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Old 01-15-2009, 06:00 PM
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Default They say hell is for children. Let's find out if that's true or not with Persona 1!

I think a few of you might've heard about this series called Persona. If not, you can consult one of the dozen or so threads related to the series sprinkled throughout Talking Time. This is the game that started it all. It was released in the United States as Revelations Series: Persona. You see, Atlus had gotten it in their heads that they were gonna bring the SMT series over here, and were going to use "Revelations" as the series title. It's about as relevant to the actual games as "Shin Megami Tensei" is. Probably moreso, given that the number of Megaten games that feature a true goddess reincarnating can be counted on one hand, while all of them have revelations!

In any case, we'll be playing Persona's "hidden" storyline, commonly referred to as The Snow Queen Quest. If you want a summary of the main storyline, please watch this.

...Let's begin our descent into suicidal thoughts and self harm the wonderful world of Persona!


Welcome to the illustrious St. Ermine Academy! Established in 1964 in the small town of Mikage, the academy's formal name is Saint Hermelin Academy. However, because it is written "聖エルミン学園", it is easier to refer to it as St. Ermine. Plus, that's what Hermelin means anyway and it's funnier this way.

Here is our school's emblem:
Please wear it with pride! Although you must wear your uniform at all times while on school property, we encourage individuality. Please, feel free to modify your uniform however you like to show off your true self.


Our story opens in an empty room within St. Ermine. It appears a group of teenagers are up to no good! Actually, the game never explains why they're here. The comic, however, has them getting decorations ready for one of those culture festivals you hear about. Let's... let's go with that, ok? It helps explain a number of things, such as why these characters, who are not really friends, are together right now, and why Yukino has razor blades (they're for the box cutter she was using).

Now, most RPGs tend to slowly introduce you to various characters over the course of the game. Not Persona! Instead, we get seven of nine playable characters dumped in our laps in the first two minutes. Exciting!


Left to right: Mark, Brown and Ayase

Inaba Masao. Nickname: Mark. The deadbeat son of those nice folks at Inaba Cleaning. So impulsive that I frequently wonder if he might be retarded.

Mark is confused as to why they'd want to play something called "Persona-sama." "Persona-sama," for those of y'all not in the know, is a little ritual not unlike the "Bloody Mary" and "Candyman" things that American youths play. Kind of. The specifics of what Persona-sama is supposed to do are kinda fuzzy and differs depending on who's talking about it.

Of course, Mark is close to being an adult, so he's like, 99% sure nothing will happen at all. He's wrong, of course.

Uesugi Hidehiko. Nickname: Brown. An obnoxious showoff and opportunist who makes godawful jokes.

Brown's the one that came up with the idea to play Persona. He earnestly believes it'll work. He and Mark make a bet: Whoever's wrong has to buy the other lunch at Peace Diner, Mikage's answer to McDonald's or JAPANESE!FASTFOOD!JOINT.

A girl with blonde hair speaks up: She's with Brown, it'll totally work!
Ayase Yuka. Call her Ayase. A true blue, honest-to-god card carrying ko-gal, she's known for being a trouble maker.

Left to right: Ellie, Nanjou, Yukino

Another girl, this one with long, purple-streaked hair speaks up. She talks like an American. She too, is in favor of Brown.

Kirishima Eriko. Nickname: Ellie. She recently returned to Japan after spending several years in the United States. Given her... tendencies, it appears that maybe she was living in Roswell, New Mexico. She's smart and beautiful, despite being one crazy bitch.

Mark is dismayed that everyone's siding with Brown, so he pleads to the other three characters in the room.

The dark-haired and bespectacled young man in the fetching scarf tells him, quite bluntly, that he does not give a rat's ass either way. This man is Nanjou Kei.

Nanjou Kei. Nickname: Nanjou-kun. A haughty, self righteous individual who's heir to the Nanjou Business Conglomerate.

A girl with short hair and a long skirt tells him that she doesn't care either.

Mayuzumi Yukino. Nickname: Yukino-san. A reformed delinquent that's now the Big Boss at St. Ermine. When Ms. Yukino speaks, you better listen.

Mark is disappointed, so he asks the last person in the room:


This is you, in all of your greasy, black moptop glory.
HEY TYRAN---

...actually, since this question doesn't make a lick of difference, there's no reason to ask for your input. Oops. Let's go with Brown, because obviously something has to happen or else we wouldn't actually have a game, right?

Now that we've all chosen sides, Let's Play Persona!

Persona is actually pretty lame. Four people stand in different corners. They take turns saying something to the effect of "Persona-sama, Persona-sama, please come to me!," then walk counterclockwise to the next corner, tag the person standing there, and then that person says their line and walks to the next corner.

No wonder Mark thought this was a stupid idea.

At first, nothing happens, but then, Nanjou notices a ghostly image appear at the other end of the room. It's a little girl in white. WHO COULD THIS MYSTERIOUS GIRL BE??? We won't find out, not in this thread, anyway. The answer will surprise no one, though.


The little girl brings a storm of lightning, because, I guess, creepy little ghost girls have a tendency to do that. The lightning keeps striking around the room, and Ellie reacts in typical Ellie fashion: "FANTASTIC! This keeps getting more exciting!" Oh Ellie, you're one crazy bitch.


Yukino is less impressed, and goes into her battle stance. This is probably not the best course of action, because she's immediately struck by a bolt of lightning. Mark follows, because I guess even the Tiny Lil' Ghost is tired of him. Nanjou falls next, and for a second I think that she's actually doing the world a favor.

Then the Hero gets zapped. Dammit, don't you just hate quicktime events?

...why is Nanjou's death sprite so weird?


