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spineshark
06-01-2008, 02:39 AM
Let's Play Innocent Sin (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=184928#post184928)
Let's Play Eternal Punishment (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=235749#post235749)

In the months since its release, I know many members of this forum have come around to try this "Persona" thing at one point or another, thanks to the amazing word-of-mouth it got here. I'm sure you've all noticed, thanks to the title, that Persona 3 is not the first game to bear the name.

It's not the third, either!

Just as the release of Fes is a good reason to take another look at Persona 3, it's also a good reason to take a look at prior games in the series. Specifically those under the banner of Persona 2. While not as flashy or polished as P3, Persona 2 has a lot going for it, and I hope to draw those who enjoyed the new game into this brave old world.

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/3/257543_15796_front.jpg
Persona 2: Innocent Sin (or "Tsumi" if you're the sort who likes using Japanese for whatever reason*), like Persona 3, follows a group of high-schoolers who are out to save a modern-day world. Well, modern when it was released anyway-Tatsuya doesn't carry an mp3 player everywhere!

Despite the lack of an official translation, a promising translation patch approaches and a translated script (http://chthonian.net/persona/oracle/) has been available online for years now. I used the script on my first playthrough, and will again, to point out and explain, well, lots of stuff.

So before we really get started though, we have a couple decisions.

First off, about a minute into the game, this screen appears. I think the gist is somewhat obvious.
http://www.geocities.com/tsumi.batsu/name.jpg
Alas, this game being all Japanese or something, there's only space for three characters in each of Tatsuya Suou's names. If somebody comes up with something really clever then I'll happily write over them, but the real option here comes from his nickname. "Tacchan" by default, but we get a whole FIVE spaces on this one! That's as many as Chrono Trigger, so I know we can come up with something great! There's Hiragana, Katakana, some Kanji, and English letters. Come up with a name, and if its excellence is not self-evident, briefly explain, please.

And then there's Eternal Punishment. P.S. this is really the best box art ever
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/6/257396_28132_front.jpg
P2:EP takes place in a sort of...parallel dimension with Innocent Sin, where by and large the events of the two games have different outcomes. The main character this time is Maya Amano (though, like Sera in Digital Devil Saga, she's arguably the most important character the whole time), magazine reporter and editor, and she's generally surrounded this time by other non-teenaged professionals.

There are a lot of overlapping and similar events between the two games, and while I intend to point out as much of that sort of thing as possible, I've spent a long time trying to figure out the best way to do it. I still don't quite know, so I think some input is called for. I've thought of two main sequences, but there are a couple of other possibilities.

The first is to play through the entirety of Innocent Sin. Then all of Eternal Punishment. It's simple, it's straightforward, and it's how they're meant to be played.

The other option is to play through the two literally in parallel. There are a lot of places where the two games will line up really well, and some where they won't so much. I think this has a lot of interesting possibilities, as well as some possibilities of being overly complicated, more difficult to follow, and even more difficult to work on. But hey, it's up to you! Persona, Persona, come to us!

In the meantime, you can also whet your appetite by hitting Youtube for the FMV intros for Innocent Sin (http://youtube.com/watch?v=lrk9OE927Q4) and Eternal Punishment (http://youtube.com/watch?v=chT_mi7N8jc&feature=related). Trust my completely unbiased opinion that like the games themselves, they're totally awesome!

*reasons may include: it's shorter to type, it can confuse people, or you are a Japanophile

shivam
06-01-2008, 02:46 AM
play em one at a time. it would be too confusing, otherwise.
looking forward to this!

Kishi
06-01-2008, 02:50 AM
I'd prefer if you did one game at a time. It would be easier to digest, and you can trust people who have been reading to remember relevant events from the first game when you need to refer to them in the second.

Jakanden
06-01-2008, 07:11 AM
I would also vote one at a time. I played through both Persona 1 and Persona 2 EP, but I never played IS which make me really interested in this LP. Add the fact that I am about 20 hours into my replay of Nocturne, which means I am in the SMT mood.

estragon
06-01-2008, 07:43 AM
I think you're going to do one at a time becuase that's what everyone seems to like, but I just want to throw ou that parallel sounds a lot more interesting to me. If you've already played through them before and know when they line up, you could create a really cool structure for this thread.

Basically, I think it comes down to this: If you do them separately, your maximum awesomeness potential is not as high, but your chance of achieving that awesomeness is really good.

If you do them side by side, it will take more work and forethought, but the maximum potential greatness is much higher. On the other hand, it's also more likely it could turn into a confusing mess if you don't do it perfectly.

If you really want to plan it out in advance, I think the parallel plan would be much more interesting. If you want to just go with the flow and see what happens, one at a time will be simpler.

Maybe once you've finished both go back and go over some parallel things that are easy to miss?

Octopus Prime
06-01-2008, 08:28 AM
I played Eternal Punishment before, but I don't really remember anything about it, nor did I play it very long. Well, I remember a lot of non-descript hallways for dungeons.

Oh, and a guy with a bloody paper bag on his head was the bad guy.

Loki
06-01-2008, 08:42 AM
play em one at a time. it would be too confusing, otherwise.
looking forward to this!

Not anymore confusing than Home and Another from Chrono Cross.

I'm all for playing them at the same time.

Octopus Prime
06-01-2008, 08:43 AM
Not anymore confusing than Home and Another from Chrono Cross.


That doesn't really help your case.

Adrenaline
06-01-2008, 09:32 AM
I don't understand why they'd port one and not the other.

Loki
06-01-2008, 09:36 AM
Americans relate more to journalists than highschoolers?

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 10:01 AM
Considering how early the Innocent Sin spoilers start popping up in Eternal Punishment, I'd argue against playing them at the same time. Also, you know how other people get burned out playing halfway through one game? It'd be better if you gave up halfway through one game than two.

I don't understand why they'd port one and not the other.

Because Eternal Punishment is three billion times better than Innocent Sin, even if Yukino isn't playable in Eternal Punishment.

spineshark
06-01-2008, 10:11 AM
Names, people! Unless you don't care, but the only indication I see of that is that nobody is bringing it up at all.

I don't understand why they'd port one and not the other.
People usually claim two elements of the game's content as the reason Sony blocked it. If you haven't heard about this then you're lucky! However, I think one of the arguments is bogus, which leaves only the super lame explanation. Oh well.

If an update/remake of the game came out in Japan, I'd be confident in saying it would come out here as well. I don't think anything in Innocent Sin is more controversial than some of the stuff in the PS2 titles, except perhaps to a very small group of people? (does that make it too obvious?)
Not anymore confusing than Home and Another from Chrono Cross.
This is exactly what this is, with a lot more psychopaths and random murders.

I think it's easier to keep track of, because of obvious differences like party members and the language of the text, but still definitely more complicated than the one at a time method.
Basically, I think it comes down to this: If you do them separately, your maximum awesomeness potential is not as high, but your chance of achieving that awesomeness is really good.

If you do them side by side, it will take more work and forethought, but the maximum potential greatness is much higher. On the other hand, it's also more likely it could turn into a confusing mess if you don't do it perfectly.

If you really want to plan it out in advance, I think the parallel plan would be much more interesting. If you want to just go with the flow and see what happens, one at a time will be simpler.

Maybe once you've finished both go back and go over some parallel things that are easy to miss?
This was very much my line of thought as well, as I have played them both before (with EP first, so even doing things in the sequence should be fresh enough).

I do think the other issue is that there are a lot of things I plan to sweep under the rug, mostly (for example, you won't be subjected to me being lost on the Mifune Trail in EP), since the encounter rate is pretty high which drags out the dungeons pretty well. Parallel updates kind of exacerbates the problem, especially during the parts where I'd be working through the same dungeon twice at the same time.

PapillonReel
06-01-2008, 10:22 AM
I'm down with the parallel gaming - seeing the games working out side-by-side should prove interesting if you do it right.

Also, I nominate the name to be Serge, just to be a sass.

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 10:29 AM
People usually claim two elements of the game's content as the reason Sony blocked it. If you haven't heard about this then you're lucky! However, I think one of the arguments is bogus

Both reasons are bogus. If you've actually watched the Lovers contact, you'd know that was nothing that couldn't have been "translated out" as it were. And Hitler? Come on people, Atlus USA had demonstrated they were capable of editing character portraits in P1, why would this be any different?

Parallel updates kind of exacerbates the problem, especially during the parts where I'd be working through the same dungeon twice at the same time.

The only dungeon that's going to end up side-by-side would be Sevens. Also you'd need to be down with Innocent Sin before you reached Iwato in Eternal Punishment, which shouldn't be a problem because Sin is a good 10-15 hours shorter than Punishment

dwolfe
06-01-2008, 11:10 AM
Regardless of going parallel or sequential, could you...maybe....type references to one game in normal and the other in italics, or figure out a much more clever way of indicating which game is which?

ringworm
06-01-2008, 11:14 AM
I don't know anything about either of these games, but from the descriptions the parallel project sounds much, much more interesting (if you can pull it off).

spineshark
06-01-2008, 11:17 AM
Both reasons are bogus.
Well, I agree. It's not my fault! Both of the arguments are pretty weak, and it's not necessarily the case that either is true. Between the two though, I'd have to say the Last Battalion is completely ridiculous as an explanation, while Jun is only mostly ridiculous.
The only dungeon that's going to end up side-by-side would be Sevens.
This would take some time stretching, because the sequence is different and IS is shorter, but it probably would've involved dancing around the revelations at Mt. Iwato in EP for a while and lining up the Xibalba and Ame-no-Torifune, screwing around for a bit while EP goes through Sumaru Castle and then finishing off before the last dungeon. But I didn't want to put a lot of time into wasting planning so that was mostly what I had when starting this thread =o
Also, I nominate the name to be Serge, just to be a sass.
Surely someone can take a stand against this! (By the way, you can't rename Maya in any way, shape, or form, so this is really the only chance)

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 12:04 PM
This would take some time stretching, because the sequence is different and IS is shorter, but it probably would've involved dancing crazy in the streets

I just don't see how you'd be able to pull it off effectively. Having played both games and seen the success rate of longer LPs, I just don't think you'll be able to do both at the same time. By the way, Club Zodiac is the wall in Eternal Punishment Let's Plays, because that's when the game starts getting real. Innocent Sin shouldn't be a problem because you can pretty much tear through the game using only Philemon's handouts.

spineshark
06-01-2008, 12:28 PM
I just don't see how you'd be able to pull it off effectively. Having played both games and seen the success rate of longer LPs, I just don't think you'll be able to do both at the same time.
I sincerely appreciate your input. (It really is nice to not be the *only* one who's played it, heh)

As for difficulty, I definitely agree on IS, and while I got killed a few times by Noriko in EP, I can only think of a few other battles I lost repeatedly: the Metal IS kids, Gozen (I hardly put any points into Maya's VIT so she kept getting smushed at inconvenient times) and the final battle. I can't say I'm too worried, I think the only one that may be difficult to avoid is that last one. But I'm already thinking about it.

Eirikr
06-01-2008, 12:34 PM
The five character limit for the nickname brings to mind the obscenities my friends and I chose for names in Brawl.

HYMEN, COCKS, SPERM, BALLS, SEXXX, VGINA, PENIS, HERPS, etc.

Though I think HERPS might be cool, you should name Tatsuya a simple, out of place Western name like "Steve."

Or give him some Japanese style emoticons, like (T_T) or m(_ _)m

nunix
06-01-2008, 12:50 PM
Or give him some Japanese style emoticons, like (T_T) or m(_ _)m

t('.'t)

Eirikr
06-01-2008, 12:52 PM
I've got it: ROIDS.

Loki
06-01-2008, 01:38 PM
CRABS?

Or how about CLAP?

shivam
06-01-2008, 01:39 PM
guys, we already have the best random gen char name-
PANTS

KCar
06-01-2008, 02:36 PM
interesting fact - the number of letters you could use to change "horse" to something else in THPS allowed "Cumbubble." I've never laughed harder then when the screen told me "YOU ARE A CUMBUBBLE!"

As such, I nominate "CmBbl" knowing full well that it will be rejected, and rightfully so.

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 02:36 PM
So "Pants" is now the official Talking Time Let's Play Already Default Name? I can live with that.

locit
06-01-2008, 02:41 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

poetfox
06-01-2008, 02:50 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

PapillonReel
06-01-2008, 02:53 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

Adrenaline
06-01-2008, 03:01 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

spineshark
06-01-2008, 03:10 PM
As long as it doesn't have Moxie.

The emoticon thing made me laugh because I did that in P3 once, surnaming the guy "=(" for Mitsuru's dialogue. "Steve" or something similar is also a good one, because I'm pretty sure Lisa is the one who uses it.

But "PANTS." PANTS is good too.

Round 1 incoming tonight, maybe late.

nunix
06-01-2008, 03:12 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

As long as it doesn't have Moxie.

http://images.kingdomofloathing.com/otherimages/leftswordguy.gif

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 03:38 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

I'd avoid Steve specifically because that's also Lisa's father's name. Her father is Steven Segal.

Eirikr
06-01-2008, 03:49 PM
I respectfully disagree with the PANTS sentiment.

PUBES

KUNTZ

Elfir
06-01-2008, 04:14 PM
I like HERPS or PANTS. You can change the given and surname too, right? I vote HAT GOD.

Octopus Prime
06-01-2008, 05:54 PM
I kind of like the idea of a collective forum avatar bravely venturing into various games under the name "Pants". It's got moxy!

I was hoping to do that with "The Dude".

:(

Pajaro Pete
06-01-2008, 06:32 PM
Pants is more space friendly.

Octopus Prime
06-01-2008, 06:45 PM
I'm willing to accept that.

spineshark
06-01-2008, 07:48 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/istitle.jpg
Alright then, shall we?

The game begins as Pants tinkers with his motorcycle.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-2.jpg
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-3.jpg
That's no good! It was working fine when he got here this morning.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-4.jpg
These two troublemakers wander over to laugh at him. Pants acts cool and unfazed. And if you're wondering what he's holding, it's a little metal lighter. It shows up in some (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/sin/14.jpg) of the artwork (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/punish/08.jpg). And since I'm drawing attention to it it probably has some significance! But for now, he just flicks it a couple times instead of talking to people (it happens repeatedly here in the first ten minutes of the game, but I didn't take pictures every time). It's the sort of thing that makes me feel good about my social skills.

However, after a moment of passive-aggresion, Pants finds that his mind is starting to hurt. Is he angry?
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-5.jpg
Before anything bad happens, he just kind of slumps down in front of the bike, and the door opens.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-6.jpg
This is Principal Hannya, Sevens' principal. Everybody hates him, but they still talk about how awesome he is...even when he's not around. After he tells off the jerks over here, they head off, returning an invisible yet necessary part of the motorcycle. Guess that's that!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-7.jpg

...until he asks for Pants' name.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-8.jpg
This part doesn't take very long, so I'm willing to change his name again until we get back to SSHS in part 3 or 4. Here's one idea (http://geocities.com/tsumi.batsu/tht.jpg) I had based on some things that were said, although I don't claim that it's very good.

Anyway, Hannya wanders off, good. Finally time to go...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-9.jpg
Dammit. What do you want?

Oh, somebody's looking for Pants? Time to use the good ol' RPG method.

spineshark
06-01-2008, 07:49 PM
Since school just got out, there are a lot of students in the Sevens building, and most of them fail to be interesting. It's also not necessary to talk to most of them, so I'll just cut to the highlights of the search.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-10.jpg
Here in the Teacher's room, a student is being grilled, for his performance in class has risen suspiciously. He claims that thanks to the "Joker," he's now a genius, and proceeds to recite Pi...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-11.jpg
for a very, very long time. I saw no reason to take pictures of the next three (!) boxes as he goes on and on..."But I'm an English teacher, so I have no idea if that was right or not. So how'd you cheat?"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-12.jpg
1,000 Yen, sitting in a box in the hallway. Fancy that. Only in videogames, folks, you just can't find this sort of nonsense anywhere else.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-13.jpg
This woman gets a character portrait, and multiple names! I guess this means that Maya Okamura (aka Ideal-sensei) is probably a relatively important character. For now she just stands out here, making strange "measurements" on this rock.

Anyway, now that we've had some "conversations" (since of course, Pants doesn't say anything) with the locals, time to see if anything has happened yet.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-14.jpg
You know how the old trope goes, the game starts with the hero's mom telling him to get out of bed, sleepyhead. Well Persona 2 takes this in a more figurative direction. Saeko-sensei here is practically a mother-figure (since you never meet the Suou parents) and she asks Pants a few questions about his future, you know, the kind you never want to hear. "Yeah, I don't really know about my future. I have some ideas, but I'd rather not talk about them. I'll work on it. Just leave me alone." Technically this is actually a dialogue tree, but since it only affects a few rare bits of text in the game I'm calling executive privilege here.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-15.jpg
For the first time, I think Pants is relieved to have someone else show up, if only to escape this rather humiliating conversation. This is Lisa Silverman, and she serves roughly the same narrative purpose as Penelo in Final Fantasy XII: i.e. "misappropriated teenaged female companion." She acts as a foil sometimes and other than that, she gets out and pushes when the plot stalls for a bit. Like right now.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-16.jpg
Violently deface Pants' clothes first, ask questions later.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-17.jpg
*(Pants:"Have I heard about the curse? No, I've actually been kind of busy this afternoon, and I don't have time for your silly gossip.")

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-18.jpg
"Also we got this letter. (I already read it, but I'll go ahead and pretend to be just as surprised as you when it makes threats against a girl from our school!) Please let me go with you to Sumaru Prison (I haven't been planning this all along)!"

Next time: The Joker and Something You've Never Seen Before in a JRPG, Seriously.

*(parentheses for this whole "reading between the lines" thing, yeah?)

Mazian
06-01-2008, 11:00 PM
http://geocities.com/tsumi.batsu/1-10.jpg
Here in the Teacher's room, a student is being grilled, for his performance in class has risen suspiciously. He claims that thanks to the "Joker," he's now a genius, and proceeds to recite Pi...
...and this is how Sho Minamimoto got his start.

Alixsar
06-02-2008, 12:54 AM
Next time: The Joker and Something You've Never Seen Before in a JRPG, Seriously.

I didn't play that much of P2 but...man, JOKER was pretty cool.

spineshark
06-02-2008, 01:17 AM
Don't get your hopes down, but the IS ジョーカー様 and EP JOKER are not the same. I don't think you'll be disappointed by his dramatic entrance, though!

Also, looks like I'm already running into problems with the dummy yahoo account I set up for this purpose. While not surprising...I'd better work on that.

Alixsar
06-02-2008, 01:32 AM
Don't get your hopes down, but the IS ジョーカー様 and EP JOKER are not the same. I don't think you'll be disappointed by his dramatic entrance, though!

Yeah, I know. I was talking about the EP JOKER. I just mentioned it since you brought up the other one in your post. Paper bag Joker is way more awesome than stupid actually-looks-like-a-clown-Joker.

Makkara
06-02-2008, 03:12 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/1-8.jpg
This part doesn't take very long, so I'm willing to change his name again until we get back to SSHS in part 3 or 4.

According to some sources (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=185077&postcount=462), the official spelling is PANTS, in all caps. Also, I think his first and last names should be ぱんつ and パンツ, respectively. Or the other way around, that works too.

Pajaro Pete
06-02-2008, 10:08 AM
You might also consider "焼かれ カエル"

spineshark
06-04-2008, 01:55 AM
Also, I think his first and last names should be ぱんつ and パンツ, respectively. Or the other way around, that works too.
"パンツ" as the last name is actually pretty hilarious in the next scene-I have four consecutive shots with "パンツ" in the dialogue box and they don't all refer to the same person.

But I'm redoing the whole sequence, because I just discovered an easier way to take all the screenshots. Applied over the stuff I was doing today, it'll be quicker than working the thirty-some pictures I had taken (and I wasn't even quite done!). But since I had to go through everything multiple times just for those pictures (savestates are a life-saver on this part) I don't feel like doing it again tonight. Which is a disappointment, because the first round was really insubstantial and I wanted to jump into the game for real by now. (Once again, I'm glad this game's opening does not take 90 minutes before you really get to do anything.)

You might also consider "焼かれ カエル"
I'm ashamed to be asking this, but...huh? My Japanese sucks something fierce.

jovewolf
06-04-2008, 02:21 PM
You might also consider "焼かれ カエル"


I'm ashamed to be asking this, but...huh? My Japanese sucks something fierce.

Google says that it's "The Frog is Burned" so translating that from Google Engrish would probably make it somewhere close to "Toasty Frog".

Pajaro Pete
06-04-2008, 02:23 PM
That's the closest we can fit "Toasty Frog" into the space given.

Parish
06-04-2008, 02:32 PM
I have to second the name ぱんつ•パンツ。Sheer hilarity!

locit
06-04-2008, 07:43 PM
I third ぱんつ•パンツ。With gusto.

ringworm
06-04-2008, 08:24 PM
Inside Baseball.

spineshark
06-05-2008, 02:09 AM
Google says that it's "The Frog is Burned" so translating that from Google Engrish would probably make it somewhere close to "Toasty Frog".
Ahh. I tried this as well, but wasn't clever enough to make the connection.

Anyway, last time was just a warm-up. This is when things actually pick up!

(Not pictured: a three-second FMV of the motorcycle taking off)

Sumaru Prison:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113127_0656.png
One of these people...is not like the others. Sumaru Prison is a bit of a dump, but there's nothing especially "prisony" about it. It just happens to be the hangout for a small group of Kasugayama High School (you know, that "other" high school in Sumaru City) students.

The girl is Miyabi Hanakouji, who works on Sevens' newspaper. There's not a whole lot to say else to say about her. Yet.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113215_0296.png
This punk is Eikichi Mishina, aka "ミシェル" which I've seen translated as "Michelle" or "Michel" depending on how manly you want to think of him as. His signature was on the letter PANTS and Lisa received but he apparently has no idea what the hell is going on.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113235_0093.png
The other three guys in Kasugayama High uniforms are his bandmates, Ken, Shogo, and Takeshi. They begin to explain what's going on, but are cut short by the arrival of...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113301_0031.png

...and Lisa, of course. Since she's the action-taker here, she calls out Eikichi. Who is, as he knows, beautiful and talented and oh so humble! He also uses a lot of Engrish.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113311_0640.png
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113402_0703.png
Anyway, with all that out of the way, Michelle's sidekicks apparently fess up to their plan...unnecessarily elaborate and foolish as it is, they just wanted PANTS to join the band! Because everyone likes him!

Hanakouji gets ready to leave, as she was apparently promised to be told about the Joker, and that doesn't seem to be happening. Lisa and PANTS prepare to head out too. But wait!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113432_0640.png
Eikichi is offering PANTS a spot in the band. Because letting him just go after wasting his time like that would be way too uncool for "Captain Death."
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113451_0531.png
Lisa, however, is familiar with a slightly different nickname. Apparently she's heard that he's infamous for...de-pants-ing people. I think she hit a nerve...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113505_0921.png
Eikichi's friends try to hold him back and calm him down, but it's too late. You don't piss off Captain Death...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113520_0187.png

(Yes, I really just wanted to get as many instances of "パンツ" into this post as possible)

Continued below

spineshark
06-05-2008, 02:58 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113543_0578.png
Eikichi starts by calling on his "Death spirit." It is, in fact, the Persona DEATH Rhadamanthus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhadamanthus).

As the first one to actually use his Persona in the game, it may be slightly obvious that Eikichi is actually one of the main party members.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113553_0593.png
The attack causes Lisa's Persona, LOVERS Eros to appear. Eikichi is a little surprised.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113627_0578.png
Finally, PANTS' Persona SUN Volcanus appears and takes Eikichi out. Then he falls over, too.

Soon, they all find themselves here, in a strange room.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113722_0468.png
(Damn, this picture didn't turn out well-it's pretty hard to see the golden butterfly in the middle.)

The butterfly takes a human form, and introduces himself as "Philemon." He's brought them here, to his room, in their dreams, to briefly explain the nature of their Personas. They are "masks"-elements of their personalities, as much as their current appearances are. (This is one of many things which are pretty disappointingly downplayed in P3, at least with respect to all of the not-main characters).

Philemon's comment is especially true in Eikichi's case considering all the makeup he wears.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113748_0484.png
Then he warns them that "rumors are becoming reality" in Sumaru City. They'll have to use their powers to prevent terrible things from happening.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113831_0984.png
Back in the "real" world, everyone else is kind of worried-I mean, they all just passed out after beating on each other with magic spirits!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113906_0734.png
And as it turns out, they're all confirmed to have had the same dream. With Personas and ominous warnings! So now to see if it's actually true...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113947_0312.png
The biggest rumor going around right now is about the "Joker." Supposedly, if you dial your own cell phone number, he'll appear to grant wishes. Lisa suggests they test whether or not rumors are really becoming real by trying the Joker Charm...

Continued below

spineshark
06-05-2008, 03:49 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114020_0062.png
After a little while, Eikichi's cohorts and Lisa line up in this neat little square formation to prepare for the Joker Charm. I don't know why they bother, except that it looks kind of cool, I guess. They all split up, and dial their numbers...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114124_0015.png
Sure enough, the Joker appears behind each of them, asking that they state their wish. Hanakouji warns that they need to hurry-supposedly those who fail to wish when they call the Joker become "Shadow People."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114134_0125.png
So then he pulls out these ominous looking Crystal Skulls...(there's probably a setup for a great joke here but I haven't seen the movie yet. Sorry.)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114139_0562.png
and zaps Eikichi's friends. He tells everyone that those who cannot realize their dreams are better off without them, and that he has done them a favor by taking them away. Then he says he's been waiting a long time to meet Lisa, Eikichi, and PANTS again, at which point he attacks.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114210_0515.png
This still isn't a real battle, though. He summons a couple of demons, who are easily defeated, then the three team up in an attempt to bring him down by combining their powers.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114250_0250.png
But of course, the Joker isn't that weak.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114308_0218.png
He reveals his own persona, and then knocks everyone down with a huge wind attack.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114312_0078.png
ジョーカーさま? More like チーター様.

At this point, he starts laughing maniacally and monologuing.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114334_0125.png
He really, really hates our trio of heroes for something that happened in the past. But none of them know what it is! Hell, we don't even recognize the guy, in that ridiculous costume. The Joker becomes dejected, and promises to kill PANTS and friends one day, when they remember.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_114412_0890.png
He leaves them with this Iris, symbolizing his inevitable "revenge," then disappears.

Kishi
06-05-2008, 04:09 AM
This punk is Eikichi Mishina, aka "ミシェル" which I've seen translated as "Michelle" or "Michel" depending on how manly you want to think of him as.

Between the lipstick, the skirt he wears over his pants, and this gesture:

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113311_0640.png

...I think we all know which is the right choice, here.



http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_113520_0187.png

Ha--hassen ijou da!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQEkw0iSLWo) *smash*

Pombar
06-05-2008, 04:18 AM
Surely the "Michelle" guy's name, if it's gonna be male, should be "Mitchell"?

Other than that, amusing what little sense I can make from Japanese text in a game I don't understand most of regardless!

Kishi
06-05-2008, 04:22 AM
Mitchell doesn't match pronunciations with Michelle, though. Michel is the French form of Michael.

Pombar
06-05-2008, 04:25 AM
Mitchell is pretty much the same sound. How would you go about differentiating the two in katakana? ミチェル vs ミシェル?
I suppose the fact that Michel is a French male name clinches it anyway, though.

spineshark
06-05-2008, 04:30 AM
In the aftermath of the Joker, Eikichi spends a moment mourning his friends. But as PANTS starts to leave, he holds him up.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120100_0421.png
It's decided that they're all going to go together to battle the Joker. But first, they need to find weapons to defend themselves. This could be a huge conundrum, but Hanakouji seems to have the answer.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120135_0640.png
Word on the street is, the lady who runs the nearby Ramen shop is also a secret weapons dealer. Time to check it out!

Shiraishi Ramen:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120252_0656.png
Turns out, there's already someone here trying to order off a "secret menu." But the owner denies any involvement in arms dealing. Apparently he works at the detective agency down the street and heard his boss mention it...So over there then.

Kuzunoha Detective Agency
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120512_0218.png
After being greeted by a large cat, we have the opportunity to inquire about this "secret menu" business. Unsurprisingly, Chief Todoroki and his assistant Tamaki were just teasing the guy. But they've also been investigating the Joker, and rumors, so Todoroki suggests that they do start a rumor about a secret menu.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120647_0406.png
This rumor, like all the others, involves talking to the Chief and telling him what the rumor is about and what it says (usually, you also have to pay to spread rumors, but this one is complimentary). Then it becomes "true." There are a lot of rumors-some about dungeons and monsters, and others about shops and items.

Shiraishi Ramen:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120830_0140.png
In order to access the secret menu, PANTS and his friends just need to order a "banana chashu." So we make Eikichi do it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120856_0984.png
Sure enough, it works, and we get our shiny new weapons from the lady here! Then she tells us we have to eat the banana ramen. Again, Eikichi's job.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120924_0203.png
And luckily, now that we have weapons, we also get a lead from Hanakouji. Principal Hannya has been seen at Sevens with a masked person! Could it be the Joker? We'd better head over there...

Next time: Saving Seven Sisters!

Whew, finally this intro is pretty much over. I've been trying to find the right mix of paraphrasing and whatnot, and a good balance of pictures and words, and I'm not sure it worked out so well. But I'm also a little less worried about that once I have more to write about than the plot. Which is right after the next scene!

mopinks
06-05-2008, 04:36 AM
I... I think I want to try banana chashu ramen.

also, that ramen lady is cool.

Kishi
06-05-2008, 04:41 AM
I'd show her some bananaramen.

Alixsar
06-05-2008, 05:44 AM
I'd show her some bananaramen.

I'd like to think that there's a joke in there somewhere about ordering the banana ramen and have her "hold the banana"...but I'm a little too tired to think of how to make it work right now.

estragon
06-05-2008, 06:17 AM
You might also consider "焼かれ カエル"

I LOL'd.

(to be persnickety, in a compound like that this would almost certainly go all 濁音 and become 焼かれガエル though)

Pombar
06-05-2008, 09:37 AM
I'd like to think that there's a joke in there somewhere about ordering the banana ramen and have her "hold the banana"...but I'm a little too tired to think of how to make it work right now.It also sounds like Banana-rama?

spineshark
06-06-2008, 07:13 PM
Seven Sisters High School:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_223441_0406.png
Our heroes arrive at Sevens not a moment too soon; the old clock, long broken, moves before their very eyes. Everyone outside freaks out, because supposedly a teacher died in the clock tower and warned that if it ever moved again, the end of the world would be nigh.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_223511_0296.png
Okamura is also familiar with this "prophecy" of sorts, and she runs inside to check out the Naruato stone (that rock we saw her at earlier) again.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_223903_0015.png
Finally, this girl's face melts, horrifying everyone, and proving yet another rumor true. The destruction of all the emblems on Sevens uniforms wasn't enough to end the curse, either...

It's time to act!

Sevens, on top of everything else, is now infested by demons! This means we finally get to start fighting battles. Admittedly, they're not as compelling as those in the PS2 Megaten titles, but I find them enjoyable enough in their own right. However, before I get into the battle system, which merits a post (and probably more) in its own right, I may as well finish up with the introductory scenes here.

One of the rooms here features a Newspaper Club meeting. The students mention Miyabi Hanakouji, a name that catches Eikichi's interest. Since she was under the nickname "Hanaji" at the Sumaru Prison, he didn't recognize her though...and she told Lisa to make sure it stays that way.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_224804_0812.png
Just as they're about to reveal the "secret," Lisa cuts them off and smoothly asks Eikichi how he knows Miyabi, to which he proudly confesses that she was his girlfriend in Elementary School. Hmm...

At any rate, the real destination here is Hannya's office on 3F. We're not the first ones to be looking for him, of course...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230125_0171.png
Eikichi excitedly suggests that we all go off after him, but since Sevens students hate Kasugayama, they just beat him up and run off. So then, the teasing begins.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230236_0328.png
Michelle is sick of being "Pantsu Banchou", though, so he decides to make up a name for Lisa. He complains about her foreign looks, fluent Japanese, and random interjections of Cantonese, and then comes up with the name "Ginko" for her.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230250_0187.png
"Gin" is "Silver" in Japanese, and "ko" is just sort of a name affix, so "Ginko" is roughly analogous to Lisa's real last name, Silverman.

As the fight erupts, two new people arrive on the scene. And they're not in uniforms!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230326_0531.png
This is Maya Amano, star reporter for the teen magazine "Coolest," and she's here to greet everyone with a nice "Ciao!"
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230527_0093.png
Her companion is Yukino Mayuzumi, a camerawoman who was first introduced as a student in Persona 1. They're here investigating the Joker rumors.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230515_0218.png
Eikichi, overenthusiastic to deny any involvement, proclaims that he is "NOT searching for the principal of Sevens" and "was NOT stepped on by the Joker." This wording is naturally a little suspicious. Yuki calls him out, and then demons break in.

(cont.)

spineshark
06-07-2008, 02:31 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230640_0031.png
Maya calls for her "Guardian Angel"...but we all know what this really is. Her persona is MOON class Maia (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/21.jpg).*

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230654_0000.png
Yukino burns the other Zombie with her Persona, EMPRESS Vesta (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/31.jpg).

Lisa, Eikichi, and Maya, all say they felt strange when Maya walked into the room, but since none of them know why, they just brush it off. The next topic is, predictably, Personas, which all of them have. Yukino tells them that she gained the power after playing a game called "Persona" in high school. Eikichi comments, weirdly, that he played a game with that name "in his dreams" and Lisa and Maya don't seem familiar with it at all.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_230914_0375.png
Maya ultimately suggests that they all search for the Joker as a group, especially so she can be there when the kids catch him. Before that, though, she expects that the Emblem curse can be fixed by destroying ALL the emblems. Lisa knows where to find some, because the clock faces all feature the design.

So we head back out into the dungeon to find clocks. This is actually very easy: there's one in each classroom, at the front, above the blackboard. (Somehow I didn't end up with any good pictures of this though, so I'll try and nab one later.) Did I say "each classroom"? There are several you can't enter for no apparent reason, but apparently this is nothing to worry about, since everything gets taken care of even without you going into them.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_232747_0453.png
Red means rumors, and in this case, the information that there's a rare demon haunting the halls of SSHS. These things don't just take care of themselves, though. The demon won't show up until we've enlisted Kuzunoha.

After taking care of the classrooms, our next destination is the Teacher's room. Saeko-sensei is there and when Yukino sees her they'll strike up a conversation, having been familiar with each other in the past. She ends up telling PANTS to finish the job, and that she'll take responsibility for the incident.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_233636_0500.png
This room switches up the clock-smashing in two novel ways: first, there are three clocks in this room.

