Persona 4: December 3rd – December 5th (Seekers of Truth)

Last time, we hit the ending divergence point, by which I mean the “pick the right options or get a bad ending” point. Trying to actually solve the mystery didn’t work because the game wanted me to act like an idiot who didn’t know anything, so I did that.

This maxes out the team social link (the ultimate Fool Persona is Loki, okay) and immediately grants me the Judgment link, which is “Seekers of Truth”. It’s only at this point, after we’ve decided not to kill Namatame, that Adachi barges in on us. I’d like to point out that Yosuke was yelling at the top of his lungs, so it’s not like this was a very private conversation. Naoto covers for everyone by saying they were keeping an eye on the suspect while the guards were busy with Dojima. She does not tell the doctor to remove the giant TV from his room, because her competence only extends so far.

We cut to the team continuing this discussion in a corridor where anyone can overhear. Yukiko wonders why Namatame started killing in the first place, and especially why he kept going after killing his lover.

NAOTO: The police speculated the first murder was related to the affair, so they called in Namatame for questioning… But everything in his testimony and his bearing… No matter what they looked at, they found nothing suspicious.

a) If this was important we should have seen it. b) Oh, because a politician couldn’t possibly know how to lie to the police?

YOSUKE: Maybe he faked it real well.

Have a lot of experience with that, sociopath boy?

YOSUKE: Or maybe he started out with a normal motive, and got a taste for killing after the first time.

I hardly even have to try to justify the sociopath theory at this point. This is such a weird thing to jump to as your first guess.

Naoto insists Namatame had no reason to kill Yamano, as the affair was public and his wife had already separated from him, so killing her wouldn’t have helped him. Okay, but he’s insane. “I’m saving my lover who’s been dragged through the mud by the media by killing her” is honestly more coherent than most of what we’ve seen from him. Then Adachi shows up to remind us that the doors aren’t soundproof and he can hear everything we’re saying, so he very much could have been listening in on our little murder discussion just before. Then the nurse calls us, and… we cut to Teddie somewhere else.

Something I ask every time you speak, Teddie. He sounds confused and doesn’t remember how he got here… so was his totally-not-a-suicide-note in the truncated endings fake, and he was taken here against his will?

We cut back to Nanako’s room and once again, she’s revived. She was just so happy Teddie was dead she decided she had to go on living, I presume.

NAOTO: Miracles do happen… I’m so glad…

Naoto, you have literal magic powers. Literal magic powers that include reviving “downed” people. Honestly, they should have considered throwing Nanako back in the TV world so they could cast Recarm on her. We get the “Teddie’s missing” conversation again, and this time Yosuke offers to call his cell, but we have to wait until we leave the hospital. On the way out, Adachi ambushes me and I rank up with him again.

ADACHI: By the way, you’re all alone at the house now, right? Well, enjoy your freedom while you can!

This is such a creepy way of phrasing it when my baby cousin just narrowly dodged death, but I can’t take this as a hint he’s evil because this is just how people talk. Haha, family! Such a ball-and-chain!

We cut to Namatame, who’s mumbling that he couldn’t save Yamano and “that girl”, presumably Saki. So he didn’t kill them. The policeman on duty sleeps through this. We then cut to the team in the middle of town, confirming that Teddie’s not picking up his phone.

CHIE: I wonder where he went…

Yeah, I wonder. I wonder where he could possibly be. A place you should probably be checking more frequently anyway, perhaps? It then starts snowing, and no one considers that new weather might produce a new effect in the magic world affected by weather because these kids have no intelligence or curiosity.

Back in Namatame’s room… was it really right to stop everyone from what they were about to do…?

Objectively yes, because I already did the bad ending. This would mean something if you actually got to play out the rest of the game and didn’t know if you picked the right choice until the end, but no, player choices can never matter. Then John turns on his cell phone and sees he got messages from Kou and Daisuke expressing condolences for Nanako. Would I have gotten a message from Yumi too if I had maxed her out? Okay, so player choices can matter, but only for inconsequential things.

