The Let's Play Archive

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment

by Schildkrote

Part 35: Part Thirty-Two: The Crawling Chaos

Part Thirty-Two: The Crawling Chaos

Last time on Persona 2...

Basically everything was FUBAR. The world was nearly destroyed by the Earth Dragon and Joka, but upon the defeat of Gozen, the evil entity who had conspired to summon the beasts, both dragons were destroyed. However, Sumaru City and the party was pulled into the Collective Unconsciousness in a massive energy vortex. There, they were confronted by the incomprehensible being who had started it all - Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos.

Nyarlathotep opts to take a form that's a little less claw-your-eyes-out-and-go-insane; he looks like Tatsuya in his school uniform.

The real Tatsuya lunges at the dark god, brandishing his katana...which Nyarlathotep simply stops with his hand.

Tatsuya: Shut up!
Nyarlathotep: Humans are strange...I came here because you wanted to meet me. Now you want me to go? You're contradicting yourself...

Nyarlathotep's form vanishes, and in its place is a twisted version of Ulala.

Then that vanishes, and in its place stands a shadowy Baofu.

Shadow Baofu is replaced by Shadow Katsuya.
Katsuya: Are you trying to say...that you are the "shadow" of us humans?!

Finally, an evil clone of Maya appears, sneering at the party.

In a flash of light, Eikichi, Jun, and Lisa appear, trapped in midair and unconscious.
Tatsuya: Jun...Eikichi...Lisa!

Nyarlathotep takes Tatsuya's form again.
Nyarlathotep: You of all people should understand. Right, Tatsuya, the Paradox?
Tatsuya: Ch...
Nyarlathotep: If you can show me your power to suppress shadows in this world, I will give back the toys one at a time. But if you cannot...They will regain their memories and I will destroy your world. We shall start anew. Give it your best me your desperate faces. *snicker*

In another flash, Nyarlathotep and the teens vanish.
Ulala: Ma-ya...did you feel that? That dark energy...It was so deep...mixed witha bunch of dark emotions...can we...defeat that?
Baofu: Damn...I'm turning pale...? Calm're Kaoru Saga...There's nothing you can't do...calm down...
Katsuya: fought with that monster all this time...No...that ridiculing...that arrogance...that is undoubtedly...human itself...
Tatsuya: I'm sorry Jun, Eikichi, Lisa...I'll save you...I WILL.

The final dungeon, Monado, consists of several "Worlds"; they're just mazes, really, with chests and such like any other dungeon. Each World also has a door leading to the "Rest Area", where we can access a Fountain and a Velvet Room should we need them. As we progress through Monado, we come across huge ethereal archways; as we enter, we're presented to a flashback from our characters' lives.

The first character to experience this is Katsuya.

Kashihara: That's sure?
Katsuya: I've decided on my own. After law school, I'll become a police officer...
Kashihara: With your grades, you can go's...your father, isn't it?
Katsuya: You have nothing to do with it. Excuse me.

Inside the chamber, Katsuya's dark side taunts him.
Katsuya: Nonsense! I don't regret anything!
Shadow Katsuya: Lying is the start of evil...You really despise your father and brother, huh? If not for them, you could've had your way. You're probably tired of playing the good older brother...Your love to your family is just a role.
Katsuya: That's...not...true...
Baofu: What's wrong, Suou?! Stay sharp!

Nyarlathotep twists the knife a little deeper.

Shadow Katsuya: You're just deceiving yourself in front of your brother. Fulfill your desires. Why protect such a brother any longer?

Katsuya, nearly ready to snap, draws his weapon and levels it at his brother.

We're given two options as to how to react to this. There's a "good" choice and a "bad" choice to each of these situations - if we pick the "bad" choice, the party gives into their darker urges, and Nyarlathotep wins, allowing the memories of the teens to return and in turn bringing the world closer to destruction. Otherwise, the party stays strong and faces their issues, and the teens don't remember anything.

If we have Maya try to intervene instead of letting Katsuya face his demons, he gives in to his frustration.
Shadow Katsuya: were spiteful...
Katsuya: Are you alright, Tatsuya?
Tatsuya: Katsuya...I'm...
Katsuya: I'm sorry...I have had times where I detested you and Father, just like he said...but believe this. My love for you is definitely no act.
Tatsuya: Yeah...I believe you...I'm the one to apologize...

If, on the other hand, Maya has faith in Katsuya...

...he comes to terms with his spite, and fires a shot behind his back, nailing Shadow Katsuya.
Katsuya: You made one tried to get between us brothers with that face! You're an eyesore. Get lost.
Shadow Katsuya: Hmph...too bad.
Tatsuya: Brother...I'm...
Katsuya: Don't make that're my little brother. I caused everyone's okay now.
Ulala: Now whatcha gonna do, Ma-ya? Younger or older, it's a hard choice.
Tatsuya: He...can protect Maya...Now...I can rest easily.
Katsuya: Miss Amano...uh...that was half true and you. It was because of you. Take care of Tatsuya.
Baofu: That brother complex couldn't kill his own little brother...Dammit. Just watching him embarasses me.

