Re-Endure the Persona 4 Endurance Run: Finale!

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#101 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3002 posts) -

Episode 152!   In less than a minute they go from advertising Energy Drinks, to discussing the appropriate sizes of shots, to asking Ryan about shots and making horrendous innuendos.  It's already a fantastic episode.

  

  

  Despite easy access to Daidara's shop, selling all of those items amounts to some easy cash and equipment that they're never going to actually buy.  There's time to do some pretty inoffensive fusing, but they're still unfortunately one level too low to make Satan.  Yurlungr and Horus join up, and despite the fact that they've been needing a new Zio-ing Persona for a while now they pass up Ishtar in part thanks to the absolutely goddamn hysterical Ishtar/Glitter discussion they have with Ryan.  "It came out on 9/11."  "...Yeah, so?"  "It's kind of telling."
  I could transcribe their entire conversation (which would be totally worth the time), but for the sake of timeliness we'll go ahead to the dungeon and assume enough has been said.  The enemies are still pretty easily dispatched, despite the constant misses from Maziodyne, and picking up Kartikeya sends them straight to water park discussions thanks to Ryan's intervention.  He's pretty much steering all the discussion of this episode, and it could not be better for it.  Eventually Izanami decides she's had enough of this crap and sends a mid-boss after the team, where the Neo Minotaur proves himself surprisingly adept at beating the team down with Rampage.  Jeff attempts to shake out of the Mother Harlot loop, but then defeats his own logic at every turn and crawls back to her.
  Yosuke was the MVP of that match, thanks mostly to Chie taking ridiculous amounts of damage from Rampage pretty much every time.  Some apprehension sets in about the plan to fuse Satan, but before they can consider it too much a group of sword-arms decide to mess the team up with a quick physical attack rush- and despite the perfect opportunity to try out Certain Escape, they go with a vanish ball.  I guess I can't fault them for being cautious...
  Path 5 is the cutoff point for today, so tomorrow it's time for a trip to the fusion room, hopefully a better shopping experience, and hopefully less talk about the Boy Scouts and their unending hatred for Dungeons and Dragons.
@mutha3
I dunno, it seemed like the game was being way more strict in that spot about sending you home.  It might have just been the fact that they gave you a yes/no option instead of just saying their piece and letting you do whatever it was you needed to on your own, but I thought it stuck out.   The timing of it is annoying, but it definitely doesn't seem impossible that someone would figure it out if they were just trying things to get back in the TV world, especially since you've got two ways by default to get to the food court and if you try both you're guaranteed to see the message.
98% of people still probably used a guide or found out how to do it before hand, sure, but it's a lot more lenient than it could have been.
#102 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3002 posts) -

Episode 153!  Everyone fuses Satan their first time.

  

 
  

  Level 76 means one thing and one thing only- it's time to fuse Satan!  Of course this is Shin Megami Tensei Satan, who is a completely different entity than Lucifer, who himself has two different forms you can call out in this game (pre and post falling to Hell).  That doesn't make this particular Satan any less impressive, though, and as much as I love how ridiculously gigantic and crazy he is, I think the six boobs might have been a bit much.  I suppose we should just be glad this set of tits doesn't have fangs...
  The real issue here is that after you've fused Satan, the rest of the possible results in the fusion room really lose their appeal.  Vinny and Jeff decide to pay Fox and head back into Yomotsu Hirasaka to try out the newest addition to the lineup, where it quickly becomes apparent that Satan really isn't all that useful.  He's got Invigorate and Regenerate 3, sure, but his Maragidyne is about the only reasonably damaging spell he has access to, and his physical attack is pretty lame.  The Almighty spells he gets might be useful if there was some kind of Almighty Amp or something, but for a measly 90 damage Black Viper seems like about the least useful spell imaginable.  Dave Snider thinks they probably just got the wrong Satan, but I'm firmly in the camp of Almighty spells being worthless.
  The dungeon does it's best to capitalize on Satan's shortcomings, but Trumpeter ends up handling the midboss and the mini-tanks pretty easily.  All those God's Hands and Maragidyne's helped too.  Rise's SP restoration kicks in, rendering any sort of threat the enemies might have posed previously null-and-void, as SP can now be spent with reckless abandon.  Even penalty cards can't do much to dampen the decidedly cheerful mood that the possibility of finally finishing the game has brought on.  The dungeon does make a valiant effort in screwing Charlie over in the accessory department, which I always found funny- apparently it's entirely possible to get some wonderful equipment from those locked chests, but I've yet to see it actually happen.  It certainly does love handing them Peach Seeds, though.  It's looking as though Path 9 will be where the boss fight happens, so Jeff and Vinny decide not to take any chances and punch out a floor early.
  Tomorrow, there's just one measly floor standing between Charlie Tunoku (and company) and the end of his time spent trapped in Inaba!
#103 Edited by Devoid (429 posts) -