That night I get a Velvet Room dream. Huh, it’s been a while.

IGOR: Do you believe you’ll be able to successfully solve this mystery…?

Oh get bent. I tried to solve it and you slapped me with a bad ending.

IGOR: The precise destination of this vehicle… That, too, is getting rather hard to judge. If we continue driving blindly, we may end up leading you further away from the mystery that you must reach…

…No, because I’m past the ending branch and this is otherwise a linear game? Or are they going to pull a second ending branch? He then shows me a flashback to… the investigation team saying the stuff they just said a few scenes ago. Hello, padding. Then the car stops so Margaret can “confirm our current heading” and we get some more philosophical blather. I don’t care.

IGOR: Perhaps this may be a time for contemplation rather than action.

NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS STUPID GAME FOR SIX MONTHS. IT IS ABSOLUTELY THE TIME FOR ACTION. WHEN IS THE PLOT GOING TO START?!?!?

The next morning Yosuke arrives to tell me Teddie didn’t come home last night, because a missing person is definitely something that could wait until morning. Are we supposed to assume this didn’t happen in the alternate endings? Oh, I guess we didn’t get the note this time. Still. Yosuke says that Rise is finally doing the smart thing and checking in the TV world.

RISE: I didn’t sense anything over there. The fog’s so dense, it might be affecting my readings.

Hold on, the fog is in both worlds now? That’s a huge change! I suppose that explains why the TV world still works like normal when we enter, but this should have been brought up as soon as the fog appeared!

What even is this choice? None of those are actions! Your choices are do nothing, do nothing, or do what the game tells you to do. Why even give me the illusion of choice?

Naoto, desperately trying to shepherd these idiots, asks everyone to review what we know. They painstakingly deduce… that Namatame thinks he’s saving people by killing them, the most obvious possible interpretation of his words that I thought they were already assuming when they were yelling at him. Jesus, these kids are thick. Yukiko brings up what he said when they confronted him: “You’re the ones I saved,” which she realizes is incongruous with the theory he thinks death is salvation, given he was talking in past tense and they are obviously still alive. Chie wonders if maybe he really was trying to literally save the victims, but has to couch it in haha I’m just such a dumb girl don’t take it seriously. I hate this game. The game prompts me that there’s something proving there’s another culprit besides Namatame, and I say the warning letter.

YOSUKE: Oh yeah… Whatever happened to that thing?

YOU REFUSED TO TAKE IT TO THE POLICE BECAUSE YOU’RE BRAINDEAD MORONS. John repeats the content of the letters, and the team realizes that the letters outright saying “kill” doesn’t make sense if Namatame genuinely thinks he’s saving people.

KANJI: Yeah, and the “will be put in and killed” part doesn’t make sense either… If the killer was writing it, wouldn’t it be more like “I’ll put in and kill”?

Oh wow, I didn’t pick up on that! You win the Best Detective Award, Kanji.

NAOTO: My god… Since this is such an unusual case, I was absolutely convinced that other than the Kubo incident, there was one culprit…

“Leaving aside the time we were wrong about there being one culprit, I was certain there was only one culprit!” You are a bad detective, Naoto. But alright, the characters have finally caught up to us and are now convinced there’s another culprit. So maybe Adachi is the real culprit… or maybe it’s another background NPC, I wouldn’t put it past them. (Farla: “It was the fox all along!!”) This gets me an immediate rank up in Seekers of Truth, which is weird because I haven’t even had the chance to fuse any Personas between now and rank 1.

This is such obvious padding. There is no reason this conversation had to wait until half a month after the confrontation, because it’s entirely using information the characters already had. It would have made way more sense — and flowed way better — if this scene had happened the day after we rescued Nanako. But I guess that would have gotten in the way of the game’s stupid insistence to put the plot on pause between the beginning of a kidnapping and the deadline.

