its revival. Those who get in the way must be eliminated at times—that’s the correct way to use the Metaverse.
Still, it would stand out if there were continuous deaths and scandals with your political rivals. Which is why I made them “suspects.” Prosecute the targets that I turned psychotic… and solve them as cases unrelated to you.


What a good boy.

Thanks to your efforts, my clean image remains untarnished, and I’ve monopolized public opinion. Once I gained public sentiment, collaborators from all sectors began approaching me on their own. The police were no exception. With their management in my pocket, keeping them in check was easy.
When the Phantom Thieves emerged, I thought things might become somewhat troublesome.
And they were just brats once we looked into it. All we needed to do was lay the blame on them…


After that, all I had to do was openly berate them; I’ve been gaining more supporters since. The current administration is dead with ongoing scandals… never mind the fact that they’re my doing. Even the government parties have begun splitting up… and they’re dissolving just as planned. maniacal laugh

We’re just throwing subtlety out the fucking window, huh?

However, inauguration isn’t my goal. That’s when everything truly begins. I’ll make this county rich for the sake of its selfish and ignorant masses who can only rely on others.
In other words, you’re creating a powerful country that can compete with the world.
The public resonates with my ideals and follows me. And for that, some “sacrifices” can’t be avoided. That is my duty as the chosen one. Your assistance has been very influential in making my plans proceed smoothly. When I become prime minister, I’ll grant whatever wish you want.

Surely my story will be passed down as a hero who won against monsters that could control people’s hearts. I believe I’ll lay low and devote myself to my studies.
…I suppose with your age, you wouldn’t come up with debauched desires.

Oh yeah, teenagers, famed for their rationality and ability to resist temptation.

Ominous.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Fuck yeah, no school! :toot:

Don’t worry about it. This’ll be a breeze compared to what we’ve had to face so far. And we’ll have all the time to come up with the plans together! To be perfectly honest, I don’t really care what happens to Shido one way or the other. But when I consider the fact that he’s your enemy, I naturally think he’s my enemy as well. I’m going to stay with you until the very end.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Life’s gonna get real busy for you startin’ tomorrow, right? Get some rest.


The police report on your death isn’t gonna show up at your school. No need to worry. Seems Prosecutor Niijima worked out some kinda deal with the higher-ups or something. I mean, they haven’t even said anything to me even. As long as you stay quiet, you’ll be fine. And I guess if they reported your death now, they’d basically be saying you were a Phantom Thief. They can’t really go announcing what the Phantom Thieves are, so I’m sure they’ll avoid that.

The police are likely being careful about what they reveal as this is a rare, unusual incident. The move has been successful, and there has not been any major outcry as of yet.
It’s good for us that too much information hasn’t made it out. We probably have Niijima to thank.


Fine. For once, I won’t fight you on the “go to bed” thing, cat.

Even though Akechi was talking to the fake you at the time…

Now that you point it out like that, it really makes no sense whatsoever!

Akechi met the cognitive you in the Palace. I don’t know what he said to that version of you in there, but we should make use of this. And if nothing else, it shows our operation was a smashing success!


If you’ll remember the last update, Futaba had some more information to share with us regarding the plan. Well, here it is, even more info, except this is barely even relevant to understanding the plan and more about ironing out a few potential plot holes that are so insanely specific that even if you thought of them only an asshole like me would actually point them out and hold them against the plot.

Well, remember how I put that wiretap app in Akechi’s phone? Basically that let me see GPS info for two phones: yours and his. Now what could I do with that info…? I’d be able to tell the precise moment Sae Niijima, who had your phone, ran into Akechi! That’s when I saw my chance and beep—sent the signal to activate the Metaverse Navigator. But there was the chance that they’d just pass each other without saying a single word. That’s why we needed you to tell Sae Niijima to show the phone to Akechi!
This plan still surprises me no matter how many times I hear it…
Still, I couldn’t just directly hack into the Metaverse Nav. It’s a mysterious app, after all. But you know how it has that bookmark function? All you have to do is push the button. Making the phone think he was pushing that button was totally doable. Mwehehehe… Pretty good, huh!?

Though there’s no doubt you were the most at risk. I mean, you actually got arrested. …But it seems like all the drugs and stuff made you forget the details of the plan. Want me to explain how it all went down? It might take a bit.

Well, since the rest of us didn’t get captured, we had to act. We had to pretend we never wanted you to get arrested… Pretend the suicide news was a real shock… Basically we had to act like we didn’t know anything, 24/7. The enemy knows who we are, so we couldn’t let our guard down even once while you were gone. If they had people watching us and realized what our plan was, they would have killed you immediately.

Who’s to say they weren’t watching you guys today?

Anyway, this is just explaining why the group looked so surprised when they heard the news. The Curse of the Animated Cutscenes strikes again! This is also hilarious because it reveals that Ryuji actually totally fucked up and nearly got us killed by failing to pretend to be shocked.

…Wanna hear more?

Another tough part was figuring out how to get Sae Niijima and Akechi back from the Metaverse. In order to return to reality, you have to go back to the point where you came into the Metaverse. So, Sae and Akechi had to go through where the Nav activated, as in… the hall where they met. Akechi would just come back the same way after the assassination. The real issue was Sae Niijima. We needed to stop her for a moment before she headed back toward the interrogation room. But nothing can be sent to a phone inside the Palace. So… I had to program the messages in beforehand. In doing so, I made it seem like the messages were coming at that exact moment in time. That part was kinda last minute, so I had to pull an all-nighter trying to get it set up… …I’m really on a roll here! Wanna hear some more?

Lemme see, another problematic thing was… Oh yeah! Tying Akechi up! That was really tough…

Uhhh, I obviously don’t mean the real Akechi. Even if we could do that, it would ruin our plan. The one we had to tie up was Sae Niijima’s cognitive Akechi. …This part’s really complicated. I know you’re tired. You sure you wanna hear all of this now?

JUST GET TO IT

Well, we needed to lure Akechi into Sae Niijima’s Palace and have him kill the cognitive Maaku. But Akechi would have entered the Palace immediately after meeting Sae Niijima in the hallway, right? Because of that, there was a pretty decent chance he’d run into the cognitive Akechi. And if that happened, Akechi would’ve totally realized we had lured him into the Palac.

Nobody actually even thought of this possibility until the night before the assassination… Makoto realized in the middle of the night, then it was a huge mess trying to figure out what to do. In the end, we chose to sneak into the Metaverse while the plan was happening to tie up the cognition. Because you told Sae to show him the phone, we expected her to chat with him for at least a bit… So, we had a few minutes to strike after the cognitive Akechi showed up, but before the Nav activated. It was Operation: Tie Him Up! Though it wasn’t really much of an operation in the end…

Hmm, interesting. And how did you manage to pull this off while under surveillance and supposedly living normal lives to keep the heat off of us?

Thankfully, Sae Niijima didn’t know his true nature, so the one that appeared was an ordinary kid. It was pretty simply surrounding him, knocking him out, and tossing him on another floor. But man, watching Makoto’s skill was super amazing… I guess she does use knuckles as her weapon… Basically what I’m trying to say is, appreciate what everyone else did. All sorts of stuff happened. …Phew. I just can’t help but rant when I’m talking about stuff that interests me. Sorry ‘bout that. Just focus on resting up. You don’t have to worry about anything else. And seriously… well done, Maaku.


Fuck no.

Whattt? That’s no fun.
Maaku is tired. You can tell him some other time, OK?

And we’re finally ready to start working against the mastermind behind all this. Join us next time for a new chapter in the saga of the Phantom Thieves!


#269
Part 156

Yes, I know that song’s not actually about the cool kind of revolution. Shut up.

Part 156: 11/22-11/23: Not Even A Plot Twist

Anon: We’ll finally have peace
Anon: AKECHI IS BAE!!!
Anon: c’mon, leak his name!
Anon: kid had it coming, lol

He’s a hero.
I’m so glad Akechi’s back!
I hope they can catch the rest of the Phantom Thieves too!
He really is amazing!

Anon: so he HAS to be guilty
Anon: Justice with Akechi!
Anon: hope things are safer now
Anon: Evil is destined to perish.
Anon: he shoulda confessed first

Music: Disquiet

Of course. He’s the only reliable politician there is. Plus the current government has been getting wrapped up in scandal after scandal. Even more importantly, there’s just an aura about him. Like he can fix whatever problems we have.
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me who does it. I just wanna see our society back on track. Especially after it turned out those Phantom Thieves were nothing more than scum in the end…



“You’re a bad teacher,” the fuck? Why is that even an option?

You’re alive! The news is reporting you committed suicide… Call me when you can. I was so confused. But… as long as you’re safe… Don’t worry about school! Just take care of yourself. :heart:

This is the first of many text conversations we will receive over the next few days as our maxed Confidants naturally worry about us. We’ve already maxed every Confidant that’s relevant to this, so we’ll receive all the messages. Sojiro, Sae, Akechi, and Igor, as well as fellow party members, obviously will not send us anything.

Music: So Boring

How could the police let him commit suicide in jail? They need to get their shit together.
Quiet down! You’re in class! Break’s been over for some time now. I swear, you’re like monkeys in the zoo. …Hm? Oh yeah… I received word from Hamiru’s family that he’ll be absent for a bit. Geez… What do you people think school is, anyway?
It’s almost time…

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Oooh! Thank god you’re safe! That suicide report was all over the news, and Ms. Kawakami said you went back to your hometown… I was honestly worried about contacting you… Even Sakamoto was dodging the question when I tried to ask him. But don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone! By the way, the Phan-Site is a real mess right now… But I’ll keep supporting you from the shadows! Good luck!


Really!? That’s good. It’s chaos over here because of the Phantom Thieves! You’re still alive, so you must be scheming something, right!? I gotta prepare myself for one more mountain. But I’m glad you’re OK. I’m busy, so I’ll talk to you again later.

Anyway, today’s a day off, so eat your curry and take it easy. You can take your time with it too. It’s not like any customers are gonna be showing up.
Let’s try and think of the keyword once the chief’s curry has energized you.

Music: Disquiet


I’ve tried all sortsa stuff, but no luck so far.
It is hard to understand the thought process of a criminal mastermind like him.
Y’know, I’ve been wondering… If he’s been behind all of those mental shutdowns… Doesn’t that mean all the weird accidents from these past few years were his fault? Like, that subway accident back in April…
Now that you mention it, that accident lost the Minister of Transport his job…
Wait… Are you trying to say that Shido caused that accident? But it’s the subway! Does he not care at all about innocent lives!?
This man seems to be truly unbelievable…
Supposedly there are still tons of victims from that in the hospital even now.
Masayoshi Shido… How many has he killed over the years?
How could we ever understand what goes on in the mind of such a horrible man…?
Hey, wouldn’t it be faster if we just go there and try and think about it on-site!? Let’s try that!
If we’re going to go, I’d like Maaku-kun to join, but…
Will that be OK? Won’t somebody spot him there?
Eh, we’ll prolly figure out the keyword in no time once we’re there. Plus I can throw off anyone who tails us with my blazing speed!
…All right. Let’s have Maaku-kun join us then. Remember though… We’re going with the intent of not being seen.
Mkay. Well, let’s meet in front of the Diet Building and force that bastard’s Palace open!
All right, let’s head to the Diet Building. Make sure you aren’t discovered, OK?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Oh yeah, the classic “just a hoodie” disguise. Undefeatable. They’ll never see it coming.

You gotta be kiddin’ me… You realize you’re done for if you get caught, right? …… Sheesh, the stunts you pull sometimes… Just don’t stay out too late.

Music: Suspicion


We already have “Masayoshi Shido” and “Diet Building.” All we need is “what” he thinks of this place.
Maybe “Mt. Fuji” since it’s the highest place in the country?
Conditions have not been met.
What about a “mansion”?
Conditions have not been met.
Since he’s going to subjugate everyone as prime minister… perhaps a “school”?
Conditions have not been met.
What about an “arena” like the Colosseum?
Conditions have not been met.
“Imperial palace”?
Conditions have not been met.

I thought we would’ve gained entry by now…

Not with these trash guesses!

Maybe we shouldn’t have called Maaku-kun here…


Well, this should be good for a laugh. Explain.

Shido stole the cognitive psience research, right? Maybe it had some special move written it.

A special move? Genius! To pull it off, you have to do a double dragon punch motion, impossible for all but the most honed cognitive fighters.

Is that even possible?
Who knows? I’ve got no idea.
There was nothing like that in the notes I saw.
Anyways, what kinda person is Shido? I can’t figure him out…
I did some light research on him last night, but I couldn’t get a grasp on the type of man he is.


That man over there’s probably a legislator, right? I’ll try asking him.

Impostor! Newspaper Club Member is a good person, and I won’t let you impersonate her!

What kind of person is Representative Shido? What’s he think about the National Diet?
His stance is “dedication for country”–it’s how he’s garnered everyone’s trust. He’s an admirable man of action with a first-class determination. I’d say he’s a model politician. I believe that he’ll help create a wonderful future in which young adults like you can live in ease.

How did you hear that from over there?

It makes sense he wouldn’t tell teenagers anything unnecessary.



Wait, is it about us?
That doesn’t look good.
We should leave at once. Tomorrow’s a day off, so let’s have an early strategy meeting. Meet at Leblanc, OK?
We should all think about this tonight…

Well, that was pointless.

However, I believe that this country’s citizens are still living their days in anxiety. These scandals only increase our distrust of the current government. As a citizen myself, I am enraged!

Music: Disquiet

Look who’s talking.
What does it mean to be a politician with responsibility? Working toward personal gain without consideration of the country is outrageous!
The election’s public notification is tomorrow, but no matter where I go, people are cheering for Shido.

Where are you going, though? Here, your house, the street that connects them…? I’m just saying, you don’t exactly get out much, man.

Everyone’s being deceived so easily.


I checked his profile as well, but I couldn’t find much outside of his title and education. He’s currently 53 years old, and has gone from being a metropolitan assemblyman to a representative. Though he is a cabinet minster, he’s split from the ruling party to form the United Future Party.
Shido’s a cabinet minister!? For real!?
He was specially appointed to the position. That’s his current title.
Apparently he also won a contest for who people would most like to have as their boss.

“I’d like him to lay me off, heh.”

Even the news sites write about him as though he’s assured to become the prime minister.
If only we could find out the meaning behind Shido’s words…

Ugh…


It’s preposterous.
This isn’t the popularity level of a normal politician anymore.
What’s so great about him? I seriously don’t get it.
He’s a strong leader who protects his citizens… Well, supposedly. Is everyone blind!?
We’ll just need to shed light on who he really is.

OK, I’ll tell her that.
OK, we’ll figure out the keywords tomorrow for sure!

Extremely Ron Howard voice: They won’t.

I get no one knows the truth about him, but it still creeps me out…



Some are insisting for police to take responsibility for failing to prevent the suicide. But most of the public is praising Mr. Goro Akechi and his team for stopping the Phantom Thieves.
Looks like we really pulled the wool over their eyes! We better act no before they realize…

Nice Phantom Thieves banner, totally inconspicuous.


It’s just like Shido-san said!
We can’t go wrong leaving things to Masayoshi Shido.
Shido-san’s gonna be in this election too, right?
Politicians like him are promising!

Anon: he went down easy
Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: Just like Akechi-kun said!
Anon: as if this settles things…
Anon: so he HAS to be guilty

Anon: he got what was coming
Anon: Justice with Akechi!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


I’m relieved to hear that. You appear to have avoided your destiny of death… However, I can’t see anything past that. Please be extra careful. If you’re unsure about anything, I’ll be waiting at the usual spot.


Stop making me worried. I’m glad you’re OK. I just got nervous when I saw the news. Well, I’ll be at the clinic if you need any medicine.

Oh, that’s right. Aren’t you all supposed to be gathering here today? Make sure you finish eating before everyone shows up.
It’s almost time for our meeting. I wonder if anybody has figured out the keyword…

Music: Disquiet

Conditions have not been met.
…No good.
How many’d we miss?
Perhaps he truly does have a barrier up.

That’s not something to be excited about!
We know all the way up to “Diet Building” too…
…So you enter keywords into the Metaverse Navigator.
Boss, can you turn the TV on? Shido might be on it.



Him, and his stupid, composed face!

Is it true you withdrew yourself from the media as part of your plan to capture the Phantom Thieves?
I truly apologize for causing such a stir. Honestly, it required a lot of courage to openly oppose them when their popularity was at its peak. I mean, people often lashed out at me online and whatnot.

Then, was it also your plan when you said they weren’t at fault after their popularity declined?
That was to catch them off guard. I could say I applied my profiling knowledge. Once they lost public support, someone they thought was their greatest enemy lent a hand… That’s the same strategy used in romance, wouldn’t you agree?

What the fuck are you talking about?

It’s not just on TV or online. Newspapers, magazines… I see his face everywhere.
On the other hand, no one’s hoping for our comeback on the Phan-Site, like at all!
The Phantom Thieves are “evil.” Shido and Akechi are “just”… It should be the other way around.
They’re manipulating information using the media!
Leaving Akeachi aside—we’ll get back at him later—our main issue is Shido.
Were there any instances before when you didn’t know the Palace keywords?
Well, there was the time with Futaba.
We didn’t know anything about her, so all we could do was make conjectures.
Then, why don’t we just go directly and see Shido?

BRILLIANT

That’s impossible. He’s surrounded by bodyguards and followers all the time.
There’s no way high school students can get an appointment with him either.

There’s also a rather large chance he knows your names and what you look like, geniuses.

Well, we do have an adult with us…


No, that’s still impossible. Besides, that’s too dangerous a method.
sigh Well this is a problem…

A commotion can be heard outdoors.


Isn’t that an election-campaign car?
Oh right! The candidates are currently campaigning!

Music: Desire



Yeah, he did!





……?


Before the others even have a chance to stand up, Ryuji and Haru run out of Leblanc.

Music: Disquiet


This way. Hurry!

Time to chase the morons. I get why Ryuji is running, he’s an idiot. But why Haru? She’s not normally that impulsive. I guess it’s because Shido killed her dad, but if that’s the case doesn’t Futaba have an equally compelling beef?

By the way, did something happen? You didn’t seem well a moment ago…

We’ll stand out too much if we all go together. Please investigate on your own, Maaku.
So the one behind the death of Haru’s father may be out there… Please check it out, Maaku-kun…
…I’ll just wait here and bide my time.

Our government is littered with scandals, and criminals have taken a strong foothold in our society! Such a disgraceful past must be discarded… We must set sail into a new future of dreams and hope!

He’s here!? Where!? Where is he!?
Whoa, this is amazing! Let’s go check it out!

So our nation can once again become a powerful one with abundant wealth and luxury! So our beautiful home will be acknowledged as the best country in the world!

That’s right. He’s a strong, admirable man!
Even more than Dad?
Hm, well… yeah, I’d say so. Shido is a wonderful person.

What a wuss.


Let us all set sail toward a happy future together!


The audience applauds.

You guys wait here! I’ll go get intel for us!


RYUJI

OH MY GOD

DUDE

I just wanna talk to him for a sec!
He’s a busy man!






Come on, stop…!
But, these guys–


It’s utterly hilarious that Shido cultivates this friendly image that he’ll murder to protect, but also having a slightly unpleasant encounter with a brash teenager is enough to make him drop the persona (heh) entirely. Just openly threatening a minor. Awesome.






NO SHIT, REALLY? NEVER WOULDA GUESSED!

Music: Tension

This country is filled with clueless children… I worry for Japan’s future. Let them go. My next appointment is coming up.



Wait… He’s the jerk you told us about before…!? The same guy!? For real!? Seriously!?
You’re sure… aren’t you?
Shido’s the one who ruined your life…
Holy shit… I don’t believe it…
…….
Let’s get going, OK?

Wow, that’s just shocking. I’m so thrown out of wack that I think this is a good place to stop for today. Imagine how much more surprised I’d be if the game had made any attempt to hide that twist whatsoever!


#270
Part 157

Part 157: 11/23-11/24: Call Me Hamill

Music: Disquiet

Shido’s the guy who set you up…!?
What kind of fate brought you two back together…?

The kind of fate that relies on plot contrivances!

Talk about a destined connection…
Shido was involved in the cognitive research too, right? This can’t be dismissed as just a coincidence…
God… What the hell’s going on here?
Shido was already a politician then, yet he sued a student and ruined his future? He must have pulled some strings so that his name wouldn’t be mentioned… Furthermore, he also would’ve had to force that woman into making a false statement.
He would do anything. We’re talking about a man who ordered a hit inside the police station.
He can’t sit still until he crushes whoever opposed him, no matter how trivial. He’s always been that way.