FMV time! We follow a butterfly through a series of Twilight Zone opening montages before coming to a door:


Through the door, we come to a platform floating in the middle of a void. Standing on the platform is, and I say this without a trace of sarcasm, the finest creation from Disney's 1960s Animatronics Imagineers.


The Animatronic Puppet introduces itself as Philemon, and explains that we're currently in a world that exists between reality and a dream. Then he asks the million dollar question: Who are you?


Hey Tyrants: Who is this? He needs a name. Five character limit for his first and last name, and eight character limit for his nickname. His first and last name can be in kanji, kana or American; his nickname can only be in kana or American.

Aside from his nasty hair, he also has a pierced ear. In fact, that's how he's identified "officially": Boy with an Earring. Why they chose that as his identifying feature, I don't know, because both Brown and Mark also have earrings.

In the comic, he's referred to as Toudou Naoya, but I think we can do better than that! Prince Albert jokes are acceptable.

Next time: LOVE IS DRUG
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2009, 06:07 PM
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First: Slim
Last: Whtmn
Nick: Vowels
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
In any case, we'll be playing Persona's "hidden" storyline, commonly referred to as The Snow Queen Quest. If you want a summary of the main storyline, please watch this.
That was kind of incredible.
Quote:
This is totally incredible.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:22 PM
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First: Sting
Last: Ray
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:41 PM
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An earring? How vain.

First: FANCY
Last: PANTS
Nickname: MARA RING
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip
This is you, in all of your greasy, black moptop glory.
And how. I suggest naming him DANNY "T-BIRD" ZUKO.
or ジャラミー "T-FROG" パリッシュ
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2009, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
or ジャラミー "T-FROG" パリッシュ
I would get banned SO fast.

Quote:
This is totally incredible.
The best part is the greek at the top is "Alpha, Omega" and there's a Star of David at the bottom. And the actual art of it makes the gold part look like a Jesus fish. LAYERS AND LAYERS OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM, FOLKS.

Quote:
Nickname: MARA RING
I get it!
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:17 PM
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You'd better!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
In any case, we'll be playing Persona's "hidden" storyline, commonly referred to as The Snow Queen Quest. If you want a summary of the main storyline, please watch this.
In seriousness, I can also recommend this.


Quote:

FMV time! We follow a butterfly through a series of Twilight Zone opening montages before coming to a door:
Man, this could not fit the stereotype better.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:36 PM
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It's even better when you look at the original opening narration to The Twilight Zone:
Quote:
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Unfortunately, the creators of Persona didn't use it to give the finger to 1950s American society. Pity, that.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
That Engrishy "LASTO" is goofy enough on its own that I approve it as a legitimate option.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:57 PM
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LASTO MASTO

Nickname: MARA RING
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:52 AM
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So... how about Slim "MARA RING" Lasto? I want to incorporate as many suggestions as possible.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:05 AM
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I'm extremely happy with that.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:25 AM
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I don't get the MARA RING joke.

I'm a failure at Talking Time.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:33 AM
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Meet Mara.

The "ring" part is because, as noted in this thread, the main character in this game is referred to sometimes as "Boy with an Earring," when he is in fact not the only boy to wear an earring. He may be the only one with a MARA RING though! It probably just never comes up!
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:33 PM
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Part II: In which a number of things happen that barely relate to the plot


"I am LASTO SLIM, but you can call me MARA RING. If you play your cards right, you just might get to find out why they call me that!"


Philemon: "Very well. Not many who venture here can remember their names. But you seem different. ...are you aware that there are many different selves within you? Sometimes, you might have the benevolence of a God. At other times, you might be as cruel as a Devil. As we walk through life, we wear many masks. Even now, the you that stands before me is nothing but one of countless masks. But you, through your strong will and sense of self, didn't so much as hesitate to tell me who you are. With such a will comes power, the power of one's heart. The power of "Persona." Surely the Gods and Demons that exist in your heart will be of some use to you in the future. Now, it's time for you to return to the land bound by time and space..."


Mara Ring wakes up in the nurse's office at St. Ermine. Mark, Nanjou and Yukino are standing there waiting for him. The school nurse teases him because she is a child molester.

Yoshino Natsumi. The school nurse at St. Ermine. She's really, really bad at cooking. Why was that last detail included? No one knows.

A woman in a yellow suit runs in asking if Mara Ring is ok.

Takami Saeko. Teacher of class 2-4, Mara Ring's homeroom. She's popular with all the students because she's a hottie and really smart.

Natsumi and Saeko decide that the four better go to the hospital to get checked out. They're also told to visit their classmate that's been there for a while.

With that, Mara Ring is finally given control to walk around.

...the controls are, for lack of better terms, counter intuitive. For example, when you press "up" you turn this way. Right does this. Down is this way. This is left.


The glowing pink tree is a save point. See, you save your data by writing what happened on the leaves. How neat! There's a box in the corner that contains an Ointment (きずぐすり). Ointment heals 30 HP.


At the front gates of St. Ermine, they run into a nice old man.

Yamaoka. Butler for Nanjou's family. Practically raised Nanjou since he was old enough to crawl around. Tries his best to keep him out of trouble.

Yamaoka calls Nanjou "Nanjou-bochama" (Young Master Nanjou), which prompts Yukino and Mark to be complete assholes and make fun of Nanjou for it. Which... I don't get. At all. They're just being dicks, y'know? Honestly, Persona 1 has the most offensive take on rich people I have ever seen in a JRPG. It's like it suddenly turned into a "Hey, let's laugh at the richkid" minstrel show.

Anyway, Nanjou tells Yamaoka to scram and takes off. Now we're finally free to explore the beautiful and scenic town of Mikage!


...goodness that is hideous. Persona 1's town map is really, really awful. Not just ugly, I mean really, really, ridiculously awful. For one thing, you can only cross the street at crosswalks. This means you usually have to walk several blocks just to get cross the road, then several blocks back to get to where you needed to go in the first place. It isn't fun!

