Rena: Whoop! It's time for the Season Finale marathon! Aren't you guys excited?
Luther: Well, I know I would be if it meant we could finally ditch this busted down HQ.
Nova: We might be able to soon enough! I think the protestors are finally starting to calm down after our last few episodes! You see, I told you starting a blog would be a great idea.
Alice: It was hardly ground breaking (or even original for that matter) but I suppose we'll give credit where it's due. Now we just have to make sure we don't piss off any more viewers with this marathon.
Theodore: Indeed! Soon we can finally focus on the the true matter at hand! We shall free our employer from his unjust imprisonment!
Rena: Oh yeah, I completely forgot Boomstick even existed till now! Is the guy STILL in jail?
Theodore: Indeed. I'm honestly surprised his trial didn't start yet, but I assure you, we'll come to our dear friend's aid soon enough!
Alice: Well, we can start that as soon as the writer actually comes up with a script for that episode and stops putting it off.
Theodore: Well hey, a legal case simply cannot be planned overnight! It requires hours of dedication, research, and physical training...
Luther: Physical training?! What are you even-
Theodore: Luther, I have seen your Objection technique and it's simply.... Lacking in every way.
Nova: I second that, but I say we start the next episode before we put Luth through boot camp!
These silent (most of the time, at least) protagonists are the main faces of the Persona series and for good reason. The Power of the Wild Card (and friendship) is especially strong with these teenagers but whose mentally powered mythological beings will prove superior?
Luther: Gee, there sure are a lot of superpowers out there.
Theodore: I know, right? There's flight, mind reading, elemental manipulation, salmonella, polio, the possibilities are endless!
Alice: I'm pretty sure those last two were diseases.
Rena: Yeah those powers are cool and all, but not as cool as the ability to shoot yourself in the head to summon mythological entities from your psyche to fight by your side!
Alice: Or you could just shatter a tarot card instead.
Nova: Well either way, I'm sure we can all agree that having a whole squadron of those psychic summons is better than one, eh?
Luther: I know, right? I'd love this kind of power! It even comes with the added benefits of becoming a total chick magnet and exuding swag without having to say a single word! Ah, a guy can only dream...
Alice: Like Minato Arisato, the Emo Messiah.
Rena: I thought his name was Makot-
Theodore: And Yu Narukami, the Sister Complex Kingpin of Steel!
Nova: My name's Nova, and I'm joined here by... a lot of people this time. It's our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win-
Rena: A DEATH BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTLE!
Luther: Alright, now because of the grand scale of this fight and the endlessly customizable aspects of today's combatants, I believe we should set up some ground rules first. For starters, we'll automatically be giving them their best possible equipment, since Persona IS an RPG series.
Alice: And naturally, we'll be giving both characters access to their signature Personas, including their first and ultimate Personas. To even things out, we'll give Yu and Minato a specified collection of 8 "auxiliary" Personas, granting them 10 in total.
Theodore: Oh, and NO OMNIPOTENT ORBS WILL BE ALLOWED! We'd like to make this part especially clear, otherwise this battle would just go on for eternity.
Nova: We've even decided to compile a short list detailing exactly which Personas our combatants will be allowed to use.
Izanagi no Okami
Theodore: With the rules finally in place, I believe it's time for us to begin our judgment!
Minato Arisato/Makoto Yuki
Theodore: Allow me to tell you the tale of a young, silent man who never seemed to have a care in the world... Who would cast aside his mental reservations to become the most heroic-
Nova: Oh yeah, didn't you actually serve as that guy's butler before?
Theodore: Wha- I told you, that's a completely different chap!
Alice: Well whatever the case, it certainly never stopped Minato Arisato from being the most emo dude this side of Final Fantasy VII.
Rena: Minato? No, I'm pretty sure this guy's name is Makoto Yuki! Haven't you guys seen the movies?
Luther: Nah, I know his real name's actually Raidou Kuzunoha. I read it in the instruction manual!
Alice: Eh, let me see the manual you're referring to... Yep, this thing was pirated. Hook, line, and stinker.