Second, you have to stand on the boxes to reach them. Whoo-ee. That doesn't take care of it either, and Hannya gets on the intercom to yell at the vandals so they'll stop breaking things.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_021658_0750.png
Fortunately, we still forgot one, which Lisa points out is on the clock face in the tower. Nobody goes up there, though, so we need to find a key.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_021948_0171.png
The last accessible room in the building is the Janitor's room on 1F. Surely he has it somewhere. After poking around for a while, Michelle eventually discovers the key and convinces him to hand it over. Success!

(continued)

* I like the persona designs in this game a lot, so I'm linking the art when applicable, since they tend to be somewhat difficult to see in-game. I forgot to do this for Eros (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/12.jpg), Vulcanus (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/35.jpg) and Rhadamanthus (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/25.jpg) the first time, though.

spineshark
06-07-2008, 04:39 AM
Persona 2's battle system lacks a lot of the complexity of the newer MegaTen games, but there's still something to it-enough at least, to be worth explaining.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_224144_0078.png
Generally, when you enter a battle, this is what you'll see. Your party lines up, facing the enemy, with this menu showing. The menu options are, roughly, "Fight," "Strategy," "Contact," "Analyze" and "Retreat."

Strategy is not the first option on the list, but it is the most important. In the Strategy menu, you decide the actions your characters will take. You can also alter the order in which they act (though this has consequences, naturally) and change personas.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_225342_0437.png
Setting up this strategy, for example, causes Eikichi to cast Aqua, Lisa to use Magna, and PANTS to perform Agi.

After your strategy is set up, you can choose Fight. Fight executes the chosen moves until you cancel, or the battle ends, whichever comes first. If you've played Phantasy Star II, it's pretty much like that.

Characters take turns based on their speed stat, or at least I'm pretty sure that's why I pumped Maya's AGI sky-high on my first EP playthrough. I think there's some sort of variable element though, as you'll get a slightly different starting order from battle to battle. On the whole, this means that faster characters get more turns, making this unsurprisingly one of the more powerful stats.

This, however, is balanced against the spell fusion system. Fusions are a sequence of spells cast in a specific order. The picture above actually outlines a cast sequence which produces the Tower Inferno fusion. However, each time it gets cast, you may need to check to see if the turns have fallen out of order, or it won't be re-used the next time it comes up.

The game puts a pretty high emphasis on fusions, as they not only do incredible damage, but contribute heavily to the lasting use of your Personas. Persona growth is kind of a different topic that I won't bore everyone with right now, however.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_225346_0937.png
When you meet the conditions for a fusion, this little option appears on the screen. You can choose [confirm] to do it (unless you are using the fusion for the first time, in which case it will be done automatically) or [cancel] if it's an accident.

Analyze may or may not be very useful, I've never really bothered. Retreat is also straightforward. So then there's Contact.

Bargaining with demons is kind of straightforward in Persona 2, at the very least because you get pretty direct and understandable feedback about their responses.

Each character has four "moves" (reduced to one, in EP) to try to appeal to the demon. You can also have them team up for certain "contact combos" which may have different effects as well. No matter what you do, there are four demon reactions:

Red - Angry
Yellow - Interested
Green - Happy
Blue - Scared

After the demon feels the same emotion three times during a contact attempt, negotiations end and they'll take an action. Anger prevents further contact and occasionally gives the demon a free turn. Interest leads to the demon giving Tarot cards. A happy demon will ask you if you want a contract, if your level is high enough to make one with him. A frightened monster flees.

At any rate, I just want 8 LOVERS cards so I can summon a Pixie. The easiest way to get cards of most arcana is to contact demons of the same arcana. However, many, like PRIESTESS, don't have any associated demons, so there's a slightly different method for that. Predictably, the number of cards you get from a contact rises throughout the game, so trying to stock up on cards in the early dungeons is a tedious and unfulfilling process. Just get what you want/need and move on.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_225046_0000.png
As it turns out, there are LOVERS Pixie demons here, so we just have to work with them! Lisa's Kung Fu demonstration is a good way to catch their eye.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_05062008_225056_0171.png

However, because allowing players to memorize applicable contact choices for every demon would be "too easy" or something, Demons will also ask the contacting party member a random question (or several). You get to choose one of a few preset answers, but those answers don't necessarily elicit the same response from battle to battle. It's bad enough even if you can read the questions.

Sometimes, however, the best answer is easy to guess (i.e., if a DEVIL Persona tells you he has a camera and asks what to shoot, "Pictures of naked women" is usually, though not always, a pretty safe bet). Not being able to read a lot of the questions doesn't add that much guesswork (because there's already so much) but it does add just a bit more frustration. It's not like you need many cards to complete Tsumi anyway, and the exchanges are amusing enough that the Contact system is a welcome part of the game.

(to be continued, after sleep)

Jakanden
06-07-2008, 07:10 AM
This is my fave LP so far. Not only because I am an SMT fan who hasn't played this game, but also because you are doing a good job of explaining what is going on to those of us who cannot read anything going on.

spineshark
06-07-2008, 12:53 PM
Obviously, with the key, we're in a position to finish the dungeon, but as with all RPGs, the best time to mess around and do side things is when doom is most imminent!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121615_0343.png
Persona 2's overworld map is probably my favorite ever. It's surprisingly straightforward and elegant, not to mention nice-looking. There are two scales on the map. The large scale shows a huge overhead shot of the city, and allows you to choose between all currently available areas. At this point in the game, there are two: the Hirasaka ward, where Kasugayama High School, Sumaru Prison, Shiraishi Ramen and Kuzunoha are located, and Rengedai, the city's center, where Sevens and other locations of note are.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023252_0515.png
This is the map screen for Rengedai, with all the locations marked in-game. At the top of the screen are Mt. Iwato and the Araya Shrine. In the west, you can see Honmaru Park. The center of the map is SSHS, and below that, the Silverman family residence. Finally, in the southeast, the Lotus Mall ("Rengedai," itself, referring to the lotus flower, because as you may be able to see on the large map, the river which cuts through the city forks around the area).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022750_0671.png
If you head over to the Lotus Mall (or any of the shop areas, as there is one in each portion of the city, Mt. Katatsumuri excepted), a small menu will appear, allowing you to choose which location you want to visit. So, to quickly run through some of the city's notable locations:

Time Castle:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121633_0859.png
The strange man here sells accessories in Innocent Sin (sadly, your party has no real use for his wide array of timekeeping devices). In EP, he makes some unusual comments about people and the situation at hand, and I assume it's much the same here.

Rosa Candida:
Is a rather boring clothes store. These are everywhere in Sumaru City, so there are much more entertaining places to buy armor.

Satomi Tadashi:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121047_0109.png
A pharmacy chain, featuring identical purple-haired women at every location. (They are evidently septuplets, despite this being obvious nonsense) There's also an obnoxious but catchy theme song, which is remixed differently from store to store. For this reason, I generally shop in Aoba, because its music is the best.

Kaori:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121810_0203.png
Kaori is a practitioner of some new-age, homeopathic type remedies, and will use them to cure your party for a nominal fee. This is, essentially, the same as "inns" in all your fantasy-themed RPGs. There's a similar place in each area, but I hate the people at most of the other ones, so I usually either come here or go to Hiragi in Konan.

Hirasaka Ward:
Kameya Alley:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_120219_0125.png

Shiraishi Ramen:
We've already been here before, of course. The ramen lady sells weapons, now that we pretty much forced her into it.

Toa Armory:
I guess they sell armor? I never shop here.

Satomi Tadashi:
Yes, another one.

Gatten Sushi:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121128_0656.png
This restaurant is run by Kankichi Mishina. Yes, he's Michelle's father, and he doesn't know about his son's glam rocker persona. So when you walk in for the first time, Eikichi will yell at you to "STOP THE EVERYBODY!" in engrish. His dad sees him, and threatens to beat him up, so Eikichi makes up some excuse about there being a masquerade at school and tries to push everyone out the door.

Also here, is rumormonger Toro (Chunky, in English EP). The Rumormongers are your main source of rumors so it's important to hit them up between each dungeon.

Tomi Chiropractic:
A freaky middle-aged man will heal your party with his miraculous ninja doctor skills, learned in America. For a fee. I never come here either, although it is completely functionally identical to Kaori.

Kuzunoha:
We were already here of course, but I didn't really show off any good pictures.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023118_0406.png
This is a guy named Satomi Tadashi. He's based on a guy of the same name who worked on this game. He was the one trying to access the Secret Menu at Shiraishi earlier. He's Tamaki's boyfriend, but apparently he was unpopular and he doesn't appear in EP.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023135_0328.png
This is the Chief, who you talk to whenever you need rumor services. Like right now! We tell him to spread the rumor about the demon of Seven Sisters High School, and then we'll be on our merry way, for now. There's still more I could point out here, but this is one of the most visited locations in the game.

(continued)

Pajaro Pete
06-07-2008, 01:04 PM
It's worth noting that Tadashi-kun's father runs a Satomi Tadashi pharmacy in Mikage City (the city from P1) and that the Seven Sisters that run the pharmacies in P2 are his aunts.

His disappearance in EP is an injoke from Devil Summoner.

spineshark
06-07-2008, 02:13 PM
Obviously, while visiting all the stores, I had avoided one which appears at both Kameya and Lotus, and indeed, in all five wards. Players of Persona 3 will recognize the silhouette, for this is of course

The Velvet Room.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022813_0625.png
Igor is a constant face through all the Persona games, so if you've played any at all, you'll surely recognize him here. When you first enter, he'll quickly explain that he and the others here all serve Philemon, and his command is to assist visitors in their efforts.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022818_0218.png
Belladonna is a soprano who sings the Velvet Room's haunting melody. As usual, I'm not sure what most of her NPC dialogue says, but in EP her dialogue is translated as if it were originally a poem or lyrics, but it now lacks any real sense of rhyme or meter (but what do I know?). This makes it all the weirder and more interesting, to me.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022823_0437.png
At the piano is "Nanashi," literally "Nameless" in English. He provides in-context music for the Room. I forget whether this is the case in IS or not, since I only went once so far, but in EP he's actually got a nice little classical repertoire (the ones I remember off-hand are one of Satie's Gymnopédies, the first movement of Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique, and a Bach prelude that is sung over) that he may choose from each time you enter. While the default song has a lot of appeal, having the occasional change is nice as well.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_04062008_121519_0890.png
Finally, there's the other useful NPC here, the Demon Painter. Modeled on Megaten's super awesome artist Kazuma Kaneko, he can turn FREE (that is to say, blank) Tarot cards into those of any Arcana except FOOL. This is useful because several Arcana don't have any associated demons, so you can't get those cards directly.

Unlike P3, the entire party joins PANTS in the Velvet room, because they are all capable of switching personas.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022847_0921.png
What we're here for today is the Persona Pixie, type LOVERS. So, enter Igor's handy menu, go to LOVERS on the left and choose it, then select the Persona. We can only see Pixie and the next lowest LOVERS persona in this menu right now, Robin Goodfellow, but it will open up more as the game goes on. (I suppose they decided that if you really wanted to grind up to level 13, or whatever it would take to summon Jack Frost, in SSHS, you're already way too overpowered).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022857_0656-1.png
After an intermediary screen where you can select Cards to add to the persona (which we don't have any of, yet!), the persona status screen will appear, showing what the persona will be like on creation. Pixie comes with low stats and only the skill Dia, but as she gains ranks she will also learn the following spells:

Garu
Kotoludi (cures "Posessed" status)
Zio
Mahagaru (this is how it's written in Japanese games and the EP translation, but of course, now, it's cut back to "Magaru," etc.)
Media

Personas don't use experience to gain ranks, rather, they simply become more powerful by being summoned repeatedly. This means whenever you get a new persona you should use it every turn if possible, even if it does absolutely nothing (say, casting Agi on an enemy who blocks fire). That's the most basic element of the system, and some more will be explained later.

The other thing you'll notice is that the SP usage is listed as a property of the persona. This means that any spell cast on the same persona will cost the same as any other skill on that persona.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_022933_0859.png
When you confirm the summoning, the central platform will float high into space, and the cards will appear brightly around it. They all coalesce into a single card, which represents your new Persona. New Personas automatically go into Igor's "bank" so you also have to make sure you grab it if you want to take it with you.

Since Pixie is LOVERS, just like Eros, Lisa is the most obvious candidate to use her. So, on it goes.

The Silverman Residence:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023221_0296.png
As Turnip mentioned earlier (though it was whited out), naming Tatsuya "Steve" is a rather foolish idea because Lisa's father is named "Steven" and looks like Steven Segal. Steven and his wife are massive Japanophiles, which is why they live in this old-looking Japanese mansion. They try to raise their (very foreign-looking) daughter as a nice Japanese lady, and Lisa resists them every step of the way. (She watches lots of Bruce Lee movies and throws out a lot of random bits of Chinese, as well as trying to lecture PANTS on Cantonese in many of the shop dialogues) Anyway, Lisa doesn't like her father (that's novel!) and like Eikichi earlier, just wants to get out of here. Thanks for being a jerk, PANTS.

Well that wraps up most of the diversions for now, so back on track.
Seven Sisters High School:
Well what do you know, not only did we not have to search hard for the rumor demon, but it appeared in the very first battle.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023322_0531-1.png
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_023333_0078.png
Naturally, since this is still the first dungeon, this thing isn't very dangerous, but it does take quite a few hits to bring down. The reward for beating it isn't really worth the "effort," but fortunately, fighting a toilet is enough on its own.

(continued)

spineshark
06-07-2008, 02:44 PM
Anyway, rush up to the top floor, beat demons up, you know the drill. Enter the clock room with the key, and...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024043_0796.png
The clock tower is one of the cooler locations in the game, graphically, with rotating gears and a pretty sweet light effect from the clock face. When PANTS and the group arrive, they're greeted by a ghost...the rumored teacher who died here! He gives the same warning about the clock that we heard earlier. And then...laughter.*

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024117_0578.png
High above are Hannya and the Joker, so clearly they've been working together. Lisa asks the principal why he's been working with the Joker, and if he's been responsible for everything that's happened.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024131_0203.png
Hannya claims the emblem curse was essentially karma for the students being disrespectful and lazy, not paying attention to school. But it did come from Kasugayama, originally. Hannya's personal benefit from the Joker, on the other hand, was brand new hair! Also, the students and teachers all listen to and respect him (to some extent anyway), which is why even though everyone hates him, they can't speak badly of him.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024255_0625-1.png
The Joker sends another flower and disappears, and then the old man leaps down onto one of the gears.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024456_0875.png
Hannya also uses a persona (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/10.jpg), imagine that. He only seems to have three moves: a small, weak explosion that hits a few party members, a drill move that is his only remotely dangerous attack, and a weak wrench swing.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024515_0343.png
After Eikichi's first turn I found out (again) that Hannya blocks Water attacks so I had to send him to attack. Michelle's weapon, the "Standard Case" if you'll remember from when we were getting the weapons at Shiraishi, is a gun concealed in a guitar case. I love Persona 2.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024905_0078.png
After we burn him enough times, the principal is defeated. The clock face falls away, and the emblem curse ends.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024929_0390.png
So Hannya jumps out of the new hole. But wait, this was the fourth story, wasn't it?

Something else happens, which I'll bring up next time, and then a girl walks in. She asks PANTS what happened to the principal.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_025105_0406.png
Talking Time! We have two choices! Did the principal live, or did he die? Neither answer is wrong! Neither answer makes much of any real difference! But we have to decide!

Next Time: Ninja Waitress Extravaganza!

*The Joker could really use a cool sound effect, like Kefka. Oh well. His theme song makes up for it.

PapillonReel
06-07-2008, 02:49 PM
I'm not sure what the deal is with that light, but since we don't know what happened to him I say the principal is still alive.

Good LP! I never had the chance to play either P2, so this is proving really interesting so far.

Eirikr
06-07-2008, 02:59 PM
The Velvet Room really is so much more kickass in P2. Definitely a place I would like to go to chill and talk the philosophy of the universe with its inhabitants.

Also, be a dick and say he's dead.

Kishi
06-07-2008, 03:10 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_024456_0875.png
Hannya also uses a persona (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/personas/10.jpg), imagine that.

It's worth pointing out that Hannya's Persona is, quite naturally, based on the classical Japanese Hannya mask (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannya).

ringworm
06-07-2008, 04:00 PM
I say the principal died. That's the kinda story that sticks with people!

Ruik
06-07-2008, 04:51 PM
I say dead. I'm guessing the clock tower is pretty high up and the fall would kill him? Also, if we start a rumor that he is dead, maybe he will stay that way.

Alixsar
06-07-2008, 04:55 PM
He's dead. He just jumped out of a clock tower.

Also, for no reason in particular, this thread is making me want to play Clock Tower. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_Tower_%28PlayStation%29)

spineshark
06-08-2008, 10:22 PM
Seven Sisters High School: Clock Tower

So, looking back a few seconds:

Maya just had her first encounter with the Joker, and since she's following him for her job, she can't exactly stop thinking about him. She comments that he feels somehow familiar, and then for no apparent reason, recites a bit of poetry (http://www.answers.com/topic/der-doppelg-nger).
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_025001_0343-1.png
PANTS and the Joker are a little alike, she says...but despite the lack of much backstory for him at this point, PANTS doesn't strike me as a secretly crazy guy who goes around granting absurd wishes and stealing people's dreams...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_025016_0687.png
A large portion of Maya's dialogue in IS is basically her telling everyone else to cheer up (her catchphrase being a tortured english "Let's positive thinking!" in kana). It's time to keep going, wherever the search will lead.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_06062008_025046_0109.png
Lisa's idea is to catch up with Hanaji again, as she may have some new information. The most likely place to find her at the moment is Yumezaki's Peace Diner.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212026_0562.png
As at least one respondent realized, the question isn't "Can a sixty-year-old man survive a four-story fall?" (there's no debate there) but "Do you want Hannya to be dead?" After we tell her that he didn't survive, she praises him for heroically saving the school from the emblem curse and leaves to spread the news. Sure enough, this becomes the "fact" that he died on this day, and we never have to see him again. (If you spare him, [not that I think this is really spoilers since I don't think most people are likely to play the game but just to be safe] he returns a changed man and earns his popularity as the principal of Sevens, as well as becoming a badass hero with his Persona. I killed him when playing the first time, with a completely unfounded fear that he'd come back with a vengeance.)

So, we can head outside to find a new area on the city map, in the north.

Yumezaki Ward:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212442_0906.png
I've come to the conclusion that this is Sumaru City's touristy area (and for all I know, this is actually stated somewhere that I never saw). Here's what's around:

GOLD:
This is the "Gold" Gym, which at least a couple notable Persona 2 characters are patrons of. We haven't met them yet, though.

Zodiac:
A club which has become the hangout for many Kasugayama High students. Yes, that was blunt, blunt foreshadowing.

Pachinko Silver:
Truth be told, I'm not an expert on Persona 2 by any means (particularly IS). When I took this picture I didn't remember that this building existed at all. Now that I spent some time thinking about it, I recall what it's there for...one of IS' amusing "go away if you can't read Japanese" puzzles.

Mu Continent:
A casino, where you can engage in boring, time-tested minigames (but with your party members' portraits! It is actually a decent excuse to sit down at the Blackjack table for five minutes in EP) for prizes which may or may not be fabulous. Actually, after five minutes of poker saved me at least an hour of grinding at the end of EP, I really shouldn't be so harsh on it.

Giga Macho:
A huge, hilariously named CD store, also the location of one of Sumaru's more popular radio stations.

Yumezaki Shopping Center:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212541_0437.png

Tony's Shop:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212607_0437.png
The big-nosed foreigner here sells accessories. Like the Shiraishi lady, we can also use rumors to open him up as another black market weapons dealer. Right now, in fact!

Anima Mundi:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212637_0390.png
Between the Latin name, my prior interpretation that the whole area is a tourist trap, and the fact that the clothes displays here are all hideous, I can only assume that this is supposed to be some sort of high fashion store. This is another armor store, but there might as well only be one (as long as it's the right one, which we can't visit yet, natch).

Satomi Tadashi:
That store you've come to know and love, this time with goofy breakbeats! YEAH!

Bikini Line:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212803_0328.png
In this Hawaiian themed locale, you can get a tan as ugly as this guy's! Or use magical UV powers to repair your demon-inflicted wounds, apparently. The music here is kind of cool, but if it's not obvious, I hate the place.

So, that's Yumezaki, aside, of course, from a door to the Velvet Room and the place we came to visit.

(continued)

spineshark
06-08-2008, 10:56 PM
Peace Diner:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212853_0203.png
PANTS and the gang arrive here only to not find Hanaji chowing down on a Peace Burger. Darn. However, only a few seconds later, another girl in a Sevens uniform appears. This isn't her either, but Lisa eventually recognizes her as Ueda Chika, another newspaper worker.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_212939_0109.png
Chikalin is Tsumi's formal introduction to the rumormongers, although it's possible to get rumors from the ones Hirasaka and Rengedai once Hannya dies (or doesn't). She also has the exclusive information that Hanaji went to the Zodiac in an attempt to investigate the rumors coming out of Kasugayama High.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_213016_0906.png
Between this and what Hannya said, Lisa has enough information to rail on Eikichi, but he claims he had nothing to do with the evil rumors coming out of the school. She finds this pretty suspicious, since he's the "Captain" after all, an unofficial leader who controls the students by intimidation and fear (aka, his Persona). Rather than let them bitch each other out, Yuki and Maya suggest just going and finding out the truth once and for all.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_213122_0921.png
Chikalin stands next to the counter, from now until the end of the game, and you can "trade" rumors with her. She'll ask what you want to know a rumor about, and if you have any information for her, then she'll give you her rumor, which you can cash in at Kuzunoha.

Yes, I promised a Ninja Waitress, but apparently I didn't actually manage to take a decent picture. It's best not to get too excited anyway, but there'll be one next time.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_213549_0750.png
The same process can be repeated with Toro in Gatten Sushi...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_213805_0546.png
and the homeless Toku in Honmaru Park in Rengedai.

The rumormongers really all have the same rumors, but slightly different versions. For example:

If you ask about Mu Continent, Chikalin will give you the rumor that the Blackjack is a profitable game. Toro will tell you that the Slots pay out well, and Toku tells you that enterprising players should hit the Poker table. However, if you go to Kuzunoha, you can't spread all of these rumors, so you have to pick the one which you like best.

The rumors in this round are:
What game to play at the casino.
The Time Count at Time Castle sells weapons.
Tony sells weapons.
You can win stuff in a magazine contest (I love this and we'll have time to play with it once we're not poor anymore).
Rosa Candida sells armor.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_213846_0000.png

In general you want to spread the rumors that shops sell high quality items for high prices, because it's easy to get money, but if you go around making all the shop inventories crappy, you're mostly stuck with the dumb weapons and armor you can buy from your self-fulfilling prophecies.

Now that we're done messing around, it's time to press onward.

Club Zodiac:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_214146_0203.png
In this room we're introduced to SSHS students Noriko Katayama and Anna Yoshizaka. I forget how much of Anna's backstory is around to this point but suffice it to say that she's not very happy with life. Noriko cares a lot about her and tries to get her not to smoke, but after she doesn't seem to be getting through, she just gives up and storms off.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_214302_0937.png
Yukino picks up where Noriko left off, and while she doesn't seem to be successful either, she irritates Anna to the point where she just storms off rather than being harassed.

Three KHS students come over and start messing with the Sevens students and Michelle. Eikichi scares two of them off, and intimidates the third into telling about what's happening in Zodiac. He reveals that another Kasugayama student, Sugimoto, has spread rumors that he's now the "Head," and stronger than the "Captain." Additionally, Hanakouji entered the secret club in the back to investigate the situation. This is enough to get Michelle to run off recklessly on his own, so he won't be joining us in the next area. Alas, it's time to rescue some people.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_214621_0484.png
This Zodiac employee has apparently never been through the door ten feet to her right, but there's a rumor that there's a big maze in the back. In an effort to grind the Pixie Persona and drag out this segment longer, I of course choose to backtrack to Kuzunoha and spread this one too.

(continued)

spineshark
06-09-2008, 01:27 AM
The Dark Side of the Zodiac:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_215407_0000.png
Actually, even after spreading the rumor, the hallways back here are pretty straightforward and quick. There's not a lot to see here. Sure, there's some cool furnishings, but this isn't "Let's Look at Everything spineshark Took Pictures Of." (On the other hand, if you want to see more, I take way more pictures than I actually use for each update, and for now they all end up in my album (http://s287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/?special_track=nav_tab_my_albums))

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_214825_0234.png
There's nothing worth contacting in Zodiac, although the first MOON demons begin appearing here. There are also Zombies. Zombies don't go with any Tarot symbol, so you can't contact them, even if you wanted to.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_220557_0953.png
They are also weak against fire, and most demons here are vulnerable to it, so it's time to bring out a wonderful new fusion. This one ("Mega Blaze") requires Fire Spell -> Wind Spell -> Fire Spell, and then it hits all enemies. Unless the encounter features the annoying fire-resistant imp-things, it will one-shot all enemies, as if the place wasn't already trivial enough.

This is a Very Good Thing, as it means that basically every fight offers an opportunity for a fusion bonus. If the last blow of the battle comes from a fusion spell, then any persona involved in the fusion has a chance to get a fusion bonus. These are:

2 Rank Increase (only available until the Persona reaches Rank 7)
Parameter Increase (Persona stats increase, these build up over time and become extremely strong)
Learn Spell (each persona has exactly one spell which is learned through this method instead of direct rank increases)
Hidden Ability (I saw this once, but it's rare and only applies to certain Personas)
Mutation activated (only happens when the persona is at the max rank, 8)

All of these can be pretty useful, so the more battles you use fusions in, the more likely they will happen. In particular, the stat increase can allow you to continue using old personas for a very, very long time. Between this and the card system, it's often easier to just coast through with Personas you already have than to raise new ones. Given this, Persona 2's relatively low difficulty is really kind of a blessing, since if you had to make and raise new Personas as much as in P3 it would quickly become tedious. On the other hand, it is a kind of unfortunate limitation on the system.

To get into the "secret" room in the back, we need to be wearing masks, which are conveniently stashed in a nearby storage room. After grabbing them, we can return to see

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221128_0890.png
Sugimoto's goons beating up Eikichi. He threatens to hurt Hanakouji if Eikichi summons his Persona, so he doesn't have much choice but to sit there and take it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221138_0171.png
Even to this point, she's tried to hide her identity, but Sugimoto finally just spills it. Even though she's no longer the "slim and beautiful" girl he knew years ago, he still ferverently stands up for her.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221232_0750.png
So the Head nicks her with his knife, and Lisa just can't take it anymore. She says they have to help Michelle. Yuki, on the other hand, warns that this is Eikichi's business and that he can handle it himself.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221556_0578.png
*gasp* Another choice! Is Lisa right? Is Eikichi such a pussy without Rhadamanthus that he needs PANTS and three women to bail him out? Or is Yuki's faith in our (second-?*)favorite PS1-era rocker well-placed?

I'm still not sure I want to really open this up for debate, because if you guys pick the wrong one, Eikichi (and PANTS, as far as I know) will be temporarily gimped later on. But have at it!

(and yes, nobody is wearing a mask in that last picture. Clearly we just took them off after we got past the door guard)

Next Time: Circular Logic!

*Eikichi is my favorite character in this game, but I'm sure some people like Nikki from Chrono Cross as well. The latter is definitely a better musician. Also: Um Jammer Lammy.

VorpalEdge
06-09-2008, 01:59 AM
Michelle needs to man up and take them himself. That's what he gets for painting his face like that.

Mr. Sensible
06-09-2008, 02:28 AM
Yeah, let's give glam rock the respect it so desperately needs by letting Michelle totally kick those guys' asses.

Lakupo
06-09-2008, 04:11 AM
Anime is full of the cliche "It's his fight to fight." Screw honor! Kick their asses.

I own EP (but haven't played it yet), but the IS translation project (http://tsumi.wordpress.com/) seems to be coming along nicely (it's already at 80 percent! But it probably won't be released until the end of the year at the earliest with all the debugging to do), so I'm thinking of playing that first, so I'm not sure whether to keep following this thread. :o I enjoy reading it, but spoiiilers!

Kishi
06-09-2008, 01:34 PM
PANTS and Eikichi are now rock 'n' roll blood brothers (http://www.the-isb.com/?p=144). You mess with one of them, you mess with all of them.

PapillonReel
06-09-2008, 01:41 PM
Even though we didn't get to help Hannya you bastards at least we can help Eikichi. Take 'em on!

Pajaro Pete
06-09-2008, 01:58 PM
He's a big boy, he can handle it himself. Besides, Yukino is an adult, Ginko is a Japanese(esque) teenager. Who's judgment do you trust more?

Kishi
06-09-2008, 01:59 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_220557_0953.png

Wait, are those squirrel girls? Did Mopinks do enemy design for this game?

Jakanden
06-09-2008, 03:46 PM
I say let him handle it himself. Have some faith in the dude.

Ruik
06-09-2008, 04:57 PM
If Michelle asked to handle it himself, sure let him. But it was someone else saying that, how the fuck would they know whether Michelle wants our help or not. I say help him.

spineshark
06-09-2008, 05:14 PM
マンです、ベイビイ!He didn't ask for help either. I'm not sure he knows PANTS is here.

Voting is still tied, but I decided. I've logged the battle with Sugimoto anyway!

Kasugayama High School sucks though, so next update is still a bit off.

mopinks
06-09-2008, 10:44 PM
Wait, are those squirrel girls? Did Mopinks do enemy design for this game?

I did now, because you started the rumor and it became reality.

SO META

spineshark
06-12-2008, 01:29 AM
I own EP (but haven't played it yet), but the IS translation project (http://tsumi.wordpress.com/) seems to be coming along nicely (it's already at 80 percent! But it probably won't be released until the end of the year at the earliest with all the debugging to do), so I'm thinking of playing that first, so I'm not sure whether to keep following this thread. :o I enjoy reading it, but spoiiilers!
I'd like to think that I'm not ruining everything (I'll be playing through the patch, certainly) but I definitely understand this view, too. Encouraging people who have only played the newer games to at least try EP was a large part of my hope for this thread. It's definitely sort of clumsy, compared to Nocturne/DDS/P3, so failing people enjoying playing Persona 2 I hope they can still get something out of it. And thanks to all for the encouragement so far!

At any rate, the next dungeon is the worst in the entire duology (not that it even takes that long) so I'm having some trouble mustering the effort to finish it right now. But to prove that this LP is not dead, I can at least close out the Zodiac chapter.

Eight people voted, and it was split 4-4, so I had two choices (well okay, there were more than two ways to look at resolving it, but they all inevitably mean choosing one of the two options in the prompt):
a) Swing the vote the way I wanted it, or
b) Ignore Turnip's vote because I know he knows what happens.

Neither of these options was very good, but I chose "a" for my own convenience. For the record though, here's what happens if you think Ginko is right:

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10062008_201148_0265.png
By running in there and flashing their little Persona auras, Maya and Yukino scare everyone out of the room except for Sugimoto and Hanakouji. It seems the tables have turned!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10062008_203725_0125.png
But of course, he has a trick. The bastard manages to summon his own Persona, one that reminds PANTS and Lisa of something they've seen before. Sugimoto's Persona is actually an "evil" or "Reverse" Rhadamanthus.

He blocks water, and Eikichi's gun attacks are also useless. On the other hand, Maia learned Media after two turns, so the battle strategy quickly settled into this:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10062008_204457_0031.png
(Maya: Media
PANTS: Agi
Ginko: Zio
Michelle: Defend
Yuki: Zio)

There is a fusion spell which Vulcanus and Vesta can do just by having them both cast Agi. The two Zio's do not serve the same purpose, and I would actually get about 10 more damage per round by fusing fire (which is a lot considering how weakly I was hitting the guy). Maya's SP runs deep though, and this gave me the chance to get up and grab a drink. I needed it, too.

Eventually he went down, everybody gained two levels, and unable to resist anymore, he spills the beans...

Obviously, if you leave Michelle alone, the confrontation goes down a little differently. Eikichi pretty much surrenders, so Sugimoto waves off his goons and comes over to humiliate him personally.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221645_0656.png
He swings a few times and misses. Or maybe he's really pounding Michelle, it's kind of hard to tell given the animation here. Eikichi isn't fighting back, but he's not going down, either.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221658_0781.png
So the Head backs up and begins to call on his Persona. Right then, Michelle suddenly shouts "I quit!"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221705_0171.png
Then he decks the bastard. The Head may be stronger than the Captain, but Sugimoto is not stronger than Mishina, and by relinquishing his title, he broke the rumor's power.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221733_0453.png
He looks about ready to cooperate. But first, everybody congratulates Michelle on how much of a badass he turned out to be, even without his persona.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221837_0250.png
The Head explains that the Kasugayama High president is working with the Joker to bring down Sevens. He cooperated in the scheme for his own personal gains, but he seems to be regretting it (I wonder why!).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07062008_221848_0031.png
The Joker actually commands a pretty large organization, according to Sugimoto, but he was just about to be inducted into it today and doesn't know very much. One "Lady Scorpio" is a high-ranking member, though, and seemingly the ringleader at KHS.

I think the next destination is obvious.

Ample Vigour
06-12-2008, 07:47 AM
Then he decks the bastard. The Head may be stronger than the Captain, but Sugimoto is not stronger than Mishina, and by relinquishing his title, he broke the rumor's power.


That's actually quite brilliant. Incredible use of the game's internal logic.

Well, I'm interested enough in this that I have to stop reading your thread now. Thanks, spineshark!

spineshark
06-18-2008, 02:42 AM
Alright, the last update proper having been over a week ago now, it's really time for some more! As I mentioned before, this part is really not fun to play, and it was compounded by a pretty busy week (my grandpa's law office needed someone to fill in, which has become me until the end of the week at least), me forgetting one of the triggers, and playing the game on a stupidly dark monitor...but here goes!

Kasugayama High School:
The students here are setting up for something. It's a...masquerade. No, really. Eikichi's bizarre and ridiculous lie became true (though this seems not to be the Rumor Effect).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10062008_211534_0703.png
There are a lot of students around KHS, but most of the conversations are pretty boring. There's also this one, where Eikichi asks about a transfer student in this room. He hasn't been seen much, according to a couple of the guys, and it's speculated that he may not be very healthy. This reminds me of someone...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_003228_0515.png
Meanwhile, when Eikichi enters the student council room, he's informed that Yasuo, the president, is hiding in the schools bomb shelter. The council members seem to be turning on him, and want the former Captain to stop him.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_003938_0125.png
The demons here are quite a bit hardier than the ones at Zodiac, but if Michelle wears some of the stronger ones down it's still possible to fuse out most encounters. You just have to run away from the funny floating guys with spirals on their bellies and the imps in chef hats, since they block fire.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_004934_0296.png
Practically right inside the basement is the entrance to the bomb shelter. The party can hear the voice of someone who is apparently the President.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_004947_0078.png
So of course we have a couple of idiots run straight inside. We have no choice but to follow them now.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_005034_0093.png
It's dark down here, but Maya has a flashlight, and with it the party finds a transceiver, relaying Yasuo's messages. He informs them that there is a rumor about the bomb shelter, stating that the exit cannot be seen. But, he will help everyone escape if Lisa agrees to date him. Clearly, he doesn't know Ginko, if he's asking for that.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_005145_0437.png
Eikichi gets really fed up and breaks the machine, which Lisa gets angry at him for. Obviously, she's just looking for an excuse, but at the same time, that was their only way to contact anything outside the bomb shelter. Not a good way, but better than nothing, perhaps.

Anyway, it's time to start looking for the way out. Maybe we can find it!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_005223_0281.png
There's really not much to see, though, and especially on my dark monitor I was blundering into everything while playing this part.

(cont)

spineshark
06-18-2008, 03:01 AM
Kasugayama High Bomb Shelter
The premise of this part is that the party runs around in the dark, blundering back into the same room over and over, until the game takes pity on us. Here is what I had to say about it earlier tonight:

<VorpalEdge> how's the let's play coming?
<spineshark> I'm working on it right now
<spineshark> this dungeon is the most accurate depiction of being locked in a dark hellhole ever made in video games =(
<spineshark> it's so powerful, even the player feels desperation slowly overcoming him

However, it's not a total loss. First of all, lurking down here is a portal to one of the best locations in the game:

Trish's Fountain:

Trish (http://dokuganryu.com/scans/megaten/sin/16.jpg) is a greedy fairy, who appears in a lot of dungeons where you can't get out easily. Presumably she's here so that you can't really get perma-stuck by saving yourself in a really bad situation. But she's really only worth a laugh, because SP is restored when your characters level up and also as they walk around, and this early in the game, that regeneration far outpaces their possible consumption.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_011604_0984.png
For comparison, healing up at Kaori (or Tomi/Bikini Line) costs 1200 Yen. Seriously.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_005508_0359.png
If you refuse to pay her outrageous fee, she will respond accordingly. I think this picture is understandable to everyone here. In EP, as I recall, she will cheerfully tell you to "Die, for all I care!"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_012225_0109.png
One of the more amusing things that happened as I was tripping over things down here was that I walked into a puddle that poisoned everyone. I rarely buy Antidotes, especially in IS where I forget which item they are, and usually "cure" it by letting the afflicted person die, finishing the battle, then healing them up afterward (as they are returned to 1 HP after the battle, like in Chrono Trigger or Dragon Quarter). I'm really a master of efficiency in this game! This method turned out not to be a very good option, so I just stuck with it the rest of my time down here, healing frequently, and cured it when I got out.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013159_0687.png
After six rounds of wandering blindly around the area, Pants and friends finally realize that this isn't a very productive way to go. Michelle then notes that:

1) somebody did get out of the bomb shelter
2) they had a mirror
3) he's traveling with three women and he's the only one who carries a hand mirror?

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013229_0515.png
Then he gets it out and starts messing with his hair. Ginko makes him drop it. Wonderful. Really, really wonderful.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013304_0734.png
But hey, let's all calm down, cheer up, and get some rest. We can always be trapped here in the morning!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013433_0562.png
But she can't sleep, so she sits down for some quality time with Pants. She shows him her most treasured possession: a funny little bunny who cheers her up. And she wants to know about his lighter...

(cont)

spineshark
06-18-2008, 03:24 AM
(Watching this again, this is maybe actually my favorite scene in Innocent Sin)
Flashback:
Pants thinks back to a time when he is spending time with another young boy. A boy who looks and acts a lot like him, in fact.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013513_0265.png
Because they're friends, the other kid offers Pants his dad's lighter, his most treasured posession. Pants declines at first, but is assured that it's okay! They're a lot alike, so it's like he's not really losing it at all.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013540_0718.png
So in kind, Pants offers his fancy watch. The boy declines at first, but then realizes that it's merely mirroring his previous gesture, and accepts the exchange.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013613_0015.png
Immediately after this, a drunk comes out of the door across the street, and he can be seen reflected in the window. He crosses to see the boys, and tells them that it's getting late and they should go home.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013720_0140.png
Then he refers to himself as "Kaoru" and talks about finding his dreams, all while denying his drunkenness. As he shambles off, the boy says to Pants, that he's heard adults drink to forget their dreams...

Back in the present, everyone's had a nice rest and so the adventure continues on.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_013912_0500.png
(I just included this picture because I like the portrait of Pants smiling)

Maya gives her standard encouragement, then she has a pop quiz to go over what we know about getting out. As far as I can tell, these dialogue prompts are meant to uncover two categories of people: (mild) perverts, and people who cannot recognize any Japanese writing. However, it's a fairly convenient opportunity to go over the whole thing again.

Maya's questions are basically:
"Why does the rumor say nobody gets out of the bomb shelter?"
-Because no one can find the exit.

"Has anyone escaped?"
-One person.

"What did that person have?"
-A mirror.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014009_0765.png
Finally, she asks what's so special about a mirror. You don't only have to look at yourself (Eikichi would fail on this part, obviously)-you can see other things too! Like what? One of the options here is "looking up skirts," but the answer is that you can see things indirectly.

Do we have another way to do that? The answer is yes, and we can follow the same logic that was used in the second Harry Potter book. No, really.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014046_0578.png
Yuki attacks the darkness with her magic missile...err, camera, and the exit miraculously appears. Another day, another rumor circumvented!

But we still have to stop a guy. We race toward the Gym, which is where the main event is, and after picking up masks (again), Pants and the others find this:

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014326_0031.png
Pants steals Maya's mask, saving her, but everyone else is being drained by the power of the skull, and of course

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014357_0015.png
Yasuo is the one holding it, with a stupid, smug grin on his face. Eikichi scares him off for the time being, however, and he rushes off to go be a coward, interrupting the process.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014427_0109.png
There's someone else here too, watching the events...

(cont, tomorrow)

spineshark
06-18-2008, 04:24 PM
Yasuo flees into the school, and by all reports he's headed for the roof. Pants and the party emerge to find another one of the President's devices, but Eikichi spots him and smacks the bastard.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014843_0328.png
Here comes this villain's monologue, of course. He just wanted what was best for the school and its students! With the Joker's help they'd become better, stronger, more popular! And if Eikichi will only help him, they can go even further!

And of course he had no idea what he was doing with that skull. He can't reverse it and he certainly can't hand it over, under threats from Lady Scorpio.

Like all of the joker's previous minions, he also has a Persona. Use of force is authorized.

I'm pretty sure this is just an easy battle, but it's a very easy battle after Pants and friends were stuck in the bomb shelter for so damn long.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_014940_0140.png
Pixie learned Media while down there, so basically we have Michelle and Yuki attacking, Maya and Lisa overhealing, and Pants casting Agi (yes, that's not what the picture says, but it took about two seconds to find out that he resists sword damage or something).

Yasuo's main move is Maha Garu, which hits everyone for light wind damage. His other trick is to try to enrage the party, which mostly just kills him faster. Eikichi and Maya were enraged-Maya's attacks proved worthless since I didn't upgrade her weapon (and also making me glad I had Pixie for backup), but Michelle just did what I wanted him to do but better. He also wrapped up the battle with a nice 225 damage crit.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_015404_0984.png
So Pants has the skull. It's kind of blue. Yasuo once again claims that he doesn't really know what it's for, he was just supposed to use it and turn it over to the "Masquerade", and maybe he'd become more powerful. Eikichi's been having dreams about a "Masquerade" too. (He must be making this stuff up to sound cool.)

Then the group, especially Yukino, and their Personas feel a very strong presence. It's Anna, and everyone recognizes her, despite her Executive mask.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_015504_0031.png
I know Dr. Jones is getting old, but it looks like he just got outwhipped by a teenaged girl! After she looks at the skull, she explains that the only ones who can really control the skulls are those with some Zodiacal signs, and complains that Yasuo didn't gather very much energy.

Suddenly, there's another presence, this one the most connected to Maya.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_015539_0531.png
King Leo is the leader of the four executives, making him the Joker's second-in-command, more or less. He explains that most people's energy is low, which is why the Joker has been making people's dreams reality. After incinerating Yasuo, he tells off Scorpio for revealing her identity and abandoning her duties at the "Shadow Feast" and tells her to go back and finish it off. He then threatens everyone else, especially "the witch" Maya, and disappears.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_015646_0609.png
She breaks down, and it's revealed that Leo has been stalking her for years. But there are immediate things to attend to, so we all head back down to the Gym, where everyone left has been turned into Shadow People. Yuki swears she'll save Anna from the Masquerade, while the others wonder what to do next. Let's try the Peace Diner again?

All we get there is Chikalin telling us there's a fortune-telling mystic in the Konan area. I don't know whether this is useful or not, but who cares? We can go to Konan now.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020027_0140.png
Konan's locations of note are:

Police Station
Lunar Palace Konan
Seaside Mall
Ebisu Beach
Abandoned Factory
Sky Museum

Police Station:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020116_0562.png
This is where Pants' brother Katsuya works. Katsuya is hard-working and motivated, unlike our hero, and he always seems to be in Pants' face about his future and whatnot. At least in IS. In EP, the changed perspective makes him seem at least a little different...

Seaside Mall:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020231_0281.png

Kishi
06-18-2008, 04:44 PM
But, he will help everyone escape if Lisa agrees to date him. Clearly, he doesn't know Ginko, if he's asking for that.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_005145_0437.png
Eikichi gets really fed up and breaks the machine, which Lisa gets angry at him for. Obviously, she's just looking for an excuse, but at the same time, that was their only way to contact anything outside the bomb shelter. Not a good way, but better than nothing, perhaps.



http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e200/grokyou/freakoutsilverman.png

spineshark
06-18-2008, 05:48 PM
You can various characters' faces do that in a lot of scenes. I really wouldn't be surprised if it's already appeared in one or more earlier updates.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020220_0953.png
The Jolly Roger is a restaurant (and weapons shop, act surprised) run by this melancholy pirate. Awesome.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020245_0000.png
The London shop, on the other hand, is pretty much my favorite store in Persona 2 (sadly, it doesn't return in any form in Eternal Punishment). This is my armor store of choice, generally, because I find it so funny.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020334_0921.png
Hiragi Psychotherapy is Konan's healing location. A woman in funny glasses is in charge, but there's someone of consequence here too. Maki (or Mary, thanks to the first game's Americanization) is a friend of Yuki's from back in the original game, and she...well, doesn't do all that much, but she's familiar with Philemon and Personas and all that.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18062008_020409_0187.png
Here's the Sumaru Gypsy, whom Chikalin told us about. She gives rumors, mostly.

Out on the streets, everyone's raving about the upcoming musical debut of the MUSES (this game really is a "Greekfest" as another member of this board has noted). Two of the members are known to be Juniors at Sevens: Lisa's classmates "Asacchi" and "Miipo." The third, however is being kept a secret, but there are plenty of rumors flying about who it could be...

Next time:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLUS_00339_18062008_002103_0406.png (http://s287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/?action=view&current=SLUS_00339_18062008_002103_0406.png)
!

Pajaro Pete
06-18-2008, 06:00 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLUS_00339_18062008_002103_0406.png

What a racist bitch.

Mazian
06-18-2008, 06:00 PM
Next time:
Awesome.

I just noticed that the spell names are in katakana. Some of the later spells with long names must be a challenge to fit into the space given, much less pronounce. Now I'm still left trying to figure out where some of those names came from - Agi makes sense, but what are Zio or any given -kaja prefix from?

Alixsar
06-18-2008, 07:55 PM
Is it just me or does Captain Edgar Allan Poe not have any eyes?

mopinks
06-18-2008, 08:04 PM
http://www.court-records.net/animations/ani-tsunekatsu.gif

spineshark
06-24-2008, 02:32 AM
Note: Blonde white girl(s) in this update are not actually racist. I apologize for any inconvenience.

I'm also sorry that this one took a while to put together, but this part isn't much more fun than Kasugayama was; from here until after Caracol should be more enjoyable and therefore come out faster.

None of the four rumormongers have any information we didn't already know about the Muses, but when PANTS and his entourage visit Honmaru Park there's a group of SSHS students who pester Lisa to give them an autograph.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_102234_0031.png
Eikichi is all too eager, of course, while Lisa has no idea what they're talking about. They tell her to look at the poster, then run off, frustrated.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10062008_210316_0890.png
Alas, this one small area is the entirety of the visitable portion of Honmaru. The rest is blocked off, with a sign stating that it's closed for a construction project overseen by a "Tatsuzou Sudou" started in 1980, or about 20 years before the beginning of the game. There probably wouldn't be anything to see anyway.

Well, fortunately, the rumormongers are not the only people we have contact with who are into the scene.

Kuzunoha:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_105151_0890.png
Tadashi has a Muses poster set up inside the office. After taking a good look at it, and Lisa, he points out the conclusion which has been all but obvious since this whole subplot started - Lisa is the "mystery" Muse. Despite small protestations from her and Michelle, he's nonetheless confident that he's right-the third member has a crazy blonde hairstyle, according to his rumors.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_105227_0593.png
So he wants her to sign for him. He's really kind of annoying! Tamaki leads him off-camera where (hopefully humorous) violence evidently ensues. The party realizes that since this is the rumor going around, it's going to be true, whether it was already or not...in fact, the poster was probably made for this exact purpose. Is the Masquerade behind this too? The investigation isn't nearly over.

Mu Continent:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_105455_0125.png
Over at the casino, a director is grabbing extras for a music video starring the Muses. Our slapdash group looks good enough, so he motions everyone to head into the back room. Of course, there's enemies back here.

The monsters all get another pretty big buff from KHS. There's still nothing especially threatening, though, aside from these blob monsters.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_111500_0453.png
They have an explosion move which they'll use after being hit a bit. It does about 70 damage to everything else (all demons and human characters in the battle) so two in a row, following some bad hits, could kill everyone (this is so unlikely that it's not worth worrying about, though). There's no chance of this happening as long as they get attacked with the AOE fusion though, which is still worth spamming on everything it'll work on. Which is to say, basically every enemy, except for the masked guys in red robes.

Yes, the game doesn't really draw attention to it yet, but there are Masquerade troops in a lot of random encounters from here to the end of the game. They're associated with four Zodiac signs and four elements, based on their colors:

Red - Fire - Leo
Blue - Water - Aquarius
Yellow - Earth - Taurus
Green - Wind - Scorpio

At least I think I got that right. Anyway, after fighting through some people and taking a dead end or two, the big, important room is here on 4F.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_111753_0656.png
After the video shoot, the other two Muses explain to Lisa that they were scouted by a record producer named Ginji Sasaki after they took a picture together and wrote a wish to become stars on it. Their big song is about to come out, and it has a solo part in English for Lisa.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_22062008_111823_0687.png
Ginko rejects them, saying that they only want her because they can't handle it without her. They leave, but Yuki suggests that they keep following them, and Maya grows more worried that the Muses are just another trick of the Masquerade.

(cont)

spineshark
06-24-2008, 03:01 AM
Giga Macho:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_003025_0250.png
This dungeon has a lot of fairly interesting art design, with all sorts of posters and markings on the walls. Unfortunately, it was also made more "dungeony" by leaving lots of illogical flotsam around, which makes it kind of a pain to navigate.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_003650_0609.png
For example, this big metal door blocking the stairs up from 3F. After running around a little longer, we come across a nice elevator...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_004200_0953.png
and after taking it up two stories...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_004141_0765.png
PANTS is greeted by a nice, big, metal door, that blocks it on this end.

Nonetheless, after taking the elevator to the fourth floor, there's a staircase that leads up, and soon we're in the Sound Max studio.

In the booth are the host, the group's producer Ginji Sasaki, and the first two muses. And on Lisa's arrival, Sasaki is ready to make his big announcement.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_005018_0828.png
She is, as has been made obvious repeatedly, the third member of Muses. Maya and PANTS send Ginko into the booth so they can see how the situation develops, but Maya starts to feel uneasy about it-Ginji seems to have a persona too.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010114_0812.png
In the meantime, the radio show is still going on, and lots of people want to know if Lisa has a boyfriend. She tells everyone he's here in the studio right now and indicates in the general direction of both PANTS and Eikichi.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010147_0625.png
So Michelle takes it to mean him, or maybe he's just teasing Ginko. Either way, they get mildly angry at each other and making goofy punching motions for a minute.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010213_0015.png
After that calms down, Sasaki announces the Muses' debut song, which is called "Joker" and is about the Joker Charm, unsurprisingly. And Lisa will have an English speaking part. Believing that she's fluent, the host asks her to say something in English.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010341_0359.png
(Well, that's certainly something)

Finally, he announces the Muses' concert schedule and their early premiere, which is going to be on this very day at the concert hall in Aoba Park. Lisa has no choice but to leave with them, separating her from the party...

(cont)

spineshark
06-24-2008, 03:32 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_011355_0453.png
Aoba Park is in the Aoba ward, naturally, which opens for us just now! Although it can't be shown in one picture, this is the fifth and final major section of the city (in IS), which are arranged in a big cross-formation; Yumezaki in the north, Aoba in the east, Konan in the south, and Hirasaka in the west, all placed around Rengedai.

Aoba:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010428_0921.png
From the east, there's:
A fire station (this is completely inconsequential, but at least you can go there, if you feel like it)
Aoba Drive (the shopping center)
Kismet Publishing (Maya's workplace)
Sumaru TV [station]
Aoba Park

So there are a few people to meet.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010508_0234.png
At Sumaru TV you can encounter this woman, Junko Kurosu, a famous actress who tells PANTS that he is not worth her time, essentially. She's mysteriously young and beautiful, even moreso than she was ten years ago. (Also, look at the sprite; damn, that's some crazy hair)

There's also another Persona 1 character who happens to be here, but he sucks (always) and is not worth discussing right now.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010537_0062.png
Meanwhile, at Kismet, the guy standing in the lobby is Yukino's mentor of sorts, Fujii Shunsuke. Yuki acts differently (feminine, basically) when he's around. Which isn't all that often, but still notable.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010657_0531.png
Aoba Drive features another Velvet Room, another Pharmacy, and a second Rosa Candida (which is exactly the same as the first one, except by what rumor you posit).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010714_0625.png
Cleir de Lune is a restaurant and weapons shop, staffed by "Garcon Soejima." Soejima is of course, another developer cameo-he drew P2's in-game portraits and did the character designs themselves in P3.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_010752_0406.png
Etheria is another place where you're healed by nonsensical magic powers, only this time there's absolutely no pretense-I'm pretty sure it's supposed to come off as completely, bizarrely mystic.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_011305_0031.png
Last, there's the Double-Slash internet cafe (represented by a "W" in IS and "2x" in [English, at least] EP). Here you can chat with the enigmatic fifth rumormonger, Baofu.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_011950_0609.png
Without Lisa, there's no Mega Blaze, most demons are resistant to Fire which two out of four characters use, and she won't benefit from any encounters here. So why bother? Escaping is massively overpowered in Persona 2, anyway, unless you wait until the last possible moment, since any time it becomes any party member's "turn" you get another opportunity to use the menu and select the retreat option. I have never died in random battles in Persona 2, which is actually kind of disappointing given some of the stuff that happens in the main-line games and DDS.

After a short jaunt through the demon-infested park, we approach these guys, who are standing idly at the door.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_012545_0671.png
PANTS has to fork over 10,000 yen to get them to let the group take over their job, so this isn't really a choice at all. You pay and get through, or you don't.

(cont)

spineshark
06-24-2008, 03:49 AM
Backstage at the Amphitheater:

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_012611_0500.png
This place has my favorite dungeon track in the game. It's a shame that this tiny area is over in about three minutes.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_012910_0421.png
After you head into the room adjacent to the stage, Eikichi tells everyone they can hear Ginko if they're close enough to the door. On the other side...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_012944_0828.png
Lisa reveals that she doesn't know any English at all. The other Muses try to tell her that it's cool that she's different, but Lisa doesn't buy that. She was teased about it when she was younger, so how could it suddenly be "cool?"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_013018_0765.png
There's another option, of course. Just call the Joker, and wish to be a fluent English speaker! That would take care of it all right away. Lisa protests, for various reasons, but probably most of all because the Joker is still planning to kill her, even if she doesn't mention that part.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_013034_0375.png
Sasaki goes into a rant about dreams and how Lisa needs to find her own rather than just clinging to PANTS and their group of superfriends. Her story, and her song, will be inspiring! Yeah!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_013211_0984.png
Backstage, some sort of manager comes back to chew everyone out for being lazy, but conveniently he waited until the group was finished eavesdropping. Eikichi is worried that Lisa will turn against them, but Maya is sure everything will be fine.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24062008_013244_0984.png
And sure enough, as everyone heads into position, Michelle asks PANTS if the two of them should go save Lisa from the Muses themselves, or not.

according to the script, the options are roughly
wait and see what happens
go to intervene
"let me think about it," (which may not do anything, I didn't even test. This is a lame answer anyway, if you're given a decision, decide)

I wasn't even going to make this a choice (initially I picked the "best" one and moved on, since there's another choice soon), but as it turned out I wasn't ready to beat the boss and I really felt the need to put up this update anyway. So that's kind of convenient.

Next time: Dial J! (it's going to be a short one)

PapillonReel
06-24-2008, 09:10 AM
Hrm... this is a tough choice. Let me think about it.

KCar
06-24-2008, 09:31 AM
I'm all for trusting your party members in times of crisis. Wait and see.

She's white - doesn't that mean she's honest? That's what I've gotten from this thread anyway.

Pajaro Pete
06-24-2008, 12:37 PM
She knows kung-fu, so she can handle it.

Also, Scorpio is Water/Aques and Aquarius is Wind/Garu. Yes I know that's sort of retarded.

PapillonReel
06-24-2008, 12:39 PM
Also, Scorpio is Water/Aques and Aquarius is Wind/Garu. Yes I know that's sort of retarded.

Not really. In Astrology, Scorpio's a water sign and Aquarius is a wind sign - perfectly reasonable.

spineshark
06-24-2008, 12:49 PM
Also, Scorpio is Water/Aques and Aquarius is Wind/Garu. Yes I know that's sort of retarded.
Well I could've just analyzed it. I didn't think of it because I just saw the guys in blue robes and thought "Oh man, weak to fire! HAHAHA DIE!"

I also forgot that Lady wears Blue and Queen wears Green. (We've met her too) It's so obvious now!

VorpalEdge
06-24-2008, 03:16 PM
The obvious best choice is "let me think about it" (yes, I know).

Failing that, go help Lisa. This isn't a gang wars, and the evil guys have conveniently indicated that they want Lisa to be a part of the Muses. Go spite them.

Ruik
06-24-2008, 03:55 PM
Contrary to my vote on helping Michelle, I think we should let her do this herself. He was getting the crap kicked out of him, but Lisa is being asked to decide between us and them. This is the kind of situation where us jumping in could do more harm than good.

Kishi
06-24-2008, 10:29 PM
Like last time, I trust Spineshark just to go ahead with what he knows is the best option.

Alixsar
06-25-2008, 01:06 AM
I remember there's a part in Persona 3 that's vaguely similar to this, and I accidentally Reversed Yukari's S. Link and had to reload my save. It really pissed me off that I screwed up. So I say do whatever is "best" so you don't go through the same mild frustration.

That way, we can screw up the next decision for you and hypothetically really screw you over.

spineshark
06-26-2008, 01:36 AM
Well, a majority of supporters came out for making the "right" choice (and indeed, "Let me think about it" does nothing). I decided to mess around with the other option anyway though since I'd never seen it before...besides, this lets me preview the next decision so I can just roll through the concert scene and the following dungeon right in a row.

Anyway, as I noted before, I was having a bit of trouble with the boss here, so I needed to go back and upgrade everyone's weapons again. Physical attacks are actually a pretty major staple in IS, particularly Yukino's, because she gets great strength, excellent weapons, and fewer enemies block her blade throw than the other physical types. Unfortunately, I bought weapons from Time Castle last time and the ones there and at Shiraishi are still the lousy ones I was using before. Chikalin has the rumor for good weapons at Cleir-de-Lune, and after redeeming that I can get new toys.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_25062008_234942_0031.png

As you can see, this is a pretty notable damage boost, especially for Maya since she's still using the starter pistols that...oh, shit, I never mentioned this. Back when we first meet Maya and Yuki, when Pants tries to leave the Principal's Office, Michelle interrupts him, and says he has a present for the ladies. He pulls out a pair of matching pink pistols and offers them, but Yukino declines. Maya takes both and shoots a few holes in the wall.

Maya's poor strength and the fact that her Personas have increasingly awesome healing spells make her ill-suited for physical attacks in IS, but it's worth upgrading her weapons occasionally in case you have a reason to pull them out in a pinch. (This is not that time, aside from the fact that I did gun down a couple of random encounters running through Aoba Park again and she got a couple of decent criticals)

There's also a rumor that the flowers in Aoba Park can talk to you. I didn't do this, since it's in EP as well and more fun/useful there.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_000448_0718.png
One of the chests here is trapped with this battle, which you can escape from if necessary. Fortunately, they're weak to fire, but they do hurt and can screw you over if you're not careful, because they appear as random monsters four dungeons from now when everyone will almost twice their current level.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_000756_0593.png
In the side rooms at the amphitheater, you can learn from Eikichi that Sasaki reputedly has something of a loli complex. But he says not to worry about Ginko because if anything, her violent temper and special power would endanger him, not the other way around.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_000824_0968.png
The other room is the dressing room for "Spade," another Sasaki group which I'm sure is just as dumb and at least as awful. Unlike the all-Sevens trio, the girls represent three different high schools, although this fact isn't remotely important.

After Eikichi asks you Pants what to do, if he offers to help Lisa, the two of them will jaunt alone through the backstage again.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_002338_0421.png
Meanwhile, another Masquerade executive, with another skull, is sapping energy from the Muses and Spades. Even though he has a different tie, this man is obviously Ginji Sasaki, aka Prince Taurus. Lisa, of course, refuses to go along with his plans, but she does give in and make a call on her cell phone, which I'm pretty sure is meant to summon the Joker (this part wasn't translated, so I admit I'm treading on thin ice with my interpretation). And nothing happens. Spade files out, leaving only the Muses, when Michelle and Pants break in.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_002551_0187.png
You meddling kids!

Either choice requires that you fight the Prince, but since Maya and Yuki aren't here it's just the three against him. And Pixie has an Earth weakness. Oh dear. Taurus uses Reverse Eros, and uses Marin Karin, Magnus, Maha Magnus (definitely his most dangerous move, even without an earth weakness), and a gun. Since Lisa is the only healer, the entire group is screwed if she dies. Oh, and Prince blocks guns, because he's a bastard like that, and Eikichi's TEC stat is so bad he can't hurt him with spells either. At least he's a decent meat shield, and he can throw items to supplement Lisa if she's in danger of dying.

My attempt at this battle was supplemented heavily with a couple of lucky crits and Sasaki casting Marin Karin without it ever landing, but anyway, he's not that bad, even with three people, just kind of tedious.

At the end, Maya and Yuki appear, and they even get experience despite not doing anything. Leechers! Actually since they're the best party members I guess I have nothing to complain about, except that they weren't here to help me beat up this guy.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_003702_0281.png
After the battle, King Leo appears again and chides Taurus for his failure. The Prince sucks the two Muses dry and vanishes. I'm pretty sure we never see him again so hopefully he just dies. In Megaten, the people responsible for terrible music are always punished justifiably, (just ask the first boss of Soul Hackers (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/megaten/soulhackers-3.jpg)) so Michelle better change his ways if he knows what's good for him. And he is a vegetarian, so he does. (Did I just write that?)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_003716_0218.png
Then the maniac reveals his "game"-the auditorium is filled with time bombs and the whole park is going to explode in just over ten minutes. They have to find a clue here about where his next target is, so they can prevent further incidents...

A counter appears in the corner of the screen, and it doesn't go away except on the Level Up screen (a fact which is kind of handy if you're going through the Air Museum and suddenly realize you need to go hit the dining hall before it closes >_>), so you only have 10 minutes, counting any battles and menu usage.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_004311_0859.png
The necessary item is in a locker in the Spade room. Pants can look at it (and make fun of Yuki and Michelle for not seeing it despite being so close) after everyone gets out of here, though.

Once you've hopped outside, a short FMV depicts the bombs exploding. Maya freaks out again (so if it's not obvious, she's really afraid of fire) and Yuki notices a scar on her arm. Lisa implores Pants to do something for her.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_26062008_004436_0562.png
He can either give her a little slap to snap her out of it, or gently comfort her.

Also, there's a dialogue prompt right after that-do we tell her she doesn't have to act tough, or that Pants will protect her?

(Although admittedly, this is usually one of the least important choices in the game)

KCar
06-26-2008, 12:08 PM
Enough molly-coddling! Tell her to buck up, buttercup!

Alixsar
06-26-2008, 01:31 PM
Slap her. She's asking for it.

Ample Vigour
06-26-2008, 02:42 PM
In anime, slapping fixes everything.

Jeanie
06-26-2008, 04:40 PM
Slap her. She's asking for it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_GJkKMPHxw).

Alixsar
06-27-2008, 02:33 AM
Slap her. She's asking for it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foae-cb8GHk)

spineshark
07-09-2008, 09:07 PM
Going back to PANTS' fateful decision regarding Lisa, if he says that she can handle the situation on their own, the Muses will arrive on stage momentarily and perform "Joker." The song is lame and they do a dumb little dance while funny lights shine on the stage. I really thought I had a picture of this because I watched the damn scene like six times but I'm not seeing it right now. The song encourages everyone to call the Joker (despite the non-sequitur refrain "Dial J, Dial J"). And then there's Lisa's solo, which she just says in Japanese instead of English. You can read a translation here (http://www.chthonian.net/persona/oracle/script/joker.html) but most of it will be mostly explained soonish.

Afterwards, Maya notices that there are bombs hidden under all the benches in the amphitheater and motions to Lisa. She blurts out on her mic and everyone flees the auditorium in panic. Leo shows up and as we know from last time he's responsible for these shenanigans. Taurus is upset by the disruption but he says that his skull is almost full anyway because wannabe pop stars have so much energy. The rest of this conversation is as before, with Leo informing everyone that he's bombing various parts of the city and they'll have to find something in the auditorium before it blows up to find his next target.

The timer starts and we fight the Prince [again].
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_011633_0328.png
There are thirty minutes on the timer to defeat Taurus and make off with the Oracle. It's not very hard if you have some way to hurt him, and basically, this is the same battle as before but with twice as many people, because Eikichi is still completely worthless. Two healers and two attackers can wear him down fairly quickly. He does have more status effects this time, but Charm hardly ever lands and Blind is merely an annoyance.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_012050_0562.png
After his defeat he finishes off the other two Muses and disappears. The oracle is in the same place, etc. so the next point of interest is outside, after PANTS slaps Maya and tells her to tough up a little. Maya reads the Oracle Leo left and refers to it as the "Oracle of Maiya." Just then, the other Maya shows up and goes nuts on everyone.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_012510_0125.png
She wants to know how Maya knows about the Oracle, and refers to the "Last Battalion." The only people who should know about the Oracle, she says, are herself, and people named "Kashihara" and "Sudou." Then she singles out Lisa specifically as a spy for Hitler. Rather than trying to make sense of a madwoman's rantings, the party decides to figure out where to go next. Yuki tells everyone she knows who to ask about such occult matters as these, so she dials someone up on the phone and tells her to meet at W-Slash.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_012927_0828.png
This is Eiriko Kirishima, but I'm probably going to refer to her as "Ellen" or "Elly" generally*. You can thank Persona 1's fine localization team for this mental association, which was carried through the EP translation (though they didn't blonde her again). I think carrying the reference was a better choice than fixing the translation, although on the other hand it might be better to not remind people of the generally obnoxious and racist-ist jerks from the first game.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_013130_0406.png
After the introductions, Elly leads everyone over to a computer where she's prepared a complicated display of Sumaru's various astrologically influenced features laid over an overhead map.

Maya reads the Oracle from Aoba again: "The Ascension of the Twelve Beasts. / When the torrential winds of Revolution and Destruction blow, / all of humanity, with beaming smiles, start down the slope to Hades." Ellen explains that it's based on the western Zodiac, with the Pleiades-the "Seven Sisters"-in the center.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_013137_0140.png
The second line, about winds, clearly refers to Aquarius (yes, good call PapillonReel, although once again this mostly shows how vapid Astrology is), which is in the west. So the target is in Hirasaka. Ellen isn't from around here (in fact, she's spent a lot of time abroad, which is supposed to be evidenced by her random English words) so she doesn't have anything more useful to add, but as everyone prepares to head that direction, she says she's going to do some more research.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_013302_0734.png
There are two other buildings in Hirasaka that haven't come up yet. One of them is the Smile mall. The other is the Sakagami Building. One of these buildings is referenced in the poem and we're supposed to go there. The other is a red herring. Because of the line including "with beaming smiles" it's the Mall. In we go!

*Yeah, she's the one who has the white face and you know is true.

spineshark
07-09-2008, 09:30 PM
Before you can enter Smile you have to tell everyone that you're sure this is the right place. When you do the entire party instantly appears inside of a bathroom. Step one is to evacuate the building, and the most effective way to do that is to trigger the smoke alarms.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_013336_0875.png
Maya asks to borrow PANTS' lighter and then pulls out a cigarette. Ginko is surprised by this but Maya explains the cigarettes belong to her roommate. Lisa hopes it's Maya's honey, but she disappoints by saying that she's practically married to her job, and her roommate is another woman.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_013433_0312.png
After the alarm goes off, a cleaning lady enters the bathroom. How terribly inconvenient. At first she thinks Michelle is a girl, until she hears him talk. Then she freaks the hell out and starts railing on him. Fortunately she's so distracted yelling at him that we can all sneak out and look around the empty mall.

Well, it's not empty. We let demons in. Everybody splits up while PANTS stands outside the door absentmindedly, like a really dumb game of hide and seek. Now he has to round everyone up and return to save Eikichi, too.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_014110_0750.png
First up is Yukino, who being the smartest person in the group found the best hiding space. She's in a secret storeroom in the basement that can only be reached by a staircase way in the back of the mall on 3F. It doesn't really matter what order people are retrieved obviously, but given the amount of these battles:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_014136_0171.png
I have to say she's pretty handy. She can't heal, but the encounter rate in SMILE isn't very high anyway.

