Mystic Messenger is… good?

Quick note to say that I wrote this towards the end of the first lockdown in England, so a few things may be off. The main thing I did add an editors note for but yeah. Enjoy!:

Hello, Gamers! How are you doing? I am back and ready for action again after my very long, well-needed break. So, what have I been up to? Playing Persona? Playing a different game for once? Ha. Nah. Sorry to disappoint. Okay, that’s not completely true. I’ve recently got into Fifa (don’t ask, I know, it’s not like me to like games like that but now my Uncle is taking me to a football match if our team gets into the premier league so there’s that!). But, apart from that, I’ve honestly been trying to recover from University and also I really needed to clean my house. I’ve been trying to focus on my mental health and I’ve started therapy too! So, what has actually kept me so busy? Mystic Messenger.

Okay, before you stop reading, just hear me out, okay? Mystic Messenger is so much more than what I ever thought it was. Mystic Messenger is unlike any game that I’ve ever played. Yes, it is a mobile game. But it has the detailed plot of an actual game. The thing with Mystic Messenger is that it is only a mobile game because it has to be a mobile game. The plot and the depth to the characters are actually enough to make it a videogame-like the ones on consoles; however the format of the game and the layout make it so that it just makes more sense for it to be on the phone. Why would you want a game the is based on phone calls, emails and texts on a console? The short answer is you wouldn’t, because it just wouldn’t make sense. The layout of Mystic Messenger makes it unique-it’s something that isn’t in normal videogames. But you don’t get games like Mystic Masters on phones usually. Mystic Messenger is so detailed just constantly leaves you wanting more. It’s not just the traditional mobile game that you can do whatever you want with and just leave it, you play when the game wants you to try, you play when the game intends for you to play.

Now that I’ve got my little ‘Mystic Messenger is unique and shouldn’t be mocked for being a mobile game’ rant out of the way, I can move on and explain how it’s helped me through lockdown and with my mental illnesses in general. Disclaimer: everyone is different. Just because it helped me so much does not mean that it will help you as much. Actually, it might hinder you for reasons I will be mentioning later. But my advice would be to read my post, decide for yourself, maybe even download it and give it a little go.

Slight spoilers ahead.

So, I first downloaded Mystic Messenger the night before my 17th Birthday (I remember because I had a sleepover with my old best friend) and it actually took a really, really long time to install. It still does, but I promise it’s worth the wait. The first time I played it, I basically went into it completely blind. I knew very little about the characters and the plot. I eventually got Yoosung’s route… only to be told by my friend that I would get the bad ending. That was because, in my efforts to make Yoosung like me, I compared myself to Rika. Boom. So, before I even got the ending, I stopped playing. It made me frustrated that I wasn’t answering the emails correctly and my phone wasn’t getting all the notifications (it was broken but also the game was new so I believe it was a combination of both my phone and the game not being right), I was frustrated. I deleted it after I got into a bad relationship because he didn’t want me playing games like that. But then after my A-Levels were all done, and when I was with my current partner, I decided to give it another go… it didn’t work out again. So, why did I even bother trying again now that I am 20 years old, am engaged, have a blog and trying to start a crochet business, and have a house to clean? Lockdown.

Now, we’ve all made some stupid decisions trying lockdown. Some people cut their hair, some people dye their hair, some people spend a lot of time on Tik Tok, some people play Persona 5 Royal until they suddenly don’t want to even look at the Playstation for weeks on end because the ending was off and you spent not only £80 on a game that you admittedly loved but also over 200 hours because it was great but the ending did not give justice to your favourite character… some people download Mystic Messenger.

I wasn’t allowed to touch my hair.

But I wanted to give it one last go. It’s for 11 days. How hard can it be? I had just finished my second year of university, I didn’t want to look at the Playstation, never mind play it. I had nothing better to do. So I downloaded it… but then I remembered. I remembered all the frustrations that came with answering emails wrong and missing chatrooms. I couldn’t put myself through that after I finished Persona 5 Royal. I didn’t hate myself that much, to willingly put myself through all of that pain. So I looked up guides and strategies and suddenly I’ve got all the good endings to all routes apart from Ray’s and V’s because I don’t have enough hourglasses yet.

 My favourite route was Jaehee’s. I know, unpopular opinion. At first, I was upset that you couldn’t romance Jaehee. But as time progressed, it became more and more apparent that Jaehee didn’t need a romantic partner. She needed a friend. And damn how I wished she was real so that I could be that friend. Jaehee’s route was the calmest, the nicest. It felt right. The other routes tend to rush some kind of relationship, which is why – as Jaehee was the last route I did – it felt like a nice change, not having that rush of someone suddenly being in love with MC. I enjoyed the pacing of Jaehee’s route much more than the other routes and it was just so much better. Like, Jaehee is clearly God tier level. I honestly feel like her route is kind of underappreciated because she’s not one of the guys and you can’t romance her, but honestly, it is so good. I changed my opinion on Zen throughout her route. I started off liking him because… it’s Zen. Even though all he talks about is him, he’s pretty cool. He’s protective and he almost instantly trusts MC. However, in Jaehee’s route, I found myself getting very frustrated with him until the last day or so. It’s like he never thought of Jaehee as a person before her route, and even though she states openly that she is a fan of his… he is still shocked and cannot seem to comprehend it. It’s like he just doesn’t pay attention. Not only that but when Jaehee comes over to look after him, he is so unappreciative. It was clear that he did not want her there. He made it so clear and I honestly felt so sorry for her. I love Jumin (as I will be mentioning later) and I went into Jaehee’s route expecting to come out disliking him or at least not liking him as much as I do. However, that didn’t happen. The only character that I got annoyed at in Jaehee’s route was Zen because he had no respect for her. I know it changes as the route progresses and I do like to think that after the route ends, they become closer and he continues to respect her and acknowledge her existence but it just really annoyed me throughout most of the route. Jumin, I felt, was really not much different. A little more… unprofessionally, maybe, but not much. I do want to point out as well, something happened on the tenth night- I got a phone call from Seven. It was a weird one. I think it was Jaehee’s route that the characters seemed a little more… self-aware. It was just weird. It made me laugh but then I was like “wait do they know I’m just going to reset it and they won’t be happy forever?” and that made me very sad. But the phone call with Seven was like… I mean, I had to pause it to show Josh because I was so shocked, and he hates this game and even he seemed impressed. I’ll include some pictures so that you know what I mean.

My favourite romance route was Jumin because I recognise the pain he’s in, and how he is struggling with his emotions. I know a bunch of people say that he’s abusive, but he’s not. Point blank, as someone who has been abused several times and who’s done so much work on recognising abusive behaviours, this isn’t it. Jumin’s behaviour is undoubtedly that of someone who needs help. MC, of course, is that immediate help and there is the potential of the situation becoming abusive if Jumin does not get some kind of therapy but his behaviour at the start is just someone trying to come to terms with the confusion of his emotions. Honestly, I don’t think any of the relationships in this game are completely healthy. Jumin clearly needs therapy and MC can help him through that. Jumin, I think, is the most consistent in each route. I really like how he actually lets Jaehee have some time off. I like to think that he does that like once a year from now. Jumin is first and foremost a businessman, but because of that, the rest of the RFA has seemed to forget that he is a human. I think as time went on during MC’s stay in the apartment, he was more and more reasonable. He just needs help. I cannot repeat that enough. I have a lot of passionate feelings about Jumin Han, mainly because my partner struggles to show emotion in the same way so I kind of relate the two but yeah. And don’t get me started on Jumin’s cat!

