Part 5: Entry Five: April 24, 2009
Entry Five: April 24, 2009
Music: Tranquility (This is the theme that plays while Minato runs around school.)
Sorry about the delay - things have been pretty busy lately, and for once I'm not talking about Shadows or related crap. You might have noticed that my journal's not friends-only anymore; turns out the others all have blogs, too, and they write about this stuff but nobody ever believes it. I guess it's no big deal if people think I'm crazy on the Internet, right? Also, everyone else friended me, but there wasn't any crazy Social Link action...lame.
Oh, turns out that I'd ended my last entry right around the point I wanted to, so I didn't forget to mention anything after all.
Anyway, at school the next day, I ran into this kid I remembered vaguely from class. Turns out his name is Kenji. I've gotten to know him a little better lately, he's a pretty cool guy.
Kenji: Man, I knew it. I heard from Junpei that you're pretty close with Yukari-san. ...What's up with that? Well, I guess it doesn't matter. I'm looking for someone with a little more experience anyway. By the way, I'm Kenji Tomochika. There's a morning assembly, so we better hurry.
We weren't late to the assembly, which was a bad thing as the opening to those are boring as hell. Turns out I was glad I didn't miss it altogether, though.
Student: Next, we'll hear a word from the Student Council. Please welcome the new President, Mitsuru Kirijo, from Class 3-D.
Yukari: Well, I guess she IS the most popular girl in school.
Junpei: You can say that again! There's like some kinda aura around her...besides, this school's owned by the Kirijo Group, right?
Yukari: Yeah, I try not to think about that.
Mitsuru: It is my firm belief that each of us must accept the responsibility of bettering our school. However, change cannot occur without sustained effort and an unprecedented level of commitment. That is why we must restructure our daily lives to accomplish this lofty goal. I'd like each of you to dig deeply into your well of motivation and re-evaluate your convictions...to imagine a bold new future without losing sight of the realities around you. That is the key. I am certain many of you have your own visions for the future...for us to reap the full benefits of our education, your participation, ideas, and enthusiasm are essential. Thank you.
Junpei: So...do you have any idea what she just said?
Well...no, I didn't.
Junpei: Me neither...we live in the same dorm, but it's like we're on different planets...man, if she asks for my opinion, I don't know what I'll say...
School proceeded as usual after the assembly. I had Composition that day. Ms. Toriumi was going on about her favorite authors, as usual.
Ms. Toriumi: Oh...hm, I don't really like this author. Okay, nevermind. I've got a great poem we can cover instead. Close your textbooks, everyone, and listen..."Beneath the seas, high above in the skies..."
I thought about dozing off in class again, but I didn't. This was actually a really good idea, because...
...Ms. Toriumi is damn serious about her poetry.
Ms. Toriumi: You should be ashamed of yourself, taking a nap while I pour my heart into reading this poem! For that, you get another essay along with your regular assignment tonight! I'll expect a slice of cake when you turn it in, too!
Dodged a bullet there...well, I guess it's pretty ironic for me to say that, huh?
I didn't have anything to do after school, so I was free to do as I pleased, but there really wasn't that much available yet. Being the new kid sucks.
(For the rest of the game, we have to learn how to best manage Minato's time. He can spend time socializing, studying, sitting around at the local cafe...all kinds of stuff. This will have consequences on his life, and in turn will have consequences on his performance in Tartarus. It'll be up to you guys what we have him do.)
I figured I'd chat with Junpei some, then take off and head back to the dorm.
Junpei: I heard no one was even close to her in the election. Considering her background, I don't know why they bothered. Let's face it, we're all just plain ordinary compared to her, man.
I met another guy, too, but he seemed too busy thinking about workouts to talk.
On the way out, I met this chick. She kinda creeped me out...
Creepy Girl: Everyone else looks so small compared to Mitsuru-senpai. Oh, Mitsuru-senpai...
I backed away slowly and headed for the exit...
...after taking care of some business. Wait, why am I blogging about this?
I mean, it was great and all, but seriously. Ignore that, guys. Moving on...
(Being in Great condition is the opposite of being Tired - you hit more, do more damage, and deal more critical hits. It doesn't last very long, typically for around a day, but it's good stuff while you've got it.)
Oh, there's a vendor near the school's exit...
...who sells snacks and stuff. I wasn't really in the mood for anything, though. Also: five thousand Yen for a book cover? Give me a break.
I had just stepped outside when I heard a gaggle of girls freaking out over Akihiko.
Girls: Where?! Oh, there he is!
Junpei: Have you noticed how popular Akihiko-san is with the ladies? Man, take a look at that...I didn't use to talk to him much, but now I've got a good excuse. I know he's the captain of the boxing team, but...who woulda thought he'd be such a chick magnet?! I mean, come on! You don't even see girls flock like that on TV! I wonder where they're going...
Well, at least being seen around Akihiko ought to do wonders for my image. He's pretty cool for a prep.
Junpei: Hell yeah! Whatcha got in mind?
Akihiko: I want the two of you to meet me at Paulownia Mall. You know where it is, right? I'll be at the police station. See ya there.