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Lisa and Maya are near the main staircase, on 2F and 3F respectively. Nobody found anything. With the band reunited, it's time to save lead singer (also known as, do we have to?)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_014929_0203.png
The cleaning lady's bucket has what we're looking for of course, both the Oracle and the detonator for the bombs in SMILE. Suddenly, there's a noise inside one of the stalls.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_015002_0671.png
Belphegor has been waiting for this moment for a while I guess. Most of the other doors open up and there's a pretty decent group representing the Masquerade standing in front of us suddenly.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_015041_0734-1.png
The little girl is Ixquic, the Reincarnated Mayan Warrior! (ok, so I forget how this was translated in EP, but it's like that) I will probably lose all my cred by indicating that she's my favorite NPC in Persona 2. Maya attempts to reason with her, but she's surprisingly nihilistic and offers to blow up Smile herself, killing everyone inside. (She also calls Maya an old lady, which is sure to please all your twenty-four-year-old female friends)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_015223_0062-1.png
Maya slaps her and grabs her detonator. Now we've made her mad! Should we be afraid of fifth grade girls who fear nothing and wear ridiculous outfits?

Yes.

spineshark
07-09-2008, 10:06 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_03072008_015301_0640-1.png
When the battle begins, both Maya and Ixquic will yell out that it is "whoop-ass time!" This further infuriates the little girl, who is sure she must have been the one to make that up, and the old lady is copying her.

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I lost this battle a lot, I'm sorry guys. It's the main reason this took so long, actually. I hadn't upgraded anyone's armor the entire game, and everyone's magic sucks. Plus, they each can hit about as hard as Prince Taurus and we're only a couple levels higher. Ixquic summons the Persona (MOON) Reverse Pariker and likes to cast Maha Garula a lot. On the good side, this makes her weak to swords, so we can task PANTS to slicing her every time he gets a turn and she'll go down reasonably quickly.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_014920_0171-1.png
Belphegor resists all physical attacks (but as previously mentioned, I didn't have any good magic to use on him, except Garu but Lisa was always busy), and he has a huge punch which pretty much kills anyone if they get hit again before being healed, as well as a strong Gravity attack that will hit everyone for high double digits. He also casts Poison Breath, which is a nuisance. Compared to his other moves, this happens to be a good thing, though. Even after Ixquic was down, he managed to finish off Maya and Eikichi, but Team Awesome (and then Lisa, healing) managed to pull it off.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_015447_0937.png
Ixquic, as well as the Masquerade troops for no reason, are all passed out on the floor, but Maya insists it's not her fault and wants to let the little girl off the hook. Yuki gets a call from Ellen, and the next Oracle is talked out over the phone. The Water element referred to in this one must be tied to Scorpio, which is a little northeast of Rengedai. The next target is in Yumezaki. The final line refers to "the road to El Dorado." Hmmm.

There are two buildings in Yumezaki whose names refer to shiny metal ores: GOLD Gym and Pachinko Silver. Now which one of these would be closer related to El Dorado?

At GOLD we're stuck waiting in the lobby until Maya's roommate vouches for us. Then we can tell her to grab her ass and run!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_015824_0843.png
Ulala Serizawa is Maya's roommate, who works at a lingerie company and has bad luck with men. I'd love to say more, but pretty much all of her characterization comes in EP where she has a leading role.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_015858_0921.png
She doesn't believe Maya and PANTS that there are bombs here, until she splits one of the punching bags and another detonator falls out. Another mystery solved...but we kind of need that Oracle.

Gold as a dungeon is oddly insubstantial-the encounters are easy and it lacks both a boss and significant story developments. The whole thing feels like more of a lead-in to EP, and it's not the only thing that points toward the latter having been planned from the outset.

One of the rooms is booby-trapped to have a huge barbell fall on Maya when she enters. PANTS uses his spider-sense and pushes her out of the way just in time.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_020043_0406.png

Eikichi is the poor sucker the next time, but he receives no such assistance and nonsensically catches the weight machine that's about to knock him out really hard. Then he comes crying to PANTS because he didn't save him.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_07072008_020626_0484.png

The Oracle is in a third-floor staff room. After picking it up, a weird guy comes in, then suddenly runs off. Demanding to know more, since he could be a Masquerade member, the party gives chase, eventually cornering him again in the boxing gym.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_180025_0859.png
The man tells everyone he has "orders from the Queen" and that they're all going to die. He gets ready to summon his Persona but then an enraged Ulala bursts into the room and starts chasing him with her Persona. He'd conned her out of her marriage savings, and she's obviously not happy. The party just kind of laughs it off, with Maya noting she didn't know Ulala had one.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_180119_0796.png
After all this excitement, the party checks the Oracle. This time, there is no riddle, and no ambiguity. King Leo has summoned them to the Air Museum in Aoba, for a final confrontation.

Next time: I believe I can touch the sky! Also: the plot gets absolutely insane.

And oh yeah, don't expect to wait so long, as I'm an update ahead picture-wise, so I'll just have to make sure I clear Mt. Iwato tomorrow or Friday.

Pajaro Pete
07-09-2008, 11:35 PM
You should have gone to Pachinko Silver instead of GOLD.

spineshark
07-10-2008, 12:00 AM
Damn, really? I'm such a wuss when it comes to doing things wrong.

Maybe I have a save that wouldn't suck to fetch up though.

VorpalEdge
07-10-2008, 07:44 AM
EIKICHI: Baby, please forgive me. Feast your eyes... consider this beauty... could it all be washed away with mere water?
CLEANING LADY: You're a boy, aren't you? Oh, disgusting! You're a pervert! A pervert!

Silly Michelle (http://www.chthonian.net/persona/oracle/script/6smile.html). At least he has some, um, great pick-up lines.

spineshark
07-10-2008, 02:04 PM
This could easily wait until the dungeon after this one, but the rumors have already been available for a while and I don't think a whole lot is going to change until after that one. Plus, we're still in Yumezaki. Now that there are five rumormongers, the default shop three becomes five, with the other two being "good selection, low buyback prices" and "bad selection, high buyback prices." Spreading the high buyback prices is probably worth it for one store, but you don't need as much money in IS anyway.

Lisa missed out on the shopping round before Aoba so she gets a new weapon. The other ones are only marginal upgrades so I'm being too cheap to buy them. I'm also buying accessories to increase everyone's attack (except Maya) more.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181224_0906.png
The armor at London is unisex, so I just buy five of everything. Equipping it roughly doubles everyone's armor, except Yukino since she's already a badass. With that taken care of, it's time to get going.

At the air museum there are a lot of kids in the lobby. Yuki rightfully freaks out, since they're here on an elementary school field trip. Suddenly, dramatic voices ring out from on high.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181502_0125.png
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181534_0437.png
It's Zorro and Catgirl Zorro! Tadashi thinks he's on some kind of spying mission for Okamura to find out if the group is really working for Hitler, but Tamaki points out rightly that he's really kind of a dummy. Suddenly Leo calls out over the announcement system and a fire blocks the door out. Maya freaks out for a second but she gathers herself and starts making a plan: they're going to rescue all the kids and evacuate to the roof.

Another timer starts, and there are forty minutes to escape. The Air Museum is pretty straightforward, because even though there are a lot of dead ends, most of it is blocked off by walls of fire, which you don't have to get around. There are also no monsters until the fourth floor.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181750_0343.png
If you go into a room without any kids, the party will spend a good fifteen seconds looking anyway, even though it's pretty obvious considering how small and uncluttered the areas are.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181910_0921.png
One of the doors on the second floor doesn't lead into a standard display room, but an area overlooking the entrance. A familiar voice is screaming for help. Eikichi and Lisa, being total wusses, run off to find some rope, while PANTS is left with the dramatic decision of who should rescue Ixquic.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_181938_0281.png

This decision and the next I'm usurping for my convenience, but there are still a few really good ones left. Besides, I know everyone would've chosen wisely here anyway, either because they're mean-spirited jerks or they just know what's best. Yes, PANTS' friends will be rewarded for facing their own problems, and he will be rewarded for his laziness and watching them do so.

Maya rides the rope down, picks up Ixquic, and PANTS pulls the rope up. Then he lets it back down and Maya grabs on. Then suddenly, an FMV comes up. This must mean something exciting will happen!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182129_0484.png
The rope breaks from the tension or the flames or something and Maya begins to fall into the blazing Hell below. She reaches for PANTS...but their arms can't quite reach, unless...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182137_0312.png
(If PANTS goes down himself, the exact same thing happens, but in reverse. Ixquic's dad doesn't even get pissed off at him.)

Then to make it more thrilling, the scene cuts all the way away.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182211_0343.png
In this scene, a shrine is burning, and a Girl In a Sailor Outfit is calling out for PANTS.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182222_0250.png
The young arsonist outside the shrine is laughing maniacally, when suddenly, he turns around and gets burned by the spirit that appears from the little boy on the ground's body.

It was Volcanus.

spineshark
07-10-2008, 02:35 PM
There are five rooms with kids to rescue, one on 2F and two each on 3F and 4F. In each one a different party member will tell the kids to escape, except in PANTS' room, he just says "......" but the little ones are all smart enough to know that means "get moving!"
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182649_0359.png

Tadashi and Tamaki will block the staircase up on each floor until you've completed all of the objectives, telling you how many groups of kids you still have to save.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_182746_0140.png
On 4F there's a kid trapped inside of an elevator. This isn't pretty. Yukino opens up the door and she and Pants pull him out. Then Leo announces that HERE BE DEMONS. The battles here are pretty easy since you don't have all day.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183057_0843.png
It only takes about ten minutes to rescue all the kids, and I don't even have this place memorized really. The amount of time is really, really generous.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183555_0937.png
On the roof, the pair are trying to fight off King Leo. Tadashi gets smacked down right away because he tried to get all close, but Tamaki is holding something that looks kind of like the GUMP (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=214024&postcount=29).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183610_0390.png
The five heroes suddenly appear on the roof, and Ixquic runs over to Leo, crying and begging to know why he wanted to kill her. He grabs her and holds her hostage, as well as revealing his face.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183623_0015.png
This man is Tatsuya Sudou (which has an obvious resemblance to PANTS' real name, Tatsuya Suou). This is the last time we'll see him in Innocent Sin, and being one of the main antagonists, you can be sure as hell he has a lot to say. He blames Maya and PANTS for scarring him, ten years ago, but Maya doesn't remember. Then he blows up SMILE and GOLD in big FMVs, leaving two smoking craters on the map where the buildings used to be. (I don't think I've mentioned this before, but Persona 2 does NOT let you backtrack to old dungeons, even when they don't get bombed)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183758_0343.png
He's proud of his role in the "Destruction of Nahui-Olin" and the fulfillment of the Oracle of Maiya. The Oracle, he says, is the Joker's ultimate goal, to lead the people of Earth to "Idealian."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183820_0312.png
He then reveals that the Joker's face is "as beautiful as a goddess" and says that he's carrying a message: "Remember that summer, ten years ago."

The museum starts to shake and Yukino realizes that the kids have been spreading rumors that the blimp on the roof isn't a model, but it's real! Sudou says he's going to take his leave of them, but suddenly a huge crack opens in the ground and he falls inside.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183843_0265.png
Ixquic grabs the ledge though, which I have to say, makes NO sense, as it means she escaped his hold, and managed to turn around and move about three feet toward the ledge all in about a second. Oh well, we pull her up and everyone files onto the zeppelin.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_183942_0281.png
Maya familiarizes herself with what may be the controls ("No brake?" she asks, although she may not be familiar with the concept in the first place) and starts trying to drive the blimp.

After shaking a lot, the blimp breaks free and another big FMV shows it flying through the skyline, and then suddenly bursting into flames. Somebody else has arrived on the deck, too.

spineshark
07-10-2008, 03:24 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_184300_0046.png
Sudou's persona is Reverse Volcanus, and he likes to cast Maharagion. He also has an attack which deals a Shadow hit followed by a physical one to every party member. Vesta blocks both of these, so Yukino could actually solo this guy with a few Gala-Gala drinks (in case he decides to attack with is sword) if there were some need.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_184316_0125.png
Just because it sucks to lose after a long section where you can't save, this battle plays out in the typical safe and boring manner of most of the boss battles in this LP so far. Ixquic and Belphegor is actually one of the hardest battles in the game since they get two turns, while this one is a total joke by comparison, even without the equipment upgrades.

Finally, the King is defeated and the blimp crashes into the ocean, with each adult jumping off the blimp with a kid under each arm. Everyone gets washed up on the beach. Michelle comments that it's kind of unbelievable that everything turned out alright.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_184929_0937.png
The Reincarnated Mayan Warrior Formerly Known As Ixquic runs over to the party, introduces herself as Akari, and apologizes for all the trouble she caused. She wants to draw manga, and her first is going to be a story about the five people who are performing heroic deeds around Sumaru City.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_185008_0812.png
Maya gets a phone call from Ulala, who wasn't inside of Gold when it was blown up, but still has bad news: PANTS, Yukino, Maya, Eikichi, and Lisa are now infamous as the "Masquerade Terrorists" who blew up huge parts of the city. Maya decides that the best way to cope with this situation is to have all the kids tell the truth about what happened, hoping for the best case scenario regarding these rumors. Okamura is at Kuzunoha, and is supposed to know a lot about what's going on, so everyone decides to head there, but Eikichi illogically recommends that they could get into trouble going together, so they should split up. Everyone goes their separate ways, but clingy Ginko wants to follow PANTS.

Katsuya Pantsu is out on the streets, since the Police Station was also bombed earlier, and apparently he's been hanging up Wanted posters, one of which has PANTS' face. That's not good...

By the time PANTS and Lisa arrive at Kuzunoha, Eikichi and Yukino are already there. The next scene, at Kuzunoha, features a whole lot of exposition, but there's hardly anything to see, so the rest of this is going to be mostly words.

First, Okamura is kind of surprised, but she admits that the party is not related to the Last Battalion in any way. When the pair enter, Yukino tells them that they spread the rumor that they were heroes at the Air Museum and now they can only wait. Tamaki tells everyone to check out the television.

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The news reporter explains the situation, and tells the two sides of the story; one that the group are terrorists bent on destroying the city, the other that they rescued lots of children. One interpretation of the bombing is that the Last Battalion is trying to access secret ruins under Sumaru City, but a Military Analyst writes of those claims as ludicrous, because the Last Battalion could not possibly exist.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_09072008_185616_0140.png
Maya finally enters, and greets everyone with her traditional "Ciao!" So now it's really time for business. Okamura goes on to explain the Oracle of Maiya and the In-Laqetti, the book containing it. I'm going to be writing this all out not in the order she says it, but everything I'm saying about the book can be found out from Okamura before you leave Kuzunoha. If you're wondering why I'm bothering to write so much about this, it's because most of what happens in this game is in the book.

The Oracle is a message that Okamura, Sudou, and Kashihara received from the Maiyan Aliens, who hail from the Pleiades. Sudou we know of course; he was a student at Sevens at the time, while Kashihara was a fellow teacher. He was really paranoid and swore someone was stalking him, until one day he was crushed in the gears in the Clock Tower. Okamura says the Last Battalion killed him. She also believes Sudou was the one who began leaking the Oracle, and that there were a lot of rumors that he was a serial arsonist (they were already true, though!)

Human evolution was guided by these aliens, and their further assistance is needed for humanity to progress further. Some of them were revered as Mayan Gods, while others were the evil Gods of Darkness. The good ones all died, while the Bolontiku, the evil ones, sleep in a spaceship which is hidden under Sumaru City, waiting for the return of the Crystal Skulls. Stop me if you've heard this one before! The skulls, however, need to be fed by Ideal Energy, which is of course what the Masquerade has been collecting this whole time.

When the process is complete, humanity will reach Idealian, which is a "higher state of being" basically.

And the world will be destroyed. Whoops. The trio were all fucking crazy, but at least they were smart enough to not say much about it, before now.

The In-Laqetti also says that Hitler was well practiced in sorcery learned from the Mayan people, and that he escaped Germany in 1945 with the help of the "Last Batallion," an elite group of soldiers stationed at the South Pole, or maybe South America. They've developed advanced technology, discovered the Spear of Longinus, and are planning to return to conquer the world, achieve godhood, etc.

So then, the Oracle itself, reads roughly as follows (in translation and all, you know how it is):
"In the twinkling stars of the Pleiades,
Stopped time begins to move;
Dance of pleasure, Feast of shadows,
Song of a foreign land, the flames of Atonement light the Heavens.
The lion's roar echoes far and wide...
The five skulls that shine in Hell...
The Holy Cross shines in the Heavens...
The moment the stars stop rising in the sky...
The beat of the Maiyan Maiden also ceases...
Paradise remains above earth...
And time winds backwards..."
The first two supposedly refer to the clock at Sevens at the beginning of the game. The "Dance of pleasure, Feast of shadows" would be the dance at Kasugayama High where everyone was turned into Shadow People. Then, the Muses' concert and Leo's bombing antics. So far this isn't going so well.

Okamura tells everyone they have to prevent the completion of the Oracle, and as PANTS prepares to leave, gives him a copy so he has some idea of what he's up against. Lisa says she has something to tell everyone. We're all going to the Araya Shrine so everyone knows who the Joker is. And the TV pipes up one more time. The Occult Reporter who claimed the bombings were by the Last Battalion has something else to say.

His publishing company has received a copy of the In-Laqetti. It explains most of what's been going on in Sumaru City lately, he says, and so they're going to publish it.

FUCK.

Next time: Sank Memories, More Deep

spineshark
07-12-2008, 01:47 AM
At the shrine, Lisa tells everyone about a very old rumor, that a girl died in a fire here at the Araya Shrine. Eikichi says he remembers the rumor, since it was really famous, but Lisa says it's because they knew that girl, as "Big Sis."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_183050_0687.png
The golden butterfly appears again, and the five are all whisked off to Philemon's space again, where he tells them that they've begun to rediscover their past and that the truth will be revealed once again to them inside of Mt. Iwato, behind the shrine.

On the map, there are a couple of interesting people to talk to. One is an old man who has a rumor about a demon in Mt. Iwato. There's also a woman who's in love with Katsuya or something, who tells how excited he was when he saw the news report about the heroes at the Air Museum.

Inside the mountain, the rumored ghost appears, in the sailor outfit. After talking it over the party proceeds further inside.

There are several major cutscenes inside of Mt. Iwato, each in a different Spring of Mirrors as the party descends through the floors.

In the first flashback, it's ten years before, early in the summer, and there's a festival going on at the shrine.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_184356_0000.png
PANTS is standing alone, after Katsuya has run off to check out the festival without his little brother around, when a boy in a black mask comes over. He's also alone, after his parents had a fight he came to the shrine alone. Soon, Eikichi, who is a chubby little boy in a yellow mask, and Lisa, who's afraid the other kids will make fun of her, but is assured they won't, join in.

After playing for a long time, they agree to meet up more times, and the boy wearing the Black Falcon mask makes up a name for their heroic group: the "Masquerade."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_184640_0656.png
Also inside of Mt. Iwato are five secret rooms. Inside each is a box, and in the first one is the Pink mask. Also on B1 is the box containing the Red Falcon mask.

In the second scene, the kids are all deciding what to play today. Their selection method chooses Lisa as the day's leader, and she decides to make everyone play "house," in which she gets to express her clingy attraction to PANTS and obnoxious, controlling personality.

Afterwards, Eikichi complains that he always lost, and he just wanted everyone to draw pictures of what they liked.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_184750_0937.png
This is the rumor demon, Kuchisake. Returning the item she drops to the guy outside the shrine nets a Megido card. It might come in handy. If you don't turn this in before finishing the dungeon, the old man disappears and you can't finish the subquest. Not a big deal.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_185855_0828.png
And as long as I'm going outside, it's probably a good time to stock up on supplies. All the Satomi Tadashi stores have the same inventory, but the one in Aoba has the best music, so there I pick up five Chewing Souls (100 SP restore), 10 Revival Gems, and 20 Magazines.

The magazines are for the contest, which you can initiate by rumors. Tamaki's job at Kuzunoha, when she's not spreading rumors or summoning demons, I guess, is to fill out these forms for you and send them in to rig the Kismet publishing contests. After you've spent enough time in dungeons, the drawing will be held and the item will be sent out. The more entries you send per contest, the more likely you will win, but it's not really worth hinging on, even if you spread the rumor that you can win great stuff. Rigging the drawing is more for the amusement of the whole thing than actually benefiting.

Actually, I haven't even done this in Innocent Sin, so I'm going to have to figure out where to check for the results. In EP the box shows up at Maya's desk, and I'd probably guess it's at Kismet in this one as well, but I'll check when I get another chance.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_190228_0171.png
There are a lot of obnoxious battles in Mt. Iwato like this one against 4x STRENGTH Kerepres. They have a frost breath and take a lot of effort to kill, but they respond well to PANTS' Motorcycle Imitation contact. Now if I were smart I would take all these cards once I have enough, go out and make a Kerepres Persona, but I decided to be lazy instead.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_10072008_190702_0015.png
Almost as annoying are TEMPERANCE Camazotz demons, since they like to steal life and block gunfire completely, but they're not as common. The other demons are the Kabandas like we met in the box at Aoba Park, and some whose names I forgot to pay attention to. Squid-like demons who cast Media, a HANGED MAN Arcana dog who has a poison bite, and more of those weak-against-magic ogre things who charge people for triple digits. At this point some combinations are just not worth bothering with.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_114145_0343.png
On B2, there's one of these pitfall puzzles that will be oh so familiar to anyone who beat Nocturne. There are a ton of damage tiles on the floor below, that will poison party members, drain SP, and do various elemental damage. After wandering through that minefield, there will be two more masks: the Blue Swan and Yellow Owl.

But wait, nobody was wearing a blue mask.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_114344_0765.png
The third flashback features the Masquerade meeting somebody new, a girl a few years older than them, in a Sailor outfit. And her greeting is oddly familiar. She's heard of the group, and they want to let her join, so she offers to show them something that will reveal their future selves. It's called "Persona." (According to the first game, it's something like this: everyone says "Persona, persona, come to us!" Then they all pass out and meet Philemon. Yukino, recognizing this, has something of an "aha" moment here.) Also, following this scene, Maya is oddly and uncharacteristically silent.

The last box is empty. The black mask has already been taken.

Deep inside the mountain on B4 is the final spring. In it, the party sees the end of this arc. The girl in the Sailor Outfit sadly reveals that she is moving away the next day and won't be able to play with the Masquerade anymore. She's really sorry about breaking her promise, and Lisa and Eikichi are really upset. They decide to lock her in the shrine, but PANTS doesn't seem so keen on this.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_115919_0734.png
(This is the only time I've actually seen "PANTS" come up in dialogue, so I figure it's worth noting)

So they lock him in too. The next day, the shrine was burned down, and they never saw the girl again, so they spread the rumor that she had died and her ghost haunted Mt. Iwato. But as they all begin to break down, Lisa says that Big Sis didn't die. Yukino thinks that's good, because it means they didn't really do anything wrong, but Lisa says that she's obviously the Joker! After all, even Leo said the Joker was "as beautiful as a goddess."

spineshark
07-12-2008, 02:13 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_120135_0937.png
Right away, Maya goes nuts, talking about getting her revenge, and attacks the rest of the group. Suddenly, another Maya barges in. She explains that this Shadow Maya must have come from the rumors that the five are actually the Masquerade Terrorists, but she's seen the memories and remembers everything now too. The Joker appears, the evil Maya hands him Leo's Red Skull, and he orders her to kill the party. Real Maya tries to remind the Joker, who is actually Jun, the boy in the black mask, of what really happened, because his memories are clearly wrong, but he will hear none of it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_120346_0765.png
Shadow Maya hit everyone during the cutscene, so the party, Maya excluded, starts at half health. Shadow Maya occasionally attacks with the pink pistols, but usually summons Reverse Maia, predictably. Reverse Maia has Venom Claw (nearly harmless); Dark Dimension (? I didn't have time to read this generally), an instant death attack that has a low chance of killing one person; Aques, a fairly high-damage water attack, and Diamond Dust.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_120434_0656.png
This is bad news, although you might've already guessed that if you've seen it in some other RPG series somewhere. Volcanus and Vesta are both very weak against Ice and Water, but I only had one possible swap between the two of them. PANTS has lower health and damage, so I put Eros back on Lisa and had PANTS equip Pixie and cast Media. Yukino's 300 health is enough to survive Diamond Dust, sometimes. If it hits high values she'll die anyway, so I left her dead for most of the battle until Shadow Maya started crouching, which indicated obviously that she was nearly defeated. (I could've avoided all of this by summoning Kerepres, as I mentioned before, but I would've had to walk over the pitfalls again, and I couldn't make the game bright enough to see the walls in this dungeon on my monitor. Not a fun combination) Pretty much the entire key to this strategy is not having your healer(s) get frozen by Diamond Dust, since you'll lose the turn where they recover. Then you will die, because nobody got healed.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_122717_0953.png
After the battle, there's a happy reunion, and everyone gets transported to Philemon's room again. Maya recognizes him from ten years ago.

Philemon grants new personas to everyone except Yukino, based on finding their masks inside of Mt Iwato, and the decisions made in certain points in the game (Zodiac for Michelle, Aoba Park for Ginko, and the Air Museum for Maya). Well these "new" ones are pretty much like the old ones, looking basically the same with some minor changes, and having "custom" added to their names (e.g. Maia Custom).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_123039_0500.png
They're about level 30, which is a huge increase from the level 1-3 Personas everyone was using a few minutes ago, and have all new and more powerful skillsets than their predecessors.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_123155_0687.png
Back in the shrine, their memories continue to flood back, but then Yukino gets a call, telling her to look up in the sky. Everyone heads outside, to witness this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2trAZ4BuR5w).

The Nazis are heading for the ruins of Caracol on top of Mt. Katatsumuri, so that's the next dungeon, but before we go there, we have a really fun task!

VorpalEdge
07-12-2008, 02:22 AM
Almost as annoying are TEMPERANCE Camazotz demons, since they like to steal life and block gunfire completely, but they're not as common.

Camazotz

I hope you devoured him this time.

spineshark
07-12-2008, 02:51 AM
With all the Persona upgrades, Pixie has finally outlasted her usefulness, but at one point in all of the hundreds of fusions I used her in, Pixie learned how to Mutate. What this means is that I can turn her into Igor so she becomes a new Persona.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_123522_0656.png
This is the status screen to decide whether or not I want to turn my mildly uber Pixie into the mediocre Persona ROD Hotei (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai). The only reason to make Hotei as far as I know is because he learns the Estoma spell, which may actually be a placebo in Persona 2.

But wait a minute, what the heck is "ROD" anyway? I think this is as appropriate a time as any to explain the way Arcana work in Persona 2, since this post is all about gameplay. Persona 2 features the 22 Major Arcana, from FOOL to WORLD, but where P3 uses the minor Arcana (Rod/Wand, Pentacles/Coins, Cups, and Swords) as post-battle bonuses for the shuffle, the Minor Arcana also contain Personas in P2. There are no cards for the Minor Arcana, not even from having Kaneko paint blank ones, so the only way to get these Personas (and a few of the others) is through Persona evolution.

Each character has affinity levels with each Arcana. They work "best" with Personas of their default:
Tatsuya - SUN
Maya - MOON
Michelle - DEATH
Yukino - EMPRESS
Ginko - LOVERS

They'll get the highest rate of fusion bonuses while using Personas of these arcana, the Personas will gain ranks faster (I think), and it will cost less SP to summon those Personas. Each character has several other Arcana which are "good" matches, and are close to the best ones in terms of SP use, etc. For every character, these include FOOL and the Minor Arcana, as well as a couple others. When I put the LOVERS Pixie on PANTS, he had to spend 6 SP summoning it instead of the 4 used by Lisa.

Going on down, there are also several Arcana which are mediocre matches-usable, but not especially desirable, and some which are bad, meaning you'll have to spend a LOT of SP to call them. Finally, there is one Arcana for each character which they can't use at all, like STRENGTH for Maya.

Anyway, we have five new Personas, but because they all have limited skills we would get stomped just storming Mt. Katatsumuri. This is why there is an abandoned factory in the Konan district. Here you can get into random battles freely, most of which are pretty easy.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_124456_0562.png
Ideally you want to level the Personas by using skills that won't kill the demons, but this isn't always feasible at first, especially in this case where I didn't have any control over the creation process. Fortunately, these magician guys block pretty much all the magic I'm using on them, which makes it easy until somebody runs out and attacks him to death. There's a Trish's Fountain door inside the factory, but it's stupid to use it when you can walk for another 45 seconds and save 45,000 yen by healing at Hiragi instead.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_125648_0578.png
Finally by the time this Buddha guy died, everybody had a spell related to Status or whatnot, so they didn't have to kill things anymore. One final round after that, and Maya learned Mediarama. This process is SO MUCH BETTER in EP because you can set battles to Simple mode, which doesn't draw all the Personas and demon attacks, making the battles go about eleven times faster. Considering this took about 45 minutes (most of which I was impatiently waiting for TT to come back up >_>) it's a welcome change.

Anyway, the new Personas cost a lot more than the old ones (~25 SP compared to 4) so the game calls for a little more conservation from here on out. In fact, if you're wondering why I use Physical Attacks on basically every boss, it's because Innocent Sin is not very well balanced. Persona summoning costs get out of hand quickly (the "Ultimate" Personas for each character approach 50), and weapons are simply easier to use and keep up with on bosses than spells, especially in Eikichi and Yukino's cases where their TEC stat is pretty bad. Not to mention the shorter animations feel like a godsend after a dungeon full of tentacle wiggling or enemies casting Ma-elemental spells.

Maia Custom has Mediarama now, which is enough for me to quit worrying about the next dungeon, basically.

spineshark
07-12-2008, 03:15 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_133924_0781.png
Here is the map for the area by Mount Katatsumuri (Snail). It's the only time we'll see it!

The front way, by cable car, is blocked, so we'll have to take a backwoods trail to reach the Caracol. The Nazis are already here guarding this side too.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_134030_0500.png
The choice here is between taking a direct and dangerous route, or the super convoluted maze, which is even worse. I'm picking the forward route because I didn't want this to take even longer, and if you really want to see me getting lost in the forest, just say so and I'll make sure to upload lots of pictures when I do the Mifune Trail.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_134306_0312.png
Picking the first choice instantly throws everyone into a battle with a NAZIS Kommandant and four soldiers. Maha-whatever spells destroy the weaker ones, while the Kommandant seems to resist everything about equally so we just cut him to pieces.

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The majority of the encounters here feature lots of Masquerade troops, ALWAYS in mixed elemental combinations. These guys are so annoying, since they get lots of turns when the party's escapes fail, and the Green and Blue ones are capable of inflicting Shock and Freeze which are bad enough even before taking weaknesses into account. I try to kill as many as I can by softening up the ones who aren't weak to Fire and then hitting them all with this fusion, but thanks to the status ailments and propensity for people to die, it only works half the time.

Occasionally you'll get some MOON Lilim demons or a couple other packs. These are easy, as are any quantity of Nazis. Nazis + bomb demons is a run away situation for me though, not dangerous but annoying.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_135059_0765.png
The general rule of thumb for navigating this dungeon is to always try to go North. Failing this, West is usually forward as well. Have I mentioned that my monitor sucks really bad enough times yet? I couldn't see anything during this part either.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_140410_0984.png
This river is a good sign that we're maybe getting somewhere! Shortly after the crossing, in fact, is a temple, host to a lot of monks. At the last moment, the party attacks the Nazis, the same battle as at the foot of the mountain, and rescues them.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_141003_0890.png
The head monk tells Yukino that Fujii headed to Caracol and left her this camera, so she gets a bit more anxious about reaching the top as quickly as possible. In another FMV a meteor shower is seen raining-the Leonid (and out of season, too!). Maya realizes this must be another line from the Oracle.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_155003_0343.png
Just a little further and PANTS and his friends stand at the base of the steps up to the ruins of Caracol. On the other side, the Nazis are massacring Masquerade troops. The Longinus Mecha sense the party and rush over, surrounding them. Surrounded, it's decided that these will be divided and conquered. So then, PANTS' next big decision:

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_155207_0187.png
-Fight alone
-Fight with Ginko
-Fight with Yukino
-Fight With Maya
-Fight With Michelle

Who's it going to be, Talking Time? (Needless to say, some of these are harder than others)

Pajaro Pete
07-14-2008, 02:07 AM
Yukino, because she is the best character. And she won't be around for much longer, so make the most of it while you can

spineshark
07-15-2008, 02:56 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_11072008_155207_0187-1.png
I got two requests for this one. So I did them both. This is one of the more demanding battles in the game in terms of micromanagement, because you get hit really hard and may not have healing spells.

Anyway, there are three Longinus mecha here, and the one PANTS fights depends on his partner.

If PANTS is going solo, he has to go up against Longinus 13. Needless to say, this one is the hardest. (In fact, I wouldn't have been able to do it without backtracking and making a new persona)

Choosing Yukino or Lisa pits PANTS and his partner against Longinus 12. She'll taunt PANTS' companion, revealing her own gender.

With Maya or Eikichi, PANTS will face 11.

All of the different battles share three moves:
MG - 18: a heavy gunshot dealing 150-200 damage to one target
Longinus Spear: deals no damage, but uses the powers of their copied spears to prevent Persona use for a few turns
(I forgot what this move is called): Charges up a lightning strike which hits all targets for about 100 damage and has a high chance of inflicting Shock.

Additionally, each mecha has a different mid-level elemental spell, and are weak against the opposing element:
13 - Aques
12 - Magarula
11 - Maragion
They also have high physical resistance, which makes spells necessary.

Overall, if you just want the battle to be really easy or don't have many consumables, Maya is the best choice. Her Maha Aques (combined with High TEC) will hit 11 for substantial damage and she can heal with Mediarama. Lisa is similar, but her lack of AOE healing means she has to spend more turns on it overall. Michelle is a pretty decent partner as well, since he also gets Water to hit the boss' weakness and can be easily supported by PANTS and a decent stack of healing drinks-his low speed can be an issue though. Yukino would be passable if I had a decent persona upgrade for her. PANTS alone requires blocking the Shock move but still having a decent Fire spell to cast on the enemy, plus plenty of items to heal up with.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_14072008_021034_0421.png
This is theoretically the battle plan with Eikichi + Pants (until I realized the Maha version of Aques hits harder even against the lone target), but between frequent needs for healing and occasional Persona lock-outs I pretty much needed to hit the strategy menu every time 11 got a turn.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_15072008_132123_0125.png
Meanwhile this is the best I can do with Yukino, which casts the double flame fusion over and over. It does about 150 damage, which is less than Eikichi did just on his own, as well as requiring both characters to be free of any bad status. So this one takes quite a bit longer and requires a lot of healing.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_15072008_120425_0750.png
After the battle, they're all gone, and everyone sees Fujii, who is gravely injured. He talks to Yukino, asking if she got the camera he left for her, and telling her to "capture the stars." Then he dies.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_15072008_120500_0953.png
Maya tells Yukino they have to move on, but she's tremendously reticent and wants to stay by Fujii. As the main character, PANTS sees his opportunity to speak, but what should he say?
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_15072008_120512_0015.png
-Persuade her to come along
-Leave her be and continue with four

Next time: With Pat Sajak and Vanna White! and Hitler

Pajaro Pete
07-16-2008, 09:06 AM
Smack dat bitch and tell her to get her ass in gear.

