Thursday, October 8, 2015

Video Game Review: Persona Retrospective: Persona (PSP) Part 11: Too cool for school.

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For those who've been keeping up with my Persona retrospective you are no doubt aware that there's a second story for the original Japanese release which was recovered for the international PSP re-release and that's what I'll be covering. Also no there will be no Frozen references in this review, mainly because I've never seen the movie and it's been done to death by this point. But for those who haven't read my previous reviews here are the links, enjoy.

 You remember back in Part 4 where I mentioned the Snow Queen Quest? Where here's where we can get on that quest. After you've rescued Setsuko and head back to the school instead of telling Ayase that you're going to attack SEBEC instead talk to the girl in classroom 2-4 who says that she heard from Devil-Boy aka Tsutomu that the reason the town is so screwed up is because of a curse on St Hermelin. So then we find Tsutomu in the Library who tells of the Snow Queen, a fairy tale that's performed by the St Hermelin drama club as a traditional play. However the tradition stopped since the play is cursed, every person who's ever worn the Snow Queen's mask and played the role died in unnatural ways.

 However that's as far as he knows aside from there being supposedly only one person who played the role and survived the curse, so now to find out who that is. Somebody in the Drama club might know more so that's the next stop. Of course with a story of such infamy the Drama club denies it ever happened, so time go over their heads and make a stop to the student council room to see if there were records kept. There are records but the President isn't budging on showing them and suggests asking someone who was there, a good guess would be the Principal.

This is Principal Ooishi who works hard for her students and their welfare.
 Once Naoya makes it to her office she knows that he's been looking into the Snow Queen rumors, so she gives the whole story. She never believed the rumors until eight years ago when Ms Saeko was cast as the Snow Queen, and that Ms Saeko lost her best friend. Ooishi blames herself for what happened, that if she had forbade the use of the mask then nobody would have died; so to prevent any more deaths she had the mask purified and sealed away. But hey guess who's going to ignore all of that and find the mask? YOU!!!! But hey it's not like we haven't heard several times before that the mask is clearly evil or anything, I mean come on

when has a mask
ever been the source or cause of ungodly evil
in the world? They were probably just unlucky or something.
 If you did all of the steps right you completely ignore logic and head for the Gyms storage area you'll find a box with talismans on it, open it up and retrieve the Snow Queen Mask. Naoya then makes his way to the hole where he sees Mark and Maki walk off to attack SEBEC leaving Yukino and Ayase behind. Yukino says that Nanjo got hurt so Mark, Brown and Elly brought him back so he could recover. But then Maki showed up out of nowhere so like last time more then a few eyebrows were raised.

 But that's put on the back burner for now as Ms Saeko shows up to see what all the commotion is; after getting brought up to speed and convinced to hold down the fort by Yukino she notices that Naoya is carrying the Snow Queen Mask. She starts to reminisce about her school days and tells the story of the play. Afterwords she stupidly decides to put on the mask to prove how lucky she is since she survived the curse, however the entire school is frozen over and the structure has completely been reshuffled. So the moral of the story kids?

 But she did and now look what happened. She's been possessed by an evil spirit and is now going to turn the entire world into an eternal frozen night unless the group stops her. But of course they can't just force the mask off of her no no, the Snow Queen has frozen Ms Saeko and if the group tries to just remove the mask from her and free the school they would end up shattering her into little pieces. The Queen then pulls a move stupid enough for the Great Leader to blush by telling the three that she has set up three towers to stall for time while she prepares the spell to summon the eternal night and that if they can defeat each of the towers guardians before the clock's respective tower strikes twelve she'll leave and return the school and Ms Saeko back to normal. Of course the three have absolutely no reason to trust her and try to find a surefire way to remove the mask. But since neither Uncle or Toru are there to whip up the Mask removal potion they're pretty much up the creak without a paddle.

 Thankfully Philemon shows up to calm the group down and gives them the frame of the demon mirror, which if they collect at least eight of the twelve shards can free Ms Saeko from the Mask. So they have their goal and three towers to climb but they're gonna need two more people to help on their quest and luckily Nanjo, Elly and Brown are still in the school, however since Nanjo is a default party member in the SEBEC story we'll just go find Elly and Brown. Ladies first then as we find Elly talking to Tsutomu in the library. The group figures that since she knows a lot about demons, can read the runes on the doors leading to the towers and already has a Persona she would be invaluable and thus she joins the party when asked.