Junpei: Th-the police station?! You mean, we're not hangin' out with your friends...?
Akihiko: Who, these girls? I don't even know their names. They talk so much they give me a headache. Anyway, I'm gonna head out...don't keep me waiting.
He didn't even pay attention to them and they still swooned over him? Damn, maybe that "ladder theory" thing was right after all.
Junpei: Man, how can he not know their names?! I mean, seriously! Just look at them! ...Oh well, let's go.
Here's a map of town. As you can see, the mall's pretty close to the school, so it didn't take us long to get there.
Once inside, we headed to the station as asked.
Akihiko was waiting for us inside.
Akihiko: Oh, these are the guys I was talking about earlier.
Akihiko: I was waiting for you guys. This is Officer Kurosawa. He helps keep our squad well-equipped. And this is from Ikutsuki-san...
Junpei: R-really?! Sweet!
Well, I can afford one of those book covers now, at least.
Akihiko: Officer Kurosawa has connections...but these things still cost money.
Kurosawa: Of course they do. Nothing in life is free.
Akihiko: I realize that. Well, I'll see you later. Thanks again.
Kurosawa: My job is to maintain peace in the city, regardless of the circumstances. I'm just an ordinary police officer, but it doesn't take a genius to know something strange is going on here. I'm only doing what I think is right.
He had a decent selection, I guess...but I have to admit that I haven't had any weapons training, so I didn't know what exactly to get. What I think I'm gonna do is ask all of you guys on the Internet what weapon I should use every so often. That way I can mix it up a little and learn something about each...variety's the spice of life, huh?
Oh, when I asked Kurosawa why he didn't carry guns, he pointed at the Evoker at my waist and asked if I really wanted to risk pulling out the wrong gun in battle.
I didn't. Swords and bows are fine by me.
We left after that, having not bought anything. Junpei was in a shitty mood, so he took off, and I took the chance to look around the mall and learn about the stores.
Club Escapade, for instance, is a nightclub that's only open at, well, night. I've gotta throw some scene gear on and stop by sometime.
Chagall Cafe is pretty busy most of the time, but they serve some sort of pheremone-laced coffee, which sounds pretty neat. (This raises Minato's Charm if we have him stay there in the afternoons.)
Accessories are sold here at the Be Blue V. They're really, really expensive, though, and I don't think I can count on the Chairman for any more monetary favors.
In the back of the mall, I found an entrance to the Velvet Room. I figured that, like the one in Tartarus, nobody but me could see this one either.
This is the Mandragora, a karaoke club. I'm actually a pretty big fan of karaoke...most people wouldn't guess that about me. (This raises Minato's Courage if we have him stay there in the afternoons.)
This antique store is closed, so I have no idea what it's all about.
This pharmacy sells medicine and such; I might have to stock up before our next trip into Tartarus, just in case.
This is a record store. I...legally obtain all my music, so there's no real need to shop here.
And finally an arcade. Video games aren't really my thing, though. After looking around the mall, I still had some time to kill and no homework to waste it on, so I headed down to the local shrine to take a look around.
It didn't seem all too special at first...
...though I did stop by to make a 1000-yen offering at the box.
I felt a little smarter having done so, believe it or not. Who knows why?
There was also a fortune container nearby. I went ahead and drew one...
...and discovered I'd have fair luck.
Oh, and there was also 1000 yen inside the fortune for some reason. That ended up paying for my shrine offering, so I'm not complaining.
I ended up heading back to the mall and staying at the Mandragora for the rest of the day.
It was a pretty good time, and I ended up feeling more confident on the whole because of it. After that, it was getting late, so I headed back to the dorm.
Mitsuru was waiting for me when I got there.
Mitsuru: Regarding our exploration of Tartarus...Akihiko is still on the mend, so for now, I'd like you to lead the team. You never know when a powerful enemy might appear, like the one you faced the other day. It's best to be prepared, or else you may find yourself in a difficult situation. So whenever you'd like to explore Tartarus, just let me know, and I'll gather everyone here. Also, since I'm sure there are other things you will need to take care of, you may go out at night if you need to. Well, that's it. Keep up the good work.
According to Akihiko, Officer Kurosawa patrols at night, so he's not available at the Police Station. That means we can't buy equipment at night.
Junpei brought up a concern that I had myself. He's pretty much right. Maybe we're all nuts.
After heading back up to my room to get some rest, I decided I'd study for a bit.
(Studying is a free Academics boost at night, but can potentially make you Tired. it also doesn't help you recover from being Tired or Sick, and in fact doesn't tend to increase your Academics if you try, so it's best to go to bed early if you're feeling low.)
The next morning I ran into Kenji again.
Kenji: Dude, I thought the rumor about you and Yukari-san was true...well, it's not like I care or anything. But you've sure had some bad luck since you transferred here. You know, dude, all the weird stuff that's been happening. How everyone's been saying they're hearing strange voices...well, I guess since you're always listening to your headphones, you probably haven't heard anything.
Hey, I can't help it if I'm really, really into Taking Back Sunday. Their music really speaks to me, okay?
