Part 12: Entry 3/31/10-12
It felt like we were finally at the ultimate battle.
Koromaru was excited, and for some reason it felt like I could almost understand him again.
> Koromaru is excited, since the final battle is just ahead.
> ...You feel as though you can understand Koromaru's feelings a little better than before.
While I was fighting you two... I remembered something.
What it's like to believe it's okay to hurt someone else, if it's for someone really important to you...
I'm such an idiot... Of all people, I should have understood how she felt.
I thought I was over it, but maybe I was just avoiding the truth...
But I'm gonna face it head-on now, for his sake and mine.
Instead of tearing us apart, our battle had brought us back together.
If I'd won and went to the past upset as I was... I think I might have made some new regrets.
I still haven't been able to sort out my feelings, but...
Junpei was back to his usual self as well.
I never realized it 'till now.
There is the matter of that lid thing on her face... But it's like a veil! A hidden face drives guys wild!
Ever since we'd opened the door in Empyrean Metis had been acting strangely, like she knew something she didn't quite know how to say.
I'm... starting to understand a few things.
The reason why I don't know anything about myself...
And why the sister I just met is so important to me...
And... who I really am...
We allowed ourselves to grow apart, and now we're slowly coming back together.
...In no small part thanks to you. You have my gratitude.
If it wasn't for you... as important as this was, I think I would have just gone along with the others.
Once we get through this last ordeal, all that's left is to use the "true key" and...
W-Well... You'll be all right even if you use the true key, right?
Nothing will happen to you... right?
Y-You're right. It's nothing to worry about.
But for a moment, there was a cold sweat down my back...
...It seems your journey has finally reached its true destination.
Do you remember when you first came here?
Your face tells a very different story compared to then...
What you yearn for...
Once you find it, you will find the other thing you seek as well...
The end... the purpose of life.
...I wish you luck.
There was nothing else to do. We headed for the Final Door.
RECORD- "The Final Door"
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On its other side, a field of stars. The site of the world's near demise...
This feeling... This is where the last battle was...
Hey... I can move!
I said before, if it's a past that everyone experienced, then you can actually interact with it...
The same as that shopping mall.
Wait... everyone? But you weren't here for this.
It's probably because I--
And that must be...!
The final battle...
So this... is the miracle he performed.
We'd never known what happened before...
The secret of the Great Seal...
...This is his life essence.
As you can see, this is what happened.
He himself became the Great Seal.
But relinquishing one's life essence means death for a human...
He must have already found it... His own answer... to life.
The answer to life...
I don't think he has any regrets.
He managed to keep his promise to you all before his consciousness faded away...
His promise...? You mean to meet up on graduation day?
Wait a sec. How do you know about that promise?
If only we'd had time to think about it, the answer to this would have been obvious.
I'm probably just like Nyx, and the seal this person became--something that belongs on this side.
Nyx's awakening means the destruction of everything... But think about it.
If she's that powerful... how was she contained before he became the seal?
Well... someone else must've...
What about before humans ever existed?
What are you getting at?
As I understand it... Nyx is neither hostile nor malevolent...
A seal really isn't necessary.
What!? Are you saying he did all this for no reason...!?
Not at all. What he was really trying to accomplish was--
But before she could finish, Yukari's question was answered more directly.
Whoa... What the!?
A yellow fog descended on the area...
And a great darkness came with it...
The thing, whatever it was, reached out for the Great Seal...
And the news only got worse...
This... isn't a Shadow. So many... All those people's...
As I thought. The seal's real purpose.
It wasn't to hold back Nyx.
It was a seal so that it couldn't be touched.
What do you mean?
That monster... isn't a Shadow.
It's the accumulated malice that came from the hearts of countless living people.
All of them... deep down are calling Nyx!
That can't be...
But it made perfect sense...
I, too, wished to learn death.
It's probably true that people in town are wishing to touch it somewhere in their hearts.
There is only one thing that differentiates life from stillness.
It's that we die. That's all there is.
I think I understand.
When your life loses its meaning, the fact of death can be kind of comforting.
That lurking malice we're unaware of is strong enough to give birth to such a huge monster.
And maybe... that's just how it is these days.
The beast could not penetrate the Seal, and so it turned... to us.
What's it doing!?
Why the hell is it after us!?
...It wants my sister! She has the same power as the one who created the seal...