Now, I have done all the routes but I’m not going to go into detail with all of them. I love this game. I cannot stress how great it is for someone who just likes story more than anything else. I’m so excited to get enough hourglasses to do another story. ((UPDATE: Hi, editing Eleanor here! Just wanted to let you know that I have now played another ending, but I’ve only managed to do Ray’s route! It triggered me quite a bit and then uni got crazy again so I haven’t had the chance to do V’s route yet… hopefully will get back into it over the winter break and be able to update you guys!)) What is really interesting, however, is seeing the difference between all the endings! How certain things can trigger certain endings. It reminds me of the Life Is Strange series.

Have you played Mystic Messenger? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! I’m planning on doing a Dear Diary for Mystic Messenger after I’ve written up all of my Joker Persona 5 Royal Dear Diary post… that might take a while, though.

Until next time, happy gaming! 😊

Gaming quote of the week

Ryuji Sakamoto from Persona 5 Royal has a lot of what I like to refer to as “Classic Ryuji lines”, such as this one. The fact that he sends this as you’re playing a video game is hilarious to me. It’s right up there with lines like “ain’t that bad?!”. You’ve got to love the amount of comical lines that Ryuji comes out with.

Persona 5 Royal- Final Update

So I’ve been gone for a while (sorry about that!) but I’m back! I wrote this a few months ago, and considering it was part of a series, I thought it could be the first post back! Anyway, here is me from months ago telling you about Persona 5 Royal:

First of all, I know this is really late. It hasn’t been uploaded when it was meant to be and I feel like I owe you guys an explanation. There are several reasons, the first one being that I was finishing the last few assignments of my second year at university and really needed to put all my energy into them. Secondly, I have been really sick recently. Like, nauseated everyday kind of sick. I have not been vomiting as much as I have been feeling like I was going to. Gross, I know, but because of this, I needed a bit of rest time. I think I’ve been so sick because I’ve run my body down again because mental illness sucks but things still need to get done. Thirdly, and I think this is the most important, I don’t do well with conclusions. Everything needs to be concluded but if I was able to put it off for a year, chances are I will. Processing conclusions takes a lot of energy for me. I think it’s important to remind everyone at this point (if you haven’t skipped this little bit) that this is my favourite game. It’s the thing that I think about 99.9% of the day. It’s how I make sense of the world. I don’t do well with the idea of it ending.

Okay, moving on to the good stuff. The final push. Spoilers ahead because it is the end of the third semester so if you haven’t played that far yet, please just be aware that this post will spoil it for you!

First thing I will say is that I did mess up a little bit. I got Sumire to rank 10, even romanced her… but finished the route to the treasure before I was able to do the Showtime attack thing. So yeah. Serves me right for doing the palace in one day (kinda) I guess. So I was a little disappointed by that and I will not just look it up on YouTube because it gives me something to change when I do New Game Plus.

I honestly think that Maruki’s palace was my favourite. It was intriguing, the pacing was good in my opinion, and I liked the different sections. The story throughout the palace itself rivals that of Futaba’s, which was my favourite palace in the original because of the story aspect of it. The story was one that I related to massively. I understand how hard it can be both going through trauma and watching a loved one change through trauma. I know that both of these things are hard. For some people, watching a loved one deal with a traumatic memory or event can be traumatising in itself. This caused a lot of discussing at my house. If you could take away someone else’s pain, would you? Please let me know your response to this as I am genuinely interested in hearing people’s thoughts about this subject. My first response was “of course” because I always want people to be happy. But I know that sometimes people need to grow to be happy. A lot of people are not happy with the person they are, and they, therefore, need to grow and change to improve. Thinking back to what Sumire said that day at the café with Akechi… people need to go through the bad stuff to grow. Here’s a little backstory: my mother was religious when she was a child. Her father passed away when she was 12, and after then, she stopped being religious. I’m not going to force religious perspectives or anyone or do the opposite because you do you at the end of the day, but when I was growing up, I was a little bit religious in terms of believing in a God. My mother used to question this and say “if there is a God, why is there so much pain in the world?”. I’m 20 now, and now I know a possible answer to that question. Again, not pushing anything onto anyone. My point is, this game made me realise why people have to go through pain. There is so much pain in this world, and in the game. Maruki acted like a God-like figure and tried to take that pain away, which hindered people from growing.

Basically, the third semester made the game more about what is right or wrong rather what is good or bad, if that makes sense. The player spends most of the game knowing that they are doing good, but it is questioned several times throughout the game (typically just before each new palace) whether or not what they are doing is morally right. The third semester shows a wider scale of what the Phantom Thieves are doing (in terms of changing people’s lives and their cognition) but it is happening to everyone without prior knowledge. You can see from the start that Maruki’s reality is not morally right, even if you can understand why he has done it. However, it then raises the question of ‘since everyone is already happy, do the Phantom Thieves have a right to take that from them?’. I think more than anything, Royal has proven to be much more thought-provoking than the original game.

In terms of characters, I really liked that you got to see into the Phantom Thieves bedrooms. I just thought that it was really, really cool… you know… apart from Haru (even though I basically wrote 10000 words on how she was the best confidant but you know what Futaba deserved some love this time okay? Okay. Good). I think my favourite persona evolution apology thing was Futaba’s because she was a lot more open about her feelings concerning her mother than the confidant was and I think that is a big deal. In terms of personas themselves, Sumire’s is my favourite evolution because it looks like it resembles purity because it’s white, and I think it might reflect how she now has a purer heart kind of thing, after accepting herself for who she really is. Akechi’s evolved persona is also pretty cool. I really wish I got to use it for longer than 1 day.

I heavily focused on Sumire’s confidant as I wanted to romance her (we even went on a cute date to Destinyland) to get the platinum (and also my partner was about to romance Makoto in his game and I needed to get the trophy before him). I really liked the way her confidant played out, how it was pretty heavily focussed on finding herself but also tied in quite strongly with gymnastics. I feel like with Sumire, gymnastics is such a large part of her life and because it obviously has ties to Kasumi, it would have likely been painful for her to continue without Kasumi. I loved that the game made a point early on to mention that Kasumi was well known for her boldness but Sumire’s coach wanted her to remember who she was. Like, that was pretty early on in the game. And I felt like when Joker first met her coach, Sumire wasn’t quite sure where the line was between herself and Kasumi and that was shown pretty well. You see, people often strive to be the best versions of themselves. When you idolise someone as much as Sumire idolised Kasumi, the best version of yourself has a lot of qualities belonging to the person you idolise. My interpretation of this was that Sumire thought that Kasumi was so much better than her for so long, and they were likely thought of to be similar as they were twins, Sumire thought that the things that made Kasumi ‘better’ than she was the traits she needed to gain to become better and to be the best version of herself. However, in reality, all she needed was to believe in herself and her abilities. She would then be able to gain the confidence needed to be on Kasumi’s level and maybe even surpass it.

