Part 7: Entry Six: May 2nd, 2009
Entry Six: May 2nd, 2009
So it turns out that the next day after joining Student Council, I ran into Mitsuru on the way to school. She was wondering if I'd gotten used to life at Gekkoukan High yet, and to be honest I have for the most part. Sure, everyone is either weird or a Persona-user (also weird), but I guess it's not that bad.
Mitsuru: I see. Your ability to adapt to new situations and environments is very impressive. By the way, there's something I forgot to tell you. Most times you can find me in the lounge. However, I won't be there if there is something I must attend to.
(This typically relates to plot events, but she can just arbitrarily not be there sometimes. You just have to find something else to do on those nights.)
At lunch, I ran into Kaz.
Kazushi: Wanna go for a jog before lunch is over?!
I...didn't, really, so he took off. Sorry, Kaz.
I thought about going to Track after school, but...
...it looked like Kenji really wanted to talk to me, so I decided to see what was up with him instead.
Ugh, thanks for reminding me that my life is in fact a goddamn mess.
Yeah, you're only interested in 30-something teachers, you reverse pedophile. Kenji's weirdness aside, I figured it was better than killing myself running Track, so off we went to the ramen joint.
I figured he was sick of school, and said so.
Kenji: Dude, I've been sick of school since my first day freshman year. I mean, I wake up, come to school, listen to lameass lectures, come home, eat, watch TV, go to sleep...
Here we go again.
Kenji: Thanks, dude! Soon I'll have a girlfriend, just like you!
I wouldn't say that around Yukari if you wanna keep both testicles.
How could I have forgotten?
Kenji: Her name is Ms. Kanou. You don't know her, do you? She teaches 12th grade ethics. I'm totally acing her class.
(Isn't Minato an 11th grader? Why's Kenji his classmate if he's in 12 grade ethics?)
Listening to this was probably as much fun as you think it was.
Kenji: Hey, man, don't tell anyone about this, okay? You're the only one who knows.
Wait a second, he confided in me? That must mean...
...yup, it's time for Creepy Voices From Beyond, starring me.
The Surgeon General does not endorse Social Links.
I walked home with Kenji when we finished our ramen. He was going on about Ms. Kanou the entire way back. Lovely.
Mitsuru greeted me when I got back to the dorm that evening.
I didn't mention this, but all my previous entries were typed and pictures uploaded via wireless on my cell phone. I guess it's not a big deal either way, but it'll be nice to have a full-size keyboard again.
I'm not really much of a gamer, but that's mostly because I spend all my time on my art instead.
Junpei: You know, those games you play with a buncha people you never met before. I was totally addicted to this one game, but then I got burned out...here, you can have it.
Now why does that sound so familiar...
Speaking of Junpei, I had wanted to go to Tartarus that night, but he had diarrhea. I figured that wouldn't be very helpful for fighting off horrible creatures from beyond time and space, so we stayed home that night.
The next day was a holiday. The internet line was fixed, so I figured I'd give that MMORPG Junpei gave me a shot.[/i]
You have one message.
PHIL: When we accept that fact, our world becomes "reality". Reality is but a reflection of our thoughts and expectations. ...But what if we were merely reflections in another's mirror? Are you prepared to look through that mirror and discover the truth?
Turns out it just dumped me ingame while I was in the middle of character creation. Stupid Korean MMOs.
I used to get pissed when people didn't type proper English, but it's so common online these days that worrying about that will only get you an ulcer.
Girl: oh wow, u haven't even finished generating your char yet...o_O welcome to teh game! good thing i'm using my low level alt. i think its jus u an me, this is kind of a dead MMO these days xD
Oh, thanks a lot, Junpei. "Here, dawg, play dis game wit nobody else on! Dur dur durr I am Stupei!" Ugh.
Girl: we r supposed to be our "alternate selves" rite? uhhh...yeah. =/ sooo...what r u gonna call ur char? we can meet up later. hm...hey, i got a good name for u =3
Yeah, Tatsuya's a cool name. Beats the hell out of "ramenboi" at least. Seems kinda familiar, too.
That's pretty clever, I had to give her credit.
For someone who types like that, she's really not so bad.
I don't really have much time to myself these days, but I figure I could fit in a Sunday here or there to talk to Maya.
