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

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#101

I personally used Yusuke a lot more than Ryuji. I’d have to look back at final movesets for why, but it seemed like lightning weaknesses were less common than ice weaknesses later in the game. Maybe he also gets more multi-target physical attacks? I forgot. I also put the +10 strength accessory on him, so that could be part of it too.

Or maybe Morgana constantly calling Ryuji pathetic whenever he misses an attack got to me. That’s a localization issue, by the way; the needling in Japanese was similar but usually not meant to be harsh, more like friendly insults.


#102

I tried to use most of the characters about the same amount, and I found Yusuke to be very useful. He gets a certain set of moves that are really good after a baton pass, and the evasion buffs he gives were especially helpful when I was underleveled for boss fights later on.


#103

I used Yusuke a lot, but I also subscribe to the theory that you should make your party out of whatever characters you want because you should be able to fill in the gaps with the main character’s personas.


#104

This game goes in a cycle of usefulness where Yusuke has a higher dps till Ryuji learns power charge. He’s also the best boy


#105
Part 33

Part 33: 5/20-5/21

Boss: Embittered Blacksmith & Foolish Monks

Music: Will Power

On your knees, intruders!
I learned much from you, Madarame. In order to see authenticity… one must be dispassionately realistic.


Yusuke’s cut-in is… pretty intense.

Somehow, Yusuke also has a goddamn rifle with him, which we won’t think too much about.

These guys go down eventually, and we happen to get Yusuke’s finisher while we’re at it.

Music: Desire

Yusuke approaches Madarame, but collapses.

Yusuke, you’ve just thrown your bright future down the drain.


You’ll forever rue the day you dared defy me.

Madarame leaves.


Why can’t I move!?
Listen, you’re totally drained. You can’t do much, even if you wanted to!
What a disgrace I am…!
C’mon, just listen to her.

Music: Confession/Secret

I’m no fool. Strange people have been coming by for years, and the plagiarism was an everyday affair. But… who would want to admit that the man they owned their life to was doing such terrible things?
Why didn’t you leave, Kitagawa-kun?
Well, he is the one who painted the “Sayuri.” On top of that, I owe him a great debt.
You mean ‘cause he raised you?
I… never knew my father. I was told my mother raised me by herself, but she died in an accident when I was three. That’s when Sensei took me in. I heard he helped my mother while she was still alive.
Heard…?
To be honest, I don’t remember much about my mother either. I did everything I could for Sensei. I thought of him as a father… but he changed.

…A lot’s happened to you, huh?
When you had mentioned plagiarism… deep down I knew you were right. That’s why I so vehemently denied you… I was simply running from the truth. I’m sorry.

I’m grateful for the chance to face what I have been denying all this time.

That’s why you’re always gettin’ stuck in your own head. Look at me! I just go with the flow.
For real.
What are you going to do now?
I don’t know…
We can’t help the fact that Madarame’s gone and changed. But… we can change his heart. We’ll make him pay for his crimes.
That reminds me, you mentioned something about that “change of heart” earlier…
Have you heard the rumors? The ones about the Phantom Thieves that steal hearts?


Music: High Pressure

Suddenly, Shadows!

We’ll talk later! We need to scram!

When did my clothes change…?
You just noticed that now…?
Save it for after! Let’s go!

Music: Sunset Bridge

And because of that, this PE teacher’s had a change of heart… The Phantom Thieves who steal hearts… To think they truly exist.

No, I believe you… There’s no need for common sense to blind me after seeing a world like that. So your plan with Madarame-sensei—with Madarame is to force a change of heart, correct? Let me join… as a member of the Phantom Thieves.

Had I faced reality sooner, this may have been avoided. I must put an end to this for the sake of the others whose futures as artists were robbed, as well. That… is the most civil thing I can do for the man who was… in some manner, my father.
…Civil, huh.
Sounds fine to me. We’re gonna deal with Madarame anyways.

…Remember how we mentioned this on our way here?
Madarame is a man who has the art world under his thumb. He has connections to many organizations. If someone like me raises my voice, it’ll only be snubbed out. …We have no option but this.

“Just FYI, he might die.” “Fuck it, already said yes.”

Kitagawa-kun…


I hope we get along, Yusuke!

You’re awful quick to forget the blackmail.

You better not slow us down.
I’ll do my best.

As funny as I’m sure the nude paintings line is I’m eager to put all that behind us. Also, “don’t betray us” seems hilariously on-the-nose.

Thank you. I ask that you coach me well.
Oh, that reminds me… I wonder what’s going on with the real Madarame. Yusuke and I were in a pretty tight situation…
Actually, I contacted him before we came here. He believes that I continued pursuing Takamaki-san. And, just as you all explained, it appears he knows nothing about his Shadow.
What did he say…?
He was complaining to the security company how they couldn’t even catch one high school girl. However, he’s still furious about it, and said that he’s going to take legal action against everyone.

Talk about bein’ completely on guard…
Legal action… He’s acting way too desperate. Maybe he still has more secrets.
If he were to act, it’d be after the exhibit is over. Any scandal during the show would be his loss.
Right when I think the talk about being a nude model is over, this happens…!?
We’ll have to force a change of heart before then, if we’re to dodge this “legal action” thing. Looks like our plan must be accomplished while the exhibit is still open!

Music: My Homie

Huh? A cat.
But it’s talking.

No, not really.

Nothing fazes this guy.

Why not?
He’s just on a different wavelength than other people.
Do you wish to draw me? You better bring out the best of me in that case.

Draw me like one of your dated references.

Hm…


Yusuke presses the call bell, which I guess is a thing in Japanese diners.

I was thinking of ordering some black-bean jelly.
I bet he got that idea from a “black cat”…

I didn’t bring any money.

Mercer’s delivery of this line kills. I can’t even describe it, he’s just so lost.

…Never mind. He’s just weird.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Who, me? Why, I never.

Don’t forget you’re still under probation, got that? One misstep and you’re finished.
…No good? What’s wrong about changing the hearts of criminals? We’re doing the right thing.

If the police hear about this, they’ll totally get in touch with the school. We’ll get expelled for sure this time.
School would be the least of our worries… We’d end up arrested. Unlawful entry, defamation…
Guess that means we really can’t afford to eff it up this time.

I can’t believe they’re so committed to not letting Ryuji say “fuck” they’d even have him type out the word “eff.”

Yeah, from here on out is what really matters. Let’s do it!
We just need to change his heart before he presses charges. Try to focus on that problem for now.

An exhibition of Ichiryusai Madarame’s works opened in Shibuya earlier this week. Many of his pieces—from when he first started, all the way to the present—are on display. Praised by critics, the exhibition also shows the evolution of the master’s style through the years.
Everyone’s totally fallen for his lies. They’ll find out soon enough, though, eh?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Time to finish The Alluring Dancer.

Music: Everyday Days

So, you’ve finished reading The Alluring Dancer. The great beauty Carmen lived for love and passion. I suppose life without freedom is pointless. Well, I don’t know if I could live exactly like she did, but you learned a lot, didn’t you?

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Music: So Boring

The golden ratio used in the Mona Lisa and the Parthenon is a famous example. But a different ratio has been used in Japanese art and architecture since ancient times. Do you know what it is? Now then, Hamiru-san. Take a look at this.


Correct.

One theory says it’s because Asians have rounder faces than Westerners, so they prefer a similar shape. This ratio was used in things like ukiyo-e paintings and the pagodas at Horyuji Temple. One you should all be familiar with is B4-size paper. Those proportions are the silver ratio.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Oh yeah, I hear that mascots that are seen as cute have faces that are close to this ratio. In other words, if you use this ratio, you can make cute things.
It is true that mascots tend to have round-ish faces… Huh? Why’re you looking at me like that?

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Our fight’s not over until the exhibit ends. Keep your head in the game.

Let’s head down to the Velvet Room and turn in that request.


Music: Aria of the Soul

By fusing Berith and Apsaras, we can get Jack Frost, and look at that, it learns Mabufu all on its own.

Rude.

I know I’m just a mask, but take good care of me-hee, ho!

Jack Frost is the Shin Megami Tensei mascot of sorts, and is a spirit from England thought to bring in cold weather and create the frost that appears on windows.


That Persona… Hey, sit right there!

Hmph… Fine, I’ll take it. By the way, your Personas are super weak… Not that I’m surprised, Inmate. Though I guess you deserve at least some praise for finishing your penal labor. You might actually complete your rehabilitation…
In order to promote that process, we would like to offer you the use of a new facility.
Hmph. It’s rare to see you smile, Justine.
You are the smiling one, Caroline. Did something happen to make you so joyful?
Me…?


Know your place, Inmate…!
As wardens, we simply feel satisfaction in seeing your rehabilitation progress. …That is the extent of it. I find it upsetting that you would see such a matter as a source of amusement.
It’s like you forget where you are, Inmate. You’ve got some real guts though! With that spirit, you should have no trouble making progress!
Very well then… If you have the will to continue your penal labor, we can grant you greater freedom within this prison. It is a deal between us, the wardens, and you, the inmate.
Not like you have the right to turn it down though! Hard work is what you’re meant to do, Inmate!

This isn’t exactly making license plates, but fine, I’ll do it.

Music: The Spirit

No Sae flashforward this time. Strength is the arcana of inner strength and determination, as well as physical strength, though it’s not the focus, unlike the Chariot. It represents concepts like patience, but when reversed signals weakness and self-doubt.

The Triangle Spread, which let you fuse three Personas in 3 and 4, is curiously absent from Persona 5. Instead, you’ll do almost all your fusing from two Personas and select few special Personas are only attainable through the Group Guillotine, which takes its place. The Group Guillotine requires you to place specific fodder Personas into preset “recipes” to work, unlike the open system of regular fusion.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Now, it’s time for your next task!

Please talk to us again once you have it.

Next, we fuse a Kushi Mitama from Succubus and Hua Po.

I’ll bring some vigor back to your body. Come on, let’s check out the mysterious nature of this world!

Kushi Mitama is another Mitama, this one representing the “wondrous soul,” having the power to cause transformations and cure illnesses according to Shinto belief.


While we’re out, I also think to check out the gym Ryuji showed us.


HP and SP, huh? Sounds decent (but we’ll still never do it).

Now that Yusuke’s joined the party, a new book has become available from the library. We check it out.

>Let’s hang out.
Are you sure about that? We still haven’t found the Treasure…

I guess there’s no point in worrying if you’re so sure… Oh yeah! I started training, so you should totally help me out if you have the time.
>Hang out with her
All right, let’s go. Hm, the best way to get to Inokashira Park is by train, right?

We found a new spot!

Music: What’s Going On?

So, remember how I said before that I want to strengthen my heart? Well, I came up with a way to do it!

I think having a strong heart means you don’t let anything get under your skin. So basically, I want you to say stuff to me, and I’ll try not to get fazed by it!



I guess I should say something to Ann…
C’mon, hit me with your best shot!

Yeah, yeah, yeah! And?

Uh-huh, uh-huh. What else?

Maaku’s really not feeling this.

Wait… is this how the game is supposed to go?

Oh well. On to round two!


…… You know… I kinda feel like this won’t make our Personas stronger.

Huh, something’s not right…

Oh, sorry. I just got an email from my agency. The next shoot is… really far. Wait, what’s this at the end? It’s a notice saying to pay extra attention to the time and place they tell you. Apparently some models haven’t been showing up at all lately. Then when asked why they didn’t come, the models all say they heard there was a change in schedule. It sounds like shoots have been real hectic with all the scrambling they’ve had to do for substitutes.


It probably really confuses the staff to see a sub showing up too. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to me… Though actually, my first modeling gig was as a sub. That was back when I was still in Finland. My parents didn’t have enough models for their event.

Oh, haven’t I told you? My parents are both fashion designers who put on some seriously extravagant shows.

My perception of this character is flying into fucking orbit. This is somehow even less relatable than Rise or Naoto from 4.

They jump from country to country, so I only really see them for half of the year. …Maybe less these days.

Sounds like a Persona protagonist in the making!


Plus it would probably be tough being a phantom thief with my parents around, don’t you think? It was rough when I was little though… It was just me and our live-in caretaker. I didn’t really have any friends… Wow, that got dark fast…! Ahaha… Honestly, when I’m modeling… it almost feels like I’m connecting with my parents somehow. It’s a nice hobby to have… but I don’t think I’d want to make a living out of it. After all, that’s where Kamoshida first spotted me… and that’s how our class started those rumors…

“Yeah, my parents are fashion designers, and I’m a model in high school… but it’s just, like, a hobby. Also I’m so preternaturally beautiful I’m constantly being victimized by the people around me.”

And there’s kind of my issue with Ann. I just don’t feel like all this random shit they pile on in these scenes adds up to a whole character, something her Confidant is incredibly guilty of, which is why it’s one of the weaker ones overall.

Besides, the Phantom Thieves are more important to me right now. Nobody can be my substitute there…

(in forty-to-sixty updates in the future voice) I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

That’s why I need to get stronger!
I sense a heightened motivation from Ann…

When I was little, I used to watch this anime where the main villain was this female thief. She’d lose to the hero every time, but I always thought she was cool. She wasn’t really a “good” person per se… But she was beautiful, strong, sincere, and even sexy. She always said whatever she wanted, did whatever she wanted… She knew what justice was for her. I… wanted to grow up to be just like her someday. I hope I’m getting closer now, if only just a little bit. Well, see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

People are out and about in the city, enjoying the early summer breeze. In the city, people can still escape and enjoy nature by visiting Inokashira Park…
Hey, that park looks really nice. It might be a good idea to take a break and relax there.

Goddammit, cat, I was just there.


Maaku gains Kindness +2.

Maaku gains 1 Leblanc Coffee .




…The flavor profile is bland. You should practice more to bring out the roast’s full potential.

Man, we’ll never make good coffee!

I’ll keep mentoring you, so continue. One day, there will be a flavor of coffee that only you can produce. You have potential, keep training.

Oh, I heard about this exhibition! Wasn’t there a commercial for it?
Hey, where are you headed, miss? Wanna chat for a bit?
I heard people love him overseas too! He is so popular!
I know about a good part-time job. Are you interested?