 Brown is located in the cafeteria and here is where I finally get to explain my dislike of Ayase. In the cafeteria Brown is desperately trying to calm down Toro who's gone crazy and is planning on eating every last scrap of food and watching everyone else starve as revenge for Ayase turning down his love confession. Actually that's putting it lightly, she pretty much smashed his self-esteem to pieces by essentially saying he's a boring, sloven, disgusting, gluttonous waste of skin with all the charm of a ten day old roadside skunk carcass. Then she makes the dumbest comment she could say in this situation by asking if the truth really hurt that much, do you see why I hate her? She just throws her comments out into the either without taking even the slightest consideration that her words might come off as callous and mean-spirited and she doesn't even know that what she says is so destructive.
So if I were to put her on the old Bastometer (TM) she'd be between Cartman and Maleficent since she later admits that she can go too far and does direct her sharp tongue at people that deserve such bile.
This understandably make him completely lose his shit and unleashes his Persona on the five; Mara of the Tower Arcana.
Known as "The Evil One" in Buddhist mythology Mara is a tempter, through the deceit of regarding the mundane and negative as alluring, and personifies unwholesome impulses, unskillfulness, and the "death" of the spiritual life.
 (Also yes I know that this isn't what Mara looks like in the game I'm not going to show what it really looks like for obvious reasons so for those who are morbidly curious, just make sure you're at home before you look up what Mara looks like in the games.) However due to his warped mind state his Persona instead manifests as part of his body and not as a Spirit like the others' Personas. He manages to get off three attacks before Ayase discovers her Persona; Houri of the Magician Arcana.

Houri are mystical spirits that exist in heaven according to the teachings of Islam. The Houri are described as being modest, beautiful virgins that linger in Paradise. The Qur'an describes that anyone who enters paradise is promised a beautiful companion of their opposite gender (which refers to the houri) and becomes an houri.
Just like another fire wielding character affiliated with the Magician Arcana Ayase discovers that the only way to deal with an evil penis monster growing out of a fat kid; is to burn it!
 Following the advice of the greatest leader the Fire Nation has ever known she does indeed burn it which then causes Brown to waken to his Persona (which wasn't revealed yet in this series of events, remember in the main game he awakens to his Persona at the Police Station) with the two new Persona users they manage to calm Toro down. After they all compare notes Brown joins the group and now with their team of five Persona users they're ready to take on the three towers, defeat the three guardians, recover the Mirror Shards, save their teacher and exorcise the spirit of the Snow Queen Mask before the whole world becomes the nightmare world of Silent Hill Shattered Memories, sounds easy. But first just make sure you walk around the place, learn where everything is and make sure your equipment is up to snuff. Next time we'll talk about the towers and their guardians.

Shin Megami Tensai Persona is owned by Atlus and Sega.
The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask is owned by Nintendo & Shigeru Miyamoto.
Jackie Chan Adventures is owned by Jackie Chan, The JC Group, Blue Train Entertainment, Adelaide Productions, Columbia TriStar Television and Sony Pictures Television.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is propriety of Hirohiko Araki, David Production, Tokyo MX, Warner Bros Entertainment and Viz Media.
The Ren & Stimpy show is owned by Bob Camp, John Kricfalusi, Spümcø, Games Animation and Nickelodeon.
Venture Brothers is owned by Adult Swim, Williams Street, AstroBase GO!, World Leaders Entertainment, Noodlesoup Productions and Titmouse inc.
Grand Theft Auto IV is owned by Rockstar Games and Take-Two interactive.
South Park is owned by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Comedy Central.
Sleeping Beauty (1959) is owned by Walt Disney, Walt Disney Productions and Buena Vista Distribution.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is owned by Gen Urobutchi, Studio Shaft, and Studio Aniplex.
Silent Hill Downpour is owned by Vatra games and Konami Computer Entertainment.
Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Super Sentai is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.