In a moment of rare charity, they did include a labeled city map you can bring up:

St. Ermine is the green building near the rightmost corner. The hospital is the yellow building in the leftmost corner. They're just fucking with me now.

...but wait! Look, just north of the school... Er, just east of the school! There's a clinic! Let's head over there so we don't have to walk across town.


The Izumi Clinic is actually creepy as fuck. You see the giant veiny baby thing, don't you? On the other hand, the rug is pretty awesome and I'm like 99% sure this was edited out in the US version. I'd also kill to have a t-shirt like the poster there. Love is Drug, folks!

Well, I guess we have no choice but to head over to Hospital...

Wait. I just had a brilliant idea!
Let's go to the mall!

Mara Ring and company head over to Joy Street, the yellow cross-shaped building near the middle of town.


First, let's go Peace Diner. There's nothing to buy (but the cashier has some serious hair), but we can chat with a student wearing a FAMILIAR uniform.


Now let's hit up the Yin and Yan, Mikage's favorite convenience store! They sell a lot of miscellaneous healing items (at least for now...), such as Chewing Souls and Hiranyas (recovers HP and SP). We don't really need that stuff, do we? After all, we're a bunch of typical Japanese high school students


The pharmacy is next! It isn't just any pharmacy, it's Satomi Tadashi, Your Local Drug Store!

Quote:
If you gotta recover HP, use Ointments and Jewels,
If you're dyin', your buddies better have an Orb of Returning or a Soul Incense!

Petrified from head to toe? Fix it with Dis Stone!
Feeling the pangs from Poison? Dis Poison!
Paralysis is only temporary when you have Dis Paralyze!
Make a complete recovery from any Sickness with Dis Sick!

Always by the side of those out fightin', your local drug store!
Well, as typical Japanese high school students, Team Wangerdoodle don't really need any of that stuff. After all, it isn't like they're fighting demons or anything. Tsk, can you imagine?


Sennenmannendou is a bizarre store that sells curios. Right now, they have virtually the same item list as Yin and Yan.


Rosa Candida is a clothing store, but they won't let Mara Ring buy anything. Those mannequins are dressed sort of familiarly...


Down a side hall, there's this strange blue door. The store is labeled "Velvet Room" but the door is locked. How strange! I'm sure it's just some kind of lounge and won't be very important at all. Further down the hall is an unmarked door that leads to another save point. How a tree that size manages to grow inside a building I'll never know.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:34 PM
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There's another door down the hall, but we're gonna leave that one alone for right now. With nothing else to do, Mara Ring decides it's time to finally head to the Hospital.


Whee.

In the lobby, Mark says that Maki's staying in Room 302. Nanjou and Yukino both question why he knows that. Mara Ring isn't paying attention. He's spotted something else... something sinister:


OH MY GOD THAT WOMAN IS BEING ATTACKED BY A ZOMBIE IT'S ON HER BACK GET IT OFF GET IT OFF---wait, that's not a zombie. It's just a malformed child. Whoops. Haha, can you imagine? A zombie at the hospital? Boy don't I have the wildest imagination.

Mara Ring wishes he had bought a Baby Ruth candy bar at Yin and Yan. Yamaoka's also hiding in the corner behind some vending machines. He asks Mara Ring not to tell Nanjou he's here. Boy, I smell a running gag! Surely Yamaoka is going to be following up around for the rest of the game, keeping tabs on Nanjou. Won't that be wacky?

On to room 302! For some reason, Atlus decided not to label the rooms in this game when you walk by them, which is kind of a pain in the ass. Oh well, we can deduce that Maki's on the third floor, so might as well head up that way.


Since most of what is talked about here doesn't matter to us:
Sonomura Maki is a classmate who's been in and out of the hospital her entire life. She's been here for about a year this time. She suffers from that mysterious ANIME DISORDER that girls tend to have. Maki reveals that Mark's been coming to visit her, and is happy that everyone else came, too. Yukino lies and pretends that they give a rat's ass about her.

In the middle of their conversation, Maki doubles over in pain and is rushed away to the ICU. While our heroes wait for her, an earthquake rocks the hospital, and the ICU ward disappears entirely. Those of you with acute perception may have noticed the background has become all trippy. Perhaps... it means something?

The group hears a woman's scream and dash off to investigate.


!!!

Actually, what happens in the game is a lot less exciting:

Yamaoka is lying on the ground, and a nurse tells the group that the old guy tried to hold them off. Nanjou quickly realizes that the "old guy" is actually Yamaoka. He's lying on the floor and injured pretty badly.

Nanjou is, and this is a total understatement, really pissed off. The group is thrown into their first battle:


Yes, Mark has an axe. No, I don't know why either nor is it ever explained.

The dramatic music of meaningful awakenings plays.

Nanjou: "You! I'll rip you apart!"
Yukino: "Watch your backs!"
Mark: "W-wait a minute! How're we supposed to stop something that's already dead?!"

>You feel dizzy. You feel your heart pounding. Your chest is tightening. Is this how you're going to die? You hear words echoing in your head:
"I am thou, thou art I"

>A blue light engulfs you. An ethereal being appears and rips a zombie apart with wind.

Unknown Entity: "I am thou... thou art I. Born of the sea of thy heart, I shall deliver you from the ills of this world."


>You see the same thing happening to your friends. The zombies have all been defeated. Obtained mace.

Fuck yeah! Let's go old school viking on some undead zombie ass!

>Guess again.

How is pepper spray supposed to help us fight off hordes of the undead?

>That is not my problem. You also obtain a mop.

Boy howdy.

>And a level up.

Neat.


