The Let's Play Archive

Persona 5

by Arist

Part 165: 11/21: Evil Exposition Execrably Elucidates Earlier Events

Part 155: 11/21: Evil Exposition Execrably Elucidates Earlier Events

Music: Desire

Surprise! You didn’t think that the only people who were going to get long-ass conversations tonight were the Phantom Thieves, did you? It’s time for some good, old-fashioned evil monologuing!

...That sounds familiar…


That’s the death certificate of the principal offender, correct? Is there a problem with it?
No. Nothing in particular. More importantly, you’ve done well with regard to the prosecutors.
The cause of death for the SIU director has been settled as a “stroke.”
I had him work quite substantially on forging evidence. His loss should be mourned.
It was thanks to his efforts that I could enter the Phantom Thief’s interrogation room too.
The SIU is in disarray with his death. I’ll take my time choosing a successor after the elections…
At any rate, I’m now praised as a hero, and I owe it all to the Phantom Thieves.
All possible hindrances are now gone. There’s no doubt that this election is mine. *evil chuckle*

I’ve written out the phrase “evil chuckle” too many times in this LP.

Discussion is swirling around potential nominees as the deadline for candidacy announcement nears. Candidates will announce on the 23rd of this month, while voting will be held on the 18th of next.
Elections, huh? Don’t matter to us. It’s not like we can vote in ‘em yet anyway.
Why don’t we resume our conversation?

You thought we were done? Ha!

Music: Suspicion

Well, the Phantom Thieves’re back together! We can finally take it to Akechi and the bastard backin’ him!
Have you figured out who’s behind all this?
Akechi accidentally let that slip after the murder. He said, “Shido-san.”
Shido… Feels like I’ve heard that somewhere.
He is unmistakably a man of power if he has such strong connections to the police.


We Phantom Thieves are shockingly out of sync with current events.

I believe he’s a politician… Remember, Ryuji? You said his speech was too loud.

It’s certainly possible that Shido is the mastermind…
Do you have some kind of evidence?
Nothing material. However, there are various conditions which align with that possibility.

On top of that, he’ll most likely become the next prime minister if he wins this upcoming election.
Did he set us up with that election in mind?
If he is behind all this, that would be in stark opposition to his honest, public image.

A politician? Lie!?!?

So his current position and popularity is just him benefiting from the mental collapses…
We’ll make him have a change of heart, no matter what it takes.

I had a feeling he was wrapped up in all this. Just based on the connections I had from my previous job…

Music: Disquiet


I think the one who crushed Wakaba’s research and confiscated her materials was probably Shido. From the moment Wakaba died… I had a hunch he was involved. But there wasn’t anything I could do, so I chose to protect Futaba and went into hiding.

“For dramatic effect!”

You guys would’ve definitely gone after him if I had. He would’ve just killed all of you, no doubt. That’s what he usually does to people who get in his way.

Oh, that works too. Still, maybe give us a heads up about the murderer.

It was then that I accidentally stumbled upon government research regarding the psychotic breakdowns. So, I tracked down the whereabouts of that research data and met with the associated parties. Boss was one of those parties. I would never have imagined all of this was connected… The mental shutdowns, psychotic breakdowns, Shido, and even the Phantom Thieves’ actions…
Way back when, Shido kept saying he was going to be prime minister one day. Nobody believed him though…
What’s going to happen to this country if Shido becomes prime minister? What about the world…?
The issue is simpler than that. This is nothing more than yet another selfish adult trying to impose his will on the public.
We gotta expose that rotten bastard!
Yeah, we’ll do it like always!
Then let’s check the Nav!

Candidate found.

Where would the location be?
...What kind of things go through a politician’s head?
I always think of dirty money and shady actions.

His Palace must be somewhere that politicians frequent. Any ideas, Maaku-kun?

Candidate found.

We got a hit!
How arrogant must he be to see himself as the ruler of the Diet Building?

Hell yeah! Nobody against it?
Of course.
He will be a worthy opponent.
Let’s win this, together!
Time for revenge!
Then it’s unanimous!
All we gotta do now is figure our what he thinks that Diet Building place is.
So, that’s the app that allowed me to enter the Metaverse.
An old fart like me can’t wrap his head around all this stuff…
We’ll have to deal with this before election day, December 18th. That means we need it done by the 17th.
It’s best we hurry before they discover there’s no body in the morgue.
Should we start tomorrow then? We can meet at the Diet Building after school.

Ms. Kawakami said he went back home for “family reasons.”
That’s what I told the school.

A+ excuse there.

Don’t let ‘em find out you’re alive then, all right? This whole thing’d be for nothing!

This operation has another purpose outside of escaping Akechi’s clutches. Shido tried to place all the blame on the Phantom Thieves and deceive the public at the same time. He has ruined countless lives, and even made Goro Akechi, a student, assist him with assassinations. A mere change of heart is too lenient a sentence for such an abominable criminal.

All right, murder! Let’s do this!

We’ll be making use of the police statement that the leader of the Phantom Thieves committed suicide. Our leader who is presumed dead will come out of hiding to deliver a grand statement. He’ll say he has escaped prison, not committed suicide, and was in fact almost killed by a criminal.
Everyone’s gonna flip.


That’s why you needed such a daring trick as getting captured and appearing to be killed. What frightening teenagers…
But the true battle has only just begun. We won the first round, but we must stay on our toes.
Yeah, this ain’t the time to be celebratin’.
These people tried to trap and kill us. There is no end to their inhuman, conniving nature. We will need to be prepared for whatever may come our way.

The Phantom Thieves nod.

Music: Desire

Remember way back when Morgana left the team and I called it “The Dumbest Plot Point In The Entire Game”? Well, buckle up, because it’s time for…

Why, it’s that wondrous time when our villains drop everything to have an evil conversation where they recap the entire game… evilly! Why are they doing this? No reason. Both of them already know everything they talk about here! God bless infodumps.

Back then, you earned the media’s attention as a young politician who could rise up against bureaucracy. Because of that, those who wanted to preemptively deal with problems tried to tie you up in scandal.

I recall that’s when you came to me. You promoted yourself, saying you had “special powers.” If it wasn’t for the research on cognition that I dabbled in, I would have thought you insane.
I made those troublesome opponents psychotic, and erased any trace of that scandal.

Who’d think that tampering with a person’s heart could trigger a psychotic lapse or mental shutdown. And when someone like that said he’d support me, I has suspected there’d be an ulterior motive.

I believed that your ideals needed to be achieved for the sake of the country’s future.
Well, my faith in you was precisely why I pulled the plug on that research. I only need you using that power. It’d be troublesome if someone else uncovered how it works.
...Wakaba Isshiki, was it? That researcher. She wouldn’t have had to die if she just complied.

Any suspicions should be snubbed out. Even the smallest doubt should be severed at the root. After all, we had an active Public Prosecutors Office director on our side until recently.

“Now that I think about it, might have been useful to not murder him. That could have saved us some grief down the road, whoops.”

Astounding, isn’t it? To think the director himself often forged evidence to secure his promotion. He was quite surprised when you confronted him about it. He didn’t know who leaked that information. Well, I got that out of his Shadow, so technically speaking, he did it himself.
This country’s affairs have become stagnant. The political world is filled with old men who only act to preserve their own vested interests.

I mean, he’s not… wrong? Maybe this won’t be so bad! Shido 2016! Woooooo!

The general public has forsaken such political affairs and don’t even bother. Only ruin awaits us.
I must agree.
There’s no need to be ruined along with such incompetent fools. I will lead this country to its revival. Those who get in the way must be eliminated at times—that’s the correct way to use the Metaverse.
Still, it would stand out if there were continuous deaths and scandals with your political rivals. Which is why I made them “suspects.” Prosecute the targets that I turned psychotic… and solve them as cases unrelated to you.

What a good boy.

Thanks to your efforts, my clean image remains untarnished, and I’ve monopolized public opinion. Once I gained public sentiment, collaborators from all sectors began approaching me on their own. The police were no exception. With their management in my pocket, keeping them in check was easy.
When the Phantom Thieves emerged, I thought things might become somewhat troublesome.
And they were just brats once we looked into it. All we needed to do was lay the blame on them…

After that, all I had to do was openly berate them; I’ve been gaining more supporters since. The current administration is dead with ongoing scandals… never mind the fact that they’re my doing. Even the government parties have begun splitting up… and they’re dissolving just as planned. *maniacal laugh*

We’re just throwing subtlety out the fucking window, huh?

However, inauguration isn’t my goal. That’s when everything truly begins. I’ll make this county rich for the sake of its selfish and ignorant masses who can only rely on others.
In other words, you’re creating a powerful country that can compete with the world.
The public resonates with my ideals and follows me. And for that, some “sacrifices” can’t be avoided. That is my duty as the chosen one. Your assistance has been very influential in making my plans proceed smoothly. When I become prime minister, I’ll grant whatever wish you want.

Surely my story will be passed down as a hero who won against monsters that could control people’s hearts. I believe I’ll lay low and devote myself to my studies.
...I suppose with your age, you wouldn’t come up with debauched desires.

Oh yeah, teenagers, famed for their rationality and ability to resist temptation.


Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Fuck yeah, no school!

Don’t worry about it. This’ll be a breeze compared to what we’ve had to face so far. And we’ll have all the time to come up with the plans together! To be perfectly honest, I don’t really care what happens to Shido one way or the other. But when I consider the fact that he’s your enemy, I naturally think he’s my enemy as well. I’m going to stay with you until the very end.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Life’s gonna get real busy for you startin’ tomorrow, right? Get some rest.

The police report on your death isn’t gonna show up at your school. No need to worry. Seems Prosecutor Niijima worked out some kinda deal with the higher-ups or something. I mean, they haven’t even said anything to me even. As long as you stay quiet, you’ll be fine. And I guess if they reported your death now, they’d basically be saying you were a Phantom Thief. They can’t really go announcing what the Phantom Thieves are, so I’m sure they’ll avoid that.

