The Let's Play Archive

Persona 5

by Arist

Part 135: 10/20-10/22: From Bad To Worse

Part 127: 10/20-10/22: From Bad To Worse

Well, exams are done, time to rela--

Music: Suspicion

Yeah, seems like it’s for real this time. Apparently one of our students is a Phantom Thief.
I read the same thing online. Apparently Public Security is already on the move…

Futaba!? You’re the Phantom Thief!?

There’s something I want to talk to everyone about. I’ll be at the hideout… I mean, our place.


Music: Tokyo Daylight

There’s still some time until we meet though, so I am going to go take care of my flowers first. See you later.
I suppose plants do need watering, after all… Ah, I know. You should go help Haru, Maaku. I’ll let the others know.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

You, um… heard that, didn’t you? I’m not worried about the garden, in case you were wondering. It’s just… so much has happened to me lately.

…… Well, perhaps I could share this with you… I mean, it would be nice to have someone who is aware of my current situation in life. The source of my worries is my father’s company. Dealing with the aftermath has been… difficult… Given how unexpected the accident was, my father didn’t have a will. All of his stocks transferred to me… Which means suddenly, I’m the biggest shareholder in a company of over one thousand employees. But… I don’t know the first thing about business direction or fund management…

Sounds like a B-tier Disney Channel sitcom.

I am. Sorry, I didn’t mean to worry you. It’s just… I know I’m the president’s daughter, but I never thoughts I’d actually end up involved in company business… Because of that, I’ve been meeting with all the various officers and lawyers my father employed lately. They’ve been giving me advice on all the things I’m not entirely sure about. Assets, stocks… *shakes head* It’s clear some people only want to get on my good side though. I don’t know who I can trust… They try to sound comforting by saying things like “don’t worry,” or “leave it to me,” but… It feels like they’re really only being nice so they can get their hands on my bank account. I… I never realized I could be this distrustful of other people…

Ah, I’m sorry for ranting on about this matter. I feel as though doing so has helped me calm down a bit though. The only people I’ve consulted up to this point have been employees… But I think what I really needed was someone closer to my own age… closer to my own viewpoint. …… Um… if it isn’t too much trouble, could we speak about this again some other time?
In return, I’ll… Hm… What can I do to help you…? I don’t have any unique talents…

How about this? You know, gardening. I’m actually quite skilled at it. A few years ago I even managed to grow a tropical fruit on the balcony at my house… To be honest… this is what I do when I’m alone to take my mind off of everything that’s happened… …… Oh, that’s right. I stored some vegetables in the refrigerator down in the home economics room. ...You still have some time, yes? Would you mind waiting here a moment?

There’s not much consistency to their colors or shapes, but…

*giggle* You like vegetables, Maaku-kun? That’s good to know. ...But to tell the truth, I have a favor to ask of you.

I’d like to get Sakura-san’s opinion on my vegetables.

Have you even met Sojiro? I mean, I guess you must have talked to him once or twice on the way to the hideout, but we never saw any of that.

Do you think I could bring my next harvest over to your cafe?

Thank you. I’m sure Sakura-san will give me his honest opinion. I’ll make sure this next harvest is particularly good.
Well then, shall we head over to the hideout?

So, despite all that dialogue and Haru’s promise of aid, we have not formed a Confidant yet. A bit annoying, but whatever. Also we never actually ended up helping Haru, oops.

Music: Suspicion

*sigh* I think I’m screwed for real this time. I couldn’t concentrate at all…

The same speechgiver from the other day continues outside.

More importantly, what’s this you want to talk about?
You said that something was on your mind before, but were you able to figure out what it was?
The Medjed that I banned… wasn’t the real one.

Huh? Aren’t you the real one though?
Oh, uhh…

The code written by that guy the other day is different from any of the past Medjed.

A code is like your fingerprints. No matter how you try to disguise it, your own quirks appear in it. The one from the other day was all cut and pasted with no consistency. No skill at all.
But aren’t there multiple people across the world that are part of Medjed? Couldn’t it have been done by someone that joined recently?
How do I put it…? That code was so not done by anyone interested in cracking. At all. At the very least, there’s no way it was an official Medjed member.
So someone used the Medjed name to provoke the Phantom Thieves…? For what purpose?
Could they have been doing it for fun…? It was around the time our group started getting popular, so maybe they wanted in on the hype…

Wait a moment.


