Friday, October 9, 2015

Video Game Review: Persona Retrospective: Persona (PSP) Part 12: The rule 63 Stooges.

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So now it's time for Naoya and his group to begin their assault on the three towers. You can start on any one you choose be for now we'll start from the easiest tower to the hardest so the first on the list is Hypnos Tower which you can find in the Fencing Club. But before you go inside here's a very important warning, once you go inside a tower there's no save points, you either die against the demons inside or you beat the guardian, there's no two ways about it. You can quick-save however so if you're smart with computers the "you can't save" thing should be no problem. Just make a copy of your current quick save so that once you die you can just upload the copied save and you're good to go.
Remember, second star to the right and straight on till morning.
 The tower itself as said holds the weakest demons in the Snow Queen quest so the teams initial Personas and the others you create should help carry you through, but if not the towers always have Stores and Velvet Rooms. Also keep in mind that the three towers are on a one hour time limit, but that's only in the dungeon itself in the first person view mode. If you're in the Shops, Velvet Room, pause menu or in a 3rd person view room the clock stops so you aren't on as much of a time crunch as you think. Once the team makes it to the third floor however the gang finds Tamaki, Tatsumi and the Nurse asleep and stuck in a dream.

Thankfully they're not being attacked by Freddy Krueger, but them asleep in a castle surrounded by demons is hardly better, but no matter what Naoya tries the three can't wake up. Along the way the group finds Hanya (remember him?) as well as Ooishi stuck in the same prolonged slumber. So once the group is forced to pass them over they find a secluded room which leads to the Dream World. With this they can pull a Part 3 and enter the dreams of the victims and wake them up so they can get to relative safety. Philemon however warns that the five are under the spell of Hypnos of the Fortune Arcana, the Persona of the Tower's guardian Kumi Hirose.
The Personification of sleep in Greek Mythology and is a son of Nyx, the Goddess of the night alongside his brothers Moros and Thanatos.
 Philemon further explains that the group has two options, either go inside the Dream World and awaken the people there or continue and defeat Hypnos and his Master. Either option is viable but he also reminds them that they have a time limit. So the choice is either go off the beaten path and save the five or ignore the Dream World and stop the sleep spell at the source. Of course the gang can't just leave the five asleep in a demon infested Tower so they go with door #2.
Inside they find the five stuck in their respective dreams/ nightmares and awaken them. But they also find Kumi as well with Hypnos. Brown and Ayase think that she's a student since she's wearing the St Hermelin uniform but she spills the beans that she's one of the Snow Queen's guardians. Elly points out that with her power Kumi could easily kill them so why would she go through all the trouble of just putting her victims to sleep? She then gives her back story that at school her classmates at the Drama club would give her grief over her supposed lack of commitment to the club and at home her parents would berate her for not getting every exam exactly right. But instead of defending herself she just let herself be pushed around and was finally convinced by the Snow Queen Mask to kill herself so she could stay in the safety of the Dream World forever.

The gang has the appropriate response, to call her out on her crap by saying that instead of growing a spine, being honest with herself and sticking up for her self she became someone just as much of a monster as those she's demonized. When ever she has a problem she blames it on someone else behind their back like a coward. She's like if George McFly never got the cajones to punch out Biff at the dance so he instead takes out his frustration on his family. With this she snaps and Hypnos offers to attack the group.

However Yukino calls their bluff and points out that if they're in the dream world then the two are just parts of the real Kumi's dream and that the real one is somewhere else in the Tower. So they pinch her awake and the two vanish. The group then goes back to where the other five were sleeping to check if they're okay. They are and have a gift for the five. Hanya (after getting chewed up and spat out like a piece of gum by Ayase and given the death stare from Ooishi) gives the group a Mirror Shard. When the group checks up on Tamaki and Tatsumi they have a Shard to give them as well bringing their count to two. The Nurse however has nothing to give but hey I guess a good dead is it's own reward.

With two shards in their possession the gang makes their way to the top of the Tower where they find Kumi who is not happy with them crashing in on her dream like that and sends Hypnos to attack them. Hypnos can be a major hassle, especially if you did pinch Kumi and woke her up. The only attack to worry about is his Dark Slumber which can not only hit everyone for major damage but also has the potential to put everyone to sleep. Once pretty boy is down for good Kumi admits that she was weak and wishes she was as strong as they are so that she wouldn't have succumbed to the mask. Elly tells her that because she admitted her weakness, she's no longer weak, and with that Kumi gives them a Mirror Shard and passes on to the afterlife.

One tower down two more to go. But before you do there is another area called Devil's Peak. This area is composed of several floors which can only be accessed when a tower is conquered which can make for a great place to grind levels, spell cards and Personas. Now on to the library where you found Elly which holds the door to the second tower, Nemesis Tower.
Well on the bright-side they might get some help from Venturestein and U.R.G.H.
However they instead have to deal with something far worse then an army of scientific abominations who practice Guevara Marxism. The tower's guardian Michiko Matsudaira.
I really hate to use this next clip but here it is anyway.
 Nope it's just a warthog in women's clothing. She makes that abundantly clear as she is a completely sadistic and narcissistic egomaniac who looks down on the group and later on takes pleasure in torturing those she deems ugly. I'd put her on the Bastometer but like another bloated disgusting warthog of recent memory I will do the greatest insult and refuse to give her any form of attention beyond acknowledging them for the purposes of this review. In her egomania Michiko removes the time limit of her tower. Though of course there is a catch as the group sees on the third floor, where they find Toro and Tsutomu being tortured, Tsutomu being forced to do push ups on a bed of spikes and Toro being essentially waterboarded with Milk, and he's lactose intolerant.

