Part 4: Entry Four: April 20, 2009
Entry Four: April 20, 2009
Current Mood: Pleased
Current Music: Mass Destruction
So it turns out that either I'm not crazy, or everyone else is just as whacko as I am. I guess that's good to know. Right after I finished blogging yesterday, I headed upstairs where everyone was waiting for me.
Ikutsuki: I'm glad that you're okay. The reason I asked you here is because I needed to talk to you. Please, have a seat.
Ikutsuki: I believe I mentioned him earlier, but this is Akihiko.
Ikutsuki: Okay, let me start off by asking you this...
Well, no. And that's exactly what I said.
Mitsuru: I'm not surprised by your reaction. However, you've already experienced this truth firsthand. Do you remember the night you came here? You had to have noticed the signs...the streetlights went out...nothing was working...there were coffins everywhere...didn't it feel like you were in a different time?
So that's what that was. And here I was starting to think the sushi I had that day was bad.
Ikutsuki: It occurs each night, as the clock strikes twelve. It'll happen tonight, and every night to come.
Akihiko: Normal people don't realize it, since they're all sleeping inside their coffins. But that's not what makes the Dark Hour so interesting. ...You saw those creatures.
Akihiko: They only appear during the Dark Hour, and attack anyone not in a coffin. It's our job to defeat them. ...Sounds exciting, huh?
I'm not really sure how to feel about Mitsuru. At least she hasn't turned her wrath on me yet. Note to self: stay out of her way or risk emasculation.
Mitsuru: You just got hurt the other day!
Ikutsuki: Now, now. He does his work well. Long story short...
...That is either the dumbest or most awesome thing I have ever heard. Maybe both.
Ikutsuki: Mitsuru is the leader. I'm the club advisor.
Mitsuru: A Shadow feeds on the mind of its prey; the victim becomes a living corpse. They're responsible for most of the incidents on the news, if not all of them.
Ikutsuki: Some may even awaken to a power that enables them to fight the Shadows. That's "Persona", the power you used the other night. The Shadows can only be defeated by Persona-users...which means it's all up to you guys.
Well...it's kind of hard to say no, especially when they just offered me a gun and a chance to join the Gekkoukan High Demon Slaying Club. So I signed up.
I guess it beats anime club.
Yukari: Welcome aboard!
Ikutsuki: Thank you so much. I'm really glad. Oh, I almost forgot, about your room assignment...why don't you just stay here, in your current room? I don't know what the holdup is, but I guess it worked out in the end.
Yukari: Holdup? But wasn't that...oh, nevermind. It doesn't matter anymore.
Suddenly, my vision seemed to flicker and fade for a moment. It was kinda like that time I drank Coke while eating Pop Rocks and listening to Atreyu: intense.
So Igor wasn't kidding. Most people just ensure they won't die cold and alone by making friends...I gain superpowers and have mysterious voices tell me I did a good job. My life is a goddamn mess.
We chatted for awhile, and before long I headed off to bed. That night, during the Dark Hour...
...I found myself facing that kid from before.
Boy: We've met before.
Boy: I remembered, so I thought I should tell you. The end of everything. ...But to be honest, I don't really know what it is. Oh, looks like you've awakened to your power...and an unusual power it is. A power that takes many forms, yet is bound by none...it may prove to be your salvation, depending on where you end up.
First Igor, now you? Geez, this is like a Very Special Episode of Minato's Life.
Boy: I'll be watching you, even if you forget about me...okay then, see you later.
And with that, the kid took off.
The next evening, I was enjoying some Evanescence when I heard Yukari calling me from downstairs.
There, I found her and Akihiko waiting at the door.
Akihiko: There's someone I wanna introduce. ...Hey, hurry up!
It sounded strangely familiar...
My thoughts exactly.
Yukari: Wait, don't tell me...
Akihiko: This is Junpei Iori from Class 2-F. He'll be staying here as of today.
My life is a goddamn mess.
Yukari: He's staying HERE? You've gotta be kidding me!
Akihiko: I bumped into him the other night. He has the Potential, but he just awakened to it recently. I told him about us, and he agreed to help.
Yukari: You have the Potential?! For real?!
Junpei: I don't remember much, but...man, that's embarassing! He said that's, ya know...completely normal in the beginning. Like bein' confused and not remembering anything. Did ya guys know that?
Well, it didn't happen to me...
Junpei: It happens to everyone else. ...But man, I was shocked to find out about you guys. I had no idea. I'm glad I'm not the only one. It could get kinda lonely, y'know. I bet you're stoked too, right?! Havin' me join...
Yukari: Huh? Uh...y-yeah...
I guess "stoked" is one way of putting it.
Akihiko: I think we're about ready...
Junpei: Ooh, we're gonna go do somethin'?! Sweetness!
Akihiko: With this many people, we can start exploring that place.
Something tells me Junpei isn't going to be the brains of our lively little band.
