I'm a terrible person for not keeping track of the thread, but on the other hand, now we've met Margaret as a Social Link - Empress. The perfect excuse to continue with the little pointers on Persona's fusion system.
Margaret is a peculiar denizen of the Velvet Room. Unlike Igor, she holds no sway over the mastery of fusion, but plays a just as important role in the forging of the facets from the sea of one's soul. She maintains the Persona Compendium, a library of sorts of all fused Persona's and their particular fused skill sets as you've crafted them. Margaret is the eldest child of a trio of characters who perform this same role in Persona 3, Persona 3 PSP and here in Persona 4 - the others being youngest brother Theodore (first featured in the female run-through of Persona 3 PSP) and the middle child Elizabeth (first featured in Persona 3).
Unlike Theo or Elizabeth, however, Margaret doesn't quite hand out quests for the main character to perform. What she does, as you've seen, is mete out requests for particular Persona's with particular skills on them, as well as one more unique skill first featured here, in Persona 4. To get a good feel for what skills will be inherited to any particular Persona or another, however, one must have an understanding of how the skills will be tranferred from parent Persona's to the next. So how's that going to work out? Well, let me be the second to say...
Enjoy something older and lighter.
Lesson the Second, Skills and Inheritance
So you can craft Persona's. You can plan out their Arcana and plan ahead to craft higher tier Persona's just as readily. Then you've already noticed that, when you craft a Persona, each Persona starts out with at least 2 skills, and learns, as it levels, a number of new skills to go. But as you play on, you will see very quickly that Persona's fused from two or more parents get a number of new skills from their parents. That means they can be more versatile than your run-of-the-mill trained and found Persona's, as well as give more options or specialized firing power.
When a Persona is fused, the game will look at the total number of UNIQUE skills across all Persona's being used as ingredients. Remember not to count the same skill multiple times. This is different from Persona 3, where the same skill on multiple Personas could be counted each time. In essence, this makes skill inheritance on the whole more difficult. In particular, producing a carryover of 5 skills through Triangle Fusion is much more difficult, as it will require that every single skill on the ingredients be different. And capable of inheritance. Oy vey.
When a Persona is fused from < 6 unique skills, the resultant Persona will inherit only 1 skill from its parents.
When a Persona is fused from 6-8 unique skills, the resultant Persona will inherit 2 skills.
When a Persona is fused from 9-11 unique skills, the resultant Persona will inherit 3 skills.
When a Persona is fused from 12-23 unique skills, the resultant Persona will inherit 4 skills.
Finally, when a Persona is fused from 24 or more unique skills, the resultant Persona will inherit 5 skills.
Moving along. Igor states in the game, that Persona's are classed not only by Arcana, but also by a certain unique subset. This subset determines, in short, the likelihood of what particular skills a Persona will or, more importantly, will not inherit from its parent Persona's. There are 11 different kinds of inheritance types, those being Physical, Fire, Ice, Electricity, Wind, Almighty, Light, Darkness, Ailment, Recovery and Support. A twelth skill set exists, known as Passive - no Persona, however, is a Passive type. These skills just enhance a Persona's general abilities.
A Persona belonging to one particular inheritance type may, for instance, favor Agi spells to be received from its parents, but this blocks the Persona from ever receiving Bufu spells (barring one particular instance to gain skills, which I'll explain another time). Similarly, Persona's belonging to the Light inheritence typing cannot inherit Mudo spells; Dark inheritance Persona's are blocked from receiving Hama spells, and so on. Note, however, that this does not include skills a Persona learns through leveling up: Justice Dominion learns the physical skill Power Slash, even though it could never receive as much through fusion - it is a Light inheritance type Persona, which also do not receive physical skills.
Basically, if a Persona belongs to a inheritance type X, skills belonging to that subset have a comparative probability modifier of 144 over another. Example: a Physical Persona like Chariot Nata Taishi has a 144:12 chance on receiving Support skills - it receives physical attacks in a fusion 12 times more likely than it would receive a support skill. The math is set per inheritance set, so if you figure out what particular Persona belongs to what set, and what particular set entails in regards to what a Persona can and cannot inherit, you're set to go.