Luther: Dammit! I knew 666 credits was a bad price!
Nova: Regardless of the guy's name, his nonchalant attitude made him the perfect candidate for the role of JRPG main character! Having been due for a transfer to Gekkoukan High School on April 7th, 2009, this would also be the first time Minato encountered the mysterious Dark Hour, the secret 25th hour of the day that occurs every midnight.
Theodore: In a show of what seems to be either pure bravery or outright I don't carenessity, Minato didn't really seem to give two shits about the dark green sky, the coffins littering the streets, or the creepy little kid that made him sign a contract to get into his dorm.
Luther: I don't carenessity? Is that even a word?!
Rena: It sure is now! Ignoring the random girl that threatened to shoot his ass upon arrival, Minato unwillingly went to school and made some new friends the next day.
Alice: Social Link Go!
Luther: A few minor plot points later with some unwelcome stalking camera stalking thrown into the mix, Minato would finally be thrust into some real action! Now cornered on the dorm's rooftop by a grotesque Shadowy beast and his newfound friend too scared to fight back, Minato did the only sensible thing he could think of...
Rena: HE SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HEAD!
Alice: An hero everybody. An hero.
Minato: Per... so... na!
Theodore: Having no fear of death, Minato had no problem causing Mass Destruction either. he had awakened his initial Persona: Orpheus, Master of Strings!
Nova: I'd probably make a bad string pun at this point, but Orpheus's first summoning didn't go exactly as planned, instead transmogrifying into an even more terrifying Persona that tore everything apart and landed our main character into a week long coma!
Luther: That must have been one hell of a hangover...
Rena: So with the fact that this 17 year old high schooler nearly got himself killed on that faithful night in mind, Minato was coerced into joining a secret organization intended to further investigate the Dark Hour! Now Minato can experience the constant threat of death on a daily basis! And get extra credit for it too!
Alice: I'm sure that sounds like a dream come true.
Luther: Being forced to become the de facto leader of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (otherwise known as SEES) not long afterwards, Minato's life would now be changed forever.
Nova: Sure enough, SEES itself was composed entirely of fellow Persona users like Minato himself, but there's something about him that really separated him from the others-
Rena: Oh! It's gotta be the blue hair, right? There's no way that's natural!
Nova: Hey, I resent that-
Rena: Or is it the fact that he lacks people skills, yet still manages to form coherent bonds with others regardless?
Alice: While those may actually be true for once, Minato's greatest defining factor is the power of the Wild Card. And no Rena, he's not a gambler.
Theodore: The number zero, otherwise known as the Fool Arcana represents infinite possibilities... Tis the void in from which all things begin and end...
Luther: In less geeky terms, this basically allows Minato to use as many Personas as he wants.
Theodore: Hey, my speech wasn't finished yet!
Nova: Yeah yeah, we'll make it up to you later. What's really important here is the fact that Minato can freely adjust his battle strategy with the pull of a trigger!
Alice: So with literally every Persona in the book at his disposal, it goes without saying that we should impose some clear limits for this particular fight, as stated earlier.
Rena: Much like his power of the Wild card, Minato is comfortable wielding just about any weapon into battle (but he can't use guns or knives for some reason). But regardless, later appearances have gone on to limit him to the use of a boring old one handed blade. What a letdown.
Theodore: Oh, you're not gonna be so disappointed when you bare witness to Minato's ultimate weapon, Lucifer's Blade! An unholy weapon literally crafted from the devil himself! Yes I said from, not by. He literally fused the Lord of Chaos into a sword.
Luther: It was really just a Persona of Uncle Lucy himself, but I'll let it slide. Now there's no denying Minato's great at copying old JRPG cliches, but his Personas are where it's really at!
Nova: As Minato's first Persona, Orpheus is Minato's go-to tool in every battle. It specializes in fire attacks and whacking people over the head with a harp. (I can't imagine that would hurt very much.) It's nothing too special on paper, so Minato will definitely want to swap him out once he's done gauging his foe.