Alixsar
07-17-2008, 12:06 AM
Bring her along for the ride.

spineshark
07-20-2008, 06:59 PM
I'm trying to figure out whether I'm sorry this took five days or if it's okay because I've been sleeping tons this weekend after a mostly harmless wisdom teeth surgery. It doesn't matter I guess, so moving on.

Lisa disapproves of PANTS' forcefulness, but after a moment Yukino gets up and shambles forward. She reminds herself that she promised to save Anna, and she prepares herself for what's yet to come.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_18072008_015119_0406.png
Philemon appears as a butterfly, and, pleased with this realization, and he grants Yukino her ultimate persona, EMPRESS Durga. She thanks Philemon, and then it's into the ruins at Caracol.

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Caracol is a pretty basic dungeon, but there are a lot of dead-ends and backtracking. On B2 there's a small conveyor belt section, followed by some teleporters. Trial and error gets PANTS through this part pretty quickly. There's also a battle against some Nazis in a "Room of Stella" but it's the same as those others, and too easy to bother with.

B3 features more teleport pads. I found out that Lisa is really good for contacts in this dungeon, as most monsters are responsive to either her little song-and-dance routine or her Kung Fu. The most annoying guys are the TEMPERANCE demons who are pretty random about what they like and don't, changing sometimes between battles. After finishing this dungeon I have a decent amount of STRENGTH and LOVERS cards so maybe I'll even make a few Personas just for the fun of it.

On B4 Yukino will sense Anna's presence. Pretty much straight ahead is this room, where the team finds her surrounded by three more Longinus Mecha.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_141136_0890.png
Well, there's only one thing to do...fight them. WOW this battle is hard, I don't remember it being so much on my first playthrough, but I was also somewhere between six and ten levels higher, which makes a pretty big difference considering how much you can get screwed.

The Longinus have the same moves as before, as well as a status spell.
8 uses Maha Aques (rarely) and Illusion (blind status)
9 uses Maha Garula and Poison
10 uses Maha Magnus and Suku Kaja
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_151451_0218.png
As such, Longinus 8 is weak to fire and is the easiest target to start with, since the big all-target flame fusion (Hotei/Maragi + Eros Custom/Magnus + Volcanus Custom/Maragion) is still the best one PANTS has access to. Spamming that, and Durga's Ziodyne, will finish him off sort of quickly (it takes 4-5 turns at this level). If it doesn't...well then I was screwed and I had to try again. After this process, 9 and 10 are still only about 40% down, but it's a start.

This is probably also a good time to note that there are three kinds of spell targeting in Persona 2. There's your standard single-target magic, and all-target magic, but Maha- spells target a "group" which means identical enemies. Since Loginus 8, 9, and 10 are all different from each other, Maha spells only hit one at a time, and the only all-target skills I have suck aside from the fusion. (Durga's all-attacking physical owns the hell out of various enemies, but this is compensated for by the fact that it doesn't do much at all against these guys)

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At this point I had to start splitting damage. Resources were tight enough that I couldn't waste Lisa's Magnus spell, so I cast it on 9 who is weak to Earth, but 10 starts casting Suku Kaja more, which will eventually give her a turn advantage. This is really bad.

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This is what shape my party was in after 10 died. Maya's next Maha Aques finished off 9, though, so it was all good.

Except Yukino was dead. =(

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Yukino tells Anna that she reminds her a lot of herself, and that's why she's tried so hard to help her. Shadow Yukino then appears, and taunts the real one about her insecurities and shortcomings. This is going to happen a lot.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_160703_0546.png
Yukino says she's accepted herself for who she is now, and sends PANTS and his crew forward to save Jun, while she and Anna will battle her shadow.

Needless to say, things don't quite turn out the same if you didn't bring Yukino...In this room you'll meet Shadow Yukino and Lady Scorpio instead, and on their defeat the Shadow will convince Anna to jump off the bridge with her.

On B5 there is another "Room of Stella" in which the party sees a phantom of a young Jun. Much like at Mt. Iwato, his memories will be shown to them. Only these are kind of...wrong.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_161857_0656.png
The scene starts the same, with the children all upset by Maya's announcement that she's leaving, but then Jun protests while PANTS, Michelle and Ginko force her into the shrine and lock the door. They laugh, telling her she can never leave them now, and PANTS summons Volcanus to burn down the shrine. The scene and the ghost disappear, and Maya finds a raspberry flower, symbolizing regret from him. He must have realized the truth by now.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_163248_0500.png
There's another one, too, in which Maya talks to Jun and PANTS. She says they almost look like twins, and she recites the "Doppelganger" poem again, relating it to their close friendship.

spineshark
07-20-2008, 08:08 PM
Finally, in the center of B6, is the end of Caracol. This dungeon took a really long time, even though I glossed over most of it.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_165823_0078.png
The Joker and Hitler are standing near the front of the room, near the Wheel of Fortune, which apparently has the capability to raise the Xibalba-the great ship hidden under Sumaru.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_170215_0906.png
After a brief argument about the future of the world and things like that, the Joker activates the wheel, and an FMV shows some buildings appearing out of nowhere, followed by a collection of energy, and ultimately, the rise of Sumaru City into the air.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_170337_0640.png
Hitler laughs, saying that this is perfect for his new dominion, while the Joker marvels that his father's prophecies have come true. Queen Aquarius, the last Masquerade Executive, suddenly realizes what this means. Hitler calls on his followers to steal the remaining skulls, as one of the Longinus attempts to kill the Joker. Aquarius is actually the actress Junko Kurosu, Jun's mother, who PANTS met at Sumaru TV, and realizing the Joker is her son, she sacrifices herself to save him. The robots fly away, and the Joker commands his shadows to take the skulls up to Sumaru.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_170434_0015.png
They comply, and promptly disappear. Then, despite the protestations of his friends, a voice continues to control him, and he attacks.

The Joker summons this Black Joker thing (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/27.jpg) as his Persona and uses a bunch of weak attacks with status ailment chances. Poison is annoying but not dangerous, so the only way to die here is for Maya to get charmed at a really bad time. Pants and Eikichi unload with their Persona's best physical attacks, while Lisa just punches him. Everyone gains a level, which means that their HP and SP are fully restored. Predictably, this is somewhat useful.

Yukino arrives with Anna, just in time to see the Joker go even crazier.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_171901_0375.png
A voice offers the Joker more power, and the Joker asks for it. This "thing" is revealed to be Nyarlathotep, and the Joker transforms into Angel Joker (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/23.jpg).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_171925_0328.png
Angel Joker has some weird moves, like Alpha Blaster, which only damages Michelle and PANTS and has a second hit that deals more damage later in the turn cycle. I'm not really sure how it works, but it's not dangerous either. He also casts Mahamaon and normal attacks. His one evil move deals heavy Holy damage along with an instant death chance. It can kill Maya outright just with the damage, so other than hoping he doesn't use it too much this fight is pretty similar to the first form, albeit a bit faster since Yukino's attacks do decent damage (if she hadn't died fighting the Longinus she would have full SP and would be able to contribute a lot more. But I was saving the rest of my restorative items for Maya who happened not to need them).

After that there's a big happy crying reunion of everyone.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_173041_0234.png
Jun also notices that PANTS still has his old lighter, and he points out that he's still got the watch PANTS gave him. After they're all finished being sorry and happy to each other, someone else appears.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_173128_0281.png
Jun recognizes the face as his father's. (You might recognize the face from somewhere as well. Also, his musical theme bears a strong resemblance to Philemon's, but darker and richer. It's one of my favorite pieces of video game music ever. Maybe I can get it up in a sense of minimal legal questionability.) Jun's father mocks him for losing and failing to complete Idealian. He says he'll control the Masquerade while Jun and the others fade from their new world.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_173249_0609.png
Everyone is taken to Philemon's space, where Yukino asks him to give her Persona powers to Jun. She says she'll be alright as long as she and Anna are together. Philemon asks Jun to state his name to prove his worth (incidentally, he does this to "you" at the beginning of the first game, as its name entry screen), which he does. So he is granted the power of FORTUNE Hermes (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/17.jpg)

Everyone else gets new Personas as well: SUN Apollo (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/02.jpg) for PANTS, LOVERS Venus (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/30.jpg) for Ginko, DEATH Hades (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/14.jpg) for Michelle, and MOON Artemis (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/04.jpg) for Maya.

Philemon tells them that only they have the power to stop the Crawling Chaos, and though he's unable to explain much further, he teleports them all to the Araya Shrine so they can continue to fight the forces of evil. There are people and a scene there but I don't feel like writing that up right now so it'll go up next time.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_173831_0671.png
Outside, the large-view city map has changed, along with the overworld music.

The next stage of the plan, though, is to recover the skulls from the Zodiac shrines that rose in the four sides of the city. Each shrine represents a different sign of the Zodiac (the same ones as the Masquerade executives) and focuses on a different party member.
Aquarius/Jun
Scorpio/Michelle
Taurus/Ginko
Leo/PANTS

These can be done in any order as I understand, so I ask: where should PANTS go first?

Next Time: I don't know, actually!

Pajaro Pete
07-20-2008, 08:52 PM
The bridge battle is the only hard fight in this entire game.

I found out that Lisa is really good for contacts in this dungeon,

Lisa's really good in this dungeon PERIOD. Eros-Kai's Snipe is an instant kill attack that works more often than not. I'd honestly rather use Eros-Kai over Venus.

Let's get gay over at the Taurus Shrine.

VorpalEdge
07-20-2008, 09:44 PM
I recommend heading over to the Sumaru Hospital first. I'm pretty sure pants & co overdosed on the acid.

That said, if he somehow weasels his way into testing positive, I vote for the Scorpio shrine. We can always use more Michelle!

spineshark
07-20-2008, 09:57 PM
Lisa's really good in this dungeon PERIOD. Eros-Kai's Snipe is an instant kill attack that works more often than not. I'd honestly rather use Eros-Kai over Venus.
Ahh, yeah, I forgot about that. I got bored of leveling Personas in the factory really fast because OH GOD NO SIMPLE BATTLE MODE WHY so I jetted as soon as Maia learned Medirama. I didn't even have Snipe until after the bridge battle and by that point I was so ticked off I just ran/contacted everything. (aside from a lone Catoblepas because Maya needed 73 more experience to hit 33)

Mazian
07-20-2008, 10:29 PM
So when you said Hitler was in the next update, you actually meant that Hitler was in the next update. Huh.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_160703_0546.png
I wonder if there's some optimal ratio between number of extended vowels and exclamation points for MAXIMUM INTENSITY.

spineshark
07-21-2008, 02:57 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure everything I've whited-out in this thread is true (if it weren't, why would I bother?). Also, anything that sounds insane and absurd that I indicate is in the game probably is. It's that kind of story.

Mr. Sensible
07-21-2008, 04:30 AM
When Hitler shows up, conventional storytelling in a game kinda goes out the window. This game just keeps topping itself in ridiculousness, over and over. But in a totally awesome way!

spineshark
07-23-2008, 12:00 PM
After PANTS re-appears at the shrine with his friends, Akari and a bunch of other young children show up. One of them looks a lot like young Jun. He's even wearing practically the same clothes, because it's easier to recolor the sprite a little than make a new one!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_173612_0140.png
The kids want to know stuff like why the city's flying, if their parents are going to be alright, and Maya promises that they'll set it all right. Then she asks what they want to be when they grow up. Eikichi thinks they don't have time for this, but of course they tell anyway. Maya teaches them the "Persona" game, and tells them all to chase their dreams, before they all walk away except for Jun's look-alike. Jun gives the boy a flower, to show that we really mean it, then he heads off as well.

Now that we're back out of Caracol, there are a lot of things to take care of. First though, let's look at the Personas we may be dealing with now.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/greeks.png
(Clockwise from top left: Artemis, Venus, Apollo, Hades)

Artemis reflects Electricity and Ice and may have some magic blocking properties I don't remember, but is weak to Physical as a result. I hate this because Maya already has the worst HPs by a lot (and pretty much everything has physical attacks). However, she learns Diamond Dust very quickly, which is excellent in random encounters, since it's all-target (instead of group). She also has Bufula, Diarahan, Grydyne (Group/Almighty), Recarmdra, and Crescent Mirror. She can also pick up Tetrakarn through fusions, although Ice fusions are annoyingly rare. Recarmdra is a decent "oh shit" button in IS since Incenses of Life are so easily available (6000 yen at Satomi Tadashi for a 100% HP revival), making the 4-for-1 trade potentially useful (in EP, the spell is nerfed and only revives with partial HP, but it's not as freely available either). On the other hand, the rest of this game is easy so it'll probably never come up. I don't know what Crescent Mirror does so I'm going to hope by not directly mentioning it nobody will care.

Venus gets Water and Earth elemental spells, plus Alluring Dance and Foamy Lover which are pretty annoying when used on you. Also, Medirama, but Maya has more SP and pays half as much for this spell. So Venus kind of sucks, but in boss battles Eros Custom doesn't really have anything good either. Unlike Artemis, none of these match Snipe in sheer usefulness in randoms, either.

Apollo learns multiple Fire spells (like all of PANTS' personas) as well as Dekaja and a couple of heavy physical hits. Gigan Fist is pretty sweet on bosses, if you have the SP to use it and he's still wearing a weapon from before Mt. Iwato.

Hades learns Maha Aques, Mamudo, Marin Karin, Zandyne (single/Almighty), Maha Aquadyne, and Bloody Honeymoon. So basically, Rhadamanthus' second best move, a better version of it, a fairly sweet physical (I think?) move, and some crap. On the other hand, R-C's sword slash, which was his most useful move, is outclassed as soon as Michelle gets a new gun, so Hades is something of a keeper, even if he's not being summoned most of the time.

So yeah, unlike before, we actually have Persona choices (except on Jun, who's currently saddled with wind-heavy Hermes) and some of them are not definitively superior to others!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_023457_0062.png
The best stuff is in Aoba today, which means Rosa Candida. Unlike earlier in the game, I don't have enough money to upgrade everyone's armor straight up. Jun's starting armor is actually pretty damn good already and it would be stupid to blow a ton of money to get him about 6 extra points. Everybody else gets new hats. The male-only armor gives only one less armor point than the unisex items, and it's a lot cheaper. They need it less anyway.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_033820_0515.png
Since I didn't know where to find the contest box, I asked Tamaki about it, and she tells PANTS that it should be arriving at Lisa's address. I guess this makes sense as PANTS is apparently some sort of vagrant who doesn't live anywhere. Seriously, you can go to Maya and Ulala's apartment, and Lisa's house, but not his? (PANTS didn't get anything)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_023859_0828.png
There are new weapons at Cleir-de-Lune, but...damn, these are expensive. This isn't an especially good time to pick them up since we have a substantial shopping list at Satomi Tadashi.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_023958_0812.png
PANTS also has all these incenses he's picked up through the game. STR goes to Michelle (as would AGI if we had any), everything else on Maya since she has the most action.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_024137_0531.png
Finally, PANTS grabs 50 Chewing Souls, which will hopefully last a good while, the middle of Xibalba basically, when he can return to town 10 Incenses of Life for the shrines, and 99 Magazines for the laughs. Yes, that money would be better saved for a new weapon, but buying one before the next dungeon was already out of the question thanks to the need for Chewing Souls.

With all that taken care of, it's finally time to get a skull!

spineshark
07-23-2008, 12:35 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_024308_0000.png
The Scorpio shrine is in Yumezaki, roughly where GOLD was. It's huge though, so it ate a lot of buildings. Zodiac, Mu Continent, and most importantly, Pachinko Silver were all spared.

Turnip is pretty much right as always, but I had the chance to get this one out of the way first and it's my second-least favorite dungeon-wise.

Inside the shrine, PANTS sees a staircase about 10 feet to his left. Up the stairs, there's a door 10 feet in front of him. Inside the door, BAM NAZIS.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_024351_0375.png
This fight is pretty easy, but the minor soldiers have Snipe so it's worth trying to kill them quickly since it's got REALLY high accuracy in this game (compared to EP).

After this, the dungeon is filled with narrow corridors and pools that drain a lot of SP (most of which can't be avoided). It's straightforward though, and pretty much impossible to get really lost. Since nobody has enough SP to do anything most of the time, though, PANTS runs away from most of the battles here unless they're really easy. On the third floor, Eikichi gets a funny feeling. Let's go!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_030700_0640.png
Walking into the door causes the screen to blank out and Eikichi's voice to start talking. Always the showman, the lights turn on to dramatically reveal...Shadow Eikichi and Hanakouji hugging.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_030720_0781.png
Oh, and she's all skinny now. Not to mention confused by the existence of two Eikichis.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_030726_0906.png
The shadow starts explaining. She joined the Masquerade, wishing to become "slim and beautiful" (to quote Eikichi back at SSHS) again. And far in the past, Eikchi had heard that she hated fat people, which is what transformed him from chubby little boy to preening glam-rocker. Then she became fat in her guilt and tried to hide it from him. That make any sense? Aliens, Hitler, kids thinking they killed one of their friends and trying to erase the memories, all that I can follow, but this, this is crazy!

So for the second time this game, Michelle has to fight for his girl. She must really be worth it. Or he must really be dumb.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_030921_0593.png
Hey, imagine that, it's reverse Hades! And real Hades! I shouldn't need to elaborate on the strategy here. Shadow Eikichi has all the same moves as real Eikichi, plus a twisted Maha Aquadyne that looks like blood and has a Charm effect, and a "spikes falling on everyone's head" that works like Angel Joker's "spikes coming through the ground" move-it deals damage that nobody resists and has random kill chances.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_031516_0718.png
So yeah, despite all the Bloody Honeymoons and Charms and the occasional instant death and PANTS' water weakness, this fight is a joke. It came to a fitting end when he Charmed Lisa, and she got two 350 damage crits in a row to finish him off.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_031751_0312.png
Eikichi's shadow reminds him that he'll always be a part of him, and he vanishes. Hades says that his two halves have joined as well, and they'll protect him.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_031952_0484.png
Predictably, and in one of the most insufferable storytelling tropes, Michelle tells Miyabi that it's always been what's inside that counted (I'm sure he's not unhappy to have a newly hot girlfriend).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/michellove.png
I don't think this game gets many points for subtlety

spineshark
07-23-2008, 02:13 PM
After the first shrine, Michelle got a new gun. PANTS may be next on the weapon upgrade train, or may not.

The next destination for the PANTS party is Konan, where the Taurus shrine is. Honestly this is kind of weird, because it seems like it should be in Aoba where Lisa's big moment was, with the Leo shrine on the ruins of the Air Museum. In fact this is what I convinced myself of at 3 last night and it was only about halfway through that I realized I was fighting Fire masquerade troops and went the wrong way, so...reload.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_051316_0359.png
The Taurus shrine looks like desert ruins, with a sandy sort of texture on the ground. This was the developers' excuse to put in conveyor belts, which compared to the SP draining pools in Scorpio or the pitfalls Aquarius, are nothing. There's not really anything to see here.

There's another fight with Nazis here, pretty much the same as at Scorpio. Afterwards, Jun's comment if PANTS talks to him is about how appropriate the Taurus sign is for Lisa, symbolizing good stuff like love, beauty, fortune...and jealousy. Awwww.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052039_0937.png
In the central room, of course, is Shadow Ginko. Considering how Lisa usually is, you can only imagine she's that much worse. The Shadow gleefully taunts Lisa about her poor English, not that she's one to talk, and a bunch of other stuff. She makes Lisa's secret life sound...interesting. Her ultimate conclusion is, Lisa is all about status. She really did want to be in the Muses, and even though she complains about being singled out as a foreigner, she craves the attention.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052122_0953.png
Lisa admits her wrongs and says that she still loves PANTS now matter how he feels about her. Then the Shadow attacks.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052213_0765.png
Reverse Venus' color scheme is hideous. She's got the same spells as Venus which means she wastes plenty of turns trying to charm Jun (I do not think that will be successful). She also has Maha Magdyne with Charm, which is not very threatening*.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052539_0640.png
Foamy Lover will kill PANTS since it does a substantial physical hit followed by a ton of water damage (which he is still weak to), but his Gigan Fist hits pretty hard so he's worth keeping alive. Another Shadow defeated, another level up.

After the battle, pretty much the same thing happens as with Eikichi.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_053640_0937.png
Lisa just tries to brush it off, telling PANTS not to worry about it. But in light of her honest confession of feelings, he has something on the tip of his tongue too.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_053651_0703.png
Who is PANTS' dearest friend?
-Lisa
-Jun
-Maya This might not do anything because of the choices made outside of Aoba Park
-Michelle This never does anything, he's spoken for
-...... Sadly, this does not mean Yukino

*I just realized, Maia Custom blocks Mind so all the times I've said that she has to not get charmed are irrelevant-she can't.

Next time: The aftermath! And more shrines.

Pajaro Pete
07-23-2008, 02:23 PM
Artemis reflects all magic.

Pants is gay for Eikichi.

spineshark
07-23-2008, 02:31 PM
Yeah, I must have confused myself by constantly switching between Maia and Artemis. I'm such a moron.

I don't think the man below me stands for the same things that I do.

Ample Vigour
07-23-2008, 02:31 PM
Pants/Lisa 4ever

VorpalEdge
07-23-2008, 02:34 PM
What is this, the era of great facial expressions?

I mean, we have Zombie Hitler (whose return I dearly await, since apparently his face has been locked into a snide grin so far - I think it's a side effect of the zombie-ness),

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_20072008_170337_0640.png

and then we have Shadow Lisa, who is apparently trying to pull one of those "I'll hold a flashlight up to my head and narrate a horror story" expressions in a well-lit room,

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052039_0937.png

and finally, we've got Real Lisa, who looks like she's preparing to perform services of a questionable nature if Pants says he loves her. Who does she think she is, Jelanda?

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_053640_0937.png

As a side effect, I vote Lisa all the way.

Pajaro Pete
07-23-2008, 03:30 PM
Heh, I remember when this scene was first translated into English, and the entire MegaTard community flipped out because Lisa did drugs. And it was like, yeah, she's a teenager.

Yeah, and I don't think Yukino would be interested in Pants. Unless it were Anna's Pants. Japan's explored this concept very thoroughly, I'm sure.

spineshark
07-23-2008, 03:48 PM
Nobody says Eikichi's into that sort of thing either. Even if he looks and talks like it.

But yeah, controversy. Oh boy! How brave!

Oh yeah, there's also the thing where there's still a choice about which shrine is next. Aquarius or Leo? Aquarius

Pajaro Pete
07-23-2008, 11:03 PM
Really you should have done Aquarius first to get Cronus. Shame on you for not doing it! Shame!

spineshark
07-24-2008, 08:27 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_165048_0500.png
Lisa is very happy to hear what PANTS has to say. If he says anything else, she expresses varying degrees of exasperation, and says that someday he'll love her back. If PANTS' answer is Jun, Ginko, or Maya, he'll get a "Lovers" contact with them to use on demons. Michelle and "...." do nothing, and I've heard but don't know if it's true, that Maya's wont work if you didn't give appropriate responses at Aoba Park after the explosion. Not a big deal either way.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_165059_0656.png
Everyone laughs a little bit and Lisa says that she's not going to lose to an older woman or a guy. Then she picks up the skull and PANTS is back on the streets.

PANTS didn't fight much in the Taurus Shrine either, so he's still not terribly rich, so nobody gets new weapons or armor. Time to go to the Aquarius Shrine.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_170148_0453.png
The random encounters in all four shrines, as well as the end of Caracol, all draw from the same pool of enemies. Lots of Nazis, various flavors of Masquerade guys (but they all come in the same color in the shrine, based on their respective signs, which makes them total pushovers), Catoblepas (who have an Instant Death move that only ever hits Lisa for some reason), STRENGTH Taksaka (pictured here-they're pretty resistant to most spells and attacks), TOWER Aeshma (very slow so I don't even know what they do), JUSTICE Melchizedek, HANGED MAN Barbatios, DEATH Ankou, and Orthrus. Aside from Taksaka, most of them are really easy to kill and never get turns.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_171316_0468.png
All of the shrines have these "Relief Room"s, which, aside from having raised artwork on the walls, make PANTS relieved to know he's going the right way. They also feature boringly easy battles. There's one group of Masquerade guys and one group of Nazis in each shrine.

On the second floor, PANTS feels that the ground is not quite as sturdy as he's used to, but he manages to miraculously escape all the pitfall traps by moving arbitrarily around the walls and forks in the path. I still hate this dungeon, because of how annoying it can be, but it was such a pleasant surprise this time I almost forgot to mention it at all.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_180255_0875.png
Finally, on the top floor, PANTS and his friends are confronted by more of the Longinus, since Jun doesn't have a shadow to sit around for him. Halfway down the stairs is a third, so...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_183235_0093.png
For some reason these guys are marked as a group, unlike the previous battle against three of them, which along with higher levels and better personas, makes this laughably easy. Longinus 5 is weak against water so Hades and Venus pound him with the Ominous Waterfall (two water spells) fusion and he goes down in a few turns. Everybody else uses Maha spells and pretty soon they're all gone with no real issues. At the end of the battle Hermes learns how to mutate.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_184708_0937.png
The defeated Longinus laugh, saying they have no idea who's behind everything that's happened. Jun shows that he feels guilty about everything that was caused by the Joker, then he goes over to pick up the skull of Wind-his mother's. He acts strange for a second but tells everyone it's fine. Just one to go!

spineshark
07-24-2008, 08:57 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_184916_0406.png
PANTS brings a bunch of cards to Igor and makes Taksaka. Just because he can. He probably won't get used, but that's not really the point. I was also stupid and gave Taksaka the Megido card instead of something like Dia or Posumudi that would make him really easy to level up. Oh well.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_185711_0687.png
Also, Hermes' mutation is Cronos, the final "ultimate" persona. When combined, the five can use the fusion Grand Cross. It's powerful, but since it requires all five turns it's not always practical. As a mutation, Cronos will replace Hermes, but since Hermes was best for wind spells in the first place, it's a worthwhile upgrade, despite the steeper SP costs. (On that note, the huge numbers displayed on the status screens go down when the Personas are equipped, because of the affinity bonus. So the Greeks "only" cost about 50 SP, instead of 70+. That'll still drain Maya in nine turns, though, and she has by far the largest pool)

Leo Shrine, Aoba:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_190449_0140.png
This one is my favorite. It's a deep red color with freaky, atmospheric music. And there are no real gimmicks! Plus, after all those other battles, PANTS can use Hotei's Estoma and not run into any random demons or Nazis the whole dungeon, since Taksaka, the highest-level demon, is 43, but so is everyone else at the least. (Pants is 44 and Jun is 47 or something, since he joins *at* 44)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_190548_0890.png
So yeah, even though Estoma blocks random monsters, there are still these kneebiters in the relief rooms. Yawn.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_191412_0375.png
In the last room, Shadow PANTS greets everyone, especially パンツ ぱんつ、of course. Like all the other shadows, he taunts his counterpart with his failings and insecurities; in this case, being aimless in life and not really able to press for his goals (or different, if PANTS says something else to Saeko back in the first update).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_191426_0625.png
Of course, PANTS can deny this, but if he does, the shadow will just laugh at him for lying to himself more. Or he can admit it, which the shadow sees as winning. Either way, with his quiet demeanor and unassuming personality, how is PANTS a leader? How can he hope to save the world?

Oh, and Shadow PANTS thinks PANTS hates Jun, too. Drama time!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_191445_0468.png
-Maybe I do hate him
-I don't hate him at all
-I might have done the same thing

Next time: Paved with good intentions...

Ample Vigour
07-24-2008, 08:58 PM
Is it bad that I think Shadow Lisa's crazy expressions make her look better than normal Lisa?

mopinks
07-24-2008, 09:22 PM
I bet Shadow Ginko's a tiger in the sack am i right dudes

*high five*

Kishi
07-26-2008, 08:55 PM
PANTS holds no grudges.


Everyone heads outside, to witness this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2trAZ4BuR5w).

YES TECHNO NAZIS

So, where were these guys hanging out before this? It seems like Hitler being alive with an army of high-tech Nazi robot suits would be hard to cover up.

Also, was it ever explained why Eikichi hugs a guitar case in battle? Seems kind of unwieldy.

spineshark
07-26-2008, 09:13 PM
Michelle's guitar case has a gun installed in it. When he uses his standard weapon attack, the neck opens up and he shoots. He does this a lot because he has great strength and crappy SP.

Okamura, Kashihara and Sudou concluded and wrote in In-Laqetti that Hitler and the Nazis were hiding in Antarctica, but it was only after the book was revealed on the news (at Kuzunoha) that the "information" became widespread and thus true. So there was no way for them to be found and stopped until it was too late.

Oh, a couple more things things that slipped my mind once it was actually an appropriate time to bring them up: Jun is of course another Kasugayama High student; he wears the same uniform as Eikichi. He's the mysterious transfer student that Eikichi was asking a couple of random guys (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=198358&postcount=96) about 15 hours earlier. KHS is kind of the "bad" school for delinquents and stuff, which is why they have a mutual hatred with SSHS for the most part. Michelle and Jun ended up there I guess because they were injuring people with their personas. Eikichi took advantage of this more though and threatened everyone into being the Captain, a position he used to pretty much keep everyone in line (nobody smokes for example, unlike that nasty Anna Yoshizaka) except for those jackasses he had to beat up.

Pajaro Pete
07-27-2008, 05:14 PM
The Nazis went to Antarctica with the Lance of Longinus, and built robots with souls to use the Lance so they could fulfill an ancient prophecy Evangelion? What's that?

I don't know, I would be pretty pissed off if my former best friend went crazy, started a cult and tried to kill me numerous times.

spineshark
07-28-2008, 05:42 AM
This choice doesn't actually do anything, unless PANTS had chosen Jun in Konan, in which case he would be able to ruin his relationship. PANTS says he doesn't hate Jun anyway, though, so Shadow PANTS calls him a hypocrite and a liar and attacks.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_034931_0859.png
Shadow PANTS is a completely pathetic opponent. All I've ever seen him use is Gigan Fist and Maragion, neither of which are of the remotest danger. Everyone just wails on him with their best Persona moves, except Venus who heals, and he goes down before anyone runs out of SP and reverts to attacking.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_035315_0531.png
Jun tells PANTS that he wouldn't blame him for being angry after everything that's happened, but everyone else reassures him that normal friends forgive and support each other. You know, instead of putting on crazy costumes, starting shadowy organizations and making death threats.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_035352_0890.png
After PANTS picks up the Crystal Skull of Fire, Maya gets a call on her cell phone. (Its ringtone happens to be her character theme, much like Eikichi's theme is also his band's song) It's Tamaki, who informs them to make sure they never hire Tadashi as a babysitter. Prince Taurus apparently kidnapped Okamura from Kuzunoha while she and the chief were out, saying something about a "human sacrifice."

Jun knows what this means. Maya Okamura supposedly has Maiyan blood which means she'll be sacrificed in the Mayan underworld of Xibalba to complete the Oracle of Maiya. So PANTS and everyone else had better go save her before the world gets destroyed. The way to Xibalba is in the center of the city, at SSHS.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_040104_0531.png
More shopping! Everyone except Jun gets new boots, PANTS buys 50 more Chewing Souls because he's rich, and Michelle and Jun get their mana restored at Kaori. It never rises in price in IS, costing 1200 Yen just like it did at the beginning of the game.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_040222_0812.png
Nazis invaded SSHS after the Masquerade took Ideal-sensei to the courtyard. It's cool though, everything's under control because some jackass actor is killing Nazis. This is "Brown," ("Brad" in Revelations, his "real" name is Uesugi or something) who PANTS actually met at the Sumaru TV a long time ago. He's a Persona user who like Mary/Maki and Elly (who are also here kicking asses in other classrooms) went to St. Hermelin a few years ago. He still has no fashion sense at all.

On the other hand, if PANTS allowed Hannya to live at the beginning of the game, he would be in all the classrooms where the Persona 1 characters are, perplexing Lisa and everyone else by somehow getting ahead of the party every single time while still beating up copious amounts of Nazis. It's pretty cool though, because where he was a bastard who became "popular" by wishing on the Joker at the beginning of the game, he earns it instead with his inspiring strength and bravery.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_040821_0531.png
Out in the courtyard is the large phallic rock Okamura has been obsessed with for years. It's now the gateway to the "Milky Way," a river which will lead to Xibalba. PANTS steps in.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_040900_0500.png
The Nazis were kind enough to leave a boat. Maya has a driver's license, which in Persona 2's most common and possibly stupidest running gag, makes her completely unfit to operate any sort of vehicle (in her defense, the blimp was fucked as soon as it took off, since it was on fire). She spends a few moments driving it in circles and crashing it into rocks before PANTS is elected to new driver.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_041820_0750.png
The boat moves automatically down the river at a leisurely pace while random demons attack PANTS. With all the powerful group attacks (plus Diamond Dust!) and strong physicals from Michelle's gun and Apollo's Gigan Fist there's barely anything worth talking about. It's possible to die thanks to some strong physicals, but only if Maya and Ginko don't slaughter everything before it moves.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_043937_0656.png
There are a couple of dialogue prompts here, about which way to go at a couple of forks in the river, but it'd be stupid to interrupt for them and they all lead to the same place: this waterfall. Probably three of them, actually. Everybody freaks out but it's too late to turn around.

I swear, if the real world were like Megaten, every single city ever rests atop a giant, cavernous ancient temple/castle/whatever.
Behind the last waterfall (not really, but I found Indy 4 completely hilarious thanks to this game) is the path leading to the entrance of Sumaru City's great ruins, Xibalba. Lisa and Maya are sure it's going to be filled with deadly traps, but lacking specific imagination about what they might be, they ask PANTS what he thinks will try to kill them first.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_28072008_044100_0500.png
-Something like a laser
-Something like an oven

Actually, this decision is completely inconsequential. Not only is the thing it affects of absolutely no significance, but later on you get to see what happens if you pick the other one anyway.

It's a good breaking point anyway.

Next time: Let's Positive Thinking!

