Part 15: The Velvet Room: A Room In Blue
Gameplay Notes: A Room In Blue
So we just got a key to the Velvet Room. What does that mean for us? Well I guess first we need to talk about the power of Persona.
Persona: The Strength of Heart Made Manifest
Let's take a look at a sample Persona so we're all on the same page for this discussion. This is Orpheus, Aigis' new Persona.
Our Persona is one of the most important factors to our battlefield performance. It is our sword and our shield, giving us access to abilities and protecting us from enemy attacks. Its stats determine how much damage we do and how resistant we are to damage in turn. At the top of the status screen, we see the elemental properties. We see our defenses against, in order, Slash, Strike, Pierce, Fire, Ice, Electricity, Wind, Light, and Dark. The worst case is that we're Weak against an element, which makes it very bad if the enemy hits us with it. Neutral is our standard affinity and isn't bad or good. Resist means we take about half damage from something. Null totally blocks the effect. Repel does just what the name suggests, sending attacks back at the user. Drain makes attacks of that type heal us instead of harm us. Orpheus is pretty bad for elemental defenses, being weak to Electricity and Darkness.
Below that is our Persona's stats. Strength controls how much damage our physical attacks do, Magic how much our magical attacks do. Endurance reduces the damage we take overall. Agility both controls our order in battle and our ability to avoid attacks. Luck is sort of nebulous, I think it helps us avoid attacks in general and especially status effects. As you can see Orpheus is much better at magical attacks than he is Physical and can take a hit reasonably well.
Now we see our Persona's level, name, and Arcana. None of these matter much in use, but they'll matter a bit when we get to creating new Personas. Our Persona also gains EXP in combat when we use it. When it levels it gets improved stats and access to new abilities. The eight slots below are our Persona's abilities. We have access to these and only these in combat. Now that we've covered the basics of how Personas in general work, let's talk about how we create them.
Fusion: Two Personas Enter, One Persona Leaves. Welcome to the Velvet Room
In Persona 3 we had a whole bunch of options available to us in the Velvet Room, but here in The Answer we've only got one, Fusion. Fusion allows us to combine two or three Personas into one new Persona of a higher level. What we get depends on two things, the Arcana(s) of the component Personas and their base levels. Arcana from Death to Judgment usually require us to do a triple fusion. We get a set of base skills and then a set of inherited skills. How many skills we inherit depends on how many skills were on the fused Personas. The trickier part is what skills are inherited.
The first thing to note is that each Persona has a hidden 'inheritance group'. This will make certain skills more or less likely to inherit. For example, a Fire group Persona is very likely to pick up Fire skills and much less likely to pick up skills of other elements. Another thing to note is that a Persona's inherited skills will randomly shuffle every time we attempt to fuse it. If we're willing to spend some time even very unlikely combinations are possible. We can use inheritance to carry our useful skills along with us from earlier Personas, and this is crucial to all our efforts.
Special Fusions: Thanatos! I Choose You!
In Persona 3 there were special unique fusions that required 4+ specific components, some special item, or a maxed out Social Link. In The Answer, though, we can just fuse them as regular Personas of their Arcanum. The only exception is the double and triple fusions that required specific components, which still do.
Heart Items: I Heart You
Certain Personas have a chance to carry an item inside them when they are Fused. This is a relatively rare occurrence in original Persona 3 but in The Answer it's actually quite common. In order to get the item, we need to level the Persona up until it learns its last skill. The skill 'Growth' can really help with this, because it lets us gain EXP on Personas without them needing to take part in combat. Some of the Heart Items are very powerful, and very worth going for. We'll want to save before we fuse so we can reload if we don't get a crucial item.
Fusion Failures: I'm Sure I Didn't Ask For That
Fusions sometimes go wrong. This is rare, and gives us some random Persona in the level range. While this can actually give us a 'stronger' Persona than we were looking for we almost never actually wanted the Persona we'll get. This is just one more good reason to save before we fuse.
Those are all the basics you really need. What we'll be doing throughout the game is looking into what skills the enemies will be using against us and what we need to use against them. We then use this knowledge to arm and armor ourselves.