Naoto takes us back to the hospital to interrogate Namatame for more answers, I guess gambling on him suddenly becoming coherent after a single night. She uses her consultant credentials to get in. I thought she was taken off the case?

POLICEMAN ON GUARD: I can give you a few minutes, but I’ll have to record your conversation with him for security purposes.

Oh, this’ll be fun. Let’s see them deny our TV powers after this. The guard lets slip that Adachi is busy “somewhere”. Hm. Naoto creates a diversion in the hospital lobby, which makes the guard leave his post and somehow allows the entire investigation team to slip through. So I guess we won’t be getting that recording after all. Dang it, Naoto, you should know that’s important for a trial!

Naoto’s opening statement to Namatame:

NAOTO: It’s tempting to think you were the culprit behind this entire case. And to be honest… there are many in this town who hope you are. But we are here to learn the truth. So please… Answer our questions.

“Hello, Prime Suspect! We think you’re not the culprit! Can you confirm this for us?” Why is everyone in this game so stupid. I’m allowed to ask him three questions: “Who’d you throw in first?” (he says Yukiko), “Did you kill those two girls?” (he says no), and “Is ‘saving’ killing people?” (he says no, and moreover that they’ll be killed if they’re not saved). Naoto then asks if he started trying to save people after Yamano and Saki were killed and he noticed the pattern, to which he says yes. So Farla was right on the money! (Unless of course he’s playing us like a fiddle since we’re feeding him leading questions.) We then get a flashback to how Namatame learned of the Midnight Channel: During a depressive episode after the scandal broke, he remembered the urban legend and tried it, only to see Yamano on the TV. He was able to place his hand through the TV like us, but wrote it off as a dream until Yamano showed up dead, whereupon he tried again and confirmed it.

NAMATAME: I remembered that when Yamano was alive, she was chasing a rumor about some bizarre TV program.

WHY IS THIS THE FIRST WE’RE HEARING THIS. THIS IS SO RELEVANT. We finally, FINALLY have a motive for why someone would want her dead! At the start of the game everyone was talking about her yet NO ONE mentioned this?! This could even have been our hook to learn about the Midnight Channel in the first place, if we watched her report or Chie said “It’s totally real, a TV reporter said so!” instead of “Let’s try it just ’cause!” That would have even tied into the TV theme by having us actually interact with TV. But no. Instead the solution to the mystery relies on information we didn’t have until the reveal.

When Saki showed up on the Midnight Channel, Namatame tried to warn her in person but she didn’t listen, so that’s why he decided he had to kidnap people. Namatame also explains that he did call the police about this, because he’s more proactive than any of these losers. He does not explain why he left his kidnapping victims alone for weeks without food or water. You know what would have fixed this and been great foreshadowing? If he had been scattering supply packets throughout the TV world. That could have even hinted that he was a deliveryman specifically! Instead we have a plot hole. (He also doesn’t explain why he didn’t re-kidnap people after they got out.)

Naoto explains that hey idiot, the TV world kills people.

NAMATAME: I had a feeling that was it… When I went after that little girl and entered the TV myself… For the first time, I had some doubts about myself.

Okay, so he never even stuck his head in to confirm this place was safe? What an idiot!

NAMATAME: But the TV world was completely different than I imagined… Such an abominable, grotesque place.

a) That’s not what your Shadow said when we were there and b) You were in the nicest world, what are you whining about? Heaven is grotesque to you?

You know what would have worked here? If we finally got followup on Teddie’s insistence the Shadows aren’t normally dangerous. If the first time he stepped in everything was fine and he was surprised by how aggressive the Shadows were this time because it was different, that would have justified this. Instead he’s just an idiot.

Namatame also describes his Shadow as being the manifestation of his moral doubt, which isn’t how it behaved or how Shadows have worked prior to this. If it was the manifestation of his doubt, it shouldn’t have been so certain and gung-ho about kidnapping Nanako. Additionally, he was the guy Yosuke mentioned seeing for five seconds at the Junes concert.