Maruki broke my heart. It is almost funny how many times I almost gave in to him. I understood where he was coming from and I wanted everyone to be happy. I loved how he came out of the palace just to get the calling card. Like, basically no one else would have done that. The entire time, throughout the whole palace, he was completely reasonable. He didn’t attack, he didn’t send shadows after us, he didn’t trap us. He wanted us all to come to an agreement but he was not willing to give up other people’s happiness. I am a bit curious about his ex after everything happens because things go back to normal but what would that mean for her? Would she stay the same because her cognition/ reality change thing happened before Maruki had full control of his power… or would she get thrown in the deep end after all these years?
On another note, the coloured arches sucked. So, so bad. Like… okay, I don’t know how to explain it. I really, really enjoyed every single aspect of Maruki’s palace. Like, hands down- it was very well designed, paced and thought out (but we’ve kinda been through that already) but I wanted that third will seed and I wanted it bad so I spent what felt like hours trying to work it out. As you guys know, I often get very frustrated and emotional at times like these. It was so much better and easier after I put the controller down for a few seconds and made myself a cuppa. I needed that time away from it. But the thing is, I still liked it because it suited the palace so well in my opinion. Like, by this point most of the palace was easy to get through. There are not many guards and I assume everyone is level 99 by this point, so the guards that you do encounter are not that bad. But this was so similar to the airlock… the bane of my existence. But I enjoyed the difference like it was not simple because the situation, the entire situation, was not simple.
I loved Maruki’s boss fight. I loved that even when we were fighting, he was trying to reason with us. I really, really loved that. I think when I found out that it was Maruki, I was so scared that he was going to turn into this awful, manipulative, evil guy. But he didn’t. His character was consistent, and I appreciate that as someone who liked his character in general. It reminds me of that scene in Wreck-It Ralph where one of the bad guys is like all “I am bad guy… but I am not bad guy”. It really goes to show that things just aren’t always as simple as it seems. Good and bad, right and wrong… they’re all subjective, at the end of the day.

But on a more serious note, punching Maruki was the funniest thing I’ve ever done in a game. I don’t know why I found it so funny – maybe lack of sleep – but I found it hilarious.

While playing, I have been a lot of people say that the ending was ‘meh’ but to be honest, I don’t particularly trust other people’s opinions on Persona games because there have been several times where my own opinion has been invalidated by others and I’m not really down for that considering how much I love Persona 5 (and Royal). However… I sort of agree. I do prefer the original ending. However, this ending is still good. I like how we get to see how Maruki is doing now. I like the shot of metaverse Joker on the train. I like the concept of the gang chasing away the cops but I also don’t like the idea of them not being there to see Joker off. Also, the lack of Sumire is sad. Especially for players, like me, who romanced her. I think it would have at least been nice to have her with the Phantom Thieves, where she belongs. But it was good. It was satisfying. I just really hope we get scramble in the west to get a continuation (although Sumire sadly will not be in it).

I really, really like how they’ve added in what everyone is going to do in the future. It shows how much everyone has grown. It’s definitely something that was previously up to speculation and to be honest, I really like the fact that it’s kind of in concrete now. It gives us a better insight into the characters.

The last thing I want to mention about the story is the whole glove thing with Akechi. I was talking to my partner about this earlier because it has been bugging me for days. After all, I really thought it would be leading to something more. I’m now thinking that it might be a set up for some kind of fighting game, like the Persona 4 one. I think that it would be really cool, especially if your Persona 5 Royal save could like, load your personas or something. I guess I’m just hoping to get something more out of Persona 5, but the whole Akechi thing really bugged me. There was meant to be more.

Oh, and shout out to Morgana for turning into a helicopter at the last second despite needing one at Kaneshiro’s palace. Go, Mona!

Moving on a little to the whole reward system… I got my first platinum! So that’s that I guess. I really want it in the original Persona 5 too so I’m going to go back to that after new game plus.

But there’s a lot of things to talk about in the Thieves Den that kind of says a lot about how I played this playthrough. Please bear in mind that I was trying to play it in a way that if I wrote something (a diary, per se 😉 ) then the readers wouldn’t get bored. I wanted the actions to be Joker’s actions, not my own. I hope that makes sense.

So, starting off with the awards! First of all, I’d like to just point out that these awards are like, 3D. Each award that you earn has its own image on the wall- they’re not the same. I like this because it’s not just ‘here you did something cool’. It’s ‘you did something cool and this is what it was, now you can display it!’ which I just really appreciate. It’s small details like this that makes this my favourite game.

So, I got 57% of the awards throughout my first playthrough. I don’t think that it’s that bad. There are a few I actively went for, like the home run one. Most of the ones I didn’t get are just because of the way I played the game, so next time I will just adjust the way I play a little bit to get the rest of the awards. However, some awards are not so simple to get.

I was so close to getting this trophy but I didn’t get all the confidants up to Rank 10 so I expected this. I’ll attempt it next time… but it’s hard. Obviously, it’s hard. But again, it’s all about learning and adjusting. I think the best thing about awards like this being in the Thieves Den and not on the trophy list is that you don’t feel pressured. You can still have fun and not stress about not getting all the confidants to Rank 10, even if you are a platinum hunter.

‘Golden Fingers’ is an award that I am not sure I’ll ever get. There. I said it. Those games are hard and quite frankly, my poor thumbs can’t handle it. Oh my goodness, that one game… and I know if you’ve read all of my updates, you know what game I’m talking about because I have complained about it multiple times because it is just too damn hard for me. What’s worse is that I keep forgetting what it is called and click on it thinking it’s another game…I’ll keep trying, though!

The romantic relationships one is not one that I would typically go for. However, I think on my next playthrough I am going to romance all of the characters because I always feel bad for turning them down. I don’t know (nor do I want to know) how Sumire would have reacted if I turned her down.

‘The Shadow Diplomat’ is one that I need to change the way I play the game. I am the type of player who would rather just spend hours fusing personas instead of going through with a negation. I mean, I can’t negotiate with my partner about what to have for dinner… what makes you think I would be able to negotiate with a shadow to make it join my team? I was closer than I thought though. I think (because I neglected the Thieves Den for a little bit) if I had seen how close I was, I would have gone to the top of Mementos and negotiated with some earlier shadows as those were really the ones I were missing out on.

Now, the ‘Rehabilitation’ awards. I wonder if one will be fighting the twins in New Game + like in the original game. However, I have a feeling that it might be fighting the Persona 3 and 4 protagonists. It’s just a thought I had because there’s two of them, and obviously two protagonists. That would kinda suck because that’s a DLC, but at the same time, it’s not like it’s a trophy so it’s not a huge deal.

I think, without a doubt, my biggest achievement was defeating the Reaper. But not only did I do it once- I did it 5 times! You can probably tell by now, I’m a pretty anxious gamer. I’m not very forceful, and if there’s a threat, I avoid it at all costs. I have always run away from the Reaper in my previous playthroughs. It always just seemed too hard. I doubted my abilities. And you know what? After the first time I managed to do it, it suddenly wasn’t so scary anymore.

I really, really love being able to see all the different Rank 10 confidants. It gives the player just a little bit more out of working hard, y’know? Granted, I didn’t have many… it was still really nice to see them interact. For example, there was a really cute bit of dialogue between Sojiro and Futaba over at Leblanc. There was also a pretty interesting conversation between Sojiro and Takemi about mental health. Akechi and Sae made an appearance over by the pool table, and Akechi challenged her to a game of pool in exchange for good sushi (he specifically states ‘not conveyer belt’).