Akihiko: We believe we can find the reason for the Dark Hour there.
Yukari: I hope so.
Akihiko: The Chairman will give us the details tomorrow night, so be ready.
The next afternoon...
Mitsuru: Come to the lounge when you get back to the dorm. I have something to tell everyone.
Junpei: Oh, are we having that talk?
Mitsuru: I'll save the details for later. See you there.
Yukari: She's probably busy with things like Student Council, unlike us.
Junpei: Whoa, Yuka-tan! Do I sense some hostility?
Yukari: Well, it's not that I don't like her...she just...
That evening, we all gathered in the lounge as Mitsuru had suggested.
Ikutsuki: I'd like your undivided attention. For a long time, Mitsuru and Akihiko were the only Persona-users we had. But that number has recently jumped to five. Therefore...
Junpei: Sorry...I asked this yesterday, but what's this Tartarus thing again?
Yukari: You haven't seen it, Junpei?
Ikutsuki: It's no surprise, since it only appears during the Dark Hour.
Akihiko: Just like the Shadows...interesting, huh? And it's the perfect place for us to train.
Junpei: Whoa...their nest, huh?
Yukari: But, Senpai...what about your injury?
Mitsuru: Since Akihiko hasn't fully recovered yet, he'll only come as far as the entrance.
Akihiko: ...Yeah, I know.
Ikutsuki: Well, I'm sure he won't complain, as long as you don't go too far in. Since we're dealing with Shadows, Tartarus isn't something we can avoid.
Junpei: Relax, I've got your backs.
Just what I was about to say.
Mitsuru: What about you, Mr. Chairman?
Ikutsuki: I'll stay here. As you know, I can't summon a Persona...
With that, we headed off into the night...
...right back to school.
I made an animation of what happened next! Check it out:
Rise of Tartarus
Junpei: Labyrinth...? What are you talking about?! What happened to our school?!
Mitsuru: Once the Dark Hour passes, everything returns to normal.
Junpei: This is the "nest" you were talking about? But, why?! Why'd our school turn into a giant tower?!
Yukari: I'm sure it's complicated. Who cares, anyway? it's not like it would change our minds about fighting.
Akihiko: Well, maybe now we'll find out. Mitsuru and I have only gone in to take a peek...this will be our first time exploring it. Exciting, isn't it? There has to be some kind of clue in here about the Dark Hour...
Akihiko: I know...you don't have to remind me.
We stepped on in...
Yukari: But it sure is creepy...
Mitsuru: This is only the entrance. The labyrinth lies beyond the doorway at the top of those stairs.
Akihiko: First, we'll have you three get a feel for the place. Why don't you go have a look around?
Yukari: What?! By ourselves?!
Mitsuru: We're not asking you to go very far, and I'll be feeding you information from here.
Junpei: So you two didn't plan on coming in the first place?
Akihiko: That's right.
Junpei: For real? ...One of us?
I don't know what I did to merit it, but Akihiko ended up making me the leader!
Junpei: W-wait! Why him?! he doesn't look like a leader!
Yukari: But he HAS fought them before...
Akihiko: That's true, but there's another reason.
Junpei: Y-yeah, of course I can!
Yukari: I think so...
Akihiko: These are Shadows we're talking about here. Without your Persona, you're toast.
Yukari: I'm aware of that.
I was just about to lead the way upstairs, since that was apparently my job, when...
...a strange blue door caught my eye. (Captions again! Sorry!) I headed on over to it...
...and the blue velvet key from earlier was sitting in my hand somehow. I stepped inside...
...and found myself in the Velvet Room once again, with Igor and Elizabeth waiting for me.
Igor: The time has come for you to wield your power. The tower that you are about to venture into...how did it come to be? For what purpose does it exist? Regrettably, you are not yet capable of answering these questions. That is why you must be made aware of the nature of your power.
I always knew I was a zero...
Igor: And when you have defeated your enemies, you will see the faces of possibility before you. There may be times when they are difficult to grasp...but do not fear. Seize what you have earned. Your power will grow accordingly...be sure to keep that in mind.
Igor: But please come again of your own accord. I'll tell you then about my true role...the manner in which I can best assist you. Until then...farewell.
With a flash of light, I found myself in the entrance to Tartarus again.
Junpei: Yeah, what's up? You look like a zombie. Don't tell me you just dozed off! You're like the coach who fell asleep during that championship game! Come on, man, you're s'posed to be our leader!
Yukari: Cut him some slack. If nothing's wrong, let's get going.
Before we went inside, I took a few minutes to talk to the others about their abilities and Personae.
This is my Persona, Orpheus. I've been studying up on mythology since this whole Persona thing started, and I found out that he's apparently some kind of mythological harpist.