“Children are the future,” my ass! What he’s sayin’ and doin’ are completely different!
But now that we found out who did it, can’t something be done about Maaku’s record?
Once the courts have made a judgment, overturning that decision will be difficult. It’d barely be possible even if proof of innocence is presented and Shido admits to his crimes.
At any rate, we need to trigger a change of heart in him.
Be that as it may, Shido’s outer appearance and his true face are wholly different. It’s beyond hypocritical. It’s as if he’s an entirely different person.
He speaks about the good of the country… It makes me wonder what really is on his mind.
That man’s full of ambition to rise in the world. He only thinks of the weak as stepping stools for his success.
He treats himself as an elite man while looking down on others… That’s the worst.
I assume the keyword for what he believes the Diet Building is will be despicable too.
It must be something self-centered and completely different from politics.
Someone like him needs to be punished as soon as possible!
Let’s head to the Diet Building again right after school tomorrow. I feel we’ll get it this time!
Stewing over it won’t get anywhere. We have to do this…

The Phantom Thieves nod in agreement.

Music: Beneath the Mask

And it’s a twist told in the most prosaic fashion possible!


I ain’t worried. It’s cool, if you’re all good. I don’t need nothing. Stop by the shop if you want some weapons.

Awww, Iwai’s too macho to say it, but he was worried. :3



Candidates from all parties have taken to the streets, asking for support from voters. United Future’s Masayoshi Shido has been actively giving speeches in Yongen-Jaya and other areas.
Can you believe how popular he is? But that guy is such a bastard…


Oh, yeah, those clothes… You’d stand out if everyone else is wearing their school uniforms. It might be a good idea to wear your uniform when you head out.
I should wear my school uniform when I head out tomorrow…

But we didn’t wear it last time… Hm, wearing a specific outfit for no reason? Must be an animated cutscene tomorrow!

It’ll totally be an easy win for Shido-kun.
He really got famous from all that Phantom Thieves business.
He’s on track to become prime minister.
Guess I should be on Shido’s side…

Anon: So did he do it or not!?
Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: Just like Akechi-kun said!
Anon: so he HAS to be guilty
Anon: what kinda idiot does this?

Anon: Akechi got the last laugh!
Anon: A worthy end for a villain
Anon: AKECHI IS BAE!!!
Anon: c’mon, leak his name!

Music: Suspicion


I think Masayoshi Shido is even more amazing though. He’s the first politician I’ve ever believed in.
Oh, I know Shido-san too! Sounds like he really wants to improve this country!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Thank goodness! I was really worried! I thought I’d never see you again… Man, it’s such a relief to hear things are OK. Well, if you need anything, I’ll be at the arcade.


Thank goodness you’re all right. You’re such a bad student. Hiding the pieces isn’t allowed, you know. Well, if you need anything, I’ll be at the church.


So you’re OK? That’s a relief. I’m expecting great things from the Phantom Thieves. If you need anything, I’m happy to help, my comrade.

Tora is just the best.

You’re taking off tonight, right? Sheesh, you’re such a risk-taker… Listen, make sure nobody notices you, OK?
We have to do something about the keyword for sure this time…

Music: Wicked Plan

Awful jokey music for this situation.

But we still have no hit…
Think it’s a barrier after all?
Where’d your enthusiasm from yesterday go?

Uh, what???

Enough chatting. You should only be thinking about the keyword!
The citizens are secondary. He only cares about his own well-being and that of his lackeys…
He wants to become prime minister even if it means trampling on others…
Fortune… Rich people…
Hey, Maaku, can you think of anything based on what you’ve heard from him? Just try saying anything. It doesn’t matter if you guess.

Music: Suspicion

Well, that’s really heavy-handed, but okay.

Result found.


What? The Diet Building’s a ship!? What kind of scenery will that be!? The actual building’s on land!
I can’t even begin to fathom what it will be like…
Well, whatever it is, looks like there are no barriers!
Sh-Shuddup! Let’s hurry up and go in!

That’s a good thing, Ryuji.

Are we clear of the guard’s sight?
Get closer to the wall, just in case. All right… Do it, Maaku.
Beginning navigation.


The security guards seem to be gone, but it’s difficult to tell for certain… This seems to be similar to what happened with Sis’s Palace.
But this time, the Diet Building remains unchanged…
Ah… The gate wasn’t open earlier though.

That means we’re definitely in a Palace.
C’mon, let’s go take a look.

Limitless Pride

Music: Limitless Pride

Nah. It’s totally normal.
I’ll check it out!


What the heck?
What’s up, Futaba?
……

What is it?





How the fuck did you idiots not notice this!? You knew it was a boat!




Even though this country may sink, he alone will survive… That’s what this cognition is about, huh…?

How poetic, Haru. What new depths of depravity will we find in Shido’s Palace? Who knows! I do know one thing, though:

This should be the new


#271
Part 158

Part 158: 11/24: Nice Boat

Music: Desire

This is bullshit…! A country that children can be proud of, my ass! It’s completely sunken in his head! If a guy like this stands above everyone, we’re seriously done for!
This is beyond ridiculous!
The same goes for Akechi.


Oh, that rapscallion!

What in the world is he thinking…?

Probably something along the lines of “I’m gonna get that paper, boy!”

Whether it be for glory or for simply a reward…

This is not how any human being has ever formed a sentence in all of recorded history.

My father died because of someone like this…!
We gotta sink Shido instead of this country!
A Palace with not just the center of the distortion, but the entire country sunken… I can’t believe there’s someone with this tremendous of a desire… Be careful! This will be completely different from past Palaces!
We’re definitely gonna take his Treasure!

All right!
We must put an end to this by December 17th, the day before the elections!
Let the infiltration begin! Time to pay him back for setting us up into a trap!

I swear to god I’m not altering these lines, this is actually what the characters say. This shit is voice acted, how rushed was this production?

Music: Ark

This song sets the mood pretty well. Unfortunately, this Palace is long as shit and you are absolutely going to get sick of it.

Speakin’ of that, shouldn’t Maaku’ve been disguisin’ himself on the way here?
Uh, seeing someone in a disguise with a bunch of kids in school uniforms would be super weird…

I get that they really want us to not worry about the whole forced clothes swap for the sake of the animated cutscene, but they also really shouldn’t be drawing this much attention to it.

Well, we won’t have to worry about any of that once we steal the Treasure… Let’s do this!

Let’s go find out. It’s time we begin our infiltration.


We walk inside…

…and our clothes change, to boot.

But why are even the passengers wearing masks?
You think they’re tryin’ to be Phantom Thieves, back like Haru with that Beauty Thief stuff?
Th-That’s quite enough!
Whatever the reason, it reflects Shido’s mentality. Surely he doesn’t view others normally.
Given the insane nature of his distortion, I’m surprised they even appear as people…



These people suuuuuuuuck.

When we head up the stairs, we are accosted by a Shadow.

Joker, an enemy!
Urgh, it’s attackin’ us with all these people ‘round!?


This is Cerberus. It’s weak to Ice and it attacks with Fire and Physical. It also Drains Fire and Resists Nuclear. While again, we can’t negotiate with miniboss Shadows (really just any Shadow in a scripted fight, as this barely even qualifies as a miniboss), we’ll encounter its regular Shadow form from the dog-type Shadows of this Palace shortly and pick one up for our collection.

I mention that it resists Nuke because while it’s really the only option in the long run due to her lack of good Physical skills for the endgame, getting rid of Makoto’s Flash Bomb and leaving her with only one damage type makes some fights rather annoying. Still, she’s incredibly useful and I wouldn’t switch her out of the party for anything.

We switch out Haru’s Climate Decorum, which we sadly never really got a chance to take advantage of, for Snipe, a skill that increases her damage with Gun skills by 25%. Again, building Haru towards Gun is fucking broken and I highly recommend you do whatever you can to follow my example, it’s great. She gets a couple more Gun-related skills and they’re all excellent, so it’s well worth it.

Indeed! Those privileged enough to be on this ship are all on the winning team!
Ahahahahaha!
Hahahaha!

It seems they think no harm will come to them because they’re here on Shido’s ship.
They’re not even sensin’ the danger… C’mon, let’s make ‘em see what this ship really is!

Joker, we should go. It would be a problem if we started drawing attention to us.

First off, “starting!?” We just fought a literal Hellbeast! Second, I wanna talk to the evil political conspirators!

This is Dakini. It has no weaknesses and Resists Fire, but it uses party-wide Physical.

This is Narcissus. Its only skill is Nocturnal Flash, which inflicts party-wide Dizzy. It’s weak to Fire, Resists Wind and Bless, and Blocks Electricity.

An… interesting component of parts of this Palace is the huge-ass loudspeakers literally “BLARE”-ing Shido’s bullshit campaign speeches. It’s honestly kinda charming. Not the speeches, I mean.

There’s a climb spot next to this chandelier leading to probably the most well-hidden treasure chest in the game.

If we climb all the way up…


We obtain an Idaten Ofuda. Probably never going to use this, but it’s a party-wide Agility buff. I only include it because it’s absurdly out-of-the-way relative to what it actually contains.

Let’s head into the next room.


Hrmmm… I can sense the Treasure’s presence! It’s that way. Let’s go, guys!

Music: Suspicion

There are slots to stick in something like a keycard… Whoa, there’s five of them!

I hear something.

You heard something? From the loudspeaker? Right next to us? Better declare it!

Since there is no one against the plan, this bill will be unanimously passed as drafted.
Passed? What’s goin’ on? Was that Shido’s voice?

…The what now?
It’s that large conference room that’s usually seen on the news.
Ohhh, that thing. Gotcha. …So, what’re they doin’ inside?
Most likely a meaningless vote… one in which whatever Shido proposes will always go unopposed.
So he’s doing whatever he wants by keeping only his supporters in there.
What do we do to get in, though? Should we find these keycards?
Maybe we need some kind of qualification, one that vows to be his follower or swear loyalty.
So basically, we need to prove that we’re on his side.

You sure move on quick…
But what’s this qualification thing about?


That thought never crossed my mind.
Asking around doesn’t sound like a bad idea. The guests here are the cognitive versions of them in Shido’s mind. They’ll know any secrets he shared.
True. You have a point.
That said, the ruler here is that evil Shido. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did turn hostile.
Right… Yeah, wouldn’t they attack us…?
We should prepare for the worst, of course, but I think we’ll at least be able to talk to them. This ship is most likely an ark loaded with those that Shido believes are worth keeping alive. It’d explain the luxury cruise ship. I doubt idiots who can’t even hold a conversation would be here.
We can at least gather information. It helps that everyone’s wearing masks. We’ll blend in even with our attire.

No we won’t!

He must believe that no one shows their true face to anyone else… just like him.

The group nods.

Music: Ark

There’s no doubt… I can sense the Treasure behind this door. Looks like we’ve already hit the jackpot. Let’s go talk to the others!

So, for this segment we have to walk around this room and find the rest of our party to advance. They’re not hidden or anything, just scattered among the main room and the connecting hallways.

Yes, that must be why he can enter the sacred place. I heard he’s not easily seen either…
But why would someone of his stature always be by the poolside?
Well, he must like it there for some reason… but I don’t think it’s the swimming. Hahahaha!
Beyond this door is the “VIP area,” and the main assembly hall is a “sacred place.” It looks like we can’t get in unless Shido accepts us.


My, such flattery! A high-class aura emanates from you as well!
So you noticed! Hahahaha!
Most certainly! Ahahaha!

Man, I hate these people.

Hey, these guys totally ignore me when I try and talk to ‘em… Do I look that much like I don’t got any money…? Is it ‘cause of the skull mask or something?

Poor Ryuji.


But I’ll do it… I’m going to avenge my mom.


I don’t normally point out random chest contents because they’re generally pretty banal, but a Model Gun is great.


I either remained silent or spoke in simple pleasantries during Father’s business relations…

That’s all she has to say to us! How productive!


I just saw him at the restaurant… To think an important politician like him has been invited here… Well, support from the political world should mean mental shutdowns are as viable as ever!
Ahaha, I’m quite envious… I wonder if there’s a way I can get to know him better myself…
Hahaha, if you wish…
Hearing people speak so casually about the mental shutdown business makes my head spin… …But it seems as though we need certification from five VIPs to become a “special customer.” These people are willing to share anything. Perhaps it’s because their faces are hidden?

If we try to head upstairs to the next area…

…we’re blocked by a Shadow.

Causing a commotion might ruin our ability to gather intel. Let’s leave it alone for now.


Indeed. Mr. Shido has quite the large circle of acquaintances.
It seems you have to be at least that important to be considered a VIP… I’m truly envious…
Why don’t you go play the slots with him? That might get his attention…
It appears these people all want to be accepted as one of Shido’s special customers. Either way, I’ve gained some information on the VIPs. We should discuss later.

I actually saw what looked like a map on our way here. Why don’t we go check it out?





Not great, but not bad either.
I was able to get a bit of intel as well. We should sort through what all of us gained for now.
Well, I took a look at the map we obtained earlier and found what appears to be a safe room.

Oooh, it’s close.
Perfect. Let’s go over our intel there.


Let’s head over to the safe room, then.

Music: Wicked Plan

The casino earlier looked pretty real too, but talking with these guests was a whole ‘nother story.
You have that right…
This ruler’s observational skills and insight are off the charts. Shido’s a formidable foe…
C’mon, no need to freak out!
I’m not freaking out! I was just thinking it’ll be easier to make a plan since they can talk normally. All right, let’s put together the information we gathered.

And those letters become the keycards?
Exactly. Now, let’s go over what all of us have learned. First, according to my intel… One of the VIPs is an influential politician by the name of Ooe. He’s supposedly seen at the restaurant at night and sits at a table near the window.
Um, I’ll go next. I heard about a prominent VIP who used to be… nobility? It sounds like he’s usually by the pool.
Next is my intelligence. It seems the president of a television station is also a VIP. He always plays slots at night. It would seem he spends his money quite lavishly.
Crap, I’m startin’ to forget people already…
Next is my turn!
For real!? Even you got info?
Of course. I eavesdropped. Supposedly one of the VIPs is the president of an IT company. He’s always in his room and reportedly enters from an exclusive hallway.
Well then, I’ll close us out!
How the hell’d you get info with your looks…?
It seems like some guy they call the “cleaner” is another VIP. I’ve heard that he’s cautious, so it’s probably best if we check the other VIPs first.

Isn’t that backwards? Shouldn’t we get him before raising a fuss with the other VIPs so he doesn’t catch on?

Cleaner? I wonder what they mean by that.
Wait a minute. After all the VIPs we listed, this one’s a cleaner? Is he really a VIP?

Man, we’re idiots.

…Supposedly.
I’m sorry… I couldn’t get any information.
Me neither! So don’t worry about it, OK? Let’s just work harder during the battle.
You’re right… I’ll do my best!

:3:

But there’s a bigger problem, y’know… My memory’s, uh… not so great. Anyways, who was who…? Uhhh…

Some time later…

I can only remember about two of them… What about you, Joker?

Oh dear lord…

The politician Ooe, a former noble, a TV station president, an IT company president, and a cleaner. We get certification from them and obtain letters of introduction that’ll serve as keycards.

For some reason the voice acting swaps the order of “letters of introduction” and “keycards.”

But only go for the cleaner after the other four have been dealt with. Right?
Whoa! Now that’s impressive! You go, genius!
If we can’t remember the details of the VIPs, let’s reconvene inside a safe room.
All right, let’s get this done quickly!

Huh? You wanna go back already?
There are people in here with special letters. That means Shido trusts them to a certain extent.
It would be best to consider them as powerful individuals… We do not want to get too hasty. Let us take our time here.

Normally I’d complain about the game forcing us out, but I wanna get the rest of my party Confidants up before we tackle this.

I guess we do have a little time to spare. Well then, let’s head back for today.

Music: Ark

Now returning to the real world from Shido’s Palace. Thank you for your hard work.

Music: Beneath the Mask

……



Do what you need to. I’ll try to help any way I can. Just don’t be reckless, got it?


Whaddya mean?
I have to agree. I’m sure he’s quite used to traveling, especially on extravagant ships.
and it should be obvious he’s not using his own money for it. There are all sorts of rumors online.
Ohhhhhh, I get it! He’s using tax money? Not cool, Shido.
I think he believes that which belongs to others in turn belongs to him.
Even people’s lives.

Right. We gotta pay him back for what he did to Maaku too.


Keep Futaba safe. I’m counting on you.

Roger, chief.



The Diet decides things with a majority vote, but what happens if the vote is split fifty-fifty? A: Speaker of the House decides/B: They flip a coin

The correct answer is… A! The Speaker of the House decides! Let’s hear an explanation!
The Speaker of the House decides, in accordance with Article 56, Section 2 of the Constitution. After the general election, by law, the Diet’s first act must be to appoint a new prime minister.
Oh, you got it right! A tie probably doesn’t happen very often, though.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.



I’ve decided what I want to do with Shido after goin’ into his Palace.

“Let’s kill him.”

We can’t let him run free. If there’s a heart we gotta steal, it’s definitely gotta be his.

Oh, you want to do… the same thing we’ve done with everyone else? That’s lame. Why even bring it up?

I really get it now. I want to avenge you, that’s a no brainer, but that’s not it. If we let him run the country, the weak will be totally effed. Isn’t it our “duty” to protect them?

Remember when I told you that heroes who lurk in the shadows are borin’? Forget what I said. Those heroes are way cooler. …… Hey, Maaku. Once we change Shido’s heart… …No, never mind. Forget it. Let’s do it. Let’s steal that bastard Shido’s heart. I’ll do everythin’ I can to make it happen. Thanks for listenin’ to me, Maaku. Seeya.

Sure thing, buddy.


#272
Part 159

Part 159: 11/25: Life As A Dead Man

Anon: Evil is destined to perish.
Anon: What a sore loser
Anon: Innocent? Makes no sense
Anon: we do need new authority…

I bet it’ll be an overwhelming victory for Representative victory for Representative Shido!
Yeah… I’m definitely gonna vote for him!
Maybe I’ll actually vote this time…
There aren’t many politicians who are like Shido-san!

Anon: Evil is destined to perish.
Anon: he shoulda confessed first
Anon: Innocent? Makes no sense
Anon: we do need new authority…

Music: Stock SFX of wind


Haha. I guess it must be hard, even for you. Now that we know who’s behind it all, we can’t get hasty. Rushing will just make us sloppy. But geez, it’s been getting cold lately. We might freeze to death before we can change his heart. Let’s look to see if we can find anything to help us get warm.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

It’s so warm… Once we take care of Shido… ……

Hm? Well… I was just thinking… This might be the last job for the Phantom Thieves.

Oh no, serious time!

Everyone’s goals and ambitions… They’re all linked to taking down Shido. That’s how I feel. We all became phantom thieves for our own reasons. We weren’t just playing around. Outside of the Phantom Thieves, you also have friends who’ve been helping you. They believe in you. We have an important battle ahead of us, and we only made it all this way because of them.

Hint hint pay attention you idiot, this is the end of the game and you’re about to run out of time to max your shit

Haha, you’re right. Then again, you didn’t die, even though you were killed, right? The others are tough too!

Aww.

This upcoming battle is personal, so we’ll do it your way. Now you can fight Shido on your terms!
nod

Music: So Boring

I believe I mentioned this before but Hamiru-kun is back at his family’s home. It’s a private matter, so don’t go spreading rumors.
How long can we keep this up? We need to take care of things before we get caught…

Music: Disquiet

For the rest of the game, the “roaming” music has been changed to this track. Spooky.


Bullshit.
A dead man cannot go to school, you know. It would all be for nothing if they found out he’s still alive.
Yes. We need to be careful to make sure we’re not being watched as well.
Want me to get special servants for this situation?
You really think like such a rich girl!
We’ll have to be particularly careful when we gather at the hideout. Everyone will need to make sure they’re not being followed.
K, I’ll watch out.
That wasn’t directed at you.
Hrghhh…
This is the final showdown, so let’s watch our steps.
That’s so unlike you, Ryuji!
Shuddup! Anyways, let’s get this shit started. We’ll be waiting for you to contact us.
OK, so—you’ll stand out too much during the day, so we need to go at night. We’re about to face our toughest target to date. Don’t skimp on your preparations.





Then don’t give me more shit to deal with, gosh. JK Mishima, you know I love you.

Anyway, here’s the info I have… This one is cruel.

I dunno, like selling them “magical vases” or something. Anyway, they keep moving around, so it’s been difficult to reliably track them. Apparently the police have just stopped trying entirely… From what I’ve read online, their representative is a guy named Yoshihito Wakasa. Sorry I don’t have any more info than that. Good luck.
It might be tough for us to go at a time like this, but the info itself is pretty worthwhile. If we have the chance to head into Mementos, he’d make a great target.



There still seems to be enough fuel left…

Sadly, despite what this sentence implies, there is no riveting fuel-fetching mechanic for the heater.

Taking into account the current political chaos, the period until the election is unusually long. Election day is on the 18th of next month. Each party is in for a long fight.
The election is on the 18th. We better make sure to settle things before then!

He’s a very eloquent man, and it’s very impressive to hear him live. He’s got a lot of promise.
I always thought politicians couldn’t be trusted, but I think he’s someone worth voting for.