#106

On hard mode the introductory fight for Yusuke pretty much always immediately opens with the blacksmith shadow one shotting Yusuke, which is honestly pretty funny in an anticlimactic sort of way. Also its a bit of a shame going to the gym is so worthless because there is a decently funny scene in there for one of the first times you go that I did not see until NG+ where I had literally no better options for spending my time at some points.


#107

Yusukue’s finisher image is so good. I mean, they’re all really good, but I think Yusuke’s might be my favorite.

I somehow didn’t know the part of Ann’s story where her parents are globetrotting fashion designers. I know I got past that Confidant level, but somehow that detail just completely escaped me. I guess she just never really caught my interest.


#108
Part 34

Part 34: 5/22-5/23


It’s Sunday, and you know what that means…

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Throwing more money down the drain on this fucking aojiru.

Maaku gains Kindness +1.

…However, it has a dark side to it as well!


Yes! YES! The power of the Sun God has opened your eyes to the truth. Madarame is a pig rolling in a trough of money! By the name of the Sun God shall he be condemned!

Music: Butterfly Kiss

>I want to do a clinical trial.
In that case, my little guinea pig, there’s something I want to test out today… Well then, please head into the examination room.

Every time she says “guinea pig” it sends a fucking chill down my spine.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)\

If you’re feeling OK, you can go home now.


…What? Again? That’s, well… that ship’s already sailed, so…


You remember that girl from the other day? The Chief of Staff Oyamada’s patient? Her dad’s been bringing her here to be treated, even though I referred them to another hospital. I even told them about the medical error I made…

I’m just a quack though… The medical error was well documented. Everyone in my field knows about it. I led the development of a new drug for an incurable illness called “Crawford-Ende’s disease.” Although I wasn’t the one who administered the medicine, it was the cause of the error.

With Crawford-Ende’s, certain cells indiscriminately attack other cells throughout the body. When it reaches the muscles, the patient slowly begins to die… There hasn’t been much progress made on it-- partly because there haven’t been many cases of it. I worked with a pharmaceutical company that had reached the final stage of production, but… One day, I was suddenly removed from my position. That Chief of Staff Oyamada, my superior at the time, took over the entire operation.

Music: Confession/Secret

He made careless mistakes and rushed completion so he could use it on a patient named Miwa. Miwa-chan had a reaction and lapsed into critical condition. The chief panicked and laid the blame on me. Miwa-chan and her family resented me… …No matter what I said, I couldn’t change how they felt about me.

Well, that doesn’t matter… The development of the medicine was suspended, so I had no reason to stay at that hospital. At least now I can keep working as a general practitioner, on my own terms… with my guinea pig.

That’s the new medicine I’ve been trying out on you. This version is in the final stage of testing. It searches for those cells that take the offensive and destroys them upon detection. That’s why it’s harmless for people who don’t have the disease… probably.

Wait, then how do you even know if it works?

Maaku’s kind of a dope.

I’m telling you, chills.

You’d better not flake on me this late in the game. I’m inching closer to the finish line, but I need your help to reach it. In exchange, I can offer you medicine at a special price. I’m counting on you, guinea pig.
It feels like my bond with Takemi is growing even deeper…

Now Takemi has new support items for sale. We’ll see what these do in a few updates, but they’re… I want to say “useful,” but I actually mean “mandatory.” Again, we’ll get to that in time.

Now, what should I do about that girl and her dad? Being mean and scaring them hasn’t worked. It’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with this kind of nuisance. It’s stressing me out. Oh, sorry, that’s all I wanted to talk to you about. You can go home now.

I feel like cooperating in that shady clinical trial has increased my Guts
OK, thanks for your hard work.

Maaku gains Guts +1.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Here’s what we’ve got for you today! Ever need an Adhesive Bandage? Well how about fifty of them!? The most basic of first aid needs!
You can get as many wounds as you want if you have these!

That’s a weird way to sell bandaids, lady. HURT YOURSELF AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE

This is a limited item! Today’s the one and only day it’ll be available! And it can be yours… For the incredibly low price of 1980 yen!
Adhesive Bandage, huh? You wanna get fifty of them? They’re just 1980 yen.

This is an absurd deal. Fuck yeah, I want those bandages.

OK! And now it’sh time for the pop quiz ques… question! What’sh the painting… That made me, who is Madarame, so famoush?

Sadly, picking “Yukari” does not result in a Persona 3 reference.

Ding ding! Ding ding! Tha’s riiight! Ya win a prize to… a round trip t’ Yongen!

Oh boy, I’ll go pack my bags!

Shalalaaa, your smile…/Shalalala, during the rice season… No, no, that’s no good! Ah can’t let m’country side show any! I need to write a soul-shaking rock song… I need the gods of rock to speak through me!

Looks like our resident rocker is actually a little bit country.

Er, what I mean is, the food’s real good—I’m not calling you a dope or anything!
confused meow
Damn, I gotta get better at Japanese…

Foreign Barker is one of my favorite characters.

…And on the other end of that spectrum, here’s Mishima!

I had pretty high hopes for them, but they turned out to be posers… The Phantom Thieves are true heroes though! I wanna help out however I can!

He also nags us about that request he sent us, but we’re busy right now.

While we’re out, we buy the latest books. The other two are a spotlight on local parks and a fashion magazine “girls with unique tastes.”

You don’t know me, cat.

Oh hey, it’s that lady we saw by Madarame’s.

I guess the editor-in-chief has been nagging me about covering the Phantom Thieves though… I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens. Time for me to go get a drink.

There are less physically abusive teachers nowadays, but the truth of it all is still a mystery. I’m giving a speech again today. Do you think you can lend me a hand with it?
>Help him out
Then let’s get to it. Can you please hold the placard?

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

…Is not right! It will take time to solve this problem. However, we must start by making small changes!

Regardless of the audience’s size, you must convey your thoughts as if you’re talking one-on-one. By the way, I forgot to ask you last time we spoke. Why do you want to become a politician?

Ambitious, indeed, if a little ambiguous… Well, I’m sure you’ll iron out the details as you go along. May I ask you one more question? What kind of politician do you want to be?


It’s worth noting that Sun is one of two Confidants (along with Moon, though that one has other requirements as well) that do not require points and will rank up every time you visit them. The notes are just for flavor.

…Allow me to give you some advice. If you aspire to get into politics, you must possess a central philosophy. What is it that you want to accomplish…? That is the foundation of a great speech. You’d do well to remember that.



To get your message across, be tenacious in conveying your thoughts to the audience. Have a firm point of view, and communicate it clearly—that’s the first rule of negotiating. Haha! You have me reliving the fighting spirit I had when I first became a politician.
Yoshida explained the basics of speech-giving. I feel like my bond with him is growing deeper…

Diplomacy lets you ask for more money or items after succeeding once, and is a great way to get tons of money from enemies by just asking over and over until they reject you and then knocking them back down and doing it again. Unfortunately, later upgrades to Sun make this impossible, to the point where I’ve seen people suggest keeping Sun at Rank 2. We won’t be doing that, because there’s other ways to get money, and it’s not all that scarce to begin with. Besides, not doing the best Confidant in the game because it’s sub-optimal isn’t my style.




Poor Tora.

Ah, my apologies. We’re done for today.
I feel like learning about the basics of negotiation has served to increase my Charm

Maaku gains Charm +3. Yes, really, +3 from a single Confidant rank. Tora owns.

Thank you for all your hard work. I’ll see you next time.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Madarame was talking to a lawyer. I suppose he’s serious about suing. I think we should advance our plans. Why won’t we go to the Palace today?

Eh, why not?

Great. I want to stop that man as soon as possible. In that case, let’s assemble after school. I’ll be over shortly.

Music: So Boring

Artists with that good of an eye are rare in Japan. I wonder if he has synesthesia. Yes, regarding synesthesia… One of many English terms that comes from Greek root words. Haven’t you heard of it? It’s a condition where your senses can cross over each other, like seeing music as color. Mr. Hamiru. You were staring off into space, weren’t you? Well, your number’s up. The root words of synesthesia are “syn” and “aisthesis.” What do they mean?

Child’s play.

Good! You’ve been studying! Unfortunately, synesthesia’s something you have to be born with… You can’t learn it. Some of the geniuses over the course of history have had synesthesia. The composer Franz Liszt instructed his orchestra to play the color purple.

Must’ve been hard teaching them all to act! …I’m sorry.

The poet Arthur Rimbaud was also said to see colors in letters.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1, and is still at Rank 1, fucking hell.

Seeing colors in sounds and letters, and feeling shapes in flavors and numbers… Geniuses and common people see the world differently. Were you able to understand that?
Synesthesia, huh… That’s fascinating. Although, the reason Madarame sees the world differently is because of his distorted desires.

OK, let’s head there now!

Music: Suspicion

Oh, you mean about the Metaverse and the Nav. Yeah, I guess that stuff is pretty important.
Please elaborate.
OK, let’s start from the beginning. First, the Metaverse spots where we act as the Phantom Thieves are called Palaces. Palaces are worlds that take form from someone’s cognition… A materialization of their reality.
So do we each hold Palaces within ourselves as well?
No, not just anyone will have one. It’s primarily those with strong distorted desires…
They basically gotta be criminals. Real bastards like Kamoshida or Madarame.
On the other hand, Palaces can’t exist within Persona-users. It’s just impossible for them to form. Basically, your Persona is the true feelings of your heart, which arise from conquering your inner Shadow. Then since you have full control of your emotions, there’s no way your desires can get distorted.
S-So that’s how it works…
O-Obviously I knew that…! Oh, and we use the Metaverse Nav app on our phones to get into that world!
It’s actually pretty simple. Just say a person’s name, location, and distortion, then you’re in.
Location…?
Uhhh, so like Madarame’s would be “shack,” then his distortion is that he thinks it’s a “museum.”
How do you know what their Palace is going to look like if you have never set foot in it before…?

We fucking guess, Yusuke. It absolutely kills the narrative momentum.

That part’s kinda like a quiz or something. It’ll prolly get pretty tricky from here on out too.
Hm, I feel as though I have a good grasp on the basic concepts. If anything arises which I fail to understand, I’ll rely on those more experienced than myself.
Yeah! I gotcha covered, newbie!
Uh… You should probably ask Morgana if you need anything.
Thinking back to Madarame though… I can’t believe he’d consider pressing charges.
Yes, I’ve never seen him show such anger before. He is most likely quite serious about that.
What should we do…? There’s no way we’ll be able to win if that happens.
He likely won’t act on that threat until the final day of the exhibit: June 5th. Simply put, I doubt he would be so foolish as to taint his name with a trial during his exhibition.
All right, so we just gotta steal Madarame’s heart by then. There’s no way we’re gonna let him press charges… We’ll show people who he really is!

Music: Tokyo Emergency

And after all that, we’re finally ready to head back into Madarame’s Palace.


#109
Part 35

Part 35: 5/23

Music: Tokyo Emergency


Music: A Woman

It has to be “Kitsune.” You know, with that kitsune mask and everything.
Hell yeah. That really leaves an impression.

What do you want your name over here to be?
I’d say “Da Vinci.”
Nope.

Well, you’ve got that mask like Ann said… and there’s that weird tail…

What?

Oh. Well, that didn’t translate at all.

Snrk…!
Very well.

It’s decided then: Abura-age.
Nuh-uh! Not happening! Do you have any ideas, Joker?

Ohhh, just keep it literal, huh? Sounds good to me.
What do you think, Fox?
It’s acceptable.
It’s set then. Let’s go.

Starting lineup? You mean the ones who’ll be going in first?
Yeah. Now that Fox has joined us, it’ll be harder to move around as a group. We’ll stand out more too. Considering how we’ve operated to this point, we should have four starters. Anyone else can be backup.
And I guess we always gotta have our leader with us, right?
Exactly. That’s why we’ll have Joker choose the remaining three.
And what should the backup do? Would it be best for them to stay outside of the Palace?
No, they should come in as well, but maintain a reasonable distance from the main group. In other words, the starting lineup is the first wave of our infiltration force. Well, we’ll leave the team composition to you, Joker.

We can change our party members through the menu at any time, unlike in P3 and P4. Also thanks to our current rank in the Moon Confidant, backup party members end up gaining a limited amount of experience.

sigh Thanks to all my hard work.
…What do you mean by that?
Don’t worry about it. C’mon, let’s keep going!

These Jack Frosts go down quick to Fire.

In the next hall, we see a large statue of Madarame.

I guess Palace rulers like makin’ statues of themselves.
It was the same with Kamoshida. I guess this one’s a little better-made though.
I-Is that so…?

Ooh, do you think that could be another pamphlet? Let’s take it with us, Joker!

You’re right. It says it’s the second out of two.

Now we can use it to figure out where the Treasure is, right?
I suspect it’s in the innermost point of this place. If that’s the case…

Hm, we will need to pass through the lounge and the gallery in order to reach it…
The deeper in we go, the tighter security’s going to be. We need to advance carefully, OK?


Looking into the large hall before us, we see it’s filled with a maze of lasers.

I’m curious about the paintings further in. It feels as though I could walk right into them…

Nearby, we use our last Lockpick on a chest and receive some alright rewards.

And further in, we see a hallway with the lasers turned off…

…only to turn on when we approach.

These Inugami are weak to Wind and like to use Physical strikes.

This statement would make a lot more sense if the lasers actually showed up in this scene.

Much better.

Remember how in the castle Heavenly Punisher (Archangel) was several levels higher than us, meaning that not only could it stomp us flat, we couldn’t add it to our party? This Nue is the same way. In addition to feeding us a healthy diet of Skull Crackers…


…it also loves to hit us with multi-target Curse, which we don’t have a great way of dealing with. It’s thankfully weak to Fire, though.

Just like before, we should be able to turn off any systems that are giving us trouble there.
Though it’s prolly gonna be tough gettin’ in at all…

Behind these shutters is a security room. The room only has one unsealed entrance, so we’re forced to look around for another route.


Indeed. It bears such a bizarre texture as well. It’s as though I could simply slip inside…

The painting shimmers and warps.

Wh-What the!?