NAMATAME: I wanted to know why the ones I saved were all hanging out with each other, and how much you remembered. But in the end I couldn’t bring myself to say anything and ran home.

Lamest excuse ever. This is so slapdash.

NAMATAME: I secretly believed myself to be a hero…

Does Mr. Hero Complex have anything to say to getting a mirror held up to himself? Well, he does give a “……” to this, but that could mean anything.

NAMATAME: I never doubted what I saw on TV… and believed everything was as I wanted it to be…

I presume this is supposed to be thematic but it’s so dumb. The Midnight Channel never said the TV world was fine. There were the id episodes with the Shadows, but he should have thought that was really weird, especially given he was stalking the victims so he should have known they were acting unusual.

As I predicted, the cop barges in and sees everyone crammed in here including people he absolutely did not authorize. Namatame and Naoto both blab in front of the cop about the TV world, which I do not think is helping the police’s opinion that Naoto is a stupid child. And… we get another Seekers of Truth rank up already? It hasn’t even been a day since the last one!

We head back to Nanako, who is still comatose. If she dies again I will flip a table. (Farla: “I bet the rest of the game is going to be ‘pick the right option or Nanako dies.'”) The team resolves to investigate the first two murders, since those were presumably committed by the real culprit unless there’s another fakeout and actually the two murders were by different people.

CHIE: But it’s been over six months… Wouldn’t the trail be cold by now?

FGHGGHFHGGHF YOU CHOSE TO MAKE US SIT THROUGH SIX MONTHS OF FILLER! THIS WOULD NOT BE A PLOT HOLE IF YOU KNEW WHAT REASONABLE PACING WAS!

YOSUKE: And you never know. People right remember some things now because they’ve had so much time to think of it.

Translation: “The writers realized they need to wrap this up and are ready to pull more stuff out of their butts.”

Okay, I’ll place my bets now: my current guess is the culprit is Hiiragi (Namatame’s wife). She fits the profile of every suspect being someone we’ve never seen before, she has motive, and she’s related to Namatame who has inexplicably become the centerpiece of the plot. It’s also the stupidest possible option, so I just know that’s what the game will go with.

The next day is a holiday, so…

You need to investigate the town. You wonder if you’ll be able to gather the information you need to catch the killer…

Oh, NOW I can spend my free time investigating the mystery? After EIGHT MONTHS of John deciding he has nothing better to do but catch fish and fold envelopes, suddenly I can do the thing I should have been doing the entire game! But okay, we’re doing the “run around and talk to NPCs” thing proactively for once instead of only after the culprit has acted.

FEMALE STUDENT: Eh? The incident last spring? I don’t remember anything from that long ago!

The game is mocking me now.

You know what? This would have actually been funny if neglecting the investigation had been my choice, and this is the lead-in to the bad ending because I’m too late. And oh my god that would have actually, finally dovetailed with the school setting — you can’t pass the final by cramming at the last minute!

ELDERLY PERSON: Now that you mention it, the town was all abuzz last spring… You remember that, don’t you?

And then the dialogue ends, I kid you not. This is just insulting.

FEMALE STUDENT: Uh… what are you talking about?
> You explained about the incident involving Saki and Yamano, the female announcer.
FEMALE STUDENT: Did all that happen just last spring? Wow, it seems so long ago, haha. Who’s gonna remember something from that far back anyway?

CHIE: Even if someone’s been killed… everyone just forgets it so easily. But rumors they hear from friends and TV get remembered for a long time… Why is that?

This is so pointed it has to be thematic, but it’s nonsense. The murders were reported on TV. If the point is that people are obsessed with TV, characters should not be forgetting what was featured on cable news. This would work if we were getting conflicting information and conspiracy theories, but saying people forgot entirely is just stupid. (This would also mean more if we had been able to watch TV ourselves.)

GAS-MASKED MAN: Why am I outside? When I’m at home, I just see more news about the murders.

