Persona 3 Spoilerzone

Posted by Red (5994 posts) -
Warning: this blog contains massive spoilers for Persona 3. If you haven't beaten it yet, don't read any further. 
 
 It finally happened. I beat Persona 3. I didn't think I could do it, but I did it, and in the way completely opposite I thought I would. I stopped playing Persona 3 four or five months ago because I didn't want to grind to beat the section of Tartarus I was on. Four and a half months later, I sucked up my pride, turned on a podcast, and grinded down. It actually wasn't bad, and ironically, I beat the game way overleveled. 
 
The reaper. I don't fear him.
I think that what made me like grinding in Persona 3 was the fact that levels meant something. They weren't just slight ability upgrades, they let me fuse cool new Personas, and near the end of the game, the top-tier Personas were a fantastic goal. Around mid-January I was level 78. I just battled the Reaper to see if I was tough enough to take on Nyx. I died quite a few times trying, but in the end, managed to take him out. And since he was about as hard as Nyx was supposed to be, I was relatively confident that I could beat him. After returning Elizabeth's request for killing the Reaper, I noticed a door behind Aigis. I went in it and saw that it was the fabled Monad block, where all of the enemies were level 90 or above. I battled a monster, and after a relatively tough battle, I got tens of thousands of experience points.  
 
Leveling up from one fight after spending half an hour grinding so I could fuse Mara seemed insane. I had seen the videos of people fighting Elizabeth and using incredibly powerful Personas, but I had never thought that I could maybe use one of them. It seemed possible now. Within the same night, I leveled up my character from 78 to 90 and had fused practically every top-tier Persona you could imagine. I had gone from barely being able to beat the Reaper to killing him in one shot, and then being fully recovered so I could do it again*. 
 
He is pretty ugly. See? 
This made the actual end-game of Persona 3 ridiculously easy, and it had already been pretty easy after I got on the grinding train. Takaya and Jin dropped like hats, and I didn't need Armageddon at all. Nyx was pretty easy too; I was taking out an arcana a turn. The only part that was frustrating was near the end of battle. Nyx put up his Moonlight Veil** and I forgot to put everyone's tactics at 'Wait' so Junpei and Aigis ran straight into his mirror-wall. I healed everyone up but then Nyx decided to charm my main character and have me heal him back to full health. Then I just said "screw it" and Armageddon'd his ugly little face. He was killed in one shot.           
 
The ending of P3 was when things kinda got a little confusing. When I thought that I'd never play P3 again, I decided to watch videos of the ending. However, what confused--and freaked me out--was when you were back in the highschool. I actually only watched the end battle with Nyx and read up on what happened after Shinjiro died, but I never actually saw anything at all relating to what happened afterwards. I actually thought it would all be a dream, as I knew that the Main Character dies at the end, and that I just saw him die. It did end up to be pretty good ending, even though things weren't quite as clear as they should've been.

Before I end this terrible blog*** I'm gonna give my take on the Persona 3 VS Persona 4 debate. I have always thought that Persona 4 was the better game, but there were times during Persona 3 where I thought that I might like it more than Persona 4. Then I battled the Reaper and remembered how bad the allied AI was. I'm not trying to beat-up on Persona 3. I really like P3, and I spent 20 more hours with it than I did Persona 4, but P4's just the superior game. The fast travel, the ability to control your party members, the humor, and the enhanced quality of the Social Links make Persona 4 a better game.
 
Now you may**** be asking "what game are you gonna play next now that you've finished with your incredibly long JRPGs?". I reply that with "more Persona 4". I never actually got the True Ending in P4, and since P3 taught me that grinding isn't bad and that top-tier Personas are awesome, I'm gonna finish Persona 4 the right way, or at least play it until The Beatles: Rock Band comes out. I also might delve into the FES part of P3: FES, buy Lost Odyssey or finally get around to playing Final Fantasy X
 
 
 
 
 
  
*There's a fusion spell using Helel and Satan called Armageddon that does 9999 damage to all enemies. I also got it so Helel had Victory Cry, which gives back all of your HP and SP after a battle.
 **A skill that reflects all damage back to you for 500.
***You still need to pretend it's the best blog ever, though. 
****By may, I mean 'most certainly aren't'. 
#1 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -
Warning: this blog contains massive spoilers for Persona 3. If you haven't beaten it yet, don't read any further. 
 