Music: Disquiet

Perhaps they used the Medjed name to make the Phantom Thieves known…
What? That makes no sense.
I actually thought the same as Makoto.
Why’s that?
Know how I just said that code is like fingerprints? I found those same fingerprints somewhere completely different.
Where’s that?

It was Mishima! I knew it! You son of a bitch!

There were traces of it being illegally tampered with from the outside.


For real…?
Before summer vacation, the access counter was made to be much higher than the actual number. Same with the rankings. Particularly the time when President Okumura ranked first.
So then, the one who provoked the group and the one who tampered with the site are the same person?
...I think I’m starting to see the big picture. Both Medjed’s provocation and the tampering of the website brought attention to us as a result. On top of that, our reason for targeting Okumura was influenced by the public and the rankings… The perfect timing, and the perfect target. If both of those had been set up…
...It would all make sense.

No way…
This is all hypothetical. We lack any hard evidence…
But if all your deductions happen to be correct… That would mean we’ve been playing right into their hand for the past two months or so…

W-We gotta be overthinkin’ things. I mean, we’re talkin’ both the rankings AND Medjed…! Everyone made a big deal about it! If this was all set up… Then… what kind of guy did we make an enemy of…?

The group takes a moment to ruminate on this.

...There’s no point in getting anxious over speculation. Regardless, we’ll be falsely charged at this rate, and with murder. We must overcome this.
But, we don’t even know who we’re up against…
Hey… you think we’re fallin’ into another trap, even at this very moment?

Yeah. This doesn’t mean that we’ve lost yet.
Even if this is the actions of a meticulous enemy, we’ll just have to get back at them. We need to find clues… No matter what.

The group nods.

Music: Desire

I was told you recommended this reassignment yourself, sir. Why would you choose someone as inexperienced as myself…?
When the case of the Shujin principal was ruled a suicide, you thought to reopen it… And you proved its connection to the Phantom Thieves. This is based primarily on that achievement.
...I’m honored, sir.
The Phantom Thieves issue is now a national crisis. Expectations are exceedingly high for us public prosecutors, as we are the executors of justice. Personnel and planning will be up to you on this case. You will also have the police under your command.

I’d like you to oversee this operation.
(in disbelief) …….
You’ve yet to give an answer… Will you accept the task of eradicating the Phantom Thieves?
I will give it everything I have.
We’ll have to prepare a higher position for you as well in the event that you succeed. I don’t wish to apply extra pressure on you… But I assume your odds of success are high. Naturally, failure to accomplish this task is unacceptable… Do you understand?
Of course! I will live up to your expectations, no matter what it takes!
That is all then. I expect good results from you.

Welp, we’re boned, the SIU is after us. ...Wait, what is the SIU and what exactly do they do? It’s not really clear, game.

According to a quick Google, the “Special Investigation Teams” (SIT) are groups of specialized detectives armed with cutting-edge technology and tactics to capture criminals in serious and often lethal cases such as bombings, aircraft hijackings, and kidnappings. So uh, a bunch of supercops with all the gear, weapons, and training they need to find us and kick our shit in. Great. The SIU in P5 is, I guess, a fictionalized version of this, though they don’t seem to actually do anything as of yet and their director is not just hopelessly corrupt but an active member of a political conspiracy. So just like real life! I also have no idea why Sae, a public prosecutor, seems to answer directly to this chucklefuck, but whatever.

I also just learned that Japanese prosecutors have the ability to direct police for investigation purposes and conduct investigations themselves, Ace Attorney-style. I guess that series was even more accurate than I give it credit for.

Music: Days of Sisters

Should I warm up dinner for you?
No, it’s OK.