They even have another NPC say this explicitly! What was wrong with the writing coordination in this game?

John eventually decides he should start asking people if they’ve seen anyone “suspicious”, not just about the murders, to see if that gets us any leads on a new suspect. Except no one found Namatame suspicious, so I don’t know why he thinks that’ll work. And indeed, everyone just says it’s a small town so if someone was acting suspicious the rumor network would have told us by now.

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN: No, I can’t think of anyone… not from this town, anyway.

Hm. And Hiiragi wasn’t from this town, was she?

The one thing I get is that the girl who forgot about Saki entirely suddenly remembers Saki told her in person about Namatame’s attempt to warn her. WHY DIDN’T WE HEAR THIS EARLIER. This should have been lighting up the rumor mill, especially when she died so soon after! Saki told this girl directly that a weird guy was stalking her, the next day she turns up dead, and this girl doesn’t think to mention this to anyone? This is retroactively making it look like everyone hated Saki, this is awful.

After being repeatedly told that nobody knows anything, the team regroups to report that they found nothing.

NAOTO: The police had an unusually large number of officers in their initial investigation of the first two incidents. To find facts that even they overlooked would be difficult indeed, now that over half a year has passed.

Yes, which is why you should be looking at their case files instead. That’s how you found Namatame, remember?

After the team produces nothing useful, the game helpfully lays out all the important facts for me: The culprit had some sort of connection to both Yamano and Saki (I still don’t know why the game assumes that’s a given, Saki could have been killed just because she saw something), the culprit knows about the TV world and our activities therein, and they knew what Namatame was doing. The game also makes a big deal of the warning letter delivered to John’s house and takes this to mean the culprit must have delivered it personally to no suspicion, even though the entire point of threatening letters with no return address is you can just send them through the post.

What? Why am I immediately jumping to accusing my friends??? And indeed, if I pick any of them, the game says they can’t possibly be the culprits because they’re my friends (even Teddie, the only one without an alibi). And… then the game abruptly gives me another bad ending. Why??? There’s no way anyone would pick those options except to see what the game would say! Why are they even listed as options??? The bad ending is almost identical to the one where I don’t kill Namatame, but Dojima has a different bit where he says he’s unsure if Namatame killed the first two victims… which is really weird to put after the point where we learned he definitely didn’t.

Saying “Someone else” once just gets me the other three members of the team, but saying it again gets me different people, at least:

Yes, clearly the little girl masterminded her own kidnapping! I really want to see what the game says to that.

Would that be physically possible? Even assuming she could enter the TV, she would have had to carry victims who were more than twice her size. It would be absurd to suspect her as the killer… If nothing else, she was an innocent victim who got caught up in the incident… For the sake of the suffering child and her father, you must find the true culprit behind all of this…

WHY WAS THIS EVEN AN OPTION THEN. Also, this does not actually rule her out! Only Namatame’s victims said they were physically abducted. The innocent little seven-year-old could have just said “I have something to show you on the TV, miss! =)”

Okay, what’s Dojima’s alibi?

…If Dojima is the killer, he must have been careful to hide his ability to enter the TV world.

No? You’ve been keeping it a secret, somehow, despite loudly announcing it to every passing ear.

Based on that assumption, it seems possible that it could be him. After all, as your uncle and owner of the house where you stayed, he could easily have observed your actions. Obviously, he had easy access to his own house, and he’d be more familiar than anyone else with the area. However… your uncle wants to solve this case even at the cost of his own life. His only daughter Nanako was kidnapped by Namatame… When you consider all the facts, there’s very little to support Dojima as the killer.

That in no way absolves him, game. We’ve established Namatame isn’t the real killer, so his behavior towards him has no bearing on whether he’s the killer. It is entirely possible that he didn’t know Namatame was doing any of this and only put Nanako on the channel as a bluff to back up his threat, then flipped out when something actually happened to her.