Theodore: Minato will want to keep Orpheus away from electric and dark attacks too, or he'll be feeling extra crispy afterwards.
Rena: But why rely on the boring old harpmeister when you can use your series cute and lovable mascot instead? Jack Frost will not only freeze your heart to the core with it's adorable looks, but it packs a wicked Sonic Punch too!
Alice: But just like any other outdated snowflake, Jackaboy over here will melt under pressure when the time comes for it to meet the flames.
Luther: Oh, you're just jealous, Allie! Just because you'll never reach Frosty's level of popularity- OW! Not the hair!
Nova: This all sounds pretty basic so far, so why don't we spice things up with ol' God of Death, Thanatos!
Rena: Wait, God of Death? I'm pretty sure you're thinking about Hades.
Nova: And I'M pretty sure I'm thinking about Thanatos.
Theodore: Well let's just say THIS Thanatos isn't exactly the one all you Nintendo fans out there may be familiar with. This incarnation just happens to be the very same beast that emerged from Orpheus at the beginning of the game. Oh, and it's also the manifestation of death that's been lurking around the protagonist's soul since he was around 7-
Alice: Yeah, it's complicated, we get it. (It is a JRPG) The only thing that matters here is Thanatos's viscous fighting style. Armed with a single blade and an array of powerful magic, Thanatos is considered by many to be Minato's true signature Persona. It's not exactly hard to see why.
Luther: There's no denying the utter badassery of Thanatos's design alone, but it does come at a rather unfortunate weakness...
Alice: ...What the hell was that?! I don't even-
Rena: Putting its rather lame weakness aside, it's still good to know Thanatos resists physical attacks and reflects darkness! Oh and it can somehow strengthen Minato's stength with his own blade simply by being summoned... I don't get it either.
Nova: Yeah, the God of death's cool and all, but what if I told you Minato can still do better that? How, you may ask? He can summon the goddamn Devil himself to fight by his side! How awesome is that?!
Theodore: Ah yes, Lucifer is undoubtedly one of the most fearsome-
Nova: What? No, we're talking about Satan here, not Uncle Lucy!
Luther: But aren't they the same dude either way? There's no difference between them!
...and did you just call him Uncle-
Alice: I can give you guys the whole mythological rundown later, but as of right now, Satan is a devastating force of Judgment, specializing in another wide array of magic than Thanatos, the ability to restore Minato with every passing turn, and even a complete repellance to light!
Rena: But if one Devil ain't enough for ya, Minato's got two of them on his side! Enter Helel, who kind of happens to BE Uncle Lucy himself. Well, at least a past version of himself from a time before YHVH game him the shaft. (And we ALL know that literal yellow bellied bastard is the real villain here.)
Luther: Let me just get this straight first! SO not only does this verse classify Satan and Lucifer as two separate beings, but now we have TWO versions of the latter running around?! How the hell does that even begin work without making the universe collapse in on itself!?
Nova: Tis best not to think about it too hard Luth. What's important here is Helel's position as a well rounded tool of destruction! Besides the usual elemental magic, Helel can fully restore Minato's health and... absorb the damage taken from Sword Slashes?
Alice: Oh, that's child's play when compared to his penultimate attack Morning Star, an Almighty blast of epic proportions!
Rena: Did you just say penultimate attack? Do you seriously mean there's more to this badass?!
Alice: I sure do. By utilizing the power of Helel AND Satan at the same time, Minato can expend all of his remaining SP into the spell Armageddon! All you need to know here is that it's an attack guaranteed to score Minato a victory! (Unless he's fighting the resident optional boss, of course. That would just be too easy.)
Rena: Yeah, we're not kidding when we say Armageddon is strong enough to one shot ANYTHING short of Nyx or Elizabeth. Oh and the whole using up all of Minato's SP bit? That's not exactly a problem when the skill Victory Cry completely refills his HP and SP after every battle.