M-My hand… It actually entered the painting…
So we can go inside of it…? Well, I don’t see any other path for us to take. Let’s give it a try!

Well, you heard the cat, let’s jump in.

What the heck was that…!?
We’re probably just hearing Madarame’s thoughts. There’s no need to panic.
Madarame…

We run to the left…

…and warp into another painting.

Hm… So this space is not merely one, but a multitude of paintings.
…You’re tellin’ me they’re all connected? Which one goes where?
That, we will have to continue walking to find out…
Hey Joker, can’t you spot the connections with your skills?

(He means use Third Eye to see where the paintings connect)


So he dares call us thieves who dirty his heart… The one who has sullied the very nature of art itself has no right to accuse us of such a thing…!
Save your emotions for later. We have to keep moving!

Nearby, a vent takes us into the next room.

There, another Shadow waits.

His stance conveys the notion that he is no ordinary foe.
I think the control room’s behind him. He’s probably guarding it to make sure nobody gets too close. However, we’ll need to disarm the security if we want to ensure we have a safe infiltration route. Forcing our way through seems to be our only option… Hey, are you ready to do this?

Music: Blood of Villain


You expect me to move just because you tell me to!? I’m afraid you’re sorely mistaken!

Boss: Bringer of Misfortune

Music: Keeper of Lust


In the two turns this guy gets before I kill him, we learn that he blocks Physical and Gun (annoying, especially because I brought Ryuji instead of Ann), inflicts party members with Rage (really annoying, because he blocks Physical and I only had two Relax Gels) and likes to raise his Attack (meh). I believe he also uses Gun attacks, but fuck if he got a chance to use them.

Music: A Woman

Phew, that guy was tough… I guess that’s just par for the course in a Palace…
It really was on a totally different level from the other enemies though…
Hm, he dropped some sort of card.


Skill cards first appeared in Persona 3 Portable, and in Persona 4 Golden were known as one of several ways to break the game wide open. They’re nowhere near as common in this game, to the point where they might as well not exist unless you really take the time to engage with the proper systems, but they’re still handy if you know what you’re doing.

What’s this for? I’ve never seen anything like it…
Ain’t it just some kinda loot? C’mon, let’s get back to explorin’.

We pass another treasure chest we can’t open. One day I’m gonna look up what’s in those chests, but not today.

Sweet! Let’s turn that shit off already!

Ugh, another one…?
We’ll just have to look for someone else who might know it…

Circling back around to an earlier hallway brings us within earshot of a couple of familiar faces… er, masks.

Yeah. I just got a call earlier to change the password here too…
What to? It better not be simple.
Well, I was having some trouble coming up with a good one… For now, I set it to the numbers for Lord Madarame’s feet.
Lord Madarame’s feet? What are you talking about?
Let’s get back on duty. There’s a chance the intruders are nearby.

Maybe… his shoe size?
Yo, Yusuke. You know that bastard’s shoe size?
Unfortunately, I have never heard him mention it. Are we sure that is the proper password…?
Madarame’s feet… What do you think that could mean…?

Whatever we do, let’s not look for the answer on the internet.

We head back over to the statue. On my first playthrough, this took me an absolutely embarrassing amount of time to find because I had ignored the statue completely.

”Here we praise our most holy lord Ichiryusai Madarame, the one ray of hope in this depraved world. He stands alone as his two adept hands paint into the future. None shall ever match his excellence.”
Pffft! He’s really puffin’ his chest out here, ain’t he…?
Hold on a moment… Could this be the spot of “Madarame’s feet” that the security guard mentioned?
It’s at his feet… Oh, right! But isn’t the password supposed to be a number of some kind?
Hm, I do believe there are numbers here though… “One” ray of hope stands “alone” with “two adept hands.” “None” shall match him… That means…

Yeah, that must be it!
Sweet! Let’s head back and shut down the security!



The shutters open and all lasers on the floor deactivate.

We’ll definitely be able to go to more places now! Come on, let’s get moving!

We head past the laser hallway we saw earlier into a new hall.

There is something off about these though…
Why don’t we go take a closer look?

Hm… It looks like these ones are all completely different.
And look. There are even two frames with no paintings at all.
That is strange… but we don’t have a choice. Let’s go, Joker.

The slow drain of my skill is inevitable when I am surrounded by such mediocrity…
…So he’s gonna blame the world for his declinin’ skill? Heh, that bastard never had any real talent to begin with!

From here, we head right.

People gather under shrine gates, offer their money, and return home fully satisfied. Art is practically the same. In the end, it is all just a matter of imagination…!
Huh!? Even if that’s true, that doesn’t give you the right to be deceiving people!

And, right again.

So they’re not connected exactly as they seem… We’ll have to keep trying until we find the right way.

We head right into the gate painting once more…

…but this time, we head forward, into the gate itself.

Too many young people do not see the true value in youth these days. What fools… Is it truly wrong for an expert such as myself to capitalize on that youth before it wastes away?
What the heck? He’s basically saying he’s jealous of young talent… Look at me! I was turned into a cat, but I’m still fighting. Age isn’t a valid excuse.

Now, we jump out of the painting onto the nearby platform.

There, we press the button.


A new painting appears in one of the empty frames.

So passing through one hidden route leads to the formation of another… What an elaborate ruse. It’s highly likely there is a new path through the paintings. We should investigate, Joker.

We head back into the painting, left to the desert, right to the gate, and right again to the new painting.

Art, life, water… They are all identical. The one who ascends to the summit is the victor!
So he’s usin’ all those pretty words, but he’s basically sayin’ people are like steppin’ stones. That’s just like what he did to all those kids—crushed ‘em for his “art”! What a piece of shit!

We approach the octopus on the side of the boat.


I guess it is just a painting, after all. I’m sure we’ll be OK…

The boat shakes and the octopus swings one of its tentacles…

…knocking us straight out of the painting.

We land unharmed on the floor.


Shit.

Fighting these enemies gives Morgana Magaru, finally letting him hit multiple enemies.


Ignoring the previous incident, we make our way back up to the boat painting, jump out, and hit the button.

Another new painting appears.

Ah, there are no longer any empty frames at this point.
I bet there’s a new path again too. Let’s get in there and check it out.

We can’t jump back into the boat painting from here, so we’re forced to jump down and re-enter from the desert painting, then head right to the shrine and forward into the gate.

Back in the forest, we climb along the scenery and head forward once we reach the peak.

My fine mansion, my lifestyle among the chosen few… Those things are the true “art”!
So running your atelier out of a shabby, run-down shack was simply an act after all… How foolish I was to have been deceived for so long…
Fox…


How despicable… We have encountered so many of his paintings, yet not once did he mention a love for art. These are no “paintings”… They are just meaningless self-assertions placed into picture frames…!
I’m excited to see how the change of heart alters him. Now, let’s hurry!

We’ve made it through the painting maze, but there’s still a decent amount of this Palace left. Next time, we’re making it to the end.


#110
Part 36

Part 36: 5/23

Music: A Woman

The dev team is devious enough to hide a stationary Shadow in one of the bathrooms, ready to pounce if you run in. This isn’t important, I just thought it was really dumb.

And behind this door is…

Music: A Woman (Another Version)


An MC Escher hellscape! I don’t see what the big deal with this style is, you guys. I can draw things bad, too.

Shit… What the hell is up with this place!?
There’s so much gold…! It’s hurting my eyes…
The distortion is especially bad here… It’s barely holding up. Plus, it’s not even on our map…
So we must ascertain the truth through our eyes alone…

We run into more Shadows here. These Koppa Tengu are still weak to Ice.

We head into the mysterious blue gateway.

It seems even the paths beyond these apertures are distorted in the same way as this room…

Warping again, we come to an area with two paintings.

It’s probably some kind of illusion. We’re in a Palace, after all. Well, I guess the painting itself might be correct though.
You say “correct,” but aren’t they all counterfeit? Although maybe the real one’s here too…
I wonder… Either way, the fact that this is here might mean it’s connected to this space in some way.

Attempting to bypass the paintings…

…puts us right back at the start. Because everything has to be a gimmick.

It seems this is a trick after all… He would not let us proceed that easily…

So, we inspect the paintings.

Isn’t that a fake? I mean, this is Madarame’s Palace…
There is an obvious difference if you look closely. It shouldn’t be too difficult to tell them apart.
Yeah, maybe it’s obvious for you… What do you think, Joker?

So, here we have to correctly identify the true Sayuri… from memory. I really hope you were paying attention to what color she was wearing one of the two times we saw it prior, because otherwise you’re screwed!

Unfortunately, this is a fake. The real “Sayuri” has vibrant crimson garments.

What? Oh, uh… I knew that! Just showing off the penalty for failure for the LP! Yeah, let’s go with that!

O-Oh, right… Now that you mention it…

By the way, that penalty is…

…A Shadow shows up! Fun!

This Makami loves to cast Mafrei (multi-target Nuclear) and Double Fangs and is weak to Electricity. We make sure to pick one up for later.

>It’s the real thing.
That is correct. It seems you have quite the eye for detail, Joker.

He says, after I fucked it up once and chose the only other option.

For real… That’s amazin’…
The vibrant crimson clothes, her beautiful hair, the sublime balance between subject and background… This may only be an illusion, but it is without a doubt a spitting image of the true “Sayuri.”

If you know what it looks like so goddamn exactly why am I doing this instead of you!?


The painting turns into a light that shoots into the doorway. We enter it.

Seeing past the false image has opened a path to the truth… Hm, this golden place filled with counterfeit work is a prime example of the alchemy of Madarame’s brain. And here, just as in reality, he entraps those who cannot see through his lying facade…
You might be right… No wonder the distortion is so strong here.
Hey, so… what does that mean?
I think it means finding the real “Sayuri” should break through the distortion and open a path.
So do we just gotta check all of ‘em?
Why would we do that…? Let’s just look for the real one… assuming we can differentiate it.

From here, we can see all four paintings. Can you spot the correct one? I’ll give you a hint: It’s the third one. Thankfully, this is more spot-the-difference (the tree branch is missing) than rote memorization, because all the counterfeits here are the same.

Yes, this is the true “Sayuri.” It may be an illusion, but there can be no mistaking its allure. Nicely done, Joker.


And in the next hall, we see yet more obvious fakes. I say “obvious” because, well…

…the developers couldn’t be bothered to add new fakes, so all these are just repeats of the old forgeries. As such, they can be dismissed outright. However…


…with the last two, they get tricky. You’ll probably get it in a few seconds because I’ve helpfully screenshotted them both (and they’re both onscreen at the same time here), but in my first playthrough I was reduced to outright guessing, and even in this run it took me a number of minutes before I spotted the difference. I was looking at the kanji in the corner, at the fog patterns, at the budding flowers on the tree branch… It’s pretty embarrassing in retrospect.

If you somehow can’t figure it out: her hair is wrong in the first one. It’s supposed to go over her shoulder.

The light from the painting shoots off far below us.

Huh…? Where the shit did it fly off to!?

We have seen all of the false images. Something must have changed somewhere…

Walking into the nearby gateway will send us back to the start, but now a new gate is open.

Just be careful, OK? The distortion is growing much stronger the deeper we go…

From here, it’s just a straight shot back to the comparatively more “normal” museum.

Music: A Woman


Then is the Treasure behind him?
It’s kinda hard to tell from here. Let’s get a close look!

Music: Disquiet (This song plays for almost the entire rest of the Palace outside of battle)

Doesn’t it look a bit hazy?
For the time being. Once we send the card and make Madarame aware it’ll be stolen, it’ll materialize like “Yoohoo!”
I wonder what form it will take…
Who knows? Bet it’s something like a self-portrait.
The source of what distorted Madarame’s reality this much…

Hmm… We know where the Treasure is, but I’m not sure that we’ve necessarily secured the route…
Huh? Why’s that?
You must be talking about the infrared lasers surrounding it.
That, and the outer perimeter is swarming with guards. Forcing our way through will be difficult.
So we’ll need to find a way to steal it too… This is tougher than it was with Kamoshida…
We just have to make one final push. Let’s check this floor…!

We find the control room further in.



Nothing happens.

Huh? Nothing happened…

The heck? There was no point in even comin’ here then…!
Hm,. It seems disabling the infrared lasers is not within the realm of possibility for us…
Let’s try the other ones too.


I-I am not sure! It seems we have lost power… The backup generators should bring it up again in no time!

Hm… Could this also be…? Hey, someone!
Tch, it came back on pretty damn fast…
Yes, and the infrared lasers remained active even during the power outage.
So we’ll only be able to turn the power off in there for a few seconds…
Wait a second… Aren’t those guards that just ran out headed this way!? What else should we try? We might be in trouble if we don’t hurry…


All right!
Now there are more places we can explore…

Crap, we got company!

The encounter, while not quite a boss or a miniboss, consists of three Makami who like to spam Mafrei and Double Fangs and actually managed to kill me once (but there’s a safe room nearby, so whatever). It’s more annoying than difficult.

All we really managed to do was open the shutters…
On top of that, we can only turn the lights off briefly, while the lasers remain unaffected.
Oh well… Guess we just gotta go see what’s past those shutters.

Yet another unopened chest. Sigh.

A lot of the encounters on the way up this winding hall that circles the main room consist of Shiki-Ouji, better known as “that fucker who blocks Physical.” He still likes to pull the same old tricks, hitting you with Rage, boosting his Attack, and using Gun attacks, but now we have to deal with our dwindling SP resources on top of it all. Suffice it to say I ran from at least one of these encounters.

No, it is most likely where all the mechanisms in the exhibition hall are controlled from. Given the number of hanging works, it would make sense to have a room dedicated to controlling them.
The observational skills of an artist are out of this world…


Oh, look! There aren’t any lasers above it!
This is quite a large hole in their security… but what do we do? Jump down to retrieve it?

Not if you don’t want your legs to snap like twigs.

We wouldn’t be able to get out if we did that though. Look up.

The controls should probably be around here somewhere. Let’s find them!