Okay then, let’s see the game try a more reasonable one. What if I think Namatame’s playing us for fools?

You already proved that Namatame wasn’t the one behind this incident…

THEN WHY IS HE AN OPTION. Also, game, a guy telling you he totally didn’t do it is not evidence he didn’t do it.

Okay then, time for my actual guess: Adachi.

…Of course, if you look only at the circumstances, you can’t completely rule out that possibility. Adachi may have been able to keep an eye on your actions. He would have been able to approach your house with ease, and he knows the area well… Thinking about it, you encountered him many times while investigating the case… You learned much about the police’s movements from Adachi as well… There is no exact reason to doubt him… but… Something is bothering you…

So it really is him. This is the stupidest possible way to learn this. I initially fingered Adachi as the culprit as a joke, but even when I started seriously considering him, it was mainly just process of elimination — there simply aren’t any other viable suspects. I might have suspected the teachers given the emphasis that all the victims are Yasogami students (except the first one, NPCs keep seeming to forget that), but the game didn’t even bother giving portraits to any teachers other than Morooka and Kashiwagi, and Morooka’s dead now. (I guess it could have been Kashiwagi, maybe, but she entered the plot so late it was hard to see her as a serious contender.)

I expected the actual reveal to at least be more interesting, to give us some actual reason to suspect the culprit. I knew the game was terrible but I expected something. Instead, no, we literally discover him by process of elimination, just like I already did six in-game months ago. The game outright says there’s no positive evidence towards him, he’s just the only one we can’t rule out! This is so, so stupid.

Let’s reload and see what the other options are.

Sure, let’s say the culprit is a ghost. I want to say that’s absurd, but crazier things have happened in this franchise.

But… this was one of the murder victims in the case. The threatening letter that may have been sent by the killer came after their death. It’s impossible for this person to have been the perpetrator…

THEN WHY ARE THEY AN OPTION. I keep hoping that if I pick these absurd options the game will at least tell me what logic it thinks could have possibly led someone to this, but instead it just says “Why did you pick that, idiot, that’s impossible.” I KNOW IT’S IMPOSSIBLE, THAT’S WHY I WANTED TO KNOW WHY YOU LISTED IT. The letter being sent after their death doesn’t even rule it out if we’re already assuming they’re somehow orchestrating this from beyond the grave — they could have used some spooky ghost magic to send the letter, who knows.

Mitsuo was just a copycat killer… That’s been proven already.

Then why is he an option.

Okay, finally we’re getting somewhere plausible. Why isn’t it Hiiragi?

She has an airtight alibi. She was overseas during the incidents…

That proves nothing! THE KILLER MOVES THROUGH THE TV WORLD, YOU IDIOTS. She could have used it to teleport across countries! This could have actually been ruled out if these idiots displayed any curiosity or initiative whatsoever and had been experimenting with the TV world mechanics instead of just deciding they couldn’t possibly enter the TV world from a different TV ever. If they had entered from different TVs and confirmed that they seem to be the same distance apart in both worlds, that would make this a real alibi. (This would also have done anything at all to justify that bizarre insistence we couldn’t jump into Namatame’s TV to rescue Nanako.)

Furthermore, a popular celebrity like her couldn’t have carried out the killings with no witnesses.

Right, because celebrities can’t wear disguises to avoid unwanted attention, that never happens.

Okay, how about Kashiwagi, the only other semi-plausible suspect?

If you assume that she has the ability to enter the TV, it’s not impossible that she could be the culprit. However, there’s no reason to suspect her, either…

OH, COME ON. This is THE EXACT SAME THING THE GAME SAYS ABOUT ADACHI. Moreover, we actually have a lot of reason to suspect her: She’s insanely jealous and creepy towards schoolgirls, and Saki had a college boyfriend — a man chose a high schooler over a mature woman. Killing a woman for cheating and then killing her student out of jealousy would completely fit with her established character. I mean, it would also be stupid and misogynistic, but then so has this entire game.