Overall, I have adored this game beyond belief. You guys know that Persona 5 means a lot to me. I’ve mentioned previously that I use it as a way of understanding the world (or anything, really). I don’t think I ever really had the chance to express the amount of anxiety I had just before Royal came out. I lost sleep over it. I don’t do well with change, and I was scared that all my favourite things about the game would change. But the changes were so… complementary. They really complement the game in what I feel is the best way. I could not have asked for a better version. Everything amazed and excited me. The new stuff was, for the most part, beautifully executed. Persona 5 has made such a large impact on my life and I wish that I was able to share that with the world. Persona 5 Royal has only made things better. I cannot wait until I can start New Game +, but I am well aware that all I post is Persona 5 and people probably want different games so I am trying some new games out first. But seriously, if you had any doubts about Royal… take it from someone who also had doubts- it is worth it. It’s worth the money, the emotional energy and the time.

And with that, that is the end of my Persona 5 Royal updates. I’m sorry that it has taken so long to put this one on my blog! Hopefully with the upload of this, my posts will be back up regularly! Make sure to check out my instagram (@eleanor.rees.writing) for any updates (or if you just want to chat!). As an apology, take a look at these funny/wholesome/awesome pictures from my time playing Persona 5 Royal!

What Persona 5 teaches us about injustice (and how it applies to today’s reality)

Ryuji on injustice

So, I need to preface this post with two things. Firstly, I am so sorry for not uploading the update on the weekend. I have been very sick, but I am going to upload it on Tuesday instead! Secondly, I might come across as a little angry in this post. That’s because I am. Not at my lovely readers, of course, but at society in general.

I have seen way too many Persona 5 fan pages saying that they do not agree with ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards, ‘bastards’ coming from the word ‘bastardise’ which means corrupt) or BLM (Black Lives Matter) because all lives should matter. They don’t agree with the protests because that never goes anywhere, and they don’t agree with the riots because “they’re taking it too far”. I find it difficult to express my anger with words, but I’m going to try to explain why I am so angry.

Persona 5 is a game that constantly mentions how the characters have been a victim of injustice. It’s like, basically the entire game. Even in Royal (which I won’t mention too much so don’t worry about spoilers), the whole point of the last palace is to do with injustice. So, please can someone explain to me how people can not support the Black Lives Matter movement after playing this game? How people who have played this game are saying “I don’t see why they can’t just follow the law”?

I’m expressing this through Persona 5 because this is my language, if you get what I mean. This game is how I understand a society that is difficult to understand. If I don’t understand what someone is saying, I ask them to put it in Persona 5 terms. That’s how I’ve lived my life for the past… over a year. And I get that not everyone is like that. Heck, I get that I’m probably the only person like this. But regardless of that, if you have played Persona 5 and still decide that you should just comply with society and the laws, even when they’re wrong, then you clearly have learnt nothing from the game and I recommend that you give it another go because you have clearly missed something.

Makoto is almost as angry as I am when I hear that people who have played this game are supporting the corrupt and unjust system and society that we live in.

The dictionary definition of ‘injustice’ is “lack of fairness or justice”. You see injustice happen throughout the entirety of Persona 5. Firstly, the treatment of the protagonist. The whole point of that is that he didn’t commit the crime that he was accused of and was therefore punished unfairly. It was unjust. Therefore, the game starts pointing out the unjust society that we live in. You go through the game and each Phantom Thief has been treated with a “lack of fairness or justice”. Every single one of them.

But for this post, I want to be more general, mainly because pin-pointing parts of the game will only lead to people saying that I’ve interpreted it wrong and I am not down for that. So, let’s look in a bit more detail at the Phantom Thieves.

It’s easy to be supportive of the Phantom Thieves as a player, because you’re playing as their leader. But one thing is made clear throughout most of the game and that is that the Phantom Thieves are going against the law. Now, does that make the player not want to continue doing Phantom Thieves stuff? Of course not! And why, you may ask? Because the player knows that the Phantom Thieves are heroic. The player knows that the Phantom Thieves are trying to help people. The player knows that the Phantom Thieves are morally right.

Now, what does it mean to be morally right? The definition of morality is “normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons”. This implies that, if the Phantom Thieves were morally right, most of society would agree with what they were doing. And do they? Heck no. Society spends the majority of the game disliking the Phantom Thieves or questioning their existence.

Martin Luther King Jr said “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress”. And we see this in Persona 5. Society is almost stood at a holt because the corrupt police officers and judiciary system. We see it through the system itself, through the head of the special investigations unit being in ties with Shido (a corrupt right-wing official), him basically threatening Principal Kobayakawa and even the fact that Principal Kobayakawa being murdered before he was going to tell the police what was going on. We see it at the start with Kamoshida, we see it with Madarame. We see it over, and over, and over again. This is what happens it real life. If people just comply and go along with injustice, it continues to happen and we cannot move past it. People will forever get unfair treatment for reasons that just aren’t worth the unfair treatment.

I should not be here, writing this, telling you all that injustice is bad. I shouldn’t have to do this, especially if you’ve played Persona 5 and especially if you have a fan account. How can you like something so much and not understand that injustice is bad? Like, it literally makes no sense when it was a key part of the game.

Yes, some of the protests are turning into riots. I wholeheartedly believe that this is going to turn into a worldwide revolution. Because that is what the world needs to be able to make room for equality. The peaceful protests are great, but in some places, they’re just not working. It’s as simple as that. Because people do not listen until it gets violent. Take the Suffragettes, for example. No one paid attention to them until things got violent. They needed to get violent to be noticed, and that is what is happening here.

I was not going to write this post. I mean, I was always going to write this post, but not like this. I do not want this to come across as me hopping on a trend, or using the Black Lives Matter Movement to get views. Quite frankly, I don’t care about views at this point. What I do care about, however, is that people are dying. Children are getting tear gassed. And people are still not understanding that injustice is bad after playing a game that lasts over 100 hours about how injustice is bad.

Arguably the most shocking parts of Persona 5 are when people die. No one can argue that. However, people are dying in real life. There are Okumuras and Kobayakawas and Akechis in the real world but no one cares because of their skin colour. I’ve heard so many excuses and I’m not down for it because we all know if these people were fictional characters, everyone would be heartbroken. If these protests and riots and the whole movement in general happened in a video game, everyone would be loving it. People are dying and there’s people not getting involved because they don’t realise how important this movement is. Why should people not riot? Is the destruction of property more important than the loss of a life? Of many lives?

Let’s look back to Persona 5, to the part where Mementos merges with the real world. So many people didn’t even notice. They just go along with their lives when the world is changing around them, getting destroyed, essentially. To them, nothing is wrong. It’s like they have special glasses that take away all the bad in the world (think ‘We Happy Few’). That is exactly what is happening now, and if you’re not supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, you’re one of those people. Those people were too privileged to see the bad around them. That doesn’t mean that it is not going on; it just means that they are lucky enough not to be the Phantom Thieves, essentially. It is in the same way that white privilege does not mean that your life isn’t bad, it just means that you are lucky enough for it not to be made worse by the colour of the skin you were born with.

Persona 5 teaches so many amazing lessons about society, and honestly, if you’ve played it and haven’t gotten these lessons, you need to play it again.

Akechi being as awkward as I feel ending this post because I know most people don’t need it explained in Persona 5 terms but clearly they need something and this is all I’m good at.

P.S: Don’t forget to donate, sign petitions (they do work when it’s this important), go to protests if you can (wear goggles in case you get tear gassed and try to social distance), email the person in charge of your area and hold people in charge responsible. All lives don’t matter until Black Lives Matter.

An insight into the question ‘do video games cause violence?’

As I have an assignment due in tomorrow, I almost did not post this week. However, there will be no post on Wednesday as I have a 24-hour exam that day, so I felt like you guys deserved at least one post. Plus, you know, I’m all for putting off doing actual work in favour of talking about gaming.