Nanjou: "Yamaoka... you can't... who's going to take care of me? You can't..."
Yamaoka: "Young Master, don't make that face... It doesn't suit your strong face. You've grown so much... you don't need me to take care of you anymore."
Nanjou: "No... no, no, no, no, no! You have to stay with me. I'm ordering you, Yamaoka! Stay with me!"
Yamaoka: "I can't do that... but please, young master, promise me you'll become the number one man in Japan..."
Nanjou: "O..of course... I'll be the best in Japan. No, the best in the whole world!"
Yamaoka: "That's what I expected to hear... Remember Young Master... I'll always be with you... in your heart..."
Nanjou: "Yamaoka...? Yamaoka! You have to answer me Yamaokaaaaaaah!"

>Nanjou is sobbing too hard for you to understand what he's saying.

The party lets him grieve for a moment, and I always felt like it would have been really great if Yukino had told Nanjou to get up and come with them given what happens with her in Innocent Sin.

After the scene is over, we're allowed to reposition our party and equip stuff. Nanjou gets the mop, and Mara Ring gets the Mace.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:58 PM
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Let's take a look at our Personas!


Mara Ring's Persona is Shoumen Kongou. Shoumen Kongou is a deity from the Koshin folk religion, one that protects people from diseases caused by the supernatural. His blue color indicates that he takes the sicknesses unto himself to protect others. Boy that seems like it might be meaningful later on, doesn't it?

Shoumen Kongou learns the spells Garu (ガル), Delight (デライト, inflicts Blind), Makajammer (マカジャマ, inflicts Close), Pulinpa (プリンパ, inflicts Panic), Mahagaru (マハーガル), and Spin Kick (スピンキック).

Shoumen Kongou is an Elemental Sign Persona, that reflects Wind-damage and is weak to Physical.

Quote:
Turnip, weak to physical? A starter Persona that is weak to physical? Really? Philemon is kind of a dick!
No, not really! You see, in Persona, "Physical" doesn't mean what it means in, like, every other RPG ever created. In fact, now would be a pretty good time to talk about the elemental system in this game.

There are four domains: Elemental (sometimes called "Spirit" in the US version), Physical, Evil Dark and Holy Light.

Elemental consists of the four classical elements: Ignis (Fire/Agi), Aqua (Water/Bufu), Air (Wind/Garu), and Terra(Earth/Magna).

The opposing force is Physical, which consists of SCIENCE!: Photon (Electricity/Zio), Gluon (Nuclear/Frei), Weak Boson (Force/Zan), and Graviton (Gravity/Gry). I think, for our purposes, we'll refer to "Physical" as "SCIENCE!"

Next we have Evil Dark: Curse (Darkness/Mudo and Eiha), Nerve (Negative status effects), Awake (Positive status effects), Necromancy (Serious/persistent status effects).

Holy Light: Exorcism (Expel/Hama and Kouha), Sign (Buff spells. I almost wrote "Your Kajas, -kundas and karns" but that's... not good), Bless (Recovery/Dia), and Wonder (Revival/Recarm).

Yes, you can tell they're reaching for categories in the Holy Light and Evil Dark classifications.

A demon or Persona's "type" will give you a good idea of what it is strong or weak to. For example, Elementals tend to resist elemental magic, but are usually weak to SCIENCE! The secondary type is that Persona's inheritance type and will give you clues as to what kinds of abilities they have.

You don't find any of this out anywhere in the game, I don't think, so unless you have a booklet you're in some real trouble.The US version uses the term "Spirit" in the weakness/strengths section, making the system even more inscrutable.

Moving right along:

Nanjou's Aizen Myouo is a Japanese god of fucking. He's all about transforming the lust for the flesh into a lust for knowledge. I'll let y'all speculate on how that relates to Nanjou.

Aizen Myouo learns Hanma (ハンマ), Candy Voice (キャンディボイス, inflicts Charm), Sukukaja (スクカジャ), Hatred Fist (いかりのてっけん - 怒りの鉄拳, damage with chance to inflict Afraid), Makakaja (マカカジャ) and Endless White (えいえんのしろ - 永遠の白, Wonder-based damage). Hanma spells work differently in Persona 1: They deal a certain amount of damage when cast, then deal that much damage again at the end of the turn. They can inflict instant death if the target is weak to the exorcism magic.

Also, keep in mind that this is Persona 1, so those Kaja spells? They hit the whole party and can be stacked. And Aizen Myouo, a starter Persona, has the two most important ones in the game. (He's one of three Personas in the game to get Makakaja)

...balance isn't in this game's vocabulary.

As a Holy Light Persona, Aizen Myouo is resistant to all magic but weak to regular attacks and Curse magic.


Yukino's Vesta drains Fire, resists SCIENCE! and is weak to other Elemental magic. Vesta is the Roman Goddess of the hearth, and is responsible for keeping the home in harmony. Why she is depicted as a harlequin mermaid, I don't know.

Vesta learns Frei (フレイ), Dia (ディア), Zio (ジオ), Crimson Sublation (しようのあか -止揚の紅, fire damage to a group of enemies, stronger than Maharagion), and Freira (フレイラ).

You see, Yukino gets "Dia" because she's a woman and woman have to be healers.

We won't look at Mark's Persona because Mark sucks and we won't be seeing him for long.


Moving right along, Team Wangerdoodle encounter a gang of Pixies and Slimes three steps later. In Persona, each character has their own mostly unique way of talking to demons. There's still an element of randomness, each contact command has a couple of different scripts.

Mara Ring can use his persuasive oratory skills, he can invite the demon to come along with them, he can sing a song or provoke the enemy.

Mark can dance (Mara Ring is a better dancer), stare the enemy down, provoke them, or lie. See, he's full of hot air.

