Megami Ibunroku Persona: Be Your True Mind. The first game in the incredibly popular Persona series. Persona 1 opens with the story of a Japanese nameless silent protagonist and his Japanese friends in their efforts to rescue their chronically ill Japanese friend Maki from a hospital that has been twisted and warped by demons from another world. Their main line of defense against these demons are their own
demons. Their own inner demons, that is. The various masks all people put on to deal with various situations have been made real and are capable of standing against the demons now overrunning their once peaceful Japanese city.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
Well, I'm lying, we aren't going to be playing that awesome sounding game.
There we go, that's better. Better in this case means worse. So, so much worse.
Revelations: Persona opens with the story a Caucasian, American silent protagonist, his Caucasian, American friends, and their token black sidekick in their efforts to rescue their chronically ill Caucasian, American friend from a hospital that has been twisted and warped by demons from another world. Their main line of defense against these demons are their own
demons. Their own inner demons, that is. The various masks all people put on to deal with various situations have been made real and are capable of standing against the demons now overrunning their once peaceful American suburb.
Basically what I'm saying is this game underwent so much whitewashing that even M. Night Shyamalan was left thinking "that's pretty racist, man." Names were changed, faces were lightened, hair was recolored from black to red, brown, and blonde, and one character was turned into a black dude for no apparent reason. All this was done in an attempt to make the game more appealing to a western audience.
You will be surprised to learn that this brilliant strategy didn't work.
So, sarcasm aside, what's this game like?
Honestly, once you get past the strange Americanization of everything and the (rather frequent) typos, this isn't an awful game. It has interesting characters, a good plot, and great music (which I will be sharing as frequently as possible, if YouTube agrees with me). It's an old school Shin Megami Tensei game, though, which means lots of confusing first person dungeon crawling, and some challenging battles.
Most of you are probably familiar with the other games in the series. But, if your only exposure is through Persona 3 or 4, things work a little differently. If you've played Persona 2, you're closer to knowing how things work, but there's still a few twists here for you!
Sounds great, let's get started!
Battles are turn based, like you would expect:
Everyone's nicely lined up, waiting for their turn like good little boys, girls, and bloodthirsty demons from a hell dimension.
Fight, Escape, Auto, and Analyze are pretty self explanatory. Let's examine those options in the middle next.
Every attack in Persona 1 has a range: physical attacks, spells, physical skills you name it. So, it stands to reason that we'd be able to adjust where on the field our characters are. Normally we'd do that outside of battle, but if the enemy sneaks up on us, our positions are inverted -- people in the back are moved to the front and vice versa. That's when the Form option comes in handy.
Select it, and a mini grid appears, allowing you to move one or more of the characters each turn. Any character moved in combat spends that round defending and can't be given any commands.
Now, the far more important Contact option:
Take a good look at these two enemies, you won't be seeing them again for a long time.
You'll notice certain highlighted words. Like people, demons have their own individual personalities. Unlike people, these individual traits are exactly the same for all demons of a certain race. All Faefnel are Smart, Surly, and Grumpy. The four colored triangles are his emotions. As you can see, we have Joy, Fear, Interest, and Anger. He sure does seem like a gloomy fellow, doesn't he? Let's see if we can cheer him up.
Go, Mark, Go!
Oh. Oh, dear, that didn't work at all
Well, you know what they say, if you can't make 'em happy, make 'em dead! Besides, I need to explain the experience system now. Yes, that's right. Not even the experience system in Persona 1 is uncomplicated.
Look at all those numbers. All those different numbers. Experience in Persona 1 is awarded based on how active a role each character took in the battle. Healing and buffing is weighed more heavily than attacking, which is why Mary has more than twice the second highest amount, having done nothing but cast a full party healing spell every round. Obviously, this system means that slower characters like Mark and Nate there will get shafted in the experience department. How
shafted, you wonder? In the save that screenshot was taken from, Mark and Nate a full six levels
below the others.
So, that's EXP down. What's PP?
PP is short for Persona Experience. Which is still not as simple as it sounds. Persona Experience determine's a Character's Persona Level, not
a Character's Persona's Level. Persona Level indicates what level Persona each character can equip. So a Persona Level of 10 means that character can equip Personas level 10 and below.