How have I played this much Persona without fusing Satan? Oh that's right, I didn't fuse anything in Persona 4 after getting Trumpeter.. Next time, Satan!

I was wondering, is Next Gene the only shadow weak to physical in this game?

#104 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3002 posts) -

Episode 154!  It's actually the final battle, this time!

  

 
  

  I'm going to go ahead and skip over floor 9 and the pre-boss preparations, which take oddly enough the first 36 minutes and 36 seconds of the episode.  I mean, I could go on for several paragraphs about their fight with Heartless Machine, the level grinding, poor fusion decisions or their continued inability to buy a non-crap weapon for Chie thanks to the evade physical skill on her current shoes... but I refuse to do so!  Instead, we're going clear into the dialogue portion of the episode.
  And it's a surprisingly bearable exposition scene!  Despite Naoto's best efforts to get a full-on recap going, Izanami refuses to go over the events of the whole game and instead just flat out reveals the nature of the Midnight Channel and what people saw on it.  Turns out she was way less involved with this whole mess than the Investigation Team thought, but they're still planning to fight it out with a God, because hey, why not?  I'll take this time to note that Izanami's human form has a pretty awesome design...
  ...And the giant ass-kicking form she pulls out during the cutscene is equally great!  Even an outstanding Final Boss seems mediocre once Debilitated, though, and with Yosuke and Yukiko piling on the magic damage while Chie uses God's Hand, things start looking rough for Izanami quickly.  She manages to pump out some serious damage with Mind Charge, but it's late enough in the fight that they don't need to worry about it, and her health bar is emptied out before it can make too much of a difference.  They're fighting a God, though, so that doesn't end the fight.  In fact, it doesn't even change her attack patterns, as she keeps hammering away at the team while nothing they do leaves so much as a scratch!  Vinny and Jeff take this opportunity to be thoroughly confused, and alternate attacking ineffectively and guarding at random.
  Oddly enough, this does the trick!  Charlie breaks out the Orb of Sight he got from Igor, because apparently this is just the right kind of situation for that item they never totally explained the existence of.  Jeff and Vinny finally get that boss with two forms they've been waiting for so long to fight, but it's not a pretty sight.  It is, however, totally goddamn awesome looking.  Izanami-no-Okami is unquestionably my favorite boss design, and the reaction couldn't have been better here.  "Look out, we've never seen anything like her!"  "No shit!"  Despite the imposing look and stature of the boss, they handle the battle like any other!  They set in Debilitating, Power Charging, and letting Yukiko and Yosuke get some attacks in while they can.  Izanami takes this chance to Mind Charge right at the start and lower the defense of the team, obviously setting up for the kind of attack that takes some serious preparation to survive...
  ...At which point Vinny accidentally triggers the Rush attack while checking statuses, sending the entire team into a physical attack frenzy before he can rectify the mistake.  Trumpeter saves Charlie from the brunt of the damage by reflecting Maziodyne, also revealing the Boss' ability to absorb lightning attacks, and Fury of Yasogami manages not to finish off the already weakened members of the team.  It's not a Bufu-level mistake, but it was still hilarious.  Also, somehow, Jeff manages to be totally unconvinced that the reflected Maziodyne was what healed Izanami!  They decide to do some defense-buffing to make up for lost time, and Yukiko spends all her turns healing from the boss' continuing onslaught.  Debilitate turns out to not be a Player-only cheap shot, but Trumpeter thankfully has Heat Riser to keep anyone from being rendered useless.
  There was what seemed to be an extremely lucky dodge of Agneyastra by the team, as with the Power charge that seemed entirely capable of ending Charlie if it had actually landed all three hits.  Jeff and Vinny start getting pumped by the fantastic battle music, and promptly heal the boss with another Maziodyne.  They notice, this time!  Kuro Ikazuchi finally starts getting used, and on top of it Izanami decides to lower the Hit/Evasion rates of the whole team.  This quickly becomes a problem, but at least they didn't waste another three-turn God's Hand.  Yukiko gets her SP restored, and just when the boss battle is starting to feel like it's becoming a Marathon Izanami changes plans again, this time resorting to her instant-kill attack, Summons to Yomi, which will instantly take down anyone with a status effect.  Yosuke taking the hit from Galgalim Eyes meant that he was done for, but he managed to Endure the killshot- and the boss battle goes back to the usual for a while, with the Fury of Yasogami/Kuro Ikazuchi combo getting pulled more than once.
  The Stagnant Air/Mind Charge turn from Izanami means that she's going to turn things around again, and on the next turn World's End proceeds to miss everyone important and fail to inflict status ailments against all odds.  Summons to Yomi takes Yosuke out again, but Jeff misses it's instant kill nature, and it's not long before things start to seem like this will be a moderately easy victory!  Of course, you can't have a great final boss in a Persona game without scripting taking over at some point, and Thousand Curses sends Chie and Yukiko to places unknown.  Charlie and Yosuke take on the boss themselves, with Charlie landing the killing blow, actually getting respectable damage off of an Almighty attack!  Again, though, running out of Health isn't enough to kill a God, and despite Yosuke's self-sacrifice, Charlie ends up dragged into the ground with the others.
  Vinny's nervousness about whether that was supposed to happen or not is alleviated with the start of another scene, and Persona 4 finally makes honest men of Jeff and Vinny- because tomorrow is the stunning conclusion of the Endurance Run.
@Devoid
As odd as it seems that there would only be one enemy weak to physical attacks (and in the final dungeon, at that) I can't think of any others.  And don't pretend you don't want to fuse Satan.
#105 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2682 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