Mitsuru didn't hesitate, she drew her Evoker.
This is a battle we can't run from.
The feelings that gave birth to this abomination were inside me as well.
Because I couldn't accept reality, I foolishly sought solace in a past filled with death and strife.
There's no mistaking it... This monster is the reason for all our troubles.
You got that right.
If we run away from this, we're off to a lousy start for our future.
That's what I think too... This was already a battle against myself.
I won't let myself run this time... He's watching us, and I won't let him down!
Sucks to be you, big guy, cuz we ain't gonna lose! Let's do this!
Don't worry. This think can't stop us.
To go on living is to not give in to your own weakness... Let's win this, for a new beginning tomorrow!
We'd faced down the avatar of Death itself with him, there was no way we could allow this monster to try to undo what he'd sacrificed so much for.
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Final Boss Battle: Erebus
I'll preface this by saying Erebus is not just my favorite boss fight in this game, but also one of my favorite all-time rpg boss fights. Erebus has a less deep but much more threatening mix of skills than the Nyx Avatar did. He has all the single target Heavy and Severe damage spells, all the multi-target Heavy damage spells, Mahamaon, Mamudoon, and Masukunda. His only physical ability is Almighty Attack, which as its name implies is an Attack that does Almighty damage. It also hits the entire party, and like the Demi-Fiend's Friekugel skill it is 'physical' Almighty damage and therefore can and does crit. Erebus has one other little skill too.
Dark Embrace is where you find out whether you can beat Erebus or not. He'll use his turn to start the attack after a few turns of fighting. He'll then fight normally for a few turns, during which you have to do as much damage as possible to him. If you can do enough damage, this happens.
Not only do we stop the Dark Embrace attack, but Erebus is also frozen for a turn and takes increased damage. On the other hand, though, if we fail to do enough damage he unleashes both a regular attack and Dark Embrace on us. This can be survived but it isn't great. So let's talk about the method by which we fight Erebus.
Phase I (Before the first Dark Embrace): Your best bet is to leave everyone on Act Freely and reserve your actions for healing the group. As long as you have some accessories that let you avoid/null weaknesses on your party this part is pretty simple.
Phase II (Dark Embrace): Okay, so this is where things get tricky. Erebus doesn't stop attacking during the Dark Embrace's charge time, and he can really fuck you depending on what he decides to do. This is where it would really help to have Metis along because you can throw her into Orgia Mode when it starts. This is where you're partially at the mercy of the game's random number generator. If Erebus decides to use a Mahamaon or Mamudoon during Dark Embrace and kills two+ people there's not much you can do to stop it going off. At that point you need to switch to your best defensive Persona and get a Rakukaja on yourself (use the Protection Sutra item if you don't have it on a Persona). You can survive Dark Embrace, so don't give up. It should also be noted that evidence suggests Erebus cannot die while Dark Embrace is active. He simply will not go below one HP.
Phase III (Dark Embrace is Broken): Metis should still have one turn left of Orgia Mode after Dark Embrace is broken, so you should get some fantastic damage out of her. If you've got a Severe elemental spell this is the time to use it, because Erebus will lose his turn. After this, the fight returns to Phase I for a round or two and then Erebus unleashes again.
The flow of the fight is pretty straightforward, really. Endure Erebus' nasty attacks, and then hit him hard when he uses his signature move. Your best Persona would be one with no weaknesses, Spell Master, and Mediarahan. A powerful spell of some type would also rock. I use my Spell Master/Thunder Reign Kohryu for this because he is incredible. After what is really a relatively short time for a final boss fight, Erebus falls down. Congratulations, you've beaten the final boss. NOTE: The music for this, Darkness, also rocks really hard. Not as hard as Heartful Cry, but hard.
The beast born of mankind's darkness fell at last, and our path forward was finally clear.
RECORD- "The Choice"
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Wow... We really won...
See? I told you.
But will it be enough...? For that monster to truly disappear, everyone's feelings must change...
To stop the heart's yearning for destruction... It's a formidable task.
People try to keep death at bay, but without it, they lose sight of life.
It may be that there's no way to fully eliminate this monster.
No... I'm sure we can do it.
We can all change someday... As long as we're alive, it can happen.
After all, even I was able to do it.
Y'got that right!
It we want the world to change, we have to believe it'll happen.