That being said, this will be rather short and not too detailed as I do have very little time, but I do still want to give you guys something to think about. I am determined to do a much longer post about this in the future, so think of this as a little insight rather than an actual post.

So, for those who do not know me personally – which is actually a lot of you at this point – I live in the UK, and for my GCSE’s, I took sociology. That subject was actually my favourite and it partly led me to be as passionate about needing to change society as I am currently (but let’s be real for a second, that was mainly Persona 5). But it was in this lesson that the idea that video games could potentially cause violence came into my field of vision. To be honest, I have the same views as I did back then… only now, I have a few real life case studies in the form of my partner and myself. When I get round to doing the much, much larger post, I will include a bunch of case studies but for now, let’s get personal.

So, on an even more personal note and purely because I know she is okay with me talking about it, me and my mother went through domestic abuse a while ago. I bring this up because after that relationship ended, my mother (got ill but then…) got a lot of support in terms of being put into support groups and so on. My mother is also the type of person to believe anything that she reads on Facebook, bless her. So, when GTA V came out, there was a lot of stuff going around about it ‘promoting’ domestic violence. Now, both my sister and my partner have played this game. My partner in particular – who is very aware of all forms of abuse because I am traumatised (also please don’t worry, I use humour as a coping mechanism, I’m aware it comes off as strange, but I’m just trying to get certain points across and therefore have to talk like this), and he’s used to having to look after me, recognise what is triggering me and so on. So what I am trying to say is that he knows his stuff. He can recognise abuse from a mile off. And he states that there is no domestic violence in the game. As for myself… I’m ridiculously bad at driving cars (not just in video games, it is a talent I possess in real life too!) so I haven’t actually got past the opening. But regardless, there is another point I want to add about this and it’s sort of about GTA V in general.

Usually, GTA games are there to prevent people from doing violent acts in real life. There’s actually a torture scene in the game, where afterwards, the person who did the torture goes on a rant about how you should not do torture. The point of this is that this guy is a clear bad guy. If he does not agree with torture, you know it’s seriously messed up (even more than he is, which is real bad).

As for myself, I don’t tend to play a lot of “violent” video games. I think the closest I really get is like, The Witcher 3. But if I did not have video games, things would be a whole lot different. As you guys know if you’ve been following me for a while, I have a lot of mental health issues. Video games and narrative help me focus my attention on something positive rather than negative things going on. I used to not have the best coping mechanisms, and video games are a way of distracting me from that. Although I would never be violent against other people because, y’know, abuse, I would often be violent against myself. I really don’t want to make this post about my mental health or anything. Still, it is important to bring up because my mental health as a whole has significantly improved since I’ve been invested in gaming, and I have developed much more healthy coping mechanisms… if you count playing Persona 5 instead of sleeping as healthy, which I do! Video games allow me to remove myself from my own situation and calm me down so that I do not become violent with myself.

Similarly, my partner primarily plays games as an attempt to control his anger. He’s not an angry person, but he’s the type of person who doesn’t particularly like many people at all and has trouble understanding people. As a result, he gets frustrated. That frustration could easily turn into anger and aggression, but over the years he has taught himself to direct that negativity into video games. For him (from my perspective), video games are something positive that helps him handle a negative situation by providing him with an outlet where he can be angry if he wants but where no one gets hurt. Video games are a way for people to let out the anger that they are feeling towards the world in a safe environment in which no one gets hurt by them doing so.

I wonder if people who think video games cause violence have any idea as to what would happen if these people did not have video games? If they had no outlet for their negative emotions? It’s just a thought because surely any outlet is better than no outlet- especially when that outlet means that no one is getting hurt.

And that’s all for this post guys! Like I said, it’s just a little insight for a future post because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I feel like it is such an important, highly debated topic in our community.

What does Red Dead Redemption 2 teach us about love?

This one is an odd one because I haven’t exactly finished Red Dead Redemption 2 (I’ll get round to it, don’t worry!) but I have seen it been played through twice. Before I actually played it – back when I thought I would not like it – I just started to read about the characters. So, today we are going to talk about how Red Dead Redemption 2 teaches us that love is hard.

So, I know Arthur Morgan is great an’ all, but we’re going to be talking about John for a while so… sorry. Stick around, though. Arthur will be here eventually.

John is the first Red Dead Redemption protagonist and one of the first things you do as Arthur is go to rescue him. Dutch is all inspiring and gives a speech about how we stick together. The player would obviously be very excited to rescue the last protagonist of the game. John is very well thought of, in general. However, Arthur seems to have some kind of dislike for John. The player soon learns that John had left the gang previously, and Arthur thought he was going to do that again. Arthur is someone who believes that loyalty is one of the most important traits someone could have, going as far as to say that it is the only thing that mattered to him. Arthur and John both came into the gang when they were young, so they basically grew up together. They have a brotherly relationship. They love each other the same way that brothers do. This is why Arthur is so hurt by John leaving the gang after getting Abigail pregnant. Throughout the game, their relationship improves, and you see Arthur encouraging John to spend more time with his family, especially Jack. This could be because Arthur had a son, Issac, who died during a robbery. Arthur knows how important that bond is, and he does not want John to miss out on seeing his son growing up. Arthur recuses John plenty of times throughout the game and helps John get Jack back when he is kidnapped by the Braithwaite family. I think the most obvious sign of the brotherly love between Arthur and John comes when Micah Bell speculates that John will betray them; he points out Arthur’s own doubts about John. Arthur, however, states that he knows that John will not betray them. This shows that despite the lack of loyalty from John running away, over the course of the game, John had gained Arthur’s trust back. Arthur writes in his journal that he had always liked John and that he had become less of a fool lately, which could refer to their relationship being improved and them becoming more mature. Brothers do not always get along. They bicker and fight, but usually, they make up after a while. This is what happened here.

Sticking with John for a little bit, let’s talk about Abigail. Now, if you have played the first Red Dead Redemption game, you were probably a little shocked by John’s behaviour in Red Dead Redemption 2. John is disinterested in his family in the second game, which is a prequel. He is not the family man that he will become. John and Abigail are seen arguing throughout a lot of the game; however, as Dutch goes more and more insane, John picks his family over the gang. Arthur encourages John to spend more time with his family throughout the game, which likely would have encouraged him to rethink what was important to him. After leaving the Van Der Linde gang, John struggles to live an honest life until Abigail leaves with Jack. This metaphorically opens his eyes so that he realises that his family means more to him than anything. When Jack is kidnapped by the Braithwaite family, John is angry, which shows that he cares for his son. Abigail and John’s relationship shows us that sometimes, relationships are rocky. However, that does not mean that they cannot work out well in the end. At the end of the first Red Dead Redemption game, John sacrifices himself for his family, showing that he does truly love them and he is willing to give up his life for them to have an advantage.   

Next, we are going to be talking about three people- John, Arthur and Dutch. Dutch is the leader of the Van Der Linde gang, as he started it after meeting Hosea Matthews. As mentioned previously, John and Arthur joined the gang when they were very young. They both saw Dutch as a father figure. He even taught them how to read. They definitely both have a father-son relationship with Dutch. The problem with that is that Dutch is manipulative. So many people keep relationships with their toxic family because “they’re family” and this is sort of what happens during Red Dead Redemption 2. However, John and Arthur notice Dutch’s deteriorating mental state and start to disagree with his ideology. Dutch claims that them questioning him is them being disloyal – something that Arthur in particular hates – which is a form of manipulation. This relationship shows how hard it can be to maintain a relationship with someone who is toxic for you; it also shows how easy it is for manipulative people to use the bond they have developed with you to make you do what they want you to do. Lastly, it shows that love comes in all different forms, but it is not always good.