We say the same thing about Hanako. Well, at least we don’t have some horrible fatphobic reason for suspecting her. If I keep saying “someone else” after this it just lists my social links, who obviously can’t be the culprits because whether I know them at all is variable.

Okay, moving on then. If I suspect Adachi, I suddenly get a flashback to his social link scenes and John feels conflicted about suspecting him because they’re fwends. For some reason I’m actually given a choice to keep silent about my suspicions to “Protect Adachi”. This leads to a really dumb bad ending. It makes absolutely no sense for Protagonist-kun to make this choice; even if he really, genuinely liked Adachi (which, lol) it’s now clear that relationship was a lie perpetrated by someone who tried to kill his closest friends and baby cousin. I suppose it’s theoretically possible someone in his situation could make those series of choices, in the sense than it’s theoretically possible for anyone to make any choice, but it makes as much sense as him suddenly deciding to strangle Teddie to death and the game cruelly never offers us that choice, so why this one? It just feels like a bad end for the sake of a bad end.

So anyway I don’t do that, and Naoto says this would explain how the culprit was able to move without arousing suspicion:

NAOTO: It would certainly explain the lack of witness reports… It’s the same reason no one ever reported seeing Namatame’s truck.
YOSUKE: This is a small town, so everyone must’ve known who he is. And since he’s a detective, people definitely wouldn’t have thought of him as being suspicious.

Except no, this is not at all comparable to a deliveryman. A detective walking around talking to people is insanely suspicious. They might not suspect him of any wrongdoing, but they would be gossipping about his interviewees till the cows came home. If Saki had frequent conversations with a police detective, people would ask what she did to get the attention of the police.

Naoto also brings up what I’ve been thinking this whole time, that as part of the investigation Adachi would both have access to and be able to hide information critical to the case. She then brings up a much stupider reason to suspect him:

NAOTO: Actually… regarding Detective Adachi… I’m not sure how to put it, but there’s something that’s been bothering me about him for some time now…

Vibes. We are seriously determining the culprit through vibes.

We then go back in to discuss our accusations against a police detective in the middle of a public restaurant.

YUKIKO: That can’t be… I mean, he said he came to escort Ms. Yamano and…
NAOTO: What…? Was he at your inn when the announcer was staying there?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. One of the investigators HAD EVIDENCE POINTING TO ADACHI THIS WHOLE TIME? This is it! This is the entire game! Guess at random, then the story will backfill evidence to justify your random guess! Anyway, yeah, he claimed he was there to guard Yamano from the media, did so by leaving alone with her, and Yukiko only now thinks this was worth mentioning.

NAOTO: Detective Adachi also questioned Saki-san, the one who found the announcer’s body, on numerous occasions. I heard it was because there was so little information about the case at the time, but… It’s certainly unusual to question someone with as strong an alibi as hers multiple times…

Then why didn’t you think it was suspicious then, Sherlock? Yosuke, regaining his brain cell, brings up what I’ve been pointing out this whole time: Adachi is constantly bumping into the team to “accidentally” give them confidential police information, which he could easily be using to manipulate them.

Naoto calls the police department to arrange a meeting with Adachi so they can interrogate him for more details, and is told Adachi is managing Namatame’s transfer right this moment. Everyone freaks out and decides they need to head over to the hospital immediately, even though there is no tension because we know from the bad endings he makes it to trial with no issues. This gets me another rank up in Seekers of Truth. Well, at least I could have fused Personas between now and the last one.

We find Adachi in the hospital lobby. He mentions Namatame’s already been relocated.

NAOTO: So… he’s been relocated. I’ve been wondering… You seem to be in a terrible hurry to get him out of this hospital.