No need. I just came home to get a change of clothes.
Are you going to stay at work then?
I’ve been entrusted with a very important task.
You look awful though… Aren’t you tired?
As an adult, there will be times when you will accept an assignment for which failure will not be tolerated. It’s all over for me if I can’t win this.
Still, if you were to collapse from exhaustion…

…… I heard detectives have been coming to your school. That must make it hard to focus on your studies. Don’t worry though. It will all be over soon.
What do you mean…?
I’m going to catch the Phantom Thieves myself.
Is that the important task you mentioned?
It’s none of your concern.

Sae then immediately turns around and walks back into the black void directly outside the front door. Didn’t she need a change of clothes?

Sis has her sights set on the Phantom Thieves… and on Shujin Academy in particular… This is bad… I need to let everyone know…!

Music: Disquiet

Just try to stay calm.
What’s wrong?
Sis told me she’s been entrusted with an important task regarding the Phantom Thieves.

Wait, weren’t they already investigating us though?
The police were doing so in secret. This operation is on a much different scale.
Hold on a sec. What’s this SIU thing anyways?
The Special Investigations Unit. An elite team that deals with huge cases like government scandals.
I have heard that name on the news. They make headlines often.
The real insane part is, they haven’t lost a case against a suspect in like fifty years. If they come after you, you’re screwed. They’re the best investigation force in Japan.
Are we going to be arrested…?
Hm, doesn’t this countermeasure seem somewhat extreme?
Right or wrong, I think we’re just way too famous at this point. As this is a country governed by laws, they can’t afford to ignore us for any longer.
We may be the Phantom Thieves… but this is miserable…
They probably have a pretty narrow suspect profile by now too.
Hey, don’t scare us like that!
It’s OK though. They don’t have any evidence.
Yes, I expect they’re frantically searching for some as we speak.
No way they’re gonna find anything though.
It’s only a matter of time. We have to hurry and do something about this…
...E-Everything’s going to be fine. Unless they know about the Metaverse, there’s no way they’ll get any info on us.

Yeah, it’d really suck if that was the case!

Music: Beneath the Mask

I’m always in the mood to go out, you just never let me!

The cause is thought to be discontent with how the government is dealing with #Millennials. Evidently, Mr. Okumura’s death has had severely adverse effects on the government as well.
I can sympathize. Our approval rating has gone way down, too…

We’ve gotta get through this, no matter what it takes!

Anon: got anything better to do?
Anon: criminals should die

Music: Suspicion

The government and the police are useless. Are they even trying? I wish they wouldn’t spend tax dollars just to sit on their asses…
A mysterious group of murderers, an inept government… What’s the world coming to these days?
Everyone’s talking trash about us…

How many times has this been, now?
Our school’s gotten famous.
Yeah, in a bad way.
I wonder if the culprit really is from our school…

Anon: wow, public murder huh
Anon: Could still be coincidence.

Music: Suspicion

Yeah… Who do those damn cops think they are? They can’t just stare us all down like that.
Maybe the rumors are true? Maybe there’s a Phantom Thief at our school…

Music: So Boring

The police are here at the school, so be sure not to get in their way. Oh, and… For various reasons, the school festival got moved to the 25th. There was talk of canceling it, but we couldn’t just do that. I’m sure the preparations will be rough, but don’t push yourself too hard.
Really? On a weekday? What kinds of reasons are there?
With all this stuff about the principal and Kamoshida this year, I guess it can’t be helped…

Music: Disquiet

The police are at Shujin? They haven’t come to my school.
It seems they’re calling students individually out of class to speak with them.
Wait… Does that mean we’re gonna get called in too!?
Second-years will start in the afternoon. Make sure you prepare yourselves mentally for this.
They’ve gotta be looking for the culprit, right…?
Who knows…
Be careful, guys. You should probably try to not say much. They’ll see through any lies you try and make.
I know.
In any case, don’t tell them anything unnecessary.

Well, fuck. We’re getting questioned.

You two will go together.
Huh? Why together…?
Why…? They’ll probably have one of you wait outside. That’s how they’ve been doing it so far.
Oh yeah, right…
Those are the instructions the detectives gave us. Just don’t say more than is necessary, and try and get it over with quick.

Kawakami knows what’s up.

Why thank you, “Nice Detective.”

Let’s see… Maaku Hamiru.