Izanami takes this chance to Mind Charge right at the start and lower the defense of the team, obviously setting up for the kind of attack that takes some serious preparation to survive...
...At which point Vinny accidentally triggers the Rush attack while checking statuses, sending the entire team into a physical attack frenzy before he can rectify the mistake. Trumpeter saves Charlie from the brunt of the damage by reflecting Maziodyne, also revealing the Boss' ability to absorb lightning attacks, and Fury of Yasogami manages not to finish off the already weakened members of the team. It's not a Bufu-level mistake, but it was still hilarious. Also, somehow, Jeff manages to be totally unconvinced that the reflected Maziodyne was what healed Izanami! They decide to do some defense-buffing to make up for lost time, and Yukiko spends all her turns healing from the boss' continuing onslaught. Debilitate turns out to not be a Player-only cheap shot, but Trumpeter thankfully has Heat Riser to keep anyone from being rendered useless.

I remember absolutely dying of laughter here.

#106 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

Welp, one more episode left.

#107 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3002 posts) -

Well, it's finally here.  Down to episode 155, the final half-hour or so of the Persona 4 Endurance Run, and as such, the final post here in the Re-Endurance Run.  Before we get down to it, I wanted to thank all of you who at least attempted to re-endure with me, and a very special thanks to the people who stuck it out to the end.  The Persona 4 Endurance Run is undoubtedly one of my favorite features on Giant Bomb, and not just because it's what brought me to the site in the first place.  I can only hope that these threads have gotten at least a few users to check it out, either again or for the first time.

With that said, let's check in to see how Charlie's doing.