Music: Tokyo Emergency


Hm, this could be useful…
Do you plan on descending on that hook? Would they not spot you the moment you were lowered down?
No… Not necessarily. There’s something I can do to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Exactly! That’s our Joker!
Oh right… We were able to turn the lights off over in that other control room!
Only for a few seconds though. There would not be enough time to make it all the way here.
That’s why we’re going to split up the tasks and work together to pull off this heist! One person will shut the power off here, one person will lower the crane, and I’ll grab the Treasure!
You sure that’s gonna work? Seems to me like they’d realize what’s going on at some point.

Smart thought, Ryuji, but basically, no one else has a better idea, so fuck it!

Sometimes bold moves have the greatest payout. Unless someone has a better idea?

Well said, Joker! You understand what being a phantom thief really means!

I’m actually not totally sure on what being a phantom thief really 4means. That archetype isn’t that much of a thing over here.

All right, it’s settled. Our infiltration route is secured!
You gotta be kiddin’ me…

It amuses me that Ryuji is the only one with any objection to the genius plan of “let’s tie the cat to a rope and lower it like it’s fucking Looney Tunes.”

Now then, it’s time for the calling card!

Music: A Woman

>Return to the real world
Well, I’m still kinda worried… but we gotta do this.
I cannot even begin to fathom what Madarame’s Treasure may be…
Either way, we’ll steal it for sure. Oh, and you all did great today!

We finally secured out route to the Treasure! All we need to do now is send the calling card.
You’re right… And once we send it, the heist is the only thing left… We have to succeed… I’ll let you decide when we do it, Joker. Let’s make sure we’re ready before then!

Music: Beneath the Mask

All right, it’s finally time! Now all we gotta do is decide when we’re gonna do it.
Shouldn’t we talk to Yusuke about that first?
Uhhh, why?
I mean, Madarame was his teacher.

Yeah, this problem’s bigger than just the three of us.
Anyway, how about we all meet up at the hideout?
Yup, sounds good.
OK. Lemme know when you want to meet and I’ll tell Yusuke.


This would have been handy in the Palace. Oh well.

With the recent economic slump, many companies are limiting their number of new hires. Popular companies are overwhelmed with applications, accepting applicants at very low rates.
In their suits, everyone all looks the same. It must be tough to look for a job.

I can just feel the cat getting smug that it doesn’t have to work.


#111
Part 37

Part 37: 5/24-5/26

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)



Ishikawa Goemon was a thief without peer. So he was a hero of the common people, huh?

Halfway through that book for now.

Music: Tokyo Daylight


I guess I’ll come back later. It’d be a problem if they called the police on me or something.

Looks like this lady’s still trying to check up on the Phantom Thieves rumors.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Over in the Velvet Room, we can fuse a Shiisaa using Makami and Jack Frost.

You have mask… You and me… Don’t worry, be happy!

Somebody cut Meher Baba a check.

Anyway, Shiisaa is an Okinawan protective spirit.

Not only does it get Mabufu from Jack Frost and the Frei we needed from Makami, we also learn Rampage, which is Light Physical that hits 1-3 times. It’s very useful.

Ooh, that’s…!
I see you have brought us a Shiisaa with Frei.
chuckle Very well… Your assignment’s done.

Hmph. I guess at least you’ve got the will to work.

Don’t gimme that smug attitude! This is your duty, Inmate!
That said, you have completed the task surprisingly easily.
You might actually be worth our time after all. Justine, tell him his next task. It’s on that list, right?
Indeed… Now then, I will assign your next task. Be aware that the tasks on this list will increase in difficulty as we go. Are you prepared?

How admirable.
I feel like my bond with Caroline and Justine is growing deeper…

Once again, we would like to bestow a new privilege upon you… However, it is exceedingly powerful. We ask that you fulfill another task before receiving it.
snicker Life isn’t gonna just hand you success!
Now, I will assign you your next task…

Let’s back out and check on the new goodies Takemi has.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

Takemi’s got a new section open for accessories now.

The Regen Patches give Regenerate 1, 2, and 3, which restore 2, 4, and 6 percent of HP each turn, respectively. But those are terrible and unimportant compared to the SP Adhesives, the third one in particular. The SP Adhesives give Invigorate 1, 2, and 3, which restore 3, 5, and 7 SP each turn, respectively. Not “percent.” 3, 5, and 7. While that may seem like a bummer, it’s really not. 7 SP a turn is massive for most of the game and having four of them on your party members can carry you through even the longest Palaces. Remember how I said Takemi’s accessories were “mandatory”? I meant it. This is the way you manage to clear the later Palaces in a day. There’s really no point in even bothering with 1 or 2, as that’s wasted money better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to buy an SP Adhesive 3 yet as it’s one of the most expensive items in the game, so we’re forced to wait.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Over at the diner, we order a Nostalgic Steak. Maaku gains Kindness +1 and Knowledge +2.


We finally get Rank 2 Knowledge, holy shit.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Oh no, not a nifu!

That must be such a difficult loss to accept. I wish we could let him have some time to himself…
Well then… Let’s move on to the postmortem, where we analyze what happened in the game.

Let’s make some coffee.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


There is no mistaking it… This is Hawaiian Kona…


…The flavor profile is bland. You should practice more to bring out the roast’s full potential.

Those words are going on my suicide note.


Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

It appears you’re lying low lately. What’s with the change?

Really… Is it just my imagination then?

Girl, you suck at this.

Anyhow… I wish the culprit would come forward soon… It’s absurd to pretend I can do the police’s job… I wish he considered my feelings before asking me this.

Maaku’s just standing there awkwardly listening to her complain to herself.

Get off my case.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

>I want to do a clinical trial.
I’ve been really busy lately with all my new patients buuut… What the heck? Oh, everything’s set up already. Oh, that old lady from earlier forgot something… I wonder if she’s still outside…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

…It was right in front of me, so…
Oh my! You’re a shy one, aren’t you?
i[/i] I-I’m not shy.
My neighbor speaks highly of you. She says your medicines are better than those at the big hospitals. It’s very reassuring to have such a distinguished doctor right here in town. I’ll see you again soon.


…Thanks to you.

There’s a lot of talk going around town about me, started by that girl and her dad… Apparently, they’ve been telling everyone that I can make all these amazing medicines and remedies. So now the number of patients I’m seeing has increased dramatically. I don’t know what some of these people are thinking though. I’ve had a lot of crazy requests. Like, yesterday a patient requested a “sweet-smelling” compress. And the other day, I had a request for a “cold-buster.” Ha! A drug like that deserves a Nobel Prize. Other requests have included hair and skin tonics… I even had to do a consultation about a cat… Sheesh. It’s not like I’m some kind of genius doctor.



This is all interfering with my development. I’m only interested in completing my new drug. That’s my role as the Plague. I’m not suited for all this other stuff.

What…? Really…?

But a “town doctor,” huh…? That sort of lifestyle profession might’ve been possible for me at one time, but now… …… Oh yeah, about those clinical trials… With so many new patients, it’s taking longer to analyze the data, so I’ll need to catch up. This is a bit on the stronger side, but I’m sure you’ll be OK.
It feels like my bond with Takemi is growing even deeper…

It looks like that girl is going to make a full recovery. The treatment seems to be a good match for her. So at least I can breathe a little easier, for now. …Hopefully she’ll be able to attend school soon.

Well then, let’s have some fun.

I feel like cooperating in that shady clinical trial has increased my Guts

Maaku gains Guts +1.

OK, thanks for your hard work.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Ryuji finally contacted us on the Yamauchi situation.

You’ll go with me to help investigate undercover, right!?
So, what’s it going to be? Will you listen to Ryuji’s request?

For this rank of Ryuji’s Confidant, we have to participate in a special night event. These aren’t terribly frequent (by which I mean this may very well be the only one) and can only be done on specific dates. First things first though, our daily ritual must be upheld.

Scams are much more intricate now, and many young people have fallen victim to them. Police are working to protect people from scams, but struggle to come up with countermeasures.
It sounds like more people have been getting scammed. I feel bad for people who fall for those.

All right, now we can go.



And we got a new spot, where we can take people who enjoy… monjayaki. Sure, I know what that is.

Sorry, but I’m gonna be hiding in the bathroom.

Ryuji is nothing if not dignified.

Please, Maaku! Just leave your phone on so I can hear what they’re saying.

Music: Suspicion

Mmm, I’ve had some experience. Back in my college days, we’d rent a yacht for the weekend and have massive parties. I must say though… the sake’s been tasting particularly sweet today.
No surprise there. Things have been much calmer without Kamoshida. Those were some real dark times for Shujin though, huh? But now that he’s gone, you finally get the chance you deserve, Yamauchi!
Don’t flatter me, haha. He had his strengths, sure… but because of him, our volleyball team will be forever scarred. The only real option now is to abandon it completely. There has to be a way to bring Shujin back into the limelight though. That’s where I come in…
You mean with the track team, right?

The students who went through so much hardship under Kamoshida rise again with a caring new advisor… It’ll be the rebirth of a team that found themselves in the depths of despair… The public will love it. Despite my lack of track and field knowledge, I’ll form a tight bond with the students… I’ll be the protagonist of my very own tear-jerker… And of course all the praise for reviving them will go to me, their incredible, loving advisor. I’ll have to hire a great coach if I want to pull this off though.
So you’re gonna pretend to coach them while someone else does all the legwork? Amazing, Yamauchi!
Such stunning achievements will look great when it’s time to hand out bonuses… But I’m not gonna stop there either… I’ll publish books, give motivational speeches…

I’m noticing quite a few holes in this plan, such as “what if literally anyone catches on to the fact that you’re not actually coaching them.”

What about all the troublemakers on the team? I’ve heard that Nakaoka kid is especially bad.
Nakaoka…? Oh, you mean the one who asked them to bring the pre-Kamoshida coach back? Don’t worry, I’ve already taken care of him…

There’s this other boy on the team… Takeishi. Doesn’t really excel in much of anything. Well, I said I would make him the new captain if he could get rid of that troublemaker Nakaoka. I might’ve mentioned something about how Nakaoka was working with Kamoshida too… …Subtly, of course.
And? What ended up happening?
Apparently, Takeishi chased him away… The plan worked perfectly! And the best part is, not only are Takeishi’s parents loaded, but his mother’s the president of the PTA.
I see… He’d make a great pawn!
Perhaps, but a nothing like him could never captain a successful championship-winning team. He may have to have an unfortunate “accident” at practice one day.

Look at this criminal fucking mastermind here, blabbing off about his plan to injure a minor in front of a random teenager.

But until then, he can show the others the value of obedience.
Hehehe… You’re incredible!




So… they’re just gonna have to decide on their own. Y’know, track ain’t a team sport. At least, sprintin’ wasn’t.

You’ve got teammates, sure… but you’re really just lookin’ out for your own time. That’s why I never thought about askin’ people for help or tryin’ to solve our problems together. But… I can’t ignore the stuff they’re goin’ through now. I mean, even though we had our own goals n’ shit… We were still runnin’ together. They suffered with me, gritted their teeth with me… Honestly, I think it was only ‘cause of them I was able to run at all.

I know that ain’t the coolest thing to say, but it’s how I feel.


…For real? Thanks, man!
I feel like my bond with Ryuji is growing deeper…

Insta-kill is an odd ability. For starters, it only works on enemies substantially weaker than you, to the point where I’ve only very rarely seen it outside of Mementos floors I was way overpowered for. You don’t get experience or money from these skipped encounters, but if you have room in your Persona deck it’ll automatically give you a mask of one of the Shadows you would have encountered. If you don’t have room, you can’t even choose to throw an old mask away, you just get nothing. This means that if you’re fishing for a specific Persona, you have to keep throwing old ones away from the menu. All in all, it’s honestly kind of pointless beyond speeding up travel through old Mementos floors and trying to get Personas you’re so overpowered you’ll kill in one hit.

Anyways, I’m starvin’! Let’s eat some monja while we’re here. Right now all I’ve seen of this place is the goddamn toilet! Thanks for hangin’ with me, man.

I spent an awful amount of time trying to spin a Rick and Morty reference out of this before I gave up. This space is instead dedicated to how much I suck for attempting to make such a boring, tired joke in the first place.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

That parliamentarian from when I was a kid… Toranosuke something.

He hangs out at train stations giving speeches these days, but no one pays him any mind. He used to be a rising star in politics, but wound up involved in scandal after scandal.
Huh… Yeah, I saw him in line for food. It was weird seeing a politician eating at the same place as we do.
Well, that’s probably his new gimmick, right? Pandering to middle-class people.

Man, poor Tora. People are even doubting his motives.

Music: So Boring

Don’t think you can get away with copying stuff from some website. I’ll know. Got it? Stealing someone’s ideas is plagiarism. It’s as much of a crime as stealing anything else. It’s so annoying dealing with copyright crap these days… Oh yeah, did you know this? So, you know how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has the famous character Sherlock Holmes? One time, another author used Holmes in his own story without permission, and Doyle protested. Now then… Hamiru-kun. What was the name of the other famous novel that Sherlock Holmes appeared in?

Oh, do you like mystery novels? You’re right. It’s the ultimate showdown between the gentleman thief and the famous detective. But afterward, Maurice Leblanc—the author of the Lupin series—changed Sherlock’s name in his books. He changed it to “Herlock Sholmes.” He just moved the S to the start of his last name.

That’s the kind of hilarious dick move that I can totally get behind.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Both Lupin and Holmes would go on to appear in a number of other works… But those were homages, not plagiarism. Now, Arsene Lupin is synonymous with the idea of a “phantom thief.” He’s recognized all over the world.
Wow, it looks like some phantom thieves never go out of style!

Music: Tokyo Emergency

We don’t have many options today, as being on the calling card step means we can’t hang out with Ann or Ryuji. Also, we just hung out with Takemi, so she’s not free. Since we have no available Confidants, we might as well just send the calling card today. Next time, we’ll do just that.


#112

Wow, Yamauchi is extremely bad at this. Maaku was looking straight at him and he still went on and on about his evil plan. No wonder he’s just sidequest-Kamoshida.


#113
Part 38

Part 38: 5/26-5/27

Music: Suspicion

Madarame’s going to be a changed man. There won’t be any way to revert it though. Are you sure you’re OK with that?
I have thought it over carefully, and I cannot think of a future in which he does not pay his dues. He has preyed not only on the art world, but on countless talents… so I humbly request your help.