Using lots of skills and magic gains the user more Persona Experience, while using regular attacks gets more Character Experience.
And that's the battle system in a nutshell. I'll explain more in depth once we're actually in the game and things come up.
Not so fast! First, a little explanation on how I'll be doing this. Because this is a "Let Us Play," and not a "Let Me Play and Show You," I will be asking for your input! But
, because the choices that actually matter come at fairly awkward places in the narrative (in terms of stopping an update at least, they flow very well when you're actually playing), I am going to ask you now:
1) Name the main character! We have 8 spaces, we only get a first name, and remember: he's a White Man living in America. So go for the cliche Uber-American names for a truly authentic Revelations experience!
2) How many of the "Ultimate" Personas will I be getting? Pick a number from 0 to 5. I'll make the appropriate choices throughout. (EDIT:
To clarify, re: Ultimate Personas. They don't change the game themselves, rather certain options throughout the game determine whether you can summon them or not. Essentially, they're the effect, not the cause.)
3) Good ending or Bad Ending? If enough people want it, I will keep a save to show off both, but which would you want to see first?
4) This is the biggie: Who will be my fifth party member? We get five people in our party, and four of them are chosen for us. We can pick a fifth from the following:
Spear, Machine Gun
- Pickup Line
- Tell Joke
- Weapons have a decent range, and allow him to attack physically from spots outside the front row.
- His forbidden Arcana is Chariot, which is negligible as Chariot Personas are generally weak
- Offers to join early and easily, so you will have a full team of five as soon as possible
- Contact options aren't the best
- Has an average at best stat layout, and will be outdamaged by more specialized characters.
- Doesn't add much to the plot of the game.
(Note the Japanese art, she has blonde hair and lighter skin in Revelations!)
- Good stat distribution, focusing on Technique, which raises physical attack and therefore allows her to do pretty heavy damage no matter what you're having her do.
- Her "ultimate" Persona is one of the best Personas in the game, and she is the only one able to use it.
- Judgment Personas are amazing; most of them null or reflect all magic except Darkness, and have pretty awesome healing spells.
- Adds a small bit to the plot, by turning the main love triangle into a love square.
- Her weapon's range requires her to be in the front row to effectively use it
- Uses the same weapon type as the main character, which will force you to choose who gets the really good stuff
- Forbidden Arcana is Magician.
- Contact options are pretty bad, everything she can do can be done more consistently by one of the main four in her team.
- Put Down
- Great stat distrubtion, with a focus on Agility, Luck, and Technique
- Good contact options on her own, as well as filling in all contact holes with the other four in her team
- Magician Personas have excellent attack power. With the second available Magician Persona, level 14 Urvasi, she's capable of doing upwards of 300 damage with a single Mabufu, and they just get better from there.
- Whips have a decent range, hit multiple targets, and can inflict a lot of nasty status effects such as paralysis and petrification
- Whips have horrible attack power, even with her high technique
- Her guns, while powerful, have a very small range, and can almost never be used unless she takes the front row center position, which makes her an easy target due to low HP
- Her forbidden Arcana is Judgment
- Doesn't add much to the plot
Gloves, Assault Rifle
- Having him in your party adds extra scenes and information to the plot of the game -- far more than Ellie which simply serves as a few interesting lines.
- Excellent contact options. Most work well on almost all demons in the game.
- He is the only character able to use some of the most powerful Personas in the game such as Satan, Lucifer, etc.
- Forbidden Arcanas are Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Priestess, Empress, Judgment, Magician, and Justice. This greatly limits his selection of useful Personas
- The powerful Chris only Personas are all very high level and require large amounts of grinding to use, and are virtually useless due to the fact that, when you're on level 99 nothing is going to be powerful enough to present a challenge to you.
- His weapons have a horrible range, even when he is placed at point
- Fairly poor stat distribution
- Joins much later than all other fifth characters, forcing you to go through one and a half dungeons, and a fairly difficult boss at a handicap.
[strike]So, go ahead and vote, and I'll put up the next part once I decide there's enough votes.[/strike]
Voting is closed! The winners are:
Also, since this is my first Let's Play, feel free to offer advice, criticisms, etc. I want it to be enjoyable, after all.
Update 3 Part 2
Update 10 Part 2