Nanjou can attempt to bribe the enemy, yell, deliver a speech, or make a sarcastic remark. And yet, he's still remarkably useful for contacting. Funny, that.

Yukino can bully enemies, scold them, preach at them, or ignore them. Social skills aren't her forte, it seems.

Mara Ring chats up the Pixies. Persona 1 has a visual gauge of how well you're doing. If you max out their Anger, they'll go berserk and the enemies will get a free turn. If you max out Joy, they'll be inflicted with happy status and waste a few turns. If you max out Fear, they'll either be inflicted with Terror or run off. If you max out Interest, they'll give you three options: You can ask for a Spell Card, an item, or for them to leave.

Spell Cards are used for Persona fusion. Unlike in P3/4, they are not the Personas themselves.

There's not a whole lot to the Hospital, there's really only one way to go and you can see dead ends on the automap in the corner.


In the leftmost screenshot, you can see one of the game's major problems: Scaled experience based on how useful you were in combat. The more things you kill, the more experience you'll get. Right now it isn't such a problem, because all the party members will automatically be brought up the Mara Ring's level when they rejoin down the road, but later on it really starts to make your party uneven. Admittedly, for the Snow Queen Quest, it's actually really useful to grind levels for Mara Ring by letting him soak up all the Exp.

The PC version fixes this so that all party members will receive the same amount of Exp.

There's a Nurse's Station down the hall, where Mara Ring finds two ointments and 2 QQmets (QQメット), helmets for any gender. On the next floor, there's another Nurse's Station that has two more QQmets and a Dispoison.


The stairways are Persona 1's secret godsend. Characters recover SP as they walk, and are guaranteed to never encounter battles in this little two tile area, you can walk back and forth in these spaces to regenerate SP.

There's also some Zombie-chans, wearing St. Ermine uniforms. Looks like all our classmates aren't ok D:

There's a doctor on the first floor that'll heal your party, but it isn't necessary because you shouldn't be hurting too bad.


At the entrance, a nurse has gotten herself trapped under a vending machine. Yukino wants Mara Ring to help her.
HEY TYRANT--- oh wait this is another one of those things that doesn't matter to us. Mara Ring volunteers to help her, but before they can, more zombies show up.

As does... Ellie?!

Ellie: "Whew, it was rough getting here. Well, well! There are DEMONS here too?"

A battle begins. The meaningful music is playing.


Nanjou: "Kirishima! Stay back!"
Ellie: "NO PROBLEM! I'm a decent enough fencer!"
Yukino: "Eriko, this isn't a normal human!"
Mark: "Goddamit, she doesn't understand anything!"

Mark hacks one of the zombies up, netting his only kill in the game. The other zombie attacks Ellie but she parries. Her Persona awakens, casts Kouha, and we get a free level up.

After the battle:

Ellie: "That was... NIKE? The GREEK goddess of victory... I am her... and she is me...?"
Yukino: "Eriko? Are you ok?"
Ellie: "NIKE... The basis for CHRISTIANITY'S ANGELS... I am her... and she is me...
Mark: "She's checked out."
Yukino: "Eriko! Look at me!"
Ellie: ! "Huh? Haha, I get it now! Don't worry guys, just think of me as your guardian ANGEL, here to bring you victory!"

>Ellie strikes a dramatic pose.
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  #19  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:00 PM
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Pajaro Pete Pajaro Pete is offline
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Mark: "Hey dumbass, we can do that too."

>Ellie sweatdrops
Ellie: "Oh. I guess this means I'm not the only chosen one."
Nanjou: "Kirishima, did you dream about a butterfly?"
Ellie: "Eh? How'd you know about that? I've been having it ever since I first played PERSONA-sama. But I've been having it more and more lately..."
Nanjou: "Huh... so does that mean the dream is causing all this?"

(Enjoy that scene while it lasts, because it is the only time anyone acknowledges the mythology behind a Persona)

Ellie tells the group that demons are crawling all over town, and that the school is probably the safest place to be because of the strong walls. She also tells them that Maki's mother has been shot and is waiting at the Araya Shrine in town, and they need to go help her.

Ellie joins the party. She actually has a real weapon, which is nice.

...yeah.

The town map now has random battles. But we've got Ellie, who is mostly unstoppable. All the cars have disappeared from the streets, but we still can't fucking cross without a crosswalk.


Ellie's Nike learns Kouha (コウハ, exorcism damage to one enemy), Dia (ディア), Rakukaja (ラクカジャ), Rough Waves (ごうのなみ - 剛の波?, the same thing as Yukino's Crimson spell except for Aqua damage) and Eastern Crash? (とうしょうは - 東衝破, same as Rough Waves except for Weak Boson damage).

Nike is a Judgement Persona, which have a rather... curious quality to them: They're immune to magic. Nike is immune to all Elemental and SCIENCE! magic, weak to Curses and Necromancy, and absorbs Exorcism. Go back and reread that. Ellie is immune to nearly every single magic spell in the game from the very beginning.

First, Team Wangerdoodle decide to hit up Joy Street Mall. On the way they fight lots of assorted enemies and pick up lots and lots of delicious Spell Cards.


The door we ignored a while ago leads to Judgment 1999, a casino. Mara Ring spends all his money buying coins and hits the poker machine. After you win one hand, you're allowed to go double or nothing from one of three minigames. The best on to pick is called "Big or Small," where you have to guess if the next card drawn will be higher or lower than the one currently out. You can continue to go double or nothing and play it until you hit a max of 100,000 coins.

Yes it is as horribly broken as it sounds.

Mara Ring takes his winnings, which come out at around 60,000 coins, and checks out the fabulous prizes they have. This is another one of Persona's more irritating quirks: You can't buy SWORD weapons from stores, so you have to either get them from demons, find them in chests, or win them from the Casino. Also, it doesn't say who can equip what weapon, so it is entirely possible you'll lay down a ton of coins for something you can't use.