I apologize for making you do this…
Not at all. We just didn’t want to impose if you weren’t feeling up to it, Yusuke. But if you’re already determined to do it, then there’s nothing more for us to say.
If I recall, our next step is sending a “calling card,” correct? What a suave maneuver.
It’s not about acting cool. The calling card is a way to trigger a change in his cognition.
A change in cognition… That reminds me, you went through some trouble regarding that before…

I thought we weren’t talking about that.

Ah, you must be talking about when we forced open that security gate in the courtyard.
The Palace is a cognitive world, so changing its ruler’s cognition changes the topography! …I think!
Very nicely put, Lady Ann! You’re absolutely correct. This will be a vital tactic from here forward.
Actually, may I ask a truly basic question? You continue to mention cognition quite readily… But why does this world formed from materialized cognitions even exist to begin with? Don’t tell me… Has it always existed, while we go about our daily lives completely oblivious?
Honestly, I’m not sure. At the very least, I know it existed before the Kamoshida incident… but that’s all.
I see…
Crap, he totally caught me off guard with that… It’s kinda weird thinkin’ there might be whole worlds we just don’t know a damn thing about… …Did the thought ever cross your mind, Maaku?

Other worlds? You watch too much television, Ryuji.

Don’t be so anxious. You don’t even know everything about the city you live in, after all. All that’s important is that we know how to make use of that world and how to traverse it.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

So, with that philosophical quandary neatly packed away, time to discuss the order of the day: the calling card.

He is famous, after all… He has often received slanderous letters till now, as well.

Wait. Are you going to write it again, Ryuji? That last one was questionable at best.
You should do it then, Yusuke! Make it really artistic and stuff!
No. It’ll end with him figuring it out. He knows my drawing and writing styles all too well.
Oh, then I’ll think it up, and you make it cooler!

The final result of Ryuji’s directive can be seen here:

This is absolutely the worst, most terrible, awful joke I will ever make in the entirety of my blighted existence, and you know what? I’m not fucking sorry.

Designing a calling card, hm… Interesting. It shall become proof that the Phantom Thieves do exist.
It’s decided then!

You guys better come fully prepared!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Looks the same to me.
Maybe it’s just for the group and doesn’t show up in here… Well, you should take a look later. It’s that Phantom Thieves logo I had Yusuke draw for us. The calling card turned out great ‘cause of him too. Anyways, this is the first job for the Phantom Thieves. We really can’t screw this up, k?
I know.
And make sure Yusuke gets a lot of rest today, OK?

I’m not sure how he wants us to make sure of that, but whatever.

See you tomorrow!

This is the new logo Ryuji mentioned, for the record.

Nothing goes your way in life. You’ll end up failing if you tense up like that.

I missed it last time, but Sojiro has this unique bit of dialogue on the night you send the calling card. Thanks for the advice, Fake Dad.

Confessions of crime are the… A: “queen” of evidence/B: “jewel” of evidence/Which one is right? You be the judge!

I don’t feel like either I’ve heard either of these, but I’ll pick the one that sounds more natural.

The correct answer is A, “queen.” Yes, that’s a very famous expression in the field of law. Confessions are very powerful evidence—people used to even resort to torture to get them.

Okay, we get it, Mr. Know-it-all.

That’s a high school prodigy for you. Today, forcing a confession is forbidden under law, and…
I’m surprised you knew that. Did you just guess? Torture, though… That’s pretty brutal.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

We make three Lockpicks (thanks to our Proficiency now being Rank 2) and gain Proficiency +2, which I admittedly tried to savescum for a better result and gave up on.


Please excuse me for a moment.


A letter?
It’s… uh…

Music: Disquiet

You are an artist who uses his authority to shamelessly steal the ideas of his pupils. We have decided to make you confess all your crimes with your own mouth. We will take your distorted desires without fail. From, #Millennials

There we have it, his sin is vanity. Not greed or envy, vanity. Though, this game likes to play a little fast and loose with the sins.

Madarame crumples up the letter.

We don’t know! The same letter has been posted everywhere…
What about the security cameras!?
There were no signs of the culprit… All we saw was a cat in the recordings…
Remove these at once!
Of course! Um…
…What now!?
It’s about this affecting the exhibit… We believe it’s just a prank, but what of the mass media?
Are you insinuating that this slander is true…?
Of course not!



Well, it means nothing… They’ll only be able to do as they please until this exhibit is over…


Hold on, we were waiting at the exhibition? This seems like a bad idea.

Yup! It was perfect! The composition was way cooler too!
The Treasure should appear right about now.
You better enjoy the air of freedom while you still can, old man. Anyways, d’you guys check online? People are already talkin’ about that callin’ card. We’ll show ‘em… We’re gonna surprise ‘em all!
I’m sure you know, but we only get one shot to pull this off!

We’ll be counting on you too.
You have no reservations about this either, right, Yusuke?
Of course not. …We’ll do this.


Music: Life Will Change (Instrumental Version)


I mean, we did basically declare war on him by sendin’ that card.
But there’s nothing to fear. We’ve secured a route, and we’re ready to go. We’ll take the Treasure in style!

There will be no turning back once we begin the operation.
And if worst comes to worst, we might have to fight…
That’s right. Are you ready, Joker?

OK! Everyone to your positions!

There’s an enemy inside, just as expected…
I mean, we’ve done a ton in here. It ain’t surprisin’. Anyway, I’m gonna try and draw it out, so I’ll leave the switch to you guys.
Will you be OK…? What if it catches up to you…?
Heh, don’t underestimate an ex-runner. I’m definitely gonna shake it off…!


Panther emerges from behind a plant.


Yeah, it’s perfect!
You seem to be enjoying this.
Only the best can appreciate these critical moments. Plus, this feels like we’re really phantom thieves!

We are really phantom thieves, though.

We’ll be counting on you, Mona. And Panther as well.

Good luck, everyone! Let’s do this…!

Panther turns out the lights.

Joker pulls the lever.




Wait, where’s Mona?


That was amazin’, Mona!

Ngh… How dare those vermin… But now we’ll corner them like the rats they are! Lock all the doors at once! They have nowhere to run!

We can look into that later. For now, we must escape.
Yeah, it’s time to go!

Fun detail here: for the brief time between now and the end of the Palace Mona has the painting tied to his head.

Now is no time to be lost in thought. We must go!

Whoa, this shit’s real high up…
But at least we’re outside! Is there a way down out here!?


We don’t have time to lose. Just go through it! Now’s our chance!
For real!? But… I guess there’s no other way!

I knew it! All that security would’ve been meaningless if it just led back inside!
It seems we managed to escape their siege.
Mrrrr… Meowww…
Dude… Why’s Mona gettin’ excited now of all times…?
I just can’t take it any more! Let’s take a look at this Treasure…!


Hrm!?

Music: Tension

THIS is the Treasure!?

Get back!

The characters all leap eight feet backwards.


Is this what you’re looking for?

Wait, you… brought it with you? Why?

What nonsense that you used a mousetrap on me!

A+ localization.

So you had a fake prepped, huh!?
Counterfeits are accepted in the world of Japanese art.
What made you change like this!? Is it because you became famous!? Can’t you understand how much it pains me to inquire about the crimes of my foster father!?
…Now that I think back, the only reason why I took you in was due to my ties with your mother. That woman never lost her passion for painting even after her husband died. Her skills and talents were quite astonishing… That’s why I decided to look after her.

How low can you sink…?

Genuine…?

That’s… the real “Sayuri”…? This can’t be…!

Huh!?
Indeed it is. This was painted by your mother. It’s a portrait of herself. A woman who knew her death was coming painted her last wishes, for the son she would leave behind. That is the truth behind the mystery of “Sayuri”’s expression!
You stole something THAT personal…!?
I knew at first glance. I knew it’d be a huge success, if I added a touch to the painting and announced it under my name!
But the baby in the picture… Why did you paint over it…?
…It was all to stage it. If the babe is erased, the reason for the woman’s expression will become a mystery…!

This just makes it more hilarious that people thought it was so great in the first place. “Yeah, there’s this big ugly fog over a third of the painting, but I can’t tell why she’s smiling. It’s a masterpiece!”

I always felt something was off about all this… Now I know what it is. If you really treasured that painting, you wouldn’t even think about replicating it for profit! You don’t love art at all!
Though you have a real Treasure, your true skills are nothing more than those scribbles on that fake!
It makes me laugh, asshole!
So you’ll defy me no matter what…Well then, since you’re my work of art, Yusuke, I’m going to reap you for the sake of my future. …Along with those insolent friends of yours there.
I can’t believe you’re treating both mother and son like they’re objects… You’re inhuman!

I’ve heard that you destroy your “art” once they outlive their usefulness… …Did that include my mother as well?

Music: Blood of Villain

She just so happened to have a seizure in front of me. That’s when a thought crossed my mind… If I don’t call for help and leave her be, I could obtain her painting without any strings attached.

This got dark.

No… You let her die!?
She was physically weak. No one would doubt if she just dropped dead because of a seizure. Above all, Yusuke, didn’t you think it was odd—that I discovered your talent when you were only three? The reason why I kept you around was to keep you from realizing the truth behind “Sayuri.”

I’m not quite sure I understand this. He kept Yusuke around… so he wouldn’t recognize his mother as Sayuri… by exposing him to it constantly? I guess it almost makes a twisted kind of sense if you squint real hard.

The artistic talents you inherited from your mother were a delightful miscalculation, though. If I’m to steal ideas, it’s much easier robbing the future of brats who won’t talk back than adults. It’s thanks to you that I came up with the idea. You have my gratitude.

Yusuke…?

Every reason for me to forgive you has disappeared without a trace at this very moment! You aren’t some rotten artist… You’re a despicable fiend who wears the skin of an artist!
All you good-for-nothings…! Barging into my museum and doing whatever the hell you want… Those who have the connections make the rules; those who don’t, follow them. Not to mention, the value of art is all subjective! I make the rules in the art scene! I am the supreme being! I am the god of the art world!

Music: Blooming Villain

Madarame laughs…

and laughs…

and laughs.




#114
Part 39

Part 39: 5/27

Music: Blooming Villain

Boss: Ichiryusai Azazel Madarame

There is a world the mediocre cannot understand!

This is The Painter’s Face, and he’ll be our boss for this evening. If you don’t know what you’re doing this can be a bit of a trial but it’s honestly pretty simple.


You aren’t even worth the art you “create”…!

So, for this fight, we’ll be using just the Shiisaa we fused recently, as it knows a lot of good Physical skills like Double Fangs and Rampage, as well as resist Physical itself. Eventually we’re gonna have to make a good healing Persona, but between Morgana and the Takemedic-All Zs (100 HP to every party member) we got from Takemi, today is not that day.

Each part of the face is a different target with a different HP bar. Unfortunately, they also each have different elemental affinities, as can be seen here. The mouth absorbs Physical and is vulnerable to magic, and vice versa for the eyes. The nose absorbs nothing, because it sucks.

Another annoying aspect of them each being separate is that they each get their own turn. The eyes go first, in between some of our party members, followed by the nose and mouth when the cycle completes. The Right Eye (our left) uses single-target Fire, Electricity, and Ice attacks, while the Left Eye uses Tarukaja on the mouth and Rakunda on the party. Not bringing a Persona with buffs or Ann’s Dekaja, and the fact that we haven’t even seen a Persona with Dekunda (neutralizes debuffs on the party), all compound to make this rather annoying to keep up with, especially if it targets Morgana, who’s rather squishy.

The nose uses single-target Wind attacks or will start twitching, meaning we should focus it down.


If we fail to take it down quickly (it doesn’t have a ton of health, unlike the mouth), it’ll use Dust Flurry, a multi-target Wind attack. This is really only dangerous for Ryuji, but it’s good to not have to experience it at all. You’ll probably figure out that you should take it down naturally. In fact, I had to film another take where I intentionally let it happen so I could find out what happens and get those two screenshots.

For its part, the mouth does nothing but bite. This is your body on Resist Physical.


This is your body on “being the squishy mage on the receiving end of both Rakunda and the enemy’s Tarukaja.” It’s not pretty. Remember that Dia only heals about 50-60 HP and you’ll see where the problem is and why we need those Takemedics.

It takes a bit of time to down all the parts. I generally always ended up saving the mouth for last because Rampage hits three out of the four parts and magic does less than multi-hit Physical.

Anyway, once you do manage to get them all down, the face retreats, and the true boss emerges, Madarame, or as this form is really known, Azazel. Unlike with Asmodeus, Azazel has nothing to do with any corresponding sin, instead being associated with the scapegoat rite from Leviticus, or alternately the name for a fallen angel.



The Madarame who gathers a full crowd every time he opens an exhibit! I’m not someone that worthless brats like you are allowed to defy…!
You still have the nerve to say such things!? You will fully taste the wrath of those who were preyed upon by you!


On his turn, Azazel will use (heh) “Madara-Megido,” a trivially weak attack that does 10 damage to every party member. Our job is just to hit him with all we have at this stage.

After two turns, Azazel will retreat.

And, of course, the painting comes back.

It seems you need a good whipping to make you understand!

The parts respawn with less than full health, which is nice, but the face has some new tricks up its sleeve.

The Right Eye can now cast The Artist’s Grace.


The afflicted party member becomes covered with paint and weak to everything.

There has to be more than just our color changing! We should be cautious!

The only thing to do when it happens is just guard and pray for the best.


Unfortunately for us, the nose can now also Dust Flurry whenever it wants.


The paint wears off in two turns, thankfully.



Dammit… Those things can come back if we don’t take them down at once!?

But just in case there wasn’t enough bad news, the first time we knock down one of the parts, one of the others will immediatetly use Restore to bring it back up. From now on, we have to make sure we don’t leave a lot of time in between destroying each part or they’ll bring each other back, albeit with a paltry amount of health.

Stop it, you brats, or else…!

Now, it’s actually very easily possible to take Azazel down in two cycles, but there’s a bit more fight to show off if we hold back.



