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Chapter 15: 4/20: Return to Castle Pervert (New)
This update covers Parts 13 and 14 of the original LP.
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves
If you keep gawking I’m going to charge you my modeling fee.
I-I was just thinkin’ we should choose a code name for you too.
That sounds dumb.
No, it’s really cool, shut up! Joker, you suggest something, show her!
Once again, I like none of these options.
No way! At least let me decide!
Then what’s your name gonna be?
Hmm, this costume kinda limits my options… How about Panther? Sounds ferocious!
She’s a cougar…
Don’t call me that! More importantly: Kamoshida!
Oh, right! Let’s go!
Get in. Bossman wants to talk.
Music: Aria of the Soul
Hey man, good going with the Confidants. I know it doesn’t seem like much right now but you wouldn’t believe the number of guests who can’t even get that much right. Why, I remember this one blue-haired dipshit—
Well, that’s for another time, I suppose. The point I’m trying to make is, this rehabilitation is a reciprocal relationship, and you’ve been holding up your end so far.
I had an idea for this shot where I would photoshop Adam Jensen’s weird eye-lenses over Maaku’s eyes, but I realized it probably wouldn’t be that recognizable, definitely wouldn’t be very funny because that dumb meme is nine years old by now, and also I was too lazy and the first two reasons I gave are just post-hoc justifications.
Yes, I admit, I have not been the most forthcoming with information. But I’ll tell you everything. Later. At some point in the future.
I’m not actually sure he ever does this, and I’ve played this game to completion four times across both versions!
*raises eyebrow skeptically*
Oh, don’t get like that. I was just about to introduce you to the services we provide here. Like executing your Persona.
I’m sorry, what?
Okay, yes, I know that sounds bad, but just trust me. It’ll make you stronger. We’ve already got the guillotine set up, and it’s Caroline’s birthday! Do it for her, pleeeeeeease?
I don’t know what a birthday is, but if you say no I’ll hit you with the zappy stick.
God, this place sucks.
You’re basically just throwing away your old personality and forging a new one. That’s marginally less scary, right?
It really isn’t, but my current personality is inclined to just let you do it so I don’t get shocked by the child.
Great! You won’t regret this!
So, we’re just back in the fusion tutorial, it’s dirt-simple. Though I do appreciate this time how the game forces you to fuse Arsène away so you’ll hopefully learn that your starting Persona is expendable.
You’re putting me in the silence mill? After all I’ve done for you? Not cool, bro.
FOUNTAINS OF GORE
And now we trade our rad-as-fuck starting Persona for this dude who lives in a bucket. Really trading up there.
In time, we will develop more ways to gruesomely execute your Personas for material reward. Your rehabilitation is going well so far.
Remember Third Eye? It let us hold down a button to see extra hidden details in Palaces.
Now, leave us. I have to do my Ixal quests before reset.
Leveling crafters, eughhh.
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves
Is he all right? He’s been staring at nothing for like ten minutes.
I’m not sure…
Hold on, I think he’s coming around!
Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go, guys.
Were you not ready *before*?
Shut up, Skull! Don’t bring it up!
Music: Who’s There?
Y’think this is the place they showed on TV last time?
*to Teddie* You’re positive that no one’s behind a camera for that bizarre midnight program?
Program…? I don’t know. Maybe people on your side can see stuff in this world. It might be that. And I told you before! There’s only me and Shadows here! There’s no “camera” stuff going on. This world has been like this from the beginning.
“From the beginning”…? That’s what we don’t understand!
I dunno… Can you guys explain everything about your world? I’ve never seen this “program” thingy before. So I don’t know.
Well… is that really what’s happening? Are we really looking into this world? Because the first time Yukiko showed up on that channel was before she disappeared. Doesn’t that seem off? I mean, Yukiko saying stuff like “score myself a hot stud”? That’s not like her at all!
Now that this game isn’t stuck on the tiny Vita screen, I can’t not notice that the “open” quotation mark is just a “close” quotation mark, and it looks real weird! Curse you, incomplete font!
Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either… Yukiko-san would never say anything like that. ……!? I wonder… Is this kinda like what happened to me last time…?