  

 
  

  ...Not good.  So the team is dead, killed by an ancient Japanese goddess, and Charlie is floating in an infinite void.  This seems like the appropriate time for a pep-talk, so the memories/spirits/something of everyone Charlie took the time to max the Social Links of stop by to let him know they're still rooting for him... sort of.  Mostly they just sound kind of pissed that he's not still on his feet and fighting, and once even Nanako starts trying to guilt trip him for being taken out he decides to revive from death to get away from it all.  The uplifting words from Charlie's friends and family transform Izanagi into Izanagi-no-Okami, who pretty obviously means business, and Jeff and Vinny excitedly get transported back to the scene of the final battle so they can end this thing right.
  Izanami of course uses her 100% accurate instant death attack (Why she didn't do this from the start we may never know), but this time it fails to affect Charlie in a way that doesn't-at-all kill the drama of the scene!  After that, she has a minor freakout and starts spamming a party-wide 999 damage lightning storm (Again, this might have been handy earlier), but Charlie is clearly up to date on his Persona Protagonist Privileges, which let you endure death endlessly as long as you're going to finish off the last boss soon.  Sure enough, the menu is... pretty straightforward about how it wants this to happen, and Charlie uses Myriad Truths to finish Izanami off once and for all.  Vinny breaking into Smooth Criminal was... just about the most appropriate thing possible for that moment.
  Myriad Truths proves that whole "Banishes curses" thing from the description by apparently restoring the rest of the team from the dead so they can talk it out with Izanami one last time.  She decides they've earned their victory well enough and promises to lift the fog in the Television World.  Granted, that's all she's going to do, as it'll still be up to humanity to keep things from going to hell again.  Jeff is skeptical as to how this is going to work out, and Igor pulls Charlie back to the Velvet Room to check out his sweet new Persona.
  Both he and Margaret are pretty stoked about that whole "Blew up a God" thing, but it looks like it will be the last time they summon Charlie.  They don't say it's the last time they'll see him, of course, but before there's too much time to wonder about what their deal is they throw Charlie back out to the rest of his team.  The TV World looks pretty okay without all the fog, but I'm right there with Jeff in missing the crazy architecture and awesome red/yellow color palette it had going on.  Vinny's got plans for his new real estate in the Human Subconscious, but there's no time to hang out, especially considering that Charlie still has to leave town tomorrow, and they've been in this damn TV for a while now.
  The whole team plus Dojima and Nanako gather at the station for a send off, and the crying starts even sooner than expected thanks to Rise.  Even Nanako holds it together better than that!  This whole leaving thing is probably for the best, though, as Dojima confirms that Adachi hasn't pulled any kind of daring escape and that the murders and kidnappings have all ceased.  There's nothing left to do in this town, and even Teddie is planning to get out of this place!  Of course, that was all just part of his plan to steal Charlie's thunder, but the rest of the team for once isn't fooled by his attention-grabbing antics.
  Even Naoto considers taking off, and the rest of the team plans for the inevitable return of their leader to the town.  Jeff and Vinny are way more concerned with what to tell the people back in Charlie's hometown about his time in Inaba, though- they really should have gotten it on with that teacher.  Normally, there would have been a scene just after this where they met up with the non-Investigation Team/family member social links, but the only other friend they made in this town went to Africa, so that's a non issue.  Charlie boards the train the only way he knows how- in a cutscene! He then proceeds to stare in a supremely creepy way as the team runs alongside the train to say goodbye.  The credits roll while he settles in for the ride back home, and Jeff and Vinny get some time to reminisce over all of the great times they've had.
  Jeff expresses his disappointment at failing to make it to Rank 10 with Kanji,  and there's some great inability to remember both scenes and Personae, and pointing out that the entire cast is supposed to be around 16 or so.  Lyrics and shout-outs to the localization team aside, the credits pass surprisingly quickly, and it's pretty apparent that the Normal and True endings probably got the exact same credits sequence, since they don't show any scenes from after the Ameno-Sagiri battle.  Still... the game is over!  One last post-credits cutscene for the team to feel bad about Charlie's departure, and Teddie gets to philosophize while Charlie checks out an awesome team photo... fin.
  And then it's time to save the game!  Gotta get ready for that New Game +, and after reading the disclaimer there's some serious debate about whether or not to create a second save file at last.  They end up overwriting the original out of spite against Izanami, and check the Load screen to see their final completion time for the game.  Fair warning, Vinny's YELL when they see the time, exactly 99 hours and 59 minutes, just about killed my hearing.  Jumped out of my goddamn seat on that one.  It's still absolutely amazing that they finished with that exact time, and is just one more sign on the pile that prove the Giant Bomb Endurance Run of Persona 4 was truly destined to have happened.  Those last few moments of the episode are actually a little more touching than I'd like to admit... And as they said, welcome to having your mornings back.  I know I'm going to enjoy my free time a little more, now.
#108 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

