So, I missed last week’s Royal update because I was not doing too good mentally, so this week is super duper special. It will cover both Sae’s palace and Shido’s! I am pretty proud of my progress, considering the amount of university work I have had to do. Let’s get to it!
First of all, I have finally reached rank 5 in all my social stats. Guts took way too long for my liking, but I did it just after completing Sae’s palace (which I did in one day). I also got quite a few confidants to Rank 10 over the past two weeks, so I am going to do a quick rundown of them.
The first one I want to talk about is probably the most obvious considering the dates, and that is Maruki. As long as you have him at Rank 9 before November 18th, it is automatic. It is quite a sweet ending to a pretty nice and straightforward confidant. You have a special lunch with him on his last day at school, you learn that he has known you are a Phantom Thief all this time (obviously, because rank 10 is all about those folks finding out your biggest secret), and that his work on cognitive psience is completed thanks to you. I have a theory that he might be the last palace, but like, not in the same way as the others. So, my theory is that his palace is self-made, and instead of stealing distorted desires, it will be stealing all the emotional and psychological pain he has faced. Not too deep of a theory but one that crossed my mind during Rank 10.
Out of the Phantom Thieves, I have Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke and Makoto. Futaba is Rank 7 and Haru is… embarrassingly low considering I wrote over 10000 words on how she is the best confidant. As far as I can tell, her abilities have changed and become even better (which to be honest, I didn’t think was possible). Also, while we’re on abilities, Ann’s ‘sexy talk’ is probably one of the most useful abilities in the game right now and totally makes it worth having her in your party, just to calm the shadows down. I literally went into Mementos last night to do Futaba’s request for her friend. Futaba is actually the only one I’ve never completed out of the Phantom Thieves. Of course, I’ve seen the whole thing because she is my favourite, but I think I’ve only ever managed rank 10.
I have got Tae up to 10 because Alice is and always will be my favourite persona. My Arsene and Mothman are killing it and to be honest, my personas are a little curse heavy this playthrough (we all know that this is easy to do when you use Arsene a lot), so she will fit right in with her suicidal teddy bears! Although I do need some nuclear Personas, but I’ll get there when I get there.
Speaking of Personas though, I spent about two hours doing Justine and Caroline’s confidant. Fusing and fusing and fusing and the old rank 10 is rank 5, which makes rank 10 feel a little bit anticlimactic but ay, as long as I got to fuse Black Frost a few levels before I was meant to. I’ve also finished all of their outings which is sad because I very much enjoyed them.
I am stuck on Kawakami because I am at the part where she talks to you at school… but Joker’s not at school. So, I am ultimately stuck here until (I assume) the third semester.
I have been neglectful of some confidants that I probably shouldn’t be. Hifumi, Shinyda, Ohya and Chihaya have all been ignored for one reason or another… but no one has been ignored more than my main man Iwai. I’ve only just got him to Rank 2, and I am literally in December. He always seems to get left out in my playthroughs, which is weird because if you have read my confidant analysis, you’ll know that his confidant arc is actually very well written. I’m all about that good character development. I think I am going to try to get to the point where I at least have a bunch of the Mementos quests for confidants and just go for it if I still can in the third semester. Obviously, I have no idea what is going on.
And of course, there is one confidant I have missed off, and that is because my heart is broken. Yoshida. I spent so much time with him. Do you want to know where I got with him? Rank 9. 9. 9. I got to Rank 9 before the bloody election. I wanted to rip my hair out. Drastic, I know, but you should know by now, Persona 5 is my entire personality.
Kasumi is adorable, as you already know. I was so excited after Sae’s palace when she came into Leblanc, all cute and stuff and then said she wanted to be a Phantom Thief! But no. Joker decided that it was too dangerous for her. Joker decided to tell her no. Joker clearly doesn’t realise that I control him and I am meant to be the one to determine things like this. Stupid Joker.
Moving on a little bit, let’s talk about the Akechi. He wanted to fight me in Mementos which was kind of okay. But do you remember in the last update when I said I had to get ready for him to break my heart? Yeah, well, I was not prepared for him to tell me that he hated me.