We continue through Monado, and come to the next gate. Inside, we enter one of Ulala's memories.
Ulala: Hey, Ma-ya, you listening?! ...That Deja Vu Boy again? You're so lucky, compared to me...why do I have such bad luck with men? It's always been like that! You were always getting attention! Why do I have to be the ugly skank?! I'm 10 times prettier than you...I'm also athletic, fashionable, and a great homemaker. I'm even a good dancer to boot! *sigh* What's wrong with me...So I might not have all the curves...I've been working my ass off at a boring job...It's probably that. I'm not satisfied with myself. I don't have my place in this world...seriously, I'm so jealous of you.

Ulala: Sometimes, i wonder why I even bother...well, you do work late everyday...let's go home, grab your purse.

Inside the chamber, Shadow Ulala confronts her.
Shadow Ulala: Appeal rating ZERO. You're not qualified to be a woman. No one would even look at a woman like you. Looking after that girl is just to hide your inferiority complex.
Ulala: don't have to rub it in...

Shadow Ulala: You should know. You're her best friend. Whether she found herself or tell her instead.

The choice is up to Maya - what if we say that Ulala already has found herself?

Ulala: I'm sorry, Ma-ya...I don't think I can say that about myself...but I understand that it's something you make! That's what I thought after seeing you guys, if I stay with you I can...
Shadow Ulala: You still feel attached to them, don't you? This'll be fun *heart*

This is the "wrong" answer.

What if, on the other hand, Maya accepts that it's up to Ulala herself to answer this question?

Ulala: I'm nowhere to be found! It's ME who decides what's gonna happen!
Shadow Ulala: How boring...that puts a damper on my day.

Shadow Ulala leaves.
Ulala: There's only one thing good about all this...I met all of you. I'll thank fate for that...
Baofu: You don't find yourself, you make yourself...huh, that's not bad, especially from Ulala...

We continue through Monado, but we're suddenly hit with resonance.

Looks like it's boss time.

Inside the Room of Judgment, we see Eikichi strung up on the ceiling, and Shadow Ulala and Katsuya waiting for us.
Shadow Ulala: Isn't that nice...he's still asleep.
Katsuya: Put him down!
Shadow Ulala: You ARE a fool...
Shadow Katsuya: Hmph...if you want him back, you'll have to take him by force.
Katsuya/Ulala: You're on!

Contacting the Shadows doesn't work - no surprise there.

The Shadows attack using their Personae - Shadow Ulala has Reverse Astria...

...and Shadow Katsuya has Reverse Hyperion.

The only attack we really have to worry about is Shadow Katsuya's Vice Shot, which is an instant kill attack.

Fortunately, the old Maha Maka Kaja/Dragon Cross trick works just as well here as it did on the last few bosses, and they go down without much of a fuss.

Once the Shadows are defeated, we manage to get Eikichi down.
Katsuya: He's not awake...for the time being, we're safe.
Ulala: But...are you sure about this, Tatsuya? Leaving him without any memories of you...he's your friend, right?
Tatsuya: It's okay...

Suddenly, Philemon's butterfly appears.
Philemon: I will return him to the real world...I am sorry, but taking him with you is exactly what "he" wants. It is hard, but move on...
Tatsuya: I WILL protect "This Side"...and everyone's memories...
Katsuya: Ms. Amano...He said anger is the shadow's source of power, didn't he? I'm sorry, but I don't think I can hold myself back...I don't care how much I'm despised, but I cannot sit here and watch everyone suffer.
Baofu: Amano...our little group here's a bunch of barbarians. You better be prepared...
Ulala: I've never been so angry for someone else in all my life...what did Tatsuya do to deserve this?

We continue through Monado to the next gate - the Room of Knowledge. Inside, we see an unfamiliar face. She calls out to Baofu.

Baofu: Miki...?!
Ulala: Is that...Miki?

Shadow Baofu's Persona is strangling Miki.
Miki: Uh...please...
Ulala: Stop it!
Reverse Odysseus: Do you feel the anger inside of you? Who is it for? I'll give you your answer in this woman's blood...
Baofu: Why you...

Reverse Odysseus snaps Miki's neck.

Baofu goes insane with rage and prepares to attack Reverse Odysseus.

Maya opts to let him go through with it...

...and even though Baofu kills the evil Persona, he feels the pain from the attack himself.
Baofu: I'm sorry Miki...I finally understand...the person I couldn't forgive was Back then, I was just a hot-shot. I wasn't able to do anything. In the end, I got you killed. It wasn't the Persona, it wasn't the was me who couldn't think of anything but myself!
Ulala: Baofu...
Baofu: Now you see! I've been planning to use you guys from the beginning!
Ulala: That's...enough...
Baofu: Go ahead and laugh. My attempt at revenge was pointless. I'm no different from Tatsuzou!
Ulala: Stop it!
Katsuya: Get a hold of yourself! Why did you even come here?! Tatsuzou is dead. You got your wish. If you can't say it, I will. You knew all along that you were stuck in the past. That's why you came here. Stop looking down on yourself. Isn't it about time to start over? Let it go, Baofu! You should cherish those memories you had with her...
Baofu: ...Alright...I'm okay now.

This is pretty clearly the wrong answer.

Alternatively, Maya can choose to stand in front of Baofu, preventing him from giving in to his fury.

Miki's ghost appears before him.
Baofu: I wasn't able to do anything...I shouldn't have gotten you was my fault you died that day. It wasn't the Persona, it wasn't the law, it was was my fault. I was so damn selfish...
Miki: Don't blame yourself...I knew the risk I was taking. You never looked back. You always believed you were right. I liked that person...

The scene vanishes.

Baofu: How pathetic...everything's out in the open. Now you see...I was planning to use you guys from the beginning! Somewhere inside, I knew...that I couldn't do anything by myself...heh...I wanted revenge so bad...but I couldn't do it by myself...I didn't even give you my real name...
Ulala: I...I think that's a! I...I think it's a cool name! It has a nice ring to it...
Katsuya: I was thinking and now it's clear..."Kaoru Saga" died on duty five years ago. The man in front of me is a completely different person from the one we saw. A bit misguided, perhaps...a "free spirit"...a "lovable lush"...
Ulala: Didn't you forget "twisted person"?
Baofu:'t put me in the same shot glass as these sentimental wussies. And you know what, Suou? You're not cut out to be a police officer. Investigations are supposed to be...

The scene fades to black as Katsuya and Baofu prattle back and forth as usual. This is the "right" answer.
Ulala: remember that fortune I told you about in the beginning? I's right...
Baofu: know...there's a lot in life...
Katsuya: Geez, what an antisocial Baofu...Miss Serizawa must have a difficult time...
Tatsuya: I've never met anyone like this guy before...

We continue through Monado, and in the next chamber, Nyarlathotep's waiting in Tatsuya's form.
Nyarlathotep: Now, Maya Amano...after coming here, what are you angry at...?

If Maya is angry at Nyarlathotep...

...he gets a kick out of it, and vanishes.

If she's just sad...

...she strikes a nerve.
Nyarlathotep: Now, go ahead and shoot. Deep down inside, I know you hate me. Pull the trigger, Maya...well then, I'll say the one thing you want to hear the least. The young man who holds your heart...he's mine. He's a toy in the shape of a human! He'll never be yours! NEVER!

If Maya shoots Nyarlathotep...

...the bullets hit Tatsuya instead.

Katsuya: Tatsuya?!
Nyarlathotep: Hahahahaha! You simply don't learn, do you? I told you that I am you. People who think they are strong are weak, especially when their loved ones suffer...
Maya: ...
Nyarlathotep: Yes, that's good...let your impulses control you! This is what it means to be a human! Hahahaha!

Having won, he vanishes. This is the wrong choice.

Alternatively, if she chooses to hold her fire...

...she gives Nyarlathotep a nice case of villainous blue balls.
Tatsuya: It's alright...that sadness...will end soon.
Katsuya: Ms. Amano, stay strong...he is trying to coax the shadows of our hearts to gain power...I finally understand.
Baofu: That's definitely a human...the way he looks down on others, that's something only humans can do...heh, alright, I'll tango with ya. As another human...
Ulala: Going through all this, and you're not supposed to get upset! I ain't no nun or priest! I can't stand it!!

We're hit with resonance again shortly thereafter; looks like Maya and Baofu's dopplegangers are ready to settle the score.

Inside the Room of Conviction, we run right into Lisa, held in midair by Nyarlathotep's powers.

Shadow Baofu and Shadow Maya are waiting for us...

...and it's boss time again.

The Shadows aren't talkative, as always...

...and instead use their Personae to lay the smack down on us. This battle's a little tougher than the previous ones, since Shadow Maya reflects all magic. We buff up with Maha Maka Kaja and use single-target spells to take out Shadow Baofu, then concentrate our physical power on Shadow Maya to bring her down.

We rescue Lisa afterward.
Baofu: Do you know, Tatsuya? There are two types of men in this world...a "normal" man and a "real" man. A "real" man knows how to ease're undoubtedly the latter.
Tatsuya: ...