Mara Ring buys a Fauchard (マルドギール), two Mail Breakers (メイルブレイカー), a Sonic Blade (ソニックソード), and a Strike Tail (ストライクテイル). Mara Ring takes one of the Mail Breakers and the other stays in the inventory because he can't remember if characters will have different equipment when they return.

Team Wangerdoodle, well, mostly Nanjou, takes sometime to rank up their Personas. Personas gain experience when they're used in battle. As they rank up, they'll learn new spells. I really wanted Nanjou to learn Makakaja, before I hit the shrine, but then I got bored and decided to advance the plot (such as it is).

Araya Shrine is the yellow building on the map that's located just east of school.


It is also apparently filled with Phantos. For the love of god, don't touch the key. Maki's mother is here, as well as a golden butterfly. Cue Philemon scene two. He doesn't say anything helpful or interesting, just that there are many roads ahead and you get to decide which path you take and that you have to live with the consequences of your actions and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Back in fugly sprite land, Maki's mother gives some exposition about the SEBEC story, which is of no use to us so we'll be ignoring it. She does say that they'll need a Security Card to get to the SEBEC building, and that its at the police station. Mark and Nanjou volunteer to go get it and leave the party.

That's ok, we still have Ellie. You can speak to the butterfly if you need to be healed, but you shouldn't. Now, the only thing left to do is go back to St. Ermine. If you try to go anywhere else, Yukino and Ellie will stop you. Neat.

LATER TONIGHT, OR POSSIBLY TOMORROW: We'll actually begin the Snow Queen Quest! Aren't you just trembling with excitement?

Last edited by Pajaro Pete; 01-17-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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  #20  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:47 PM
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spineshark spineshark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
he can sing a song or provoke the enemy.
YES. Damn if that song doesn't make me laugh every time.

This is already amazingly informative for me, and it's still in the part of the game that I've played. This is going to be excellent.
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  #21  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:51 PM
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poetfox poetfox is offline
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Every single link in this thing has been better than the last. Damn! I have no idea where you found some of this stuff.

But yeah, I'm in this thing for the long haul, especially after how awesome your Soul Hackers run was. Let's see what started a series that I now love even though I've only played two games in it and only beat one of them! YEAH!

(I am such an SMT fan poser, I swear.)
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2009, 10:14 PM
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Mightyblue Mightyblue is offline
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Quote:
The best part is the greek at the top is "Alpha, Omega" and there's a Star of David at the bottom. And the actual art of it makes the gold part look like a Jesus fish. LAYERS AND LAYERS OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM, FOLKS.
Uh, that symbol at the top is the Orthodox equivalent of the Cross, the Kai-ro.
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  #23  
Old 01-17-2009, 01:23 AM
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Pajaro Pete Pajaro Pete is offline
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Part 3-ish: STORY


Back at the Academy, Ellie convinces the students to open the door for them without resorting to racism like in the US version. Saeko greets them in the entrance, and I just love how Maki's mother is laying on the ground in all these pictures. This scene really highlights how lowbudget they went with this game: Saeko (and most of the NPCs) doesn't actually have a walking animation. The screen FADES OUT then FADES BACK IN so she can move across the screen. Yukino and Ellie leave the party, while Saeko and Mara Ring lung Maki's mother to the nurse's office. There's a little more pointless chatter about IMPORTANT PLOT POINTS for the other quest.


Mara Ring stops by the Principal's office to put in some face time with the administration. Mostly because I forgot to introduce them earlier.

Vice Principal Hanya. Also known as Hanya. He's an asshole to the students and they all hate him.


Principal Ooishi. The principal of St. Ermine. A woman who has dedicated herself to the students of St. Ermine. She also likes flowers.


Now that that's out of the way, it's time to start the Snow Queen Quest!


First, Mara Ring needs to head to his classroom, room 2-4 and speak to the girl inside.
Student: "That idiot Akuma-kun said that the town becoming like this is because of a curse on St. Ermine. How can he even joke about that at a time like this?"

Akuma-kun, huh? Maybe he knows something about all this. I'm allowed to think this because I ignored everything that Maki's mother said

Akuma-kun hangs out in the library on the third floor.


Akuma-kun: "You've heard of the Snow Queen, right? The old fairy tale. The play is a tradition for the drama club. Hehehe... They even have a special mask they use in the production. But... did you know the mask is cursed. Anyone who plays the role of the Snow Queen, who wears the mask, will die. One after another, they all drop like flies after they've played the role of the Snow Queen. Isn't that fascinating?"


Kurouri Tsutomu. Nickname: Akuma-kun. Has extensive knowledge of the occult, but isn't always 100% right.


...huh, that doesn't tell us a whole lot about the current situation, but isn't it an interesting story? We certainly don't want anyone to die, so let's go check with the drama club.


The drama club is located by the gym, which means you have to walk by the hole in the wall. Don't investigate the hole or else you'll trigger the SEBEC story. Ignore it and you'll end up in the club hallway.

Drama Club Member: "Who all's played the Snow Queen? Don't know. There may be some old records you can find, but we don't keep them here. And don't let the manager hear you talking about it, or else..."


Let's check in on the Fencing Club... Mara Ring walks in on two people arguing.

Tamaki-chan. A transfer student and member of the fencing club. Can always be found arguing with Tadashi.

Tadashi-kun. Member of the fencing club. Can always be found arguing with Tamaki.

There's a box in the corner that contains a couple of Arm Guards (アームガード). Mara Ring speaks with one of the other students in the room, and he says that when all the demons started appearing, Tamaki-chan knew them all by name. What kind of life did she live before coming to St. Ermine?


