Posts Tagged “persona 4”

Minato and Minako, official wallpaper.

You can kind of tell how busy my week has been or is likely to be by checking when I post to this blog. As I keep saying, two posts a week without guarantee of quality. If both of these appear on a Sunday, it is a sign that the schedule of my life is going to be a pain for the next two weeks, and I will have to post again on a Saturday.

I've been trying out roleplaying on a MUSH. A PersonaMUSH, as it is so named. The general world of the Persona-verse as described in Persona 3 and 4 (and only as described there, since I've never played any other Persona games) is one of those, like the Negima-verse and the Nanoha-verse and the ZKC-verse, where I like to create characters in.

I've never MUSHed before. This is a learning experience, and the lesson that is being pounded into my Skull Of +5 Thickness is that I am in entirely the wrong time zone.

Most of the basic character concept comes from one of those discarded bits of proto-characters that always turn up when I am in the midst of storycrafting. (I realize this sounds a lot more formalized that it really is, but I can't think of any other term.) A useful trait of all these settings is that it's all magic, even if it's actually science fiction or superpowers or whatnot. Essentially, things that cannot be done in Real Life, but can be done in that setting because it's cool.

Unfortunately, I have to keep the aspect of Coolness subordinate to the aspect of Consistency, mostly because I like characters who find new and creative ways to use what powers they already have, and I can't do that if I don't know what these powers actually are. This may be why I get accused of being too much of a killjoy when it comes to Cool Things Happening.

At least in this MUSH the powers are already defined, in that they are the best approximations the MUSH can do to the game powers. Everything else is roleplay.

I must admit that the primary reason I'm in PersonaMUSH is because I can't wait for Persona 3 Portable, and the opportunity to play a female protagonist. I have made this point before, but I can't quite be bothered to search for the relevant posts, so you're on your own there. But my character's appearance was first inspired by that of the female main character, popularly named "Minako" (or alternately "Misato"), and then altered to be less obviously ripped-off. Her personality gains some bits from both the proto-character (formerly a researcher from the Nanoha-verse), as well as the manga depictions of Minato Arisato (aka Male Main Character of Persona 3) translated into girl-form. Her character story arc stems from Doctor Faustus.

So it goes.

If you do wish to drop by PersonaMUSH, it is at, port 2012. Shiori Hibiki will be there, likely whining to what few may listen about how annoying it is to have to live life Out Of Character at GMT+8.

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Chie as Haruhi is a little...

While waiting for my Internet to get repaired (again), I've been marathoning Persona 4, which features, as one of its much-vaunted improvements over Persona 3, branching Social Link options. The overall difference is fairly minor, largely in the conversation options and incidental dialogue; the Social Link results are the same regardless.

Now, if you've never played either Persona 3 or 4 before, the idea behind Social Links is that you meet someone, and then you get to know them better through further repeated meetings, until you form "an unbreakable bond" of Really Close Friendship (and for female characters, possibly something more). Along the way, you help solve some problem or other they are facing in their lives. All of this gives you nice bonuses that help you in battle, or at least the preparations before battle, but that's beside the point.

The branching routes in P4 mean that I get to Socially Link with either one of two choices for each of the school clubs. Back in P3, this didn't matter that much, because the game refused to be clear on which club the Social Link character belonged to until you actually chose yourself (insert Schroedinger's Cat experiment reference here); whatever your decision, you'll be dealing with the same person. In P4, however, you deal with different people. So if you pick the Basketball Team instead of the Soccer Team, you'd be interacting with Kou Ichijo, rather than Daisuke Nagase. The same goes for the Drama Club's Yumi Ozawa and the Symphonic Band's Ayane Matsunaga.

But what about the other, unpicked route?

As I've mentioned before, I have problems with this sort of thing, which I call Visual Novel Route Regret. Basically, all these characters have their problems and worries, some of them really serious, and the game often implies that they will never be free from their woes without your assistance. In P3, it was actually possible, if very difficult, to max out every Social Link in one play-through, and thus solve everyone's problems neatly. But in P4, with the branching, this is impossible, even if the actual game mechanic Social Link maxing is much easier.

And so I have to weigh the Seriousness of the characters' problems against each other. Is Kou's insecurity about being adopted more or less debilitating to his future prospects than Daisuke's inability to get over his old rejected crush? Both have let it affect their performance to the point of depression, so it's not a given that they'll be able to get over it themselves. The Cultural Clubs are a little easier to pick: Yumi's angst about her estranged but hospitalized father, leading to her nearly severing links with her mother, is probably more serious than Ayane's basic lack of confidence in herself. Sorry, Ayane, but Yumi's case is more likely to make her suicidal.

At least the Social Link problems in Persona 4 are not as drastic as in Persona 3, which is a bit of a relief. If you haven't been following a Max Social Link guide but know what is in store for the characters, it's hard to decide between helping Yukari get over her father's death-by-corporate-murder, or comforting Mitsuru after her father's death-by-actual-murder and her arranged marriage to an odious man she hates. Compared to that, Chie's search for a good reason to protect people is a little less world-shattering.

This is a bit of why I'm not very keen on playing the more Dramatic sorts of visual novels: the girls tend to have incredibly depressing (and often supernatural) backstories, which may very well lead to their deaths or spiritual discorporation or whatever. The viewpoint character may or may not know the reason why, in a given route epilogue scene, certain members of the old gang appear to be missing, but the experienced player knows. And that makes it all the more depressing.

On a vague tangent, I have this incredible urge to go write some lyrics for the Junes jingle.

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