That last little soundbit is from an early(if not their very first!) ILM, where they announced they were doing this. I remember two things flashing through my mind:
 
"wtf" and "they are never ever going to finish this"
 
Glad I was wrong about the latter.

#109 Posted by T4RTERS4UCE (58 posts) -
God DAMN I can't help but get a little emotional when watching the end of Persona 4. 
 
It's really cool to think about all the things that came together to make the ER happen. All the perseverance and luck and willingness to try something weird with this weird ass gameI mean, when you get right down to it, the idea of these guys using up their working hours to do a Let's Play of this gigantic JRPG is bananas. It's a kind of weird thing I don't know that today's Giant Bomb would have been willing to try. At an extension of that, who knows if they'll ever try to do this again, with anything. Deadly Premonition, however great as an ER or game, seems like it left a bad taste in their mouths. Such that if a game ever presents itself as worthy of an ER, I'm worried about their willingness to do it. 
 
But whatever, Persona 4 fuckin rocks! Giant Bomb managed to grab me and forcefully introduced to this game I would never have tried but now consider my favorite game and franchise, and I'm eternally grateful for that.
#110 Posted by Devoid (429 posts) -

Oh man.. I don't know what to say, haha. They got so lucky a few times in that last fight, but I guess it was a perfect way for this ER to have finished. It's funny, seeing how far Vinny and Jeff came as Persona RPG players from the start 'til the end. If I were around when they started, I probably would've been part of the crowd going "there's no way they'll play all the way through this".

Anyway, thanks Make_Me_Mad, for letting me experience this in a healthy dosage! Though my presence is kinda cheating, because technically I'm not "Re"-enduring it. And of course, mad props to Giant Bomb for having this in the first place!

I feel there's gonna be a little hole in my day not waiting for/watching these.. But maybe I'll catch up my videogame playing that I'd planned to have done before this was over. I wanted to start my replay of Persona 4 just as this finished, but I've still got 1/3rd of a P3FES and a FeMC playthrough on P3P to do first..

#111 Edited by WatanabeKazuma (989 posts) -

Boom! Its over!  
 
I credit the ER with getting me to play Persona 4 to begin with, as I'm sure is the case with others on here. I mean, I was aware of the series beforehand, but in my case it was probably more glaring as I originally pre-ordered the game before its release only to return it when I decided I didn't want to play it! The huge Persona T-shirt I still own which came as a pre-order bonus is proof of this. It is scary to think I almost ignored this game on a whim.
 
This thread has moved a lot quicker than I would care to admit at times, it goes some way to explaining my sporadic attendance in here but I've enjoyed it all the same. Its never a bad thing to talk shop about Persona. 
 
They were definitely luckier/better than me during the final boss fight, for as over-leveled as I was I somehow still managed to get beaten the first time. Its odd seeing as I walked all over the final half of P3, and generally it is considered the more challenging out of the two. The credit sequence is still a difficult watch for me, I remember watching that myself and instantly starting a new game. This is a game that definitely rattles around in your head for a while, I don't think I was ready to let go at that point. 
 
...and to think all this nearly ended at the hands of shadow Yukiko, the first 'real' dungeon in the game!  

  

  

FIN

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