……! Isn’t that the same thing Madarame’s been using? Let’s try covering him with paint!
Time to bestow the humiliation of being painted over to him…!


There’s really only one choice here.

Two turns of holding off the face later…



Wh-What the…!? My powers… They’re suddenly draining…



We make short work of the painting after that.

Even if you cry for help someday… you’ll regret this… No adult will help you…
I hope you’re prepared to go down, Madarame!

From there, it’s a simple matter to finish him off.

Ryuji learns Rampage (1-3 Light Physical strikes to all enemies), which would have been amazing to have during that fight.

Meanwhile, Yusuke learns Vicious Strike (Medium Physical to all enemies).


#115

On hard mode I found the spotlight thief tool to be pretty useful for distracting Madarame from going after whoever he painted. Can be a bit risky depending who you put it on though.

Also I really like that his signature attack when not in painting form is just a cheap knock off of another move.


#116
Part 40

Part 40: 5/27-5/29

Music: Regret

No one cares for true art… All they want are easily recognizable brands…!

Take it up with Andy Warhol.

I’m a victim in this too…! Wouldn’t you agree!?
Excuses now…?
The art world revolves around money after all… You can’t rise up without any money… Yusuke, you understand, don’t you!? Being a poor artist is truly miserable…!


You’re done for, along with this abominous world!
shriek No, please! Just… don’t kill me…!
Return to yourself in reality and confess your crimes—all of them!
Y-You’re not going to kill me…?

shriek All right… All right! Wh-What about the other one though? The one with the black mask?
Hm…?

A black mask? Wait, who’s he talking about…?
It can’t be… There was another intruder besides us within this Palace…!?

There’s no time! Hurry!


…Put an end to all this and use your own artwork for once.
Yusuke!



It would be bad if people started getting suspicious of us. We should leave at once.
Yusuke, c’mon.
Right…

Music: Sunset Bridge

Ugh, so bitter… Why’d you get it black?

You’re not gonna get all teary-eyed and say stuff like “Mom…!” are you?

Ryuji is kind of a dick.

To think that this painting was the source of Madarame’s distorted desires. The only saving grace is that my mother won’t know of what transpired…
The genuine painting at his atelier has been altered, after all… Ironic as it may be, this one here is her true self-portrait now.
…It’s a wonderful painting. And… although it took some time, it’s in your hands now, Yusuke.
…I’m thankful for it. However, it’s impossible for this painting to be acknowledged by society anymore…

You may be right… Seeing my mother’s expression here, it’s doubtful that she would’ve wished for fame. So this is my mother… There’s no way that I would remember her face clearly… But I was right about the rush of emotion I felt when I saw this painting.

Ryuji gets up and returns chugging a drink.

Gross.

Stop that!
You’re so vulgar, Ryuji.

I have no idea what the point of that was.

So, what’re you gonna do now? We’re gonna keep targetin’ big shots.
…Why do you do such things?
It’s to get back at scumbags and like… society in general?

Sure, let’s go with that.

We also wanna give courage to the people that’re sufferin’ ‘cause of selfish adults.
Courage, hm… What good does that do? You mean the courage to stand up for themselves, correct? Will acquiring that make them happy?

Jeez, we just kind of assumed it would, I dunno.

…Yeah. There’s no knowin’ whether it’ll turn out good for everyone or not. Still, we won’t know unless we give it a try.
…In other words, it all depends on the person, hm? Then the same can be said about myself right now. I also suffered because of an adult’s selfish act. Moreover, if we investigate these Palaces, it may expand my artistic repertoire.
You really only think about art, huh? You’re impressive.
Well I won’t take part in any inelegant plans, all right?


Plus, we have a rule that says we always have to decide on a target unanimously.
How about it, Joker? We can give our calling cards a lot more oomph if we have Yusuke on our team.

I will try and live up to those expectations.
At any rate, I’m curious… Another intruder besides us, huh?
Our only clue’s a black mask, so that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s just one person, right?
But there’s no way to check anymore. The Palace is gone.
I’ll try probing Madarame. I may be able to learn something from him.
Are you sure? I mean–
I’ll contact you all if anything turns up.
We should probably exchange our contact info with you then.

We haven’t done that yet? How were we contacting him in the first place?

An artist and a phantom thief… It seems I’ll be engaging in two trades from here on… Very well. You only live once, after all. Still, the incident about this other intruder does concern me a little…

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Goodness, things are going so well!

Hehe… Could the day our name becomes common knowledge be nigh? But I have to say, you sure are something special. This is our fifth Persona-user. It’ll help broaden our battle strategies as well. Besides, having an eye for beauty is a must for phantom thieves. We’re lucky to have Yusuke. An artist is a talent you rarely come across. I mean, he IS a bit strange, but still… An artist, huh… What kind of person do you think I was? There’s no way I’d turn out to be some bad guy in the end, right? I get so engrossed with the embodiment of human desires… And that’s not all. When it comes to the Metaverse, I’m the only one who can transform into a car… I’m special… but it’s still odd. Who could I actually be…?

Will you give it a rest!? That’s definitely not the case! sigh What a half-assed answer. Well, there’s no way someone like me, who has honorable aspirations, can be evil. A man who saves those in trouble in the west, while punishing evildoers who may lurk in the east! A man who chastises people that smoke inside in the south, while saving bullied cats in the north. A man who has a sturdy body and vows to always do one good deed a day, be it rain or shine.

This is embarrassing.

I’m that kind of ideal person. …Or so I hope. So if I turn back to being human… surely she’ll take notice of me, won’t she?

Time to tease the cat.

Me!? Don’t be ridiculous! People chase after me when it comes to love! Where should I go when I become human…? I wonder where she’d like to go… An amusement park, a movie theater, a fancy cafe, shopping… What do you think?

Yeah, same Maaku.

Morgana’s follow-up is crazy, for the record. I’ll see if I can’t show it off sometime soon.

Music: Beneath the Mask

We all did our best.
Allow me to express my thanks once again. Because of you, I was able to retrieve the painting that had been filled with my mother’s love.
Hearing you say that makes the whole thing worth it, Yusuke!
Seriously. I wasn’t sure you’d really want to change Madarame’s heart.

Yeah. We did it just like with Kamoshida.
By the way, I’m curious about what he said at the end.
You mean about the other intruder besides us? IT was something about a black mask, yeah?
That may have been nothing more than a lie. Madarame was quite deranged at that point, after all. For now, we should wait for his change of heart in peace.
OK.

Turnout is much greater than expected, and those involved are pleased by its popularity.
Is it really that popular? What are they going to do once his wrongdoings are exposed?


Music: Aria of the Soul


You are now one step closer to your rehabilitation. It’s a delightful thing indeed.
Our master is please. You should be honored, Inmate.
However, that man’s remarks are concerning. It seems another has made their way into the Metaverse.

That is beyond my knowledge… But your rehabilitation is progressing smoothly. …That is for certain. May the devotion to your rehabilitation grow even deeper. …I have high hopes of you.
I feel like my bond with Igor is growing deeper…


Music: Alright (Elp Version)


I’m calling about Madarame’s state. For the time being, he hasn’t suffered a mental shutdown. Other than that, his demeanor seems to have softened a bit. Is that… the change of heart?

I see… I was curious and looked into Kamoshida as well. It’s as if he was an entirely different person. Will the same be true for Sensei…? …I’m sorry to have taken your time. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Good-- Oh. I’ll try asking him about the black-masked intruder from the Palace when the time is right. Goodbye then. This time for sure.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Why don’t you try drawing the Phantom Thieves logo? I bet it would look really cool!

That’s the spirit!

Prolly some kinda prank by those “phantom thieves” or whatever… Did he draw this? Who’s he trying to impress…? Wait, does he seriously think they exist? That’s kinda embarrassing…
They’re just treating us like some kinda joke… Nobody believes in our existence… This is a good way to tell how popular we are. You should try drawing it again some other time.

If the literal meter wasn’t enough for you, another barometer for your prowess as the Phantom Thieves is drawing on the class blackboard, which leads to your classmates viciously mocking you. We can check back after different events in the story and the reaction will change, so we’ll make them eat crow later. Hopefully.


That’s true, but… I’m going to write about it so that the same thing won’t happen again!

Good on you, newspaper girl.

But maybe I should’ve covered that artist, Madarame, instead. Everyone’s talking about him…

Music: Tokyo Emergency


It’s all part of the process. Success will come, but only after you fail again and again. It’s like they said on Madarame’s show. The big shots at the top all started as beginners.
I think I get it… I’m starting to feel like I can do this!

At least they nailed the core defining feature of pickup artists being terrible at actually getting laid. I keep checking up on these guys because it’s fascinating to me that they chose to put PUAs in their game and have them seem mostly normal. I’m not even like, complaining. It’s just weird.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

Could you head to the back?
>Hang out with her
It’s thanks to you that I was able to progress this far. Now you can drink this stuff with no problem, right?

Oh, are you going home already? If you have some time, why don’t you stay and enjoy an apple?

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, being offered one by your doctor means they probably can’t stand you, right?

It’s a gift from one of my elderly patients. She gave me a lot.

Music: Suspicion

There was a medical conference nearby, so I thought I’d check up on you. Who’s this? He doesn’t look like a patient.
He’s a part-time staffer. I’m having him handle some miscellaneous tasks for me. So, do you have some business with me?
…I hear you stole one of my patients. A girl with bronchitis. She came here with her father…
…Bronchitis, you say? Well, I had no intention of taking her from you. I certainly didn’t encourage her to visit my clinic.
Now there’s talk that the care at a university hospital is inferior to that of a general practitioner! “Original medicine.” Ha! What you’re doing here is simply absurd!
…You’re right.
I would’ve turned a blind eye if you had just rotted away out here in this little town… But this is your final warning… Shut this place down and resign your medical license.
……

…What did you say?

Hmph, you seem to be quite fond of her. Perhaps I should reveal this woman’s true identity. She’s a monster who tortured a patient with her unregulated medicine! Terrible, isn’t it? She was such a brave girl, always smiling…


Music: Desire

She passed away.

What…!?
Perhaps you’ll suffer the same fate, hm? Hahaha… She is the Plague, after all.

She was slowly recovering… Her condition couldn’t have deteriorated that quickly!
But it did. You must’ve misjudged. Now, back to the reason I’m here. Don’t ever take another patient away from me again. …You don’t want to make me angry.

No, no no… But she’s all I’ve been working toward, all this time… Curing her was my only… There’s no way…

…… What have I been doing all this time…? What was even the point…? I can’t…


Yeah, you’re right… I feel better now… Thanks for your help, my little guinea pig…
It feels like my bond with Takemi is growing even deeper…

Discount is great. Not only does it work on everything in the clinic, but it reduces prices by a whopping fifty percent. It’s what we’ve been blitzing through Takemi’s Confidant for, because it makes getting four SP Adhesive 3s much, much easier.

Ugh. I wish I hadn’t shown you that side of me…


Go on home for today. …We will continue this another time.
I feel like cooperating in that shady clinical trial has increased my Guts

Maaku gains Guts +1.

Take care…

Music: Beneath the Mask

It’s hero against hero in an epic shiritori battle—of wits! Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “Having the Last Word Actually Means You Lose!”

I hope Persona 6 is about sentai shit, that’d be great.

We’re going to help out Sojiro today, because unfortunately, we can only make coffee so many times before he decides to fuck off home and not try our coffee anymore. We can still do it, but he won’t be there and we won’t get points with him, which was half the reason we were doing it in the first place. Note that also, we’re still not even near close enough to rank up with him, because Rank 3 to Rank 4 takes an absurd amount of points.

Put your stuff down, and grab an apron. Don’t forget to wash your hands.


I don’t think my bond with Sojiro will deepen just yet…

Goddammit.

Hey, thanks for helping out.

Huh…? Who could that be at this hour…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

If you’re free tomorrow, you wanna go to Shibuya to catch it? “The Cake Knight Rises.” It’s an action flick! Whaddya say?

Eh, I liked the previous entry but I heard this new one was pretty overtly fascist.


So, do you wanna make plans for tomorrow?

Fine, whatever. We could use the points with Ryuji and we haven’t seen this new movie yet anyway.

An action movie, huh? Sounds fun! yawn We should get to bed.

Music: Break it Down

Music: “Pandemonium” from Catherine

Grizzled psychopath voice: Do you wanna know why I use pies? Cakes are too quick. You can’t savor all the little… taste sensations. You see, when forced to choose… cake or pie… people show you their true taste!
It’s just Batman voice: I am nothing like you. You’re a psychopath who bakes for money!

Everything about this movie… It’s completely ridiculous. But the protagonist’s passion to fight for his friend, that really touched me…
I feel like I was able to learn how to be more compassionate to others…

Maaku gains Kindness +3. What the fuck.

Music: Break it Down

How ‘bout you? Don’t these revenge movies make you feel somethin’?


Aight, let’s get goin’. It was fun kickin’ it with you today!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Nothing at the moment. He is still bedridden.
Wait… You think this was too much for that old bastard’s heart?
There’s no need to worry. His life does not appear to be in any danger.
I hope we didn’t eff up on our first official mission… Can he talk at all?
So far all he has said to me is, “I’m sorry.” I haven’t been able to speak to him since though. He is in no state to hold a conversation.
For real…?
If he ends up taking legal action against us, our leader will be in big trouble…!

Jeez, guys, stop fucking panicking. It’s legitimately kind of annoying that you guys freak out every time we do this.

If Maaku says so, I’m sure it’s true!
I will contact all of you if any progress is made.
Let’s just wait for the change of heart for now.
Yeah… Well, we’ll be waiting for your updates, Yusuke.
That reminds me, the home shopping program is airing today… You wanna check the TV?

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! Two pairs of Wild Clogs! Walk down the street with confidence and without any worry!
Everyone will be impressed by your traditional style as you click-clack down the street!
And it can be yours… For the incredibly low price of 4980 yen!

Sure, let’s buy some uncomfortable shoes.

We’ve been getting a lot of reports of extortion. You should go home before you get targeted.
S’fine. I gets shtronger the more I drrrink. Let ‘em try n’ fight me. I’ll deshtroy ‘em. retch
Hey, don’t even think about it! These young punks don’t hold back!