…Then again, I’m sure no one’s gonna be looking for someone who’s supposed to be dead.

Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite LP tradition, Talking To Every NPC In The Game!

It’s because they finally caught the Phantom Thieves. That boy, Akechi, is a real hero. I’ll admit, I don’t have much hope for young people, but this one shows a lot of promise.

The leader of the Phantom Thieves who died was just a kid! His capture was really sudden, and things happened so fast that it was hard to keep up.
To think that a kid could be guilty of murder… This country’s going down the drain.

I don’t think so. The Phantom Thieves aren’t here anymore.
You’re a liar! The Phantom Thieves are superheroes! They have to come and make Kotaro feel better…

:frowning:


The Sweet Potato Vendor now has 50 SP restoring potatos, though we’re limited to one per customer.

Ohoho… You know, I’ve actually met Shido-san, during one of my hus-buddy’s functions.
Is that so? We just met him the other day, while joining the supporters association. He seemed quite nice. Were you at the event?

Ha, Modest Housewife has changed to Not-so-modest Housewife.

The most shocking thing to me is that the Phantom Thieves are minors… They’re around our age, right? High school…?
Usually this stuff gets posted on the Internet. I can’t seem to find anything, though…

That Angel Tart we heard about on TV a while back is finally available.

Leave those two for the others. I want to uncover the truth about the Phantom Thieves. This is our chance; it’s what everyone wants to know!
You’re right… It could be quite the scoop!

Because of the election campaign speeches? Yeah, sucks they held ‘em during peak business hours.
That Shido guy was there, I hear. There’s a huge crowd wherever he goes.
Makes sense. He’s always on TV, plus he’s pretty charismatic.

However, the traitorous apostles, the Phantom Thieves, have fallen. That is quite comforting.
You are wrong. The delinquency of my apostles is part of the government’s wicked conspiracy! I return to purge the darkness! Now, listen to the voice of the Ultra-Electromagnetic Sun God!

Woohoo! The Sun God is back!

Oh, is this your motherly side? Your daughter is in high school now, isn’t she?
She goes to Shujin Academy. I’ve been worried for her since I heard the Phantom Thieves go there. I finally felt relieved when I heard they caught their leader, but this is rather shocking…

They say “please” so much, they sound like pick-up artists.
I don’t care about the election… It’s not like we’d get girls by changing politics…
Master, why do you look so down?

Buy these wonderful study guides, and you too can become a genius like Akechi-kun. S’il vous plait?
Ah, maybe I’ll buy those for my son. Akechi-kun is really quite impressive, after all. It’s true that if you want your son to succeed and join the elite, education will be real important.

The elites won’t need all that fancy book-learnin’ when we break out the guillotines.

Ahh, yep. So your signature here, then, s’il vous plait…

I love that Fishy Hawker uses pretentious French. That shit’s canon.

You don’t know? That’s right. There’s no way to know! And that’s why we plan ahead. With Wanna-B-Alert’s security guarantee, you’ll be safe in times of unpredictable danger! Before the year’s end, won’t you finally start putting a priority on safety… before it’s too late?

It’s surprising that no one knows that boy’s identity. I thought for sure the police would leak it.
I suppose they’d want to keep that info to themselves after salvaging their dignity with that arrest.
It’s too bad that he died, though. I really wish I could have represented him.

The announcement’s finally been made though. This country’s future is all depending on–
All they’re doing is kissing everyone’s ass. We don’t know what those politicians are really like.
W-Wait, but having a new ruling party could really make big changes in Japan!

That suicide leaves a real bad taste in my mouth. And we never found out who they were… We’ll have to get Mr. Shido to expose them! Murderers don’t deserve any rights!
There’s no info on the internet, either. There’s got to be some huge, dark conspiracy here…

I know there’s an actual conspiracy, but the way these idiots are talking about it makes me think they’re gonna start some #PAnon bullshit.

What!? You’re just going to throw away the celeb lifestyle? It’s just over the horizon! I just bought stocks for companies that are donating a lot to Shido!
All you talk about is money. There’s no point in us being together…

Holy fucking shit, you go girl! Finally breaking up with this loser! I’ve been rooting for you this whole time!

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s listen to some random reactions to Shido and Akechi.













Fucking low-information voters!



Akechi really is dreamy, huh.

And now that we’re finally done with all of the chatter, we can head over to Haru. As I mentioned earlier, our goal for now before heading into the Palace is to max out our remaining Confidants. There’s only one problem: we’re legally dead and can’t be spotted at school! What to do…? Well, we can at least hide near the school gate, so let’s do that.


All right… Let’s sneak past everyone and go up the emergency exit.

Breaking onto school grounds seems like a great idea, sure!

And so we make it up here. I have no idea what happens if you need to see Ryuji or Makoto, though.


Thanks to our Confidant Rank with Haru, we get 3 Moonlight Carrots instead of 2.

And we go right back to planting more. These will be ready on the 29th.


I’m thinking of going to find some books to help me study coffee. Would you mind coming with me?


Thank you! How about Jinbocho? It would be the perfect place to look. Well, let’s get going.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

It says here that the type of roast you want should differ depending on how you want to drink your coffee.


You know, Okumura Foods didn’t start out as a burger chain…

“We actually started out as a pancake house.”

Originally it was nothing more than a small cafe run by my grandfather. That particular shop closed before I was old enough to appreciate the finer intricacies of coffee… But that’s where the real origin of our family business lies.


At any rate, after my grandfather passed, the company shut the cafe down due to its steady loss of revenue. He had never cared about turning a profit though. His only goal was to make people happy. He built a strong community around the cafe… He’d even give out free meals to those who could afford it. Then the day it closed, people lined up for blocks to give flowers. They really loved that place…

I know we need to do well to keep our employees paid, but I can’t help but think we’ve lost something important. I mean, Takakura-san seems to only be focused on profits… At this rate, we’ll never lose our black image.


Oh, I get it!

It’s really not that funny. Please don’t laugh so hard, it’s embarrassing.

You were trying to cheer me up, weren’t you…? Thanks for that. sigh I think what I really need… is to get stronger. I mean, I can act tough in front of my employees… but you know how weak I am inside.

Don’t use words like “weak.” I prefer “delicate.” Like a beautiful, pure cinnamon roll.

Before I can really determine who I trust, I first need to know what it means to have others trust in me. So, I’m going to get stronger… strong enough for you and the others to rely on me!

I mean, you already shoot things to death with a grenade launcher. Strength isn’t really the issue.

I can sense a firm resolve from Haru…


I’m not great at public speaking… and even just giving my opinion makes me a little nervous…


Music: Suspicion

Ah fuck.

S-Sugimura-san…!? What are you doing here?
I was just heading home from a business engagement when I saw you from my car window.

……! You’re one of those brats from before…

Yeah, you kicked my cat into a wall, motherfucker.

Um, this is a friend from school. He’s helping me look for some books today. Anyway, we should be getting back to our shopping. Please excuse us.



Oh yeah? And what about the contract I made with your father?

A contract could never hold the same weight…
Are you sure about that? Think about the reparations clause. If you back out of the deal now, you will lose everything you own. Okumura Foods, your estate…
Even so, I…
And what about your employees? Are you really willing to put their jobs on the line for the sake of your selfishness?

Sounds like this reparations clause is really fucking sweeping, eh? Why would Okumura ever have agreed to this, even if he was absolutely certain it would never be invoked?

Besides, this marriage is exactly what Okumura Foods needs right now. My father would have no trouble managing your shares or sweeping away your company’s tarnished image.
……
That reminds me, did Takakura-san tell you about the wedding hall? He got us the Phoenix Wing at the Wilton.

He made a provisional reservation for ten days this coming spring. After all, the sooner the better.

We’ll have to look into our guests’ schedules as well. There’ll be over three hundred of them, you know. Takakura-san can handle Okumura Foods in the meantime. Why don’t you go stop by the gym or something, Haru?

Okay, first, fuckin’ what the hell is wrong with this dude!? Second, how can you even tell if she needs to lose weight? She’s wearing the bulkiest sweater in the world.

I’m out of here.

Sugimura leaves. What a fucking creep. And Maaku was completely silent for all of that, what a hero.



He has everything… Fame, intelligence, manners…

Manners!? He just called you fat!

The only thing he needs now is a wife he can control… And I guess I’m the perfect target. He’s going to get Okumura Foods as well as my entire inheritance… and I’m totally powerless against him…

See, to me this just sounds really patronizing, but that’s yet another example of Me Not Really Understanding The Tone Of A Dialogue Option!

…Thank you.

For today though… I’m rather tired. Would it be OK if we parted here? Well, goodbye.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Akechi too. I can’t believe they’re calling hi mthe detective of the century! Plus they’re treating the Phantom Thieves like criminals.
That side of things has faded a little bit though, don’t you think?
Yes, all the talk of the elections must have made people forget about the suicide news.
The main culprit is “dead,” things are settled, and society can go on like normal. That’s probably what people are thinking…
Hm. I have mixed feelings about all of this. I’m not saying they should talk about us more, but the sudden change in momentum is weird…

That second response says “hasty,” not “nasty.” I was staring at the image for a while and it didn’t make any sense.

Everything up until the elections is the real battle! Let’s take him down!
Well then, we can discuss this more tomorrow! Let’s do our best!




I accidentally hit X near the coffee siphon and realized I had never gotten the Kawakami prompt, so here it is. It’s just a brief explanation of how calling Kawakami to make coffee works.

Music: Dark Net


Tanaka’s got new goods! We buy one of each of the cheap 1000 yen items and leave.

Music: Beneath the Mask

As before, we really have no other choice but to try to do some menial tasks that won’t really benefit us anymore at night, as there are no more night Confidants to advance. Here, I’m just trying to get the trophy for reading all the books because why not, right?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Secret technique, huh? Sounds like something phantom thieves would use… I think.

It was full of secret techniques for a bunch of games… We could beat any video game we want now! Well, I guess it’s up to you whether you actually want to use any of these cheats.


Here’s a fun thing that they don’t tell you: if you actually try to use any of these cheats, Morgana goes “oh, that wasn’t very exciting,” even though he was cool with it a second ago! Even for the dumb gambling game that’s 100% luck! What a dick.


#273
Part 160

Part 160: 11/26-11/27: Hey, I Like My Family As A Friend!

Anon: he went down easy
Anon: So did he do it or not!?
Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: Just like Akechi-kun said!

Music: Suspicion

We might be hearing news about the birth of the Shido administration by the end of the year. I wish Akechi-kun would run for office! He’d get more votes than all those incompetent politicians!

Oh god, what an idea.

I don’t usually care about elections, but it’s exciting when people are so into it!

Music: Disquiet

We’ll get to it later, cat.


The Phantom Thieves are old news! I’m talking about my blog being attacked! Hmph. All I did was praise my film critiques under another name. Just a little bit of acting. Somehow, the internet found out and hates me now. And the jeers get worse when I explain myself. Perhaps this is a sign. Perhaps I’ll move on from critiquing films to the next stage of my career.

Lol at this asshole, goddamn.

The United Future, a new party led by Masayoshi Shido, is garnering a great deal of support. They have been winning the hearts of voters with powerful speeches and easily understood rhetoric.

“Because they’re all fucking sheep, the lot of them.”

Hmph. Just you watch! We’ll have you in tears before long!



Let’s head into the Velvet Room real quick, we need some matching Personas.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Let’s make this Sarasvati from Hecatoncheires and Dakini.



Uhhhhhhh

Accident (Watch this)

Well, that’s never happened before.


UM

OH JESUS

I will become a new mask for you and grant discipline to your soul.

Not what we were looking for. In fact, kind of disappointing, considering we already have one of this Persona. Oh well.

Oh, ya think!?

Scathach is the Scottish warrior woman who trains Cu Chulainn in Celtic mythology. While looking this up I discovered that Cu Chulainn fucks. That is all.

Anyway, this is the incredibly rare occurrence of a fusion accident. I say incredibly rare because this is the first time it’s happened to me in two playthroughs. The result Persona, which I believe is chosen from a pool based on the level the original Persona was supposed to have been, does not gain any experience from Arcana Burst but will inherit any skills the original Persona would have.

It’s fine, the Persona we were fusing wasn’t terribly important, it’s just kind of annoying.

Anyway, let’s move on. This Baphomet is three levels above us, so previously we would have been unable to fuse it. But if we try now that we’ve maxed Strength…

However, given your circumstance, I may be willing to expressly facilitate your rehabilitation.

If we pay a fee we can fuse above our level. However, I have no earthly clue what the actual formula is. Based on some GameFAQs posts I dug up it seems like the rule of thumb is a flat ~50k fee to start, increasing by another ~50k for every five levels after that until 20 levels above, when it jumps to ~20k per level. Is this right? Well, immediate testing seems to reveal that it’s not! Fusing one level above gives me a sum of 44k, which is close enough to 50, but going as high as 14 levels above gives me a sum of 99k, which is nowhere near what it should be if that was accurate. It’s possible it’s based on the skills the result Persona knows, but I’m not sure how that works because for three different Personas I got two with the same sum and one with a wildly different one. I think it’s highly likely, though, that it’s also based on how high the result Persona’s level is in the first place. The Japanese wiki I usually consult for information on weird technical data like this is failing me here, so I guess it’ll just be a secret lost to time.

I eventually decide not to fuse it even though I’m fucking rich because I want to save my money and also because I don’t want to blow the game’s difficulty wide open just yet by fusing way above my level.

Anyway, let’s fuse this Byakko from that Scathach we found and Queen Mab!

Mine roar causeth all beasts to bow down…! I shall be thy mask!

Aww jeez, the tiger only talks in olden speak.

Byakko is the White Tiger, one of the four symbols of the Chinese Constellation, along with Seiryu (Azure Dragon), Suzaku (Vermillion Bird), and Genbu (Black Tortoise). It represents the west, the season of autumn, and the element of metal.

Music: Disquiet

Whaddya wanna do today, Maaku?



R-Really? Eh, I guess I can’t complain too much since you’re gonna be hanging with me. Do you have some time? I think I wanna talk…

Let’s do it in your room.

Phrasing, jesus.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

She said she wants to go back to school next year, but she might not have the money…

In case this confuses anyone, high school in Japan is not compulsory. You have to pay to go. It’s also why entrance exams are such a huge staple of Japanese media.

While I’m on the subject, it’s a little weird that all the recent Persona games have had school on Saturdays for the protagonists, even if only a half day, as that stopped being mandatory in 2002. Some schools have brought them back to help meet the country’s rigorous education requirements, but it’s kinda weird that it’s just a staple.

As for me, I… I’m gonna go back.


And I mean, sure I hated elementary school, but I met Kana-chan there, so… maybe it wasn’t all bad. The same goes for high school. Even if I hate it, I know something positive will come from it. But… I still have to do the last item on my promise list. “Being OK without you around”… Honestly, I’ve been feeling kinda weird lately… My heart’s been beating real fast when we’re together… Then even when we’re apart, I can’t stop thinking about you…

Uh oh.


By the way, um… can I ask you a favor. It’s a pretty big one. …Can we skip that last promise?


I know you’re only being strict ‘cause it’ll help me, but… I just… can’t be OK without you around. Life doesn’t feel the same when you’re not with me. I mean, er… not that, but… I dunno…

That makes sense for him though. I mean, he’s basically my dad. But you don’t have a reason like that, so… why are you so nice?

Am I um… the only one you treat like this…?

WOOF

Why, Maaku…?

Don’t date your sister.

Teammates…

Of course teammates would wanna be nice to each other… It’s so obvious! That’s gotta be why my heart’s always pounding so much. It knows how much I care about my teammates! And you, Maaku… my key item!

Yep, that’s it! No other reason! Let’s forget this ever happened! Whew, that was a close one!

From now on, I’m gonna devote every fiber of my being into supporting you guys!
I can feel a strong bond of trust from Futaba…

Here’s a Certified Arist Guarantee™: This ability will never once activate unless you are actively trying to proc it or otherwise playing like a complete imbecile.

Hehehe… It’s gonna be great!


Maaku and Futaba clap their hands together.



Sure, that’s how that goes.


Laters!
I walked Futaba home…

Music: Beneath the Mask



We mushn’t give in… to th’ tyranny of… the ruling parrrrty.
Yeah, yeah. All right. Pretty good speech.
I am strongly opposed to thish! I’m… I’mma drink and drink and drink! Till th’ break of dawn.

If I make it into a good school, they promise to buy back all the games and manga they threw away.
Whoa, you made a contract!? Why did you have to do that…?
Hey, grown-ups lie all the time, just like those politicians you see on TV.
Man… Don’t grown-ups ever get tired of complaining about other people all of the time?

They say it’ll shape the country’s future, but… I dunno, I can’t bring myself to care.
I’d like to address the nation… Tonight, we drink until the sun comes up! Par-taaay!


Stop usin’ big, confusin’ words! I don’t follow what yer sayin’! I love rock. That’s why I convinced Ma to let me move out to the city… I can’t sing like this. I don’t even know what I’d sing about… It’s just not a good time, what with the election and all. The cops rush over here whenever I get too loud…

Poor guy.

So we’re making our donations to the new political party, then? Not surprising, I suppose.
It’s a strategic move so that we don’t miss the boat. We want to be connected to the new government.

Heh, “boat.”

The manifest I am proposing is the foundation upon which we will build the future of this country. Yoshida, Toranosuke Yoshida, will take immediate action for the good of our young people!
Yoshida is taking his election speeches seriously… I formed a partnership with Yoshida as comrades. I should avoid interrupting his campaign.

Indeed, we’re comrades. :ussr: Good for Yoshida, let’s leave him alone.

(If you haven’t figured it out, you can’t hang out with Yoshida while the election is underway, meaning that if you don’t have him maxed by now, you’re screwed)

Did he really think suicide was the answer? He was just a kid! And how could the police let him die? Their management and supervision must be a mess.
The higher-ups there are all rotten. That whole division needs to be replaced.

meow
And the Phantom Thieves’ leader killed himself. People who used to support him were laughing about it. I kinda feel bad for him… Probably overworked himself.

Doin’ that to yer mom and dad… That’s not a good way to go.
Yeah, it doesn’t sit well with me. There was no reason for him to die.
It’s just as much our fault, too! After the shit we said about ‘im!
You’re right, sorry… No one’s ever taken that tone with me before.

I’m coming around on Rural Young Man. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He’s still never gonna get with Adorable Woman, though.

It was all thanks to Akechi-kun. But… Oh no! My beloved feels so distant from me again! Where are you, Akechi-kun!?
Somehow, he must know how you feel. He’s run away and gone into hiding!

It would be amazing if, somehow, the entire localization team had revolted and left these characters untranslated. Just have all their text be in Japanese. I’d much prefer that.

No, that’s not what I had in mind. Must be what she wanted… As a show of gratitude, I’ll send over our very best girl. No, please, I insist. I look forward to your continued patronage at the Asakura Agency! …Hello? Hellooo?

Don’t worry though. Your secret is safe with me. Not just as the admin of the Phan-Site, but as your friend…

The Phan-Site’s gone up in flames, so I need to do something, fast. At the very least, I need to make sure the poll is functional again…

Like Yoshida, we can’t hang out with Mishima right now for story reasons. However, we will be able to interact with him again in this case after we take down Shido. He’s not locked off for the rest of the game.

Speaking of which, our status as Dead means that, were certain Confidants to be at certain ranks, we could not progress them: Kawakami, Ryuji apparently, and probably Makoto and Futaba too. Really just any event that involves school heavily is a no-go, with one major exception that we’ll get to eventually. One of Futaba’s previous ranks involved her going to Shujin, which I’m assuming is an obvious no-go. I also assume that we can’t do any of Makoto’s ranks that take place in the student council room. I have been told that someone did get locked out of progressing Ryuji, which is probably due to his Rank 8, which takes place at school and has you interacting with the former track team. Finally, there are multiple mandatory scenes for Kawakami in between ranks that must be seen to progress her Confidant, all of which take place at school. The scene with the Takases after Rank 8 and the scene in class where her will to teach is reinvigorated after Rank 9 have to be seen to move on to the next rank, so you’re screwed if you haven’t seen them yet by now.

Also, to answer my question last update about how you contact Ryuji or Makoto since they hang out at school: Ryuji goes to his “day off” hangout spot, the Shibuya arcade, while trying to interact with Makoto results in the two of you meeting by the subway platform.





Morons!

Yeah, about that…


Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Is this philosophy? I’m not sure if I like this writer. He seems a bit condescending…

I wonder if these old philosophers had many friends… They’re always talking to people, but I dunno…

Morgana just calling this dude a loser, wow.

At any rate, reading about different ways of thinking must have made you smarter.

Maaku gains Knowledge +3.

Anon: What a sore loser
Anon: we do need new authority…
Anon: The truth’s lost to the void
Anon: Akechi got the last laugh!