My partner and I have discussed this at length because there has to be some reason behind it. And I think we got it! So, basically, Akechi is using all that hate that he has built up instead of himself and directed it at Joker because Joker is the one thing he always wanted to be but never felt like he was- loved. He doesn’t understand that being part of the Phantom Thieves means that you’re part of a family. It means that you have a place to belong. A place to always call home. People to always call family. Friends to call at 3 am when you’ve been up all night studying for a test, and you’re having a breakdown. That is love. And he could have had that, but the thing with Akechi is that he does not recognise when he has a good thing. His friendship with Joker was one of those good things. But this did mean that I kind of avoided putting him in my party because why would I trust someone who hates me over the people who are basically my family? Like, that made no sense, and the timing was terrible in my opinion. But I still like the added bonus, and I think it will be involved in his redemption arc.
Now, the Akechi fight in Shido’s palace. I will get onto Sae’s palace, but I’d rather talk about the two weeks as a whole, so yeah. The Akechi fight was, I thought, easier. Actually, my partner and I were talking, and we have come to the conclusion that the game, in general, is a whole lot easier than the original. But regardless, I found the fight easier. I don’t know if that is because I had more experience, more empathy or what. Remember, the last time I did this fight, I hated the guy so much it made my blood boil. I think I kept expecting his redemption arc to happen during this fight, so I was a little confused as to what the hell was going on. I trust that it will happen and that I’ve done everything right. And yes, I am still bitter that he told me that he hates me.
Will seeds are the bane of my bloody existence right now. I nearly missed Sae’s last will seed. I had to google it! Like, no shame in using guides or anything but I’ve been pretty good at not doing that this time around while I discover the game. I wanted to explore it all for myself. But I sure as hell was not leaving that palace until I got that third will seed, and I was not entering the maze of darkness again to check. Mainly because I get lost easily in there.
In terms of palaces, I really did not feel like there was much difference between Sae’s palace in the original and the one in Royal. I got a bit more lost in the darkness maze thing, but I’m not the best when it comes to finding my way around videogames when they’re brightly lit, never mind when you have to use the Third Eye ability in pitch-black darkness. Shido’s palace, on the other hand, was one that I found significantly different. I don’t know if it is because this is technically my third playthrough of the game, but again referring back to the last update, do you remember when I said the airlock puzzle made me cry in the original? Shido’s palace was basically just a bunch of airlock puzzles for me in the original. However, it seemed so much simpler now. The safe rooms were placed in much better locations (well done, Atlus!), which made it significantly less stressful. Another thing that I liked (but didn’t use because Mothman) is you know how you turn into a mouse? Well, there’s now cages with cheese dotted around. From the dialogue, I assume it restores SP, but as I said, I had Mothman, so it did not benefit me as much as it would other people. But these cages were dotted around a lot, and it was quite lovely to see that there were little things that fit with the story that was there to help you along. And of course, we have got to love those mouse puns.
Now, there is something that I need to bring up because it is my favourite line of the game, and I am so happy they kept it in.
I have legitimately been using this as an insult to my partner and family members for the past year or so. It’s just funny. I love it.
Do you know something that I loved? Sae’s boss fight. Like, I genuinely enjoyed it. It fitted in with the theme significantly more than the original boss fight. For me (I haven’t looked if it is automatic or if it changes for everyone) she targeted Makoto a lot which I also think says a lot about her character as she often seems in the game to take her anger and frustrations out on her younger sister.
And, I hear you ask, what did I like more? Shido’s boss fight. You see, I am not a huge boss fight person. Like everything else in life, they cause me anxiety. I freak out and make mistake after mistake (look at my Okumura boss fight, aka hell). But when a boss fight reveals more about a character, I really like that. Throughout the Shido boss fight, again, I thought Akechi was going to come in and shoot him or something. I was ready for it. But that did not happen. What did happen was Joker had to fight Shido one on one, and somehow that was more satisfying than a son – driven mad by being unloved his whole life – getting revenge on his father who has basically used him to murder people. Joker 1V1 Shido was the right way to do this. I loved it. Sure, it was stressful. Very, very, very stressful. But it was terrific. Joker got to singlehandedly take down the one person who was responsible for destroying his life. The person whose son tried to shoot him. The person who is literally the reason this whole thing happened in the first place. But not just that, but he would not have gotten to that point if it wasn’t for his teammates. It metaphorically felt like they brought him so far, but took a step back when they realised that he needed to do this by himself. Of course, I was cursing them during the game when I needed to heal but also do damage to him, but it was totally worth it in the end.
So, it has been a busy two weeks. Next week, I believe we will be in uncharted territory. The Third Semester. Hopefully, at least, because I really have no clue how the whole thing works. All of the questions that I have been asking for months might finally come to an end. Heck, the game might even be finished by next week! (I doubt that because I have assignments but hey, here’s hoping!).
And of course, here are the funny screenshots: