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Chapter 23: 5/5: A Palace Of My Very Own (New)

This update contains content from Part 22 of the original LP.


Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

We officially established the Phantom Thieves, so it was totally worth it.

We’re like a few hours into this and we’re already getting the name confused.

Did you see the survey on that Phantom Aficionado Website? It looks like most people don’t believe in us yet.
Well, if we take down some big targets I’m sure it’ll go up a ton!
>I crave the dopamine from watching the number go up. This is perfect.

Oh? Thieves Den?

First, let’s read this text message.

Celebrating the founding of the Phantom Thieves! And celebrating us crashing that classy buffet!

You can cool it with all the “celebrating” any time now… Wait, you took that while I was eating!? Why didn’t you tell me!?
Uh, I did. You just never stopped eating. Anyways, this is our start as the Phantom Thieves! We’re gonna take the world by storm! All the shitty adults in the world better watch out for us!

Occasionally throughout the game after various story events you’ll get a text conversation that includes a picture. This is new to Royal. Like a lot of Royal, it’s cute but inessential. Heyo!

Well, let’s check this out, then.

Music: No More What Ifs (Instrumental Version)

You hear that Marvel? You’re on blast!

What an enchanting place, all set to the peaceful, dulcet tones of some weird elevator muzak…

Eh, oh well. First, I need to fix this up…

That oughta do it. Okay!

Were you drawn here by the smell too?

There’s a rotting corpse in the basement. Sorry you had to find out this way.

Oh, sorry—I guess you just got here too, huh? I can definitely understand not knowing what’s going on here—don’t worry.

…So THAT’S what this place is!

This is a place created by the cognitions of people like yourself… Your memories and feelings are collected here and given shape. Boy, I sure am glad I came here now! I bet this place can teach me all sorts of things. I’m going to stick around here for a while. You could take a look around too, if that interests you. I’m curious to see more of the memories inside you. If there’s anything you don’t understand, just ask me! I’ll help as much as I can. Well, that should wrap it up. Good job.

And now we’re set loose in here like a kid in a candy shop. Except there’s no candy or indeed fun of any kind in here with the exception of a card game.

If we talk to this mysterious child, we can get a rundown of the place, but that’ll just spoil the surprise! Let’s wing it!

First up, we go over to the “Palace Maker.”

From here, we can buy and place life-size replicas of our party’s Personas.

There aren’t a ton of spots, and to make matters even more complicated you can only put certain objects on certain colored spots. But if it’s a blue object like Arsene is, you can also hang it from the blue spots up above!

One of the only other things we can place right now is this giant Kamoshida statue from his Palace. We’ll unlock more as we progress through the game.

We can also change the general atmosphere of the Palace, but we elect not to for now.

Now, the cool part of futzing with this stuff and the only reason to really even bother is that our party members (or at least, our cognitions of them) will pop up and have chats about the items you’ve placed.

For real. And don’t forget how I helped bust you outta that jail cell, too!
Hrgh… I know…
Though I gotta admit, you’ve helped out a lot more since then.
Wait, what was that?
Nothin’! Why don’t you show a little thanks to the guy who saved your life?
Damn you…

Ha! Classic them!

Unfortunately, since we only have three party members and it takes two to tango, we have to run back over to the Palace Maker every time we want to reset these and get new chats. Also navigating the Palace itself is an ass and a half thanks to the confusing knot of stairs weaving its way through it. Once we get more party members we’ll be able to see more and more of those, but I’m not sure how much or how often I want to show this stuff off. The real problem is that Thieves’ Den progress is tied to your system save, so every time you unlock more shit it’ll update system-wide. If you’re not seeing the problem here, I’ll just tell you straight up: in order to reset my Thieves’ Den progress and not bombard all of you with massive spoilers, I had to delete my entire save file before starting this LP! Fun!

What do you mean, “elegant”? I was at the end of my rope there.
That desperation is what caused your persona to awaken. The sheer rage you had was impressive!
You’re such a suck-up.
But thanks. I like that about you, Morgana.
Do my ears deceive me? Did you just say you’re falling for me, Lady Ann…!?