 It finally happened. I beat Persona 3. I didn't think I could do it, but I did it, and in the way completely opposite I thought I would. I stopped playing Persona 3 four or five months ago because I didn't want to grind to beat the section of Tartarus I was on. Four and a half months later, I sucked up my pride, turned on a podcast, and grinded down. It actually wasn't bad, and ironically, I beat the game way overleveled. 
 
The reaper. I don't fear him.
I think that what made me like grinding in Persona 3 was the fact that levels meant something. They weren't just slight ability upgrades, they let me fuse cool new Personas, and near the end of the game, the top-tier Personas were a fantastic goal. Around mid-January I was level 78. I just battled the Reaper to see if I was tough enough to take on Nyx. I died quite a few times trying, but in the end, managed to take him out. And since he was about as hard as Nyx was supposed to be, I was relatively confident that I could beat him. After returning Elizabeth's request for killing the Reaper, I noticed a door behind Aigis. I went in it and saw that it was the fabled Monad block, where all of the enemies were level 90 or above. I battled a monster, and after a relatively tough battle, I got tens of thousands of experience points.  
 
Leveling up from one fight after spending half an hour grinding so I could fuse Mara seemed insane. I had seen the videos of people fighting Elizabeth and using incredibly powerful Personas, but I had never thought that I could maybe use one of them. It seemed possible now. Within the same night, I leveled up my character from 78 to 90 and had fused practically every top-tier Persona you could imagine. I had gone from barely being able to beat the Reaper to killing him in one shot, and then being fully recovered so I could do it again*. 
 
He is pretty ugly. See? 
This made the actual end-game of Persona 3 ridiculously easy, and it had already been pretty easy after I got on the grinding train. Takaya and Jin dropped like hats, and I didn't need Armageddon at all. Nyx was pretty easy too; I was taking out an arcana a turn. The only part that was frustrating was near the end of battle. Nyx put up his Moonlight Veil** and I forgot to put everyone's tactics at 'Wait' so Junpei and Aigis ran straight into his mirror-wall. I healed everyone up but then Nyx decided to charm my main character and have me heal him back to full health. Then I just said "screw it" and Armageddon'd his ugly little face. He was killed in one shot.           
 
The ending of P3 was when things kinda got a little confusing. When I thought that I'd never play P3 again, I decided to watch videos of the ending. However, what confused--and freaked me out--was when you were back in the highschool. I actually only watched the end battle with Nyx and read up on what happened after Shinjiro died, but I never actually saw anything at all relating to what happened afterwards. I actually thought it would all be a dream, as I knew that the Main Character dies at the end, and that I just saw him die. It did end up to be pretty good ending, even though things weren't quite as clear as they should've been.

Before I end this terrible blog*** I'm gonna give my take on the Persona 3 VS Persona 4 debate. I have always thought that Persona 4 was the better game, but there were times during Persona 3 where I thought that I might like it more than Persona 4. Then I battled the Reaper and remembered how bad the allied AI was. I'm not trying to beat-up on Persona 3. I really like P3, and I spent 20 more hours with it than I did Persona 4, but P4's just the superior game. The fast travel, the ability to control your party members, the humor, and the enhanced quality of the Social Links make Persona 4 a better game.
 
Now you may**** be asking "what game are you gonna play next now that you've finished with your incredibly long JRPGs?". I reply that with "more Persona 4". I never actually got the True Ending in P4, and since P3 taught me that grinding isn't bad and that top-tier Personas are awesome, I'm gonna finish Persona 4 the right way, or at least play it until The Beatles: Rock Band comes out. I also might delve into the FES part of P3: FES, buy Lost Odyssey or finally get around to playing Final Fantasy X
 
 
 
 
 
  
*There's a fusion spell using Helel and Satan called Armageddon that does 9999 damage to all enemies. I also got it so Helel had Victory Cry, which gives back all of your HP and SP after a battle.
 **A skill that reflects all damage back to you for 500.
***You still need to pretend it's the best blog ever, though. 
****By may, I mean 'most certainly aren't'. 
#2 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

I just beat this today too!  Yay! 
 
Nyx was a cool fight, but I swear to God, I thought I was going to throw my PS3 off my balcony every fucking time Aigis and Yukari decided to attack every time he did Moonlight's Veil.  Fuck that AI, I'm so glad P3P is putting in direct control. 
 
