Part 18: Part Sixteen: Honestly I'm out of club puns.
Part Sixteen: Honestly I'm out of club puns.
Last time on Persona 2...
We went a-sideuqestin'! This earned us loads of cash, a few new Personas in Hotei, Maia Custom, and Hel, and a new fortunetelling service. All of this was in preperation for today's episode - the crew heads into Club Zodiac in search of Noriko, who's been kidnapped after using the Joker curse in an attempt to kill the principal of Seven Sisters High School.
First off, though, we've got a tiny bit more prep to take care of.
Here's a new Persona - say hi to Harpie! Harpie is a Wind Persona from the Temperance Arcanum. Notice how Harpie seems to suck? Well...that's because she does. No redeeming qualities whatsoever, from her shitty stats to her piss-poor spell selection. Nonetheless, we summon her and stick her on Ulala as we take a short trip to Kasu High.
Since we're here, might as well pick up even more Fusion Spells. Wind followed directly by Wind produces...
...Ryuhi Tensho, which does middling damage to a single target. Hey, you win some, you lose some.
Speaking of winning some, Water followed by Wind followed by Maha Aques produces...
...Tidal Wave, which is basically the Water version of Crag Fang. It's just about as handy as Crag Fang as well, and it's invaluable when dealing with things that are weak to Water.
After a few battles, we get what we came for - mutations, and lots of them. Maia Custom learns Recarm, which is the revival spell of the Persona series; hopefully we don't have to use this too often, but it's great to have around. Hel and Harpie, on the other hand, get their modification abilities - Hel, frankly, rocks too hard to mutate, but in Harpie's case this is exactly what we've been waiting for. Time to hit the Velvet Room.
Harpie mutates into Matsuo-Sama, a Water Persona from the Cup Minor Arcanum. Matsuo-Sama rocks hard, just as Hotei does - De Kaja, which removes buffs from enemies, and Refresh Ring, which heals the entire party of bad status effects, are beautiful, beautiful spells to have. However, there's another reason we worked to get this Persona, and you can probably guess it if you've been keeping up with the thread.
Matsuo-Sama gives us one more new Fusion Spell to learn - Water followed by Wind followed by Maha Aqua produces...
...Shikku Suisoha, which really wishes it was Tidal Wave but isn't. At least it looks cool.
Now that that's taken care of, let's head off to the club. Hopefully they haven't killed Noriko yet.
Anna's waiting for the group as they arrive. Eh...? Tatsuya's...? Tatsuya, where is he now? That's right...Tatsuya and I hung out here a lot...He's really bad, but he's so kind...But lately, he's been acting up, and not been around...
Anna: Atone for my sins...was what he said. Whatever that means...
Anna: In the back...This club was bought by the Taiwanese Mafia. The kidnappers spoke Chinese...
Baofu: ...I see.
Ulala: Then leave Noriko and Tatsuya to us...
You got it, sister. Before we storm in and head to the rescue, we chat with the local club denizens; most of them don't provide any useful information, however there does seem to be a unique rumor being spread around.
A maze, huh? With good items? Mazes and good items make for great updates, so...
...we head right over to Kuzunoha and spread the rumor. It's worth noting that you can choose to complete the Club Zodiac dungeon without spreading this particular rumor, in which case the dungeon is what amounts to a straight line right to the boss. You miss out on some pretty cool stuff this way, though, not to mention it's pretty boring.
Thus, with the rumor spread, we head into the back area of Club Zodiac.
The first noteworthy thing about the Club dungeon is that we're fighting humans! Human enemies tend to be immune to instant death spells, plus they typically won't talk to us. Nuclear Blast fries them just as easy as anything, though.
There's also yellow crap all over the floors here. It does an absurd amount of damage; stepping on two tiles or so of it in succession will send the entire party shooting down to one HP each. Maya's Mediarama spell can heal this in two shots or so, but it's best to avoid the floor goo when possible.
Now, the primary reason we spread the maze rumor is to get stuff, so let's see what we've won!
Anti-Magic Beads are fairly rare items, and for good reason - they cast the Makarakarn spell, which allows an ally to reflect any and all spells sent at them. As you can imagine, this is an absurdly powerful ability, so we hang on to this to save it for a rainy day.
Frei, as you might recall, is that Nuclear spell that serves as half of Nuclear Blast. Boom.
Spells with the -Kaja suffix are buff spells; Suku Kaja is the speed buff. Not the best by any means, but the card is fairly hard to find so it's nice to have around.
Yay again? This would've been a nice card to have two dungeons or so ago, at this point it's a little meh.
Since when did we use weapons? This is a decent gun, but it's doomed to be a paperweight, at least for the moment.
...ONE copy of Battle Master? Cheapasses, we'll never win anything with ONE magazine!
After looting the place, we discover the club's Staff Room.
The staff is stunningly useless, so we get back to our explorations.
Shortly thereafter, we come across the entrance to the Secret Casino where we believe Noriko is being held. They want a password to let us in; sadly, we have no idea what it is.
Well, it definitely wasn't "password". Damn, at least we tried. I wonder if the people back at the staff room will let us know what it is...
When we get there, Baofu takes the lead.
We hear beating sounds coming from behind the wall.
Well isn't that just neat!
Katsuya: Hey! What do you think you're doing?!
Baofu: You gonna bust me then? Then they'll know you're working alone...Go ahead if you like, I don't care...
Ulala: Don't you two ever quit?! WE got the password, right? Let's get outta here!'
Back at the door, we punch the password into the input box.
We're immediately invited in.
Inside, we catch a glimpse of the mysterious scarred man from the Police Station and Sanitarium.
Baofu rushes off and charges up the stairs toward the scarred man.
He's stopped by a pair of goons, but the scarred man gives the signal to let him in.
Man with scar: So it WAS you at the sanitarium.
Katsuya: Who is he?
Baofu: Yung Pao...a lowlife assassin.
Yung Pao: He kill 25 of my men in Taiwan. I only kill one Japanese. It unfair.
Baofu: Shut your face, Yung Pao! Tell me what you know before you die...What is Tatsuzou planning? Come clean and I'll kill you painlessly.
Yung Pao: Hahaha! Come now, Baofu. You know I'd never agree to those terms. But...I'll tell you this. I work with the police and new Japanese government. Joker hunting is good for "our" relations.
Yung Pao: No one else here beside the kitten we just hunted...If you want, I give cat back.
Yung Pao gives the signal, and a pair of goons bring out Noriko.
Yung Pao: Drug working...She just calm kitten now. Before that...a tiger. We had trouble capturing her.
Hey, wait a sec--
Just like that, it's boss time. First course of action, as always, is to see if by some stroke of luck we can use words instead of fists to solve our problems.
Guess not, looks like we're in for a slugfest.
Joker Noriko starts off by buffing her minions with Taru Kaja, which increases attack power. While we could wipe the buffs with Matsuo-Sama's De Kaja spell, we decide to go a more direct route instead.
Two shots of Crag Fang and change deal heavy damage to Noriko and kill her minions off before they can do much.
Noriko's also got Marin Karin, which charms a single target. Fortunately she was unable to land this on any of the party.
She also packs a mean kick.
Most of Noriko's damage comes from her powerful Maha Aques spell - fortunately, we've got Matsuo-Sama, and his Wall of Water keeps us from taking any damage from it.
All of her spells bounce harmlessly off, and we take very little damage. This is a good thing, as our characters would be in pretty severe danger if she got any of this through.
If Noriko uses Water, she must be pretty weak to Fire, right? Turns out that's exactly it, and three shots of Tower Inferno put her down for the count.
Ulala: Looks like she's just unconscious...poor thing...
The team glances around, and notices Yung Pao's nowhere to be seen.
Katsuya: Baofu...is what he said true?
Baofu: So what if it is? They're hunted in Taiwan for being impure. No matter how many are killed, people should be grateful. This is out of your jurisdiction! You don't have what it takes to handle this! Just back off, Suou!
Katsuya: You're well versed on inside information regarding the Police and Mafia...Who are you...?
Everybody's managed to forget that they've just beat the shit out of a mostly-innocent schoolgirl, and Ulala snaps them back to their senses.
Back at the Velvet Room, we meet up with Anna.
Noriko: (sniff) I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm...I'm...
Noriko turns to Katsuya.
Anna: Are...you going to arrest Noriko?
Anna: Thank you...
Ulala: Well, well...it seems that our by-the-books policeman is a softie after all...
Baofu: Hmph! All that means is that the law can't adjudicate in this situation...You've got your hands tied, Suou.
Katsuya: There are many who need to be judged before her...Tatsuzou, the Mafia, and the traitors within the Police. I'll find the cancer...
Suddenly, Katsuya's cell phone goes off.
Katsuya: What...?! Who are you?
Baofu: "Sneak", you say...? As in "sneaky", huh? ...Sounds supicious...What do you plan to do?
Maya's up for anything, as always. Looks like we're heading to the Park.
COMING UP NEXT: Well, heading to the park after sidequests, most likely.