Time to waste more money on the vegetable potion. This one raises claims to raise my knowledge, which is false because a smart person wouldn’t buy this shit.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

I feel more confident when you’re around.
>Help him out
Well then, let’s get started.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

To make your decisions based simply on loss and gain is to act like a heartless machine. The reason so few people care about their fellow man is because so few have the energy to do so. We politicians have fallen short of our goal to change society. We need your support more than ever!

You’re going to completely lose the hearts and minds of the people.
Again, what I’d like to say is–


Music: Alleycat

Do you know about the Kuramoto Children?

That was nearly 20 years ago. I’m impressed that you’re so interested in politics. I was a member of the Kuramoto Children as well. Yoshida and I joined the same year. I made an amazing career change, going from a pro wrestler to a Diet member.

You know, I might’ve guessed that, just because you’re still goddamn huge.

I was elected easily, but I had no idea what I was doing. I realized I wasn’t elected on my own merit when I failed to be re-elected for a second term. That was true for the both of us.
You made a great comeback, though. You’re truly an inspiration.
As are you, old friend. You’re working harder than anyone on the campaign trail.
Oh, there’s no need for false praise to impress the boy here.
Yoshida’s well-informed about the inner workings of politics, so I’m sure he’ll be a great teacher. However, I suggest you only do as he says and not as he does, if you want to become a Diet member.

I assume he means YOU STOLE ALL THAT MONEY AND ACTED LIKE A DUMBASS

I’m guessing he doesn’t know…?

You really think you can win the election by being completely honest and making good arguments? You’ve got to secure votes! Or else you’ll be forever known as No-Good Tora!

Heh… It’s been a while since I’ve heard one of your grandiose speeches.

The two share a laugh.

Hamiru-kun, was it? Tell me, what about Yoshida here drew you in?


Don’t mention it, buddy.

You address matters quite directly for a young person. It seems you have been taught well.
I intend to teach him everything I know. That’s what we agreed on.
I feel like my bond with Yoshida is growing deeper…

This is the skill that, ironically, has a chance to ruin longer fundraising efforts. You’ll get more money than normal if it procs, but that proc instantly ends the battle, meaning you can’t ask again.

By the way, how are things between you and old man Kuramoto?
We’re still not on speaking terms.
There’s something I’d like to get your opinion on, so I’ll be in touch.
Very well.

You may still distrust me because of what happened with the missing party funds… But I’m not the one who pointed the finger at you. That’s all I’m going to say.

Ah, my apologies. That’s all for today. Good job…


#117
Part 41

Part 41: 5/30-5/31

Anon: shitty site, but cool idea

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days

So, you’ve finished reading The Gallant Rogue. That splendid spirit that pays no mind to the bad guys… He’s a true example of a gentleman thief. After reading this, I’m sure you have a better understanding of a chivalrous thief’s courage.

Maaku gains Guts +3.


And we get another rank up.

Music: So Boring

I can’t go sea fishing because I get seasick easily. So much for my dream of being a sailor. Oh right. When people think of sailing the high seas, they tend to think of pirates. Even though they’re ruffians who plunder other ships and coastal settlements through force… For some reason, they ended up getting romanticized. Now then, Hamiru-kun. Who was the pirate who said that he hid his treasure in a certain place just before he was executed?

Pshh, this was part of my Persona trivia like 30 updates ago.

That’s right. The answer is William Kidd, also known as Captain Kidd. Kidd was a merchant who had raised money from aristocrats. He should have been subduing pirates… …But in order to turn his commission into a profit, he ended up becoming a pirate himself.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

The money he used for his exploits was essentially the aristocracy’s. He himself wasn’t considered rich. Still, several novels were written based on his legend, and people still look for his treasure today. By the way, I’ve heard that there’s an island in Kyushu where Kidd’s treasure is said to sleep…
Kidd’s secret treasure, huh… Regardless of its actual worth, there’s still value in letting that many people dream about it.

Yeah, dream it. Don’t give it up.


I need your help with something… I found this flyer stuffed in my mailbox.

Music: My Homie

“Housekeeping Service”! It says that a cute maid will do anything for you! A maid, dude! A MAID! Who’ll do ANYTHING for us! Right? …Right!?

Oh god, it’s time for Horny Ryuji. Well, at least it’s no Horny Yosuke, the worst character in Persona 4.

…You’re a guy, right? You know what I mean! Let’s give it a try. Yeah? Yeah!

Luckily, some guy on my floor just moved out so there’s a vacant apartment in my complex. The key is behind the mailbox, so we can get in anytime. The landlord seriously doesn’t care. The place is all set, so…


Um, can I, uh… …Get in on this?
Oh-ho! You mean you’re into this kinda stuff? Wow! Okaaay…
I-I’m not into it! It’s just for research!

“I’m just writing a trashy novel about sex workers, I promise!”

What does it mean that they’ll do “anything”? And do the maids look exactly as they’re advertised? We need to determine whether or not this company just pretends to offer housekeeping services!

Nice save, Mishima.

I-I… …Just want to punish the bad guys! And in order to do that, I have to see it with my own eyes!
Yeah, we gotta see it with our own eyes. Every little detail… snicker We’ll have to do this at night, so let us know when you’re ready.
So what’s the code name for this operation…? Hmmm…


Nice! I like that!

With that nonsense out of the way, it’s time for other things.

First, let’s trade in The Gallant Rogue for The Great Thief at the library.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)


We also go to the diner. Maaku gains Kindness +1 from the Nostalgic Steak and Knowledge +3 from studying due to the rain.

Music: Beneath the Mask

You know, about that flyer! We need to look into the truth behind that housekeeping service. I’m over at Central Street right now, so come talk to me if you’re interested.
Looks like Mishima’s waiting for us in Shibuya. Do you think we should go see him?
>Decide later

We have other plans. But first…

…Another box came for you.

These Wild Clogs give Resist Fear. We probably won’t ever equip them.

He’s received even more praise for his dynamic art style. Requests for commissions are flooding in.
It seems that even people outside of Japan love him too. I don’t really get art…

What happened to you being such a cultured phantom thief?

Since it’s Monday and we haven’t been in a while, we go to the baths. Maaku gains Charm +3.

Anon: My friend said they’re real!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

By the way, the exhibit’s ‘til the end of this week, huh… We did what we could, and now we wait for the results.

Nope. That’s one option that’s a definite “no.” School’s enough for studyin’. Let’s exercise, man!

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Let’s hang out with Ann today.

Strengthening my heart is turning out to be harder than I thought… Do you think we can maybe talk some more about it?
>Hang out with her
Then let’s head back to Inokashira Park. We can talk there.

Music: Break it Down

This place seriously feels amazing. It’s not even that far from Shibuya, but it feels so different here. You know, Tokyo is so strange. There are tons of people and tons of stores, yet there are still duck-filled parks here too. It has everything… but it feels like I can’t understand any of it. It’s honestly kinda scary.


When I first got here, I had a super tough time adjusting. It’s so crowded, and everyone walks really fast… almost like they’re angry or something. Even at school, I was only ever the “foreigner.” Nobody really knew me; they just spread rumors. I thought maybe my looks were the problem. I even considered dyeing my hair black to match everyone else… But that was when Shiho talked to me. The first thing she said was, “Takamaki-san, your paintings suck.”


According to her, they were so bad that she just HAD to tell me. Pretty mean, huh? Still, that was the first time someone here talked to me without mentioning my looks. We sorta just grew closer after that… and Shiho’s been my best friend ever since.

There’s something else I need to talk to you about!

Do you remember what I told you the last time we came here? About that female thief in the anime I used to watch? Well, I thought of something!


You know how the villains in those shows are always going on about world domination? Well, even though they get beaten by the heroes every time, they never give up. That means they must have really solid hearts… And that’s why I’m going to try and learn from them!


So I’ve decided…


Reminder: Ann is the world’s worst actress.


Goddammit, I have to stop being sarcastic, nobody ever gets it.

All right, I’m making this my ultimate goal for the future. You know, I’ve never really thought much about what I wanted to do in life… but now I have an objective! And that only happened because of talking to you, Maaku! Thanks!
I sense a heightened motivation from Ann…

Well, if I want to be in action movies, I’ll need to work on my actions! I wonder how many sit-ups I’ll have to do… Wait, Ryuji said he knows a good gym! I should ask him for advice!

She’ll definitely be happy to hear that! Come on, let’s jog to the station!

Music: Beneath the Mask

But you asked about pawn to 9-5? I don’t think I’d ever make that move. It’s something a maverick–
Oh, he just moved his pawn to 9-5…

FUCKIN OWNED

Anyway, time for Operation Maidwatch.

You’d seriously look like a criminal if you had one of those allergy masks to go along with your cool glasses!

Gee, thanks Mishima.


One of the better dialogue options in this game.

Sweet, I’ve been waiting for this! …Wait, you already changed out of your uniform!? I guess that’s a pretty good idea… We’re meeting over at Sakamoto’s place, right? Let’s stop by mine beforehand so I can change too.

Music: My Homie


Y-Yeah! Operation Maidwatch!
If it turns out to be sketchy, we can just bail. The apartment’s vacant, so it’s not like we’ll be messing with anyone’s home.


To think… Sakamoto has a brain. But if that’s the case, then…
Then…
Yep!

I’m just as lost as you, Maaku.

OK, give ‘em a call!

Well, I guess he could do it too. OK, go for it, Mishima.

I-I’m not good with that kinda stuff! Seriously! Please, Hamiru!


They answered!
Shhh!
I take it you’re interested in our services, then?
S-Services…!
Is there anyone in particular you’d like to request?
A-Anyone we want to request!? What should we do, Maaku?

Very well! Let’s see here… We have a maid available in… 20 minutes. May I ask for your address?

A maid’s “services”… Hey… What should we have her do? I was thinking we start with some cooking…

Thinking awfully small, Mishima.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind some of the other services either… …Should we hold a strategy meeting to discuss?
They said 20 minutes, right…? I gotta use the bathroom…

One bathroom visit later…

You were in there for a while… Are you OK? Hey, did you wash your hands.

Get off his case, mom.

…… Huh? What? Who? Me?
Y-You’re really nervous. Ahaha… haha… uh…

Are high school students even allowed to use this type of service?
Huh?

What if they find out who we are!?
H-How should I know!? But why would how old you are matter when it comes to housekeeping?

Oh Ryuji, you pure, sweet, innocent flower.

We would’ve been screwed if your number had shown up on their caller ID…


What!? Already!? She’s five minutes early! What do we do!? I’m not mentally prepared!

Music: Sweet

Oh, the door’s unlocked…? Um, may I come in…?
I-I can’t do this…! My stomach’s actin’ up! And my hands are all sweaty!

This was your idea and you’re bailing!? Goddammit, you putz.

I’ve got your back! Just… From way back! Like, from the balcony!
Wh-What? I can’t do this either! Hamiru, we’ll leave it to you!

Now, I can’t even really be mad at Mishima, because I’m honestly impressed he hasn’t thrown up or wet himself. Fine, whatever, I’ll get all the action myself!

Excuse me… Oh, there you are!

I’m going to fill your tired heart full of lovely energy. Meow! :heart: I’m Becky, and I have the pleasure of serving you today. :heart:

We’re going to get along so well! Meeeooowww! :heart::heart: Oh my… how thoughtless of me! I should explain our services to you, Master! What would you like me to do today? The basics include cooking, cleaning, laundry… But there are other “services” we provide if you desire. :heart:

Are you… perhaps… …In high school?

This game is really good sometimes.

…… You’re not lying to me, are you…? …… …… …… Hmmm, I’ll wait to provide those other “services” until you’ve matured a bit, Master. :heart: Sooo… I’ll be going now. :heart:

All that for nothing. Shit.

Quiet…!

Music: Suspicion

Oh no…!
Shit! Run, Mishima!
Mishima? Sakamoto-kun?

Uhhh…




This is our first meeting. Yes, the first time ever, Master. :heart:

Ugh, this is unbelievable… Yes, it’s me… your homeroom teacher.

This night is a profound tragedy on every level. It is a cancer upon my soul.

I’m so done… I can’t believe I got caught by some of my own students…

I should’ve taken a job outside of the city. But I needed it to be close to school so I could go there after I finished work… …Who did you hear about this from?


Ms. Chouno, the English teacher… She’s been snooping on all the teachers ever since that incident with Mr. Kamoshida. …Are you going to tell Ms. Chouno about this?

Let’s not fucking blackmail this woman.

Hmmm… It doesn’t seem like you’re playing dumb… In any case, I’ll get in big trouble if you tell on me. …… Hey, if you’re going to side with a teacher, side with me. I’m in charge of your class, after all. And if you promise not to tell Ms. Chouno about this, I’ll do anything for you!

This is tragically the less skeevy option.

Kawakami’s got some great facial expressions.

Hey… It won’t be any better for you if people find out that you called a maid service. This isn’t even your home address to begin with, is it? I guess you at least thought about that. Well, I’ll promise to keep this a secret too… so why don’t we both forget this ever happened? I’ll treat this as if you had canceled, so you won’t have to pay anything. OK?

Don’t say anything about this at school, OK!? Just act as if nothing ever happened! Got it? OK, bye!
I suddenly feel exhausted… I want to go home…

Yeah, fucking same. What a weird goddamn game this is.


#118

Today Maaku learned:

  1. Robbery is the only cool crime.
  2. Always stick to robbery and not call a maid service whilst underage.
  3. Never, under any circumstance, listen to Ryuji.

#119
Part 42

Part 42: 6/1-6/3

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Sorry, I couldn’t hold it in. You’ll have to make some kind of excuse for me.

“Employee Posts Nude Chef Selfie!” Wild-Duck Burger claims to have fired the employee in question. Those close to the man voiced their surprise, vouching for his seriousness at work. “Is Shibuya Unsafe? Crime Rising!” The police are issuing warnings for people to be wary of scams. “Hotspots of Tokyo!” Tickets for the Madarame exhibit are available until June 5th!
The Madarame exhibit goes on until June 5th… That’s the end of this week. We’ll show him what a change of heart means!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

It sounded like she was in trouble. Why don’t you go ask her what’s going on? She should be at school anyways, right?

