Part 16: Part Fourteen: Gettin' Pumped!
Part Fourteen: Gettin' Pumped!
Last time on Persona 2...
We spread a ton of rumors and explored the Haunted Bomb Shelter; we didn't accomplish anything huge by doing either, so it's time to get back to the story. For those who've forgotten or are just joining us, the Persona team - reporter Maya Amano, detective Katsuya Suou, and wiretapper Baofu - have recently heard that their friend Ulala Serizawa had performed the Joker curse, which would turn her into a merciless serial killer if she wasn't stopped. The team quickly found out the person she was most likely to have done the curse on, a con artist named Makimura who had gypped her out of money in the past. They took Makimura into custody, but before they headed to the GOLD Gym where they believed they'd find Ulala, they took a couple of detours first.
First off was the healer in the Hirasaka district, Dr. T! Tomi is a chiropractor who learned his impressive skills in the United States. Gold Finger!! I am the Master of Chiropractic who trained in the USA!! Leave your back to me. A straight spine holds a healthy spirit! Gold Finger!! Man, I wish this guy was playable. He doesn't even need a Persona, all he needs is his "Gold Finger!!"
The healer in Yumezaki is Bikini Line, managed by the Aki dude. They say tanning is not good for your skin, but we use a special kind of light that causes no problems. Not only does it give a tan, it also makes you healthy for real. Any kind of wound or illness, gonzo. He's kind of annoying, really, but healing is healing no matter where you go. Finally, we stop by the Sumaru Prison in Hirasaka, for no reason other than the fact that we can.
There, we meet Eikichi, who looks oddly familiar for some reason. He's even more than Katsuya, and that's saying a lot. I'm vocals for Gas Chamber, and Kasugayama High's #1 super-cool, handsome guy...that's right! I am...Michel!! From this moment, you are a little chick trapped in a cage called "Love"...
Miyabi's just kind of here at the moment; she's not doing much. Every band needs groupies, I guess.
And there's the rest of Gas Chamber. They're the new Priest, I have no doubt. Get your albums today!
Meanwhile, Katsuya's trying to figure out if Makimura deserves some jail time for being annoying yet. We've exhausted most of the optional stuff at this point, so we decide it's time to head to GOLD.
There's a huge commotion as we head inside.
Female Staff Member: One of the female members locked everyone else out, and barricaded herself in...
Katsuya: It wouldn't happen to be Ulala Serizawa, would it? Is she alright?
Female Staff Member: You a policeman...? She seemed to be in a lot of pain. We tried to help her, but she wouldn't have any of it...
Baofu: Isn't there any way to open the gym from the outside?
Female Staff Member: I don't see any of my co-workers who would have a spare key. Somebody should be inside...
Katsuya: I see...Thanks for your help, Miss. We'll take it from here. Well, there's our setup.
Makimura's being heroic as always. I kinda wish he was playable as well. He could have Quagmire as a Persona.
We head inside the gym, and we don't take two steps before...
...we're hit by resonance from Ulala. Well, this was a pretty short dungeon.
Or not. Damn. Guess we need to find that staff member with the key. First off, though, we explore the locker rooms on the first floor, and come across...
...a new Material Card, the Rainbow Gleam! We'll check it out when we get to a Velvet Room.
We also come across a Clean Salt, which acts like the Estoma spell and stops random encounters. Handy. We continue through the gym, fighting unimpressive demons, most of which don't stand a chance against Cyclone Slash.
We end up at an equipment room on the second floor. As we enter, Maya spies a barbell laying on the floor that flickers and shimmers away before her eyes - I'd have gotten a screenshot of this, but it happens pretty quickly.
Huh? Barbell? Didn't you mistake it for something else...? Got me, Kat.
Oh Makimura, how do the ladies resist you?
We don't find anything in the equipment room, so we head back into the gym and continue on our merry way. After a battle, we get a Mutation...
...which results in this happening. This is probably the rarest and most valuable of the Mutations; we'll go into what it does later on. After a few more battles and some more dungeon-crawling, we come to the women's locker room on the third floor.
Frankly I'm amazed that Makimura doesn't enjoy the women's locker room, but the likelihood that Ulala's currently stalking him and getting ready to kill him probably has something to do with it. Maya explores the area, despite Makimura's claim that there's nobody here, and finds...
...this guy. Eh? Looking for the boxing gym key? Ye, yeah, I got it...I'll lend it to you, so keep this a secret. Please. He hands over the key, so we're all set.
On the way out, though...
Maya tells Katsuya what happened, which sets him off. He heads back behind the lockers where the panty thief was.
We hear the sound of Katsuya beating the shit out of the pervert.
Tell it like it is, Katsuya. You rock so hard.
Before we enter the boxing gym, we need to get ready for whatever's in there, so we chat up the local demons and get some cards.
Katsuya uses his inner furry to seduce this catgirl...
...and Maya turns her feminine wiles upon this minotaur. After a few battles' worth of this, we head back to the Velvet Room and do some summoning.
