The Let's Play Archive

Persona 5

by Arist

Part 50: 6/14-6/15: (Vaguely Witty Title)

Part 49: 6/14-6/15: (Vaguely Witty Title)

Anon: NO. They piss me off.
Anon: Akechi-kun is right!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Oh hey, random lady I met once a month ago. I totally remember you.

Morning! Going to school now? I’m just heading home! The morning sun is too bright...

I pulled an all-nighter. Journalist Ichiko Ohya works around the clock, you know! Well, you work hard on your studies.

Music: Suspicion

So, whose heart do you want us to change?

Getting right to the point for once, I like it.

...A mafia boss.

What’re you talkin’ about!?
That’s what they call themselves. This group seems to be the cause of the rise in phishing scams. What’s worse, once you’re in their sights, they won’t stop threatening you until you get what they want. They’ll force you to take part in their scams, threaten your family, and ultimately destroy your life.
Holy shit...
It appears that their victims include some of our students.
They primarily target juveniles.
What’s their boss’s name?

Ryuji, actually being forward-thinking.

Nobody knows.

Well, uh. Fuck. Can we get an easier one?

The victims are being threatened not to testify, so even the police can’t get a grasp of the situation.
That’s where you want us to start!?
You should be able to pull it off… If you’re really the righteous Phantom Thieves. Or is Akechi-kun correct when he says you act without justice?
Can’t you say something witty back at her?

I have to.

I knew you were gonna say that!

Another fun detail of that response I like is that Makoto has no response to it. She just totally ignores you.

Their main hub of activity is in Shibuya… That’s all the information I have. You have two weeks. Once that has passed, I’ll submit all the evidence I have to the police and to the school.

Two weeks!? We had more than that for even Kamoshida, and we knew his name!

I hope you don’t let me down...

“Don’t let me down”… Dammit, she was just bossin’ us around...
Come on, we should get in touch with Yusuke.

Music: Interrogation Room

Are you saying that Makoto was sticking her nose into this Phantom Thief business…?

That’s not the issue here…! Why would Makoto...

Sae checks her watch again.

Fine. I’ll listen to everything you have to say before I decide the truth of your statements.

Music: Wicked Plan

The mafia? Hm...
Can we really do this…?
Either way, we have almost no information on our target. This guy’s a crime boss, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a Palace. Still...
Isn’t this a prime opportunity for us though?
How!? We’re in huge trouble!
Even after we punished an evil man who seemed to be good, the public did not acknowledge us. However, if we take down an actual criminal, let alone a target the police don’t have answers for...
Oh, right…! That might make people believe in us!
I get it! That means even Akechi’ll hafta acknowledge us as the Phantom Thieves!

Have you idiots learned nothing? We need a better hideout.

Whaddya say, leader?

Hell yeah! We just gotta do what we always do!
Our time limit is two weeks, correct? We can’t afford to waste too much time. ...I’ll ask around Kosei and see if there are any victims.
OK, I know some girls who go to Shibuya pretty often. I’ll check with them about it.
All right, then I’m gonna see what I can find on the net. (to Maaku) That leaves our school up to you and Morgana. You figured out what to do during the whole Kamoshida thing, right?
I’ll back you up.

I feel so much better knowing the cat is here with me.

All right, let’s get back together at the end of the week once we’ve got all our info! I’ll get in touch with you guys later!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Could I have a moment?

Well, it’s… I had a yearning to see the “Sayuri”… So, if you’re heading homeward, I’ll accompany you.

Uhhh… sure thing.

I’m glad I chose to leave it here.

Music: Alleycat

Through my artistic career, there have been moments I’ve struggled with particular motifs or techniques… However, those struggles came to pass on each occasion. Yet now I find myself in a similar situation… but the more I try to escape it, the worse it becomes. It seems I am trapped in what we in the art world call a “slump”… Are you aware that I am attending Kosei on an art scholarship? Such coveted grants are not given as charity. I must continually achieve within my field to remain eligible… Were I to lose my scholarship… I would likely have no choice but to leave the school as well. In the earlier days of my career, I would exclusively paint what I desired, when I desired it. The only goal I had in mind was the pursuit of pure beauty… That goal is what drove me onward. I wanted nothing more than to attain the lustrous allure of the “Sayuri” in my own work… Yet what reason do I have now? Holding on to my scholarship? Keeping a roof over my head? Worldly desires are all that spur my brush to move… and the resulting work reflects such impurity of mind. To be honest, I am unsure as to whether I can even call myself an artist anymore...