I’d rather drink bleach than ever think about last night ever again, but sure.

In the hallway, we find Ms. Kawakami being beset by Ms. Chouno.

Kawakami’s been driven into a corner by Chouno! Let’s talk to her so we can help her out.

Get home safely, Hamiru-kun. Well then, I have another matter to attend to, so I have to excuse myself…
No! We’re not finished talking yet!
But I…
There’s been a series of scandals on this campus. We’re all being called into question. And yet you leave work earlier than anyone—and you barely make it to the faculty meetings! Explain yourself! Don’t tell me you’re out running around at night!?
Kawakami’s being grilled by Chouno. She said she’d do anything if we helped her out, so let’s clear up Chouno’s suspicions.
The school’s closing soon, Mr. Hamiru. Head on home before it gets late. Or did you need something from Ms. Kawakami?

…What?

…Another question?
Th-That’s right! Hamiru-kun’s questions are complicated, so I take time at night to help him…
So you’re giving individual lessons outside of school hours, hm? What passion! You are the ideal teacher! A passionate teacher is exactly what we need at this school. I’m sorry for suspecting you. Well then, keep up the hard work, you two.

But that did clear up her suspicion, so… thanks. Could you come with me for a bit?

This is the address and phone number of my night job.
I received a phone number from Kawakami.

What? What the fuck???

Just be careful that it doesn’t show up in your call history though, OK?
Nice going, man. No call history means a public telephone. Let’s call from Leblanc’s yellow phone. Let’s call her over to your room the next time you’re free at night!

I feel dirty.

OK, I have to go.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Do you think we could maybe spend some time together before I go?
>Hang out with her
Thanks! Hm, what should I get for Shiho…? It’s hard deciding by myself.

Music: What’s Going On?


Oh, but I probably can’t take a crepe into the hospital, huh… I… really want one though… Do you think maybe Shiho would want one too?


It might be half off… but I should try to control myself… Shiho might have rehab today too. They probably wouldn’t even let her eat it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention—Shiho started her physical rehab. She pushed it up ahead of schedule. I think it’s because I told her about how I want to get stronger. She said she was gonna start working hard too… I haven’t actually seen any of her rehab sessions yet though…

Oh, hold on.

Uhhh, that’s not good!

Sorry, something just came up! That was from my agency. One of the models didn’t show for a magazine shoot they’re doing. They’re looking to wrap soon, so I’m gonna head over now to fill in. …It’s pretty close though. Wanna come with? Actually, let’s just go! I’ll race you there!

Music: Break it Down

It looks like they’re having a pre-shoot briefing…


This is the only Confidant sub-character to get a portrait and I have no idea why. She’s easily the least important character in the game to get one.

After I saw you in last year’s show, I just… sniff Oh, I think I’m gonna cry…
U-Um, it really wasn’t a big deal… That fashion show was tiny…
By the way, I’m Mika. And please, no honorifics. I might be older, but you have loads more experience, Ann-senpai.
All right, M-Mika… Haha, it feels a little weird saying it like that… Oh, and you don’t need to use “senpai” with me. A-Anyway, uh… it’s nice to meet you?
Likewise, Ann-chan. giggle You’re so nice.

Hey, can you teach me how to be a better model? You know, your everyday routines, stretches…


O-Oh, is that all you do…? Then, what kinda stuff do you eat? I’ve been looking all over for a place to import some organic green almonds… Plus I’m getting suuuper tired of eating quinoa. Do I need to like, boil it in hard water or something?
Um, almonds? I only ever eat those when they’re covered in chocolate… and hard water? Isn’t it kinda tough to boil ice…?

…… Do you weigh yourself?
Oh, of course! Once a year for the health examinations at school.

You are impressively bad at this.

…… So… you’re gonna keep it all a secret from me, huh? I get it. I guess it’s hard trusting someone you just met…
Th-That’s not it! I just don’t really think about that stuff…! It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s more that modeling is like a hobby for me.



Music: Wicked Plan

What do you mean you don’t care about modeling for these guys!?


I love this magazine! Everyone tries so hard to make sure their product is the best…!
Mika-chan, just calm down. Don’t worry, we all know that you’re giving it your all here.
But… you guys work so much harder than me… and I’m still the one getting comforted… sniff
H-Hold on…
Ann-chan, the truth is, we had both you and Mika-chan come down as substitutes for our missing model. We wanted both of you on the cover, but if you’re not really interested…
H-Hey. I didn’t…
Don’t worry, I… I can do it alone! I read the concept docs on my way here… sniff

Oh, I like this chick.

You faker…!


Sorry about all this, Ann-chan. We won’t be needing you today. We’ll reimburse your transportation expenses though, and even throw in a little extra for your trouble.
But… ……
The magazine staff left for the photoshoot…



But maybe it’s because deep down, I’m not actually that invested in modeling… She sees straight through that. Anyway, I totally ruined the shoot… But still, wasn’t Mika’s fake crying pretty incredible?


I-I dunno though, I think I’m pretty good at fake crying myself. I know the perfect technique.

Listen carefully… The key is… you don’t actually cry!


Either way, I think I’ll be able to use that ability to our advantage in the Metaverse! I’ll turn my failure today into positive energy going forward!
I sense a heightened motivation from Ann…

I didn’t use Ann much in my first playthrough, but still, this never procced once for me. Doesn’t seem terribly useful anyway.

Speaking of the Metaverse… I’m gonna try super hard in my work with the Phantom Thieves too! But for now, I should go stop by and see Shiho at the hospital. Thanks for today! Bye!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Madarame is still bedridden. He hasn’t spoken a single word. My apologies for not being able to provide anything more solid…
C’mon, it’s not your fault. Don’t worry about it. Although it is June already…
The exhibition will be ending soon…
At least it doesn’t seem like Madarame’s had a mental shutdown. But there’s no point if he don’t have a change of heart and call off that legal action bullshit.

Yeah, Kamoshida was out of school for a while.
Either way, there has been no palpable progress. It appears only the target themselves can tell whether or not their heart has changed.
It’s a goddamn pain in the ass, but yeah. We just gotta hear from Madarame himself what the deal is.
Yeah, there’s nothing we can really do… Let’s just try waiting a little longer.

You going to call her?

Fuck no!

Stuff like that happening makes me not want to eat there, ever. There’s just no excuse for it.

Thank you. The curry was delicious.

The scandal occurred just before a stockholder meeting, having dire effects on the fast food chain. As for the man behind the scandal, he claims that he was “fully nude at work before he realized it.”
Why would anyone do that? Did he think he was being hilarious or something?

That story’s really dominating the news cycle, eh?

Since we’re definitely not calling up Kawakami, let’s see what other people chose to do with their ti-huh?

Trial by burger?

TRIAL BY BURGER

Hey, my bad. I’m trying, it’s just really hard to wrap my head around how formal Japanese culture is!
Why’d you even take this job if you can’t speak Japanese well?
I said I’m sorry…

I feel bad for Foreign Barker, but I must find this burger.

Music: Big Bang Burger March

We’re currently offering what we call the Big Bang Challenge! Why don’t you take the challenge? The universe awaits! Due to the popularity of the Big Bang Challenge, we are offering another campaign this month! At night, the Big Bang Challenge will cost our intrepid travelers a meager fee of only 500 yen! What can I get for you?

At this time, you can take the Big Bang Challenge for only 500 yen. Would you like to try it?



Now then, go take a seat! And good luck!

This is your first time, yes? Your starting rank will be Third Mate. Thus, your aim will be… the Comet Burger!

You see, there are actually three challenges, unlocked after beating each previous challenge, that give increased stat gains, but also have increased stat requirements.

This is a lot bigger than I was expecting…
This burger is as voluminous as a soaring comet burning in the sky. It will not be overcome easily. But should you conquer this challenge, you will be rewarded with an extravagant prize.
Ooh, a prize would be great! Good luck, Maaku!
Well then, it’s time to get the thirty-minute Big Bang Challenge started! Ready… Go!

Music: High Pressure

This is a tough battle…!
I’m rooting for you… and remember, nobody will think any less of you if you give up partway through.

Y-You did it!

Music: Everyday Days

Since you managed to extinguish the Comet Burger… I present to you the 2nd Mate Badge!

It gives you +10 HP. It’s garbage.

New challenges will await you now that you’ve become a Second Mate! I look forward to your next attempt at our challenge!
You took that Comet Burger down! You were so admirable, taking on such a daunting task with that intense level of courage!

Maaku gains Guts +1.

Your pace, your strategy of using well-timed drinks, and just the spectacular way you devoured it… Everything was perfect!

Maaku gains Knowledge +1, Charm +1, and Proficiency +1.

Come on, we should head home. I’m full just from watching you…

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Why did Mr. Kamoshida change all of a sudden?

Is that your hypothesis? It’s still too sudden… I believe it’s only natural to think that something must have caused it. …Well, that’s fine. Thanks for your valuable opinion. I’ll take it into account.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Later in the day, we head on over to Shi-oh goddammit, again?

Are you alone? Are you going to meet Sakamoto-kun and Takamaki-san? U-Um, I don’t mean to pry. I was simply wondering. A-Ah, yes… There are errands to do. I must be going. Hmmm… First to the pharmacy, then shopping at Rocinante…

Anyway, we head to the diner. Maaku gains Knowledge +2 and Kindness +1.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Now, when it comes to probation… A: Overseas travel is prohibited/B: Probation officers are unpaid/Which one of these statements is true? You be the judge!

The correct answer is… B! Probation officers don’t receive a salary!
Probation officers are civil volunteers. They are only paid the necessary amount when providing a report. Since probation is intended to encourage rehabilitation, overseas travel is not prohibited.
You got it right! It’s pretty amazing that the chief is doing this for no pay, though…
It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge.

Are probation officers like, a different thing in Japan, because this can’t be true. Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Anon: ok but are they hot

I dunno, you tell me.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


We choose to read Vague today.

Music: Everyday Days


You could learn about cutting-edge fashions there, but I’d say what’s on the inside is more important… Still, this place looks fun, almost like a theme park. Taking someone there might be a pretty good idea. So, you’ve finished reading Vague. Harajuku seems to have a lot of cool shops. Takenoko Street also seems pretty interesting.

You should invite someone to go sometime. I can’t imagine you as the fashionable type, though…

Well, fuck you too, cat.

Well, you can’t. Guess who can?

Music: Tokyo Emergency

I don’t think my bond with Ann will deepen just yet…

ME!

OK! Where should we go? Somewhere popular would be nice!

I know just the place.

Harajuku… how about Takenoko Street? It’d be great if you could come shopping with me. Even just going for the people watching is interesting. Anyway, let’s go!

Music: What’s Going On?

But all the people are such a pain… What gives them the right to be here!?

That’s weirdly selfish thinking of you.

Anyway, let’s get through quickly so we don’t get caught by the salespeople!

In any case, there are so many different types of people here. It’s fun just watching them. People might think I’m weird if they see me staring at them alone… But I’m sure it’s fine as long as I’m with you.


I mean, things are half as fun if you don’t have anyone to share that fun with, right? I wonder what all these people are thinking about right now… Some of them might even be sad beneath those happy exteriors, and we’d never even know… Hey, don’t you get fired up when you’re thinking about helping them out!? Oh, um… never mind. That’s not what we were talking about…


Are you interested in this stuff? You can have it if you want.

Oh shit. Is this what I think it is?

I feel like my bond with Ann will grow stronger soon…
Well then, want to go home?

Music: Beneath the Mask

Even those who only came out of curiosity find themselves entranced by his delicate imagery. The exhibition is scheduled to continue until June 5th.
That exhibition is ending soon, eh? I wonder what’s going to happen.

Oh, man, please be it…

FUCK YES THIS SHIT’S NEVER COMING DOWN

…Ahem.

Well, time to bite the bullet and make this call.

I should try calling the maid delivery service… I feel like I can call whenever I want since I’m full of Guts!

Using the public phone requires Rank 3 Guts, for the record. Thankfully, we just hit that recently.

Thinking of calling in a maid? Well, if you use this, you won’t leave proof in your call history! This is all for the good of the Phantom Thieves… right?

Yeah… sure.


…Oh, wait, it’s you. Well, it’ll be 5,000 yen with the request fee included, you know. Is that OK with you?

You have to pay this fee every single time you want to engage with this Confidant, rank up or no. It becomes exorbitantly expensive, especially at this point in the game.

…OK. I’ll head over right away then…

Music: My Homie

…Never mind. So, what kind of kid are you? The way you opposed Mr. Kamoshida, I’d say that you’re earnest and have a strong sense of justice. That being said… you called a maid service and requested me?

You asked me to!

I spent a good while debating which of these sounded more pathetic.


I’ll let you skip class a few times.

It’s tough not having any place where you belong, isn’t it? However, I reserve the right to change my mind if your grades drop. And in exchange, you won’t tell anyone that I’m moonlighting as a maid. Sound good?

Then it’s a deal!
I’ve made a deal with Kawakami…

Music: Interrogation Room


I can’t believe you managed that by yourself. There had to be someone at the school helping you. …What do you have to say to that?

Pff, come on Sae, you haven’t even scratched the surface of this one. I’d tell you to try a little harder but the reality is so fucking insane I can’t even blame you for not getting it.

Music: The Spirit

The Temperance arcana represents concepts like patience, balance, and moderation, or when reversed the very opposite, signaling excess and imbalance.

Oh, also it’s the lamest possible version of “skipping class” because you still have to be at class.

Music: My Homie

I would also like the answer to that question.

Well, I guess I should get going. Oh, please request me if you need any help with your housework, OK?

That’s clearly not true. C’mon, we know each other’s secret and it would put my mind at ease… Besides, I’m, uh… I’m considered over the hill for this type of job, so I don’t get requested that often… I’ll show my appreciation by making it easy for you to ditch class! Just think about it, OK? Thank you for using our service…

What is this game.


#120

It’s a shame this line didn’t immediately follow Maaku downing a gignatic hamburger. It’s the kind of juxtaposition I can get behind.