 Michiko appears again and offers the group a choice, take the door on the left which will take them to her floor lickedy split so they can get the key to free the two or take the door on the right which will not only give them a Mirror Shard but will also tell them Michiko's weakness. However that particular path is very long which means the two will be tortured for that much longer. So the gang refuses to fall for Michiko's trap and take the short route right to her chamber. She's flabbergasted that they would choose their friends over the Shard and hint. Also her Persona draws power from negative emotion so if the group wasted time while Toro and Tsutomu were being tortured she would get even stronger.

But if you took the fastest way and got there under 20 minutes she would be at her weakest form. Nevertheless she transforms into her Persona, Nemesis of the Justice Arcana.
The Greek goddess of divine retribution against those who've succumbed to arrogance and pride. She is also the daughter of Erebus and Nyx.
Even if you managed to get there between 20 minutes and 1 hour she's still weaker then Hypnos. The only thing you have to worry about is her Maziodyne and Revenge Leak attack which attacks everyone with heavy electrical damage and deals non elemental damage to one party member respectively. With her down she starts going on about how everyone was so jealous of her because all she did was bribe her way to becoming the Snow Queen, bribe her teachers to get the best grades and have have a girl who was hanging around her boyfriend expelled.
So then Pumbaa gets dragged to hell and the gang gets another shard bringing their count to four now. As well as a piece of Ambrosia which I will address next time. Once the gang makes it back to the frozen school they find Toro and Tsutomu who thank the group for saving them from the bitch queen and give them two Mirror Shards, bringing their count to six. Last but not least is Classroom 2-1 which leads to the worst tower of them all; Thanatos Tower.
The only place in the collective unconsciousness that could contain Seto Kaiba's ego without creating an imbalance in the universe; unleashing said ego as a demon that's essentially a Super powered Donald Trump.
All joking aside this tower is going to be the bane of your existence in this game. Not only because it holds the strongest demons aside from the Ice Castle but also because if a party member dies they can't use their Persona unless you go all the way down to the second floor and retrieve said Persona from Tartarus. Also the time limit is back so not only do you have to climb all the way to the top, get the rest of the Mirror Shards, avoid having your party members die but you have to do all this crap within a 2 hour time limit. You're gonna die, a lot.

So we start off at the bottom where we meet the last of the guardians, Yuriko Yamamoto and user of Thanatos of the Death Arcana.
Thanatos is the harbinger of peaceful death in Greek Mythology and is the elder twin brother of Hypnos and son of Nyx.
She's definitely an odd duck as she acts so over the top cutesy that reading her lines is like inhaling Pixie sticks. She goes on to say that the way to open the first door is to just blow out a candle, that's it. What she doesn't tell you is that by doing so revokes either Naoya or Yukino's Persona powers. She says that her tower runs on give or take, can't get without giving something in return in this case their other life, their Persona. So the gang has no choice but to make the trip to Tartarus on the second floor.

Tartarus isn't all that bad though since you can pick up 4 count em 4 Mirror Shards in here as well as recover your Personas. Though for one of them you will have to purchase it from a girl for 5000 yen so make sure you have some cash before you come here, the rest however are just in the Skull shaped Treasure chests. Once you've gotten all the shards and Personas head to the shops on the third floor and upgrade your armor, weapons, guns and ammo because trust me you're gonna need it. Moving on, when the group reaches the 6th floor of the tower she's set up another game, there are two chests, one contains a Mirror Shard, the other will seal Ayase's Persona in Tartarus. Choose the left one get the shard giving you 11 shards and save yourself the headache and rage.

Once you climbed all the way to the top you confront Yuriko who's feeling generous and offers the group a chance to die so they can look good forever! Ayase of all people is the one to call her out saying that she's a coward for running away from her responsibilities of life, of growing up, of dying and that's like so not righteous with her. So Yuriko drops the act and transforms into Thanatos to fight the group. She's a problem, not only does her attacks hurt like a jackhammer on your kneecap but she also has six tentacles to back her up which comes in two sets of three each set having different elemental weaknesses and each tentacle has 980 HP.  Thanatos herself is a whole other set of problems, she has two; count em two instant death moves as well as the Slumpa skill which makes her opponents unlucky and more susceptible to status effects as well as instant death skills.

 Also when you beat her she transforms into a floating eye ball that while it has much less HP then her normal form has only a tiny more HP then a tentacle as well as only casting Hell Eyes one of her 1 hit kill moves. The group manages to beat her, to her gratitude as she breaks down sobbing over her foolish mistake of letting the Snow Queen kill her just for eternal beauty and giving up her friends, family and her own mortality. She thanks them from the bottom of her heart and gives them the last Shard and a piece of Ambrosia before passing on to the afterlife. Now that the mirror is completely restored it's time to save Ms Saeko from the Snow Queen once and for all.

Shin Megami Tensai Persona is owned by Atlus and Sega.
Batman: The Animated Series is owned by Dc Comics, Warner Brothers and Paul Dini.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is owned by Wes Craven, Heron Communications, Smart Egg Pictures and New Line Cinema.
The Lorax (Film) is owned by Universal Studios, Illumination Entertainment and Chris Renaud.
Gangs of New York is owned by Martian Scorsese, Initial Entertainment Group, Alberto Grimaldi Productions, and Miramax Films.
South Park is owned by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Comedy Central.