I’m innocent! You can’t prove I’m a Phantom Thief!
Fuck, you know what? I give up. Gimme a deal, I will rat out every last one of those motherfuckers, especially the cat! My teacher’s a maid! I help a sketchy ex-yakuza dude make and smuggle illegally modified airsoft guns! Mishima runs the Phan-Site, which you should probably actually know already if you’ve done any research whatsoever!
Let’s just start over.

Ah yes, you’re the one currently under probation. It says here you had a dispute with Mr. Kamoshida?


You’re more hot-blooded than you look. ...You spend time with an interesting group. Yusuke Kitagawa and Haru Okumura? The more friends the better, right?

How do they even know about Yusuke?

...I’m sorry to have taken your time. You’re free to go now. Oh, I almost forgot. There’s just one more thing I have to ask you. Do you think the Phantom Thieves are associated with this school?

Oh geez, I sure hope those scary awful Phantom Thieves with rad superpowers aren’t involved here, that would just be awful.

Don’t worry. We’re here to keep all of you safe, OK?

Oh, thanks so much. Fuckin’ cops.

Thank you for your time.
Your responses will serve as great reference material. Takamaki-san is next. Could you ask her to come in?

Music: Suspicion

It seems we were all asked the same questions.
That’s how they get you. They do that on purpose, then wait for someone to slip up.

Well, they weren’t asking very good questions, if so! One of them was about an event specific to me (and Ryuji), another was about who I hang out with (which the cop answered for me), and the last was just asking me to speculate. How would they have caught a lie? I wasn’t given much of an opportunity to lie in the first place! Also it completely torpedoes the premise that we were all asked the same questions, but whatever.

I hope you didn’t.
...It was prolly fine. I woulda been done for if they saw how sweaty my hands were though.
To think my name would come up as well…
Sounds like we can’t take the police lightly either.
Hey, didn’t you think that detective guy was scary?

Have you guys forgotten? It’s not exactly Maaku’s first rodeo.

Not to me… He looked like someone who’s dealt with dangerous criminals.
I’m sorry for all of this… It’s because of my sister…
That’s not true, Mako-chan.
It’s not as though I hadn’t predicted this would happen… But now that it’s become reality, I’m unsure of what to do…
We need to make sure we don’t draw suspicion, and work to clear our names… right?
It ain’t your fault, Makoto.
I’m gonna try to see how far along this investigation really is.
I’m worried about the police too, but as of now, anyone in this city could be a mole…
We were so popular too…
Haru, can I ask you to search your father’s belongings for clues about a possible culprit? I… I know it may be tough on you…
No, it’s OK. Now isn’t the time for me to look away.
As for everyone else, you need to be cautious of how you spend your time at school. So, I’ve decided to have you three second-years join me on the school festival executive committee.

It will allow us to gather without drawing suspicion. Plus, trying to blend in will only do the opposite.
Ugh… Fine.
I agree. The more time I have to kill, the more time I’ll spend worrying about all this stuff. No matter what happens… I don’t want to regret my decisions.
Don’t jinx it!
It would be no surprise if they came directly to our homes for questioning. They showed up at your school, after all… I should remain cautious.
For now, the best option is to stay on the defensive… but we won’t make progress at this rate. Let’s try and figure out who the real culprit is somehow, OK?
Of course… ……

Makoto looks around the room at everyone, and then nods. The rest of the group then nods as well.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Think, Morgana, think!

Those in the know say authorities are undergoing major restructuring to prepare to arrest the culprit. We’ve also heard they’re willing to resort to unorthodox methods. More on this as it develops.
...This is getting pretty bad. Make sure you don’t let your guard down.

Music: Desire

Oh boy, more of everyone’s favorite character!

