Persona 4: February 14th – March 20th (True Ending)

Last time, I went through the optional dungeon added in the rerelease revolving around how the rerelease-exclusive character was very special, but I didn’t care because they didn’t put any effort into making her likable.

This time, it’s Valentine’s Day! I am dreading the horrors.

At this point I can only imagine the students are thinking, “It’s those weirdos again.” Yosuke is desperate not to get friendzoned; apparently, he predicts not only will he only get “friend” chocolates, but he will only get them from Teddie, so everyone else agrees with me that Yosuke is terrible. This is exactly what he deserves.

Then the school announces the test results on Valentine’s Day, because as established they love torturing kids. “Hey girls, I know you already decided who to give chocolates to, but while they’re still in your hands, for maximum shame potential, we’d like to let you know if you picked wrong.

After school, most of the girls have already left and the boy students are whining about it.

KANJI: Hey… Man, all these guys are obsessed with chocolate. If they want candy so much, why don’t they just buy some themselves!?

Kanji continues to be the only sane man. Yosuke is a dick about it, as usual. Chie and Yukiko give the boys pity chocolates, which the boys are immediately suspicious of given their past culinary exploits. Yukiko says don’t worry, they’re store-brand crap! Haha, yes.

Then Rise shows up. Oh no. She gives platonic chocolates to Chie, because “It’s a great day to say ‘Thank you’ to all those people in your life! Not just your romantic partner!” What are you planning, Rise? …And she actually just gives chocolate to everyone like a normal person. You have surprised me, Rise. Yosuke is immediately a creep about it and the girls rag on him for it. Ha ha, it’s funny how everyone in the cast hates each other!

You have a fun Valentine’s Day with your friends…

I guess we enjoy watching social disasters. We are learning so much about John from these narrative asides. Then I’m forced to hang out with the guys in the afternoon and listen to Yosuke whine about getting friendzoned. (They couldn’t voice the social links, but they could voice this.) But it’s redeemed by Kanji giving me a chocolate he made himself! Aw, that’s sweet. Yosuke and Teddie immediately try to claim it’s a gift from them as well because they’re pathetic. Teddie also reveals that Junes makes Teddie body pillows, which Kanji immediately wants, but tragically I cannot buy any for him. Then when I head home I find Marie waiting for me. She gives me a chocolate that is somehow moving, but apparently it tastes delicious. She proceeds to be incredibly weird and flirty even though I friendzoned her, and then I finally escape.

When I get home, Nanako reveals she made me chocolate! …With help from Chie, Yukiko, and Rise. Oh no. Naoto tried to help by giving her an actual cookbook, but arrived too late. John is forced to eat the abomination and immediately passes out.

We then skip ahead to the day John leaves, March 20th, interspersed with a clip show of John participating in various friend activities I guess they couldn’t be bothered to animate. The doorbell rings and Dojima lets Nanako answer it because he has learned nothing. She visibly receives a letter, but John ignores it and I’m just told to talk to all my friends, like on New Year’s.

YUMI: The town is voting whether to keep the gas masks. I understand why people wouldn’t want to see them ever again… But what happens if the fog comes back, y’know?

Well, this sure aged. She’s also thinking of joining the drama club again, so good for her.

Chie has decided to become a cop. Well, nice knowing you.

The other characters just mostly reiterate the same stuff from their social links. After I see everyone I had max social links with, I can choose to keep wandering around and meet up at the food court again. The game tells me I have no reason to do so, but unlike with everything else, I can still visit it, so it must be important. The investigation team apparently had the same compulsion because they all show up and we finally, finally bring up where the Midnight Channel rumor came from. We’re reminded that Chie was the first one to bring it up, and even though we were told Yamano was doing a report on it, Chie says she didn’t get it from anywhere specific, “it was just a random rumor.”

They then finally bring up something that’s gone unaddressed the entire game: Why was John able to enter the TV before awakening his Persona? They note the same was true for Namatame and Adachi as well. Then John finally remembers, oh right, Nanako got a letter today. Apparently she handed it to him offscreen, because he has it on him, and he’s only just looked at it now because he’s shocked to discover it’s from Adachi. The letter reiterates what we just discussed, that it’s weird no one knows where the Midnight Channel came from; Adachi says someone told him about it when he came to town, but he can’t remember who. So once again we had the evidence we needed the entire time. Because I did his social link Adachi also includes a personal message about how he’s grateful to me for putting him in jail for some reason, and this finally maxes out his social link, giving me the ability to fuse his Persona, Magatsu-Izanagi.

