Part 6: Entry Six: April 27, 2009
Entry Six: April 27, 2009
Current Mood: Swamped
Current Music: Unavoidable Battle
So I went ahead and decided to join the Track Team, just like you guys said. I may look scrawny and weak, but if there's one thing I'm good at, it's running away!
...boy, I'm one inspiring leader.
Coach: This is Yuko, our manager.
Yuko: You're a junior, right? Since we're the same year, you can just call me "Yuko".
Coach: ...Hey! Kazushi!
Coach: This is the future captain of the team. He's a great runner and scores well in competitions. You two are in the same class, right? Kazushi, keep an eye on the new guy here, okay?
Kazushi: You got it. You're the guy who went out with Yukari Takeba on the first day of school, right? You're practically famous.
Kazushi is...well, he's pretty heavily into track. In fact I'm not sure if he likes anything more.
Kazushi: Then, long story short: from now on, you're mine after school. Just because you joined mid-season, don't think I'll go easy on you!
I can feel when this is coming now. It's kinda like a sneeze.
Just like that.
Social Links are like Pringles: they come in a tube and don't taste very good.
Yuko: I'll make sure your uniform is ready for next time.
I checked out the track like she suggested, and after awhile it was time to head home.
Yukari greeted me this time, asking if I had joined any school clubs. I had...well, you just saw that.
Yukari: Oh yeah? That's cool. ...You seem pretty talented, so I'm not surprised. Oh, by the way, maybe we should go to Tartarus tonight. With all the Lost, I think we should be doing anything we can to help. Plus, I didn't have practice today, so I could use the exercise.
Mitsuru: Just don't take it lightly, okay? It's dangerous out there.
Yukari: I'm aware of that.
This sounded like a pretty good plan to me, so I talked to Mitsuru and told her that I was ready to go.
When the Dark Hour struck...
...we made our way to Tartarus.
Mitsuru: A few floors up, there's a barricade preventing you from going any higher. The tower seems to have a number of these interspersed amongst its floors. I know I told you that the layout changes each day, but these barriers seem to be in fixed locations. Therefore, I'd like you to try and reach the first barricade. I'm counting on you.
Sadly, she didn't mention exactly how high up "a few floors" was. Looks like we'll just have to keep climbing until we reach the barricade.
As we entered the labyrinth, Mitsuru took the chance to warn us of a powerful enemy on a floor above us...
...but we had normal enemies to deal with on the way there, so we didn't concern ourselves with it too much.
Remember how Mitsuru mentioned she was able to Analyze the Shadows for us? I've started having her do that so I can make decent drawings of them. This guy right here is a Maya, the most common "breed" of Shadow. They're all over the place in Tartarus, and we found out later that they come in a number of different varieties.
(Each Persona and Shadow, as mentioned earlier, has an associated Arcana. This Cowardly Maya, for instance, is aligned with the Magician. Some weapons will have special properties enabling them to do more damage to enemies of a certain Arcana.)
One of the interesting things about Tartarus is that it's got briefcases full of money and items lying all over the place. Not much money and items, mind you, but it's free so I'm not complaining.
We continued up the tower, taking out Shadows as we went...
...such as this Merciless Maya. It's pretty similar to the other Cowardly Maya, but it's a little stronger and has different weaknesses.
Tiaras like this Muttering Tiara are Shadow spellcasters, basically. I found it's usually a good idea to take them out early on if possible, before they start slinging magic around like it's going out of style. That shit hurts.
On the fourth floor, Mitsuru warned us that we were nearing the powerful enemy she had mentioned earlier. We were doing pretty well, and I wasn't about to wuss out, so we went on.
I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but every so often after defeating Shadows we'd be hit with this sudden surge of power. It felt kinda like that time I was at the front row of a Dashboard Confessional show. Awesome stuff, let me tell you.
(This is an RPG, so of course you level up as you kill enemies. Unlike most games, levelling up in Persona 3 only affects your character's maximum HP and SP, nothing else.
(However, experience Minato gains is also distributed to his current active Persona, which will also level up over time. Your statistics are based on those of your Persona; this doesn't mean much for any character but Minato, whose statistics and "class" can drastically change based on the Persona he's using. It's possible to change Minato's focus from magic to physical attacks to defense all in the space of a single battle by changing Personae.)
On the fifth floor, Mitsuru finally confirmed that it was time to throw down with the powerful Shadows she had mentioned earlier.