Which is usually an effort of trial and error. Lots of trial and error.
Or you simply go through the numbers of the table underneath. Much easier
Comparative probability of inheritance, click to enlarge
So how do you choose your skills you want your parent Persona's to have, and which your resultant, end Persona to have at the end of the fusion?
Noise skills are the skills a Persona is very likely to inherit due to typing. Usually, they're not the skills you'd want on your Persona. Limiting on the amount of skills a Persona is more likely to inherit than, say, a useful Support skill like Mind Charge or Passive like Element Boost and Element Amp allows you to create the right Persona for the job, but this can be tough: it's hard to eliminate skills on parent Persona's you'd want them to have otherwise.
Junk skills are the skills a Persona cannot inherit through its inheritance typing. Parents having a high number of junk skills among wanted skills are good, since they do add up to the amount of unique skills for the game to determine how many skills the resultant Persona will inherit. Similarly, every skill the resultant Persona starts with are also junk skills. Can't learn a skill you have twice over, can you?
So that means, you want to plan ahead with skills. If you want to create a Physical inheritance typed Persona like Death Matador, but do not want it to inherit low-grade attack spells from its parents, make sure that the parent Persona's do not have these skills. Similarly, you can filter out the amount of skills a Persona receives by making sure the parent Persona's have skills the resultant cannot receive.
Feinne will have to create a Death Matador with Mahama. Great skill, since it also learns Mamudo - a Darkness-based group-kill spell, as well as Mudo Boost, a support skill that increases the group-kill's chances to hit by 20%. In fact, Feinne could create a Matador with Mahama, Mamudo, Mudo Boost and Hama Boost. An excellent low-level dungeon clearing Persona. So how shall we tackle this?
If I'm not mistaken, first take a Moon Andra, a lvl. 9 Justice Angel with Hama Boost, and a lvl. < 9 Devil Ukobach. Make sure they have some elemental spells and ailments to them as well as Hama Boost to it to craft a Hierophant Anzu (comes with Mahama by lvl. 19). Make sure this Anzu is filled to the brim with junk skills which Matador will not inherit, as well as Hama Boost and Mahama. Combine this Anzu with Hangman Berith (which learns Mudo Boost early, as well) to create Death Matador. Hello Margaret Social Link Rank-Up.
So you have your interesting Persona with good skills. Save it to the Compendium. You will be able to unload it another time (for a price dependant on the total stat points the Persona has), or use its entry in the Compendium for quick reference as an ingredient in future fusions. The Compendium also has a lot of mythological information about these Persona's you've registered, also nifty to look through.
Of course, sometimes, things go awry. You plan ahead your Persona, with the skills you'd like, despite shitty noise skills drowning out your great movepool. No biggie. You can deal with that.
Then this happens. After, oh, half an hour of switching back and forth between getting the right skills to show up.
Watch someone else's pain here
Igor's skills aren't perfect. This happens to the best of 'em. Please forgive Igor for any misgivings in fusing the cards just right.
Once you've gotten over the shock of the fusion accident, notice the following: the Persona that's resultant has gained the skills it'd inherit just as planned. Its Arcana, however, is chosen randomly (Fool, in this case) and a closest match is sought from the levels on the Arcana list - it cannot be Fool Loki, since it's the ultimate Persona of the Fool Arcana and its summoning requirements aren't met yet in this game, so its closest match, Fool Shiki-Ouji, is chosen instead.
Fusion accidents happen. There's a 1 in 32 chance in normal spread fusions for this to happen, while it's a 1 in 16 chance in triangle spread fusions. Unique, multi-spreads beyond these, however, do not suffer this particular mishap. So here's another tip: once you have all ingredient Persona's ready and the fusion looks about right, save the game. Trust me, you don't want that to happen to you. Unless, of course, you suddenly got access to a nifty and unique Fortune, Tower or Judgement Persona through Igor fowling up - sometimes there's a little luck in these unlucky happenstances. Felix culpa, as the saying goes.
Next time, I will explain Margaret's other duties, and the boons and banes of Arcana Shuffle, and how further to use the fusion system to your advantage.