Luther: But hey, despite being the embodiments of Chaos, Helel and Satan here are still weak to ice and wind respectively. (Kind of weird if you ask me. I mean if anything, I'd think they'd be weak to the POWER OF LIGHT!)
Theodore: We're not even done with this guy yet! Just how much crazier could this get, you may ask? Well, why don't we continue this lovely discussion with the almighty Odin Dark!
Luther: Wrong Odin, Theo! In fact, that's not even the Odin you just mentioned!
Nova: Nah, Minato's version of Odin actually makes use of magic and kind of looks like Doctor Manhattan for some reason. Complete with a convenient censorship cape, courtesy of the ESRB!
Rena: Whatever you wanna call him, the Allfather here is all about tazing people with lightning! That's not even getting into his cheap SP spending and devastating signature skill Thunder Reign, which happens to have a 100% chance of shocking you!
Luther: Now let me reiterate: Odin's Thunder Reign has a 100% chance of shocking his targets. If I must explain, this is a rather debilitating status ailment that pretty much guarantees that you'll take a critical hit to the face by the next physical attack. proper abuse of this attack will pretty much result in some poor schmuck getting stunlocked and not being able to do anything about it!
Theodore: And Thunder Reign hurts like hell too, especially when we combine it Elec Amp and Spell Master, two skills responsible for boosting electric attacks by 50% and cutting SP costs in half respectively!
Alice: There's no denying this god's mastery of the storms, but ironically enough, he happens to be weak to even the slightest gust. I've heard of an Achilles Heel, but this is just ridiculous.
Nova: At least we all know it'll be a breeze to take Odin down now! Eh? Eh?
Rena: BOOOOO! Get off the stage! And make way for Lord Megatron!
Theodore: You mean Minato can call on a Transformer too?! Such incredible-
Luther: Sorry to burst your bubble there bro, but this is actually Metatron, usually known as the voice of God who also happens to represent Minato's intimate relationship with a robot! Damn, what a lucky guy.
Theodore: Excuse me, did I just hear that right?
Alice: Why of course. In what is clearly Minato's cannonical romantic relationship, he could only create Metatron through the bond with his robotic superior, Aigis. And by that I mean they metaphorically screwed each other in her room. Because what else could implanting Minato's genetic information into her Papillon Heart possibly stand in for? If any of you out there wish to disagree with such a pairing, then you are welcome to fight with me on the street for it.
Nova: Psh. Believe what you want. (I'd totally ship Minato with Fuuka instead.)
Alice: I heard that. You will fight me on the street later today.
Theodore: Ah, what a duel for the ages! Let us strike down all unjust shippers with the light of judgment! Just like Metatron, coincidentally. But without the blind devotion to a certain yellow headed jerkass.
Rena: Just be extra careful trying to use magic on this angel, cause he'll reflect every basic element except for wind back in your face! Oh and did I mention that he casts spells by shrugging and physically attacks enemies with a Nazi salute? Sounds pretty hardcore to me!
Luther: Just don't get TOO carried away, otherwise you'll get blindsided by Metatron's weakness to being Alone in the Dark. A coincidental similarity shared by our next Persona on the list, Vishnu!
Nova: This might sound like a bit of a random choice to all you initiated fans out there, but you'll see where we're going in a sec.
Alice: Vishnu is a pretty well han- I mean rounded Persona that makes use of ice, thunder, and some wicked physical attacks. (Whew, handily escaped that pun.... Dammit.)
Rena: Special mention goes to God's Hand, which literally drops a golden fist onto it's victim's head! Vishnu's got it's fair share of immunities too, but it'll probably drop dead upon the slightest touch of darkness.
Theodore: Now Vishnu may be a formidable Persona on it's own, but it's overall usefulness manages to rise tenfold when we take the seven headed snake Ananta into account! It's more of a support oriented Persona with no actual weaknesses once it learns to absorb wind, but it's true strength begins to arise when it uses the power of teamwork!
Luther: You guys might just wanna sit down for this one.