The team ponders this some more.

YOSUKE: That world, the Midnight Channel, the ability to enter TVs… They all feel like separate things.

…No? They’re all related to TV and the TV world. I always assumed they were connected. Have you idiots been thinking they were unrelated this whole time?

YOSUKE: First the rumors, then the serial murder, followed by us deciding to investigate the case… If they all really were separate, they wouldn’t fit together like this, right? There has to be some kind of “conductor” behind everything.

No, it was a completely logical string of events. The TV world exists, a crazy guy decided to use it for murder, other people objected to murder. This is reminding me a lot of arguments for the existence of God — it’s taking it as a given there has to be a greater purpose and a guiding intelligence behind everything; things can’t just happen. In this case there actually is some foundation for this, because as Naoto reminds everyone, Ame-no-Sagiri said everyone “played their parts”.

NAOTO: Could it be that from the beginning, this serial murder case was merely a portion of a much larger scheme…?

I mean, yeah? Didn’t Ame-no-Sagiri say that outright, that he was trying to fulfill the wishes of humanity?

YOSUKE: Could it be the whole thing about filling the worlds with the fog and turning mankind into Shadows?

Could it be the thing the bad guy explicitly said he was doing? I dunno, seems like a stretch.

I’m prompted to remember who was the first person I met upon coming to Inaba, and if they might have given me the Persona power. That would be Dojima, I believe; he met me at the train station. I ask him if he can remember anything about my first day in Inaba, and before I can even speculate the game hands me the answer:

NANAKO: Hey, big bro. On the first day… Didn’t we stop at that place…? …The gas station. I used the bathroom there.

Good thing Nanako has a photographic memory.

NANAKO: When I got back to the car, you were talking to the weird attendant.

You have got to be kidding me. The gas station attendant? The gas station attendant?

I was going to say “At least it wasn’t the fox,” but I think this may be even stupider than the fox being the mastermind. The fox was at least a recurring character.

What was weird about them, anyway? We had a normal conversation! Why are you so judgy, Nanako? She explains there wasn’t anything overtly odd about them, she just got bad vibes. Truly a policeman’s daughter. Also, I did get sick after talking to them. I go to the gas station to investigate, but there’s no one there. The NPCs give me some interesting info, though:

SPACEY GIRL: The gas station attendant? I’ve only seen an older man and an older woman working there…

So once again, we are only given the information to solve the mystery after we’ve already solved it. After all the hubbub about this being a small town where everybody knows everybody, no one said anything about not recognizing the gas station attendant? Or did he use mind control to make everyone forget about him?

To continue I have to enter the Velvet Room, whereupon Igor pulls a deus ex machina out of his butt: “An orb that repels fabrications of all sorts, dispels lies, and shines upon the truth.” Supposedly I’m only getting it now because I “nurtured” it through my journey of seeking the truth by procrastinating and making random guesses.

MARIE: Hey… I remembered something about myself. …I was born a long, long time ago. I was… the unconscious “wish” shared by peoples’ minds.

I thought we already resolved this? How many backstory reveals do you have?!

MARIE: To protect the world of man, walk the path of man, fulfill the “wish of the world…” That was my role. But… people changed. People stopped wishing for truth and life… Or maybe they just stopped paying attention.

Citation needed. People have always been lying to people, this is not a new thing. If anything, the information age has made people significantly more curious and able to seek truth than in the past. But no, of course it’s the kids these days who are the problem.

MARIE: Eventually, the “me” that wanted to protect humanity and the “me” that wanted to fulfill humanity’s wish couldn’t stay as one.

What do protection and truth have to do with each other? Truth can be really destructive and dangerous! But anyway, her other half is the “real puppetmaster”. For those keeping track, we are now five culprits deep. Also, Marie, it’s been a month since I rescued you. You knew this the whole time and you didn’t tell me anything, not even when we just talked earlier today? This is so contrived.

MARIE: Go… Follow what you believe in. The “truth” is right in front of you.
[…]
MARGARET: At the end of the path you chose lies the truth… Believe in it, and continue without faltering.