There’s a lot of stuff I still don’t get. But after hearing your story… I think that “program” happens because of the person who appears on it. Or something like that…
So… Yukiko is producing that show herself? Ugh, I don’t get this at all!
It’s not a real Persona game without lots of scenes where characters explain things extremely vaguely and then other characters get mad because they don’t understand.
Hey… Do you feel Yukiko’s presence from inside?
I’m pretty sure. So, um… what’s this “scoring with a hot stud” thing…?
Yukiko’s here… I’m going on ahead!
Why would she run off? You told her about the horrifying monsters, right?
Shit, I knew I forgot something.
Geez! We better follow her!
Music: Backside of the TV
She ran off on her own…
Urk! There are lots of Shadows in the castle. It’ll be dangerous inside for a girl by herself…
Dude, are you serious!? Why didn’t you tell bus before!? C’mon, let’s find Chie!
Before we head inside the castle, talking to Teddie will give us a leg up.
We should catch up to her quick, Sensei! Ah, that’s right! Here, take this.
Oh, this too. I gathered all of these myself. I’ll give them to you, Sensei!
Well, off you go.
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves
From here, we’re going to teleport to our furthest reached Safe Room, which is… the very first one. We’ll do that in just a second.
Remember the Thieves Guild, which allowed other players to help us as we progressed? Neither did I!
There’s a shortcut here to right after the part where we jump across the chandeliers, but despite nothing actually impeding us from climbing this, we can’t use it until we get that far.
You can only use it in safe places, but when you do, it’ll take care of all the exhaustion from our past fights! We’ll let you decide when to use it—just make sure the time’s right.
This time, perhaps in an effort to both tutorialize and help us get through the Palace in a single day, Mona will give us a Stamina Kit S, which will restore 10% of the party’s SP, but can only be used while in a safe room. We will be saving it for as long as we can. Hopefully we won’t need it at all.
Well, let’s continue progressing.
These fine tools have my seal of approval! Use them wisely, all right?
I will instantly forget this exists and never use it outside of maybe using Auto-Recover to restore HP after a fight. Me forgetting things is going to be a bit of a running theme today, for the record.
One thing I didn’t forget: our dire financial situation. In most situations where we hold enemies up (especially strong enemies), I’m going to go begging for loose change instead of All-out Attacking. This will affect our experience gain, but also we really need the cash.
One wrinkle in the plan to finish the Palace in a day, besides our lack of revival items, is that we don’t have a ton of elemental coverage. Mona is the only one in the party who can use Wind spells at the moment, and a decent percentage of our foes today are weak to it. This means Mona’s going to run low pretty quickly. Just one more thing to manage, I suppose.
Skull learns Lunge, his first Physical skill. I don’t think there’s a ton of differences in Persona skillsets for party members, but I’ll keep track of their skills as best I can.
Okay, now that we’ve expanded our roster, let’s try that thing!
A way for us to gain the advantage during a battle. It’s called a “Baton Pass”!
Oh, so this is where they put the Baton Pass unlock. I was getting worried for a minute there.
Actually, I’ll show you what I mean while we deal with this Shadow.
Music: Take Over
Use this opportunity to Baton Pass and swap your turn with someone else!
Okay, right, every time we Baton Pass in succession we get more damage and healing output. Good…
...but that’s not all! If you manage to do a full party Baton Pass, the last member can use any skill in their repertoire at no cost. It’s fucking amazing.
Baton Passing is just generally a lot more useful in Royal, in part because every party member now has it when they join, but also because the enemy encounters seem more designed around using it. It’s great to actually be able to take advantage of the system to the fullest extent possible.
The Baton Pass color will also change as you go up the tiers. Red, then yellow, then blue.
And we end on Skull because he has the least SP.
Just a reminder that we can’t negotiate during scripted fights. It sucks.
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves
This is where we get tutorialized on hiding, check.