Music: Disquiet

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! This Hot Water Pouch! With the 2 pack, you can survive the freezing winter!
Be careful not to burn yourself!
And it can be yours… For the incredibly low price of 9800 yen!

Whatever.

Have you decided on your plans for today?

Are you sure we have time for that…!? What is your goal here?

Hm… You are correct. A nice break is necessary at times. How does your schedule look today? I wish for you to join me if possible.

Thank you. I would like to enter Mementos again today. I believe that place holds the truth of the human heart.

Oh, joy. Mementos.

…Let us go.

Where does this passage even go…? It feels as though I’m being sucked inside merely by gazing upon it.

Music: Confession/Secret

It is ugly… yet beautiful as well. That duality is what makes humanity such an interesting subject… As you know, I have been confused recently about the reason for my art. Did I want to be recognized, or did I want to capture true beauty? Was it due to my talent, or just my upbringing? …Each answer would seem correct at first, yet only prove itself false upon a more in-depth examination. Maaku… When my mother was painting the “Sayuri”… what do you think she was thinking about?


But you are probably right. However, I believe that was not the only thing she thought about. “It seems the “Sayuri” was meant to impart something with me… and all others who view it, for that matter. Love, regret, loneliness, anxiety, calm… and hope. All of the emotions my mother felt, conveyed plainly to the viewer. That is why it has such a profoundly unique impact on those who see it.


And yet… that painting has kept me going this whole time. During particularly difficult nights, it was there to soothe my sadness. It acted almost as a ray of light cutting through the somber darkness… I had wanted to create a similar beacon of hope for others… but it seems I lost sight of that goal. Look. This world is a dark, unrelenting place, Maaku. But that is why I am going to wield my brush again… To give hope to all those who see my paintings.


Now, I will use my art to paint over the blackness of this world. It shall become a vivid realm, full of hope… I expect it will be a most beautiful sight to behold. Perhaps you will see it someday, Maaku…
I feel like my bond with Yusuke is growing deeper…


Hm, this radiant light growing within me… It must be the light of hope. …I shall paint it.

It seems Yusuke has discovered his raison d’être. How nice.

I can sense Shadows in the area… We should leave Mementos…

…Kawanabe-san.

Music: Suspicion

On your way home? You clearly have time on your hands, Yusuke-kun. I’m on my way now to prepare for the competition. Speaking of which, do you plan on entering?
Indeed I do.
Your pride may not be too pleased with the outcome. After all, the winner’s spot is not simply yours for the taking. I suppose whether you ultimately opt to enter is entirely your decision though. The more the merrier, yes? Hahaha!

Maybe it’s just the fact that we haven’t hung out with poor Yusuke in quite some time, but was “inability to accept defeat” really one of his defining hangups?

That no longer matters to me though. I am going to enter my painting merely so others can be exposed to it. Well, I will talk to you later, Maaku. Farewell.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Time for spooks!

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Whoa, why are you reading that…? Whatever you do, just don’t read it out loud, OK?

Ah, these stories are way too spooky for me. Don’t talk to me about any of them, OK? Although… you do seem a lot more dependable now that you’ve read them.

Maaku gains Guts +3.


#274
Part 161

Part 161: 11/28-11/30: Long Time No See

Anon: we do need new authority…
Anon: Akechi got the last laugh!
Anon: We’ll finally have peace
Anon: A worthy end for a villain

All the news ever talks about is the election…
It’s weird for it to be given this much attention.
Well, we might be getting new administration, so…
When are the polls again? Is it still a ways off?

Anon: So did he do it or not!?
Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: Just like Akechi-kun said!
Anon: so he HAS to be guilty
Anon: Justice with Akechi!

Music: Disquiet


They were asked which politician they thought had the most promise… …The name we heard most often was Masayoshi Shido, the leader of the United Future party. It’s just one more piece of evidence solidifying Mr. Shido as the front-runner in this race.
Just you wait! We’ll knock you off your high horse soon!



…Ah, I’m sorry! I was spacing out for a moment there. Um, would you like to check on the planters with me? I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you…

That’s good to hear. Thank you. The truth is…

I thought it would be fun making coffee myself. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s an immensely satisfying process…

Music: Alleycat

…… Sorry about that… I just got a little dizzy for a second there…

I’m fine, honestly… Let’s see, next up is… dirt for the planters…


Ah…

I think I just need to rest a little…

Takakura-san has really been pushing for us to start a new business venture soon… In particular, he’s adamant about a chain of low-cost, intimate cafes.

Takakura’s gonna put Sojiro out of business, damn.

Some employees don’t think it’s a good idea though, so they want me to step in and put a stop to it… But I’m just a high schooler… There’s no way I could predict the success or failure of this idea… In the end, I’m just not sure what to do…


The idea does sound nice… The smell of a fresh cup of coffee always brings a smile to my face. And it certainly would be nice to be able to give that experience to as many people as possible… But… I don’t think you can truly gain the same joy from the low-cost chain Takakura-san is suggesting.

Huh…? You really think he’d listen to a high schooler with no prior work experience…?
nod


I’ll make him see what I’m really thinking… and what’s truly important to me.


By refusing to trust Takakura-san, I was also shutting myself off from any hope of having him trust me…! But that’s going to be different now… I’ll do my best, Maaku-kun!
I can sense a strong resolve from Haru…

This skill is nuts. It only takes like three days to harvest veggies now, meaning we’re gonna grab a lot of Moonlight Carrots. Fuck Sun Tomatoes.


A magic item that will help me convey my true feelings to Takakura-san… giggle It’s going to take some time to prepare though, so it will have to be my secret for now. But I’ll tell you next time, OK? Now then, shall we return home?

Music: Beneath the Mask


We get the two Hot Water Pouch(es) we ordered off the TV and the clothes we bought from Tanaka.


Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Buchiko… The story about this dog makes me cry every time…

But you’re a cat! Dogs are your mortal enemy!

A dog who kept waiting for his master in Shibuya, huh? A noble and loyal friend to the end…

If it wasn’t totally obvious, Buchiko is a reference to the famous story of Hachiko, the dog that kept waiting for its deceased master in Shibuya for years. You know, like that one episode of Futurama. There’s even a statue of Hachiko in Shibuya, with a matching statue of Buchiko in this game.

I have to admit that this story moves me. Can’t you feel its gentle warmth in your heart?

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Anon: c’mon, leak his name!
Anon: he went down easy
Anon: he got what was coming
Anon: So did he do it or not!?

Music: Disquiet


We’re all fine.
I’m jelly you get to ditch school and all… Anyways, everything on TV and even online is irritating as shit.
Not a day goes by that we don’t see Shido on the news.
Same with Akechi. All that genius detective stuff is a load of bullcrap.
It makes me sick how quick they both are to act like heroes.
Honestly, the people who believe that rubbish are just as bad.

Well, I mean, they’re not, like, murderers, Yusuke.

Totally. Everyone’s been going on about the end of year elections like it’s some kinda festival.
Yes, this political season is nothing more than a party for most of them. But depending on how we approach it, this might actually be a good opportunity for us.
We will take advatnage of this commotion to execute our mission. It will be a great distraction.
Considering all the attention they’re getting, the appearance of the Phantom Thieves will be huge.
Let’s show ‘em the Phantom Thieves are still going strong as ever!
It’s your call when we meet. Just be careful, OK?


Wait… Hm? If I take this and they take that, will I have enough pawns…? Wh-Whoa! I’m in trouble…
…What?





Again, it’s crazy how fast these things grow. We’re getting one carrot per day at this rate!

I generally try to avoid hanging out with the same person twice in the same update, let alone on consecutive days, but with the nature of our schedule, with Haru at Rank 7 and the rest of our unmaxed party at Rank 8 or 9, this is honestly the best option.

I’ve thought a great deal… both about Takakura-san and the company. Do you have some time to talk today…?

OK. Thank you… You see…

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

The thing that will help me show Takakura-san how I really feel… is right here.



It’s soft, it’s warm, it has good drainage… and it’s full of nutrients. This… This is the magic I need.

I’m not very good at expressing myself with words… Just thinking about it makes my heart race… But I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this soil for months now. It knows exactly how I feel. That’s why I’m going to use it to grow my coffee plants. Then once they’re ready, I’m going to make coffee with the beans! It shouldn’t be much longer now.

I never mentioned it, Haru, but your green thumb is terrifying. What black magic are you resorting to that allows you to grow carrots in three days?

Honestly… just raising those plants has taken considerable effort. I’ve checked on them every day, given them water, put them in the sun… But… all of that love and care has found its way into the beans themselves. Combining that with the nurturing warmth of this soil should give me the perfect way to convey how I feel. I wonder what Takakura-san will think when he tries it…


I’m not particularly confident in the flavor though… After all, this is my first attempt. By the way, I’ve thought about it some more, and… I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to Takakura-san’s idea. If that’s what management decides to do, I won’t get in their way.

What I mean is, people don’t think of Okumura Foods very highly right now. So… I’m afraid management is trying to use this new chain to sneak under the radar rather than rebuild our image. Of course, I understand how hard it is to rid yourself of a negative label…



…Just kidding.

It’s because of you that I was able to cultivate this soil… And because of you that I have the courage to tell Takakura-san how I feel.

As long as you’re with me, I won’t be afraid to say what I’m thinking.

Maaku nods.

I can sense an earnest resolve from Haru…


Could you carry a bag for me?
nod
Well, see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

He was going to get the death penalty, anyway. It’s not perfect, but it’s no big tragedy, either.
That’s true. I suppose it’s fine if this settles everything. I almost missed hearing about this. News of the suicide’s been eclipsed by elections coverage.

We opt to read tonight. We have six books left.


However, there’s an interesting twist here.

Don’t you already know about Maihama? You don’t really need to read that anymore.

That’s right, any book that’s about a place we’ve already been to can be read instantly! Let’s just blow through all of the remaining books tonight, then.


Shitamachi Reborn covers Asakusa.


Fishpond Spotter is about Ichigaya.


Yoncha Wanderer is about Yongen-Jaya. Now, you may be wondering why there’s a book about Yongen, a default location. Well, this book is actually pointless! It just unlocks fast travel to the batting cages and the bathhouse, both of which unlock normally if you just visit those places once. It’s incredibly stupid.


Musty Pages is Jinbocho.


Finally, Weekend Parks covers Inokashira. And that’s every book in the game! We got the stupid worthless trophy! :toot:

So, we need to find something else to do tonight. Well, I’ve got the perfect idea.

Laundry!




Since we can wash any four items, we just wash the bottom four (Classified, two Corrupt, and a Smokestained), which are sorted as to be the best.


Go ahead and call her, then!

Laundry? Got it. Leave it to me!

You go ahead and enjoy your free time. Geez, I’m actually kind of jealous…


Now, for real, let’s craft some tools.

Music: Everyday Days

As Morgana points out, if we get Kawakami to make tools for us, she can only make one thing per night.

Now, we’re just going for the “craft one of everything” trophy, so we start on the left page and work our way down. We get six crafts for being at Rank 5 Proficiency, so we craft a Vanish Ball (instant escape from battle, worthless and redundant due to Hifumi’s skill), a Spotlight (Raises an ally’s chance of being targeted, which I guess would be useful in extremely specific situations, maybe), a Limelight (a more effective version of Spotlight), a Megido Bomb (100 Almighty Damage to all foes), an Element Set (gives one each of Molotov Cocktail, Freeze Spray, Stun Gun, and Air Cannon, which each do 50 damage of Fire, Ice, Electricity and Wind damage respectively to one foe), and the Forces Set (gives one each of Psycho Bomb, Atom Match, Happy Bomb, and Curse Bomb, which deal 50 Psy, Nuke, Bless and Curse damage respectively to one foe).

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

Music: Beneath the Mask


All right. I’ll see you later.

Anon: Evil is destined to perish.
Anon: he shoulda confessed first
Anon: so he HAS to be guilty
Anon: hope things are safer now

Music: So Boring

A charismatic politician can make even apathetic young people excited, hm? Not only does Mr. Shido have good judgment and decisiveness, he has important qualities as a leader. Like communication skills. Don’t you think his words are easy to understand and resonate with you?
…Everyone’s getting tricked by his facade. They don’t know it’s all lies…! We have to make him show his true colors…!

Music: Disquiet


We’re here in front of Marukyu Tofu, which is the home of the famous idol Risette!
Rise Kujikawa went on hiatus for a bit, but maybe her unwavering appeal is from the power of tofu?

Gah, leave Rise alone, dammit.

Even you’re talking politics? I don’t get this Shido fever.
I’ve just never seriously thoughts about it before. Maybe because I’d never seen a politician like him. I think he’s got real potential. If nothing else, he’s better than the people we’ve got now.

So, what’s the plan for today?

Ummm, are you sure that’s gonna be OK? Shouldn’t we figure out where the Treasure is first?

Really…? Eh, I guess there’s not much point in worrying if you’re so sure…

Do you have time today?

Thanks. The truth is, Shiho’s moving away today… and before she goes, she wants to see the school roof again.

:siren: SHIHO ALERT. THIS IS NOT A DRILL :siren:

It’s still hard for her to climb stairs though, so do you think you could help me carry her?

Hey, Shiho. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? In fact, it’s been a while since you were even mentioned!

Ann, Maaku-kun… I’m pretty heavy, huh? Thanks for the help.

I know better than to answer that.

Isn’t Maaku super reliable?

Anyway, something about Shiho’s portrait kinda strikes me as… off? If you know what I mean? It’s like it’s from an earlier style of portraits from the character designer’s drafts for this game. I think it might be her eyes, they’re just a little too big.

Music: Alleycat


It’s occurring to me that this might have been a bad idea. I’m not saying anything will happen, but this seems like a bad situation.


To tell you the truth… I wanted to reenact that moment. Wearing these clothes, standing here again… I wanted to know what it would feel like.

Oh, that’s the reason you’re dressed like this. It’s not at all that they didn’t want to draw a new portrait and make a new character model, how silly of me!

…What about back then? What were you thinking?
I… I didn’t want to die. I just needed to escape… It was like another person inside of me was screaming, telling me to come up here… It almost felt like that person was trying to kill me…


So, I wanted to see if she would show up again now.

“You know, just trying to reenact my suicide attempt to see if I still wanna. It’s cool.”

Yeah… She doesn’t exist anymore.
…You’re so strong, Shiho. The only reason you can stand here now is because of how hard you worked for your rehab.
Maybe… but that was all thanks to you, Ann.
Me…?
Because I saw how hard you were trying too. Trying to be strong, to be cool… Wanting to be an action star… Striving to be a better model… You were so positive… Your eyes sparkled with motivation. With you putting that much effort in, I couldn’t just let my life go to waste in a hospital bed. That’s why I wanted to stand again… It was because of you.

It’s really cool how the survivor of both physical and implied sexual abuse disappears from the game the instant their trauma can be used to push the plot forward, and then only pops back up to prop up another character’s arc. I love it.

Being able to change others… That’s what true strength is.
Shiho…

I’m nothing without you.

Ann… I’m sorry… for deciding to transfer schools…
Shiho…

That way you’ll be able to keep seeing me… and keep giving life your all… I’m gonna be in a bunch of magazines, and I’ll say tons of good stuff in interviews… So…





WHOA

Once I can smile again from the bottom of my heart, I’ll come visit…

Shiho left with her family…

Well, bye forever Shiho. We’ll never hear from you ever again.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I made a promise with Shiho, so there’s no turning back now.

Maaku nods, but Ann isn’t facing him at that moment so he just looks like a complete putz.

I’m gonna study how to properly exercise, and even relearn how to walk the runway. I want to pick up on some other languages and cultures too so I can start doing overseas events. Because, well… the only way I can help Shiho is to show her how hard I’m working.


If I can do that, Shiho… She’ll definitely…

But it just… won’t stop…



I love this response. “Not me, though! I don’t give a fuuuuuuck!”

Oh… You’re right… I have our team now. There are people suffering out there, just waiting for us to save them… That’s why I need to do my best… Not just for our team, but for everyone who needs our help.

Maaku nods, and she actually sees it this time.

Ann is showing an even greater resolve than ever before…


Oh, and thanks for going out with me today… U-Um, I didn’t mean it like that… Of course not… …See you later!
Ann ran off… I should go home…

Music: Beneath the Mask



Let’s get Kawakami to make some curry for us.

I see. If you ask her to do that for you, then you’ll have time to do something else.
I’m about to head home, but… Careful with the stove, all right?

I quit that maid job, but I’ll still take requests from you, you know. …I’ll head over there. Just wait for me a bit.




I’m Maaku “The Tool Man” Hamiru. …Doesn’t really work, does it?

Music: Everyday Days

First up, an Eternal Lockpick, which is a lockpick that will never break.

One thing we have to watch out for is that if we’re going for the “all crafted tools” trophy, we have to craft them all ourselves, no using Kawakami. This is an issue for two reasons: one: the parts for certain items like Reserve Ammo and the Eternal Lockpick here are scarce and you’re not likely to obtain enough to make more than one in a playthrough. The other, worse issue is that you can only craft the Eternal Lockpick once per playthrough. If you have Kawakami make it, you can’t get the trophy until New Game +.

Hilariously, though, the double craft procs here and we get TWO Eternal Lockpicks! I had just assumed that was impossible.

We also make Stealthanol (reduces security level), Covertizer (greatly reduces security level), Smokescreen (renders us undetectable temporarily), Hypno Mist (puts nearby enemies to sleep), and Reserve Ammo (lets us restock our ammunition while in a Palace, the only way in the game besides a DLC accessory to do so!). The double craft procs on Reserve Ammo for me too, which is very lucky. We still don’t have the trophy, though, because while we have a few Goho-Ms that Morgana gave us at the beginning of the game, we haven’t crafted any ourselves yet. Oh well, we’ll get to that next time.

Maaku gains Proficiency +3.

Music: Beneath the Mask



It’s cool but weird that Kawakami can make Sojiro’s Master Curry and coffee without any training.

All right. I’ll see you later.


#275
Part 162

Part 162: 12/1-12/3: Cinnamon Roll

Anon: Suicide is cowardly.
Anon: he got what was coming
Anon: So did he do it or not!?
Anon: Execute accomplices too!

This election’s already decided!
I mean, I can’t imagine anyone but Shido in office.
It’d be nice to have a strong country.
Shido has this in the bag! I can’t wait for the election.

Anon: A worthy end for a villain
Anon: AKECHI IS BAE!!!
Anon: c’mon, leak his name!
Anon: kid had it coming, lol
Anon: he went down easy

Music: Suspicion

Those Phantom Thieves incidents were horrible. I never thought terrorists would attack Tokyo. I’m glad the election’s almost here. We’ll be able to breathe easy with Masayoshi Shido in office.
Yes… He seems promising. It’s looking like next year will be a better year.
Do they not see the disaster that looms in the distance!? Failure is intolerable. We must act swiftly.

Music: Disquiet


However, most companies’ bonuses appear to have gone down compared to last year. Many blame the government for the state of the economy, which will be a challenge to rebuild.
I want a bonus, too. If I work hard, will you give me one?

No.

While we’re out, we get two more Model Guns from capsule machine trades. We probably won’t even use all of these in this run, but they’re nice to have. We also have not hit the limit for Model Guns he’ll give us yet, but we may soon.



If it’s not too much trouble, I’d like you to join us… Do you have time today?

Thank you. I’m sure I’ll be able to express myself if you’re there with me… Well, I’ll contact Takakura-san now.

Please, if only a taste. This wasn’t made with particularly expensive beans, nor was it brewed by any sort of coffee expert.


Interesting… …Anyway, what is it you wanted to discuss with me? Does it concern the company?
My apologies for bothering you at such a busy time.
It’s not a problem.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

The truth is… after my father’s passing, I couldn’t bring myself to trust anyone at Okumura Foods.
I see…
…That includes you, Takakura-san.
That’s quite cruel…

……

giggle Right… I’ll be OK. Takakura-san, what do you think of that coffee? I grew the beans in my own garden, and even handled the preparation.
What…?
I honestly don’t believe it’s a particularly good cup of coffee… But I put my heart into making it. That’s why I asked you here today, Takakura-san.

Hm…
I’m not suggesting we need to put this level of effort into the Okumura Foods coffee chain. And I’m not suggesting we should put a halt to the plan either. However, I won’t let my company serve low-quality food to our customers.

What…?

Music: Alleycat

I used to be a regular at his cafe. That’s actually how I ended up joining the company to begin with. To be honest, I was strongly opposed to closing the cafe… but I didn’t have the power to make that decision at the time. I was planning on naming the new chain after his shop to make up for that though. I’m going to create a business that is loved by customers and employees alike, just as his cafe was. A place where people can come to drink in the subtle joys of life.
Is… that so…?
Haru-chan. I believe you have every right to distrust us. After all, things would have turned out differently if only someone had chosen to stand up to your father… Be that as it may… I can truly sense the passion you put into this coffee. It seems you really are like your grandfather.