Mara Ring picks up some Toe Shoes (トウシューズ) from the Ballet club's room, a useless bow and arrow set from the Archery club's room, and a useless Boxing Glove from the Boxing club's room, as well as some sage advice: Don't be a crazy dog. He also snags some Head Gear (ヘッドギア), which are marginally better than the QQMets he has now.

Now, where were we? Oh yeah, looking for records. Maybe we could try the student council? It's located on the third floor.


Council Chairman. Chairman of the St. Ermine Student Council. He seems to have lost his zest for life.

The Chairman doesn't have them, he says that they rearranged all the old records a long time ago and doesn't know where they are. Maybe Ooishi knows?

In the Principal's Office, Mara Ring walks in on a conversation between Ooishi and Hanya.

Ooishi: "...the Snow Queen? Ok, I'll tell you everything. The drama club used to put the play on every year. Every year, a girl that played the part of the Snow Queen would wear the mask with great pride, and every year the production was a success. But then this rumor started... "If you wear the mask, you'll die." I didn't believe it, at least not until that day eight years ago... Come to think of it, Saeko-sensei was the last one to play the role of the Snow Queen...

Hanya: "Principal..."

Ooishi: "It was eight years ago... Saeko-sensei was the understudy for her best friend, who had gotten the role as the Snow Queen. If only I had known sooner... everything would have been fine as long as no one wore the mask. But...
... After the memorial service, we put the mask in storage..."

Hanya: "You're pulling my leg! No one could believe such a ridiculous story!"

Storage, huh? I've heard that there's a storage room near the gym...


There's really no reason to ever come to the gym if you're doing the SEBEC story. In fact, it's entirely possible you'll never see it. In any case, there's a door to the side that leads to the storage room. There's a MYSTERIOUS BOX on the floor. Opening it causes a wave of light to fly out and...


I told you not to touch the fucking key asshole.

You obtain the Snow Queen Mask!

...and the music turns all OMINOUS.
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  #24  
Old 01-17-2009, 01:32 AM
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Pajaro Pete Pajaro Pete is offline
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When Mara Ring returns to the gym, a teacher spots him and notices that he's holding the Snow Queen Mask. He's surprised that it's still around.

Now that Mara Ring has this cursed mask, he decides to head back to talk to his classmates. When he arrives in the annex, he sees a girl in a red ribbon and Mark leave through the hole in the wall. Ayase and Yukino are also there. Ayase tells Mara Ring that Maki about what happened while he was running around the school chasing down masks: Brown and Mark managed to get in trouble at the police station, but Ellie and Nanjou rescued them. And Maki came to school with no recollection of ever being in the hospital. How mysterious!

Too bad it has nothing to do with us, right?


Saeko-sensei walks in (out?) and wants to know if Mark came back. Yukino explains the situation to her. Saeko then notices the mask Mara Ring is holding.

Saeko: "Eh? That mask...!! I can't believe we still have it. When I was your age, we used this mask for The Snow Queen."


Saeko tells the story of the Snow Queen. I am not typing it all out. There's a pretty indepth wiki for it.


Saeko: "This mask is cursed. Doesn't that make sense, considering the story? When my friend wore it..."

Ayase: "S-stop it Sensei! You're giving me the creeps. Get rid of that thing."

Saeko: "Ah... I'm just telling you what they say about it: If you wear it, you'll die. But it isn't true, it's just a coincidence. See, I'll put it on and show you it's completely safe."

Turnip: Oh, Saeko, NO.

Saeko: "See? The Fortune smiles upon your teacher...? Huh...?"

Saeko: "Aaaaaah!"


Mara Ring, Yukino and Ayase are paralyzed by flashing lights and eventually collapse. There's a shitty FMV of the school freezing over that I didn't cap. Sorry. The trio wakes up in the courtyard of St. Ermine.


Saeko is standing at the other end of the courtyard. Yukino runs to her, but is blasted away. Four PENISES PHALLIC ICE PILLARS surround her.

"Saeko" giggles like an idiot, and Yukino is pretty much in denial about the whole thing. She tells Saeko to stop messing around.

"Saeko": "Joke? You think this is a joke? Look around you, little girl. Ehehehehe... I'll bring this world to a peaceful end. Everything will be frozen in an eternal moment... Yes, I'll create a perfect world."

Ayase: "How the hell can you say something like that?"

"Saeko":" Don't be so course my lovely. Ehehehehe... Even you shall have eternal beauty in my world."

Yukino: "Yuka, stay back!! It's the mask... the mask took over her body! I won't just stand here and let that monster have its way with sensei!"

Mask: " 'Took over'...? She put the mask on all by herself. I didn't do anything. And I'll advise you to watch your tongue you wench. If anything, you shall address me as 'The Snow Queen,' not 'monster' or anything of the like."

Yukino: "Is this all a game to you?! What are you going to do with Saeko-sensei?!"

Snow Queen: "She'll become a sacrifice."

Ayase: "S-sacrifice?!"

Snow Queen: "Yes, sacrifice. If Saeko, who overflowed with hopes and dreams, is sacrificed, the quiet stillness of despair will set in: An Eternal Night."

Ayase: "Does that mean everyone will be frozen?!"

Yukino: "You don't have to do that! Just give Saeko-sensei back right now!"

Snow Queen: "You're a feisty one. I'll be happy to give her back... but only if you can remove the mask. Unless you take it off, Saeko won't return to normal. Perhaps you should think it over? Maybe if you spend some time thinking about it, you'll understand the need for the Eternal Night. You're free to walk around your frozen school, but I just can't bear to let you leave. There's only two possible outcomes: You take the mask off Saeko, or you welcome the Eternal Night."

Ayase: "How're we supposed to get the mask off?"

A light flashes and Saeko is frozen solid.