...My apologies. It seems I got somewhat carried away there. But… I simply cannot accept this lack of purpose in my work. That is why I am so upset with my own indecision. Such vague ambition is, in essence, a sin of sorts… Though I suppose allowing my young career to come to an end here would be even more sinful. I only wish to create a work I can be genuinely proud of… Maaku. Please look over there at the “Sayuri.” Her incandescent figure, alluring gaze… That is the meaning of pure beauty!

I’m not sure I would use the world “alluring” to describe my mom, but okay.

Yet no matter how hard I try to replicate it, an elegance so sweet remains elusive to me…! Why is that, you ask? It is surely because the painter behind the work differs… Because the soul differs…! But if my estimations are correct, the “soul” is nothing but another way to speak of the human heart. What, then, is the heart…? How does it bring forth such beauty? I must understand…!

This is getting a little heavy for me, man.

…… To be perfectly frank though… I am unsure of how to do so. Maaku… Would you be able to provide me assistance? You have already brought profound change to my world. Hence, I believe you of all people may be able to bring me closer to the truth.

At the moment, my art teacher has yet to notice any drastic changes in my work… But I cannot hide forever. Impurity of the heart will undoubtedly seep onto an artist’s canvas eventually. I must go now. My curfew approaches. I look forward to speaking about this matter again.
I walked Yusuke to the station...

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-

Now, in my expert opinon, Iida of class 2-D is guilty.
You mean Iida-kun from our class? Wait, start at the beginning. What’s he guilty of?
Supposedly he’s been spending money left and right recently. Said it’s because of some great part-time job he got.
I see. That may very well be worth looking into.
Right? Can you try asking him about it, Ann? I don’t think he’d be cautious around a girl.
In that case, yeah. I don’t mind giving it a try.

Thanks, that’s a huge help.
I’m hoping for some great things this time from Takamaki-san’s world-class wonderful acting.
Shut it.
I hopes this will get us even marginally closer to their so-called boss. I leave this Iida to you two. And I have high hopes for your acting as well, Ann.
You’re both missing the point!
Is it true that Iida guy’s guilty? Well, we’ll need to dig up some dirt first thing in the morning.

I can really sense her kindness and tenderness from it. Mothers really are strong.

Yeah, moms are tough.

Have you ever given it any thought? What is “justice” to you?

I see. That’s one way to look at it, but you only perceive what is on the very surface. The boy who was featured in that TV discussion is still in high school. Akechi, was it? He was well-spoken and skilled in the art of debate—almost as good as I was at that age.

Man, fuck this dude.

A team of reporters followed a police investigator who is on the mafia case. What was clear is that there is little the police can do.
Even the police are having a hard time. We can’t let our guard down.

Next, we head over to the diner. Maaku gains Guts +1 and Knowledge +3.

Anon: They’re cool, so HECKYEAH!
Anon: Probably at least somewhat

What a bullshit answer.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Music: Everyday Days

Ah, the legendary gentleman thief, Arsene. It’s hard not to idolize him—he’s preeminent in our field.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, but there are even victims in my class...
Oooh, I know all about that! These guys supposedly come asking if you want an easy, high-paying job… But then if you say yes, you get dragged into some real shady stuff… The teachers or student council prez’ll do something about it though. People’re real worried.
Oh, are you talking about that posting? I wonder if she was serious about it… I heard she knew about Kamoshida and the sexual harassment… she prolly won’t be too much help...

Music: So Boring

Leave it to me!
That level of motivation actually makes me a little more nervous… In any case, let us know if you learn anything.

Music: Disquiet

Apparently the damage done by this so-called mafia has even reached our student body!

Not only are there victims, there are even rumors that some are involved with such crimes… I’ve even received inquiries from their guardians. Why is this happening…?
Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to that...
This is the greatest disgrace in the history of this academy… If it were to be discovered…

I dunno, the principal, teachers, and affected family members actively covering up sexual and physical abuse so outrageous a girl attempted suicide over it still seems a little worse than this.

