Part 26: Mythology Notes
Gameplay Notes: Mythological References Edition!
Okay, let's start on Erebus. Erebus is not so much the god of darkness as its personification. He's the son of Chaos and the brother of Nyx. Because this is Greek mythology and everything's all weird and creepy he's also married to Nyx. Nemesis, Hypnos, and Thanatos are all children of this union. There's actually a larger relevance to that, by the way. Hypnos, Nemesis, and Thanatos were also characters in the Snow Queen story in the original Persona, and Snow Queen is one of the tracks remixed for the dungeons in FES. Whenever they manage to have some kind of overarching connections between the games (even if it's just by accident as this probably is) it's always sort of cool.
Now let's get to Metis. I said this is my favorite because it's from my all-time favorite epic poem, The Odyssey. It's from one of the most famous and commonly read sections, where Odysseus and his men are held captive by the Cyclops Polyphemus. Polyphemus asks Odysseus what his name is early on, and the name he gives is 'Metis'. I'll head you off at the pass if you are about to cry foul, saying that you're sure in the translation you read he gave the name 'Nobody', because that's actually the exact intent of giving him that false name. See, the phrase 'me tis' basically means 'no one' or 'nobody' in Attic. And of course, when Odysseus blinds Polyphemus he cries out for help to his brothers. But when he says 'Metis has killed me!' they hear it as 'nobody has killed me, I'm totally fine over here' and ignore him. For his part Odysseus blows the clever plan by shouting his real name back at Polyphemus as he escapes, allowing Polyphemus to call down the wrath of his father, Poseidon.
So why do I love this reference so much? Because of the sheer audacity of it. They literally tell you that the character isn't a real person the first time you hear her name. They point out right off the bat that it's totally impossible for her to exist because there are no other Anti-Shadow weapons and then fall for her basically saying "Yeah, well... Oh my God look over there!" and don't mention it again for a long while. Then she will just pull out some madcap crazy knowledge of the situation and act surprised that they didn't already know it. She's able to access the last door and interact with it, and they almost figure things out then before they get all distracted by a little end of the world stuff.
Psyche's design is also one of my favorites in the series. Psyche's a big fluffy empty dress with a pair of empty gloves and a giant butterfly mask for a face. Not only is the butterfly symbolism incredibly Persona, but that it's basically a mask is equally so. That they're masked is the main unifying feature of the Shadows, and it's cool to incorporate that idea into the Persona of a character that's basically a Shadow herself.
Erebus Is Awesome:
So why do I love the fight with Erebus so much? Speed. Erebus always takes normal damage from either physicals or magic (he actually takes less magical damage while the Embrace isn't up and less physical while it is but still, one or the other is always good) and his signature move is a total 180 from Nyx's. Instead of stopping you from attacking, his attack encourages and forces you to attack. And what's more, succeeding at it makes you kill him even faster. He does lots of damage and just in general has threatening attacks, so you need to cope with a lot of incoming. So in short, it's a quick fight with a lot of damage to deal with, and that's why I like it.