Lastly, we are going to be talking about romantic relationships. I kind of touched on this with John and Abigail, but a big part of their relationship is Jack, so it is more to do with family than romance. In particular, I am going to be talking about Mary and Eliza. The latter was a waitress who Arthur had sexual relations with, which resulted in them having a son named Issac. While Arthur did not harbour any feelings towards Eliza, he still supported her and their son. He went to visit them every few months and would stay for a few days. This shows that he had respect for Eliza. While the love was not there, the respect was, and that is something that is important yet absent in many relationships. Arthur and Mary fell in love when they were fairly young, but due to a few things (mainly Arthur’s way of life) they broke up. After years of not seeing each other, Mary sends a letter to Arthur, asking him for help. After helping her out, Mary states that she still has feelings for Arthur. She asks him to run away with her so that they can be together. Although Arthur admits that he still has feelings for her, he turns down her offer of running away as he still has people in the gang that he needs to protect as they are like family to him. Mary then cuts off all ties with Arthur, sending him a letter with the ring that he gave her. This relationship teaches us that relationships have to be more than just loving each other. You need to have the respect for each other, and you need to give each other the room to grow as well. It shows that love is not enough for a healthy relationship.

In conclusion, Red Dead Redemption 2 shows that love is hard as it covers several different relationships, and several different types of relationships. They show some relationships working out for the better over time; they show some relationships not working out. Red Dead Redemption 2 also shows that relationships are not just a straight line; they are a roller-coaster. They have highs and lows, and this game shows it very well.  

Persona 5 Royal- Week 8 Play Update

What a week! I’ve had a few depressive episodes so have been playing through a lot of Persona 5 Royal. We are unfortunately at the point in the game where I can no longer screenshot, so what you see from now on is either taken on my phone, from before the cut-off date or in the Thieves Den. This post will contain major spoilers for the third semester, so don’t read it unless you’re that far… or want it spoiled.

Okay, so last week I said I would be in new territory this week. I said that because – for some reason – I assumed that I wouldn’t have to do Mementos. Probably because I knew there was a new palace and that the end of Mementos means no more Metaverse and therefore no more palace. So, I worked through Mementos, collecting stamps (I was down like 20). I levelled up so much by using Ryuji’s Insta-kill ability. It is so much better now that it gives you experience. For those who don’t know (because my partner didn’t know this so I thought I would share it with you guys), in Persona 5 Royal, you activate this by holding L2 to dash and then just run into a shadow. It only works with the green shadows though, so keep that in mind.

Whilst I was doing this, I decided that now was the time to get the trophy I have been dreading. The Reaper. I died three times before I was told to come off of the PlayStation because apparently my behaviour was appalling. I went back on the next day with the mind set of “today is the today”, and let me tell you friends, today was the day. I fought him once and made a little mistake. No biggie, I learnt something from it. Fought him again and he one shotted me which made me a little angry because I was so close. Then, I did it. I defeated The Reaper. I think this is the biggest gaming accomplishment I have ever even tried.

But with the combination of the two above mentioned things, when it actually came to Yaldabaoth, I was a little over-levelled. It did not last very long at all. However, I have noticed that since my defeats with The Reaper, I am thinking over my moves a lot more.

Now, let’s talk about the one and only Mr Goro Akechi. First of all, great re-entrance. I literally said two minutes before that I didn’t think Sae was going to ask us to turn ourselves in. I didn’t have time to question what was going on when she did, because Akechi came in to save the day. It made me realise that I had missed Akechi.

Now, whether or not he was redeemed is another thing. Sure, he’s helping us out, but that’s not really enough in my eyes. Like, he literally murdered two people who were literally the parents of two members of the Phantom Thieves. On one hand, I like his character. He deserves to be himself. However, I just feel a little off by the fact that he’s behaving like a murderous maniac and Futaba and Haru are right there. Like, Futaba actively protects him at times too. I am at a weird in the middle standpoint where I can understand why his behaviour is like he is and why he didn’t have like a huge redemption arc or whatever, but at the same time I think he deserves better. No, scrap that, I think Haru and Futaba deserve better. He has committed murder and he’s just getting to walk away free. That is not fair. But his new All Out Attack is pretty cool.  

Haru being reasonable- he murdered her father

The Christmas scenes were heart-warming. I don’t have a romantic partner yet (holding out for a certain little red head) so it might have gone a little different if I had dated someone before Christmas, but because I hadn’t, Sojiro just told me to come home and me, him and Futaba had turkey and cake. I have no idea where she got a turkey from on Christmas Eve but I take my hat off to her.

The fact that the Phantom Thieves actually spend Christmas Day together reinstates that they are more than just a group of people. They are a family. I really liked that little scene. It was sweet and heart-warming. Same kinda thing for the New Years one, only obviously they invited Kasumi, which was really nice of them. I think that goes to show that they always wanted to be friends with her, but they were afraid that things were too dangerous for her.

Little did she know, she would be one of them soon enough

Moving on to 1st January – I cannot stress this enough about spoilers at this point.

I got serious Life Is Strange vibes from Joker’s dream. It felt like Max’s nightmare all over again. It was so weird and almost out of place, but a nice way of letting the player know that something is going to happen soon.

And that something was the false reality brought to us by no other than Dr Maruki. I realised something was really wrong when Futaba started talking about her mother like she was alive. By the time we saw all the Phantom Thieves again, I worked out that they had gotten their greatest wish granted. The main issue with this reality is something that ‘Kasumi’ herself brought up when we went to the café with her and Akechi, but she said it about the Phantom Thieves. She said something along the lines of “people need to work through their own problems so that they are able to grow as people”. I really felt this. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’ve personally been through a few traumatic events. But they’ve made me who I am in the sense of working through them and healing from them has made me a stronger, more empathetic and compassionate person. Healing takes time, but the payoff is worth it. So although Maruki has good intentions, and I really do not doubt that one bit, he’s essentially taking away the chance for these people to heal and become better people for it.

So, the Phantom Thieves eventually come around because, I mean, they’re my babies of course they would. Ryuji charges in to protect Joker in what I can only call the best bro moment in the entire game. Truly touching. But they all seem a little bad about going with Maruki’s reality. Futaba is the one who has been hurt by it the most, I think. But so far, Morgana, Ann, Ryuji and Futaba all have their new personas. They were apologetic because we obviously worked super hard to get them all healed up, but they just felt like they chose the other reality for a little bit. Futaba (I love her, okay) broke my heart at this point. It’s difficult, sometimes, to remember that she is a good year or two younger than the rest of the group, and she lost her mother right in front of her eyes. She was always ostracised for being a little different from the other kids, and then she lost the one person who helped her through that more than anyone. All she wants to do is talk to her mother, something that so many people take for granted. She has definitely been affected the most, I think. Makoto’s fake reality was pretty interesting. Her mother was still dead, which I did not expect, but her father was alive and Sae was supportive of her. I think it was less hard on her because Sae had started to be supportive of her by this point. Remember that Maruki left on the 18th November, and Sae found out about this on the 20th November. Joker and Akechi are not affected by this reality because, I think, they never really had counselling. Joker had one session and from then on, he just helped Maruki out. I do not think Akechi actually met Maruki, so Maruki would not know anything about what would make him happy.