After school, Kenji came by to say hi.
Kenji: No reason, really. I just don't have anything to do later and I thought we could finish our conversation from this morning. So whaddaya say, man? Let's get some ramen and talk.
I decided I might as well...
...if only on the off chance I might gain occult powers from doing so.
Kenji: Whew! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Well, was I right or what? This ramen tastes great, doesn't it? I bet they put a special ingredient in it...something no other ramen shop uses. It's probably some sort of secret spice...oh, sorry, my bad. I get all geeked up when I eat here.
Well, the ramen WAS pretty good, so I agreed it was possible.
Kenji: Wow, you don't look like the type of guy I'd normally hang around with, but I guess looks aren't everything. By the way, man, I hear you and Yukari are close. Damn boy, you move fast! I mean, you just transferred here. I can't blame you, though. A man's gotta be aggressive nowadays.
Kenji: We'll get some food and I'll tell you about my secret plan. Wait 'til you hear about it, dude. You're gonna flip!
Oh shit, here it comes...
...yup, I knew it. Cha-ching. Being nice to people is profitable!
(Social Links are built by establishing relationships with others. Each Social Link corresponds to one of the Major Arcana; likewise, each Persona and Shadow also corresponds to an Arcana. As you develop a Social Link by spending time with that person, it grows more powerful, and Personae of that Arcana become more powerful when you create them through Fusion. We'll go into this further later on, but long story short, if Minato was an antisocial sort of emo kid he wouldn't get very far.)
Before long, it had gotten dark, so Kenji and I parted ways and I headed back to the dorm.
Mitsuru was there waiting for me again.
Mitsuru: Exploring Tartarus can be exhausting, especially since you must do so late at night. You may find that you need a great deal of rest to recuperate. The others' conditions will vary as well, so make sure you take that into consideration before you begin exploring. If you want my evaluation of everyone's condition, don't hesitate to ask.
I was exhausted, so I headed to bed after studying.
(When ascending Tartarus, it helps to spend some time levelling up on earlier floors and leaving when you grow Tired. Once you feel you're ready to handle an ascent, it's best to do so while avoiding Shadows as much as possible. It's possible to gradually make progress up the tower this way; if you kill everything every time you enter, you'll run into the problem an earlier poster mentioned, where you're always too Tired to do anything.)
On the way to school the next morning, I overheard another conversation.
Girl A: Is it just me, or have there been more weird people around lately?
Girl B: You're talking about Apathy Syndrome, right? My neighbor has that...she grosses me out. Sometimes I think I might have it too, and it depresses me.
Girl A: Maybe you just need some exercise.
Athletic teams, huh? Well, it's worth a thought.
After school, I ran into Kenji again. He wanted to go for ramen again today, so I decided I would join him.
At least my stupid Livejournal username is starting to make sense.
Kenji: So can you, like, go into Yukari-san's room and stuff? No, huh? That's what I thought. Well, I'm not interested in girls her age anyway. When it comes to women, I like them to be older than me. What about you?
Well, I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess I wouldn't mind a girl a year or so older or younger than me.
Kenji: That's awesome. Good for you, man. Well, to tell you the truth, I...wait, this is just between us, okay? I have my eye on someone. This is the "secret plan" I was talking about. I'm going to ask her out.
...Oh, for the love of. First new friend I make here and he turns out to be a little pervert.
My life is a goddamn mess.
Kenji: Anyway, I want you to be there when I ask her out. But you gotta promise you won't tell anyone, okay?
Well, no shit, Chris Hansen.
I didn't even do anything this time, he just confided his creepy plan to me! I mean, I'll take superpowers anywhere I can get them, but still...aiding and abetting pedophilia? Yay, I'm a criminal.
It was getting late, so soon after that we both took off. Thank God, I was getting kinda creeped out.
Junpei: He said you're a pretty cool guy. I've known him for a long time, even though we don't usually hang out. He's a good guy, and man...he has no fear when it comes to the ladies.
You're telling me.
The next day, I ran into Kenji at lunch.
Kenji: You doing anything after school? If you're looking for something to do, come talk to me, man. I'll be at my desk. Well, I guess I should go study...NOT! I mean, who needs to study, right? Hahaha...
Yeah, that's not suspicious at all. After class, I went to look around the school a bit more - I was interested in those athletic teams. Turns out there were there of them.
The Swim Team...
The Kendo Team...
...and the Track Team.
So anyway, guys, I'm left with a few decisions, and I want you to help me make them.
First off, what kind of weapon should I use? Right now, Kurosawa sells one-handed and two-handed swords, along with bows.
Also, how should I spend my spare time? Should I keep hanging out with Kenji? He's a little creepy, what with the teacher thing. I don't know if it's a good idea or not, so it's up to all of you Internet people. If so, should I do that often or...
...join one of the athletic teams instead? If so, which one? Should I do that often?
Finally, should I work on my Courage, Academics, or Charm? Maybe a little of all three?
(As mentioned previously, we will be putting this up for a vote. Feel free to share your opinions on what Minato should do.)
Coming up in the next entry: More Tartarus action, along with the results of your choices!