Here’s the room where we find the first map and have to pull the switches we see with Third Eye to progress, double check…
Skipping right past the chandelier section (where they removed an enemy popping up to gank you, thank god) to the next safe room, triple check…
(We’re not going to open this chest because we only have one Lockpick. This decision was completely arbitrary, but also it’s right next to a safe room so we can easily just craft some Lockpicks before the boss fight and just pop back in here to get it)
This enemy is Cait Sith, the original inspiration for the legend of Puss in Boots. It’s weak to Wind Strong against Electricity, and uses Fire and Light Physical, as well as Tarukaja to buff its Attack.
I already went over most of the enemies in the previous LP, but Royal adds some new ones here and there so I’ll mention those as they come up, like this one.
But there’s a way to open it, right? Let’s start looking, Joker.
Go around the corner and pull this switch first…
…then go back and pull this one.
Yep, that was it! Let’s go!
Voila, gate open.
Yep, sure looks like it to me. Now, according to the map…
Looks like they’re making things tougher for us yet again…
Eh, it shouldn’t be too bad. Let’s just get it done.
We’ve got a switch-and-gate puzzle here. And that means it’s of course time for Bad Photoshop Diagram Time!
This diagram isn’t essential, but it helps get an idea of the flow of the room. Switches open the gate of the corresponding number, and close all other gates (except Switch 3, which opens Gate 1 as well so you can’t trap yourself in a hell of your own making). Gate 1 is open at the start, in addition.
Laying it out like this, it actually seems a lot easier than it is. Where’s the trouble? Well, the section in the top-right is where the rub lies. It’s very easy to pass by Switch 4 without noticing it, and the section just past it is a vent you can only go through one way.
Oh boy, more laundry fodder.
Come to think of it, I remember seeing a Shadow with one… Maybe if we negotiate properly, we can get one. Wait, wasn’t there a coin laundry near Leblanc?
Thankfully, once you get through that and pull switch 5, all gates in the area open. Let’s move on.
Here’s the Shadow personalities tutorial. I only mention it at all because there’s a little bonus the game gives us to take advantage of this more efficiently that we’ll see in a bit.
Accessories in Royal are much, much more useful than they were in the original game, where they were pretty much just a slot for your SP Adhesive 3 cheesing. Now, there’s actual decisions to make, because accessories can give your party members extra skills! Now, I totally forget to actually equip this on anyone here because I’m dumb, but Garu would be pretty useful for Panther, so pretend I gave it to her.
Should we check somewhere else?
Wait—look up there.
Phantom thieves do things a bit more stylishly than that… and I know just what’ll do the trick.
That’s just a little something I’ve been working on in secret. The grappling hook lets you zip to hard-to-reach locations in a flash. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you test it out. Go ahead, give it a try.
But I bet you’ll be fine if you’re smart about it, Joker. Let’s give it a try!
Wow, you really can do anything here if you think you can hard enough…
Clap your hands if you believe in the power of the grappling hook!
Heh, you actually did it! I knew you could!
Panther, why are you lying on the ground like that?
Yeah, he does look pretty tough… Not only that, but it seems like he’s more aware of his environment than the others. We’d better proceed with caution.
“Proceed with caution” = “Let’s jump that motherfucker!”
Music: Take Over
As you can see, we have not reached the damage threshold to negotiate with this Shadow yet. The text will fill in once we do.
Ah fuck, he killed Skull in one hit.
That’s a lotta money! We’re rich!
Music: King, Queen, and Slaves
We need to put the object in the indentation to proceed, just like in the original. And to do that, we’re going to need to find…
…these books! They’re not terribly hidden, but the King book has been, annoyingly, moved to the library itself and I spent ages looking for it.
Remember what I said about Shadow personalities earlier? Well, this is an addition that makes remembering them much easier. Our navigator (in this case, Mona), will remind us of their personality and give a pretty-unsubtle hint as to what type of response we need to use. It’s not much but it significantly boosted my successful Persona recruitment, because I was just guessing before most of the time.
God, everything here’s all about being ripped. That guy’s totally in love with his muscles…
Now, we find “The Beefcake Book”.
Let’s insert it, shall we?
Huh? Izzat one no good there?
Maybe there’s something stuck in that spot. Why don’t you try reaching in there, Skull?
Oh, sweet. Here, you can have it.
Later, once we solve the devious book puzzle…
And we have the medal we need to proceed! Let’s get out of this den of iniquity.