My endurance run of Persona 4

#1 Edited by cbohrn (9 posts) -

I fear the backlash for posting this here, but I feel like my experience with Persona 4 started with the endurance run and inspired me to do my own Let's Plays. After running through several games, I finally decided to give Persona 4 a shot.

I'm not really sure if anybody here is interested in another playthrough of P4, but what will set my run apart from the awesome GB Endurance Run is my goal is to complete all of the social links before the end of the game. We'll see if I manage it O_o I'm not an expert at this game, but I'm not a noob either so please excuse any mistakes I make (if I mispronounce something leave a comment and I'll try correcting it).

I will have special battle plans before each big boss fight explaining the boss and a general strategy that I will employ. Also, starting with Kanji's dungeon, I will show each shadow ONCE and explain it's strengths, weaknesses and abilities using an overlay. From that point on I will skip every fight with that shadow (attempting to skip repetitive content).


First Episode

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Interested to see how I handle the first difficult boss battle? Here's the episode where I fight Yukiko:

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Here's an image of the overlay I plan on using for enemies in Kanji's dungeon and beyond:

#2 Posted by bucifer (93 posts) -

Oh wow, you've really put a lot of work into this, I like it. Keep up the good work bro!

#3 Edited by FlarePhoenix (423 posts) -

I watched a little bit. It seems very good, but I don't know if I really want to watch another Persona 4 Endurance run. Especially considering Golden is coming out soon, and I want to go into it not remember absolutely everything that happens. Still, doing a solo Let's Play. especially for a game like Persona 4, is difficult so I applaud you for keeping it interesting (well, from the little bit I watched. I can't speak to the quality of the whole thing).

Though I will say be careful about calling it an Endurance Run. Some people might take that, more than anything else, the wrong way.

Also, while it is a good idea to skip repetitive battles, it might be an idea to show a battle if something funny or interesting happens in it. You know, like how Jeff and Vinny got Hama'd in a random battle in Rise' dungeon.

#4 Posted by AlisterCat (6212 posts) -

Love it.

#5 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2037 posts) -

While I probably won't watch this - sorry, it's just that I have a copy of P4 not four feet away from me for most of the day and I have too much nostalgia for the GB ER to watch someone else's - the production values and overlays and stuff just look pretty cool.

I really like the Pokemon anime-esque screen before the Shadow Yukiko fight, for instance.

#6 Edited by Seaborgium (105 posts) -

@cbohrn said:

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"Please leave a comment, subscribe, favorite, bake me a cake, change my car oil, send me nudes..."

You heard the man, pics or GTFO.

In all seriousness, this is professional as hell. I really like the sidebars, delicious 720p, clean audio, even the little episode images (like the image shown in the video player above, before you start playing the video). While I have enough Persona on my hands at the moment (working my way through the GB ER for the... third/fourth time, I think), I'm definitely interested in watching some of the boss battles and so on. Might check out some of your stuff that I haven't played yet, too - Skyrim, Skyward Sword, Minecraft, etc.

Great work!

EDIT: Yukiko episode was great, very close battle.

#7 Posted by cbohrn (9 posts) -

@neoneoane: Thanks! I just saw these comments, I had been checking back here often to see if anybody replied but after a month I kind of gave up xD

@FlarePhoenix: Man, having dual commentary would have been awesome for this LP but sadly none of my IRL friends are in to this stuff enough to commit to the 100+ episodes haha, but I do plan on showing the interesting battles when they happen. Keep in mind though, I'm very prepared for just about everything this game throws at me so almost dying is rare (it almost happened in Rise's dungeon, DAMN SECRET BAMBINOS!). One last thing, this is the ONLY place I use the term Endurance Run, it's more of an homage to the first LP I ever saw. I'll be careful with it in the future :)

@SirOptimusPrime: Totally understand sir. It's here mostly for those wanting to see something more completionist and informative, I could never top the entertainment that is the GB Endurance run. :D

@Seaborgium: Thank you for the praise :) I actually just did Rise's dungeon and changed up the format for that with a lot of after effects work and dual commentary. My shadow Teddie fight was pretty easy but I did an intro that shows all of his abilities. I think I might make a playlist of nothing but the miniboss and boss battles of the game.