Wait a second...
...these things really don't have very high standards, do they?
I guess I should probably stay away from eHarmony, the voices in my head would never shut up about how awesome I was.
So that was Sunday for me.
(All of you who've been telling us to work on Academics, this one's for you!)
I ran into Chihiro outside of class the next day, and tried to strike up a conversation with her.
Chihiro: I'm sorry...
Fuck you and fuck your fashion tips, Kenji. My life is a goddamn mess.
Also, I have no idea why I felt the need to draw a picture of an awkward moment between me and a girl I barely know. Maybe I'm the next Andy Warhol.
So instead of macking the nerdy girl, I ended up being even more nerdy and going to the bookstore to hang out with old people.
Bunkichi: What was your name again? I'm just joking, I know who you are. I'm not that old. My wife and I were just talking about you, Minato-chan.
You're goddamn right I like melon bread, it's like melon-flavored crack.
I think we're going to get along just fine, old guy.
My mouth was too full of melony goodness to thank him, so that was good to know.
YES. MINATO LOVE MELON BREAD.
Bukichi: What was your name again?
Mistuko: Remember, dear? This is Minato-chan. I'm sorry, Minato-chan. He's terribly forgetful lately. Here you go.
So these guys are pretty much my new best friends. Fuck Kenji, he doesn't give me free melon bread.
Bunkichi: He should be here helping customers...I'm sorry, Minato-chan. I'm sure he'd rather be "hanging out" with his friends than taking care of an old man like me. I'm sure he'll be back soon. Right, dear?
Well, they shared their painful experiences with me, which entails a certain degree of closeness, and...
...yup. This one felt kinda hollow.
Poor old folks.
I actually don't think I'll extort them for delicious melon bread next time I go.
I'll buy some before I get there first.
I got a cell phone call when I got back to the dorm.
Elizabeth: There is a matter we need to discuss.
She mentioned I could go to Paulownia Mall and use the entrance there...
...but Junpei no longer had the squirts, so I decided I'd use the Tartarus entrance instead.
Igor: Welcome to the Velvet Room. Well, I suppose it's time for me to explain what I really do here. It is my job to create new Personas. But in order to do that, I must fuse your Persona cards together. In other words, I shall merge them into a single Persona.
Long story short, this is how I'll end up getting the majority of my better Personae.
Elizabeth wanted something too.
Elizabeth: I have a big favor to ask. I have been looking for someone with exceptional strength. It's been quite some time since we've had a visitor worthy of our attention. If you don't mind, will you accept my requests?
She basically has a variety of odd jobs she wants me to do, like...
...collecting monster parts, getting to the top of various blocks, and bringing her soda. So now I'm an errand boy on top of everything else. My life is a goddamn mess.
After my stint in the Velvet Room, I grabbed Junpei and Yukari and we started heading up Tartarus again. We ran into some new Shadows, like this Magic Hand; like the Tiaras, Hands like to use spells, so I try to take them out first if I can.
I had to draw this because it's one of the few times I've seen Junpei actually smack something with his sword and not fall on his ass. Sorry Junpei, just telling it like it is.
He's usually much better off using his Persona instead, it seems to be a lot more accurate than he is.
We ran into these beetle things, too. I was going to get some analyze data from it, but I was too busy killing it to ask Mitsuru to scan it.
(These beetles are the most dangerous enemies in Tartarus early on - they have an attack called Kill Rush which is capable of one-shotting Minato at early levels. If you get unlucky, well, you're done right then and there.)
I ended up getting a new Persona for killing the beetle. Apsaras is some sort of Hindu nymph; she's pretty handy, since she's got Ice attacks and a lot of the Shadows here are weak to those.
Oh, Apsaras can do something else that's pretty cool when combined with Orpheus. Check it out:
Fusion - Cadenza
We kept on climbing; I wonder how many floors this thing has? There were still more new Shadows as we climbed, as well; these angel things are called Cupids, and they're pretty damn quick. I tried to handle them myself, since Junpei and Yukari weren't really accurate enough for the job.
Right before we got to the tenth floor, Yukari and Junpei started complaining about being Tired, so that marked the end of that excursion. I didn't want to risk taking on the powerful enemy on the tenth floor with them half-asleep.