People aren't that hopeless... We should know that already.
Um... I need to apologize to you.
I said some really horrible things...
I think it really bothered me... The way you received the same power that he had.
All I could think was, "Why wasn't it me?" Haha... It was jealousy, plain and simple.
But really... it wasn't because you were "the chosen one" or anything. It was because of the way you felt.
*chuckle* You really never do stop thinking about him.
We all wanted to protect him, but out of all of us... you must've felt the strongest.
If there wasn't a seal... the world would soon yearn for Nyx again...
That's why he's here. For us.
Even if we went back to before the last battle, the world wouldn't be saved unless he did the same thing.
Haha... I can't believe I didn't see it before. If there was an easier way, he would've taken it.
It's still sad, but...
I feel like I can breathe easier now that I know what really happened to him...
Yeah. Now that we know the truth, I feel like the blinders have been removed.
All we could do before was see him go... But now, I finally feel like we've gotten closer to him.
Aigis? Let's use that key and go back... to our time.
I'm ready to start the morning of April 1st.
We returned to the front door.
RECORD- "The Answer"
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Well then... Aigis, if you would?
Um... There's something I have to say, but... I'm not sure how to put it...
I'm really happy to have known all of you.
A lot's happened in the past few days... but over time, it'll make our friendship stronger, you know?
But hey, don't say it like that. It sounds like you're saying your goodbyes.
*chuckle* You're right.
Of course, I couldn't tell them what I'd believed. That the answer to life I was to find would be my death...
What gives you life? What makes you realize you're alive...?
If it isn't just death... If there's something else...
It could be... friendship.
Is this... the answer to life I'm supposed to find?
I opened the door...
And found my answer...
We found ourselves in the Velvet Room. All of us.
Where... am I...?
Huh...? What is this place!?
Hey, wait a second! What's going on here? This isn't the front of the dorm!
Everyone!? What's going on...?
There is no need to worry.
I only summoned you here that we might say our farewells.
I am rather surprised, though... I did not expect your friends to follow you here.
It seems the power of the wild card within you has influenced them as well...
Huh? Aigis... you know them?
This is where those who are about to awaken to their power receive guidance...
My sister and your friend were guests here.
Wait... How come you're standing there smiling like you know it all?
Don't you remember what I said before? My place is here, on the "other side."
It seemed Metis had reached an answer of sorts as well.
Congratulations, Sister... and the rest of you, as well.
Sister... You said before that you promised to protect him...
If you've truly come to appreciate your ties to others... I think you can still keep that promise.
Someday, when more people come to realize that... the world will stop yearning for Nyx.
And that monster will be vanquished.
For that day to come, your every action will be important...
Isn't that another way of protecting your friend?
I... can still keep my promise...?
Metis... Who are you really? Won't you tell us?
The truth had been so simple, so obvious, that we'd never seen it.
I couldn't bear the pain of losing him... so I wished to be a mere machine again.
You must be... the part of myself I wished away.
My lonely sister, always afraid of being left alone...
You came to help me acknowledge and confront the pain of living.
I finally understand... I only wish I had realized it much sooner.
All life shares a "sea" deep within its soul.
I think... that's where I came from.
Your heart is connected to that sea as well...
You're truly alive now.
From now on... we'll always be together.
Sister... I'm coming home.
Metis vanished, and everything began to come back. A flood of things I'd let myself leave behind...
I haven't felt this way in a while... When I went back to being a machine, I no longer required sleep.
Hmmm... It seems our guest has safely reached her destination...
Her answer to life...
Answer... to life...?
Please... tell me.
Now that I've found my answer... is my life at its end?
End...? Huh? Whaddaya mean?
It's strange... I feel so satisfied...
You're not... No! This isn't happening!
I think... I'm finally at peace with losing him...
Odd... for some reason, the tears are only now coming...
I should have attended his farewell... I was so foolish, locking myself away.
Looking back, I remember that Metis would cry...
To think I had discarded such a basic emotion...
You've completed your ordeal splendidly, and come to the end of your journey...
...And now we must part.
It's all right... Don't... worry...
To live is to one day die.
Is there any other way to define our life than by the fact that we die?
I think you can spread the message now...
Not with words alone... but with everyone's passion and strength...
If you could do that...
He wouldn't have to bear the burden all alone, would he...?
So... very... tired...