Kishi
07-28-2008, 07:34 AM
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e200/grokyou/innocentsinandfreakout.png

Pajaro Pete
07-28-2008, 01:27 PM
The Nazis were kind enough to leave a boat. Maya has a driver's license, which in Persona 2's most common and possibly stupidest running gag, makes her completely unfit to operate any sort of vehicle (in her defense, the blimp was fucked as soon as it took off, since it was on fire). She spends a few moments driving it in circles and crashing it into rocks before PANTS is elected to new driver.

It's really the portraits that make this scene. The expressions on Jun and Maya's faces, coupled with their dialogue, is funnier than it should be.
:D Jun: "You can drive a boat! You're so cool big sister!"
:D Maya: "Well, I don't know how to drive one per se, but I have a car license so it should be ok!"
:D Jun: "...?"

spineshark
07-29-2008, 04:03 AM
Lasers are the first thing that come to mind when PANTS thinks about deadly deathtraps of death, so he just says that.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_014847_0453.png
As they enter the first hall, Eikichi sees all these little holes in the wall. Fancy that. Maybe somebody can see through them! Then Jun sees lasers shooting through holes just a little further down the way. He dragos Michelle through, while PANTS and Maya dodge through. Lisa dances between the lasers, but eventually ducks under the last one to make it to the end of the hall safely.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_014912_0046.png
Ginko's not very happy with Eikichi, since he probably almost got all of them killed, so she screams "LOOK AT ME!" back to mock him and knocks him down.

Right in front of the laser hall is a special room. Here are more memories of Summer 1989. The masked kids look through a telescope; Jun says his father's a great guy who can tell them all about the stars. Maya's jealous because she doesn't have a dad anymore. =(

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_015304_0281.png
Suddenly some jackasses come over and say that Jun's father is actually a real lousy dad. Everybody stands up for him, and PANTS knocks them down, causing them to run away. Jun wonders why this memory is coming up, but ends up deciding that it must have to do with how proud he was of his father...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_020031_0953.png
Xibalba is pretty bright, with neon blues and gold stuff everywhere. The beginning is also quite straightforward. On each floor is an elevator going up one floor and one going down one floor. There are also treasure chests and cutscene rooms, but overall the first several floors are quick and easy.

The battles here are a little tougher than the river, particularly the Nazi packs featuring four-legged robots (while none of the other NAZIS do damage anymore, these robots can shoot everyone at once for triple digits, and twice as much on Artemis. It sucks. They are, however illogically, vulnerable to most status though, including Poison). It's also kind of tedious to fight the magic-resisting Succubus teams, since most of the team's physical attacks are merely okay.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_020739_0187.png
On B2 are the remains of some Yellow Masquerade troops and a man in a suit whose face has been burned off. It's Prince Taurus, obviously. Everyone is pretty creeped out, Eikichi saying that the traps are probably going to get more deadly and "the next one might be like an oven." Lisa thinks he had it coming.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_021444_0640.png
As everyone enters the next major room, on B3, the door locks shut and these long bars begin to glow with heat. Damn it. Maya encourages everyone to stay calm, as their Personas will help protect them, and they make it to the other side, where fortunately they can escape.

Also on B3: Maya remembers her father. They're at the shrine, and she's begging him not to go. But he's landed a very special job taking photographs and reporting in a warzone. He's worked and dreamed his whole life for it, so he tells her he has to go.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_021709_0406.png
She begins to cry, but he pulls the "If you cry, the bunny will laugh at you!" trick, holding a silly stuffed bunny, that Maya uses a couple times earlier in the game. Maya remebers that he didn't come back and starts to cry. PANTS can tell her to suck it up or that it's okay to cry, but it doesn't make any difference and I didn't want to break off there so it's not a choice today. (PANTS told her not to cry, like at Aoba Park)

Maya gets all mopey and drags the mood down by reciting a depressing poem, "Le Calmant" by Marie Laurencin (in Japanese, of course). "Worse than alone, exiled/worse than exiled, dead/worse than dead, forgotten." Or something like that. So what's the point? Good question. Maya says if they had all truly forgotten about her, she wouldn't be here with them now. Lisa and Eikichi also mention how memories are in a sense, all that's really left of the dead.

On B5 everyone is sick of this already, and Lisa begins thinking about how wonderful it would be if there was a recovery spring somewhere. The comical cutscene theme starts playing so it's obvious that everything's going to be just great. Suddenly, a door appears. Eikichi wants to see Igor again in case we need any new Personas (psst, Michelle, we don't, but it's a nice thought). Another door shows up. And Jun says they're even marked properly.

As if that's a good sign. Ginko heads into her door, Michelle into his. Maya follows him, and Jun and PANTS head in after Lisa. Of course she's nowhere to be found, the doors lock and the walls start closing in all Star Wars-like.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_023144_0109.png
Jun finds that if he thinks hard enough about the walls stopping and NOT crushing him and PANTS, they start to separate again. How cool is that! Of course, if he stops they encroach again, but in a moment they head back into the center room to meet everyone, safe and sound. That's a relief.

Right next to the lift down to B6 is another mysterious room. It's marked "Terminal." Hey, those are good in Megaten games!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_023431_0671.png
Inside is a strange machine with a swastika pad on it. Like everything else here, it must be perfectly safe! Eikichi hops on and disappears. Maya gets on after him, and Jun's catlike reflexes or something allow him to jump on simultaneously. Finally PANTS goes, while Lisa's still dragging her feet.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_023520_0046.png
Turns out this is hooked up to an identical machine in Classroom 1-C at Sevens. How convenient! Aside from killing all those people, those Nazis are really making PANTS' life easier.

Oh, but even though we're back in town, is there anything useful we can do? The answer is a definitive "maybe." See, now that PANTS has been to Xibalba he can hunt for each characters' ultimate weapons, but it's a complicated and unnecessary process I've never tried before, so I'm not going to attempt it unless people want to see me try.

So, this isn't a dialogue prompt, but there it is.

Next time: The potentially amazing powers of Lisa's brain!

VorpalEdge
07-29-2008, 07:31 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_023520_0046.png

You sure Nazis didn't impersonate them when you weren't looking?

I don't think you need to get the secret weapons. I'd rather see more zombie Hitler. Plus, you're making this game seem easy enough already.

spineshark
07-29-2008, 11:29 PM
All the remaining IS parts are going to be really brief (the cut here is because of one the funnier dialogue choices around) so I'm absolutely aiming to wrap this game up in the next couple of days. I may try to put up the weapon stuff and some other things skipped/not done between the two games after everything's done, if I still feel like it. I'm getting really excited about EP though.

As long as they're back in Sumaru, PANTS decides to finish upgrading everyone's armor at Rosa Candida Aoba. It costs a little over 100k each for Maya and Lisa and 66k each for PANTS and Michelle. Then it's back down, down down.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_201745_0765.png
B6 is more mazelike than the previous floors and features some fun damage tiles. The battles start getting harder, too, with more enemies at once and even newer Nazi robots that like to blow up in everyone's face.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_201929_0265.png
It's really a relief then, comparatively, to open this chest and find five STAR Valkyrie demons. All five are frozen by Diamond Dust and then obliterated by Maha Magdyne.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_202340_0703.png
Jun has another flashback for all to see. Everyone is leaving the shrine after another day of playing, and Maya and Jun watch as Lisa's mom walks off with her.

Little Jun says he's jealous of Lisa and Eikichi for having nice moms, because he really doesn't like his. His dad arrives to pick him up, but when Maya asks about him, Jun says that "no, this is my uncle!" He's no longer proud of his father, but ashamed.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_203524_0031.png
In the next big room, Michelle complains again about how long this is taking. Jun thinks it's going to be a long time before they reach wherever they're going, based on the pace so far. Maya is positive thinking! and says that it can't be too long. Eikichi says he's somewhere in between, and Ginko just doesn't care. Maya decides to ask PANTS how long he thinks it'll be. PANTS decides to "agree" with Lisa's non-statement. Maya says "well that's 2, to 1, to 1, to 1, so let's see what happens."

On the next floor is a maze. It's pretty short and easy, so PANTS is happy. At the other end is another room. I wonder what's inside this one

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_204032_0281.png
Damn it. The last four Longinus think they have better odds than the first nine. Well, they have a point, since there are four of them here rather than three. They're impressed that Maya has discovered the "secret" of Xibalba, which suddenly everyone else wants to know. But the Longinus say that PANTS and his friends are doomed. Never heard that one before!

Maya says that she and the others are going to win. She encourages PANTS to do the same. He can either agree or admit that he's not very confident. Afterwards, the battle starts.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_204136_0218.png
Like the trio at Aquarius, Maha magic works on all these guys at once, which makes it a lot less of a headache than it could be. On the other hand, there are still four of them, which means things can get messy really quickly. At this level they really are kind of threatening (I still died a couple of times from really bad combos), but Maya knows a cheap trick. >_>

Maya equips Artemis when it's not her turn, and switches to Maia Custom immediately before acting. This lets her cast Mediarama while reflecting spells back for 100 damage apiece. More importantly, this prevents her from ever being shocked by the lightning move. Lisa and Eikichi use Aqua moves, because Longinus 4 is weak to Water. Jun casts Garudyne on 3, and PANTS uses Maragidyne to hit 2's weakness. Ginko also heals with Venus when the party's really in a pinch. Anybody who gets hit by the persona-sealing spear throws around Chewing Souls for their next couple of turns until it wears off. Everybody levels up.

Longinus 1 says more mean things about Jun's mother (damn Nazis, why do they keep doing that) and tells them they should've died there so they wouldn't have to suffer. Then it dies. HOORAY NO MORE OF THOSE BASTARDS.

Maya says she'll explain what she knows about Xibalba later, and then confidently declares that they'll find Jun's father very soon.

On B8 there's an Elevator, which PANTS can currently ride back up to 5F, right next to the Terminal. He's got money again, and another little shopping list.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_212254_0781.png
PANTS decides to buy more Incenses of Life and Chewing Souls. He and the others used about 20 fighting the Longinus mechs since they got screwed by an SP draining pool right before that. So he decides to play it safe and get all of them he can. After this he's only got 85,000 Yen left, which isn't enough for anything good, not even another ATK Up accessory from Jolly Roger. Oh well. He could buy magazines, but he's not sure he'll be back to get anything from it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_212917_0078.png
On B8 Maya is disappointed, since things don't seem to be working quite the way she's been hoping. Finally everyone convinces her to tell what she knows, so she sums it up: the reality in Xibalba is being directly altered by their thoughts.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_212938_0390.png
Suddenly everyone remembers the traps, predicted by Michelle and PANTS, and the doors to the spring and Velvet Room. (PANTS' input also influences the maze and battle mentioned only moments ago)

Eikichi stands off in the corner, telling himself over and over that he's going to be a rock star. Lisa concentrates hard and asks PANTS a question he doesn't really want to hear: "Do you like me?"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_29072008_212957_0671.png
-Yeah
-No
-As a friend

Next time: So Metal!

Pajaro Pete
07-30-2008, 01:28 AM
Let's just be friends.
With benefits.

Mazian
07-30-2008, 01:51 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_23072008_052122_0953.pnghttp://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_24072008_191412_0375.png

They're totally made for each other.

Kishi
07-30-2008, 01:53 AM
PANTS won't commit until he knows what the hell that exclamation of hers is all about.

(Aiyaaaaa~)

spineshark
07-30-2008, 02:06 AM
Lisa uses a lot (well, only four or five, but with high frequency) of random Cantonese exclamations and expressions she picked up by watching Bruce Lee movies. She'll also lecture PANTS about them in a few of the shop dialogues early on. She calls him "Ching-yan" a lot too, which is pretty much the equivalent of Michelle's "Hanii!"

This is also where she "learned" kung fu, but the real reason that contact works on a lot of demons is because the skirt on that Seven Sisters uniform isn't very long.

Ample Vigour
07-30-2008, 03:06 AM
It must be love it sure can't be common sense amirite

spineshark
07-31-2008, 05:03 AM
PANTS broods for a while. "Maybe it'd be fun to mess with her head," he thinks. Finally, he says a carefully articulated and deeply pondered, "Yeah." Lisa's excited. It's just like Maya said! (If PANTS says anything else, then Maya becomes a liar. Natch.)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_012917_0125.png
Maya shakes her head. That's not quite what she meant. For one thing, "positive" things are much, much harder to make happen than "negative" ones. She can't explain why some things work (like Lasers) and other things don't (like, "the end is right in front of us!")-it may have to do with Jun's father, who could be just messing with them. Who knows?

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_012945_0156.png
Then a strange object suddenly appears in Maya's hands. It's...canned crab? Everyone was getting hungry? Maya tells everyone to think positively, not about bad things, and so they'll move on.

Guess who screws up first.

A golden thing, which has the appearance of Eikichi's dad, suddenly walks out of the wall. And he's going to kick Michelle's ass, just like he always said he would.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_013026_0140.png
Metal Daddy is a joke. He doesn't have any resistances of major consequence; instant death and ailments obviously, but that's never a big deal. His attacks are pretty much just a wussy melee (with a higher-than-average crit rate, but it won't kill anyone but Artemis) and a single-target Lightning bolt with high chance of shock. Everyone just spams spells on him, including Maya (though she heals a bit too), and he dies really fast.

After that battle, Ginko's mad at Michelle again. Imagine that.

Next room has the last flashback in this game. All right!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_015420_0265.png
Everyone's waiting to go home with their parents. Eikichi complains about eating Sushi every night. Kashihara shows up first, telling Jun they'll go home to his mother. He doesn't want to.

Suddenly, they're yanked out of the flashback. A voice gets angry with Jun. Another statue pops out of the floor, and this one resembles Junko Kurosu. She tells Jun to disappear. And he does.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_015529_0687.png
Metal Mom reflects magic, so Lisa and Apollo punch her in the face and Eikichi shoots. She hits a little harder than Metal Daddy and has all-target attacks. Jun comes back and Maya tells him that their friendship will always hold them together. *Yawn*

Practically right outside this door is the lift to B9. In the center of this floor is the Cold Sleep Chamber. PANTS wonders what's inside.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_020926_0156.png
So does somebody else. Okamura is seen calling out to the aliens who she's sure are here. Their sleeping chambers rise from the base, and then everyone else walks in.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_021031_0906.png
Jun tells her to stop, but she's completely out of it. She bangs on the chambers trying to release them. She rejects Jun's claims that, essentially, the whole thing has been a big mistake, saying that she was the only one who ever understood Kashihara. She was really, really jealous of his wife.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_021124_0421.png
Then the Bolontiku wake up. They walk over, knock Okamura down, and attack.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_021320_0375.png
Despite the previous picture, this battle is against only 5 aliens. It's not nearly as overwhelming as might look, either. They all count as a group, but unlike the Longinus they're all named the same too, which makes them somewhat hard to tell apart. The aliens have a lot of different moves between them, including reversed versions of the Greeks' ultimate moves. They're all very weak though, and most of the time they'll just use Asteroid Bomb, which hits one character with a rock that does 200 damage. The damage from all five at once is easily healable with Mediarama, and if Jun chips in too there's very little chance of dying.

Killing them is a bit more complicated. Their elemental properties as far as I can tell:
One reflects Magic. This one starts on the far left, and can be targeted by pressing "Right" from the default target. PANTS and Ginko punch this one while Michelle shoots. The Bolontiku's HPs aren't very high, I'd think 2500 at the most, so this one dies quickly.

One blocks Physical. This is irrelevant, though I think it's also weak to elements since it's presumably the one that died several turns before the others.

One blocks Fire. One blocks Wind. One blocks Water. Everybody just says "screw it" and casts their Maha-Dyne spells anyway. One by one the Bolontiku die off.

After the battle, everyone talks about Kashihara. Jun says his father really did die at Sevens, and whoever this guy is must be a fake evil one, like the shadows, created by "rumors" spread by the kids about how Jun's dad was a deadbeat. Maya gets a little philosophical, saying that everyone's "selves" are just reflections seen by what everyone else thinks. The whole concept of "self" being one of the central points of the series, this is probably worth mentioning.

Anyway, someone else is behind this, and everyone decides that it must also be the being who's making rumors come true. By now we must getting close to the bottom of this whole thing.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022531_0906.png
Sure enough, pretty much right outside the Cold Sleep Chamber, Jun says he feels something. An extremely short walk, and PANTS finds himself staring at the last door-the heart of Xibalba.

Next time: I am your father!

Pajaro Pete
07-31-2008, 01:32 PM
Hitora! Hitora!

Ideal-sensei's such a nutty bitch. Too bad the aliens don't put her out of her misery.

liquidben
07-31-2008, 04:33 PM
Y'know, sometimes I can't figure out whether the plot of this game is amazingly meta and philosophical... or if it was just decided by a bunch of manatees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartoon_Wars_Part_II). It's pretty amazing, but then there's the random Hitler... *shrugs*

VorpalEdge
07-31-2008, 04:48 PM
Hey, if it's good enough for Indiana Jones... (recent movie spoiler)

Kishi
07-31-2008, 05:23 PM
Just look at Ideal-sensei. She's exactly the type of strung-out conspiracy theorist who would help publish a book about Hitler's return and ancient alien Mayan technology buried under a major metropolitan area.

spineshark
07-31-2008, 06:03 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022612_0250.png
The other side of the door is an FMV, with the camera travelling through a weird "space." In the center of the black cloud is a "place" similar to one PANTS has been several times, but it gives off an evil feeling...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022647_0328.png
Finally, everyone appears on the small platform, one near each pillar, and Maya in the center. She moves over next to PANTS.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022757_0343.png
Hitler floats down to greet them. Jun's asks where "that jerk" is, obviously meaning Kashihara. Hitler berates him for his disrespect for his father. Maya demands the fifth skull.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022815_0796.png
So he throws it to her. Then he laughs, telling everyone that the skulls are fakes and were never important in the first place.

WHAT.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_022844_0265.png
Battle starts with Hitler, and he says they'll have to overcome him, the Spear of Longinus, and the power of Nyarlathotep to find the answers.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_023008_0859.png
Hitler is pretty much just a glorified Longinus Mech. He's got a weak spear poke, and for the rest of his moves he appears to summon this tentacle monster as a...Persona? He's got the standard all-target magical attack. He also has the lightning strike move, but he also heals for 100% of the damage caused by it. It's no longer capable of wiping out the party, but it's really annoying if he decides to use it over and over. The persona-sealing spear attack now deals damage. Lots of it. The effects also last a very long time, until death or the end of the battle basically, but PANTS remembers that Longinus 1 dropped a "Spirit Leave," and when he tries using it he finds it is not only reusable but solves the issue pretty much immediately. It also kills Maya because of Artemis' weakness, but that's a non-issue with all the revival items on hand.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_023524_0703.png
The battle itself starts as a standard beatdown. Maya uses the Artemis trick, though it's not necessary, and alternates between casting Crescent Mirror and Mediarama. Michelle attacks, Jun casts Maha Garudyne, Lisa uses Maha Aquadyne and PANTS uses Nova Sizer. Nova Sizer is just Gigan Fist, but it deals (roughly equivalent) fire damage and has an incredibly badass animation and sound clip. "NOVA SAIZAA!!"

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_023542_0359.png
Eventually the battle becomes tedious because Hitler begins using this move, which makes him impervious to team PANTS' attacks for a while. Ironically however, he still takes damage from spells reflected off of Artemis. Everyone uses this chance to restore SP and heal up, while attacking to see when it goes down. When it does, it's back to the plan. Once Hitler begins to crouch, it's important to make sure that anyone who dies (probably from the spear move because nothing else hits very hard) is revived immediately.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_024142_0656.png
Hitler is worth 63,000 EXP and 0 Yen. This is enough for everyone to gain one level, no more, no less. And yes, it means there's more. It's the end of the game but it's finally time to bring up PANTS' stat choices, I guess. Every Persona gives a stat bonus on level-up. For most of the default Personas this is AGI, and Lisa and Maya automatically put lots of points in it anyway. So their "human" stats feature AGI in the 80s. Maya's VIT on the other hand is god-awful, which is why she only reaches 400 HPs after this battle. PANTS focused on STR for most of the game, which is okay, but eventually he realized he could really stand to have more SP as well and in Xibalba he focused mostly on TEC. VIT is good, but not especially necessary in IS (because Maya will always be worse off) and LUC probably kind of sucks but I like it anyway.

The effective stats, though, are averaged between the "Human" stats (aka these) and the "Persona" stats. What this means is that trying to pump stats like AGI sky high when the Persona's are low is made to be less effective and in many cases it's "best" to keep stats close to the Personas you're using. It's also one of the biggest reasons to use the Greeks and other high-level Personas, since even the dozens of Parameter Increase bonuses Pixie got made her far worse than the mid-game Personas from Philemon, who are in turn weaker than the Ultimates.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_024204_0062.png
Hitler's impressed, says he's been watching them for 10 years while they grew more powerful and older. Then he surprises everyone by...

Eirikr
07-31-2008, 06:14 PM
The pre-battle scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS_4RvPvTS0) with Hitler is pretty damned funny for some reason.

Mazian
07-31-2008, 06:24 PM
Battle starts with Hitler, and he says they'll have to overcome him, the Spear of Longinus, and the power of Nyarlathotep to find the answers.
I think I've figured out what this means. You're up against none other than Hideaki Anno. You may not be able to win this battle.

Kishi
07-31-2008, 06:27 PM
Hitler's little pixel moustache is priceless.


http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e200/grokyou/innocentsinandhitlertripping.png

spineshark
07-31-2008, 06:59 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_024217_0984.png
turning into the impostor of Jun's father. He welcomes them to his domain, the "collective unconsciousness" and tells them that, essentially, all of their reality springs from this place - human minds, and the things they've created, including through rumors. He laughs at the absurdity of the dream of Idealian, saying that humans will believe anything to make themselves feel better.

When pressed by Michelle, he claims to truly be Jun's father. When contested on this, because Kashihara already died, he says that he's the father Jun wished for, between his dislike for his real father, so absorbed in his work, and his mother who never showed him any love. Moreover, he had helped Jun do what he truly wanted to do, help people gain their dreams. Naturally, that "ruining the entire world part" was just a bonus.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/crosses.png
He then creates an image of Jun's real father on a cross, suspended above them. Kashihara tells Jun that he sincerely wanted to make everything better, and that he should beware of obsessing over his dreams too much.

After this is an extremely brief flashback from Caracol (which I forgot about last night, naturally) in which the dying Queen tells Jun to be happy. Then the Fake puts up another cross.

Jun's mother asks for forgiveness from him. Everyone's getting pissed off by these theatrics, so Ginko and Michelle try to attack him. He dodges (easily!) and teleports behind them, knocking them over.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/parents.png
Then he starts laughing maniacally and blows away the crosses. Maya says she'll never forgive him, so she turns into her father and mocks her. "You're contradicting yourself...you'll forgive anyone!"

Finally this scene ends and he turns into a big crazy demonic thing.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_024503_0609.png

The Great Father (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/22.jpg) is, you know, a reflection of the crazy father complexes everyone has (yeah, even PANTS, though that'll be gotten into in EP where it's actually kind of relevant). He's a group, of five members who all have their own individual HPs, which means that Maha Magic will hit five times. Aside from normal boss properties, none of the parts have any really noticeable resistances (though I think the "head" has slightly higher defense).

Needless to say, this being the final boss this battle is kind of complicated. The five parts have a ton of moves between them. Each limb has an elemental attack (wind, earth, fire, and water) and a physical attack. The elemental attacks have the "hit everyone" property and will ream pretty much the entire team sans Maya if used in sequence. The physicals vary more. One deals 18 consecutive hits; another hits everyone and puts Maya to sleep EVERY TIME FOR SOME REASON DAMMIT (fortunately PANTS had some Pachiri G's that he got through the game), and the others seem to mostly choose random targets and kill them.

The head is mostly there to give a bit of mercy. It has a weak melee attack, Omega Cluster (I think) which never seems to do anything, an almighty spell that hits everyone, and "Alteration" (I think) which randomly gives the party a status that causes damage to drain SP (at roughly 1/10 rate) instead of HP. This makes them effectively immune to dying for a few turns, which is generally at least kind of good, even if a good MG-18 will knock out a huge chunk of SP.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_024624_0625.png
Everyone starts the battle with their best all-target attacks, but after the Great Father's first salvo the entire battle falls into trying to frantically keep as many people standing at once while Ginko and Jun hit him (since their spells do the most damage). At higher levels the attacks can be mostly withstood and it's possible to have 2-3 healers while the rest attack and backs up with support items. With most of the party just above level 50, though, multiple characters will die every turn, so Maya starts casting Recarmdra every time she's up again while PANTS and Michelle revive her and keep her in good shape.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_032034_0046.png
Eventually one of the limbs will die. Unless the party is somehow in worse shape than this, the battle is almost certainly going to be a victory. Quickly the others will wear out, since they've been hit almost as much, until only the top remains. At this point, it's just a matter of pounding down his couple thousand extra HPs with Nova Sizer and physicals while Maya keeps everyone up with Mediarama.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_032722_0093.png
The Great Father congratulates everyone, again.

spineshark
07-31-2008, 07:29 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_032755_0765.png
Philemon appears and asks if Nyarlathotep's attempts to play with their emotions by impersonating their fathers worked. Then he goes on to explain more. Nyarlathotep and he are opposites, but at the same time, the same. Nyarlathotep controls the weak, while Philemon guides the strong, as they play out in a sort of "game" over the fate of humanity. If there were more like PANTS and his friends, humanity could become greater than it is.

Suddenly they're interrupted, as Maya Okamura and the Spear appear behind Maya.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_032839_0015.png
In a crazed fit Maya stabs Maya, then re-appears next to Nyarlathotep. Everyone crowds around Amano, and Lisa tries to heal her. But it's not working! Nyarlathotep reveals that it's because the Lance of Longinus was used...the legend says, of course, that the body of Jesus, pierced by the spear, bled unstoppably. For two thousand years, the rumor was spread, and finally, it ends here.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_032913_0656.png
Maya realizes her fate and asks everyone simply to forget about her. She doesn't want them to be dragged down by their memories of her. The others refuse to believe it, and try to remain optimistic. She pulls out the bunny one last time, and tells them not to cry...

With the sacrifice completed, Nyarlathotep laughs. He says humanity has always wished for destruction, and now it's time for them to receive it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033024_0906.png
The camera zooms in to the space below the platform, and an FMV begins showing that it's a sort of 3-D astronomical chart. The Grand Cross aligns on the chart, and it transitions to the earth, to show destruction washing over it, as cities and buildings are demolished and everything is destroyed.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033157_0484.png
Finally, he laughs and tells the survivors that this is how the world works. Sometimes there are things that you just have no control over. He transforms into the tentacle monster and disappears with Okamura.

BUT there is one more line in the Oracle.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033223_0328.png
Philemon tells the kids that there is a way to change everything that has happened. Within them is a power greater than any of those they have faced. Their power can reform the universe, but it will take sacrifice.

The incidents at the shrine ten years ago must be changed. Given up. By losing all memories of ever meeting, they will create a reality in which they did not meet and because of the circumstances created since then, may be able to avoid this tragedy. Appalled as they are by the thought, they eventually agree, and are sent off one by one.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033354_0562.png
Lisa kisses PANTS and disappears. Philemon asks PANTS if there's anything else he'd like to say.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033410_0109.png
The top option is "Thank him" but PANTS is pretty upset so he decides to take out a bit of anger and hits Philemon instead. (Besides, this scene appears as a flashback in EP anyway so I'm not really stealing the choice.)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033422_0937.png
Philemon's mask falls off, revealing a face a lot like PANTS'. He says he's just a reflection of PANTS, and all humanity, and sends him off.

spineshark
07-31-2008, 08:35 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033557_0359.png
In another FMV sequence, PANTS sees everyone saying good-bye to him, and Lisa says she'll always love him. The camera runs through a trippy tunnel, and pans over the renewed Earth.

This Side, Seven Sisters High School
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_033852_0906.png
PANTS is working on his bike. The same student from the beginning of the game tells him Saeko is looking for him. She walks outside to meet him. "Have you figured out what you're going to do with your life?" The "I haven't" answer is even more accurate than it was at the beginning of the game, honestly.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034207_0625.png
Lisa watches him from behind the bikes, while the alternate-world Muses come over to greet her. They ask if she has a crush on PANTS, but she denies it. Then they go off to sing Karaoke together, practicing for their inevitable debut...as they walk off, she takes one more look at him.

Sumaru Prison
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034238_0015.png
Eikichi's band still sucks. Miyabi's brought them all food, though. As they eat, Ken asks Michelle if he's heard of パンツ ぱんつ from Seven Sisters. Maybe they should recruit him for the band...

Sumaru TV
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034312_0921.png
Jun is talking with his mother. They're on good terms now, and he tells her that he wants to become a teacher like his father, so he can help people. She's thrilled by this, and they agree to meet him for dinner.

Train Station
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034347_0218.png
The front of the station is vacant, until Miyabi and Michelle show up. Then Lisa. Jun also appears. Yukino is seen walking out of the station. Lisa turns away, as someone approaches.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034354_0546.png
Maya and PANTS crash into each other absent-mindedly. A final FMV shows them looking at each other as they pick up their things, and Maya smiles.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SLPS_02100_31072008_034450_0437.png
The scene moves away from them to show, on the other side of the street, a golden butterfly...

FIN

VorpalEdge
07-31-2008, 09:03 PM
I can't tell if this ending is brilliant or horrible, but regardless, I don't think I like it much. I'm also vaguely angry that this exact same thing was used in p3's bad ending, except in that one everyone dies at the end instead of beforehand. I guess I'll have to play through EP soon too.

Congratulations on seeing this thing through to the finish, spineshark. It was completely worth it. I wish I could follow EP next, but I need to play the game myself first. :/

Pajaro Pete
07-31-2008, 10:19 PM
I can't tell if this ending is brilliant or horrible, but regardless, I don't think I like it much.

It's horrible until EP, when you find out that it is SO not that easy.

Also, come ON Maya, I know Artemis makes you weak to physical attacks, but you have like 99 Agility, you should be able to dodge that Spear!

Mazian
07-31-2008, 10:25 PM
I'm also trying to decide whether I should stop reading. On the one hand, I'd like to play Eternal Punishment; on the other hand, my gaming backlog is severe enough that it might never happen. I think the latter argument is convincing me.

What sort of total playtimes are you racking up for each of the two games?

spineshark
08-01-2008, 12:58 AM
I have a hard time seeing less than 40 hours on a first clear EP. Even if you set aside obscure secrets (which there are a lot of), general OCD-isms and mapping, which even easy ones like Smile and Nichirinmaru take forever, it's simply a long and complicated game, and you're probably going to have to grind somewhere unless you're some kind of total savant. (I remember not fighting many battles in the last few dungeons though, so maybe that offset the time I spent blowing stuff up on the boat.) I spent another 10 hours doing a few maps, until I got sick of it, and some other heavily optional stuff. (I also made about 1,000,000 Yen in less than fifteen minutes in the Casino, which saved my ass but anyway)

Innocent Sin is way shorter, since even though the dungeons tend to feature more objectives, in EP you don't have to break the clocks in Sevens, for example there's less of them, most of the huge optional stuff doesn't exist at all, the game's easier, etc. My first playthrough took about 40 hours since I was bumbling a lot, not knowing enough Japanese to finish it on my own, and grinding when it was completely unnecessary, while I hit the last door in this game at just over 21 hours on the Let's Play. I'd say in a language you have decent understanding of (like after the patch comes out, which honestly I'm quite excited for-I'm probably going to check it out as soon as it's available) it's probably 30 hours blind.

And yeah, IS ends with a pretty absurd series of twists and what seems to be at first, a lame Deus ex Machina, but EP's finale (and a lot of what leads into it) is so, so good. Plus there's a lot more to talk about gameplay-wise.

I've said it before though, I really do recommend EP. It's my favorite Megaten-related game and while the gameplay and graphics aren't as inviting as more recent titles it's still quite playable. In fact, if it's between people reading and posting in my thread to give me delightful ego boosts and those same people playing Eternal Punishment instead of doing so, I prefer the latter completely.

(Should I keep going in this one or make a new thread when LPEP starts?)

Kishi
08-01-2008, 11:23 AM
Now that the game is finished, I recommend anyone to go back and skim the thread again. Being stretched out over several weeks, I'd forgotten a lot of crucial stuff that didn't pay off until later, like Joker swearing vengeance against Pantsu and company, the purpose of the crystal skulls, Kashihara being the teacher who was rumored to have died in the school's clock tower, Anna being Lady Scorpio, and pretty much everything concerning Junko (who, despite being pretty important to Jun's character, seems to have an incredibly minor role).

Did we ever find out what the deal was with Tatsuzou Sudou, though?

spineshark
08-01-2008, 11:28 AM
Did we ever find out what the deal was with Tatsuzou Sudou, though?
Not yet. I was trying to be very discreet about dropping that as EP foreshadowing. I guess it worked?

Kishi
08-01-2008, 11:31 AM
Ah, I see! Very good.

Also, why did the party go to the trouble of recovering the skulls only to bring them to Xibalba anyway? Were they mentioned as ransom for Okamura or something?

spineshark
08-01-2008, 12:08 PM
I don't think the game is very clear on that bit, but I do think:

Well, first, the Shrines are just "elemental dungeon" style fillers to pad out the game by a few hours (as well as throwing in some character development, which Jun especially needs because he just came into view). Aquarius and Scorpio are kind of annoying, especially the former if you fall in a lot of holes, but Taurus and Leo are excellent.

Storywise, the party (Jun basically since he knows the Oracle best) thinks the skulls have some sort of power they can use to lower Xibalba and set basically everything right. Maybe there's some sort of other, righter explanation but since they try to get the one Hitler is holding, that indicates that they believe it has some purpose.

Unfortunately, doing so also joined all the skulls (the "5 skulls that shine in Hell" line) which was part of the prophecy. If the skulls have any actual use, aside from fucking people up by stealing their souls, that's all it is. I mean, if you look at what actually happens anything like what the party intended, the only things that really pan out are rescuing the kids at the Air Museum, and Jun (both of which are tangential to the prophecy at best). Everyone thinks they're doing the right thing though, even Philemon, so they keep going until it manages to make a great big mess in the end, since Nyarlathotep has his hands everywhere. After all, he was responsible for the visions that led to In-Laqetti, he controlled the Masquerade (initially through the Joker) and Nazis (by being Hitler), made all of the rumor stuff like the skulls, and drove Okamura crazy.

liquidben
08-01-2008, 01:15 PM
Heh, the end screen should say something like "Congratulations, you beat Persona 2: Innocent Sin. You are now insane"

I'm looking forward to EP, which lies in the Pile of Shame subpile of "Don't Own Yet". This is probably the only way I'll get to experience the game, which is why I really appreciate these Let's Play threads. Well, that and the snarking ;)

And I'd vote for keeping EP inside of this thread, since I don't think the title can be updated (I could be wrong) and there are too many separate LP threads running around.

spineshark
08-01-2008, 01:21 PM
Actually, I think it should read "Please Insert Disc 2." I tried to wedge such a joke in somewhere, but I couldn't figure out how.

ringworm
08-01-2008, 01:32 PM
And I'd vote for keeping EP inside of this thread, since I don't think the title can be updated (I could be wrong) and there are too many separate LP threads running around.
I agree. I'd like it to stay in this thread...particularly because of the thread's title. However, a link on first post to the page where you start EP might be helpful.

liquidben
08-01-2008, 03:56 PM
Good point on the linking.

spineshark
08-01-2008, 11:20 PM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_154453_0484.png
This is the title screen. It looks basically like the other one. In Japanese EP data can be transferred from Innocent Sin, but it's way too early to explain what this does.