The next day, I ran into Yukari on the way into school.
Yukari: Well, it IS May already. It's amazing how time flies. So much has been happening...ya know, it doesn't seem like the number of Apathy Syndrome cases has been decreasing lately...we're the only ones who can fight the Shadows, so...I guess if we train more, we'll be ready if anything like THAT comes up again. Me especially, I don't wanna be a burden on anyone else.
I was planning on going to Student Council after school, if only to see if Chihiro felt like talking to me yet, but instead...
Junpei: Yup, he knows who he can count on.
Yukari: He only asked you cuz you don't have anything else to do after school...
Junpei: H-hey, I resent that!
Yukari: I'm just kidding! What'd he want you to bring?
Junpei: The class roster for 2-E.
Yukari: What's he want that for? Well, I don't have practice today, so I'll go with you.
I figured it was better to stay cool with the people in my dorm than to try and get nookie from Chihiro, so I headed to the hospital with Junpei and Yukari.
We didn't see Akihiko in his room at the hospital, though. Instead, some other guy was there.
I think I might get a hat like that.
The stranger didn't seem too friendly, I figured Junpei was asking for a kick in the balls, but thankfully Akihiko showed up before anything started.
Yukari: We came to see you! But...it doesn't look like anything's wrong with you.
Akihiko: I'm just here for a checkup.
"Aki"? I guess Mr. Etiquette there is older than us.
Akihiko: A friend from school, sort of. You know how the number of Apathy Syndrome cases has been increasing? Well, he knows a few people who are suffering from it, so I was asking him about it. Hey Junpei, did you bring what I asked?
Junpei: Of course, senpai.
Akihiko: It's nothing. I've wasted enough time already...I need to get back to my training.
You and me both, Akihiko-senpai.
Yukari: By the way, why boxing?
Akihiko: You mean, why did I choose that sport? Well...it's not the sport itself I like. I just wanted to learn how to fight. I know what it's like to feel powerless...and I don't want to feel that way again. Besides, I'm curious to see how strong I can get. It's like a game, only I'm competing against myself.
Junpei: You know, I'm into games too...
Yukari: Yeah, VIDEO games.
We headed home from the hospital, and Mitsuru was waiting for us there.
Mitsuru: It may take time for Akihiko to fully heal, and I don't want anything like that to happen again. Besides, the number of victims seems to have been increasing. ...I have a bad feeling about that. We had best muster as much strength as we can.
Everyone was feeling better, so we did end up going to Tartarus. I stopped off at the Velvet Room while I was there...
...and made a new Persona using Pixie and Apsaras - I didn't mention Pixie earlier because she's basically useless except for fusion fodder, so don't worry about her.
This is what all those Social Links I've been working on are for - they give a newly fused Persona more power right away. In this case, Kenji's Social Link affects Nekomata, because they're both from the Magician Arcana.
(The Social Links that we pursue will affect the Personae we use, and therefore our tactics in combat.)
(Personae with a strong Social Link associated with them will typically gain a huge chunk of experience and several levels immediately upon fusion. Personas take a very long time to level, so this is very handy.)
We continued on up, and at the tenth floor, we ran into another set of powerful Shadows:
Tartarus Boss 2 - Dancing Hands
(These guys are vulnerable to Strike attacks, like Bash, which Orpheus starts with. I forgot they were weak to Strike and used the overcomplicated strategy you see here that uses Provoke to keep them from casting spells. My excuse is that this way was more interesting than just hammering them all to death with their weakness. )
We weren't tired just yet, so up we climbed. We ran into a new Shadow - the Trance Twins use lightning magic, which is irritating for Junpei and I but deadly for Yukari. They're weak to both Fire and Ice though, so it's not hard to take them out.
(As your characters get stronger, smaller and weaker Shadows like this one will actually haul ass away from Minato as he draws near. This saves you from having to fight everything on the way up.)
I picked up a new Persona as we neared the 14th floor - Angel uses Wind attacks, which means I've currently got Fire (Nekomata/Orpheus), Ice (Apsaras, who I got again later), and Wind available whenever I want. Handy.