Bummed? Why’s that?
I was the only one who couldn’t fight, y’know? I was just draggin’ you guys down. All I could do was stand around and get my ass saved over and over.
Well, I was more experienced, after all. It’s an unfair comparison.
Besides, when it did come time for you to awaken, you returned the favor. Why don’t we call it even?
Hey, yeah! You’re pretty wise for a cat!
That’s because I’m NOT a cat!

It’s… cool, I guess? She’s got a cigar in her mouth, steppin’ on a guy…
You don’t get it, do you? That passion is part of Lady Ann’s unique charm!
Uh, I guess if you’re into that kinda thing.

And that’s all the chats we have time for today, because I got really sick of resetting for more.

Up on the second floor, we find this tile with Ryuji’s face on it.

Why do I feel so much dumber all of a sudden? It’s… kind of liberating, actually.

It’s beyond pointless but we can transform into our party members! You can’t… do anything as them, but the option is there!

Ah, Tycoon. …What the hell is Tycoon?

Like a fool, I first chose “Tutorials.” This was a trap. The game bombards you with endless information that I could barely keep track of.

Okay, so you want to get rid of all your cards. The first player plays a card (or two, three, or four of the same card), then the next player has to play the same number of a “better” hand. The best card is 2, and the worst is 3. So, if Ann plays two 3s, then I can play any number as long as I have two of them. The player with the 3 of diamonds goes first. Playing an 8 causes an “8 Stop”, ending the turn instantly and letting that player go again. The Joker can be any number., but if you play the 3 of Spades after the Joker it causes a 3-Spade Reversal and ends the turn. If you don’t have the cards or don’t want to play them, you can pass. But if you play four of a kind (or three and the Joker), you start a Revolution, which reverses all the values, making 3 the best and 2 the worst! But wait, there’s more! I haven’t even gotten to the roles yet! So, there’s four roles: Beggar, Poor, Rich, and Tycoon (there’s also Commoner, but everyone starts the first round as a Commoner so it doesn’t count). These roles are determined by the order in which each player gets rid of all their cards: Tycoon first, then Rich, then Poor, with Beggar being the last man standing unless the previous Tycoon didn’t finish in first, then they go Bankrupt and become the new Beggar automatically. Finishing as the Tycoon earns you 30 points, then 20 for Rich and 10 for Poor. Beggar gets nothing, fuck you. And then there’s the card swaps! In between rounds, the Tycoon trades two cards with Beggar, and Rich trades one card with Poor. Poor and Beggar have to trade their best cards, FUCK YOU.

Got all that? No? Well, thankfully most of it’s so esoteric that the actual strategy of the game doesn’t rely too heavily on keeping it locked into your memory. Tycoon is actually surprisingly fun for how complex it is, and as we get the band back together we’ll get to play with the rest of our party.

(I would have included video of me playing but my capture card hates Tycoon for some reason and the footage has a minor glitch. It’s still perfectly watchable, I’m just very self-conscious about it)

This exit hallway is full of promotional art! Neat!

Well, that’s enough of that. I’ll definitely pop in there every now and again but there’s not too much available at the moment. Granted, I didn’t show off the in-game awards or the music, art, and video galleries, but whatever.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Maaku gains Kindness +2.

Let’s watch this DVD in glorious 4:3.

Music: “Joy” from Persona 3

(Jock voice) Ugh! You think I’d go out with her? What do I look like?
(Cheerleader voice) What? You liar! You told me you loved me just last night!

Whoa, is this what high schoolers are like overseas? Don’t get any ideas, all right?

Maybe you learned a thing or two about Charm by watching this drama.

Maaku gains Charm +2.

Music: Aria of the Soul

We’re juuuuuuuust about ready to start that rehabilitation. For realsies this time.

Fucking *finally*!
Basically, we’re gonna take your unique potential and refine it into something able to stop the coming ruin!
That’s still extremely vague and confusing and not really what that word means!
Yeah, you got a point there, but my manager really wanted me to hammer the “rehabilitation” thing. Some brand synergy what-have-you, I think? Whatever. I’ll make it worth your while, though. See?

Bada bing bada boom, more space in that messed-up head of yours for alternate personalities. Don’t say I never did nothing for you, kid. Now go make friends and strengthen your power, all right? I’ll see you again later in the space behind your eyelids. Farewell!