It's been a few weeks since the encounter at the train station, and the boy is having strange, powerful dreams (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih1Zl-tZke4). He's next seen at the old shrine, where a woman asks him if he's lost something. He doesn't say anything, but she knows.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_154707_0390.png
As he leaves, he says something about "atoning" for "a sin that must not exist."

Meanwhile, instead of beating around the bush, this game gets right to the evil cults. It's been less than two minutes since the beginning of the game, and already, we get to see a bunch of men and women in suits standing at a creepy altar, for a being called "Gozen".
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_154756_0828.png

Kismet Publishing:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155152_0687.png
I'm probably going to end up saying this a hundred times, but the EP portraits are SO much better than the IS ones. Maya thanks Yukino (there are three "choices" in the beginning of this game, but two of them are between extremely similar options and only the other one changes any of the other dialogue at all), and goes over to read it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155216_0125.png
How delightfully meta. Most of the other character descriptions come from Maya's perspective, though. So let's check out that letter.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155240_0171.png
Unfortunately since Maya doesn't talk very much, we don't get to see her brush it off as just another creepy stalker letter, the kind that come in all the time. Somehow I think she would.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155343_0265.png
Mizuno is Maya's boss. She likes making people miserable, because she's a vindictive bitch. I hate her, a lot.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155351_0468.png
Maya stands up for herself though yes I took the wrong picture. It's stupid not to. Mizuno responds by threatening her job unless she goes out to cover the "Joker" story right now. She's not getting any time off until this is done either. And she's going alone too, since Yukino as a freelancer is going to work on another story.

Outside the office, Yuki tells Maya that "Serizawa" called and will meet her out front in a few minutes. A few minutes? I guess time will be stuck until Maya talks to everyone in the office.

Kishi
08-01-2008, 11:35 PM
It always bothers me when normal, talking characters turn into silent protagonists, or vice versa. I'd rather deal with a bizarrely soft-spoken NPC than inconsistency!

I can only hope "Let's positive thinking!" is at least a dialogue choice or something.


I'm probably going to end up saying this a hundred times, but the EP portraits are SO much better than the IS ones.

Feel free to keep mentioning it as examples arise; at this point, they look pretty much the same.

spineshark
08-02-2008, 12:00 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155524_0625.png
The Grand Cross, huh? Nothing bad happened? That's good, because if it had it probably would have really, really sucked.

Other people are obsessed with "Wang Long," a form of ancient Chinese Fortune Telling that's Zodiacal in nature, one dragon for each month. The rumors say it really works, so a lot of people believe in it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/yuki1.png
Maya really has no idea what she's getting herself into. Oh well. Make the best of it, I suppose.

And yes, there's already a typo, it's kind of ridiculous for something that comes up five minutes into the game to have not been found and fixed during testing, but what can you do? The localization on this game is still, it seems to me, "pretty good" for the ps1 era, with some weird engrishy stuff (mostly in demon conversations, but it's funnier that way so I like it), some good stuff and occasional flashes of brilliance.

Yuki tells Maya she'll contact a teacher she knows over at Sevens to help her out.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155830_0843.png
Ulala Serizawa is still Maya's roommate, and brings the requisite quota of "Ciao!" to EP. They were planning to go to a party, and she takes Maya's telling her that she has to work tonight as trying to get out of going. But no, she's serious. She tells Maya that she'll come with and maybe they can finish faster and still make it to the party, and to stop thinking about "Deja Vu Boy."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_155948_0953.png
Saeko ("Smith" obviously, in English Persona and EP) is being questioned by a couple of cops. They ask if Anna started acting up after being the victim of a hit-and-run. A familiar cop in pink sunglasses defends her.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160033_0281.png
Katsuya hasn't seen much of his brother, and he's worried. A lot. According to the students though, he's friends with Anna, and they hang out a lot.

Instead of going to school.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160142_0171.png
Hey hey, it's our favorite person! He's not so fucking crazy anymore.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160418_0406.png
Maya's here to interview students. Despite being unnecessary, there's plenty of interesting stuff going on. Lisa and two girls from this classroom are about to debut as the "Muses." As long as we don't have to hear any stupid pop tracks, I'm all for it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160428_0265.png
Ulala, on the other hand, just stands around and bemoans her life instead of helping. Honestly though, she's my favorite character in this game and one of my favorites from any game.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160535_0312.png
Katsuya is in Tatsuya's classroom asking if anybody's seen him. Recognizing the police uniform, the guy he's talking to wonders what he must've done this time.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160651_0765.png
A girl in this classroom received a Joker card and is now fearing for her life. Ulala thinks the premise is stupid. (She's right.) Another girl in the classroom will tell Maya freely that she did it to give her a little scare, as revenge for flirting with her boyfriend.

Well none of that explained anything. There has to be something here, it's a game!

It always bothers me when normal, talking characters turn into silent protagonists, or vice versa. I'd rather deal with a bizarrely soft-spoken NPC than inconsistency!
I used to mind this more, and it's still a little jarring, but in their defense, Maya would've seen a personality change if she still talked a lot, which would be about as weird. I'll just say for now, that her extreme optimism doesn't gel with the new party like it did in IS.
Feel free to keep mentioning it as examples arise; at this point, they look pretty much the same.
It probably stems at least somewhat from the fact that I played EP first, but in IS I always thought Katsu and Ulala's portraits looked pretty dorky. There was something just kind of...off with them (for Ulala, I'd say her facial expressions are way worse, and also her neck). I also like Yukino's a little better, though it's admittedly really close.

Kishi
08-02-2008, 12:13 AM
I can only hope "Let's positive thinking!" is at least a dialogue choice or something.

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e200/grokyou/eternalpunishment1-2-2-2.png

That'll do.

spineshark
08-02-2008, 12:28 AM
The principal is out in the courtyard grilling Anna. She says she didn't do it, and her friend Noriko stands up for her. He says he's just waiting for her and Suou to quit, and walks off like the total bastard he is.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160842_0671.png

Anna tells Maya that she can write whatever she wants, she doesn't care. Then as she walks off...
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160930_0062.png
...you stupid, stupid girl. Why would you SAY something like that? Next time, if there is a next time, keep the death threats to yourself.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_160952_0140.png
Okamura also says that Maya seems familiar. Have they met? It's hard to prove that they haven't.

Ulala wants to see if they can talk to Hannya ("Harding") and get him to stop acting like a dick. So, up to the Principal's office.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161147_0093.png
Oh...oh, shit. Ulala freaks, then Katsuya comes in the room and starts throwing questions at her, which she takes badly. Anna walks in, sees the dead guy, and runs off. Katsuya tells her to wait, and runs off down the hall. They give chase, only to be greeted by a demon dog, and a high-pitched voice.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161402_0312.png
If you look at the portrait very hard, you might even be able to figure out who the man with a bag on his head is, already. It's uhh, not Jun, obviously. He really does have a hit on Maya. Ulala's shocked. Who has it out for a magazine editor?

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161422_0875.png
Huh?

The Joker summons a demon and tells her to call on her Persona...unless she wants to BE KILL BY DEMONS of course.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161435_0890.png
Then he throws a pair of pink pistols to her feet, like the ones Eikichi gives to Maya at the beginning of Innocent Sin. What's all this about anyway?

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161443_0593.png
Katsuya is very rule-oriented. The first thing he can think of to charge a psychopathic serial murder with is illegal firearm posession?

Malefor
08-02-2008, 12:52 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_161443_0593.png
Katsuya is very rule-oriented. The first thing he can think of to charge a psychopathic serial murder with is illegal firearm posession?

To be fair, police officers tend to charge people with crimes that they can prove immediately, rather than ones that would be more troublesome - see Eliot Ness and the Untouchables nabbing Al Capone for tax evasion. Realistic or not, though, Katsuya does seem to have a screw or two loose. I mean, he's given the Joker a suspect number.

Also, I just wanted to say that these LPs are awesome and that I'm glad that you kept them in one thread. I've really been enjoying the look at games in the Persona series which I will very probably never have the time or energy to play.

I love how you're using track names from the Valkyrie Profile Soundtrack as post titles.

Eirikr
08-02-2008, 01:10 AM
Other people are obsessed with "Wang Long"

*3rd grade chuckle*

jovewolf
08-02-2008, 01:36 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/yuki1.png


I'm... not so sure that's a typo. Isn't "Yukki" explained to be Yukino's nickname in the English version? (Though it doesn't make much sense since it should be pronounced exactly the same way as her English name I think...)

spineshark
08-02-2008, 01:41 AM
The Joker's Guzman demon attacks each of them in turn, causing their Personas to summon themselves.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/starterpersonas.png
Katsuya's Persona Justice Helios (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/16.jpg) is a funny cat-like thing. He casts Agi on Guzman (who resists fire, incidentally, though this isn't a "battle," it just has the animations). The arcana is uhh, a pretty obvious match for a police officer.

Ulala's Persona Star Callisto (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/08.jpg) is...rather kinky looking. It's definitely the first one that made me think how strange and badass the Persona designs in P2 are, when compared to the ones in 3. Not that I don't like those either, especially Caesar and Juno, but the sheer oddity of these beats out the consistency of the others.

Maya's Persona is still Maia. Maia is a damn good one, too. She casts Hama, and it dies. So the Joker knocks them out with Megido.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_162248_0484.png
The trio wake up in a place they don't recognize, but I really shouldn't have to explain this.

Philemon appears...sort of. He's a lot more phantasmal than when we last saw him and it seems he's having a lot more trouble speaking. Nonetheless, he explains that he brought them here. Their Personas are, again, just another face, another self, god or devil.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_162409_0609.png
Then he becomes less coherent. Only Maya and her companions can save...something...and some other thing about "tears of blood." Rumors will become real, and he fades as he tries to say something about "...Lights...within hearts...of people."

When they wake up, Ulala asks Maya if she's okay, and then starts talking about the dream.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_163526_0906.png
Katsuya is the skeptic, but he decides to go along with it, because he has no other explanation. He picks up the pistols and offers them to the ladies for "self defense" (there's no problem with that!), but Ulala (like Yukino) declines because she already knows how to fight. Maya takes them both; it's just like old times!

The first battle is against one Tower Slime demon, who asks if you've ever talked to a demon before, and if you want an explanation of the contract system. I don't need this, and I'm not interested in pasting every piece of text in the game, but I'll be doing contracting in this game unlike IS, so we can finally get into that.

We're looking for the Joker in the Clock Tower, but it's locked. I bet the Janitor has a key.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_163743_0296.png
Actually, he lost his. The nurse, who is also in the room, has a suggestion though. Also: Ulala finds out something she didn't want to know-the Janitor likes to make out with his posters (which can be seen in IS too =X )

Battles at Sevens are still really easy. Eternal Punishment has a "Simple Battle Mode" setting which doesn't draw all the personas and demon attacks. The animations are generally pretty tolerable (faster than IS' by default, even), and it's disabled in boss battles, but I usually turn it on anyway.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_163900_0031.png
Maya's stats will probably all be focused on AGI, TEC, and VIT. She's not really cut out for physical attacks, and they tend to be much worse in this game than they were in IS anyway. LUC is probably okay, but the fact that you can customize a primary spellcaster/healer character to avoid mediocre level-ups and have 900 SP and tons of AGI by the end of the game is way, way too sweet to pass up. VIT just needs to be enough to survive a couple of really sucky moves.

Ulala is basically Lisa again. Callisto starts with the same element as Eros did (Earth) and she punches enemies. (Physical is three separate types in Persona 2, and the punch-type is the one enemies tend to resist the least, even working on stuff like Longinus Mechs, but still worse than spells. They're also almost never weak to it specifically, though, unlike Sword and Shot) Ulala will gain mostly AGI, but gets a nice complement of STR, TEC, and VIT throughout the game. Thanks mostly to the AGI and the fact that she still dies less, I'd say she's the second most useful. Her LUC is terrible, though. And I don't just mean the stat.

Katsuya gains the most STR and will have the worst SP by the end of the game. His primary Arcana is also worse than other people's and Helios will be the first Persona I replace. He plays a lot like Eikichi, but since Eikichi was great due to IS' balance EP kind of hoses Katsuya.

Maya just wants 8 Lovers Tarot cards. Of course, since the Joker's probably in the clock tower it wouldn't hurt to be not level one either. Still, this grind kind of sucks because Pixie is practically the rarest encounter here. The other ones include Ratatosk (Squirrel-girl!), Guzman, Poltergeist, Nightmare, and Will o'Wisp.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_163946_0203.png
In the teacher's lounge, Ulala and Katsuya have more to say about what they've just seen. Katsuya thinks it's weird that his other "self" is a cat. One of the teachers has the spare key we're looking for. Kashihara wonders for a second if the Last Battalion killed Hannya, then regains his sanity and decides it's ridiculous.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/personas1.png
These are the Analysis screens, which show all the known spells the Personas will learn (but not their secrets, until they've been found). Patra cures some statuses, Agi and Maha Agi are fire spells of course, while Single Shot and Scratch are lousy physicals.

Callisto gets Magna (l1 Earth) and Magnus (l2 Earth), as well as Poisma and Marin Karin (both of which suck). Zan is NOT Nocturne and the other games' "Force" damage (which is Garu/wind) but a single-target Almighty-type spell. It's not very good either.

Hama is Light/instant death, Multi Dimension is instant death of seemingly no kind in particular, Aqua is Water, and Dia and Media heal, of course. Maia learns Diarama through fusions, which is ridiculous and would make her worth carrying around for a long time since no other Persona offers such great healing for so little SP (without using cards)...but there might be a catch.

The contacts have been pared down to one move per character. Maya interviews ("Do you have anything to say to your fans?"), Ulala tells fortunes (works well on "Foolish" demons), and Katsuya Interrogates (best on demons from Justice and Magician arcana). The latter are two of the most frequently useful in the entire game. Here's a third. Katsuya+Ulala (which is not the same as Ulala+Katsuya, annoyingly) have the "Investigation (Scam)" contact, in which Katsuya investigates the demon for bilking Ulala. It makes NO SENSE AT ALL but a truly staggering array of demons go for it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_165834_0546.png

There'll be lots of chances to show off the completely insane dialogue, so I'll probably put up a few per dungeon.

"Why is Pixie a demon?"
-Your parents were.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_165209_0671.png

Finally, we're ready to check out the clock tower.

Kishi
08-02-2008, 01:46 AM
Oh, man. Helios and Callisto are the best Persona designs yet. (Angel Joker (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/23.jpg) is still my favorite design in general, though.)


I'm... not so sure that's a typo. Isn't "Yukki" explained to be Yukino's nickname in the English version? (Though it doesn't make much sense since it should be pronounced exactly the same way as her English name I think...)

Yukki is her nickname in the Japanese version, too. The typo is "t's" instead of "it's."

(Although it should say "Don't give in to her" instead of "Don't give into her," too.)

spineshark
08-02-2008, 02:08 AM
Hey, look up there!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_165922_0875.png
The Joker talks to his "Lady"...a title she doesn't recognize. She has no idea who he is, and she never even called the Joker. (which, like in IS, involves dialing your own number. The USA's backward cell phone technology means that when I do this, I still just get my phone messages though. Darn.)

He tells her to try and "remember."
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_165929_0734.png
When he's interrupted, he summons a few demons, hoping they'll finish off Maya and the others. Or maybe hoping they'll survive. It's hard to tell, because he is kind of crazy.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170012_0875.png
The demons are 1x Empusas and 2x Apep. Empusas is weak to Earth and can be one-shotted by this fusion to start the battle. In IS, you have to select the right moves and rearrange turns every time you want to make a fusion. In EP you can go to the fusion menu (which is *there* in the prior game, but doesn't include this feature) and choose "Set" to automatically set it up. The game is pretty smart about this, too, and will avoid disrupting the other members' turns too much.

Empusas will cast Dia to heal injured allies if you don't kill her right away, but after that the battle just involves being not completely stupid and finishing off the Apeps with spells.

Since they win, the Joker casts Dormina on them and they all fall asleep. While the screen blacks out, he's surprised by someone else who enters.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170536_0281.png
The clash of swords plays out for a few moments, but the Joker escapes. The Deja Vu boy wakes them up and tells them he got away.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170602_0796.png
He then gives Maya an SSHS emblem and tells her to go to Kuzunoha to spread a rumor that the emblem will protect people from the Joker. Furthermore, he tells Maya that she absolutely has to not get more involved in any of this. If she goes back to her normal life, carrying the emblem and staying safe, everything will be fine...

Why the SSHS emblem? Because in Innocent Sin, the emblem was cursed and disfigured people's faces. He's trying to make it the opposite...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170637_0859.png
Before they can leave the school, Katsuya runs into his superiors. He gives them the lowdown, but he's chewed out for letting suspect #501 (a distinction which I believe comes from the Captain and not from himself) escape. He's informed that he's off the case, and Shimazu tells him to just go home and stay out of it.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170719_0671.png
Then he says this. Oh yes. This begins the great mystery of the father of the Suou clan. What's the connection between this and Katsuya's dad? We shall see...

Katsuya swears to Maya and Ulala that he'll arrest the joker, and he's coming with them. Ulala calls him a "rock-head with sideburns," which irks him, but agrees to go along with him. On the way out, there are only a couple more people to see. Saeko's upset that she managed to go work at another school where something ridiculous and evil like this happened (this being a P1 reference, not IS). She's talking to Noriko.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170805_0093.png
Hey, at least we all agree.

Next time: Something served cold!

spineshark
08-02-2008, 02:15 AM
I love how you're using track names from the Valkyrie Profile Soundtrack as post titles.
Hey, somebody reads these! I like coughing up little phrases from other sources that I can vaguely relate to what happens in the post, and VP's soundtrack is oddly great for this. There's a lot of other musical titles as well, but I just like writing in this stuff because it makes me laugh.
*3rd grade chuckle*
Fortune Telling will be a big thing, so there'll be plenty of chances to make "Tiny Weiner" jokes
Oh, man. Helios and Callisto are the best Persona designs yet. (Angel Joker (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/23.jpg) is still my favorite design in general, though.)

Yukki is her nickname in the Japanese version, too. The typo is "t's" instead of "it's."

(Although it should say "Don't give in to her" instead of "Don't give into her," too.)
Right on all counts.

jovewolf
08-02-2008, 03:24 AM
Ah I see - I just wasn't paying enough attention. Good eyes guys.

Before I knew Yukino's full name I always just thought her nickname was somewhat redundant so that's probably why that jumped out at me.

Also I don't think I've said it yet, but you're doing a great job on both of these spineshark. I've always liked Eternal Punishment, but never got a chance to play Innocent Sin so it was good to see what all went down there. Your EP looks like it'll go strong too.

mr_bungle700
08-02-2008, 06:00 AM
I also want to chime in and say that this thread has been very interesting. I haven't had any comments to make along the way, but I am here...watching.

kaisel
08-02-2008, 08:48 AM
I'm also chiming in to say that this is a great Let's Play, it's good to finally see what IS is all about. The EP one looks great, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to bow out of this one now, since I own EP and want to re-start it after I beat Persona 1.

poetfox
08-02-2008, 11:19 AM
This really makes me want to join in and try Persona 2, but I probably shouldn't... just, you know... started Digital Devil Saga, and splitting my attention between two RPGs like that is a bad move.

Still, things continue to be awesome. I'll throw out additional thanks for keeping it going. Also, I can read the text! It's amazing! Heh.

Pajaro Pete
08-02-2008, 04:03 PM
I wish the physical manifestation of my alternate personality was a rapist kittycat that dressed all fancy.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 12:02 AM
Sumaru looks mostly the same on this side, but there are definitely some changes.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/maps1.png
Primarily, a lot of shops have moved (their signs have all be translated, although the cool katakana logo for サトミタダシ still appears on the walls inside). Also, the Fire Station in Aoba is not marked on the map and Maya can't even attempt to enter it, while Honmaru Park in Rengedai is currently closed as well.

Gatten Sushi is now in Rengedai, and rumormonger Toro has moved with it. Talking to Kankichi will reveal that he moved the restaurant after talking to a fortune-teller. Kaori is still there, as well as a Satomi Tadashi and Velvet Room, obviously. Time Castle is there, but currently "closed" for business. The Count will tell Maya instead to "go play with your rumors." I guess he's on to something.

Kuzunoha has also moved from Hirasaka. It's in Aoba now, next to the 2xSlash (W-Slash), Parabellum (a "new" bar), Rosa Candida, and Etheria.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_141832_0312.png
At Kuzunoha, Tamaki and Todoroki agree to take the case, because although they've never spread rumors before on the job, someone asked if they knew anything about the propagation of the Joker rumor. Ulala realizes this must have been the Deja Vu Boy.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_142045_0109.png
Tamaki then tells them to contact "Baofu," the owner and operator of a popular rumor webpage, as well as a friend of Todoroki, to find out if he knows anything about the Joker. Maya joins a chat, with the handle "Rabbit" (hahaha) and vaguely indicates the details of their encounter. She then apparently tells him that he wouldn't believe how they survived, but he asks to meet them and claims that he'll know when he meets them.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_142310_0578.png
At // Maya gets on the red iMac and continues the conversation. A strange man in a gold suit gets over and greets them, identifying himself as Baofu (Mandarin: "Revenge"), though noting that they haven't really learned how to harness their powers yet.

Everyone heads down the street to Parabellum to have a drink and go over what everyone knows. Maya, Katsuya, and Ulala explain first, then Baofu starts.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_142422_0843.png
He goes on to say that he believes the Joker is connected to Tatsuzou Sudou. The big rumor in the police force and the underground is that Sudou's son Tatsuya was responsible for a series of arson and murder cases, ten years ago...Katsuya seems surprised. Baofu says he knows where the younger Sudou, uhh, "lives," and they're going to go check it out right now.

Then he remembers how ridiculous the whole "rumors become reality thing" is and decides to call the Chief to spread a rumor that the bar here sells weapons. Sure enough, some time later, the waiter arrives with a surprising new menu.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_142622_0828.png
That's good news...kinda. Unfortunately, it means that Maya can't exactly have a run-in with the Joker as long as she's carrying it. And what's more important, her job, or the warnings of a weird teenaged boy?

So Maya cheerfully picks up Baofu's lighter and torches it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svBhDehTiNE). As they prepare to head for the unknown, Baofu remembers something. He leads the others to a place that will be of great assistance during their quests.

The Velvet Room works exactly the same as it does in IS. It does however have some of the coolest dialogue in the game.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/velvetroom2.png
Who is Belladonna singing about? I'm not sure myself, since it could apply to three characters I can think of...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/velvetroom1.png
Also, this is the one and only chance to see these dialogues, in which the other party members talk about their first thoughts on Personas. Katsuya says he remembers meeting Philmeon before, now that he thinks about it. Ulala and Maya go a ways back with this too, and Baofu...doesn't trust his Persona. He's aware of its power, and has been for a while, but he's the kind of man who only relies on himself.

His Persona is, incidentally, the Hanged Man Odysseus (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/23.jpg), since he doesn't get an introduction like the others.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_142809_0781.png
Those Lovers cards are for Pixie, which is not really all that surprising if you remember the beginning of IS. Pixie is even better in this one, sort of, learning the Megido spell, and reaching even higher values of LUC by default (she'll cap at rank 8, even with no fusion or card-based stat buffs). Megido is not only one of the first all-targeting spells that can be gotten in EP, but it deals Almighty damage so as long as Pixie is useful there's no worries about anything blocking it. Pixie will go on Katsuya because Helios is bad.

Finally, Maya decides to visit a bunch of shops and see if there's anything interesting people have to talk about.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/towntalk1.png
At Etheria, she finds out that even the highly gullible Ulala doesn't buy into their mystic mumbo-jumbo. That must really be hokey.

In Rosa Candida, Katsuya and Baofu talk a bit about Sumaru's history, specifically the claim that ancient ruins were found while digging a subway tunnel.

At the // there's a Wang Long expert. She'll ask what month Maya was born in, and despite there being a fan book or something with the actual date (July 4, 1976, supposedly (!!!)) this opens up a text prompt where you can type in...things. Basically you won't get a response if what you type in is not the name of a month and she'll ask you to do it again. With at least one EXTREMELY AWESOME exception. When you give the name of a month, she'll tell you about your Wang Long horoscope and how you'll be blessed by good fortune and perhaps some enlargements. Yes, there is actually kind of a point to these fortunes.

Finally, Baofu's in the party now, so who's Aoba's rumormonger? Anonymous. They post current rumor information for the epic lulz, and you can read it on (what used to be) Baofu's message board. The other rumor right now comes from Chunky at Gatten, who says Time Castle sells Spell Cards. How unuseful, we don't have the money for them.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 02:43 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_143821_0796.png
Sudou is up in the Sanitarium on Mt. Mifune. This has confused me ever since I played Innocent Sin, because it *seems* like it's supposed to be the same as Katatsumuri in that game, but the sub-area map is completely different. I could easily buy that the Kanji were just translated differently or just crunched down because "Katatsumuri" is a lot of letters and would require refitting the text boxes. But then on the soundtrack mine says "Mt. Katatsumuri - Mifune Trail" so I have no idea. Anyway!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_02082008_143905_0343.png
The front is blocked by police so Maya has to go the back way. The Mifune Trail looks like the one that PANTS used to get up to Caracol in IS, except having explored the whole thing I know that Mifune is almost completely linear. There are some boxes hidden in the woods, including Spell Cards and stuff. Maya decides to start making contracts like crazy.

Making a contract only requires two things:
Maya (or maybe any party member, but she'll be the highest for most of the game) needs to be equal or higher level to the demon
The demon needs to be "Happy" (Green) three times in the same contact.

If these two conditions are met, the demon will offer to make a contract. If the level is insufficient, then the demon will run off, maybe leaving money.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/contactpuck.png
Getting Puck's attention takes the Maya + Ulala contact, where they'll have a beauty contest. He's level 6, which Maya just so happens to be, so he'll agree. Next time Maya meets him, he has a circle under him to indicate the contract.

Contracted demons will act a little differently than uncontracted ones. It's very important to figure out how to work with them *before* contracting, because if you anger a demon too much then they'll break the contract and you'll be back at square one. Making a contracted demon happy again will get them to offer a favor. You can solicit for money, an item, or information. Money is somewhat worthless, since if you really want that you can just kill stuff. (Yes, you'll get more from contracted demons, but still) Items also tend to be bad early game, either weak spell cards, or stuff Maya can buy. However, most demons don't just run around with rumors on their sleeves so that's not always a good bet either. If they don't have anything to give you though, then they'll at least fork over some cash before taking off.

Also, if you *have* a demon rumor, then a fourth option will come up, to have the demon spread it amongst the other demons. Or at least that's how I remember it working, I didn't run into many demon rumors on my first play.

On the other hand, if you make a demon interested (Yellow), the contact that would normally get them to cough up Tarot cards, they'll give you not only their standard Tarot cards but Free Tarot cards. Since Arcana like Priestess, Empress, and Hierophant don't have any demons, getting Free Cards and having Kaneko paint them in the Velvet Room is one of the only ways to summon those Personas. As it happens, Maya is contracting specifically *for* "Free" cards.

Like Pixie, Puck enjoys being questioned about ripping off Ulala. He gets excited at the thought of having done something bad, then says he did something else too!
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_04082008_011842_0718.png
I think you can guess what I had Katsuya say next.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_04082008_011849_0984.png

About 2/3 of the way up the hill, there's a screen with a river running across it. The demons get a little higher level at this point, which means more contracts are in store, to try and get a few more cards faster. Maya, Ulala, and Katsuya convert the Chariot Ogre demons together, then Maya interviews them for cards.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/contactogre.png
(Gah, I keep taking pictures of text boxes *before* I choose. I obviously picked the last one.

For some reason, most demons are offended at the thought that Maya would not like her brain torn out and eaten)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_04082008_015221_0718.png
Hidden deep in the trees is a small shrine, with a sign dedicated to a "Junnosuke Kuroda," later known as Master Fuyou. He served under another man, named "Tatsunoshin Suou."

Weird.

The shrine takes 100 Yen coins. Maya thinks it's probably a waste of money (and worse, time), but isn't *completely* sure (only about 99%) and doesn't think she'll be back here, so she decides to keep throwing them in until it seems to be full.

The shrine is pretty close to the Rear Entrance of the Sanitarium. Maya and the others hop inside to see
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_04082008_015709_0546.png
Baofu recognizes the guys as being part of the Tien Tao Lien, the Taiwanese mafia. Since he's supposedly from Taiwan himself, Katsuya asks if they're his "buddies," to agitate him. This kind of pisses Baofu off.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_04082008_015744_0406.png

Next time: "Tell that to my f###in' dad!"

spineshark
08-04-2008, 02:52 AM
Also, I can read the text! It's amazing! Heh.
I'm just as relieved about this as anyone else. I can play off the text boxes better when they completely speak for themselves, and point out the most important lines more easily without drawing excessive attention to them, breaking up the flow too much, or anything like that.

Plus, it makes the game way easier to play, the contacts more fun and entertaining to post, and a bunch of other stuff. It's just great all-around.

On the other hand, I apologize for being inconsistent as hell with all the names. Spell names, characters who have different names in the English version than Japanese...it's like I pick randomly from post to post.

Kishi
08-04-2008, 05:42 AM
Since they win, the Joker casts Dormina on them and they all fall asleep. While the screen blacks out, he's surprised by someone else who enters.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170536_0281.png
The clash of swords plays out for a few moments, but the Joker escapes. The Deja Vu boy wakes them up and tells them he got away.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_01082008_170602_0796.png
He then gives Maya an SSHS emblem and tells her to go to Kuzunoha to spread a rumor that the emblem will protect people from the Joker. Furthermore, he tells Maya that she absolutely has to not get more involved in any of this. If she goes back to her normal life, carrying the emblem and staying safe, everything will be fine...

Why the SSHS emblem? Because in Innocent Sin, the emblem was cursed and disfigured people's faces. He's trying to make it the opposite...

Man, PANTS is some kind of badass this time around, huh? I could get used to this.


http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/velvetroom1.png

Is there anything special to know about "playing Persona"? I assume it's something that was explained in the original game.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 09:23 AM
Is there anything special to know about "playing Persona"? I assume it's something that was explained in the original game.
Not especially. You walk around in circles for a minute, then right when you're about to ask yourself what the point is and why the hell you're doing this, you get knocked out and meet Philemon. Then you don't remember it very well unless you're already teenaged for some reason.

You can watch the first scene of Persona 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99JDojFga-sl) to see if that says anything I haven't though. (Aside from, "Shut up! This is for all you can eat!") I don't think it will explain much...if Earthbound is the "quirkiest" RPG there is, then Persona 1 is the Just Plain Fucking Weirdest. (If I beat it before the end of this LP I'll probably make a post like the one Turnip did for Devil Summoner, albeit stupider. It will be called "Fuse me with a cute girl! Let's *not* play Revelations: Persona")

Pajaro Pete
08-04-2008, 04:04 PM
I doubt that Baofu's coins can put a hole in anyone's faces.

spineshark
08-05-2008, 11:47 AM
I actually really hate this choice, since not only does it do nothing (as usual) but both of the options are really wussy. No "shut up and let's get going" or anything. Baofu says the dead guys were sent as hitmen by Tatsuzou, and when Katsuya doesn't understand why he'd do such a thing, Baofu says that's what they want to find out.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_100355_0546.png
In the Velvet Room, Maya talks to Kaneko. She asks him to paint 45 of the (46) "Free" cards she has into Empress Tarot. She then talks to Igor to summon the Arianrhod Persona, only to realize that nobody is high enough level to make this Persona. Arianrhod is level 15, but somebody has to be within five of that. Baofu joined at level 8, which was the highest at the time, but now he's only level 9. After fighting a couple battles, she returns.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_100945_0953.png
The spell in blue is one learned through Spell Cards. Each persona you summon normally (i.e. not through Philemon's "giving you free stuff" in IS, or Mutations) can be taught *one* spell through cards. There are restrictions, of course. At the very least, you can't give Personas spells which are totally opposite from them. Jack Frost can't be taught Agi spells, for example. Other than that, I think there aren't really limits and you could give Pixie Megidolaon. But I haven't tried! (The Annihilation Card is expensive and I registered the first one I got)

Arianrhod starts with Zan, which sucks, and will learn Straight Slash (bad), Hama (not especially good), Dia (too expensive on this Persona), Wall of Air (probably not useful enough), and Zionga (sweet!). Lightning magic is harder to get than Almighty in Persona 2 which is kind of wrong, except most Almighty magic sucks. (On the other hand, there aren't any Maha ZioWhatever spells either, although the All-Hit lightning stuff is alright). Arianrhod is strong against Physical and weak to Magic. This is a little bad, since Magic is more likely to be all-targeted, but whoever's wearing her will generally be okay. For now, it's Ulala, so that she can form Ominous Waterfall with Maya while Pixie and Odysseus use Ryuhi Tensho (any Wind + any Wind)

"I am the silver wheel, Arianrhod...The one who destroys evil with the rainbow...I'll be etched with you on the scribes of fate!"

Moving on.

There are still Ogres in this place, so Maya takes her last chance to squeeze a little more out of the contract. The Ogre asks Maya what the square box that humans look at at home is.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_101510_0687.png
"Television" usually frightens demons in EP, occasionally angering them. (In IS, it makes them Angry and sometimes Interested) Frightening demons is hugely ineffective since you can get them to go away by making them happy, too, or just end the battle with interest. Worse, there's almost no contact that's any good for it until after the factory dungeon. I don't know why I didn't take my chances with something better.

In room 206 a nurse tells everyone that the patient in room 303...Sudou, that is, summoned a bunch of demons who went and killed a lot of people. As the party passes by 303, Katsu leads everyone inside. Katsuya is drawn to the wall, which features pictures of the Joker's targets. Maya looks at something scrawled on the walls...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_103059_0703.png

Baofu reads it. (I didn't remember this was in EP until after I got past this part in LPIS, which sucks, because I would've used it instead of the other translation) Interestingly, it doesn't have the last line about "time winding backwards" this time. Katsuya and Ulala guess it's some kind of prophecy, referring to things that...already didn't happen.