Philemon appears and carries Lisa away.
Tatsuya: Let's move on. I'm...ready.
Baofu: You should be proud. The person that's protecting you is the world's finest. Undoubtedly the real thing.
Ulala: this the burden an 18-year-old boy is supposed to carry on his shoulders? It's just too brutal...
Katsuya: ...

We enter the final door behind the Shadows, and emerge in the gazebo where we first met Philemon at the start of the game. Nyarlathotep is waiting for us.
Maya: ...
Tatsuya: Give Jun back!
Nyarlathotep: You're wondering why nothing has happened to you...well, I saved the best for last. We must show your secret to your friends. Right, "Paradox Boy"?

We're sent back to the scene of Maya's death from Mt. Iwato.
Nyarlathotep: I am the shadow of all humans. As long as humans have dark hearts, I will live. Face the last trial of the Crawling Chaos!

Nyarlathotep reveals his true form and leaves.

Philemon: Nyarlathotep began weaving the threads of fate that day...if we erase that instance, this tragedy would never have occurred. A new time woven and a world reborn...realize this: a human's heart possesses the power to change the flow of reality.
Eikichi: You that...?
Philemon: Even without Xibalba or the Crystal Skull, your strong will and action have the energy to change reality. Even the power that created the cosmos you live in is the same as this collective unconsciousness, it is possible.
Jun: Do you mean start over from the beginning? In return for...our memories...?
Ginko: You mean forget everyone...? I...I don't want to!! Isn't there another way?!
Philemon: Not in this world, where he has power. The dark hearts of people unconsciously aiding world destruction is his source of order to suppress him, people must will create the new world.
Jun: I...won't could I ever forget...
Eikichi: Hell yeah! I ain't gonna forget! If everything was set up by him, then let's do it...let's teach him that things won't go his way anymore...
Ginko: We WILL meet again, right...?

The group finally gives in.

Eikichi and Jun vanish. Lisa remains.

She kisses Tatsuya.

Then she vanishes as well.
Philemon: Well then...we will part for a short time. Are there any final words you want to say?

Tatsuya turns around and sucker punches Philemon, taking his frustration out on the spirit.

The blow knocks Philemon's mask off.

We finally get a view of Philemon's face - it's Tatsuya's.
Philemon: I am you and you are I...I will always be watching from within you...farewell.

The trio is torn apart by fate as their memories are stolen away from them...

...but Tatsuya can't bring himself to forget. He commits his sin, and in doing so seals the fate of both worlds. The cause of all of this...the reason so many people in both worlds had to Tatsuya's selfish urge to keep his memories.

The party is shocked.

Nyarlathotep: You couldn't ask them to fight with you. That's because the sole reason the world is at the brink of destruction is...YOU!!

Nyarlathotep: You broke your promise with your friends. The condition to stay in this world was to give up your memories from the old world! But you rejected that moment, the boundary seperating the two worlds vacillated...that was you!! That's why you failed to synchronize with the you of this world...push all the pain upon your friends, and still retain your memory...that's an unforgivable sin. A sin must have punishment. That's why I gave you the chance to meet her again. I coaxed fate for you all to meet again.
Tatsuya: Ch...
Nyarlathotep: What's wrong? Are you going to hide in your shell again? That face of yours when you met that woman and regained your should have seen it.
Maya: ...
Nyarlathotep: Am I detestable? But that is what you humans desired. You craved destruction from the depths of your hearts...that is me! The shadow does not forgive anyone who goes against fate.

Baofu is the voice of reason amidst Nyarlathotep's maniacal rant.

The rest of the party joins together to support Tatsuya...

...which ticks Nyarlathotep off.

He changes into his true form, the Moon Howler...
Nyarlathotep: Understand that there is no point in living! Cry, that there is no answer! Where there is darkness there are shadows! I myself am in all of you humans!
Tatsuya: I won't turn my back again...on the sin I committed...or on myself!

...and the final battle begins.

The Moon Howler is surprisingly pathetic. He mostly uses Megidolaon, which does a couple hundred damage to the party; easily healed by Baofu's Mediaran.

Maha Maka Kaja and Wind Cutter do the trick here...

...but even once the Moon Howler falls, Nyarlathotep's not done yet. He mutates into the Crawling Chaos and takes the battle to us.

The Crawling Chaos has a wide variety of nasty, nasty attacks; so many that it'd bea waste to post shots of them all. Suffice it to say he's a gigantic pain in the ass.

Wheel of Fortune, for instance, prevents us from switching Personae.

Shadow Kill does a fuckload of damage, usually killing Maya in one shot thanks to her physical weakness.

Transient Ripple wipes out our Kaja spells, making Maha Maka Kaja useless.

We fight back using our most powerful spells, like Tatsuya's Nova Cyther...

...and Dragon Cross, of course. Nyarlathotep has 18,000 HP, and pushes the limits of our characters and item stock. It's still not enough, and down he goes after a grueling battle.