What people believe and what is true are not the same things, game. In fact they are in conflict more often than not. But I suppose understanding that would require actually caring about your theme.

With the deus ex machina orb in hand I can see the gas station attendant, so they really were using mind control. Let me joke about things, game! They play dumb for a while but I eventually get them to confess.

And now they suddenly have a portrait. I suppose it would have been suspicious if they had a portrait the whole time, but that really just means they should have given every NPC a portrait. Don’t tell me they couldn’t do it when they clearly had the budget for all those porn cutscenes of the girls in the hot springs. They rant about Marie being worthless for anything but “getting rid of that pointless fog.” I thought the mastermind wanted the fog? Wasn’t that the whole point of this???

ATTENDANT: But it seems the stimulus was stronger than I imagined–enough to envelop this town with fog, and later lift it…

Okay, so they had no plan and were just doing random crap for kicks. So the real villain has the same motivation as the fake villain, cool. Then she reveals her true form:

That’s right, one spooky demon man wasn’t enough, we needed two. Also, why isn’t she a rotting corpse? That is kind of an important component of Izanami.

There is no explanation for how she is using her powers outside of the TV world. I guess this was foreshadowed by Marie using magic in the funny porn scene?

IZANAMI: Ameno-sagiri, ruler of the fog, is merely an aspect of myself that I birthed long ago.

That is not true according to Shinto genealogy, unless you consider it reasonable to say your grandkids are “birthed” from you.

IZANAMI: I can no longer ignore this situation as mere foolishness. This may be fate, as decreed by the world… Very well. This time, I shall pit my full strength against you. But in return… you must be prepared to follow through in your futile resistance.

This is just world salad. They may as well have dropped the pretense and outright said “This is an RPG so we need to have a final boss fight, but I’m letting you prepare first.” She disappears and my friends show up.

YOSUKE: You’re saying this so-called Izanami

“So-called”. I will be generous and assume he’s doubting this is the real Izanami and not that he doesn’t recognize the name of his own culture’s progenitor god. They call up the rest of the team to tell them “this is really gonna close the case!” unlike the last two times you insisted this was really gonna close the case. This game has had so many false endings it’s hard to take anything seriously at this point… especially since those false endings skip ahead with nothing bad happening, so it’s not like this can even possibly matter that much.

You must defeat this “Izamani” who waits for you in that other world…

Scare quotes around their own progenitor god. Do they assume the kids playing their game know nothing about mythology, or is this attempting to cover their butts by saying this is just their OC who happens to be named Izanami so don’t get on their case about how this isn’t canon-compliant with Shinto?

We meet up at Junes to recap everything.

YOSUKE: Who the hell is this Izanami!?

GEE I WONDER. MAYBE YOU COULD GOOGLE IT. (This is especially stupid when Persona 2, made a full decade earlier, had the characters using the internet to learn information!) Naoto finally demonstrates some actual knowledge and explains it’s the name of a Japanese god. Yosuke also reveals he never bothered to look up the name “Izanagi” even though we’ve been shouting the name of our Persona this whole year.

NAOTO: Izanagi is also the name of a god, in the same legends.

I admire the iron will it must take for her to avoid adding “you idiots” every time she has to explain this. The team notes that Adachi’s Persona was a palette-swapped Izanagi, and speculate that…

NAOTO: Since both of them awakened with the same “push” from the same individual, their power may have been similar. A Persona is one’s heart given form…

This is incoherent. A Persona is formed from your individual mind, but also it’s shaped by the whims of whatever spooky demon man happened to pass by?

NAOTO: The images of gods and mythical beings were created by humans, so if the Personas resemble them… There may be a connection there, since the enemy reigning over that world calls itself Izanami…

Yes, and if you were real detectives you would have looked into that before now.

YUKIKO: Oh yeah, we were taught that Izanagi and Izanami’s names originated from the word “izanau”, meaning “to invite”…

SO YOU WERE TAUGHT THIS IN SCHOOL BUT YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO BRING IT UP??? OH MY GOD YOU ARE THE WORST DETECTIVES.