Maya collapses and Ulala asks if her chest is hurting again. She tells Katsuya that she got a weird bruise after meeting Deja Vu Boy.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_103248_0687.png
There are copies of it written literally all over the walls and floor. There's also a strange drawing of an eye, and a butterfly...

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_103516_0421.png
The encounters are all easy in the Sanitarium, they don't even have the kamikaze move that the Zombies on Mifune did. However, this one really sucks. Robin Goodfellow's Maha Magnus will rip up Ulala and Katsuya (because Pixie is weak to Earth) while the two Erinys screw everyone else up with status effects. Maya is practically invincible to all this, and she already has Diarama if they use physical attacks, but she still decides it's not worth bothering.

There's a couple of good treasures here as well, a Mithril Silver (which will be useful much later) and an AGI Incense (I don't know who gets this yet). On 4F, Ulala and Katsuya gain a level right in front of the Director's Office, restoring their HP and SP. Excellent!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_104252_0109.png
Sudou's got a pretty big monologue here, where he confesses to the murders 10 years ago ("The voices won't let me off with just arson.") He's lashing out at his dad and preparing to bust out of the Sanitarium for good. Katsuya asks how he gained so much power locked in a little room for ten years.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_104325_0796.png

Sudou's phone rings, he says there are people outside calling him. Baofu looks through the window and seems to recognize them, so he excuses himself. Jerk. Sudou tells the men outside to relay a message to his father: "I'm coming for you!" He then explains that he's trying to restore the "Other Side," because "This Side" is all wrong.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_104454_0812.png
He thinks Maya is just pretending not to understand, then he unleashes his Hellhound on the party, telling them to come to the Sky Museum in Konan if they survive. I wish this LP could include music better, but I *really* wish it featured voices, because Sudou's screeching is hilarious. As are classy battle cries like "Don't underestimate me, you *bleep*in' bastards!!!" (Ulala) and "It's whoop-ass time!" (Maya, of course)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_104545_0359.png
I had a lot of trouble with the Hellhound the first time I played because Baofu isn't in the party for this fight and I had run away from a ton of enemies. This time I just had to have Katsuya heal the person with the lowest health every time while Maya and Ulala spammed Ominous Waterfall (Any Water + Any Water). Arianrhod costs 10 SP for Ulala to summon, which is why she needed the refill before entering the room, but the boss runs out of HP long before she can't summon anymore. Outside, Ulala yells at Baofu and Katsuya tries to call his superiors until Baofu convinces him not to bother.

spineshark
08-05-2008, 11:59 AM
Konan is open on the map now, since that's Maya's next destination.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105040_0484.png
At her apartment, Ulala tells her that she's been practicing Flamenco dancing. Katsuya asks if there's been a break-in, but this is all just because Maya is a messy woman. Ulala will tell Maya not to go back into her room if she tries to open the door. I'm sure it's funnier to imagine what she might have back there anyway.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105147_0328.png
At the police station, Maya will hear how popular Katsuya is with all the female officers, but also that he sacrifices a lot for his family, especially his younger brother. (He actually wanted to be a professional chef, or at least I remember that being what turns up later.)

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105430_0843.png
The Sumaru Genie's fortunes are now wildly inaccurate, and it's been widely suggested that she switch to using Wang Long for better clairvoyance.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105337_0343.png
The pirate is now the Konan Rumormonger, as well as selling drinks. I'll finally actually bring up the food system in a couple updates, because usually it's almost pointless.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105520_0843.png
Mary still works at Hiragi Therapy, continuing to traumatize, err...help people. She recognizes Maya as a Persona user (and Katsuya can tell she is, as well) and asks if she knows Yukino.

Maya doesn't want to shop at Satomi Tadashi, but she does chat people up because that's what she always does.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105630_0437.png
His son also happens to be on a field trip to the Museum today. Oh, no...you can't be serious, man!

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_05082008_105641_0765.png
Actually, if what Ulala was babbling about was important at all, I'm sure she'd just be able to say it.

Next time: Flowers for PANTS

Pajaro Pete
08-05-2008, 07:45 PM
The scene with Sudou reminds me that Katsuya is one of the only characters with decent voice acting in this game.

spineshark
08-07-2008, 07:55 AM
Inside the Air Museum, Katsuya freaks out about all the kids. He starts to plan evacuating them, when suddenly somebody else catches Maya's eye.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_06082008_015449_0125.png
They recognize one another, and realize they met at the train station. Their encounter is cut short when the Joker calls out on the announcement system.

The Air Museum works pretty much the same way it did in IS. There's one fewer group of kids to rescue on 4F, and the time limit has been cut back to 30 minutes (which is still not at all stringent) but it's the same quick little dungeon it was before.

On 2F, in the room overhanging the lobby, Maya is strangely drawn to the balcony overlooking the plane. She looks down and doesn't see anything, though, so she asks Ulala if she heard a young girl's voice. She has no idea what Maya's talking about.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/kimnaracontact.png
Today's fun contact is with Star Kimnara. This is probably my second favorite demon question (after "Why Humans hair on head only?"). Answering "Humans" to this question usually doesn't work so well.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_053917_0015.png
On the roof, Sudou is holding Jun, trying to make him remember that he was the Joker on the "Other Side." He's also trying to make Maya remember. He counts down and PANTS tells everyone to jump out of the way as a bomb explodes under their feet.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_054035_0312.png
As Maya tries to help him up, the Joker moves to kill her, but Jun pushes him into the hole. They pull PANTS up and everyone gets onto the blimp with the kids. The same FMV from IS plays as the blimp takes off, with a tiny bit added near the end showing everyone inside of it. It's a bit silly looking really.

Katsuya asks his brother how he learned to fly the blimp, to which he only says "I saw it once."
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_054345_0750.png
After weighing his regard for Maya's safety against her demonstrably poor vehicular operation skills, he tells Jun to manage the blimp. He heads out back, telling everyone to stay where they are, but everyone heads out to see what's going on.

Out back are Sudou and PANTS. One of the Tatsuyas just lost half his face in a fire for the second time and he's not happy. He laments what seems to be his "destiny," but PANTS says there's no such thing as destiny-the future can always be changed.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_054431_0140.png
The Joker starts howling about voices again and prepares to attack. PANTS tells everyone to stand back. Yeah right, a teenaged boy against a super-powered serial killer? The Joker also summons two Shax demons and two Minotaurs.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_054540_0281.png
Oh.

PANTS is pretty much invincible in this battle, but Apollo starts at rank 1. Fortunately the Shax are weak to fire anyway, so he fries the two of them with Agidyne and then starts punching the Joker over and over. Maya heals with Media while the other three perform Cyclone Slash (Any Wind/Any Water/Maha Garu (or its superior versions)). It hits all enemies and the Minotaur demons take a lot of damage from it, so they're quickly cleaned up.

The Joker's persona is just this weird...Joker thing (http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/10.jpg). He casts Agilao a lot, but after the demons are gone he starts using Old Maid as well. This is very annoying.

Old Maid chooses a random party member and will cause them to cast "Joker" instead of whatever their next action is supposed to be. Joker does substantial damage to the rest of the party. This can be avoided by having the character in question use Defend instead of their normal actions, but since you can't tell who it is, there's no way to be sure unless everyone is defending. Anyway it's not like he really hits that hard, so everyone just keeps going until it blows up, except PANTS because if he used it everyone else would die.

As he dies, Sudou triumphantly shrieks that the Joker rumors won't die. Then the blimp starts to crash. PANTS starts kicking everyone off.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_055332_0468.png
PANTS disappointedly notes that he has nothing to give back, then he sends Jun off. Finally he tries to tell Maya once again to stay out of trouble...

On the beach, Katsuya wonders where his brother went, but Baofu says he's just trying to avoid everyone and that he knows what he's doing at least as well as anybody else.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_055528_0640.png
Ulala's relieved that the Joker is dead and convinces herself that all this trouble is over, even though Baofu says they still have no idea what's happening. Katsuya tries to call his superiors but Baofu again tells him that they're not going to do anything useful about it. They get in another little spat and Suou heads back to the station to communicate with his superiors.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_07082008_055612_0359.png
He asks Maya if she's quitting too, before heading back to his lair. She shakes her head "no."

Next Time: It's amazing what you'll find, face to face!

liquidben
08-07-2008, 12:13 PM
Does anyone else have trouble keeping EP and IS straight? Maybe it's just because I suck at names.

Kishi
08-07-2008, 05:23 PM
Here's a character primer for Innocent Sin, written to the best of my ability based on this thread (and a little bit of Wikipedia to fill in the cracks). Our resident Megaten freaks can correct me on anything I left out or got wrong.


The Righteous

Tatsuya Suou: PANTS

Eikichi Mishima: Michelle, the hard-rockin', Engrish-spoutin' punk bitch with a heart of gold. He reigns as the "Captain" of some tough-guy youth group at Seven Sisters High School, right up until it becomes infinitely more awesome (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=194243#post194243) to quit.

Lisa Silverman: Ginko, the Japanese girl of American descent who occasionally cries out in Cantonese. She has low tolerance for Eikichi's antics, but she's crazy for PANTS.

Maya Amano: A positive-thinking youth journalist, a bit older than the rest of the group.

Yukino Mayuzumi: Maya's trusty photographer, and a returning face from Persona 1.

Jun Kurosu: The Joker, who did Nyarlathotep's dirty work out of a desire for vengeance based on false memories of PANTS and company trying to kill Maya when they were children. Once the gang beats some sense into him, he joins their cause in order to redeem himself.



The Opposition

Kashihara: Jun's pops, a conspiracy theorist and teacher at Seven Sisters who was rumored to have been crushed to death after falling into the gears of the school's clock tower. Nyarlathotep impersonates him while attempting to make his batshit "prophecy" come true, as well as in order to better manipulate Jun. No first name given.

Maya Okamura: Another paranoid conspiracy freak at Seven Sisters, she's obsessed with the "Oracle" she helped Kashihara write. You'd wonder how she gets through teaching a class without once rambling about Hitler or the enormous Mayan spaceship hidden under the city.

Tatsuzou Sudou: The third part of the Kashihara-Okamura-Sudou trifecta of crazy, although we never really hear much about him. I'm told Eternal Punishment will fix that, though. Maybe.

Tatsuya Sudou: Tatsuzou's son, and a one-time serial arsonist. When PANTS and company locked Maya in a shrine as children (so she wouldn't have to move away -- kid logic), he was the one who happened onto the scene and set it ablaze. His face was disfigured when PANTS unconsciously summoned Vulcanus, his original Persona, in order to save Maya's life. To get his revenge after so many years, he became King Leo, the leader of the Joker's personal henchgroup, the Masquerade.

Ginji Sasaki: A slimy record producer who put himself in the Joker's service in hopes of becoming successful in the biz. His fancy-pants Masquerade name is Prince Taurus.

Anna Yoshizaka: A former track star who lost the ability to compete after being injured in a hit-and-run. Either out of hope of regaining her legwork or simply because she no longer gave a fuck, she joined the Joker's troupe as Lady Scorpio. Yukino saves her life once the Nazis show up and start wiping out the Masquerade.

Junko Kurosu: Jun's neglectful mother, who put her acting career before he family even after Kashihara died. She ends up becoming Queen Aquarius, and once the Masquerade starts going to hell, she realizes who the Joker is and unexpectedly sacrifices herself to save her son's life.

Akari Hoshi: A thirteen-year-old cosplay freak who gives the party trouble while dressed as the reincarnated Mayan warrior maiden "Ixquic." Fortunately, she turns out to be a lightweight under pressure (if not a right idiot), and she quickly reforms herself.

Adolf Hitler: Part of Kashihara's Oracle spiel concerned Hitler gaining occult powers and surviving World War Two with the help of the "Last Battalion." Once the Oracle went public, those rumors became truth, because that's just how it goes in this game.



And the Rest

Philemon: A supernatural being who occupies the space between the conscious and unconscious, or something. He has a bet going with Nyarlathotep as to whether the human race is totally fucked, with each side using his influence to try and prove himself right.

Nyarlathotep: Oscar to Philemon's Felix, Goofus to his Gallant, he's the main antagonist of Persona 1 and 2.

Mary, Ellen, and Brad: A.k.a. Maki, Eriko, and Brown. Like Yukino, they're returning members of Persona 1's main cast. They mostly just fill bit roles until Hitler starts frontin' with his army of Antarctic robo-Nazis, at which point they reunite at Seven Sisters to kick ass like in the old days.

Tadashi and Tamaki: Assistants to Chief Todoroki at the Kuzuonoha Detective Agency, which is itself a tie-in to Devil Summoner (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=219823#post219823). Satomi Tadashi is the heir to the chain of pharmacies bearing his name, and Tamaki Uchida got her start as the protagonist as Shin Megami Tensei if... (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/megaten/megaten3.htm), which was a kind of predecessor to the Persona series.

Miyabi Hanakouji: Eikichi's childhood crush. As a kid, he heard that she hated fat people, so he lost a ton of weight and became his current preening glam-rocker self. Then, when she found out about it, she became fat herself out of the guilt of it all. With all this swapping of body types, Eikichi didn't even recognize her once they got to high school, and she was too embarrassed to say anything. She joins the Masquerade in order to become beautiful again, only for Eikichi to come to her rescue and let her know that hei, beibii, she had him at "hello."

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/michellove.png

(Yes, this is my favorite sub-plot in the game.)

Mazian
08-07-2008, 06:30 PM
Tatsuya Suou
Tatsuya Sudou
Realizing that these are different people makes the shrine backstory a lot more comprehensible. No wonder Suou needed a clearly distinguishable nickname.

spineshark
08-07-2008, 07:46 PM
Well done. I only see two things:

Kashihara's first name is "Akinari" but this never came up in the thread before because I'm not sure where it's ever mentioned and I had to look it up just now.

Also, the Sudou from the oracle is Tatsuya, not his father. I apologize if I left that unclear. He was a student at Sevens under Kashihara and Okamura at the time.

Kishi
08-07-2008, 07:48 PM
Ah! So Leo's even more important than I originally thought. That makes his role in EP much more understandable.

liquidben
08-08-2008, 12:06 PM
Wow, I just was surfing Wikipedia yesterday to get straight characters and game names, too. The whole mechanic of belief influencing reality complicates plotlines enough, but it gets a lot more confusing when you throw in a large cast, Hitler, similar names, surname first in Japanese , Hitler, rebooted continuity, evil twins, Hitler, resurrection via rumor, cameos from a game you might not have played and Hitler.

Hitler

Kishi
08-08-2008, 08:43 PM
Is it weird that I expected the mystery of who the new Joker was to last a lot longer? It seems like they'd just raised the issue when they decided to say, "Yeah, hey, it's Sudou."

mopinks
08-08-2008, 08:48 PM
oh, this plot will get thicker.

spineshark
08-08-2008, 09:03 PM
With nobody to pester, or rather, talk to, Maya heads back to Kismet. The receptionist tells her that Mizuno's on her case again. What a shock!

When Maya enters Mizuno has just finished a conference with a freaky woman, Chizuru Ishigami. She was responsible for the rise of the Wang Long craze in Sumaru. When she sees Maya she's very interested by her "aura" and offers to give her a reading.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_180356_0500.png
It seems bothersomely accurate, as she even seems to know about the "Other Side" as well...but then she leaves because she has to go record down at Sumaru TV (right down the block, but still). Mizuno yells at Maya and tells her to get to work. Apparently she's not impressed by the rescue of dozens of young children from a psychopathic arsonist and murderer.

Out in the staff room, everyone's crowded around the TV. Chizuru has a big fortune-telling event, which is about to start. As it begins, she's asked what the Joker's true identity is, and so she begins to "explain":

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_180625_0484.png

The "Kegare" builds up in those who have evil thoughts or deeds, and will in some cases posess them, particularly those who have called the Joker. Anyone who used the Joker Curse, she says, becomes a Joker.

Well shit. Looks like we just replaced one crazy bastard with who-knows-how-many more.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_180712_0546.png
Baofu is checking his wiretaps on Tatsuzou Sudou again back at his little dungeon. He finds that they're planning to whack somebody. And they may have found his bugs too. That's nice.

At the Police Station Katsuya gives his report, and Shimazu tells him to get his head checked. Suou protests of course, as he...should? It is all pretty crazy.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_180828_0187.png
Eventually the Chief of Police dismisses him and tells him to stay out of it any more. The two know, even as he leaves, that of course he's not going to, but they don't pursue any further.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_180841_0562.png
The other man in the room is this sinister looking guy, who was also the one who called Sudou at the Sanitarium. Shimazu gives him a list of phone records-people who apparently called the Joker by dialing their own numbers-and gives him a rather vague instruction. Checking the list, the man notices one name right away.

"Serizawa."

Meanwhile, at Gold, Ulala hears from an employee the new rumor that those who used the Joker Curse are cursed to become Jokers themselves. The scene finally cuts back to Kismet.

The news is now on, and Maya learns that there's been a big coverup about the recent events. Particularly at the Sanitarium, which has apparently been destroyed, with the official story stating that there was a gas explosion. In the lobby Baofu is waiting for her, and they swap the information they've just gained before agreeing to head off for Katsuya.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_181151_0250.png
At the Police Station, Katsuya admits that his superiors are definitely fucking things up, but Baofu's much anticipated "I told you so" moment is interrupted by Maya's ringtone. Ulala is begging for help. Katsuya and Baofu immediately begin wondering who she might've had a hit on, and when Maya thinks, she suddenly remembers something...very strange.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_181240_0015.png
She has an inexplicable memory of Ulala trying to kill a con man in the boxing room at GOLD. But she doesn't know his name or anything about him. Baofu suggests that they check out someone in Hirasaka who used to be a man-searcher.

That person happens to be someone we all know and love from IS.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_181414_0906.png
She denies any such rumors, but gives them a tip anyway. Also, since Honmaru Park is closed in EP and there's already a Rengedai rumormonger in Gatten Sushi, Toku lives at Shiraishi. He doesn't have anything useful at the moment.

Katsuya, Baofu and Maya take up a small table near the door and start listening for conversation. Sure enough, there's a guy chatting up a woman who has apparently amassed quite a savings to give to him. Just as things might go really bad, the two men approach. They say they're police officers looking for a "Makimura" who's being pursued for fraud. Makimura tries to save face by denying it, of course. In this moment, Katsuya and Baofu play their trump card. Katsuya explains that they were sent to guard the criminal, whoever he is, because of the fear that she called the Joker to get revenge on him.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_181605_0765.png
This is the sort of powerful persuasion that works wonders. Baofu warns the woman to be less stupid next time.

Most of the talk around town actually sucks this time around. At Lunar Palace Makimura will ask Maya if she made this mess. If she says "No" he'll denounce Ulala for lying and ask who she is to judge him. If she says yes he'll flirt with her, saying he thinks it's attractive to be messy. Ick. Everything else he has to say is worse, and as he goes on about forgetting girls' names and being cheap and conning them you really just want to smash his face in.

Baofu divides his thoughts between saying bad things about Makimura (because he's an ass) and Ulala (because she's got terrible taste in men, clearly), and trying to ponder more about Tatsuzou's schemes. He's certain he's behind the ploy to create more Jokers, but he can't figure out why...

At Etheria though, he only has this to say:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_181813_0312.png

Ulala is still at Gold in Yumezaki. Except I was a little tired after playing this part and haven't finished the dungeon yet (it's pretty much the shortest in the entire game) so I'll try and get the rest of this part up tonight.

spineshark
08-09-2008, 11:48 AM
(For some reason I have less pictures here than I thought I did. I'll have to check the folder again because I really wish I had a couple of the "missing" ones)

Actually, there are a couple more things to check out.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_182738_0984.png
At the Araya Shrine Jun is sitting around. The same old woman is also there. Jun has a strange feeling about this place. That can't be good.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_182857_0125.png
Michelle, his band ("Gas Chamber," since I never mentioned it before), and Miyabi are all in Sumaru Prison. Katsuya appears lost in thought; when Makimura asks what he's thinking about, he replies that he's considering throwing him in here.

Giga Macho in Yumezaki is called "Seedy CD" in English EP. It's one of the most brilliant bits in the localization. Right now Maya can buy a few CDs to play on her apartment's stereo but this is just a sound-test type thing and therefore pointless in a visual representation of the game. It's also an optional dungeon, but it's not open yet.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_191210_0015.png
Kasugayama High School is also an optional dungeon, and a bigger and more useful one at that. In particular, there's lots to do in the bomb shelter where PANTS and his friends were Alone in the Dark in Innocent Sin, but not yet. It's also useful if Maya just wants to level up Personas (because she can get into a weak battle where she can't be killed and cast spells that won't kill the enemies) or meet with old contracted demons.

Maya also got and spread a rumor that the Sumaru Genie does Wang Long readings now. She decides to check it out. The Genie informs her that her experience gains will increase, but the money earned from battles will decrease.

Finally, before heading to Gold she and the others stop by Parabellum for a drink. Food will temporarily increase one of a character's stats for a while. Some is bad, and some is great. Generally the most useful is the +8 TEC bonus since spells are so important in EP. This can be from the "Magnum" drink at Parabellum, but since a certain character who joins later in the game is not old enough to drink he can eat one of the foods at Gatten for an equivalent buff. There's also a +15 LUC food which is good sometimes but it won't be available for a while, and even then, its vendor is sometimes unreachable.

The food effects eventually wear off, and one by one the party members will start to complain again that they're hungry.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_09082008_104617_0281.png

At Gold everyone is in the lobby because one of the female patrons went crazy. Everyone knows what that means. She's locked herself in the Boxing Gym and nobody out here has a key. Maybe someone inside...

Gold takes about 10 minutes in EP, unless you're spending extra time there for some reason. With TEC +8 bonuses Cyclone Slash will basically one-shot everything except Magician Faust demons (which I hate and just contact off with Katsuya) and Tengu (who void Wind, which is very annoying. They're unthreatening, though, so Maya can just run). There are only two open rooms.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_192654_0406.png
In the equipment room Maya hallucinates a huge weight falling from the ceiling right in front of her (sadly, I didn't manage to get a good picture). Nobody else saw anything.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_192935_0046.png
The only other room (Women's Locker Room, 3F, which also happens to be the room with the Oracle in IS) contains a suspicious guy who hands over the key to Maya without incident. Maya decides to talk to Katsuya on her way out, and he asks how she got the key. She tells him a panty thief gave it to her. So his usual chivalry leads him to kick the guy's ass.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_193010_0593.png

Pixie still doesn't know Megido so outside the boxing gym Katsuya grinds her up to rank 8. Baofu is also hoping to learn Soothing Melody on Odysseus since Media is pretty weak in EP but it's not really important because this boss battle doesn't even require healing.

Inside the Gym Katsuya and Baofu tell Ulala that they've got Makimura and that she doesn't need to worry anymore. The Joker gleefully turns around and tells everyone the truth of the matter: Maya was the person she asked the Joker to kill. Her Joker/Persona thing appears.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_08082008_193238_0078.png

Joker Ulala is really easy. She punches. She has Old Maid. She casts Maha Garu. And she uses Gigan(tic) Fist. She also uses Fata Morgana (all-target, chance of inflicting Illusion status) when low on HPs. Unlike in IS, "Illusion" status greatly increases the chances of attacks and spells to miss so it's actually really annoying. Maya casts Wall of Air once at the beginning of the battle and it seems to last the whole time, then uses Aqua repeatedly. Baofu weakly attacks her and Katsuya brings the big damage with Megido.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_09082008_105614_0718.png
Ulala says that she was always jealous of Maya, because she seemed to have a purposeful and successful life, while Ulala could never stick with anything for a long time. Makimura says that they should "finish her off" while they can. Katsuya gets ready to punch him.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_09082008_105638_0703.png

Hey, a decision that actually affects something! I don't really care what gets chosen, it's going to be plenty interesting either way.

Next Time: I shall cleave into your flesh!

spineshark
08-09-2008, 11:54 AM
Is it weird that I expected the mystery of who the new Joker was to last a lot longer? It seems like they'd just raised the issue when they decided to say, "Yeah, hey, it's Sudou."
It's kind of weird if you know IS, but it's really weird if you play EP first. He comes out of nowhere with his backstory pretty much not explained at all, he's in a bunch of scenes that really don't make sense, then he dies 5 hours into the game even as it looks as if they were setting him up for "Major Villain" status.

Alas, this part was a bit of a dead spot, plot-wise, but it'll start to pick back up next time, and after that...

Mightyblue
08-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Everybody has their weak moments, I say forgiveness is best!

Besides, you could always use another party member if this changes whether she stays in the group or not.

Kishi
08-09-2008, 12:06 PM
It doesn't seem in Maya's character to hold an act of weakness against a person, especially since everything turned out all right in the end. Let's forgiveness!

mopinks
08-09-2008, 12:10 PM
the correct answer is forgive her because she's cooler than everyone else.

<3Ulala<3

poetfox
08-09-2008, 12:27 PM
You need her in case any space reporting is required! You can't finish her off!
Also, from the choices, Maya is obviously believing in forgiveness more, so I would go with that.

spineshark
08-10-2008, 01:51 PM
If Maya defends Ulala, she has the opportunity to get this very soon:
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_103731_0843.png

If she doesn't, then she can't. Maia Custom is kind of overpowering for a very long time, though, with some great Void properties and no weaknesses. Maha Aques and Mediarama are extremely useful as well. I was almost hoping that I wouldn't get to use her because it's somewhat interesting to figure out how to make up for not having her...but I'm not going to complain. (In fact I'm playing a "study run" as well to check out some Personas I haven't used before and to ensure that I don't screw myself up too badly at any point, and I answered wrong to make sure I'd be able to handle the next bits)

After Maya answers, Baofu points out that Ulala's evidence against Makimura would go away and he would go free as a con man if she were killed. Katsuya gets ready to punch him but Baofu steps in.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_090837_0562.png
He smashes Makimura's face and the con man asks Katsuya if he's really just going to let that happen. Suou calls him mean names too and Makimura runs off swearing that he'll return Ulala's money and stop being suck a dick. Katsuya wants to take Ulala to the hospital but Baofu says that the Joker is just like a Persona and they'll have to take her to the Velvet Room to take care of it.

There, Igor uses his cellphone and Ulala seems mostly exorcised, but he warns that the Joker powers are just the heart's "shadow" and they cannot be fully removed.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_091043_0562.png
Ulala pledges herself to Maya's cause to make up for all the trouble she's caused, and she accepts the extremely important task of keeping the Kegare under control. Then Maya's cell phone rings again.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_091109_0593.png
Noriko turned into a Joker and was hauled off to Zodiac by the mafia. Oh dear. Katsuya immediately realizes that this means Noriko was the one who called for the murders of Hannya and the man who gimped Anna, which is obviously why at Sevens she was SO SURE that her "Big Sis" didn't kill anyone.

Also note, that Yukino was the one she talked to at Kismet. Heh.

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_091349_0531.png
Most of Baofu's shop dialogues right now are about how he doesn't care about Noriko and just wants to know why the Mafia is kidnapping Jokers, but at Bikini Line he makes fun of Ulala. Katsuya wants to investigate the Mafia, and Ulala mostly apologizes to Maya and complains about how stupid she is. There's also this though.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_091827_0484.png

At Shiraishi Toku will give the "official" rumor that the Ramen Lady is a man-searcher, since her tip was used to locate some guy at a bar in Aoba. Wow, we haven't heard about that one yet!

Oh.

Buying this one at Kuzunoha opens up a new sub-quest thing.
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_092612_0781.png
Since Maya proved so good at it before, the Shiraishi Lady asks for her help in tracking down people. Maya has to pay a nominal fee to accept the search (at this point, 1000 Yen), but after completing it will make the commission which is worth ten times as much (for a net gain of 9x the "price"). This is actually a pretty tedious way to make money but some of the naming is a prerequisite for other sidequests and if you know or have a good idea where the people are it's not too terrible. The first wave is particularly easy, with a gambler (at the Mu Continent casino), a journalist (a co-worker at Kismet who tells Maya not to moonlight), and a guy who's in love with a widow (Kaori).

http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/lets_play_eternal_punishment/SLUS_01158_10082008_094042_0218.png
Finally, Maya decides to check out what's up with this panhandling statue of a cat at Kuzunoha. (I also took this picture because I think it's funny that Kuzunoha has some little old TV in IS and a huge flat-screen in EP) After feeding the cat cash for a few minutes, taking nearly all of her savings, the statue...apologizes to her? A voice leads her over to a locked door near the washing machines, which suddenly opens to reveal...

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Nekomata has a handful of unique rumors which are particular favorites of mine. One is that Etheria has beauty treatments (which I haven't found terribly useful), and the other one she gives right now is that Kaori does Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, like fortunes and food, is another consumable dungeon buff. This one influences encounter rates of certain demon Arcana. Today Maya wants to meet more Strength demons so she gets the "Geranium" aromatherapy from Kaori. She also gets the "Yellow Dragon" fortune from Sumaru Genie and everyone has a drink at Parabellum, too. Once everybody's buffed up it's time to check out the Zodiac.

spineshark
08-10-2008, 02:33 PM
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Out on the dance floor, Anna explains that she's learned that the Tien Tao Lien bought Zodiac, and took some of the Jokers to a secret casino hidden in the back. She implores the party to rescue Noriko and take care of PANTS who's been strangely distant from her recently, despite their friendship.

The rumor that Zodiac has a huge maze in the back persists, so it gets spread because there's a lot to do here.

First off, Ulala needs to be brought back up to speed, since she's six levels behind from missing Gold. Also, Maia needs a mutation so she can become Maia Custom, or Odysseus needs it to learn Soothing Melody, which is like a battle-only Media that's way better. The extra Luck from their fortune makes the Mutation odds higher. Maia got hers first, so the party backtracked out and Maya got Maia Custom. Then, while she was re-leveling Maia Custom so she'd know Mediarama and Maha Aques, Odysseus got his.

The Aromatherapy leads to encountering more Strength Kiyohime demons in here. Most of the monsters are mafia guys or zombies who are really annoying. There's a bit of demon information in Zodiac that Kiyohime is obsessed with cleanliness and would happily clean the floors if asked. She's kind of a bitch to contract though. Eventually Maya gets through to her (with Katsuya and Ulala's help).
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To be honest, this is completely unnecessary, but it's pretty amusing, and makes a couple of rooms much easier to access. The damage floors in Zodiac take off a huge chunk of health with every step, and while Maya can easily heal through it, it's just more fun this way. Plus, once that job is taken care of, it's very easy to get Free cards from them, which are extremely useful.

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Ulala tells Jack Frost's fortune, so he wonders how she does it. All of the demon questions and responses Ulala ran into here (since she's the best for contacts in this dungeon) are pretty plain unfortunately. Jack Frost just laments that he won't be able to find out from her.

Eventually Maya reaches a door in the back where the mafia guys ask her for the password for the secret club. She can backtrack so Baofu can beat it out of a couple of the guys in a staff room, or I just pretend that Ulala uses her mystic Wang Long powers to figure it out because it's "Panther" every time you play the game and I already spent a long time here getting Maia and Odysseus mutations.

Inside Katsuya and Baofu both recognize a guy from their previous encounters.
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I appreciate what they were trying to do with this but it just looks silly. Baofu confronts the man, who he identifies as "Yung Pao," an infamous assassin.
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Baofu demands to know what they're doing with Tatsuzou and the Jokers but he refuses to talk. Instead he says that they only have one Joker, who is "quite a tiger" and they bring her out to kill the party. Noriko is led out by two hitmen and Baofu yells at everyone to stand back. The Jokersona appears.

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Surely she's seen that happen before!

The battle with Joker Noriko is infamously difficult among first-time players of EP but it's really pretty laughable once you know it's coming and avoid using Personas weak to Magic or Water/Ice. There's also the matter of being able to damage her through her relatively high defenses.

She's accompanied by a couple of hitmen who are quickly dispatched with Maia Custom's Maha Aques and Pixie's Megido. Baofu heals with Soothing Melody. After they're gone, it's just a matter of wailing on her with the best spells available (which are pretty bad; Baofu and Ulala only do about 20 damage a hit at best, while Katsuya does almost 70) while Maya keeps everyone up with Mediarama.
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Joker Noriko's moves are Marin Karin, Maha Aques, a schoolgirl kick, and Old Maid. She always appears to be dancing a little bit, and cheerfully spouts little quips like "I want to see blood!" which are more than a little disturbing. At low health she'll start using Absolute Zero, which has a modest freeze chance and does a ton of ice damage. Aside from the chance that it'll freeze all of your good healers it's not much worse than Maha Aques.

After the battle Katsuya continues to press Baofu about his past and how he knows so much (I'm sure he wants to hear this story where Baofu killed 25 Mafia men too) so of course they start arguing again. Some people are sick of this. Like me for example
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Igor repeats the process on Noriko, and Anna asks Katsuya if Noriko is going to be punished. Baofu says Katsuya can't do anything, which is true, and Suou points out that Sudou and the Mafia have it coming first anyway. Then he gets a call on his cell. I think Igor should cut service to the Velvet Room.

Somebody is offering them advice to pursue Sudou's activities, if they'll meet him at Aoba Park. He says he knows who can help them. Katsuya asks the man to identify himself but he says he can't give that up just yet.
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Next Time: Who. R. U? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgbntWU7pG8)

Pajaro Pete
08-10-2008, 03:38 PM
Isn't it so refreshing to see anyone and everyone entering the Velvet Room with no problem whatsoever? (in Chinese)

Also, if you take Makimura to the Velvet Room, he's afraid that Maya is part of a cult that wants to sacrifice him. (in Chinese)

Kishi
08-10-2008, 04:59 PM
I hope we see more of Yung Pao, because now I automatically read all his lines as ending with...well, you know.

Mazian
08-10-2008, 05:25 PM
I hope we see more of Yung Pao,
(He's an expert.)

spineshark
08-10-2008, 10:37 PM
Isn't it so refreshing to see anyone and everyone entering the Velvet Room with no problem whatsoever? (in Chinese)
Yeah, I've always liked that. ("Always" meaning since I played this game for the first time like 10 months ago)
Also, if you take Makimura to the Velvet Room, he's afraid that Maya is part of a cult that wants to sacrifice him. (in Chinese)
This was one of the pictures I thought I had. Then I forgot to mention it too. Oops!

The Makimura section is the only part so far that I didn't try and check everyone's shop dialogues for interesting or amusing bits though because damn I hate that son of a bitch. Also the Hirasaka shops kinda suck except Shiraishi.

And yeah, there'll be more Yung Pao. (in Chinese)