The police are likely being careful about what they reveal as this is a rare, unusual incident. The move has been successful, and there has not been any major outcry as of yet.
It’s good for us that too much information hasn’t made it out. We probably have Niijima to thank.

Fine. For once, I won’t fight you on the “go to bed” thing, cat.

Even though Akechi was talking to the fake you at the time…

Now that you point it out like that, it really makes no sense whatsoever!

Akechi met the cognitive you in the Palace. I don’t know what he said to that version of you in there, but we should make use of this. And if nothing else, it shows our operation was a smashing success!

If you’ll remember the last update, Futaba had some more information to share with us regarding the plan. Well, here it is, even more info, except this is barely even relevant to understanding the plan and more about ironing out a few potential plot holes that are so insanely specific that even if you thought of them only an asshole like me would actually point them out and hold them against the plot.

Well, remember how I put that wiretap app in Akechi’s phone? Basically that let me see GPS info for two phones: yours and his. Now what could I do with that info…? I’d be able to tell the precise moment Sae Niijima, who had your phone, ran into Akechi! That’s when I saw my chance and beep—sent the signal to activate the Metaverse Navigator. But there was the chance that they’d just pass each other without saying a single word. That’s why we needed you to tell Sae Niijima to show the phone to Akechi!
This plan still surprises me no matter how many times I hear it…
Still, I couldn’t just directly hack into the Metaverse Nav. It’s a mysterious app, after all. But you know how it has that bookmark function? All you have to do is push the button. Making the phone think he was pushing that button was totally doable. Mwehehehe… Pretty good, huh!?

Though there’s no doubt you were the most at risk. I mean, you actually got arrested. ...But it seems like all the drugs and stuff made you forget the details of the plan. Want me to explain how it all went down? It might take a bit.

Well, since the rest of us didn’t get captured, we had to act. We had to pretend we never wanted you to get arrested… Pretend the suicide news was a real shock… Basically we had to act like we didn’t know anything, 24/7. The enemy knows who we are, so we couldn’t let our guard down even once while you were gone. If they had people watching us and realized what our plan was, they would have killed you immediately.

Who’s to say they weren’t watching you guys today?

Anyway, this is just explaining why the group looked so surprised when they heard the news. The Curse of the Animated Cutscenes strikes again! This is also hilarious because it reveals that Ryuji actually totally fucked up and nearly got us killed by failing to pretend to be shocked.

...Wanna hear more?

Another tough part was figuring out how to get Sae Niijima and Akechi back from the Metaverse. In order to return to reality, you have to go back to the point where you came into the Metaverse. So, Sae and Akechi had to go through where the Nav activated, as in… the hall where they met. Akechi would just come back the same way after the assassination. The real issue was Sae Niijima. We needed to stop her for a moment before she headed back toward the interrogation room. But nothing can be sent to a phone inside the Palace. So… I had to program the messages in beforehand. In doing so, I made it seem like the messages were coming at that exact moment in time. That part was kinda last minute, so I had to pull an all-nighter trying to get it set up… ...I’m really on a roll here! Wanna hear some more?

Lemme see, another problematic thing was… Oh yeah! Tying Akechi up! That was really tough…

Uhhh, I obviously don’t mean the real Akechi. Even if we could do that, it would ruin our plan. The one we had to tie up was Sae Niijima’s cognitive Akechi. ...This part’s really complicated. I know you’re tired. You sure you wanna hear all of this now?


Well, we needed to lure Akechi into Sae Niijima’s Palace and have him kill the cognitive Maaku. But Akechi would have entered the Palace immediately after meeting Sae Niijima in the hallway, right? Because of that, there was a pretty decent chance he’d run into the cognitive Akechi. And if that happened, Akechi would’ve totally realized we had lured him into the Palace.

Nobody actually even thought of this possibility until the night before the assassination… Makoto realized in the middle of the night, then it was a huge mess trying to figure out what to do. In the end, we chose to sneak into the Metaverse while the plan was happening to tie up the cognition. Because you told Sae to show him the phone, we expected her to chat with him for at least a bit… So, we had a few minutes to strike after the cognitive Akechi showed up, but before the Nav activated. It was Operation: Tie Him Up! Though it wasn’t really much of an operation in the end…

Hmm, interesting. And how did you manage to pull this off while under surveillance and supposedly living normal lives to keep the heat off of us?

Thankfully, Sae Niijima didn’t know his true nature, so the one that appeared was an ordinary kid. It was pretty simply surrounding him, knocking him out, and tossing him on another floor. But man, watching Makoto’s skill was super amazing… I guess she does use knuckles as her weapon… Basically what I’m trying to say is, appreciate what everyone else did. All sorts of stuff happened. ...Phew. I just can’t help but rant when I’m talking about stuff that interests me. Sorry ‘bout that. Just focus on resting up. You don’t have to worry about anything else. And seriously… well done, Maaku.

Fuck no.

Whattt? That’s no fun.
Maaku is tired. You can tell him some other time, OK?

And we’re finally ready to start working against the mastermind behind all this. Join us next time for a new chapter in the saga of the Phantom Thieves!