I must apologize as well, for encouraging you to abandon your shares. I thought they would be a burden to you… but I was clearly wrong.

Aww, look at that! The soulless corporate executive actually had a heart of gold all along! What an applicable, true-to-life lesson!

Haru-chan, if you’d like… why don’t you take part in our next company meeting?

The truth is, the rumors of my being pleased at your father’s death were troubling, to say the least. I understand not everyone agrees with the vision I have for this company… But I’ve spent great effort struggling against our board of directors to push Okumura Foods back on the right path. What I need is to communicate that thought as clearly as possible… Just as you did with this coffee. Do you think you could assist me in accomplishing that? I want to rebuild this company from the ground up.
W-Well… um…



Excellent. Your grandfather would be proud… as would your father.

Her father was a fuckin’ shitheel, dude. You trying to talk her out of this?

By the way, the coffee was superb.



I was under the impression that you were quite thrilled about the arrangement with Sugimura-kun… That is why I was so insistent on hurry the marriage. I wanted you to have all the support you needed…

Aww, he wasn’t evil, just a fucking moron!


H-Huh!? Um…!
Be honest, Haru-chan. What are your thoughts on Sugimura-kun?

In what way?

But… I have no interest in him. I have no interest in being his wife either. I would prefer to walk my own path. One in which the only person in control of my actions… is me. Not my father, and not Sugimura-san.
…I understand. You’ve grown so quickly, Haru-chan. I didn’t realize you became such a strong, kind, mature woman. My apologies for not coming to see that sooner.

He said the reparations will be immense if I refuse the marriage…
I haven’t heard a thing about this contract. Have you seen the document?
Huh…? Well, now that you mention it… no, I haven’t.
And neither your father nor our lawyers mentioned it to me. It seems he was lying… and may have had the help of particular people within the company. You see, those who don’t agree with my vision brought him into meetings with the hope that he would eventually take over. However… we don’t need a politician in our midst, particularly considering the humble roots of our corporation. As for the marriage cancellation, I’ll handle it. It may take some time, but it will be done… I promise.

Takakura-san enjoyed the rest of his coffee before heading home…

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Not only about the company, but about Sugimura-san as well. I was so afraid… but now that it’s over, I think it was honestly pretty simple. I only made it to this point because you were with me though. …Thank you, Maaku-kun.


giggle Anyway, um… I only started trusting people again because you were by my side helping me. So, I want to return the favor. Please confide in me if you ever need help. I’ll be there for you.

Maaku nods.

I can feel a strong bond of trust from Haru…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Takakura-san said something… a little strange, didn’t he?

Goodness, why would he say that…?



I am obligated to protect the floof. And not just because of the money.



nod

You know… at first, I thought I was asking you for help because of the Phantom Thieves… But I think really… it was so I could spend time with you. O-Oh! I guess I’m already getting better at saying what I think…


There’s no turning back…

We got a girlfriend!!! Eat it, Mishima!!!

U-Um, maybe we should go somewhere a little more private… Some of the maids are still around here…

Haru sweats.

O-Oh, but um, we definitely can’t go to my room! Who knows what they would say about that…

Don’t worry, we don’t need to hang out in your room. We can have sex anywhere.

Maaku-kun…

That’s a weird thing to say, but all right.

Haru and I spent some time alone together…

Discussing where to hide the bodies, no doubt.

Anyway, the platonic option for Haru is honestly probably the most depressing one in the game. She gets really sad, so I’m glad we’re choosing her.

Music: Beneath the Mask


It’s as though his stance against the Phantom Thieves has boosted his popularity.

Hey, ‘sup girl? Wanna hang out late—shit this is a group chat

It’s all a charade though!
More importantly, why ain’t anyone complaining about the police? After all, their big catch committed suicide while he was in police custody. That’s a scandal no matter which way you cut it.

Why isn’t anyone showing more interest in the identity or motives of the Phantom Thieves? Do people not think they are the masterminds behind the horrible crimes of late?
Yeah, you would think people would make a bigger deal of it.
I was wondering that myself. It felt as though the commotion surrounding the suicide calmed down far too quickly…
It’s like nobody cares about that anymore.
Yuppp. They’re too busy fanboying over Shido.
God, this don’t make any sense. It’s creepy as hell…
…… They’re right; this is totally bizarre. What’s going on here…?

You can’t blame them for worrying. Those representatives are out of a job if they don’t get your vote. So, which party are you voting for/ I’m thinking about going with the United Future.
Ah, Masayoshi Shido’s party. Yeah, I think he’s very promising.



God, this is so weird.



Here, we just make two Treasure Traps (raises the chance of Treasure Demons spawning) and one Goho-M (lets us leave the Palace instantly), giving us the trophy for crafting every tool.

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: so he HAS to be guilty
Anon: Justice with Akechi!
Anon: hope things are safer now

Music: Disquiet






We have so many goddamn carrots.




I have a great deal I’d like to tell you… Are you free to speak today?

Thank you. Um… can we talk at your place? O-Oh, that’s not how I meant it! I-I just wanted to have some of Boss’ coffee! You’re OK with spending time there, right?

Aww, I was looking forward to a great night of passionate, pants-on hugging.

Haru Rank 10

Heh, the load screen image has hearts next to it, that’s cute.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)



Yes. I often have the urge to drink a fresh cup of your coffee.
Heh, that near brings a tear to my eye. You’re heading up to Maaku’s room, right? Go on and take it upstairs.

Sojiro is the best wingman.

Thank you, I will.
Well, I’m heading home now. Close up shop for me, will you?
nod

Not just about the new chain, but about the future of the company, and even about Father… I think my presence angered some people at first, but in the end they all listened to my thoughts.


I’ve had diplomatic dealings with VIPs before, but I’ve never once spoken my true feelings… That aside, after talking with management, I’ve decided to let them handle Okumura Foods. It’s simply not something I would have been able to supervise on my own. And after their sincere acceptance of the public’s criticism, I felt it was OK to trust them. As for my future goals… I’m interested in opening a small private cafe. Everything will be home-grown, from the coffee to the salad. I want to set my own standards. It’ll be a shop that people love, like Grandfather’s… and like this place. What do you think?

People love Leblanc? News to me.


But when you say that… I feel like it will actually happen.

I’ll need to study and improve my knowledge beforehand. After all, right now it’s only a hobby. Perhaps I should apprentice here at Leblanc in the meantime?

The coffee I had after spending the night crying… Its warmth permeated through my body… I hope to open a store where others can feel that warmth. Either way, I think this dream of mine will be no easy feat. But I somehow managed to tackle my childhood dream of becoming a heroine of justice. If I act with resolve and believe in my actions, I know I’ll be able to achieve anything.

Music: Sweet

I would have been married to a man I didn’t respect… and lived a horrible life. I’m glad I can be with you instead…





Let’s not tease her. Just enjoy the moment.

As long as you’re by my side… It feels like everything’s going to be OK… And if you’re ever in trouble, I will be there for you. After all, you were there for me when I needed it. I can help you now. I have the strength to do so, I can sense it.


Music: The Spirit


THE FLOOF HAS ASCENDED


Haru is a tad underdeveloped, but also underrated in my book. She’s voiced, once again, by Xanthe Huynh.

Rude.

Music: Swear to My Bones



Goodbye, Milady, I’m sure you’ll turn into something cute and refined.


OHHHHHHHHH MY GOD

WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUCK

Astarte is a psychedelic hellbeast that will consume us all in the very near future! How fun!

For real, though: Astarte is a fertility goddess, the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess Astoreth, a form of Ishtar. Besides fertility, she is also associated with sexuality and war. Apparently the Bible also mentions her as the “Queen of Heaven.”

Music: Sweet

Also because your Persona just turned into a metal album cover that’s been decorated by a hippie on entirely too much LSD.

So, um… T-Today…

Haru and I spent some time alone together… …… It’s getting late… I should probably take her to the train station…

Astarte’s resistances upgrade so Psy is blocked and Ice is resisted. We opt not to go for Evade Nuke, which you are free to ignore and kill one of the -karn skills for. We’re keeping those for a reason that won’t be relevant on this playthrough, but they’re great even still.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Our guest today is Yukari Takeba, who’s a breakout hit on superhero shows while also going to college!
Oh, she plays Feather Pink on that show that’s on the air right now, right?

Good for Yukari, though it’s kind of weird that she’s had the same gig for four years. Don’t those sentai shows change the casts pretty regularly? Also, why would she still be in college?

Oh hey, a crossword puzzle. Let’s give it a shot.

Pff. Who needs more knowledge? I do this for the thrill.

Are you gonna try a crossword puzzle?

Oh, so that’s what you were lookin’ at? Huh, I see. I’m about to head home. Don’t play around with those puzzles for too long, all right?

Music: Everyday Days

This is the crossword minigame. We have to use the letters we’re given to fill in a clue.

This one is pretty easy, but only if you remember your COFFEE FACTS.





Oh, wow… Even I couldn’t figure that one out.

Maaku gains Knowledge +2.

yawn Did we really spend this much time doing crossword puzzles? It’s late, so we better sleep.

Wait, that took up time!? We filled in one answer! What the fuck?

Nonononono, go back, I’m not over this!

Anon: he went down easy
Anon: So did he do it or not!?
Anon: Execute accomplices too!
Anon: Just like Akechi-kun said!

Well, that was a travesty. At least it’s snowing, that’s fun.

Will they be able to return to their original worlds!? Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “Return of the Phoenix Rangers.”

Sojiro has unique dialogue for today only. Weird.

Huh, it’s… not actually snowing. Also this dude is a fuckin’ champ, wearing a t-shirt and shorts on December 3rd.

Nobody’s available to hang today, so I’m going to show off somewhere we haven’t been to yet: the maid cafe!





Music: Welcome Back, Master!



I’m so happy you came! This is your home, so please relax! So, what will your order be?

If you remember the tutorial message from earlier, the maids are clumsy and may mess up if given a trying task. The top two items here are simple, while the bottom two require more dexterity.

Let’s stick with something simple for now, though.

An Oo-hot Tea, correct!? As you wish, Master.

This is pretty overwhelming… All the pink hurts my eyes…

It really is hot, so please be careful.
Um, is this really tea? It doesn’t have a scent…


Either way, I thin you learned how to get people to like you!

Maaku gains Charm +2.

Have an amazing rest of your day, Master! I’ll be waiting patiently for your next visit!

I don’t know much about politics, but I like Shido!
This is the first time I’ve felt like voting.
I was really moved when I heard his speech!
He’s gonna be prime minister, right? That’s so cool!

Anon: he went down easy
Anon: he got what was coming

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-



While we’re doing things we’ve never done before, let’s hit the gym.

Music: Everyday Days

You came here with your friend the other day, right? I’m happy you could come back!

The other day… seven months ago. (Yes, I know we were here more recently with Ann and Ryuji, but the first visit with Ryuji is really what the game expects out of you here).

Now… I recommend using this equipment, since you’re a beginner. This is a treadmill. This will, of course, improve your physical stamina.

“I’m explaining this to you because you look like a moron.”

You’ll also learn some mental control by regularly checking your heart rate.

That sounds like bullshit for “it also raises your SP.” But, I believe it.


Are you going to take anything?

>Take Anabolic Steroids

Protein, huh? You have 11 of those. How about it?


Well, let’s begin your workout.



Oh dear.

Ouch.

Hmm, it seems you trained yourself both physically and mentally.


Oooh, it looks like you’re getting results from that protein shake as well.


The protein shake gives us a minor boost to any HP or SP gains from training. It’s pretty handy.

All right, we’ve spent enough time here. Let’s go home.


#276
Part 163

Part 163: 12/4-12/6: Bad Redesign Central

Anon: Justice with Akechi!
Anon: Evil is destined to perish.
Anon: he shoulda confessed first
Anon: What a sore loser

Music: Disquiet


Yup. No matter where I go, I keep hearing election speeches.
It’d be fine if that was all…
Shido’s calling himself a brave hero who stood up to vile terrorists. Don’t make me laugh. He’s nothing but rotten scum.
It seems he’s been using the Phantom Thieves as ammunition for his political activities.
Only two weeks until elections…
And it’s been exactly two weeks since the news of Maaku’s suicide.

Just give the word when you’re ready and we’ll all come over!

All right, our goal for this update is to finish the rest of our Confidants so we can head into the Palace ASAP.

The United Future, led by Mr. Shido, has been dominating the other parties. Victory seems certain for them, and people have high hopes about having a new prime minister. As for Mr. Shido himself, he was once again out giving speeches, and…
At this rate, he’s gonna be the next prime minister! We have to make him have a change of heart!

Whaddya wanna do today, Maaku?


Let’s do the last thing on the promise list!

The last thing on the promise list… “Being OK without you around”… I think I wanna give it another shot. I’m comin’ for you, Akihabara!

Futaba Rank 10

Music: Home Electronics Store



I’m kinda nervous… but here I go! Time to make like a tree… and branch out!

Heh, that’s a cute pun.

Later…

Thirty minutes have passed… She’s still not back…

I’m starting to get worried…

Music: What’s Going On?


Guess that means I beat my mission, huh?
nod

Aww, I’m proud of you.

Y’know, it was the same Akihabara as before, but everything looked so different to me this time. …It’s not just here though. My whole world is expanding. Every day brings new and different discoveries. The direction of Sojiro’s cowlick, the atmosphere of Yongen, the various types of coffee beans… Things might be the exact same as they were yesterday, but from my perspective, it’s all spinning. I knew it was possible… but I had never really felt that sensation before now. I just hope I can keep changing little by little… like everyone else does.


Oh, by the way… I got a text from Kana-chan saying she got a job at a convenience store. It sounds like she’s just happy to be living life like a normal teenager. Plus, she got study guides with the money she made! She’s gonna take the high school entrance exam! Even Kana-chan’s trying to step out into the world.


Hey! You said you’d give me a reward if I completed my promise list, remember!?


You know, I was looking in a bunch of stores thinking about what to buy… but it felt kinda weird. There were plenty of things I wanted, but it was all stuff I could get if I worked really hard. And after all… I already have something I wouldn’t have been able to get on my own.

Maaku shakes his head.

No… You’re forgetting. You gave me something really important.

Music: Sunset Bridge

You gave me my life back. It’s thanks to you that I learned I’m fine just as I am… and that I learned to trust my mom again. I was as good as dead, but you resurrected me. I want to use my work with the Phantom Thieves to return you the favor. And when I remember all the friends I’ve made… it’s like I’m tapping into some kind of unknown power!
I feel a strong bond with Futaba…

Music: The Spirit


This ability is identical to one of Rise’s abilities from Persona 4 Golden. Contrary to the description, this ability will totally nullify any attack, party-wide, that would kill a party member the first time it comes up. It also says “Chance,” but in my experience that chance seems to be 100 percent.

Sadly, Futaba doesn’t get the utterly busted Rank 10 ability of Rise’s that revived the protagonist with full HP and SP upon death, nor her third persona’s ability to just completely reveal the affinities of every enemy instantly. Man, Rise was broken in Golden. Miss ya, girl.

And, the requisite awakening.


Futaba at time feels more like a collection of quirks than a cohesive character, but she’s fun enough. Again, her VA is Erica Lindbeck.

Music: Swear to My Bones




Bye, sweet UFO.



Ah fuck, it’s a goth disco sun.

You probably know about the legend of Prometheus, the Greek Titan who created mankind from clay and later stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. The running theme here is blatantly about “forbidden knowledge,” which is more than most of the ascended Personas get so I’ll take it.

Music: What’s Going On?

Feel free to tell me anything. I’ll do whatever I can to help. I’m serious, OK!?


And…! I never said I was gonna let my reward go unclaimed!

So, lemme see… How ‘bout a month’s supply of instant yakisoba!? Pretty good deal, huh!? I don’t wanna order it off the net though! Let’s go look for it in the real world! Now I know how much fun walking around can be!


The rather unceremonious final skill Prometheus gets for ascending is… Treasure Skimmer, which lets us detect if an enemy has a rare item at the start of battle. This can be claimed through stealing with a melee attack using Morgana’s Pickpocket ability, or more easily through negotiation. Interestingly, if an enemy has a rare item and you know about it from this ability, you cannot ask for money, they’ll just give you the item if you try.

Still, not much to write home about. I wonder why they didn’t make Final Guard the Prometheus skill and Treasure Skimmer the Confidant ability.

Music: Beneath the Mask



At around this point I realize that I have just enough time left in the game to finish the rest of the video games and get that trophy. So, let’s do that. There’s some things, like fishing, that we just won’t have time for, though. More for NG+!

Music: Star Forneus

Apparently there’s a way to shoot double lasers from your ship to make things a little easier…

I don’t give a crap about integrity, I just wanna get this bullshit done.

I see… I guess I understand how you might be frustrated about not being able to beat the game.

Good, good… It looks like you’re on course to beat it. Oh… There aren’t many enemies left. Is the boss coming up? There it is…! That’s a lot of tentacles… You can’t hit the core without destroying them first.

The cheat halves the number of button presses, so this takes 15 instead of 30.

Nice! You destroyed all the tentacles, and the core too!

It wasn’t really very exciting with that technique…

Shut up, cat. Maaku gains Guts +2.

Anon: We’ll finally have peace
Anon: AKECHI IS BAE!!!
Anon: c’mon, leak his name!
Anon: kid had it coming, lol

Music: Suspicion

Did you watch that TV special about the heroes who took down the Phantom Thieves? I saw it too! It did make me like Akechi-kun more, but honestly now I’m a really big fan of Shido-san!
If he was my boss, I’d follow him no matter where he went.

They’re crazier about Shido than ever before… When I think about how he used us… Dammit! It pisses me right the hell off. Well… it’ll be fine. The better his reputation gets, the more I look forward to tearin’ it all down. We’ll make him own up to all this bullshit. Then they’ll see who the real heroes are.

Music: Disquiet

Now, your trial should take your extenuating circumstances into account. But, why did you suddenly decide to tell me?
It’s because… I wanted to eat katsudon.
Come on, that’s why!? Oh, hey, did they give you katsudon to eat while you were in jail?

Nope! What a letdown!

Apparently, Japanese police really do give suspects katsudon in an attempt to get confessions. If you didn’t get that one “EAT THE CUTLET” joke from Pop Team Epic, well, you do now.

Have you decided on your plans for today?



You see, I entered my piece into Kawanabe’s competition. Moreover, it was accepted. The resulting exhibition is actually going on as we speak. Come, let us go. It is being held at the same museum as last time.

Yusuke Rank 10

I guess all that shit about how it didn’t matter if he won was irrelevant!

Yes. This is the true heart of humanity.

It looks fucking badass.

Music: Sunset Bridge

The title is “Desire and Hope.” What do you think?

I added aspects that were previously lacking. This light… is all of you. The title lists hope, but in my mind, it’s a much more concrete thing. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that until now…

You…
…It’s a good painting.
Huh?
It’s not trying to be eccentric for the sake of being eccentric, like the last time.

“Jesus, that last painting was so bad it made me want to die. What a shitshow. Oh yeah, this one’s good I guess.”

To think the same painting can change this much…

…It is.
“Desire and Hope”… I see. Beauty and ugliness… Humans are creatures that possess both. It seems you understand that.

Man, what a shitty critic this dude is if the only paintings he approves of are ones that regurgitate his own view of the world back to him.

What are you playing at?

I apologize. Although my intent was to encourage you, it WAS rather crude. Still, I believed that this ploy needed to be done in order to ignite your competitive spirit.
But… why would you do that? What’s your objective?
I wanted to do something for you as another person who is free from Madarame’s chains. That’s all.
Huh?

To start, I couldn’t get anyone to rent me space for exhibits… He caused me no end of hardship.
So that’s why…


If only he had your strength…

…Madarame and I go back a long way. First as classmates, then as teachers at the same art school. He used to have a noble spirit. Said he wanted to aim for the top of the art world one day.
……
But in the end, even the art world has its share of politics… Those who are cunning win. Our hearts were stained black in that manner.

I was shocked when I heard that he took you in. He never liked children, you see.

This happened just before we cut all ties from each other, but I got a call from him.

Sensei…

Aww, the man who let his mother die cared about Yusuke, deep down.

“He was a good man deep down” lol fuck off

I don’t want any more losers like me or misguided winners like him being born from this world. That’s why I started this foundation. So how about it? Would you like our support? chuckle Without the overbearing marketing production, of course.


What!?

Huh. What makes you say that?
I am not Madarame. I won’t be stained by desire. After all, I can see hope. If I am lost, they will extend their hands. If I am wrong, they will chastise me. …As long as I have my rays of hope to guide me, I will be fine.

What the fuck are you on about, take the damn money! One of the two weird, bad jokes that comprise most of your character is that you can’t afford to eat!

…Hah. Madarame really did have a good eye. Hahahahaha!

Kawanabe walks away, surely in shock about what a fucking idiot Yusuke is.