Moving on to Kasumi… or Sumire. I do not know how to refer to her. But what the hell. This was a bigger plot twist than Maruki. As this was unfolding, I realised that no one – literally no one – had called her Kasumi in the entire game. I always thought that it was weird in Morgana’s case because Morgana always calls people by their first names. But it was such a cool point.

Thank you for the much needed clarification, Futaba, I’m sure Ryuji needed it.

I’m at the point where Sumire has decided not to run from the truth. This was clearly a very difficult decision for her and therefore I respect her more now than I did previously. The confidant change was pretty cool; I like how I could only go to rank 5 with Kasumi because I could only learn so much about her, as she did not even know the truth about herself. I like how it has been changed to Sumire now, and therefore I can get to know her more.

I am on track to my first Platinum too, which is exciting. I’ve been collecting Mementos requests lately too, through confidants and Mishima. So I am going to head into Mementos soon… I wonder if I will be finished with this palace this week. I have a feeling that it is one of those that keeps kicking you out so I’m very aware of the time limit. But next week may well be the last update.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! Don’t forget to like and follow me for more content like this, and follow me on social media to keep up to date!

Weekly screenshots/ photos I took on my phone:

Futaba acting like the school was a palace
Kasumi @ing Akechi right there
Sojiro looks so happy that Morgana is back!
You can always rely on Yusuke for the classic puns
So Morgana spends the entire game saying that he is not a cat… only for him to say this. I had to take a photo!

Sorry they’re blue, guys! I do not know why, that’s just how they come out on my phone! See you next week for another update!

Why Kamoshida and Shido are not connected- Persona 5

Okay, so I have lasted a few weeks without a Persona 5 post so now I’m throwing in the towel and just doing one. I think it is worth it. This post comes from several conversations I have had with my partner since finishing my first playthrough of the original Persona 5 game. As far as I can tell, it also applies to Royal. It would not make much sense for them to change it. But this post contains spoilers for the original Persona 5 game, so you have been warned!

So it is fair to say that Persona 5 has its fair share of bad guys. Shido is the ultimate baddie, the one who is the cause for disaster in Joker’s life. The game starts with Joker moving to this place because of probation and ends with him stealing the distorted desires of the man who caused it. It’s a nice touch. There are 5 other palaces if we don’t count Mementos (which for the sake of simplicity, we won’t today). There are, in theory, 5 other bad people. We can obviously excuse the 4th palace because that is Futaba’s and she is a member of the Phantom Thieves, but that still leaves 4 awful people. And they are awful.

Here is a quick rundown of why these people are so awful because I run a fan account, and people are still trying to justify their actions.

Kamoshida was a gold medallist who used that respect and power to become a teacher (therefore gaining even more respect and also authority over high school kids), physically and emotionally abused a team until one of them snapped and hit him- and broke his leg. He broke a student’s leg. And then he got the team disbanded so that he was able to start up a new team in the sport of his choice – the sport that he won the gold medal for and therefore gaining even more respect and authority – and then he continued on with the physical and emotional abuse. Only this time, he started to sexually harass teenage girls – one of which was not even on the team – and out of retaliation for being rejected by one of those girls, he raped her best friend, who was on the team. While he was doing all of this, he was also manipulating the staff at the school so that they either did not know what was going on (think about Kawakami’s reaction) or they just wanted the team to do well, so they ignored it, trusting Kamoshida to make sure that the team did well.

Moving onto Madarame, I see a lot of people trying to justify this one. A lot of people say that people of the way Yusuke was after Madarame, it was not abuse because Yusuke is still attached. Now, I really do not like talking about my own experience of abuse on my blog because this isn’t the place for that. However, I will say this: I was abused as a child, from the age of 8 to 11. I blamed myself so much that I didn’t recognise when I got into an abusive relationship when I was 15. I thought that I was the abusive one because I always did something wrong. When I got into a worse relationship when I was 17, I genuinely struggled to work out what was going on. I have been out of that relationship for well over two years, and you guys know that I am in a healthy relationship with a great partner. However, because of the abuse I’ve suffered, I had a real tough time getting over my ex completely. I struggled to break up with him many, many times. I blamed myself for so long, even with the abuse I suffered as a child. So, as someone who has been through abuse, trust me when I tell you that Yusuke is just struggling. He is going through the process of healing. His confidant is one of my favourites because you see him love something so much that his abuser trained him in, which is why he’s in a stump. You see him fear becoming like him. You see, the worst thing Madarame did was not the plagiarism (although that was awful too). It was the abuse. Yusuke had been living with Madarame since he was 3. He shows clear signs that he was being abused. The worst thing is that because Madarame’s palace is so focussed on the plagiarism, people miss the abuse that goes on.

Kaneshiro was a Mafia boss who tried to bribe high school students. He successfully scammed many, many students into giving him more money. He was just an overall shady guy. I don’t have an awful lot to say about him because the arc itself is much more focussed on Makoto (trust me, I am not complaining) but it is clear that there were a bunch of general badness and criminal activity going on.

Okumura was obviously set up for the Phantom Thieves to target. In general, he treated people like garbage. To me, that was not much of a big deal because every company does that, really. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become desensitised to it or what, but it was not a huge deal to me. What is a huge deal with the Okumura arc, however, is Haru. This guy is basically trying to sell off his daughter to whoever would benefit him most. He is using his child, who isn’t even out of high school yet, to benefit him. That’s the worse thing about him and should never be excused.

So, later on in the game, you find out that three out of the four awful people who had a change of heart were actually linked to Shido in some way. They were all giving money to Shido, and therefore it is safe to assume that they had requested someone to die via Akechi. So, who is that odd one out? Kamoshida.

So this got me thinking, why? Why would they just leave Kamoshida out of the group? And I think I actually have an answer for that.

Kamoshida is the first bad guy of the game. He is also – arguably – the most hated. One thing that I think makes Madarame so not-hated is the fact that Kamoshida was so slimy and disgusting in the sliest way that it almost seems like no one could possibly be as bad as him. Kamoshida uses manipulation to hide in plain sight, and the player sees straight through it.

Therefore, my proposal is that the reason that Kamoshida is not linked to Shido in Persona 5 is that he is bad enough without Shido.

If you think about it, a huge thing about the bad guys, in general, is that they are all money hungry. They only want what is best for them. Kamoshida wants fame more than money, which would make it a little strange if he relied on Shido for that in some way. Kamoshida wants something completely different from all the other villains in Persona 5.

Not just that, but Kamoshida is the first. He sets the bar. It is like the game is throwing this awful human being in our faces and going “look! This is what you should expect”. Kamoshida is also based on a much smaller scale than any of the other bad guys, as they are all at a city or national (or even international in terms of Okumura) level. Kamoshida is ruining the lives of individual people in order to get what he wants; Shido would not be interested in that. Quite frankly, Kamoshida is not big enough to be linked to Shido, but he is also too bad to be linked to Shido. By this, I mean that the player sees the effects of Kamoshida’s bad deeds first hand and all around them at the school. With the others, it is almost impossible to see the full scale of the situation. However, what we do know is that Kamoshida went as far as raping a girl and did not care when she tried to kill herself. He broke a teenager’s leg and did not care when that kid lost his chance at a scholarship and therefore gave up on school. The game shows exactly how far Kamoshida is willing to go, whereas, with the others, it is often up to interpretation.