This is a vital issue for the student council! Did I not ask you to resolve it!?
I’m… doing the best I can.
A-And I can trust you!? You must do something about this at once! You’re the only one who is reliable around here… Don’t let me down...

From what I’ve heard, even the other students are starting to be dissatisfied with you. At this rate, you and I will both lose our roles at this school. Do you understand?
I do. Please, just give me a little more time...

Music: So Boring

It’s the only month of the year with no holidays, and it’s filled with rain—truly a season of hell. I’m exaggerating, you say? Haha. You’re all just ignorant… After all, what’s falling from the sky is acid rain that can melt metal. Hamiru-kun. Let’s test your knowledge and imagination. What would happen if you keep washing your hair with water that’s contaminated with metal?

That’s right. By the way, your hair will turn green if the metal is copper or red if it’s rust. However, acid rain can’t melt gold or silver. If you want to dye your hair gold, use bronze coins.

Fuck yeah, gold hair. I’m gonna look like the lamest Super Saiyan.

Thinking you could save money by skipping a visit to the hair salon? ...It seems you still don’t understand the horror of acid rain.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

London once had acid rain on the level of stomach acid. More than four thousand people died. Perhaps one day such a deathly rain will fall on Japan…

Jesus christ, this is one morbid teacher.

My heart, too, is overcast, just like the rain that falls on the city… Oh rain!
...I’m tired of thinking up witty comments.

I was going to remark on the sudden laziness of the writer, but holy shit, you’re allowed to just stop trying to come up with jokes? Fuck me, this LP is going low-effort from now on!

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

You’re gonna back her up, right?

(tired joke where I refer to Morgana as “cat”)

Can you tell me about this easy part-time job? I’m sure you know about it, Iida-kun. Please!
…… You don’t need my help. A girl like you could probably get a job anywhere, right?
Huh…!? Ummm… Now that you mention it… Yes… So, um… What I mean is...

(disbelief in character’s incompetence)

This is going south fast.
O-Oh, Francois!
Hey, what are you--
My cat Francois got run over by a car… and also has an incurable illness! I need money fast!
That’s not convincing at all… Is she talking about me…?
If Francois were to die, I think I’d die too! Probably…
Come on, don’t talk like that...
If you don’t like it, then tell me about that easy part-time job. You know something, don’t you? I’ve heard the rumors.
Rumors…!? Was it Nishiyama who--
Oh, uh...
Hey, what was that about Nishiyama?
She actually got the momentum back. She’s not acting anymore now, is she? Come on, let’s leave this guy to Ann and go look for that Nishiyama fellow.

(sarcastic greeting to Mishima)

You’re looking for something, right? I want to help you out, so please ask me anything.

So that’s why Takamaki-san was chasing him… Rumor is that he’s been spending money like crazy lately. I also hear that he’s been acting… weird. If you’re curious about Iida, I’d say it’s best to ask Nishiyama… I’m sorry, I don’t know where he is right now… He usually stays till late, so I think he’s probably still somewhere in the school. I’ll keep digging around while you’re looking for him!
...Well, I guess we can let him handle this.

(Emphatic denial)

We’ll have to ask someone else about Nishiyama’s whereabouts. Can you think of anyone who might know?

The student council is on edge. Hurry up… Do you have anything you want to ask about?

I heard the muggings, scams, prostitution, and drugs are making them tons of money. Most of their victims have been high schoolers, leading our school to warn its students as well. But… nobody actually knows how they operate. Even the police are completely lost.

(curious response to relieve insecurity regarding my amount of commentary)

The principal asked for us to come forward with any information we might have, right? I heard someone did come to the student council, saying they were being threatened… I don’t want to assume this of you… but you didn’t have anything to do with that, right?

(faux-offended response)

Iida-kun, from your class? I’ve heard he’s a serious student… Although he has seemed a little down lately. I wonder what happened...

Nishiyama-kun? Are you looking for him? He’s a really serious student with great grades. I always see him at the library after school. The library’s just up on the floor above this one… Why don’t you go talk to him?

(pleasant surprise at Newspaper Club Member, one of the better NPCs, having plot-critical information)

(self-deprecation about pushing this gimmick too hard)

Yeah, I heard it’s because of the mafia. They’re even forcing girls to work as prostitutes for them.