I can also point out, hey, wasn’t it weird John didn’t have to beat his Shadow to get his Persona powers? Yeah, that sure was weird. I noticed it was weird, the characters noticed it was weird, and then the game shrugged and completely dropped that mystery. It is ridiculous to say at the last possible second, “Hey, remember that thing we haven’t mentioned since the prologue? IT’S ACTUALLY SUPER IMPORTANT!” These absolute hacks.

We can also talk about the Midnight Channel. The characters completely ignore the one interesting thread we do have, that Yamano knew about it beforehand, to pull new stuff out of their butts:

NAOTO: Since it took place on a TV, we never considered the possibility that images on the Midnight Channel could vary from viewer to viewer.
RISE: But whenever we talked about what we saw afterwards, there were never any inconsistencies!
NAOTO: What changed according to each person was most likely the image’s clarity.
YOSUKE: Yeah… I can think of a few places where that might’ve happened. When Saki-senpai appeared, I was the first one who was positive it was her. For Yukiko, it was Chie… And for Kanji, it was Yukiko that said who the person on the TV was.

This comes out of nowhere and doesn’t even make sense. What personal connection did Yukiko have to Kanji? Why is this even being brought up when it didn’t matter to the plot?

KANJI: Alright, but who cares about the details!?

Yeah, who would possibly care about the details in a mystery story.

Then everyone does yet another speech about the power of friendship because we needed to pad this out even more. Afterwards it’s undermined by some bathos from Teddie because even the most generic of anime cliches is too earnest for these hacks.

CHIE: It is kinda sad that this… really is gonna be the last time we do something like this.

Speak for yourself, I can’t wait for this to be over.

No intro cutscene for the area this time. The dungeon proper is called Yomotsu Hirasaka. That’s the path Izanagi walked to the underworld when he tried to retrieve Izanami, which I know because unlike these idiots I can use an internet search. Izanami babbles more nonsense at us throughout the dungeon.

IZANAMI: I did not choose three pawns in jest… It was all to ascertain what mankind wished for. I learned that man gladly favors falsehood over truth… Thus, I sought to fulfill their desires by shrouding the world in fog…

So it turns out when Ame-no-Sagiri said they were fulfilling mankind’s wishes, they were using a sample size of 3 to represent 7 billion. Amazing. Also, how did her pawns teach her that? Adachi was just doing stuff for the lulz, Namatame was himself deceived, and we’ve been working to uncover the truth (supposedly).

The dungeon itself is really boring, just 8 floors with no gimmicks. Well, at least it didn’t take long to clear. Oddly, the enemies here still drop unique materials, even though there’s no way for me to cash them in now. Must be a new game+ thing.

When I finally confront Izanami, she reveals that she didn’t control the Midnight Channel, it was ~society~.

IZANAMI: It was always your individual wills that would determine what appeared on it. Humans ache to expose their suppressed sides, while prying eyes around them are curious to see them laid bare.

So I was right, it was powered by parasociality. And okay, so Shadows are the true selves? This game can’t even keep its retcons straight.

IZANAMI: You can only truly know a finite number of people within your lifetime… But humans disregard this fact, and try to know more people than is possible.

If these writers actually understood psychology, they’d know the exact opposite is true. Humans have a limited number of people we can hold in our minds, and our psychology is in fact riddled with dangerous shortcuts we use to avoid having to understand too many people.

IZANAMI: Only by comparing yourself to others can you define yourselves. Thus your ever-present anxiety… Your anxiety causes you to see only what you want to see, and believe only what you wish to believe…

That sure is some victim-blaming, not that I’m surprised. Could celebrity culture be the fault of the media manufacturing it to make you buy stuff? No, it’s the consumers who are wrong.

IZANAMI: As I said… your desire is for a world enshrouded in fog!

And that sure is a non-sequitor. What Izanami is describing is a panopticon: people want to pry into peoples’ personal lives and see more than they should. But you can’t see anything in fog. The NPCs who talked about liking the fog liked it because it shielded them from the panopticon — they no longer had to care what other people thought of them. This doesn’t even work on a symbolic level — what does fog have to do with TV?

I’m finally given the chance to say, “Don’t put words in our mouth,” which Naoto immediately undercuts by saying, “I must agree that the vast majority of people are exactly as you say.” No! You do not have to agree that! Stop being misanthropes! Instead the team just affirms that while everyone else is terrible, they personally are better than the rabble so they’re going to defy humanity’s wishes.