Here's my fight with Shadow Kanji:

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Here's the first episode of Rise's dungeon, I made a floor animation emulating the calendar shown in the game. I also changed how I explain enemy weaknesses and bring in some friends to help out with commentary:

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And finally, here's my Shadow Teddie(?) fight, I spend a lot of time on the intro and even though it's a bit long, I'm very proud of it.

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#8 Posted by Seaborgium (105 posts) -

That new intro is really slick. Kinda reminds me of... the Death Note anime intro in the later parts, IIRC. The Shadow Teddie intro is awesome, gave me the spine tingles. Even scared me a bit when I first heard Teddie's voice. On that note, what music do you use for the new intros? I haven't heard the standard one, but Teddie's sounds kind of like a remix of Reach Out To The Truth - are they from Golden?

This format definitely lets you put in a lot more content than a FAQ or something like that. I think it'd be really useful if certain parts could be extracted and put into separate videos. For example, it'd be great to have one video that is just the enemy explanations for every enemy in a dungeon in alphabetical order. I think that'd be pretty useful to have on a laptop during play.

I think it'd also be useful if there were some way to easily find certain scenes. For example, you could list important parts in the description, like "Chie S-Link Rank 4 10:32," or make a video that lists which video/time the S-Links are in. When watching the Endurance Run today, I was wondering what the game-over scene would be like if Mitsuo died, and I couldn't find anything with a Google search - that kind of thing. It's not a huge deal, though, and it seems like it might be a hassle.

By the way, I think you might have spelled "persistent" incorrectly at 10:46 in the Rise video.

For anyone wondering what the floor animation is (as I was), you can see an example at 9:56 on the Rise video. It's an animation moving from floor 1 to floor 2 of the dungeon, just as the in-game calendar moves from Monday to Tuesday or whatnot.

#9 Posted by cbohrn (9 posts) -

@Seaborgium: Every piece of music I use in these videos is from the Persona franchise. The new intro is using music from Persona 4 Arena, the Teddie intro is using the Persona 3 Battle For Everyone's Souls song which is AMAZING. I think it's my favorite song between P3 and P4. I also sometimes stick in music from Persona 4 Golden. There's also some remixed music from Persona 4 called Persona 4 Reincarnation which you can find at the bottom of this playlist.

I've been toying with the idea of making a single video showing the entire progression for each arcana. So one video would be Chie ranks 1-10, another video would be Rise 1-10 and so on. I considered putting in the times in the description for s.links, but it's not something I have time for currently.

Also for people who don't like the stuff I've considered making an abridged version that only shows the main plot and boss battles. What I would LOVE to do is mix scenes from the anime in to the LP as cutscenes, but Sony became VERY unhappy with me when I started messing around with that lol

I'm an idiot and don't know how to spell persistent. <=== I just had to spell check it right there. -_-

#10 Posted by Dudacles (1625 posts) -

This is great, I think I'm going to watch all of these. You have a pretty good talking voice, which is one of the most important parts of doing a Let's Play that's entertaining for me. So keep it up!

#11 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1156 posts) -

wow this is pretty good! Also what mic are you using? You sound really good and crystal clear.

#12 Edited by cbohrn (9 posts) -

@IrrelevantJohn: I use a Samson C01U condenser mic. I record my mic audio using a program called Audacity, I then use noise removal to get rid of the little background noise and then compress it using the default options.

Here's a pic of my setup:

If any of you have any questions about how I make my videos, feel free to ask. This could become LPing 101 XD

#13 Posted by Seaborgium (105 posts) -

@cbohrn said:

If any of you have any questions about how I make my videos, feel free to ask. This could become LPing 101 XD

Oh yeah, I just remembered I was going to ask about this! How do you make your videos? Also, are there freeware options available to do the sidebars and animations and so on, or do you generally need something like Sony Vegas/Flash/After Effects?

#14 Posted by JBG4 (678 posts) -

Good on you for doing this. Really enjoyable and a fantastic game.