And on the subject of the ending, I couldn't agree less about it only being good and confusing.  I absolutely loved it and the fact that they don't spell it out for you.  The fact that it suggests that you die but you never really know for sure because the scene mostly presents itself as everything becoming perfect just as it should be (everyone remembers what happened; you get the girl (Aigis) in a way that feels like you were always destined to be with her; and really, it's not like you have any good reason to die in the first place) is what makes it such a sweet and yet incredibly haunting ending.  I'd go so far as to say that it's one of my favorite endings to a game of all time.  And I will fully admit that yes, I was in tears all through it.   
 
The ending is so beautiful because of the subtlety and mystique of it all; there's a defined, absolutely perfect tone to it, something that I think this game has a ton of problems with and is part of why I feel that taken solely from a "setting and story" standpoint, Persona 4 is a stronger game (since there's no debate that Persona 4's just a better game mechanically :P).  I've played about a half-hour or so of The Answer today and that's my biggest problem with it.  They give you the answer within the first three minutes, and seemingly establish that the entirety of the epilogue is going to be spent beating that answer into your skull over and over again.  It's fucking ridiculous and a complete disservice to everything they did with The Journey. 
 
Awesome blog, duder!

Online
#3 Posted by CactusWolf (539 posts) -

^ This, exactly this.

#4 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -
@iAmJohn: You died. You gave up all of your health, everyone waved goodbye to you, and you died. Although this is a recurring problem with the Persona series, namely on December 3rd in Persona 4. I know that having you hold on until Graduation Day is cool and everything, but having your character being just fine for a month is just a little bit ridiculous. 
 
Also, having you play the Epilogue to actually know what happened is a little bit cheap, too.
#5 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
@Red said:
" @iAmJohn: You died. You gave up all of your health, everyone waved goodbye to you, and you died. Although this is a recurring problem with the Persona series, namely on December 3rd in Persona 4. I know that having you hold on until Graduation Day is cool and everything, but having your character being just fine for a month is just a little bit ridiculous.  Also, having you play the Epilogue to actually know what happened is a little bit cheap, too. "
That's why I think the ending is open-ended.  The fact that there is that month where you're completely fine and then things seemingly go amiss instead of you just staying dead after you sacrifice yourself to stop Nyx (not to mention that Ryoji says that you will keep living too) makes it seem strange that you would just up and die all of a sudden.  Again, it's part of what makes the ending so powerful to me - it's not a yes or no question.  It presents you with a bunch of conflicting information and tells you to make of it what you will, and yet both choices seem to make sense and are, in my mind, completely defensible. 
 
To be honest, I'd rather you never have been told what happened.  But I know that asking an epilogue to leave the poignant concluding question of the story open is asking too much.  I just wish they addressed the answer with the same subtlety and mystique (notice how I like using those words with regards to the ending? :P) they used to raise the question.  Instead, they fell into the same trap of poor tone and pacing that they fell into a bunch during the main game (December and January come to mind), which completely cheapens everything that makes that ending so good.
Online
#6 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -
@iAmJohn:  
So you would rather not knowing how this story you invested 80+ hours in ends? 
Whatever floats your boat.
#7 Edited by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
@Red said:

" @iAmJohn:  So you would rather not knowing how this story you invested 80+ hours in ends? Whatever floats your boat. "

I just don't see how whether or not the MC lives or dies really matters, as it does not change my understanding of the ending whatsoever.  In the three scenes that comprise the ending, the ambiguous fate of MC/Charlie Tunoku/whatever you want to call him, like most every other story element involving him, is placed on the backburner compared to the other two major plot points: Aigis' metamorphosis from humanlike to essentially human (and her romantic yet in some ways maternal love of the MC) and the other members of SEES remembering their deep friendships with one another.  Even if we pretend The Answer doesn't exist and provides the answer to said question, how does emphatically stating "the main character just goes to sleep" or "the main character actually dies" affect your understanding or interpretation of the other, more focused-upon events of that ending?  It strikes me as complaining about the ending of Children of Men because they don't say *SPOILERS, I GUESS* what happens to Kee and the baby after they wind up in the hands of the Human Project.  *OKAY THEY'RE DONE*  Which is something my friend Danny does to this day and I hate him for. 
 
Don't get me wrong, I think Persona 3 suffers from a lot of pacing and storytelling problems in places, all of which I will gladly go into in detail with you because I'd like someone else to talk about them with as I'm sure my very patient friend who is the only other person I know who has played these games has heard enough of my bullshit.  But the ending isn't one of those problem places. 
 
Oh, and for the record, I did not just invest 80+ hours into Persona 3.  My final game clock read 156 hours and 31 minutes. :P
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