I might not be right about this, but I do know that there has to be a reason that Kamoshida was not connected to Shido, because they went as far as to connect Madarame with Shido. It makes no sense for them to gloss over the first person that was targeted by the Phantom Thieves.

Persona 5 Royal- Week 6 & 7 Play Update

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.

Maruki’s Rank 10 made my heart happy

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’m going to miss this…

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.

Now we finally know how Kasumi was in Sae’s palace in the opening!

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.

I know this selfie is a little cheesy but- ay? ay!

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.

“You’re more feral pigeon than phoenix”

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:

These illustrations are top class
Turns out that if you change their costumes, they also change in the Showtime Attack!
Poor Sojiro seemed a little concerned when Joker came in with the Twins
This mini game thing put me of playing video games. That’s all I’m saying
I bought… a few… protein…
The Twins trying to get a gift from Joker
Akechi’s face is a little… too much
This again because it is legit my favourite in the entire game
Bit harsh tbh
Maruki being 100% relatable to glasses users everywhere
Maruki being 100% Maruki… yeah
All of these options were top class

How I learnt how to play Yu-Gi-Oh

So, this is going to be a mix of video games and card games, with a touch of anime shenanigans. This week, we are going to dive into the weird and magical world of Yu-Gi-Oh, the trading card game that you can play virtually on several consoles.

So, if you have a Nintendo Switch, you probably already know how expensive the games can be. The Yu-Gi-Oh game is actually one of the cheapest. It is a fun little game that I got for my partner. It is similar to the older one, but it has link monsters!

Here is the way I learnt how to play, and I think it would be a good way to get a casual player or just a friend to understand the rules and such. Now, this is a long process. You can jump to any level depending on your skill level. However, my partner (who was teaching me how to play) realised that my skill level was 0. I have to be interested in a game before it gets complicated; otherwise, I give up easily. So, here is how it went down!

Here are the things that you need to know before you get into the whole playing thing. There are 3 types of cards – monsters, spells and traps – and they all have different variations, but we’ll get into that later. Monsters can be placed in attack position or defence position. Spells and traps get placed face down below the monsters. You can only normal summon one monster per turn. At the start of each turn, you draw a card.

Step 1: Duelist Kingdom Rules

Only 2000 Life Points
No tribute required for a normal summon
Can’t attack directly
Only one monster can attack per turn, unless the monsters have the same name
Can activate any spell cards as quick play cards
If you have 6 cards in your hand, you can choose not to draw if you want to attack, but if you draw, you can’t attack.
Any card can do anything if you can come up with a good enough explanation that people believe (like something shooting at a moon, or a monster that cannot hit a monster with wings)

Step 2: Battle City Rules

Tributes are now required. Monsters Level 4 or under don’t need tributes. Level 5-6 monsters need 1 tribute. Level 7-9 need 2 tributes. Level 10-12 need 3 tributes (but really there should only be 3 level 10s at this point, and those are the Egyptian Gods)
Can’t attack with fusion monsters the turn that they are fusion summoned
Life Points go up to 4000
Normal spell cards (only) can be activated as quick play spells
Monsters can attack directly
Multiple Monsters can attack each turn

Step 3: Watch the first anime

Do it. It’s a bit long, but do it. It will make everything so much more worth it. It’ll make the cards mean more to you. For example, I have three Blue-Eyes White Dragons in my purse that my partner gave me for my 18th because they were his first Blue-Eyes White Dragons, and his favourite character is Seto Kaiba. I also have a Red-Eyes Black Dragon in there because I got it from a pack and Joey Wheeler is my baby. I swear if someone ever steals my purse, they’ll think I’m crazy for only having trading cards in there.

But honestly, please. If you do this, let me know, too! I’m always down to talk about the anime with someone! It is on Netflix (the dub is, anyway) in case you were wondering! The show will mess with your emotions, and you will 100% be emotionally invested by battle city.

Step 4: General anime rules

Level 10 and higher now only need 2 tributes, unless they are the Egyptian Gods… then they need 3
Fusion monsters can attack the turn they are summoned
Only quick play spells can be treated as such
I should have said this before, but play the game as if you are in the anime. For example, card of sanctity just lets you both draw until you each have 6 cards in your hand. Anime rules make the game more enjoyable and easier. It is just sometimes a little hard to get your head wrapped around. If you have any questions about a particular card, drop them in the comments section!

Step 5: Introduce the ban list, with anime rules

There is a new ban list every so often, but the most important thing is Pot Of Greed is banned. It is pretty easy to find online. Just introduce the ban list into your game, and keep playing with the anime rules.
Keep playing with anime card effects

Step 6: Introduce the layout and new cards, with anime rules

Okay, so this is where the new cards come in. So, by now, you should know you have normal monsters, effect monsters and fusion monsters. But now, there are link monsters, XYZ monsters, pendulum monsters, synchro monsters. Pendulum monsters broke the game, but links made it better (I think… this all happened before I got with my partner). I use a link deck (Trickstars, if anyone is interested). It sounds super-duper complicated, but by now you should be playing pretty close to the actual rules of the game. However, here is a small rundown:

Link Monsters: Do not have defence, but ‘links’ instead, which is basically like their level. They have arrows on and can only be summoned into the extra monster zone from the extra deck, or a zone that another link monster is pointing to. They usually have awesome effects. Link monsters have specific materials to be summoned. For example ‘3+ effect monsters’. The link rating also tells you what the monsters need to add up to. Non-link monsters get treated as link one, but link monsters can be treated as link one or their link rating.

XYZ Monsters: They have a rank instead of a level. You put the monsters used to summon it under the card, so a lot of them have effects that are used by sending one of the monsters under them to the graveyard. XYZ monsters also tell you the material on the cards. The level of all the monsters involved needs to be the same as the rank of the monster you are trying to summon. You just stack all of the materials on top of each other and then place the XYZ monster on top of it from the extra deck. They can be summoned in any monster zone.

Pendulum Monsters: Probably the reason Link Monsters exist. Can be placed in the pendulum zones face up. When there are two pendulum monsters in these zones, you can perform a pendulum summon. When they are in the pendulum zone, they are treated as spell cards. That means if an effect would be used to negate a spell card, it can be used to negate the pendulum effect. If a face-up pendulum monster would leave the field, it gets placed face up in the extra deck instead. It can be summoned back via a pendulum summon to the extra monster zone or a zone that a link monster is pointing to.

Synchro Monsters: A new summoning mechanic. Not really super special or anything. Similar to fusion monsters. They will always have the materials needed to summon it on the card. Will typically be one tuner monster and one or more non-tuner monster. A tuner monster is a special type of monster that is most useful in a Synchro deck. The combined level of all the monsters being used for the Synchro summons needs to add up to equal the exact level of the Synchro monster.

This is here because the new layout is scary. However, it is used in further animes like Vrains. Here is an example of how to do this:

Keep to the anime rules for a little bit, especially if you are struggling. I also recommend watching more anime if you need help.

Step 7: Actual rules

  8000 Life Points
The player who goes first does not get to draw in their first turn
You can’t normal summon a monster in defence position, and you have to set it (face down)

Now, you’re ready to play the video games and participate in tournaments! Have fun!

So it is pretty simple but can take a while to get your head wrapped around it. Honestly, if my partner had not been playing for years before we met, I probably would have never got it! If you have any questions whatsoever, let me know! I’ll try to be as helpful as possible!