For declining his offer? It IS a tad wasteful of me to decline. Still, I believe it’s for the best. …I feel contradictory, but that’s the human heart, correct? …Interesting. That’s exactly what I should be painting. It must have been troublesome dealing with me. But for some reason, I knew that you wouldn’t abandon me until everything was said and done. Thank you, Maaku.
I feel a strong bond with Yusuke…

Music: The Spirit



Yusuke is sadly probably the “least” character in the game, in that he doesn’t have much of a coherent personality, barely talks in most group scenes, and honestly doesn’t stand out at all. Not to say I dislike him, but where characters like Makoto and Ryuji get tons of focus, he’s sadly sidelined, including in gameplay by me. What a shame. Anyway, Yusuke is voiced by the ever-present Matthew Mercer. Dude’s a fucking legend at this point, mad props to that guy.

Also, here’s the best Yusuke-related thing in the entire game:

I’ve only ever seen this portrait ripped from the game files, never in-game. I’d say it’s just a piece of cut content, but The Cutting Room Floor doesn’t list it anywhere on its site (which you absolutely should not visit if you don’t want to be spoiled), meaning it’s possible that it actually is used somewhere. Huh. Whatever, I’m posting it here because it’s goddamn hilarious, ‘nuff said.

Music: Swear to My Bones



Goodbye, pompadour.


Wow! It’s a lame character design!

Yusuke! You can’t steal Yosuke’s Persona, silly!

Kamu Susano-o is a long way of writing the name Susano-o, or Susanoo. Susanoo is the Shinto god of storms, the son of Izanagi and the brother of Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, the goddess of the sun and the god of the moon. Just like Yosuke’s third Persona upgrading to Takehaya Susano-o from Susano-o wasn’t actually changing anything but how long and deferential his name was, there is no real difference between Susanoo and Kamu Susano-o. Kamu, in fact, is just an archaic Japanese term meaning “god.” It’s honestly really fucking lame to me that they couldn’t even be bothered to give Yusuke an evolved Persona they hadn’t done yet, but that kind of speaks to how much effort they put into Yusuke in general.

What if we had a dude who… liked art? Man, I don’t know.
Fuck it.

Music: What’s Going On?


I’ll extend my assistance to you, should you ever stumble.
nod
Now then, shall we go? In order for me to learn more about the heart, we need to work hard in our thief business.

Kamu Susano-o’s resistances improve: it now blocks Ice and resists Wind. It also learns Evade Fire to triple its Fire dodge rate, which we sub out Speed Master to fit in.

Music: Beneath the Mask



Music: Star Forneus




We’ve already beaten a lot of enemies…! But be careful. The boss should be up ahead.

You’ve come this far… You can’t afford to get beaten now!

All right, you managed to survive. Is this really the end though…?

Wh-Whoa… It’s the last boss! Give this all you’ve got!


Music: Everyday Days

Maaku gains Guts +2.


…We cheated, though.

…This is a promotion from years ago though. There’s probably no point in doing it now. But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to write it down anyway. Maybe some antique game stores go for that…


Anon: A worthy end for a villain
Anon: Suicide by gun…? Scary…
Anon: kid had it coming, lol
Anon: he went down easy

Did you already decide who you’re voting for?
I see Shido’s as popular as ever.
Is there even any point in anyone else running?
His approval rating went up again. How high will it go?

Anon: kid had it coming, lol
Anon: the cops are so incompetent
Anon: he went down easy
Anon: he got what was coming
Anon: So did he do it or not!?

Music: So Boring

With Akechi-kun and Shido-san, it feels like some heroes have been born this year!
That’s right. The turning point of any era is when a hero is born.

That seems like a harmful ideology!

They address everyone’s fears and worries and skillfully carry out a revolution. Representative Shido is like that, don’t you think?
A hero? Him? …Don’t make me laugh. This is getting really bad. We need to make everyone realize it.

Music: Disquiet

Let’s head over to the retro game shop in Akihabara and see what we can do with that code for beating Star Forneus. Nobody has to know we totally cheated like a scrub!

That prize postcard and password…! Whoaaa… You beat “Star Forneus”!? This is the very first game to feature “rapid-fire”! Oh, and it started this high score craze! Yeah, players went nuts trying to figure out the secrets and game mechanics to outscore each other! Yes, this is the game that defined the shooting genre! It’s a masterpiece! Oh, I have some prizes left from back then, so I can exchange them with that postcard for you!

…Ah, sorry. I got all pumped without realizing it. Were there any games you wanted to check out?

Nope!

The Forneus Badge gives us a high Physical evasion rate. Cool.

Next, let’s go see Haru and pick up our veggies (only one day late!).


We have fourteen carrots now. Fucking hell.



So, what’s the plan for today?



I have a magazine shoot today… It’s a special on me and Mika! “Up Close and Personal with Two Popular Models”!

Awwwwwwwwww yes, Mika time! …Oh yeah, and Ann will be there too, I guess.

I want you to be there for it. It’s over at Seaside Park. Let’s go.

Music: Wicked Plan

This next scene is part of Ann’s Rank 10 Confidant, but it isn’t voiced for some reason. I really only do the max rank videos to show off the voice acting, so the video won’t include it.



What’s going on here?

Oh right, you fell victim to it too. Is it OK if I tell her, Mika-chan?
Yeah…

I know I don’t normally create separate portraits for each expression because this would be a fucking nightmare otherwise, but Mika owns so whatever.

Do you remember a while back when a bunch of models weren’t showing up to our shoots?
Oh yeah, I remember.
Well, apparently Mika-chan was posing as our agency and telling them the shoot locations changed.

That seems really easy to detect! Damn, girl, I thought you were at least more thorough about covering your tracks. I’m honestly disappointed.

We had heard rumors that she might have been doing it… but we thought people were just jealous of her. I mean, those shoots she filled in for really boosted her popularity. Anyway, I asked her about it today… and all she had to say was “I’m sorry.”
What I did was really terrible. I caused so much trouble for everyone… But I’m gonna start working even harder from now on, I promise…
sigh Anyway, let’s get started. You’re ready to go, right?

That’s right! No punishment! Remember kids, cheat to win!




There it is! There’s the stone-hearted woman I crave!

This industry’s overflowing with models. Without an in, your career will never get off the ground. Chances don’t come to those who wait. You have to make your own luck if you want to succeed.
You really are something…
It’s your own fault for getting the boot. If you can’t crawl your way back up, you may as well go home.

…You talk big, but they still found out about your fake emails.
Sure, but all I had to do was offer a teensy apology. It would’ve been dumb to try and hide it from them. Anyway, they can’t sack me now. I’m gonna get even more popular, even if it means being detested for my actions.

Music: Sunset Bridge

giggle You’re just like the villains I used to admire when I was a kid. Beautiful, strong… and wicked. Honestly, I just can’t bring myself to hate you.
Well I don’t have any trouble hating you.
Sorry Mika, but your hard work is only gonna get you to second place. I’m going to be the number one model. You might be more popular right now, but I’ll take that spot from you fair and square.
Hm…



Ann and Mika are both beaming at the camera…


It’s Mika! Oh, and Ann too! They’re both so cute…!

They might have some natural beauty, but they’ve gotta be exercising to have those bods!

Something’s changed in Ann-chan, huh?



So… how was I?


I know I said I want to be the number one model, but I’m OK with that not happening just yet. For now, I just want to keep improving, one step at a time. Then someday down the line, I’ll be able to look at myself with pride. Hopefully people will see that confidence, and draw strength from it. I’m gonna be a ray of light for the people of this planet… Just like you and Shiho are for me…


Maaku, you’re… my light.

Got it!

nod

Ann Rank 10


Back when I met Shiho, when she saved me… I realized that personal relationships are something to be treasured. That’s why I’m not going to run away anymore. I’ll face myself head on. This time, it’s my turn to help someone. But… I’m still kinda worried. Do you think you could help me, Maaku?


You can lean on me too, if you need it…

giggle

Did we not before? Was that some grand issue we had to overcome?

I’m so glad I met you…
I feel a strong bond between me and Ann…

Music: The Spirit



Ann is… okay, look. I’m not really sure how I feel in regards to Ann because she makes very little impact. She, like her Confidant, is often just a mishmash of different tropes and ideas that don’t really cohere. For heaven’s sake, the fact that she’s half-white barely factors into her character in any kind of explicit way, which is weird for a game ostensibly about outsiders. Honestly, thinking about that part now makes it seem kind of weird and fetishistic and I don’t wanna go too far down that road because hoo boy, I could say that about a lot of things in this game.

Also, for some reason my eyes totally glaze over reading Ann’s whole deal about becoming the very best model like no one ever was, even though I was totally on board for Rise’s whole idol deal, which was at least as totally unrelatable. Maybe because I liked Rise and she felt like more of a character? Oh well, her clover hoodie is cool I guess. Ann is voiced by Erika Harlacher, in case you forgot.

Music: Swear to My Bones



Goodbye, cigar chomp.


And hello Chain Chomp!

Grant us eyes, grant us eyes…

Hecate is a badly designed Persona! No but for real, Hecate is a Greek goddess associated with checks notes crossroads, entranceways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, motherfucking ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery. She’s also the chief of the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The weird doggos there are a reference to her common depiction as being attended to by dogs. I looked her up on Wikipedia and apparently she “eludes definition” which is as close you’re gonna come to getting that site to say “man I don’t know what the fuck.”

Music: What’s Going On?



Not really the issue I had there, but OK.

Anyway, let’s eat before our food gets cold! Time to dig in!

We give Ann Evade Ice to replace Burn Boost. Her resistances have also upgraded so she nullifies Fire and resists Electricity.

Music: Beneath the Mask


The polls for each election ward have remained the same though.
Does this mean Shido’s victory is guaranteed?
That would be the case.
I wonder if voting will shift if Shido has a change of heart…
Nobody’ll vote for him once they find out he’s a criminal.
Assuming they find out before they vote.
That’s the important part.

Yeah, I’m sure it’ll happen beforehand!

We should probably, uh, go before we say stuff like that.

All we can do is change his heart.
We should be able to put a stop to this if we succeed…

Oh, was it? I probably have no choice but to give up at this point. None of my opponents ever trembled while playing me, so I’m actually sort of jealous now.



Let’s move on to Punch Ouch.

Music: Punch Ouch

By the way, haven’t you read that secret technique book? There’s a way to increase the time you have for the inputs, making the game easier to beat, right?

Let’s do this legit at least once.

Spoken like a true warrior. Good luck!

How’re you feeling? I’ll be responsible for training you today! Listen closely to what I’ve got to tell you! We’ll start today by reviewing the basics!

(I probably should have used a picture of Mickey Goldmill since the character is “Wrinkled Old Man” but fuck you, it’s Doc Louis)

(I also probably should have used a picture of Doc Louis from the original Punch Out!! but they were all framed weirdly)

(Shut up)

Ohhh… So there’s a practice stage before you get to the real action later.
First up is sway. You’ll need to predict your opponent’s attacks, and dodge ‘em! Now, sway around my attack, then smack me with a counterpunch! …Here we go!


Simple.

Hrgh! G-Good job… You moved well. Remember how to do that. Next up is the flurry! Gimme some fast consecutive hits! A small guy like you’s gonna have to focus on quick attacks over heavy-hitting punches! Now aim at my glove… and hit!


Gnh! A-All right, good job! M-Make sure you keep working at it though! Sway to dodge attacks, then use that opportunity to unleash a brutal flurry of punches… That’s gonna be your golden combo! All right, now give me a sway and a flurry in combination! …Let’s go!

Nice dodge! Now on to the flurry!

Hrngh…! cough cough G-Good work! You’re in incredible shape! I hope you can do this in your matches too!

I think we’re gonna kill Doc Louis you guys :ohdear:

Interestingly, as this is the practice stage, you can fail here to a certain extent and still clear the level. Failing any input will give you a second chance, while failing either of the first two inputs (the sway and the flurry separately) will simply move you to the next stage. Failing the sway immediately followed by the flurry will give you a choice if you want to continue, then presumably fail you if you mess it up again.

Music: Everyday Days

Maaku gains Charm +2. Figure that one out.


#277
Part 164

Part 164: 12/7: My Real Name Is Quisling

Anon: What a sore loser
Anon: we do need new authority…
Anon: The truth’s lost to the void
Anon: Akechi got the last laugh!

Music: Disquiet

Today, we’re gonna take care of a major errand we haven’t done yet, then head into the Palace now that we’re done maxing Confidants. Yes, this is a Palace update. I recall a while back saying that Okumura’s was the worst Palace in the game, and I must apologize for that, because this one…

This one’s a trip. That’s without any deaths, by the way.

Here, we have Mr. Taro Namatame, who is an independent newcomer. Having started as a politician’s secretary, he worked his way up from the bottom in Inaba, and…
Isn’t he a bit old for a newcomer? Huh. That kind of makes me want to root for him.

Good for Namatame, I guess, landing on his feet after that whole thing with kidnapping all those teenagers.

Music: Layer Cake

Static electricity is the enemy of detail work, so I gotta keep an eye out for it. So, you need somethin’ today?


That errand I mentioned was at Iwai’s. See, we’re finally gonna upgrade our team’s gear, including the forbidden, secret art of gun customization. We’ve gotten some decent upgrades just from Palaces and Mementos, but here we’re going to find stuff that’s not only better, but will hopefully last us until the end of the game.

Most of what I buy is just the best item in each slot, but in case you care:

Melee Weapons[list]
[]Frenzy Dagger (232 Attack, high chance of Rage) for Maaku.
[
]Dragon God Pole (240 Attack) for Ryuji. There’s a slightly worse one that increases his crit chance a little, but I wasn’t sure if that only applied to melee attacks so I didn’t buy it.
[]God Saber (242 Attack, Magic +3) for Morgana.
[
]Pain and Pain (232 Attack) for Ann.
[]Masamune (244 Attack, low chance of Sleep) for Yusuke.
[
]Omega Knuckle (238 Attack) for Makoto.
[*]Gilgamesh Axe (250 Attack) for Haru.
[/list]
I might not have bothered even showing off what melee weapons I buy and advised you not to bother, but the length of this Palace incentivizes actually using your melee attacks so as to conserve SP.

I also buy some armor for every character, but this is a little more complicated because for some characters that choice has already been made obsolete from a piece of armor we got from the laundry. The best armor at this point is about 200 defense, (with laundry goods being a good 20-40 points above that) just to give you some idea.

I then realize I’m probably going to go broke if I buy a gun for every character, so I decide to only get guns for characters I’m using.
[list]
Guns
[]Gravity Gun (272 Attack, medium chance of Despair) for Maaku. There’s a slightly more powerful gun available for him but this ability is incredible.
[
]Volley Cannon (284 Attack) for Ryuji.
[]Orochi (280 Attack) for Makoto.
[
]Flame Ocean (242 Attack) for Haru.
[/list]

We’re finally going to customize these guns, too! (Also we spent literally 600k on this trip, yikes. Don’t worry though, we’ll make about 200k back when we sell pretty much everything in our equipment that goes for more than 4k yen, including Akechi’s equipment)

This is an example of how gun customization works. The Gravity Gun HP (presumably for “High-Power”) is a more powerful version of the Gravity Gun. Unfortunately, it suffers a slight accuracy reduction, and even more unfortunately it loses its crazy ability. I opt not to upgrade it for that reason, even if 368 Attack is nuts. We do end up customizing some of our allies’ guns, like turning Ryuji’s new Volley Cannon into Volley Cannon II (Attack increases to 302 and Rounds increase to 6), turning Makoto’s Orochi into Orochi SP (320 Attack, lowered Accuracy, and high chance of Shock), and making Haru’s Flame Ocean into Flame Ocean II (320 Attack and slightly increased Accuracy). And hey! There was a trophy for that!

Music: Disquiet

You have an interesting fate, indeed. Well then, shall I read your fortune in detail…?

Time for a Money Reading before the Palace.




We’re almost ready for the Palace.

First, though, we should make sure we have a good number of Takemedic-All Zs. Due to the fact that we replaced Makoto’s Mediarama with Diarahan, we have no reliable multi-target healing outside of Maaku. This will serve as a decent replacement for now, though.

One last thing before we head inside: I realized I never showed off the DLC accessories that come with all the costume packs. A number of them are totally busted. In fact, I’d say that all of them are quite good in one way or another, and if this game didn’t outright require you to keep SP Adhesive 3s on at almost all times, the main reason not to equip most of them outside of not wanting to break the game would simply be that you can only equip one of them at a time. Also of note: there’s nine of each of them, which means there’s enough for everyone, including Akechi—and Futaba. I don’t know why.

The Team Glasses from Persona 4 increase your EXP from battles. This apparently only applies once, so no stacking it by equipping multiple characters with it. You may wonder why I bothered to specify that, to which I’d say: just wait.

The SEES Armband from Persona 3 increases your money from battles. This one actually does stack depending on how many people equip it.

The Sevens Emblem from Persona 2 reduces your chance of being targeted. This, I can imagine, would be incredibly useful on the protagonist if there weren’t several better ones we haven’t even seen yet.

The Hermelin Badge from Persona 1 nulls Bless and Curse. Honestly, probably the worst one. Only nullifying two elements (and the two elements that most of the game’s instant death attacks use, natch) isn’t much compared to some of these.

The Arm PC from Shin Megami Tensei if… seems kinda bad, but in the earlygame, Kamoshida’s Palace specifically, I think this would be incredible.

The Midnight Bandana from Persona 4: Dancing All Night raises your All-out Attack power. It also stacks, just like Rise’s AoA buff would get better the more bike dates you went on with her in Persona 4 Golden.

The Evoker from Persona 4 Arena Ultimax gives you a bullet upon victory. If you haven’t played this game, it’s kind of hard to convey how huge this is. This is the only way outside of Reserve Ammo to restore a bullet. This one outright breaks a game system, which is why it’s my pick for the only truly fucked accessory in this lineup.

The Lambs’ Pillow from Catherine reduces your chance of suffering a status ailment by 50%. I can see this being very useful in some gimmick fights.

The Gauntlet from SMTIV increases your critical hit rate, as well as your magic evasion rate. Kinda rote, but still useful.

And this one is probably the best of the whole bunch. The Kuzunoha Tubes from the Raidou Kuzunoha games reduce your skill cost by 25%. Not as good as an SP Adhesive 3 for preserving your SP… but this includes physical attacks, which are cast from HP. So not only do you use less SP, you need to heal less because you’re wasting less HP casting physical skills.

Anyway, that’s all of the accessories, so let’s continue on to the Palace!


…But first, I gotta go to the bathroom. Hold on one moment.


You need to poop.

[fixed]>Go to bathroom[/fixed]

You are sitting down.

[fixed]>Stand up[/fixed]

You are standing up.

[fixed]>Go to bathroom[/fixed]

The door is closed.

[fixed]>Open door[/fixed]

The door is open.

[fixed]>Enter bathroom[/fixed]

You are now in the bathroom.

[fixed]>Poop[/fixed]

“Poop” is not an accepted action.

[fixed] >Use toilet[/fixed]

You should probably close the door first.

[fixed]>Close door[/fixed]

The door is closed.

[fixed]>Use toilet[/fixed]

The lid is closed, buddy! You’ll make a mess!

[fixed]>Fuck you[/fixed]

“Fuck” is not an accepted action.

[fixed]>Open lid[/fixed]

The lid is open.

[fixed]>Use toilet[/fixed]

You take a refreshing dump and contemplate washing that towel.

[fixed]>Enter bedroom[/fixed]

The door is closed.

[fixed]>Open fukcing door[/fixed]

I don’t know what a “fukcing” is.

[fixed]>Open door[/fixed]

The door is open.

[fixed]>Enter bedroom[/fixed]

You find a note attached to your bedroom door.

[fixed]>Read note[/fixed]

It reads: “Dear (Arist)-- We are watching you. Stop working with the Phantom Thieves immediately. Also, be nice to Ari and do his chores. If you do not comply, we will be forced to give you a mental shutdown. From, Shido, future Prime Minister”

[fixed]>Contemplate note[/fixed]

It seems wholly unlikely that this note is serious. The terrible penmanship, implausible methods, and ridiculous demands all point to an odd prank. However, you are a shameless coward, so you probably won’t take any chances.

So, uh, funny thing happened in the bathroom and I now hate the Phantom Thieves forever. Go Shido!

Music: Ark


Got it. Let’s get going!

Okay, let’s head inside. I mean, oh no, don’t do that, you bastards.

On virtually the first fight the Phantom Thieves run into, Treasure Skimmer activates.


This is what it looks like when an enemy has been skimmed. Guess those rotten Phantom Thieves are living up to their name.

We know the identities of the five VIPs.
A politician, a former noble, a TV station president, an IT company president, and that cleaner guy!
Hm, according to the map, there should be a restaurant up ahead.
That’s where the politician should be, yes? Let us go check it out.

We might be able to gain intel from talking to them. Just don’t ask any suspicious questions, OK?

It’s no wonder the stability is superb! This is Congressman Shido’s vessel, after all! Hmhm!
Quite true… I may have undergone hardships in my youth, but now a life of leisure is finally mine!

These sitar ladies flanking the Cerberus are Sarasvati(s). They’re weak to Nuke, block Ice, can cast party healing and buffs and will attempt to Confuse the party.

Oh, not quite yet. I hear it has received high praise from a famous congressman.
Hahaha, correct you are. The good sir visits is almost every day.

Near the back of this hall, the Phantom Thieves find a strange door.

It will not open, and they cast it out of their minds like the simpletons they are.

I haven’t the foggiest idea… My connections only barely secured me a place on this ship, after all…
I suppose we’re just ordinary citizens in comparison to some of the other patrons here… We should probably be thankful we’re even allowed to dine in this lounge to begin with,

After some light fucking around, the Phantom Thieves decide to head over to the restaurant.

A members-only restaurant… “Ristorante… Elite”?
Even you can’t read it? Aren’t you supposed to be English girl?
Uh, that name’s not English… Anyway, moving on. “This restaurant is exclusive to members. Those without a membership card will be rejected.”
What? You gotta be a member just to eat dinner? That’s such bull.

Those rule-breakers decide to head in anyway.

Music: Impromptu for the Next Prime Minister


Oh yeah, we heard about that thing earlier… What a pain.
I believe our staff should have explained it when you boarded this ship… Apologies for the inconvenience, but may I please check your boarding pass, sir?
This is bad… We should retreat.

Music: Ark

I’m not sure, but either way, it seems asking around is our only option.

Don’t bug the other passengers, you hooligans!

Oh, it seems I’ve dropped my card for the restaurant somewhere around here…
My, my. You won’t be able to dine there without it. Have you tried consulting the staff?
Haha, not yet. I doubt there’s any need to worry though. I’ll try asking around the bars later. I know Mr. Shido personally, so I’m sure he’ll issue me another if I can’t find mine.
Oh, how wonderful! I didn’t know you had such lofty connections! No wonder you exude such dignity!
Hey, isn’t this a good chance for us? He said he dropped his membership card.
I am not keen on this, but we may be able to take it from him if we can find it first.
Hell yeah! He dropped it, so we gotta swoop in n’ take it!

The classic “track the footprints” tactic.

Look at them scurry around like mice, pathetic.

The footprints pass by a bar.

Welcome, sir. How may I help you?

Hm? What article are you looking for in particular?

Unfortunately, nothing of that sort has been dropped off here.
Looks like this isn’t the right place, Joker.

And now they’re trying to sneak a drink while underage! Shame on them!

Very well. Ah, but I’ll need to see your boarding pass first.
Shoot, this isn’t good! Let’s get out of here, Joker!

Back to following the footprints.


The Phantom Thieves question this bar as well, but it does not have the membership card.


Down the stairs…

To the final bar.


Ah, so it was yours. Please do not worry; we have been holding on to it for you this whole time. …Here you are. Please go enjoy your meal, sir.


Who cares? It’s all thanks to that dick Shido thinkin’ everyone around him is incompetent.

He didn’t mean that, Mr. Shido! You’re not a dick! …Unless you’re into that, I don’t know!

So he doesn’t believe in anyone… That must be why there are so many membership cards around.
Well, it’s not bad that it went by quick. Let’s head to the restaurant and grab a letter of introduction.

Music: Impromptu for the Next Prime Minister

One of our targets, the powerful politician, should be at the restaurant. What’s your call, Joker?

Thank you for displaying your proof of membership, sir. Please head on inside. Seats marked with a blue flower are reserved for special guests. Please refrain from sitting there.
Special guests…? Eh, who cares.
A reserved seat is special information. That may lead us to the politician we’re looking for.
For real!?
That possibility didn’t even cross your mind!? Ugh. Anyway, let’s head in and find a seat.

Try not to get too excited, OK? You’re embarrassing us…

Music: Suspicion

Right. That influential politician comes here.
Why don’t we have a seat at the table next to it and wait for him? I’ll go. He may become guarded if we go in a big group.
Wouldn’t it be odd with just one girl sitting there though?
Does someone want to come with me?

That was my intention from the start! I mean, dude! It’s a restaurant!
What are you, a preschooler!?

That sounds about right for Skull.

I was wondering why you were so excited about this… sigh
Why isn’t anyone asking me to do this…?

No cats at the dinner table.

All right, we’re going in. Everyone else stay nearby. I’ll give the signal when the time is right.
Man, what should I eat?
You can’t get full off of food in a Palace.
He’s as dumb as ever…

Uhh… I can’t read this…

Truly, a scholar for the ages, this one.


Queen would order the foie gras. She’s a cop, she loves animal abuse.

A salad garnished with truffles… and roasted lamb, please.


Say, ain’t we kinda young compared to the others here? They’re all involved with Shido, yeah?

Music: Desire

Whose? Uhh… I don’t see any reserved signs or nothing here.
It’d be a nuisance if you’d make a racket next to my table. I wish to dine leisurely. Children like you who’re merely hungry should leave.



S-Sorry…

If you understand, then go home.
Excuse me, but might you be Mr. Ooe?
Indeed I am.
This will be an impudent request, but would you provide us a letter of introduction to… Mr. Shido?
From the looks of it, you appear to be minors. Why do you need an introduction?
We wish to be granted an audience with him… His political ideology resonates so much with us…

Understandable.

Of course, the same can be said about you, Mr. Ooe.
You have quite the silver tongue for one so young… not that I mind it. Are you a high school student?
Yes, sir.
Speaking of high schools… I’ve heard that some principal somewhere kicked the bucket.

Amazing segue, sir.

He supposedly tried to leak Mr. Shido’s name…

Had he simply obeyed, he could’ve remained in the upper echelons. To think he would cast all that away. An elite such as myself can’t even fathom why someone would do such a thing. If you pledge your loyalty, you’re given the honor of selecting those who would have mental shutdowns.

Hm? Ah, more or less.
Considering your caliber, I would assume that the target must have been someone quite important.
Important? No, the target himself was nothing that impressive.
Oh, you must be being modest…


Skull stood up so quickly the “!?” over his head couldn’t keep up!

It was to take out the president of some company and a diplomat who sided with current government.
I see… That was very useful, Mr. Ooe.

Actually, my sister is a prosecutor at the Public Prosecutors Office. I could pass on what you just said to her… How about it? Won’t you give us a letter of introduction?
Is that a threat? Who are you two?
The letter of introduction, please.
Don’t get cocky, brats! I’ll never give you one!
Looks like you have one though! …Welp, guess it’s time to use brute force!


Politician Ooe

Music: Keeper of Lust

All right, Ooe! Now’s your chance! You’ve turned into one of those weird-ass snake balls from Bloodborne, so take out the Phantom Thieves!

Ooe is a “cycle” boss, which means he will do the exact same pattern, every time, in the same order, until he dies. It’s not a bad cycle, though.




Concentrate + Tarukaja + Rakunda + Bufudyne is enough to decimate anyone it hits.

Unfortunately for Ooe, those rotten thieves have a secret weapon: Noir.


Ooe’s Psy weakness is enough to cripple it, and the fight ends rather quickly. Also, sorry, Psiodyne looks dope as fuck. Had to say it.

At the end of the fight, Skull learns Ziodyne to replace Zionga.

Mona also learns Masukunda to replace Me Patra.

And that’s one down for the Phantom Thieves. Hopefully one of the four adversaries remaining in their path can stop them.

Music: Suspicion

Please keep the truth of that subway accident a secret…
Fine…

What!? I mean, er… Good job, citizen.

In any case… it turns out Principal Kobayakawa was connected to Shido after all… No wonder he was so adamant about me digging up information on the Phantom Thieves.
Still, I can’t believe Shido just killed him so nonchalantly…

I’m sure he had his reasons.

The entire nation is underwater in his Palace. He must feel nothing toward one measly educator.
In any case, even though that politician was cognitive, he turned into a monster. Up until Kaneshiro’s Palace, cognitive beings were nothing more than weak presences…


Hm? But he had the memories and appearance of an actual person.
He was probably a Shadow fused with a cognition… It’s like making the Shadow wear human skin.

How would you know about that?

I’ve never seen anything like that before… Such power is normally impossible. Hold on… Wasn’t Shido the one who destroyed the research done by Oracle’s mother on cognition?
Oh! Do you think that when he did, he took the results for his own purposes…?
Shido…!
For all we know, Shido could have some hidden trick that allows him to tamper with his own Palace. We need to be especially careful from here on out…!

So you’re saying he did have a secret move? That’s rich.

Music: Desire


And in return, I only ask for your continued support… Standing up to the world does require money.
Of course. I’ll make sure to prepare compensation as thanks for your help in “cleaning up.”

I’m reusing the Palace portrait for Ooe here because there’s no good shot of him from outside the Palace. He’s not literally calling Shido from the Palace, just FYI.

The incident with that accident in spring was very beneficial. This is all thanks to you, sir.
If the study of cognitive psience progresses, I believe it’s possible to increase the target range.
chuckle I bid you good luck with that endeavor. I hope you will continue to assist us.

Great job, Shido sir! Please don’t kill me.


#278
Part 165

Part 165: 12/7: Of Mice And Women

Music: Impromptu for the Next Prime Minister

According to the map, the elevator ahead will take us to the pool deck.
Hm… If our intel is correct, there should be a womanizing “former noble” there.
Womanizing, huh…? I am so not up for this…

If I was on the side of the Phantom Thieves, and I’m not saying I am, I’d head back and use the previous safe room right about now, since there’s not one between here and the pool. There’s also a rather annoying series of gimmicks to the next area, which we’ll go into shortly. Did I say annoying? I meant “amazing at dealing with pesky intruders!”

Music: Ark


Here is a fully filled out map of this area. I won’t be giving out detailed instructions like with Okumura’s Palace here, because this layout is both more and less complex at the same time and also because I’m not giving out information to no stinkin’ Thieves. We’ll cover the ingenious mechanics used to deter interlopers as we come across them.

The first, which we’ve already seen, is the ever-present locked door. This devilish device can only be opened from the other side. How fiendish.

The next? Well…







This is prepawsterous! …Or something like that.
Ugh, go to hell, Inari. Can you just come back here?



Looks like we turn back when we leave the affected range. It’s really not a big deal.
It most certainly is a big deal! Explain what just happened to us!

So we’re nothing but rodents to him, huh? That’s irritating.
I agree, but we need to be extra careful when we’re in mouse form. We won’t be able to open doors, and any enemy we try to fight in that state’ll beat us to a pulp.
So all we can do is hide? I guess we’ll have to change to a completely defensive strategy… I hope we can find a secret passage to get through there…

So, the Phantom Thieves are now mice, and will remain so while in any room that has a Shido statue in it. This renders them totally unable to perform any of their usual mischief, be it fighting or opening doors.



This is what happens when a mouseified thief tries to open a door. It’d be pretty cute if those weren’t the beady eyes of a killer under that mask.

Anyway, the only way to proceed through the area is for the Thieves to use the convenient vent in the room, small enough that only a mouse can get through it.

Further in, they come to a big hall with a giant Shido statue in it (not pictured) and multiple Shadows patrolling.


Perhaps I, gifted with extreme foresight, predicted that I would be turned against the Phantom Thieves when I recorded this, and so got some footage of a Shadow absolutely fucking up their shit by running straight into one.

Or maybe I just wanted to see what would happen. Who’s to say?



But suffice it to say, their shit gets rocked.



The thieves can’t attack so it’s an automatic enemy initiative, and they’ll automatically attempt to flee once their turn comes up.

The real goal here is to move throughout the room while avoiding the Shadows moving about. This can be trickier than it sounds, though still not terribly difficult. Come on Shadows, do your jobs! Also, here’s a picture of Glorious Shido.

There are a few exits to this area, all of which are via vents.

Two of these exits lead to the same series of rooms in the upper-left corner of the map. Here, Noir remarks that she sees something interesting.


It’s impossible to tell from here. Let’s look around.

Pressing this button causes things to… shift.

Well, we no longer turn into mice when approaching that statue…
Looks like the statue’s got something to do with that button we pressed earlier.
Interesting. We will no longer be able to use the secret passage, but now we can proceed with more ease.

The statue is now depressed into the floor, the weird light that turns the thieves into mice no longer visible. This means they’re not at risk of turning into rodents.

Unfortunately for them, there isn’t actually a way out of this area unless you’re a mouse! Those imbeciles! The thieves are thus forced to hit the button again, turn into a mouse, and head back to the main hall, where they find a third exit that lets them unlock a door back into this area, where they can turn the statues off again and proceed. It’s a bit complicated.

This is Titania. She’s weak to Psy, Resists Nuke, Bless, and Curse, and uses Sleep and Nuke skills.

And here is King Frost, also the monarch of Fuck Mountain, designation Shit. He’s weak to nothing and will decimate these annoying Phantom Thieves with Ice and Physical. He also drains Ice and blocks Bless.




This is Oracle’s Final Guard, which once again will block any attack that would kill a party member, once. It’s really powerful and kind of unfair for Shido, tbh.

Here’s a really annoying great feature of these endless hallways, by the way: There’s no way around the Shadows because they’re so thin, and often there isn’t even anywhere to hide in wait! This means that the Phantom Thieves’ only tactic for scoring ambushes is often to wait for them to turn around, then run down the hallway! It totally sucks for them and makes this take even longer! How great!

And they finally make it to the elevator.

There’s a locked treasure chest ahead of them…

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY A SAFE ROOM, GET IN THERE

Let’s sprawl out, gaze at the sky, and waste the time away in leisurely paradise.


Nothing too special in there.

Our target’s here, right? Some sort of former noble guy?
Yeah. Let’s find him and get a hold of his letter of introduction!

You’ll be pleased to find out that those long paths on either side of the pool also serve as “hallways” where the thieves have to wait for Shadows to turn around before they can ambush them!

Don’t be embarrassed. That’s the real reason you’re here too, is it not?

The Shadow on the left is Parvati, which heals and uses Psiodyne. It also has Ice Boost, but unless that strengthens attacks it reflects I cannot figure out why. It’s weak to Curse, resists Psy and Bless, and reflects Ice. As a Persona, it also knows Hamaon.

It’s all thanks to Mr. Shido that we can spend days in luxury like this! Hmhmhm!

And here’s the Former Noble the thieves were looking for.

……
Uhhh…. Nice day today, huh? …Actually, maybe not. I, uhhh… I wanna go swimming in the pool! Yeah!

No response.

What!?

We won’t take much of your time. Will you listen?
Please, sir.
Sorry, but please leave me be. I don’t have time for you rowdy children.
Hey, you little…!
No, we apologize for our lack of manners. Come on, Skull. We should leave.

To be fair, you walked up to him and said, “Hey dude.” You need to approach this with more tact. Starting the conversation with a quarrel won’t get us anywhere.

Queen must have a different definition of “quarrel” than me.

Our approach doesn’t matter if he won’t listen to us. What are we supposed to do…?
Let’s speak to the people around here. Perhaps we’ll learn more about that man’s temperament.
At the very least we might get some kind of hint.
I guess that’d be better than nothing! Welp, askin’ for info it is!


The bar here actually rents out swimsuits just like these.

Heh heh heh…

I’ve got the perfect plan!
That laugh was scary…
Forget about that! Onward to the bar, you guys!

You will need to check in here if you wish to rent a swimsuit.
Tch, guess we can’t just walk in there. Oh well, let’s just head over to the counter.

Heading over to the counter…

Hey, you guys rent out swimsuits, yeah? Give us some, ASAP!
Ah, but of course. Just show me your boarding pass and we will have you sorted right away.
You moron…! Come on Skull, let’s get out of here! You too, Joker!

Naw, that was part of my plan! Over there’s the fittin’ room… I’m just gonna need your help findin’ a way in, Joker!


On the other side of these stairs, there’s a duct.

What deviants!

You’re seriously going for the fitting room? Come on, this feels like a criminal offense…
But we’re the Phantom Thieves! Just go with it… I got a plan! Hey Joker, you wanna bust in here?



He’s prolly into that kinda thing…
What are you talking about?
I’m getting a really bad feeling about this…

Music: Wicked Plan


And more importantly, isn’t this a fitting room…?
Just trust me! Wait here and I’ll be right back!

It’s perfect… Hehehe! This’ll totally work!
Skull… You have quite a scary look on your face.
Actually, it’s creepy.



I didn’t think that we were really going with such a simple plan…
Well, there’s no way guys lounging by the pool would not check out girls in swimsuits.

It’s a honeypot!

I wanna go home…
Are we really going to do this…?


If you guys don’t hurry, he’s gonna go off somewhere!

It’s a nice day, isn’t it?

What do you want?

Um, would you grant us a letter of introduction to Mr. Shido?
A letter of introduction, you say? I would never give one to some nobodies like yourselves.

Welp, that failed immediately.

For some reason the devs forgot to shift over Noir’s portrait here to the left and so you can see where it just abruptly stops. Yikes.

I’ve made my decision to only introduce those with a prestigious lineage. No matter how beautiful you girls may look on the outside, your ancestry cannot be changed.

Wow! If I wasn’t eternally committed to Shido now, I’d probably deck this creep!

Yes, that may be true, but… well…
We’re…

in fucking audaciously terrible British accent I’m quite charmed to meet you, sir. My name is Ann Windsor.

Ann Windsor!?
My father is the descendant of British royalty.


Seriously!?

These girls are the daughters of my retainers.

Are you half British, Ann-chan?
I am.
Your features are definitely different from Japanese girls. One can easily tell at a glance.
giggle …People tend to have such misconceptions, but that isn’t true. My hobbies include tea ceremonies. Then again, my father forced me to learn that art.
I see… I sense a noble aura that is different from your servants.

Lineage is absolute. No matter how much effort a commoner exerts, it is a gap that cannot be filled.
You’re absolutely correct. I do feel a little sorry for these girls.

By the by, about the letter of introduction… If you’d be so generous to grant me one, I’ll consider introducing you to my father.


Thank you kindly.
But goodness, do you look great in that swimsuit. And such an amazing body as well. You look like you could be a model.

Well, this is on-the-nose.

Oh no…


As members of prestigious family lines, why don’t we get on more intimate terms?

Excuse me?
Come now, you peasant servants should take off. You’re making her embarrassed.

Would you kindly stop this?
Want to try on some other swimsuits in my room?

Ann pulls away.


Now that I’m done using you, get away, you creep!

Fun Comedy Hijinks With The Phantom Thieves™!


Everyone transforms back into their thieves’ garb.

How dare you set me up like this!

Oh shuddup! We’re doing this!

Former Noble

Music: Keeper of Lust

Former Noble is an interesting miniboss in that he has like ten skills, which is really kind of cheating. Psiodyne, Mapsiodyne, Psy Boost and Amp (Amp is 50% boost instead of 25%, and stacks with Boost), Stagnant Air to increase everyone’s ailment susceptibility for its Confuse and Brainwash skills, Tarukaja, Concentrate, and Fast Heal to speed up its own ailment recovery. He does a lot, and has a ton of health, but still isn’t much of a threat.

He’s also weak to Electricity, but I didn’t think to try it, whoops!

Only three more left!

And the noble’s down for the count.

Music: Suspicion

…Contrary to past methods, gaining wealth by lineage alone is quite difficult these days. That’s why I begged to be allowed onto Lord Shido’s ship. In return for introducing wealthy nobles to him, I requested he enact mental shutdowns for me.
I see… So this system of introductions is taking place in reality as well.
Lord Shido is extremely cautious about the passengers he chooses.
So he’s screening potential associates to find wealthy people who won’t betray him…
And that’s why the passengers are wearing masks. He isn’t deceived by people’s outward appearances.
In any case, Ann… your acting skills have developed quite strongly since our nude incident.

Ugggggghhhh

Music: Desire


I hope you remember the conditions for our arrangement. Support me as best you can, understood?
Yes, of course. After all, I am thankful for your aid, Mr. Shido. I’ll call in some favors from some old acquaintances and take part in the birth of “Prime Minister Shido.”
I’ll have you step down if I catch wind of any slack on your end. Are we clear?
…Crystal. I’d rather not meet the same fate as those I’ve eliminated thus far. chuckle
…Good.

Well, that’s two down for the Phantom Thieves. Hopefully Shido will have more success with his other lackeys. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to send an important letter. Don’t peek.

ahem

Hello, Mr. Shido. I hope this message finds you well. Let’s not beat around the bush here: you’ve threatened to murder me. Understandably so, for I have been helping to promote the Phantom Thieves’ cause through my chosen medium. However, if you keep me alive, I believe that I can help you, instead! You’re probably wondering what possible use I could have to you, and while this field may be rather esoteric, I think that I can use my incredibly gifted natural talents in the field of Let’s Play in your service. Again, you might question how, but I’d like to remind you that as a trusted internet personality, I could be helpful in rounding up other miscreants and troublemakers for mental shutdown! And why stop there? The pathetic sheep that make up the populace just need proper manipulation to be under your complete sway. Think about it: you, using your vast resources, indirectly steer them towards my content, which will from now on push constant messages supporting your administration! I would, of course, get some minor, token benefits from this, like increased publicity, but do not be mistaken: I do this solely out of unfailing, unquestioning support for you! The Phantom Thieves are old news, and your support won’t last forever, unless you let me push propaganda for you! You have no possible reason to refuse! Though, if you did, I would totally understand because you are smarter than me, a total suck-up bootlicker with no dignity. But I implore you to consider this offer: you’re not going to get a better deal from anyone else, because at the end of the day, I’m your friend[i]. Thank you for your time. You need not respond to this missive; I have already begun working towards our shared goals. Those peons will never see it coming.

Deferentially, Arist

Please don’t kill me.[/i]


#279
Part 166

Part 166: 12/7: The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

It seems some of you were rather dismayed at Skull’s plan last update, particularly the whole bit about using Oracle as pedobait. Well, uh, good! More support for Shido!

Music: Ark

Let’s see… One of them is apparently at the slots, and the other doesn’t leave his room? Well, the map says there’s an entertainment hall up ahead. Maybe the slots are there?
Seeing for ourselves will likely be the quickest way to find out. Let us proceed onward.

And so, the Phantom Thieves leave the pool deck.

Running down more hallways~

Here’s another map. I don’t know why I’m even bothering to show these, there’s no way to make sense of them.

I guess that means there’s a Shido statue here too. How troublesome.
Hm… My ad-mice would be to pro-squeak cautiously.
……
Oracle, my ad-mice would be–
I believe she heard you the first time. Anyway, can we focus on the task at hand?

Further in, we are treated to another mousecapade and some bad puns.

The twist here is that the statues are no longer confined to rooms, but are now in hallways as well. It’s not a major change. Here, the thieves have to carefully navigate a series of hallways with Shadows emerging from them.

This is Barong. It’s weak to Curse and Wind and blocks Bless. It uses Electricity and can inflict Rage.

This is Kurama Tengu. It’s weak to Ice, reflects Wind, and uses Wind and Physical, as well as Masukunda.

Panther learns Diarahan to replace Diarama.

Oracle’s Subrecover HP EX automatically replaces Subrecover HP, upgrading it from 10% to 20%.

And here’s just the fucking exit because we have a lot of update left and the layout really isn’t that interesting.

Hm!? Look.

What the…?
That seems to be a Shadow too. Be careful, guys.
He looks way tougher than the other ones… You think they’re tightenin’ security?
It wouldn’t be surprising. We’ve taken down two targets, after all. Let’s proceed forward cautiously.

So, a new, stronger variant of Shadow.

These guys won’t hesitate to just fucking shoot the Phantom Thieves, though the bullets don’t seem to do anything.

That bird in the middle is Garuda. It’s weak to Gun, repels Bless, and uses Amped Wind and Masukukaja.

Skull learns Matarukaja to replace Tarukaja, an amazing skill that will make him a mainstay for boss fights. Not that the Phantom Thieves will be fighting any bosses, once Shido has them murdered! …Oh, I’m bad at this!

Safe room time!

This is Forneus. It’s weak to Electricity, drains Ice and Blocks Psy, and uses Psy and ailments like Brainwash and Confuse.

But I suppose if he’s on this ship, Mr. Shido must accept him…




He looks super dangerous! I don’t wanna get involved, even if he’s just some old cognitive thing!
What’re you punks mumblin’ on about? I hear you’ve been makin’ quite a mess in here.
Eep… W-We’re totally not making a mess, we swear! Who are you anyway!?
Hmph! I’m the one askin’ questions around here. Now, drink some salt water and reflect on what you did. I’m leavin’ this to you, guys. I don’t got the time to waste on little punks like these.
Salt water!? Does that mean…

Look out, here they come!

These guys are weak to Bless and don’t have a ton of health, so they go down quick.

Fox learns High Counter to replace Counterstrike, upgrading his Physical repel rate from 15% to 20%.

That wasn’t funny, dammit! They were totally tryin’ to kill us!
Maybe because we caused a scene at both the restaurant and the pool. Somebody has to clean up the mess. Wait a second… “Clean up the mess?”
Ohhh, that’s why they call him the “cleaner”! It’s ‘cause he mops up any trouble that shows its face.

That’s right, the cleaner is not actually Akechi, weirdly enough. It’s just some random dude.

That should make him pretty easy to find though. We just gotta disturb the peace somehow.
But doing so would have an adverse effect on us finding the other letters of introduction. Let’s leave him for last and hurry over to the other two first.
In that case, our next target should be the TV station president in the entertainment hall ahead.
Let’s go, Joker.

First, though, Joker makes a quick stop to fuse.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Barong and Titania make Melchizedek, which incurs a 48960 yen penalty as it is above Joker’s level. At this point, I have made a decision to not fuse anything more than five levels above me so as to not completely destroy the game’s difficulty curve. Though Shido will surely make quick work of these thieves no matter what, hahaha!

Given that I’m now your new mask, I will protect your justice with the whole of my being.

Melchizedek is a Biblical figure known for wisdom, and sources like the Book of Genesis mention him as both a king and a priest. His in-game description is: “An angel of Gnosticism, governing over peace and righteousness. Though said to be the savior of the angels, he used to be a human, the king of Salem.”

Music: Ark


Not too much to brag about here.

Then the slot-loving TV station president should be here. Let us search the area for him.

Maybe we’ll find that TV station prez we heard about in here.
In that case, why don’t we try searching for him?

This place isn’t too big, so spotting him should be easy. Be careful if you find him though!

Music: Suspicion

He’s the president of a TV station, isn’t he?
He gives letters of introduction to executives of companies who are willing to sponsor his programs. That’s a difficult condition to meet…
Wanna just beat it out of him?


For real? But…
I’ll allow it. You’ve got this, Noir.


A letter of introduction? But you’re so obviously a child.
I am Haru Okumura, daughter of the president of Okumura Foods. I believe we sponsored you as well.
Oh, you’re her? It’s true that I’m quite indebted to President Okumura. He funded us extremely well, after all. However, it looks like he got a little carried away. My condolences.

Regarding his exploiting management… Mr. Shido asked me to defend him as much as I could. I even threw some extra security his way, but there were limits to what I could do. The damage almost reached up to Mr. Shido himself. President Okumura had to be cut off.

It seems he didn’t just cast him off his ship, but also used him to trap the Phantom Thieves. Bravo, Mr. Shido. Truly a nasty maneuver.
Won’t you please give me a letter of recommendation? Once our company recovers, I will arrange for us to cooperate with you in a sponsorship role.
You’re the daughter of the late president. Do you really have the authority to do that? Your employees probably resent you… …Well, that’s not important. I’m in your father’s debt, after all. I can repay some kindness to his daughter.

But my, your father truly was a fool.

He could’ve lived a life of luxury if only he’d done what he was told.

Music: Tension

Our ratings shot up ‘cause of that!

The TV Station President laughs hysterically.

Uh-oh, Noir’s getting pissed! They’ll never find the bodies!


Hm? That’s just business.

You’re so cute you might just get good ratings.

Hands off, motherfucker.

The man laughs once more.




What are you talking about? She’s got this handled.



Shadow TV President

Music: Keeper of Lust

This fight is actually rather devious, so I’ll walk through it step-by-step.

The leader will start by using Reverse Rub to inflict Rage on one of its allies. The Phantom Thieves are probably going to want to take out this ally immediately for a few reasons, one of which being that it takes much more damage while enraged.

The other ally will be able to use Mediarama to heal on its own turn, as well.

Another reason to take out the enraged foe quickly? Well…

Oh fuck. Hey, Skull, you mind?





Ow.

While the Phantom Thieves are capable of tanking hits for their leader with their Protect skill, it’s enough to reduce them to 1 HP immediately, so they need to watch out.

The leader can also use Swift Strike.

And one more time.



It hurts… to breathe…
Thanks, girl!

Once the enraged enemy is dealt with, the rest is rather simple. Both of the remaining foes go down without much in the way of effort.

Mona learns Mediarahan to replace Mediarama, letting him heal the entire party fully.

Noir also learns One-shot Kill, an amazing Gun skill that deals Severe damage with a high crit chance. She replaces Amrita Drop with it.

And that’s three down for the Phantom Thieves. Ball’s in their corner at this point, I have to admit.

Music: Suspicion

I assume as part of the media, you have knowledge about quite a few important topics. We will not take your life, as a long as you share the knowledge that you’ve kept from the public.

Pff, empty threats! Shido would say that and mean it!

Remember that Kaneshiro guy? The one from the mafia who ended up on the news a while back? Well, the money he was gathering all went to Shido-san.
Shido and Kaneshiro were connected…?
Indeed. As well as that old man Madarame. His counterfeit business along with Kaneshiro’s mafia aided Shido-san quite a lot financially.

Whaaaaaaaaat? That’s duuuuuuuumb!

I understand now…
Hey, you were forcin’ the news to be about Akechi and Shido all the time, right? I’m sick of ‘em! …Wait, this guy’s not a real person. Tellin’ him ain’t gonna do shit for us.

Skull, finally showing some insight.

Music: Desire

Akechi-kun, did you… anticipate this curious turn of events?
Oh, certainly not to this extent… But it is important to note that he was the mastermind behind the recent commotion. Getting captured must have wounded his pride irreparably. Such things happen often to insurgent leaders.
According to the police, the whereabouts of the other members are still currently unknown. Considering they no longer require testimony from the leader, the investigation will be hard to–
May I butt in for a second?




The audience applauds.


No wonder they call you an ace detective of justice! What passion! How about we use this opportunity to poll the audience? Those who believe the detective of justice will annihilate the Phantom Thieves, press your buttons now!




…Oh, but I do have to study for my college entrance exams. I might not be able to promise that…

The audience laughs.



I devoted myself to my studies, acted as an honor student, and made my name as an ace detective. And thanks to the Nav app and the Persona bestowed upon me by the gods… I managed to dispose of any who got in my way. Though it took me some time to finally do so…


I think if it were me, I would’ve collapsed from the shock.


Perhaps my mind was worked up due to the major task I had untertaken…


The audience laughs.


See? Even Akechi-kun’s face has stiffened up.

Akechi sweats.

A-Ah, sorry about that.

The audience laughs uproariously at Akechi’s “joke.” Fuckin’ sycophants. Speaking of which, I’d like to get some feedback on a campaign ad I’ve been working on. Please watch this and tell me your thoughts but also I worked very hard on this so pls no flames:

Shido’s Great Campaign Ad!

I tried looking up some other campaign ads for reference but they were all very racist, so I had to improvise. I think I did a pretty good job!


#280
Part 167

Part 167: 12/7: My Prized Hack

Music: Ark

We’re leaving the cleaner for last, so we just got that IT president guy left.
We don’t have any clues about him yet though… Either way, let’s proceed onward. We still haven’t gotten a full grasp of this ship’s layout.

The Phantom Thieves have taken down a new target, so it’s time for them to move on! And you know what that means…

MORE!!! FUCKING!!! HALLWAYS!!!

At least in this map we can actually see where the mouse statue areas are in grey.

These are Hanuman(s). They’re weak to Ice (but also have an Evade Ice skill), and can use Physical and crit boosting skills.

In the main hall, we find the interesting gimmick of this hall. See, the statues are actually off by default here, and the only way to the exit is past a lock door. The only way to subvert that door is through a mouse-sized vent right next to it. You see where this is going, and you’ll probably be able to guess where the switch the thieves need to activate to progress is. Yep! It’s all the way north, which they can only get to from the west, which means they have to work their way all the way around this area! And once they do that, the enemies will have respawned, so they’ll be forced to do another round of evasion to get to the vent!

If my mind was structured like this, I’d probably murder someone too. Just sayin’.

Queen learns Mafreidyne to replace Mafreila somewhere in the maze of hellways (heh, you get it?)

And eventually, the thieves make it through to the Side Deck, which contains another safe room to checkpoint them.



Nope. But… You beat the crap outta my men, and I can’t exactly let that pass. I’m gonna have to avenge them.
Wait, you’re the one who attacked us, remember!?
Hmph, you sure do an awful lot of barkin’. Well, I guess I could let you off the hook…

Get ready. Here they come…!

Some more of these guys, who are still weak to Bless. Not much for the thieves to worry about. This cleaner dude needs to do better, Lord Shido deserves it.

We caused no trouble whatsoever, yet were met with the same end result…

Fox, you pesky thieves have been causing nothing but trouble all day.

And on top of all that, he up and disappeared again!
We should ignore him if our actions have no actual impact on the results. For now, let’s focus on searching for the IT company president. I hope there are clues somewhere…

The P-Thieves are left with no choice but to proceed through a door at the end of the hall.

Which, naturally, leads to…

MORE OF THIS BULLSHIT

At least it’s short, this time. The thieves simply need to get through a simple series of rooms. Some of the rooms have statues, but others do not. I’m not even sure why there’s a switch to turn the statues off in this one, the thieves don’t actually need to press it for any reason. It’s not vital to their egress or even used to conceal a treasure chest, it’s just there if they want to clean up the theft spots I guess.

These Baphomets are weak to Bless, block Curse, and use Fire, Ice, and Electricity. They also have skills to increase their Burn, Freeze, and Shock rate with those skills.

This is Oberon, it is weak to Nuke, blocks Psy, and uses Wind and Physical. It also has Evade Nuke.

Once the Thieves make it out, they find themselves somewhere that feels a bit familiar…

Why, it was the locked door from the main hall!

And without any particularly useful information about the IT company president…
He almost never leaves his room! Nobody’s even seen him around!
Hm. If he “almost never” leaves, does that mean there are times that he does in fact leave?
Wouldn’t he have to head out to go to the bathroom? That’s how it was for me in my room!
But there are restrooms in the rooms here… What about meals?
Just one call and your food gets delivered to your room.

I think you’re right. Though this place is just a cognition, it has restaurants and bars as well. If the IT company president never leaves his room, somebody must be delivering the food to him.
Ohhh, so you think we should get info at the restaurants too! Nice idea, Joker! Oh, and Queen!

So, the thieves are heading back to the restaurant.

Music: Impromptu for the Next Prime Minister


Um, is it possible to have meals delivered to my room?
You mean room service. Yes, that is available only at this restaurant.
Aha! So, is there one room in particular that always orders food delivery?
Pardon me, but why are you asking me this? I would like to see your boarding passes if you don’t mind.
O-Oh um, we’ve been asked to make a delivery. It’s to the president of an IT company, I believe.
…… Hm…
He apparently never leaves his room, but Mr. Shido has given us direct orders about this… Now then, this is a highly confidential matter, so we must take it to him ourselves.
Ah, is that so? In that case, let me tell you the way to his room.

Moron!

Isn’t this pretty close? I suppose it’s just upstairs.
It seems to be above the side deck we passed through earlier. Is there a way up somewhere?
Honestly guys, I doubt this is gonna be any use. If it were me, I’d never open that door.
Well that’s no good! What are we gonna do!?
If only there was a way in besides through the door…
In any case, should we head back to the side deck? No that we’ll be able to get in from there…

The Phantom Thieves backtrack to a safe room, then warp back to the Side Deck.

Music: Ark

If getting this door open is impossible, we’ll just have to find another route inside. It’s the room directly above here, right? Hmm…

Heading over to the east, the thieves find their path obstructed.

But what’s this?


I mean, we ARE phantom thieves. We can use places that normal guests don’t have access to.

A ship needs a source of power to sail. There must be an engine room nearby.

So, the thieves’ current task is to climb up and up.


The view is terrible though.



And the thieves have made it to the room.

The cabin the target’s in is right there!
Indeed, I can sense someone within its walls.
What should we do, Joker?
>Check inside.
All right, here goes.

Music: Suspicion

I’m gonna go!

Oh, this seems like a great idea.

By yourself?
He’ll be on guard if we all go together… Plus, it’s IT stuff! This is my time to shine!
Should we leave it to her?

I can do it! It’s like that show where the kid goes shopping alone for the first time. Hehe, this is gonna be tough.
She’s feelin’ good enough to joke around, so maybe this’ll be fine after all…?
Just yell if things get dangerous, OK?

Futaba salutes.

Music: Wicked Plan


Smooth, Oracle.

Those clothes… I-I mean, why did you come in from the window!?
W-Well the door’s locked and you weren’t answering! How else am I supposed to get in here? Oh, but I get how you feel! There’s totes nothing better than relaxing in your own room!

“Totes,” ugh. I’m glad I’ve sided with Shido if they’re saying shit like that.

You’re an IT guy, right? I can tell we talk the same language!


Hehehe… This little guy caught your attention, huh? I made it myself!

Wanna see the benchmarks? It can pump out some awesome numbers. Although normall I just use this one as a sub-processor when I’m hacking into a tough system.

Hehehe… Ever heard of Medjed?
Well, of course.
Try not to be surprised by this. Actually, be surprised. I am Medjed! I’m the one who took down the fake!

Don’t believe me, huh? Here, this is proof.

If you want my skills, I’ll need a letter of introduction.
Man… To think the website we prepared got crushed so easily by a mere child.

Oh shit.

That’s right. Why did you have to go and destroy our work?
Because I’m a Phant–

Futaba sweats.

I-It was just because I couldn’t forgive someone using the Medjed name without my permission. So, why’d you send Medjed after the Phantom Thieves?

Music: Desire

There was no reason to choose Medjed per se. Their popularity was convenient for us though. We knew the Phantom Thieves couldn’t target an anonymous group, after all.
That’s why…?
Medjed’s defeat was supposed to be an act, so their actual fall was quite a shock to me and Akechi-kun. We were planning on shutting it down anyway though, so it really didn’t conflict with our plans. The Phantom Thieves must’ve enjoyed their moment in the spotlight, not knowing it would be so short-lived. You see, you gotta abuse a tool like the internet. Well, the word abuse doesn’t really describe it. The real charm comes in making use of the internet in innovative ways that circumvent legal restrictions.

Oh my god shut uuuuuuup

You little…
chuckle I’m sure you understand. You’re Medjed, after all. Isn’t it wonderful manipulating all those information-illiterate idiots!?
…What a third-rate fool.

Not only are your skills third-rate, but you stink worse than a third-rate person. Don’t treat me like we’re equals. I’m gonna reform society!
…What a stupid idea. Don’t tell me you destroyed my website for this so-called “societal reform”?


Picking on the weak and calling that innovative? Looks like I just gotta ban the guy at the root of all this… Shido! Now, you’re gonna give me that letter of introduction!
Why would I?


Welp, that went bad.



Noir sounds totally fed up with this garbage.

Well, now that we know he has one, this should be the easiest way to get it!

We already knew he had one, though.

Shadow IT President

These guys don’t present much of a threat to the Phantom Thieves, unfortunately for us. The Titanias are still weak to Psy and the Oberon is still weak to Nuke, so they’ll spend most of the fight hitting those weaknesses in order to get All-out Attacks. The Oberon can summon more Titanias once they die, but it’s still not much.

Noir learns Amrita Shower to replace Psy Boost. Her skills are getting crowded to justify my decision not to get rid of Tetrakarn and Makarakarn, unfortunately.

Four down for the Phantom Thieves and one to go. We better hope this cleaner can get the job done.

Music: Suspicion

Making that fake Medjed wasn’t the only bad thing you did, right? I want to hear your biggest secret.
The cognitive psience research…

After extracting the results of the research, I deleted every last scrap of the original data. After that, I encrypted everything we had and put it on a domain inaccessible to normal people. Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t know anything about all the mental shutdowns.
Shido… What the hell was he researching?
No matter what it was, we won’t let him abuse it!

Music: Desire


I’m honored to hear that.


It’s about the loyal customers of our mental shutdown business. How about you dispose of all the ones you think suspicious?

This is some North Korea shit. I mean, uh… in a good way!

Correct. The earlier the better.
Why so suddenly…? Did something happen?
Nothing in particular. But if something were to happen, it would already be too late.
I can understand why you might be nervous, but why not stay calm and hold off until after the election?

Akechi? Arguing against murdering someone? Hell must be freezing over!

I’d like to take out all of the trash before my inauguration as prime minister of this nation. For the sake of absolute victory, I need all roots of anxiety to be pulled as soon as possible.


Oh god, what’s wrong with your face/neck/shoulders!?

Shido hangs up.


Akechi seems to have come to a realization…

Man, making these updates is truly exhausting. I’m just going to rest my head on my keyboard because I’m… tired, and for no other reason beyond that.

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Whew, that was sure a nice nap I took. I think I’ll leave that meaningless string of nonsense characters in to commemorate the amazing nap I had! Once again, please don’t kill me, Mr. Shido.