(veiled discomfort at the subject matter)

I can’t believe there’s drug dealers in Shibuya now. I wish someone would get rid of them…
Maybe we should ask the Phantom Thieves? They fight for justice, take down bad guys, right?

They can’t just tell us to stay away from Shibuya. I have to go to cram school there.
This is so dumb. The mafia’s just a bunch of lowlife losers, aren’t they? I don’t care if people want to be criminals, but don’t do anything that might affect my life. Geez.

Ah… It’s nothing. I was just looking at the bulletin. Anyway, how is the investigation going? I don’t believe there’s much time left at this point.

(annoyed rebuttal that there was never much time left, and besides, she gave us this mission yesterday)

Hm? Perhaps I misjudged your ability? Anyway, this is a very important matter for our school. I hope you can return with good news. And don’t worry… I’ll keep my promise as long as you uphold your end of the bargain.

(relief at finding Nishiyama)

You’re THAT transfer student, right…? You need something?

(mention of overpowering laziness preventing me from making a portrait for this guy)

Iida…? How do you know about that? Are you doing something to him!? He’s been acting really strange lately...

Wh-What do you mean? Is he really wrapped up in something shady?

...One day the two of us went to Shibuya, and a man approached us over near Central Street. He asked if we were interested in an easy part-time job… I said it wasn’t, but Iida was into it… He was asking the guy all sorts of questions.

U-Um, I don’t know… I was so scared I ended up going home alone… But according to Iida, it only takes ten minutes, and is good for people who don’t stand out.

Iida statted spending a lot of money. That’s when his strange behavior began too… But that’s all I know… That’s enough, right?
A man on Central Street, hm? That is suspicious… Maybe he was making him commit crimes?

I have tried looking into this high-paying part-time job myself. People seem to be talking about it here as well. Supposedly a man will talk to you in broad daylight over on Central Street… And your job is to deliver a small envelope he hands you. Well, I will contact you again if I learn anything more.

(reminder to the audience that Makoto said these guys were behind phishing scams, which this is emphatically not)

So that means this part-time job is somehow crime-related… It takes ten minutes, is good for people who don’t stand out, and involves a small envelope… ...Does that ring any bells? It’s something the mafia would definitely be up to.

What does that have to do with envelopes? And it’s not really something you can do unnoticed. Hmmm… Any other ideas? It’s something the mafia would commit.

Like illegal drugs…? Maybe they made Iida smuggle drugs for them. That definitely fits with the small envelope, and you can get arrested just for possession...

Well, I looked into Iida on my own anyway. Rumor has it he got involved in some kind of suspicious part-time job. And that job’s apparently totally insane… Something about trafficking drugs, I think. I hear they ask you to take part in it down on Central Street. In broad daylight, even…

(exasperation at Mishima’s outdated information)

So he is smuggling… This won’t be pretty. Come on, let’s go back to Lady Ann! We’ll ask Iida directly!

No problem. I just want to see you guys succeed. You wanted to ask Iida something, right? He’s still in the classroom with Takamaki-san.

(defeated sigh at no one ever understanding sarcasm)

She’s still doing that…? All right, take over for her.

Hamiru…!? Come on, you too…? I already told you, I don’t know...

He did!? That bastard… Dammit! …… Shit… Well, if you already know about it, fine… But I don’t want to talk about it here. Let’s go somewhere a little quieter.

Music: Suspicion

Yeah, I got a job! So what? Isn’t that normal? ...What’re you getting at?

That’s right! You have to smuggle it to people while it’s still hot! I mean, not that kind of smuggling! Tell him what you heard earlier!
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

How do you…? I’ve only told one person about that… Of all people, I can’t believe you were the one to find out… Y-You’re right… They told me they had an easy part-time job for me, and I ended up smuggling drugs… All I had to do was put envelopes into coin lockers, and they said they’d give me a hefty paycheck. I didn’t know what was in the envelopes though! Still, this is what came out of it...

So you knew, huh… They started threatening me right after they deposited the money into my bank account… They had pictures of me carrying the goods. Said they’d expose what I did unless I paid them off… You know… why are you even asking me this stuff…? Are you just gonna use my job to blackmail me too…?

(statement mourning the death of Maaku’s reputation)

I see… Well even if you were planning on doing that, I don’t have any money I could give you… If you’re really interested in that job, try heading over to Central Street. That’s where they told me about it… I-I told you everything you want to know, right? Can I go? Well then...