#15 Posted by cbohrn (9 posts) -

@Seaborgium: Let's start with the game itself. I use PCSX2 to emulate the game and I set the internal res at 2x. Anything higher than that will definitely make the game look better but it causes the static portraits of the characters to look worse so I've stuck with just 2x. There is a way you can emulate P4 on PCSX2 wide screen without stretching the in-game 3d graphics, but sadly it stretches the static portraits and text/textboxes/menus. I wanted so badly to do an LP of Persona 4 Golden but the Vita doesn't have video out and there are no plans to enable that feature. :(

I use fraps to capture the video and game audio while using audacity to get my mic audio. I always record with headphones on so I don't have to worry about my mic picking up game audio. I set fraps to record at 29.97 fps because that is a VERY common frame rate and sometimes can cause problems if you attempt to render with a frame rate different than your source. Pretty sure YouTube videos run at 29.97 fps as well.

I use Sony Vegas 10.0 to encode to my final file that is uploaded to YouTube. On my most basic videos I typically have 2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks. 1 video track is the gameplay footage, the other is the background that makes up the side bars. 1 of the audio tracks is from the game, the other is from my mic audio. I do not edit my mic audio at all aside from volume in Vegas, it is all done in Audacity and exported to mp3. I throw my intro video in first, then all the raw footage of me playing, then the outro at the end. Then I create the transitions between the intro, the raw footage and the outro. I also fiddle around with outro music too, typically I cut out the game audio early and let the music play as I'm saying my farewell. One last thing to note, I create a drop shadow on the raw video track so it has those nice shadows on the side bar. That was strangely difficult to figure out, Vegas is sometimes a little weird to work in.

Finally, once I have all of my editing finished, I export using the default Internet 720p-30 rendering option which will create an mp4 file about 1.5gb big for a 20-25 minute video then upload to the Yubtubs.

Now, when I do the dungeons it gets much much much more complicated. That's when I break out After Effects, Photoshop and gimp (I use both). Basically almost everything complicated I make is done within After Effects including all of my intros and outros, enemy layouts, boss layouts and so on. I export from After Effects in a raw avi format which created HUUUUUUGE files, we're talking 2gb for 10 seconds and put them in to Vegas. Hell, sometimes I have vegas render them in mp4 and just keep them like that, it does degrade video quality a little when you compress and already compressed video, but sometimes not even my computer can handle the ginormous avi files.

In the Rise dungeon, I did a special walkthrough of all the enemies every floor. This took me a very long time to make, if you watch those you'll notice all sorts of things going on in the background. I made a 2 minute video that just has random shit being slung around in the background, I even have Kou pop up saying he loves them balls at one point. It was all made by hand. I then took the raw video, resized it and moved it in to the correct position. I then created a video for every enemy that showed stats. It was much easier to create a separate video for each enemy because it made it very easy to time, plus I could do the transitions a lot easier in vegas. Hard to explain why this was easier, just take my word for it. The final layer I actually created in photoshop and that's the white/black/silver border for the video. This needed to remain static because the video never moves between enemies unlike the stats. Moving video around is a pain because it would have to be done in Vegas and honestly, I really don't like animating in that application.

Now, about your final question. From my experience, the only free video editor I know of is the Windows Movie Maker and it suuuuuuuuuuucks. That damn thing crashed on my ALL the time. You can of course use Gimp instead of Photoshop, but I am not aware of a free application that could be used in place of After Effects. Audacity is free though so... sweet? :D

Anyway, hope this helped answer your question, sorry it was a bit long winded.

#16 Edited by cbohrn (9 posts) -

@Seaborgium: Sorry to spam you, thought you might like to see this as well. This is what Vegas looks like.

This picture is what a normal episode looks like. This is actually Ep. 63

This one is Ep. 53-56, you can see the ridiculous amount of tracks it took. The commentary wasn't put in for the last two episodes in this screenshot.

#17 Posted by Seaborgium (105 posts) -

@cbohrn said:

Ultra detailed post

Holy wow, did OP deliver. Thank you for the information!

#18 Posted by wumbo3000 (1100 posts) -

Wow, this is really nice and well done. And damn the game looks good! I initially thought it was the Vita version cause the resolution was so sharp. Cool stuff man!

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