JESUS CHRIST WHY ARE YOU SUCH A BAD DETECTIVE. Yes, start your interrogation by telling the suspect you’re onto him, that’ll go well! Adachi gives a completely reasonable answer, that they can’t leave him here after Dojima’s little freakout. Dojima then shows up to say he doesn’t believe Namatame committed the first two murders. Adachi just tells the investigation team to get home so they don’t get in the police’s way, and Dojima says it’s odd to see him taking work so seriously… except there have been plenty of points when he’s acted serious. He whiplashes, he’s not consistently one or the other.

I’m given the chance to question him about Yamano’s disappearance and Saki’s interrogation. He says he never saw Yamano before her disappearance, which contradicts what Yukiko told us, and says he only questioned Saki once or twice, which contradicts what Naoto told us. However, I can’t follow up on either of these. Instead, I ask about the warning letter, and he says he forgot about it, even though Dojima reminds him he told him to take it to the crime lab for processing. It’s only at this point, after he’s kept his cool the entire game, that Adachi gets snappish at us, thus making it obvious he’s the culprit.

NAOTO: Just one more thing, please. We know for certain now that the first two murders weren’t Namatame’s doing. Someone else killed them. Adachi-san… Do you have any idea who that might be?

If he murders you you will deserve it so hard, Naoto.

KANJI: ‘Cause we think it mighta been you.

Oh Kanji, I trusted you. It works for baiting Adachi, though:

ADACHI: We already know Namatame’s the one who put them all in!

Everyone immediately acts as if this definitively outs him as the culprit, even though he could easily just have believed what we or Namatame said about the TV business, especially given he’s been questioning Namatame all this time. Instead of saying any of this he just freezes up. Naoto then claims that something we previously saw was suspicious…

NAOTO: Do you recall when I read Namatame’s diary at the scene of Dojima-san’s accident? At the time, I said, “Even the victims who survived and were never released to the public are written here.” And in response, your words were, “Wow… Then that settles it.” How, I wonder, would that “settle” anything? At the time, the police had no idea that there had been other attempted murders related to the case…

…even though it wasn’t. The police absolutely knew about the kidnappings and Naoto told us outright she suspected they were related and that she wouldn’t stop bugging the police about her theory! Why is it suspicious Adachi knew that? (And WHY DIDN’T SHE TELL US THIS AT THE TIME?)

NAOTO: After all, there are countless examples of people disappearing for a few days…

What?! Since when??? NPCs bragged about there being no violent crimes in the town for as long as anyone could remember! If there were other disappearances, people should have been gossipping about it! I wonder if the story was originally set in a city rather than a small town; that would make this, and the insistence that everyone will have forgotten the only murder that’s ever happened in town after a few months, make more sense. The story has consistently emphasized that it’s a small town and everyone knows each other, but nothing’s ever come of that while this is plot-critical.

Adachi flips out and runs for it, and the kids are too dumb to grab him. They pursue him to Namatame’s room, and…

The idiots say this in front of the giant TV (and honorable mention to the giant windows). They do eventually figure out he must have gone into the TV, but only after Dojima leaves so they can’t prove to him how the TV magic works.

Guess what happens if I say to go in now?

RISE: I think it’s too dangerous to go in from here.

Of course.

RISE: We’re not 100% positive he used this TV,

What other TV could he have used?

RISE: and on top of that, we don’t know where it might lead.

So stick your head in. We established you could do that in the prologue.

Deciding we’re so dedicated to the pursuit of truth we can leave it for tomorrow gets me another rank up in Seekers of Truth, so we’re now already at rank 5.

Wow. My expectations were low but this was somehow worse. I’m still reeling at the knowledge the game reveals the culprit by process of elimination only to immediately reveal the evidence you could have used to actually deduce it was him. I also feel… nothing, emotionally, about this reveal, because Adachi is a nothing character. We never knew him that well and what we did know of him pointed to him being a dick. There was the social link, but a) I only did that for completion’s sake and b) all it did was confirm he’s a dick (and a pedophile). I guess I’m curious to know his motive, because I still have no idea what it could possibly be, but given this game’s track record I’m certain it will be incredibly stupid and disappointing.

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