The rest will go as you mentioned… *chuckle*

Somebody needs to give this guy a fuckin’ Snidely Whipdash mustache for him to twirl with his finger. I feel pretty confident saying this is the least compelling, most thinly-sketched character in the entire game if you only count people with portraits. Kamoshida was pure evil, too, but he was a real kind of evil. Hell, it’s implied Madarame and Okumura seemed to have some genuine affection for Yusuke and Haru, and even fucking Kaneshiro at least had the thin layer of insecurity revealed in his Palace. This motherfucker just seems like he should be tying helpless damsels to the railroad tracks in between bulldozing orphanages to make room for his oil drills. No, you know what? That’s not right. This obsequious shithead couldn’t massage his nuts without prior written instructions, so forgive me for presuming he could show some goddamn initiative. The only things he’s done in the entire game so far is be sexist at Sae and chuckle evilly at the magnificence of this dreadful plot to exterminate the Phantom Thieves. This character is such a lame plot device that despite him being the sole face of the conspiracy for most of the game and one of like three characters Sae interacts with to any real frequency, they never actually give him a name. It’s like Hashino knew.

Anon: just turn yourselves in pls
Anon: Hurry up and execute them!

Probably some idiots with a misguided sense of justice.
Look, can they just arrest those guys already?
Special Investigations is on it. I’m sure they’ll be caught soon.
What kind of people are they? I wanna see what they look like.

Anon: well now im interested
Anon: I kiiinda sympathize...

Music: Suspicion

How much longer are they gonna do this? We should be busy preparing for the school festival right now.
Why’d the school decide to have the festival so late, anyway? I mean, changing the date just because our school’s all over the news? Moving it to next Tuesday only makes more work for us!
We won’t be able to invite friends from other schools now that we’re holding the festival on a weekday. It’ll also be an inconvenience to anyone we already invited. And what about the post-festival party? Will there be enough people for the Student Sharing Special? *sigh* It’s gonna be a real weird festival with morale so low…

Music: So Boring

The absurdity of it all… “Who exactly are the Phantom Thieves?” That’s what we want to know. We really have no clue what method they’re using… Killing someone without directly interacting with them is like magic. Speaking of magic, did you know that there’s magic in math too? A magic square! It’s a square in which adding up the numbers in any row, column or diagonal gives you the same total. Hamiru-san. Please look at this.


In a 5x5 square, there are more than 200 million. Can you believe that?

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

If you had to choose, would you try to find the Phantom Thieves or solve 200 million magic squares? I’d choose the magic squares, hands down. They might both be magic, but magic squares can be calculated. And math doesn’t kill anyone.

It’s killin’ me!

Having everyone out there looking for the culprit is getting me down…

Later in the day…

I’ll need some help with the questionnaires.
What questionnaires?
The ones regarding who people want to see as the guest of honor.
Oh right, that thing they do every year.
You mean how those lame guests come to do a panel, right?
The festival’s dates were changed because of the situation. We need to hurry and tally the results.

It seems like we should probably have done this more than three days before the festival, but that’s just me.

Come to the student council room once classes are over.
Ughhh, that’s so damn boring.
Don’t be like that. It’s so we can meet up without standing out. Let’s do what we can at the moment.
I’m making sure to work hard at home!
But you do that all the time.
I can look stuff up! So, did you find anything, Haru?
About that…
No good, huh?
I’m sorry. It’ll rouse suspicion if I ask too many detailed questions.
No worries! I’ll manage on my end somehow!
We’re counting on you.
I can’t go, but message me if anything happens. I will leave this to you guys. My apologies, but I cannot be of much help in this situation.

Music: Wicked Plan

You don’t need to keep mentioning it. We’re doing this to keep suspicions off of us, remember?

This one too. “Akechi.”
They’re mostly the same over here as well.
Everyone’s so eloquent when they can be anonymous. It’s like they never accepted us to begin with…
It would be nice if you did some work too, Ryuji-kun. You came to help us count these, right? Come on Leader, can you tell him too?

You too…?

“Criminal profiling”…?

This game doesn’t contain nearly enough gratuitous sexual assault for an episode of Criminal Minds, sorry.

The acts of thievery committed by the Phantom Thieves are mere fakes.

*sigh* So now they’re accusing us of being a bunch of killers…
This is so effin’ stupid! Dammit!

Don’t worry, Ryuji. I say “fuck” enough for the both of us.