First up is Arianrhod, a Wind Persona from the Empress Arcanum. Arianrhod's spells aren't anything too impressive, though having a healing spell is nice, and her weakness to magic is a pretty big liability. Nevertheless, we've got a specific use in mind for her that we'll see in a second.
We also use the Rainbow Gleam that we picked up earlier to call Iris, an Earth Persona from the Star Arcanum. Her spells are neat, if a bit redundant, and her healing is a lot more effective than Arianrhod's; plus, as a Star, she's highly compatible with Ulala and she basically outclasses Callisto at everything. Shame Ulala's not here now, huh?
We take some time to rank Arianrhod and Iris up to Rank 8, then hand Arianrhod off to Maya and Iris to Baofu. In the process, an Angel gets lucky and hits Katsuya with a Hama spell, killing him. This would normally be a bad thing, but it gives me a chance to show off a feature that most players don't know about.
You'd think that dead characters couldn't be involved in Contact, and you'd be right in a sense - they can't lead Contact. If somebody else leads and you select a dead character, however...
...whoever's leading actually grieves for the fallen party member. This tends to scare the demons, and it also has a high chance of evoking mixed reactions like Joy/Interest.
Rather than grieving over Katsuya, Baofu says some nasty things about him.
Likewise when Baofu gets killed later on and Katsuya leads a contact with Baofu's corpse.
Anyway, now that we're finished grieving, time to head on into the boxing gym.
Ulala: Gu...don't...come...near me...
Katsuya: There's no reason to throw your life away just for this low-life...
Maya moves closer to try and comfort Ulala, but...
...Ulala turns around and socks her one for it!
Er, shit. Also, I hope you guys figured this twist out by yourselves.
Ulala's Persona has been replaced by Joker, the same Persona that Sudou used.
You tell it like it is, Baofu. We're put into battle with Joker Ulala.
Attempting to contact Ulala results in failure, so I guess we'll just have to beat the shit out of her.
Ulala uses Wind-based spells, and highly painful ones at that, so it's time to put Arianrhod to work. The reason we summoned her was for her Wall of Air spell - as long as we remember to cast this every few rounds, we're immune to Ulala's wind-breaking. Also, notice how Maya's at half her max HP from getting punched earlier.
Ulala's also weak to Earth, so Iris comes in handy, despite being very poorly compatible with Baofu.
Aside from her Wind attacks, Ulala also knows Old Maid, which we already know how to deal with.
I got a little overzealous and took a hit from it, though, so this is what the effect looks like.
She's also got Gigantic Fist, which sends Joker out to punch the crap out of a character. It's not really much to worry about, though.
Thanks to Wall of Air, we're all but invincible, so three shots of Stone Rise and change later Ulala goes down.
Whatever...I do...I usually fail...I've taken extracurricular lessons, obtained licenses...But never found a future in them...It seems...that Ma-ya had everything...Sorry...I'm...such a fool...
Makimura just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. Katsuya walks over and grabs him by the throat.
So, officer, do your job and put her away...Don't you think she's a cruel person?
No. No, we don't. Also, this is the last of the significant decisions as far as determining Maya's personality goes - keep this in mind, as we'll be getting the reward for being nice soon.
If Serizawa dies, the evidence to put you away goes with her...Do you think we're that stupid?
Baofu: Hold it, Suou. Let me handle this. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble...
Makimura finally gets what he deserves as Baofu clocks him one.
Makimura: Oh...My...My face?! Y, you're just gonna look the other way?! Y, you're a police officer, right?! Do your job!
Ulala: W...wait...He's right...
Makimura: O, OKAY, I'll return the money! I won't con anyone anymore! I promise! Makimura leaves, and everyone finally notices that they just shoved a few thousand tons of arcane death down Ulala's throat.
Baofu: So that's it...A Joker is the same as a Persona...No doctor can help her...If you want to yank that demon out of her, I know a place...
Katsuya: You're talking about the Velvet Room, right? I guess we've got no choice...let's hurry...
Igor uses his powers to remove the Joker from Ulala.
Igor: A Joker is the heart's shadow...The heart exists only when there is light and dark. You can't just make it disappear. It retreats to the sea of unconsciousness for now, but it will rise whenever it can. That is up to Miss Serizawa.
Katsuya: You've come around...You can rest easy, Miss Serizawa. But...
Ulala: "The rest is up to me", right? I heard...I'm really sorry, Ma-Ya. I know I can't change what I've done, but I promise I'll be there when you need me. Uh...my grandmother always said to repay your debts...Thank you, Ma-Ya...
Suddenly, Maya's cell phone rings.
Noriko suddenly became a Joker...and someone kidnapped her...She must have used the Joker curse on someone. Everyone who's been kidnapped is beind held at a club called the Zodiac...I'm going there right now...This is for saving me at the clock tower...Bye.
But why would anyone start kidnapping people who've used the Joker curse?
Guess our next desination's been chosen!
COMING UP NEXT: Probably a bunch of sidequesty stuff, then we're going clubbin'!