On the 14th floor, it was time to fight another powerful Shadow:
Tartarus Boss 3 - Rampage Drive
(This guy is tough. He starts off using physical attacks, which hurt but are survivable. At around half HP, he uses Tarukaja to boost his attack power, so those same physical attacks will one-shot Minato or Yukari if they're too low a level. As he nears death, he changes tactics and starts spamming Mazio to kill the shit out of Yukari, leaving you to finish him off with Junpei and Minato. Cadenza was a big help here for avoiding his huge physical attacks.)
I wanted to keep going, but Yukari was done for the night, so we decided to continue our ascent later on.
The next day, I overheard some students talking about Golden Week, a three-day weekend coming up. Fucking awesome! My life might be a goddamn mess, but I enjoy a break as much as anyone, even if the majority of that break will probably be spent hanging out with old people or killing monsters from another dimension.
They also mentioned a home shopping show that was gaining popularity around town. I should catch it next Sunday afternoon.
After school, I tried starting a conversation with Chihiro again.
Chihiro: I-I get really nervous when I, um, talk to people...especially boys...I know it's bad, but I can't help it...
I tried to explain to her that I was a guy and was totally harmless (discreetly making sure my Evoker was out of sight before doing so), but it didn't work.
Chihiro: Sorry, I won't be a very good Student Council representative if I'm like this...I have to try harder to overcome this phobia. I'll do my best...
Still no luck. Damn.
So once again, instead of necking with the class geek, I went to hang out with the old people instead.
Bunkichi: But I can't seem to find it...
I asked what he was looking around for, of course.
Bunkichi: Minato-chan? How'd you know I was looking for something? Are you psychic? I'm looking for my glasses...no, not my glasses, my wallet. I can't seem to find it.
So I offered to help out.
Bunkichi: I was just thinking it'd be nice if someone gave us a hand.
We searched for awhile, but didn't have any luck.
Bunkichi: Wait, what were we looking for?
Two things entered my mind: first, I needed to find some earplugs. Then I needed to steal this guy's shirt.
Bunkichi: Wow! This is it! I've been looking for this wallet everywhere! Well, it's not a golden wallet, but I'm still happy to have it back!
Foreigner: Aren't you ze transfer student everyone eez talking about? I go to zee same school - Gekkoukan! I came 'ere from France to study abroad. My name eez Andre Laurent Jean Geraux.
...How do you get "Bebe" from that?
Bebe: Hajime mashite, it eez nice to meet you!
Bebe: I 'ope to see you zere. Sayonara, goodbye!
Bebe then took off.
You're telling me.
Bunkichi: Hmm...I thought I put it in my wallet so I wouldn't lose it...ah, here it is! I knew it was in here!
Mitsuko: Dear? Is that the key for...?
Bunkichi: Come on dear, you know what it is. It's the key for our son's car. Seeing Minato-chan reminded me of how things used to be. I haven't heard the roar of the engine in a long time. How do I look, dear?
Mitsuko: Please don't!
Mitsuko: Um, Minato-chan...I'm sorry for raising my voice. Did I scare you?
Bunkichi: Minato-chan, please punch me...punch me for being so insensitive. With all my excitement, I forgot to consider how my wife might feel. I'm such a...such a...
Well... I guess they wouldn't tell just anyone about this, so it's good they have someone to talk to.
Good for everyone involved, really.
I don't know if I like this Link. Poor old people.
Well, er...it's the thought that counts, I guess. I wish he'd had more melon bread.
I was feeling pretty down after that, so I went back to the dorm, where Junpei greeted me.
Junpei: Three-day weekend starting tomorrow! I asked some peeps if they wanted to hang out, but the only ones interested were guys...man, I don't want no sausage fest...
Ugh, shit, that's right.
You're telling me.
So anyway, that's that. It's time for some more input from you guys. Which Links should we work on now? Here's the list again:
Magician: Kenji, the classmate
Chariot: Kazushi, the track star
Hierophant: Bunkichi and Mitsuko, the bookstore properietors
Emperor: Hidetoshi, the head of the disciplinary committee
Hermit: Maya, the MMORPG player
???: Bebe, the foreigner
Feel free to let me know what you'd like to hear about, and I'll go and do it over the break and stuff.
Coming up in the next entry: Three-day weekend, woo! Also, what does that "next" under the date mean, anyway...?