Before that, though, we ran into a strange device that looked kinda like the thing at the entrance. Turns out it's a teleportation device - how cool is that? I mean, it probably causes sterility or something, but my life is a goddamned mess as it is; I don't think something like that could make it much more of a mess.[/i]
After we activated the device, it was time to battle the powerful Shadows. I made an animation of the resulting fight:
Tartarus Boss 1 - Venus Eagles
Well, as you can see, we beat the Shadows...I guess that's obvious, otherwise I wouldn't be here writing about it. Junpei got hit pretty badly with a Wind blast during the fight, though...
...so he took off as soon as we got back to the entrance. I can't blame him, that looked like it hurt.
(Going into Tartarus with less than a full party is a risky idea, and is basically just asking for Minato to get his ass handed to him. It's better to take a break from Tartarus if you start losing members due to Tiredness or casualties in battle.)
The next day in class, I overheard another conversation.
Girl B: Huh? A bookstore?
Girl A: Yeah, leave Iwotadai Station, go straight for awhile, and it's after you cross the crosswalk. We've been at this school for awhile...you should explore more often!
While I'm not a huge reader, that still sounded pretty interesting, so after school I took the monorail over to Iwatodai Station.
Following the gossiping students' directions, it was easy to find the bookstore.
Inside, I found an old man and woman taking care of the shop.
Is there anyone normal in this town?
Old Man: Hey, you're a student, aren't you? You must be from Gekkoukan High, right? That means you've probably seen the persimmon tree there...do you think I'm making this up?! I'm serious! It was planted right beside a walkway in a courtyard at the school.
Though I normally make it my perogative to ignore the ramblings of old men, particularly those who live in velvet elevators and have weird long noses, I thought this guy's persimmon tree story might have some weight to it. I decided I'd head back to school and take a look around, but before I left, I took a few minutes to look around the strip mall.
"Wild-duck Burger". I'm not going to think about this too hard. (This will raise Minato's Courage if he stays here after school.)
There was a ramen shop, too, and I guess I should keep it in mind since I'm apparently totally into ramen. Stupid username.
Sadly, it was too crowded for me to step inside.
Wakatsu claims to serve some kind of mind-enhancing sushi. I decided I wouldn't think about that too much, but it might be a good idea to drop by here before midterm exams. (This will increase Minato's Academics if he stays here after school. There are better ways to raise Academics, though.)
Along with a few other uninteresting stores, there was also a beef bowl shop, which was too crowded to check out.
With my exploration done, I decided to head back to school to look for that persimmon tree.
It turned out to be pretty easy to find.
I grabbed a leaf from the ground around the tree and took it with me before I headed back to Bookworms.
My life. Is a goddamn. Mess.
I let him see the leaf I brought with me, partially because I was afraid he'd hurt me if I didn't.
Old Woman: ...Wait, so you didn't come here to buy books? Did you come here just to show us this?
Old Man: I knew it! I knew right from the start that you're a kind young man! I've been meaning to go see that tree for a while now, but I'm not sure if these stumpy old legs will make it that far. ...That wasn't supposed to be a pun, you know. "Stumpy", "tree stump"...catch my drift?
Old Woman: Very clever, dear.
Bunkichi: So, your name is Minako Arisato...then, we'll call you Minako-chan from now on!
All of a sudden, I felt a familiar sensation...
...yup, it's that time again.
Social Links: it's what's for dinner.
Mitsuko: Come visit us if you get bored.
After meeting Bunkichi and Mitsuko, I headed back to the dorm for the evening.
I kinda wanted to go to Tartarus, but Junpei still wasn't doing so hot from being airblasted earlier, so I decided it would be a better idea to just let him rest for now.
Right before going to bed, I got a cell phone call from Kenji.
Kenji: You have anything planned for tomorrow? Wanna get together?
I didn't, so I decided I might as well, since Kenji seems to be pretty popular with you blog readers.
Kenji: Really? Cool! Alright then, tomorrow it is! Don't forget!
Someone told me to study every night before bed unless I went to Tartarus, so that's what I did...
...meaning this particular aspect of my life being a goddamn mess is their fault. Thanks a bunch, StarkRavingMad. [/i]
(There's a chance that Minato will become Tired when studying...I guess the guy doesn't know when to take a break. If you try studying while Tired, there's a very high chance that it won't do anything but ensure you stay Tired.)
Despite my being tired, I had promised Kenji I'd hang out with him, so we met up at the mall and went to the record store.