YOSUKE: We’ll keep searching for truth and figuring out who we are, as we go on with our lives.

This is a non-sequitor. Izanami said nothing about people denying their personal truth, only how they perceived others, and… Yosuke definitely does not have a good track record on that.

RISE: We all will… together.

Except for us, because we’re leaving. We’ve also established Naoto travels around to work on cases. Furthermore, I have to question how long Yosuke will be staying here; he might, given his social link ended with him saying he likes Inaba now, but he can only stay here by managing Junes, which will crush all the local businesses, making everyone resent Junes more and in turn making his life Hell.

“We’ll decide our own fate” is hilarious given what a railroad this game has been. Then we get an anime cutscene where Yosuke gives the heroic pre-battle speech while John nods along because he’s the real main character, and Izanami shows us her true form. Are we going to get corpse Izanami now?

No, sexy straitjacket. What does that have to do with anything?

IZANAMI: You cannot atone so easily for your foolish pride in stepping into the realm of the gods…

You told us to come here, lady. Also, wait, is the TV world actually the realm of the gods? I’d think the characters should care about the theological implications here!

Like Adachi, Izanami invisibly resists physical. Ugh. Kanji’s Primal Force still does more damage than Yukiko’s Agidyne because physical skills are busted. Izanami herself is a terribly generic boss fight; she just spams Ma-dynes and Megidolaon, so as long as she can’t oneshot me I can just cast Mediarahan every round and I’m fine. Her one trick is using Mind Charge, but that just means I have to waste a turn guarding. Even if she could deplete my MP, I have so many healing items that my resources are effectively bottomless. I burn a Soma and the scarabs Reverse Weeaboo gave me ’cause why not.

Izanami doesn’t die when she is killed, and after ineffectually hitting her a few more times I remember to use the deus ex machina orb Igor gave me, which reveals Izanami’s true true form:

Finally we get corpse Izanami, but it’s not even good corpse Izanami. Those bloody bones look so alive! She just looks like a generic skeleton monster, not the concept of mortality.

IZANAMI: You cannot defeat me with strength alone… Soon, you will understand.

“Another weird MacGuffin will appear instead.”

IZANAMI: Goodbye… Accept the reality of your death…

They’re just straight-up copying Persona 3 at this point.

This form takes longer but is mostly the same as the last one. She now uses physical skills too, one of which is Almighty so my Physical Mirrors are useless. Her main trick is “Summons to Yomi”, which instantly kills anyone with a status ailment… but she failed to land any status ailments, so whoops, the RNG invalidated the boss’ gimmick. The true RPG experience.

Izanami still won’t die when she is killed. Instead she uses “Thousand Curses”, which not only kills a character but removes them from battle, preventing them from being revived. My party members all nobly sacrifice themselves for me but it’s for naught as John is eaten too. However, instead of a game over, I get a cutscene and some hallucinations gives me a pep talk.

DOJIMA: I had my hands full just with Nanako when you came rolling in… Haha, I wasn’t sure what to do…

Yeah, I noticed.

DOJIMA: I can get back up as many times as I need to with you two with me… However painful it gets, I’ll just grit my teeth…

So what are you gonna do when I leave?

YOSUKE: Don’t go, partner… Everything inside me changed after I met you…

“But not in a gay way, bro.”

CHIE: No… Don’t leave me…! I’m scared… I’m such a stubborn, two-faced coward… But you understood me…

Why does the game never stop crapping on Chie?

NAOTO: For someone like you to leave me in the dark halfway like this…

Yeah, what kind of a monster would do that, Makoto?

Then after my party members the second-stringer social links chime in too, which is just so silly it deflates all the gravitas of this scene. Sorry, guys, you are just not important enough for this. Also, how are they even talking to me? Are they watching this on the Midnight Channel, or am I just hallucinating?

YUMI: It doesn’t matter if it’s a boyfriend, a friend, or a family… You’ll always have to part someday…

Man, they really wanted to keep writing about death, huh?

We even get a pep talk from Adachi of all people.

ADACHI: You make me take responsibility for my sins, but you’re gonna let this bitch take you down like this?

We’re powered by misogyny, cool! Great to know that the spooky demon woman is worse than the serial killer.

NANAKO: Are you going to leave me behind…?