Did Ann’s acting help at all? I’m thinking prolly not.

So they ask you to deliver drugs...
That’s serious. I just searched for “Shibuya drugs” and got tons of hits too.

So they’re making people traffic drugs, then threatening them…
That must be what I heard people talking about in Shibuya. They seem to be going about this quite openly during the daytime. What bold methodology.

I see. Yes, more students will be out during the day, while the police will be more cautious at night.
Ryuji, you’re over in Shibuya now, right? Do you see anyone like that there?
Yeah, I’m at Central Street. It’s tough to tell though.

Yeah, that seems like our only choice now. We can split up and search separately then.
In any case, we have some new intel. Let us call that progress for today.
Whoever asks us to take on that job should know who their boss is too.
All right, I’ll get in touch with you guys later tonight and we can come up with a plan.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-

(joking expression of equal disappointment to see Sojiro)

I never get many customers when it rains. The cash register is gonna run dry at this rate...

Yes. It is highly likely that this part-time solicitor is somehow related to the mafia.

(confusion at the continued use of the word “mafia” rather than “yakuza”)

If we tail him, he may lead us straight back to his boss.

That’s not a bad idea. Cats have nine lives, right? Morgana can spare one for this.
Wouldn’t the mafia get caught off guard if they had a cat coming to deliver drugs for ‘em?
In other words, Maaku will be going. I have no objections.

(sustained profanity)

Tricking people and using that as blackmail… These bastards are true cowards.
It’s kinda scary to think people like that are all around us in this city...
Well guys, we gotta brace ourselves. We’re up against a serious criminal here.

Relaxing at the park is nice, and the view from the Ferris wheel is really something!
Yes, the Ferris wheel is really popular among couples. I’d love to ride it with a cute girl someday.

I barely get any customers on rainy days… Umm… Master, are you hungry at all? Now we’re offering special services like “Maid’s Cooking” and “Together with a Maid”! ♥

(extreme displeasure)

With the request fee included… It’ll only cost you 5,000 yen! It’s practically a steal!
>Call her over
What!? ...Seriously? I-I mean, thank you for requesting me. Then, please wait for me, Master! I hope you have a big appetiiiite!

Music: My Homie

The high-end cup noodles really do make a difference, don’t they?

(request refund)

They are pretty complicated though… It says to drain the hot water once and leave the sauce packet on the lid so it gets warm… Don’t request me if you’re going to complain.

(confusion at the change in tone caused by the conversation branch, though maybe she thought that was sarcasm)

...Besides, I thought I warned you already. Why would you request me again…?

Hmmm…. Are you sure that’s really the reason? ...Well, I guess I’m in no position to complain, since I’m making money from it. *yawn* I’m so tired… We had a faculty meeting just the other day. Why do they have to last so long…? Thanks to the Phantom Thieves… The students have been really restless lately. The teachers can’t agree on what to do about them or the Phantom Thieves. I wished they talked more about our bonus instead. I heard they might even cut the teachers’ salaries… I’m so sick of it...

I’ll continue to serve you with all my might, Master! *sigh* ...I’m going to be in trouble if I don’t pick up more shifts.

Music: Suspicion

What…? How much!? I can’t… ...Yes, but…! That… That’s true… ...Sure. …… Yes… Yes, I understand… Yes, it’s my responsibility, after all…

Uh, apparently it’s some crazy incurable disease, so there’s a lot of fees and extra charges! That’s why it would really help if you requested me more… Oh, never mind. You’re my student. I can’t keep relying on you… Ughhh… What am I going to do…? Anyway, it’s time for me to go. Hey, feel free to call me to do housework. It doesn’t have to be through the maid service. I live close by, so I can stop over whenever you need me. Besides, I’m worried that you can’t cook or do laundry because you don’t have your parents… Oh, and if your friends suddenly come over, I can always leave out the back way.

(expressed internal confusion over how massive a nightmare of a situation this is)

I feel Kawakami’s kindness...

(confident summation of critical gameplay feature that turns out to be totally incorrect after like six corrections from the audience)

In any case, I need to talk to my boss about giving me more shifts… I need to get requested more… Good night.

(setup for the next update, followed by relief I don’t have to do this gimmick any more)