(Minato is unique in that he can change Personas both in and out of combat; no other character can do this, a departure from the previous Persona games. This is a good thing, too; Orpheus is terrible, "boasting" a weakness to Lightning and Darkness attacks and only learning three spells. Minato is also unique in that he can wield any kind of weapon, while the other characters are limited to one type each.
Oh, and one more thing: if Minato dies, it's game over right then and there. Even if it was from an instant death attack, which are hilariously common in this game. Even if your other characters could've revived him. The game loves to use this particular quirk against you later on.)
Junpei uses two-handed swords, apparently. I think he mentioned he's into Kendo or something, but he uses them all wrong. It's a little embarrassing, and he's not very accurate, but he does hit pretty hard when he hits.
His Persona is Hermes, the messenger of the gods.
(Junpei is the game's tank - he's there to hit people with swords, maybe throw around some Fire spells on enemies that are weak to them, and not much else. This has its good sides and bad sides: he's less likely to do stupid things than some of the more versatile characters, but he's also kind of a one trick pony. He's also hilariously weak to Wind attacks - one good gust and he's done for.)
Yukari uses bows, which makes sense, what with her being in the Archery Club and all. She's even less accurate than Junpei, but at least when she misses she doesn't fall over like he does.
You know, if your Persona is supposed to be a reflection of your true self, and Yukari's Persona is a woman chained to a giant cow skull...I guess she's pretty fucked up. She says her Persona's name is Io.
(Yukari is the game's healer. She's got powerful Wind attacks, too, but her AI leans toward healing before attacking nearly every time she's given the option. She also has an extremely high magic defense, so generally speaking she's pretty tough to kill.
Seriously, though. Giant cow skull.)
Now that I had a better idea of what my team was capable of, it was finally time to step inside.
Apparently this was "Thebel", the first block of Tartarus.
Junpei: So this is it, huh?
Yukari: I hope I don't get lost...
Junpei: Whoa! Is that you, Senpai?
Mitsuru: I'll be providing audio backup from here on out.
Junpei: Wait...ya mean you can see inside here?
Mitsuru: It's my Persona's ability.
Yeah, apparently the inside of the tower changes place every time we enter and leave. That makes a ton of sense.
Yukari: Well, THAT makes me feel a whole lot better...
Mitsuru: Now, based on your current location, you can expect to encounter enemies at any minute. They shouldn't be too tough, but proceed with caution. Practice makes perfect.
Yukari: Got it. ...Why is she always like that?
Mitsuru: Keep in mind, these are real battles you'll be engaging in. Now, see if you can eliminate all the Shadows wandering this floor.
Well, we went to work doing just that. Mitsuru took the chance to teach us a little more about fighting off the Shadows, and I took the chance later to make animations of each lesson, just in case we need a reminder later on:
Battle Training 1
Battle Training 2
Battle Training 3
Battle Training 4
Oh, another thing...every so often after we finished off some Shadows, I had a vision of some cards floating around in space. I got to pick one after they were shuffled...
...and would earn rewards for doing so, like new Personae, money, or items. The stuff just fell into my lap after I picked the right card; nobody even questioned where it came from. I guess when you hang out with a chick who has the power to summon a giant cow skull, nothing's unusual anymore.
We killed a few groups of Shadows, then Mitsuru called us up again.
Mitsuru: Usually, there are more Shadows on the prowl. ...Well, at least you gained some experience in battle. Let's go back to the dorm for today. There should be an Access Point somewhere on that floor. You can use it to return to the entrance. Since there aren't any enemies to worry about, why don't you split up and search for it individually?
That's exactly what we did, and before long...
...Yukari found us a way out.
It warped us right back to the entrance of Tartarus.
Mitsuru: So, how was it?
I was honest with her: it was a piece of cake. If those Shadows are all we have to worry about, this'll be a cinch.
Junpei: Wow...I never knew I had that kinda power! We kicked some ass! But damn, I'm beat...
Yukari: That's cuz you were bouncin' around like a little kid.
Junpei: You look pretty tired yourself, Yuka-tan.
Yukari: I'm still trying to catch my breath, actually...
(At first, as you explore Tartarus and fight Shadows your characters are likely to grow Tired fairly quickly. Tired characters do much more poorly in combat, will leave after you return to the entrance, and will get Sick if you keep forcing them to go on. This is bad news - Sick characters do even worse than Tired characters in combat and also only receive half healing from healing spells. If Minato gets Tired or Sick, his socializing and schoolwork suffer as well. As you spend more time in Tartarus, your characters' tolerance increases and you can go deeper without becoming Tired.)
Mitsuru: At this rate, they'll catch up to you in no time, Akihiko.
Ahikhiko: Heh. We'll see about that.
Yup, this again.
It's nice to be informed via creepy vision when people start to like me more. Social Links, what did I ever do without you?
Anyway, a little more happened, but I just spent the better part of an hour fighting the forces of evil by summoning The Bardinator. I'll write the rest of this entry later.
Coming up in the next entry: We finally start playing the damn game!