I mean, yes. We’ve established that is the plan.

MARIE: …Can you hear everyone’s voices? The people do not wish for a world enveloped by fog.

What do their pep talks have to do with wanting truth or lies? All they said is that they don’t want me to die. Is the fog supposed to metaphorically be death?

MARIE: There are times when they’ll stop and think they can’t go another step, but everyone desperately pushes on.

Yeah, this is looking more and more like a suicide metaphor.

MARIE: Please… Grant everyone’s wishes…

I mean, that’s what Izanami tried to do and that didn’t work out very well. (The Vision of Escaflowne remains relevant.)

The power of friendship revives me and I finally get my ultimate Persona:

Still rocking the chastity cage codpiece, I see. Also this is kinda confusing given I fused Izanagi off ages ago and don’t currently have him in my Persona list.

I’m sent back to the battle and this time Thousand Curses misses. Symbolically I think it’s a bit weird that Izanagi is able to resist Izanami’s magic, given Izanagi was rather famously unable to get over Izanami.

IZANAMI: Impossible… Can the will of so few surpass the will of all mankind!?

a) Yes, do you not pay attention to politics? b) You polled 3 people.

She repeatedly nukes me for max damage but John holds on with 1 HP.

IZANAMI: Why…? Why don’t you understand? It’s impossible for humans to grasp the truth with their own hands…

Why? How?

My only option is to use a new skill, “Myriad Truths”, “The word of power that banishes all the world’s curses and falsehoods.” Before casting it, John… throws away his glasses? What? Aren’t they symbolic of the ability to see truth? Are the glasses bad now? After we beat her, everyone who got eaten by Thousand Curses is suddenly fine again.

IZANAMI: Instead of the endless struggle, wouldn’t it be easier to wrap oneself in lies and live in blissful ignorance…?

Except you’re going to make monsters kill everybody, so it’ll still be an endless struggle.

YUKIKO: It’s really over now…
CHIE: Yep! This time it’s alllll over!

Unlike the last three times you said that.

A firm belief in grasping the truth with your own hands without being misled or deceived… The power of these things has brought judgment down upon what deceived mankind, opening the door to a new tomorrow…

What deceived mankind? Izanami? She didn’t deceive anyone, she claimed she was doing what mankind truly wanted. Also, if this is the collective unconscious, wasn’t she created by mankind to begin with?

Afterwards I’m taken to the Velvet Room to talk with an apparition of Marie. She once again explains that she and Izanami used to be one person and now that Izanami’s defeated they’re going to fuse back together again. So Izanami’s coming back? Isn’t that bad…?

MARIE: My name is… “Izanami-no-Mikoto.” The fertile will that protects those who live in this land and fulfills their wishes.

That sounds fake, but I don’t know enough about Shinto to dispute it.

IGOR: In every instance, you overcame the temptation of easy exits and false terminals.

Well, no, because I did in fact see the bad endings.

The human heart has the strength to shine through the clouds of lies and uncertainty. You and your friends were able to prove that fact.

So the human heart is great, but also only these special humans were able to prove it, because most of humanity are idiots like Naoto said.

We skip to the 21st, where our friends see us off.

NANAKO: I don’t want you to go away…

Maybe you could come with me and abandon your horrible dad? John’s parents seem well-off, they could probably take better care of you.

Teddie has also decided to return to the TV world to guard it against future threats. Oh, no. Don’t leave us, Teddie.

NAOTO: At first, I only planned on staying here until the case was completely closed. Maybe I should stick to my original plan… and take the train back with you, Senpai.

Yes. Escape these idiots, Naoto.

NAOTO: Kidding, of course… I couldn’t do something like that.

“I hate myself too much.”

People also wonder where Marie is, and I can inform them she’s returned to the TV world.

TEDDIE: Oh, my! I’ve got a hottie for a neighbor now! What should I do!?

Die. You can die.

This time after the sendoff cutscene the game still doesn’t end. John comes back to Inaba for summer vacation and finds Namatame campaigning for mayor (though still with his loser slouch).

NAMATAME: The things you do in pursuit of justice may actually be a terrible mistake… One man is not enough to judge these things!

“Which is why I want to be that one man!”

NAMATAME: If we can all work together on this, and not get so sidetracked by passing trends, this town will regain its former glory!