First place is Goro Akechi.
What!? Akechi…!?
What’re you so surprised for? We’ve been mentioning him this whole time.
Seriously? Not some singer or an idol?
It’s because of us that his popularity has skyrocketed.
We’re the ones countin’ the results! Can’t we just make ‘em up? We don’t hafta get him…
People will figure that out. He won by a landslide…

I mean, he’s probably busy, right? Also we have no way of contacting him. I think it’s pretty unlikely in the first place that we get him.

I knew people would vote for him, but this is way more votes than I was expecting.
It would be best for us to avoid inviting such a clear danger upon ourselves… I’d like a little more time to think about who to ask…
That reminds me… how is Futaba-chan doing? She seemed like she was looking into something on her own… Has she told you anything?

It’s not that I don’t trust her, but…
Even one clue would work wonders for us. We should let her continue with her own investigation. I hope she finds something…


Music: Disquiet

However… I believe the recent series of suspicious deaths is unrelated to their actions.
Wh-What!? Did I hear you correctly? But Akechi-san, you were the first to caution everyone about the Phantom Thieves… were you not?
This doesn’t change the fact that they are indeed a dangerous group. That said, I would like to express that immediately linking them to this case is far too hasty. There are still many questions to be answered here… It feels as though there is more to this.
After this conference, Akechi-san announced he will be limiting his media appearances and--

Seriously? Even you’re having trouble with this shit?
What should we do…?
Let’s meet up and discuss our options as soon as possible.
The earlier the better, right? Though I still haven’t come up with anything myself…
It’s said two heads are better than one, so I can only imagine what eight heads may produce.
That’s a good way of thinking.
It’s totally an Inari idea.
OK, let’s do everything we can right now. Even if it means crossing some dangerous bridges. Considering how far we’ve come, we can’t be particular about our methodology…

I don’t like the sound of that...

Are you trying to show off? Don’t get cocky, kid. By the way… you haven’t been causing any trouble, have you? I heard the police showed up at your school…

As long as you’re not getting involved…

Well… fine.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Yesterday, they spent the entire day conducting an investigation at a high school. However, it is unclear if they found any clues, and unease among citizens is at its peak. The government has been criticized by the public for allowing such a dangerous group to run free…
They think we’re dangerous!? Why’s this happening to us?

Music: Time to Repent

This means at times, retreating is an effective strategy in order to attack with your next move. It may be good for you to remember that as well. From a teacher to her student, there’s something I’d like to ask you… Will you play a match with me?

Thank you. Please take a seat.

Hifumi Rank 10

Music: Alleycat

There were a lot of people who covered for me by saying that I was just being used by adults. But I’m the one who was most at fault. I was overconfident.

If only I had taken a look at myself and properly assessed my shogi skills. I believed that with my skills, I could overcome being treated like an idol. ...There’s nothing I can say about my mother. You didn’t abandon me, even after you learned about the fixed matches… ...Now I know how encouraging it feels to have someone believe in you. At first, this was just a deal… You help me develop new moves and I give you shogi lessons. But before I knew it, you became… someone I couldn’t do without. I’m not gonna pay attention to all the criticism anymore.

The reason I’m able to think this way is because you stuck by my side. ...I’m really grateful.
I feel a strong bond with Hifumi...

Music: The Spirit

Togo System lets us do the ol’ party swap on anyone’s turn now, which is great because Maaku’s turns are generally too powerful to waste.

Hifumi is one of the better Confidants and ultimately one of my favorite characters in this game. She’s just full of charm. She’s voiced by Eden Riegel, who voiced Marie in Persona 4 Golden, and I did not recognize her until I looked it up just now! Fun fact: Eden is the sister of Sam Riegel, who is the current voice of Teddie!


Music: Alleycat

Music: Sunset Bridge

I feel honored to be told that from one of the Phantom Thieves. I spoke to you about my mother, and then my mother changed…

“It’s kinda fucked up, now that I think about it.”

I knew that couldn’t be a coincidence. If there’s anything I can do to help, please know that you can rely on me.

I will support you in whatever you want to accomplish. Now, let’s play a match. I have a lot of new moves I’d like to test out. I hope you’re OK to stay here a while longer. Thank you… from the bottom of my heart.