Kenji: D'z is a great singer, and he looks so cool on stage!
Oh, what, first it's To Catch A Predator, now it's Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? I went ahead and humored Kenji, though.
Kenji: You're pretty good looking to begin with, man, so if you work on how you dress, you'll be good to go. Then you can be my wingman!
I had a feeling like that Social Link senation, but not quite as powerful. I think if I keep at it with Kenji, I can take our relationship to the (presumably horrifyingly creepy) next level.
(You can only upgrade a Social Link when your friend is ready to do so - this is indicated by a red exclamation point over their head at school. Situations like hanging out on the weekend allow you to get closer to your friend and speed the process along.)
I went to bed early that night, and ended up feeling much better the next morning.
I overheard a conversation about yet another assembly on the way into class. I just love these things. What's worse, apparently it was just about the Principal feeling shown up after Mitsuru's awesome speech at the last assembly. She really needs to learn to underachieve like the rest of us.
Teacher: First, our principal has some words he'd like to share with you. Please give him a warm welcome.
Principal: ...Thank you.
Yukari: ...You think it's about the recent incidents?
Junpei: Who cares? The Principal doesn't know anything about the Shadows, anyway. I just hope this doesn't take too long...
Yukari: I know. His speeches always drag...
Principal: As you are aware, strange incidents have been reported on the news lately. It is my firm belief that none of you are involved. However, if we want to better our school, than we all need to accept responsibility for change. Dig deep down inside, and tap into your imaginations...but don't lose touch with reality. As they say, "there's no use crying over spilt milk." That is the key to reaping all the benefits that school has to offer...
For a second there, I wanted to perforate my skull with something other than my Evoker.
Junpei: Yeah, you're right...what's up with that?!
All that just to try and show up the Student Council president. Give me a break...
At lunchtime, Mitsuru came to see me in class.
Mitsuru: I'm sorry, but I need to talk to you after school. I have a special request for you. I apologize for being in a rush, but I don't feel comfortable asking anyone else. I'll tell you more about it after school, okay? Au revoir.
School proceeded as usual after that...
...and afterwards, Mitsuru came to see me again, just as she had promised.
Mitsuru: To make a long story short, I want you to join Student Council. It's not like you'd have to participate in every activity. Just come to the Student Council room when you have time. Being President is very time consuming. I'd like to have additional help available in the event of an emergency. You understand my situation...I'm asking you because you know what it's like to be a leader.
Well, if all I had to do was go to the meetings, Student Council didn't seem like it'd be that big of a deal. I told Mitsuru I'd do it.
Mitsuru: ...I've already made an appointment for you with the faculty adviser. You'll have to go to the Faculty Office on your own. I'm sorry I made the arrangements without your permission, but I hope you understand the position I'm in. Please go to the Faculty Office, Arisato. I'll be waiting for you in the Student Council room.
So I headed down to the office...
...where I talked to Ms. Toriumi about Student Council. There was a lot of paperwork involved, so I'll glean over that part and we'll move on.
Redundant caption aside, I headed to the Student Council room after signing up.
Inside, Mitsuru introduced me to the rest of Student Council.
Mitsuru: He's the one I've been talking about the past few days. He'll be joining us in Student Council.
This is Hidetoshi. He's...well, he's kind of a hardass, to be honest. I guess you'd have to be if you ran the Disciplinary Committee.
And this is Chihiro. I noticed she never made eye contact with me...I wonder if it had something to do with Kenji's "fashion tips".
I seemed to hit it off pretty well with everyone, at least...wait, hitting it off with someone means...
I'm starting to lose track of all these damn things.
Mitsuru: From now on you have my permission to enter the Student Council room whenever you need to. That includes after school, too. Thank you, Arisato, for joining us today.
The meeting wrapped up, and we headed back to the dorm.
Thanks a ton, Junpei, where would I be without you?
And that's that. I need some more help now, though. You see all those Social Links I've got now? Well, here they are again, in case you're getting as mixed up as I am...
Magician: Kenji, the classmate
Chariot: Kazushi, the track star
Hierophant: Bunkichi and Mitsuko, the bookstore properietors
Emperor: Hidetoshi, the head of the disciplinary committee
Which ones do you guys want me to work on? I'm getting short on time between school, Tartarus, and this, so a little help would be great.
(Hint: Each of these will branch off into yet another Social Link as well. )
(Vote away, guys!)
Coming up in the next entry: Things get even MORE complicated!