What passing trends? You never let me watch TV, game!

No one’s here to welcome John, and the Dojima residence is locked. DUN DUN DUN. John calls Dojima, and…

DOJIMA: Oh yeah, you’re coming over. Was–Was that today? Sorry, but my hands are tied right now.

So he in fact learned nothing from our time together and is still just as much of a deadbeat.

DOJIMA: Why don’t you call one of your friends and hang out with them for a bit?

“They care about you more than me.”

The team all ambush me at Junes, but they all have new outfits, because that was definitely a good use of the art budget. Kanji has stopped dyeing his hair, Naoto is dressing sexy because all girls must be sexy, and… Yukiko isn’t wearing red! Oh no, why? Did she break up with Chie??? Dojima calls and reveals he was in on the surprise party, and he’s actually at home with a meal ready. Nanako isn’t there because she’s taking piano lessons, presumably because the teacher is an adult who actually pays attention to her.

I ask about how the case went. Dojima casually tells us the man who kidnapped his daughter and hospitalized him got released on lack of evidence, because kidnapping isn’t a crime apparently. Didn’t he confess? How did it even go to trial?

DOJIMA: No one could reproduce his supposed methods. Not even Namatame himself.

So wait, have our TV powers gone away? But Teddie’s back, so he can still move between TVs, surely? Dojima says that Adachi’s case is going better because he’s said things only the real killer could know, and apparently Adachi’s a model prisoner. Okay.

Nanako comes back and we learn she’s learning piano because her mom played it. Okay…

DOJIMA: At first, I didn’t even want to hear the word “piano,” but now that she wants to learn, I’ve gotta get over it.

Go to therapy, Dojima.

The weather report comes on and we discover Marie is the weather reporter.

FAMILIAR GIRL: We’ve been having a lot of rain recently, so starting today I’m going to make it sunny. […] And besides, someone’s visiting! I can’t have it rain while he’s here! So, I’m gonna keep it sunny for a while.

What. Does the news station assume this is just a funny bit she’s doing? How did she even get this job?

RISE: How’d she get so popular so fast?

Maybe because she literally controls the weather, Rise? You’ve been living here, you should know this!

The team says everyone’s got more energy now.

DOJIMA: It doesn’t wear you down walking through town anymore, not like last year.

Is this the explanation for why we could only do one thing per day???

DOJIMA: After the fog lifted, I’m sure people just realized that it’s a lot brighter when your eyes are open. There’s a lot we’d rather not see… A lot of grime in the human heart. But if you close your eyes to everything, you can’t even see the people close to you… How can you be happy like that?

And Dojima gives us some thematic non-sequitors that are non-sequitors even to the metaphor. I thought prying into people’s hearts was bad? That’s what the Midnight Channel was all about!

And with that, the game is finally, truly over. …Except for the social links, which I’ll go over next post.

2 Comments

  1. Valkiria de la flame says:

    Don’t you love how the reveal is the gas station attendant? You see, when your first meet her, the controller vibrates when you handshake, and then you get a bit sick, and later on whenever it is raining she is always on the main road and if you talk to her she says if you look at the midnight channel you will see your soulmate, so clearly it is peak writing that she was the mastermind behind everything.

    That was sarcasm, for the record. The first time I tried to play it, I beat the Adachi dungeon, tried to fuse all personas when I finished the social links, but was short on money even with 5million. Thinking it was all bullshit, I was wondering what I was playing for, so I looked up spoilers and surprise! The answer to the small town murder mystery was “A god did it”. So I quit and only finished the playthrough when p5 came to PC, mostly for completion sake.

    Ah, and will you actually play P5? It is better than P4, but that is not saying much, since P4 has so many problems you could fix half of them and still have a barely functional mess.

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    1. St. Elmo's Fire says:

      The SMT Discord I’m on swears up and down P5 is way better, so… maybe. But as I’ll explain in the conclusion post, I find the general gameplay model of “life sim with occasional jRPG elements” to be really exhausting, so more likely I’ll YouTube it.

      whenever it is raining she is always on the main road and if you talk to her she says if you look at the midnight channel you will see your soulmate

      Wait, really? I never saw that. Well, at least that explains where the soulmate rumor comes from, even if it doesn’t explain how it persists after everyone notices they saw the same person.

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