Snow Queen's Voice: "Ehehehe... we still have some time before Saeko breaks... I suppose we need some entertainment... How about a game?"

Yukino: "Game?!"

Snow Queen's Voice: "Three towers have risen around this frozen castle, each tower has a guardian. It's possible to defeat the guardian before the clocks in the tower reach midnight. So maybe, just maybe, if you defeat all the guardians, you'll be able to save your school and Saeko. I haven't prepared a contingency plan, so if I lose Saeko, I lose period. Good luck~"


Team Wangerdoodle are spirited off to Philemon's world.
Philemon: "I felt you calling out to me, your sadness and frustration and desire to save your teacher. There is a way to save her: Use the Demon's Mirror. It should be able to dispel the mask's curse. Unfortunately, just like the story says, the mirror has been shattered into 12 fragments. across the three towers. I will give you this mirror frame. Set the fragments in it and you should be able to reconstruct the Demon's Mirror. You should be able to save your teacher if you find enough fragments. You don't have much time left... Good luck."

Back in the courtyard, the trio's even more determined to save Saeko. As they enter the school, Yukino takes one last look at Saeko and swears that she'll save her.


St. Ermine has become the Frozen Castle. The layout is completely different, with most of the rooms replaced with stores of all varieties.


Nanjou is in the nurse's office. He was wounded during the great police station escapade, and Natsumi is trying to get him to stay put. Ayase and Yukino explain the current situation, and Nanjou is shocked that the school has transformed like the hospital did. He volunteers to come along.

Mara Ring turns him down for the time being.

In the library, Akuma-kun and Ellie are being wacky occultfiends. There's a strange gold door in the middle of the room. Ellie inspects it and sees that "Nemesis's Domain" is inscribed on it. She goes on to explain the Nemesis is the personification of vengeance. She's also, of course, totally excited that there are more demons around. Oh Ellie. She volunteers to come along.

Mara Ring turns her down for the time being.

The reason he turned them both down is because he wanted your opinion! Yes, your's! We only have two open party slots, but three possible members! We already know about Ellie and Nanjou, but there's also someone hiding behind Door # 3. We won't be able to recruit him until after we pick up either Ellie or Nanjou, so who's it gonna be? Should we take both Ellie and Nanjou and screw the forget about the last guy? Or should we go with only Ellie? How about just Nanjou? TYRANTS I NEED YOUR HELP. Please vote for two!
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  #25  
Old 01-17-2009, 01:37 AM
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Pajaro Pete Pajaro Pete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spineshark View Post
This is already amazingly informative for me, and it's still in the part of the game that I've played. This is going to be excellent.
I can only imagine your surprise to find out what "Weak to Spirit/Weak to Physical" actually mean. And we still have fusion to cover! OH BOY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poetfox View Post
Every single link in this thing has been better than the last. Damn! I have no idea where you found some of this stuff.
Looking for other stuff, mostly. Like, the danjo video I was looking for a preview of Devil Survivor, and yet I found something 300x better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Uh, that symbol at the top is the Orthodox equivalent of the Cross, the Kai-ro.
You can't really tell in that image, but there's a small "alpha" symbol and a small "omega" symbol on either side of the cross-thing.
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  #26  
Old 01-17-2009, 01:55 AM
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Lakupo Lakupo is offline
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Ha, I didn't realize the St. Hermelin seal was so adorable.

You better pick up Nanjou at least, or I ain't reading! I picked Ellie for my P1 game, but I'm relatively indifferent to her. But I'd vote for her over the other guy anyway.
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  #27  
Old 01-17-2009, 03:38 AM
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Assuming the mystery guest is Brown, go with Nanjou and Ellie. Nanjou is Nanjou, and it seems like Ellie has just as many head-slapping moments as Brown, with the added benefit of gratuitous English.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post

First, let's go Peace Diner. There's nothing to buy (but the cashier has some serious hair), but we can chat with a student wearing a FAMILIAR uniform.
Plaid pants, huh?

Speaking of If..., I love the underlying sense of continuity between that game, P1, and P2. That line about Tamaki recognizing all the demons is a good example.


Quote:

Rosa Candida is a clothing store, but they won't let Mara Ring buy anything. Those mannequins are dressed sort of familiarly...
The one in black resembles Nemissa, but this game came first, right? I don't recognize the other one at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
Faulcard (マルドギール)
That's a weird one.
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  #28  
Old 01-17-2009, 04:38 AM
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Man, I forgot all about Reiji. If it's Reiji, get Reiji.
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  #29  
Old 01-17-2009, 10:14 AM
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Pajaro Pete Pajaro Pete is offline
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It isn't Reiji, he's off being awesome and half naked somewhere else.

Quote:
The one in black resembles Nemissa, but this game came first, right? I don't recognize the other one at all.
I think the other one kinda looks like BandyAid. The shirt's a different color, but that's a green jacket and white pants... I wouldn't be surprised if he already had their designs done at this time. After all, Raidou's been around since 2000, at least in concept.

Quote:
That's a weird one.
Yeah, mostly because it should be Fauchard. Whoops.

Quote:
You better pick up Nanjou at least, or I ain't reading! I picked Ellie for my P1 game, but I'm relatively indifferent to her. But I'd vote for her over the other guy anyway.
How can you be indifferent to Ellie? She's awesome.
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  #30  
Old 01-17-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip View Post
I think the other one kinda looks like BandyAid. The shirt's a different color, but that's a green jacket and white pants... I wouldn't be surprised if he already had their designs done at this time. After all, Raidou's been around since 2000, at least in concept.
Oh, yeah. I forgot BandyAid, since we didn't actually see him much.


Quote:
Yeah, mostly because it should be Fauchard. Whoops.
The kana is still so different, though. This page seems to think it's "Mardgeer."
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