Nova: By combining the powers of both Vishnu and Ananta, Minato can use Infinity to make himself COMPLETELY F*CKING INVINCIBLE! Sure it only lasts for like one turn, but that's a small price to pay for invulnerability of all things!
Luther: You know, having gone over Minato's backstory about a dozen times over, I'm starting to wonder... Are you sure we're not actually talking about the big J himself? I mean, the man's ultimate Persona is MESSIAH for crying out loud!
Alice: Ironically enough, Minato's messianic archetypes hardly end there, but let's take some time to analyze his strongest Persona first. Messiah's godly status among Personas is hardly anything to scoff at. It is true embodiment of a jack of all trades, delivering a spectacular offense, debilitating debuffs, excellent support capabilities, and even the ability to... absorb the damage taken from piercing attacks...
Luther: Oh ho, so Minato's a big fan of piercing, eh? I guess it only makes sense for such a successful cassanova to- GAH!
Nova: And if you guys thought you had trouble distinguishing Minato from Jesus already, well Messiah can bring him back to life if he ever bites the bucket mid fight. Oh, he'll passively increase the strength of Minato's magical attacks as well, but that's not as important.
Rena: Really now, with all the raw firepower packed behind a single emo teen, it's pretty damn tough to track down any sort of weaknesses for this guy!
Theodore: Well, he DOES share the same weaknesses of every other Persona user I'm sure you've heard a million times by now. He'll feel the all the damage his Personas take, and they'll even be rendered temporarily unusable after enough damage. You know, the usual.
Alice: Well that's not to say his collection of Personas is perfect. After all, many of them have an exploitable weakness that will literally knock Minato on his ass if he gets smacked by one at the wrong time. Even the almighty Messiah isn't immune to this rule, due to it's crippling weakness to darkness.
Theodore: Alas, the powers of light and darkness are a truly terrifying presence in this world. One successful blow is all it takes to send an unsuspecting victim to an early grave.
Luther: Which is why Minato carries a large supply of Homunculus... Homonculuses? Homunculusi? Whatever you wanna call them, these items will sacrifice themselves to ensure Minato won't be seeing the Game Over screen from any unlucky insta kill moves.
Nova: Oh, but Minato's greatest feats come from the times he fought against EVIL gods! Yeah, more than once! Like that one of time he fought Chronos, the Greek God of Time and the evil half of one of his new friends at the time- it's a long story. Such a long story that he completely forgot about it by the end of the game.
Rena: Nah, we've gotta look even further to find Minato's true potential! And what better example would we find then the time he fought the physical embodiment of humanity's desire for death!
Theodore: No dear viewers, we are not exaggerating when we say this. January 31st, 2009 marked the Promised Day, better known as the coming of The Fall. This date was destined to become the end of the world, where the herald of death Nyx would descend to put an end to all life. Knowing they couldn't simply stand there with the knowledge that the world would come to an end soon, SEES rushed to the peak of Tartarus to confront Nyx and put a stop to such an early apocalypse.
Alice: Long story short, Minato had to use the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP to put a stop to Nyx!
Theodore: Hey, I was still trying to build that up!
Rena: Sorry Theo, but we've gotta stay within the allotted runtime! So yeah, after enduring wave after wave of punishment from the deity, Minato eventually found the strength to seal Nyx away until humanity could overcome its desire for death! Sounds like a happy ending, right?
Theodore: THAT dear viewers, was the strength of the Universe Arcana, a previously undiscovered power that symbolizes both the end and a new beginning. Could we truly ask for a happier ending to this tale?
Nova: Yeah it sure was! Until he a died few months later.
Luther: Huh. what a buzzkill.
Rena: Yeah, it turns out taking a savage beating and subsequently sealing away the harbinger of death isn't exactly good for you health. Minato managed to keep going for a few months by sheer willpower for a few more months but...
Alice: In the end, the Emo Jesus died quietly on the lap of his robotic lover. I'd like to think the comparisons should be obvious now-
Theodore: Suck it Optimus! Minato is the one who truly died for our sins! (You're still cool though.)
Nova: Okay, technically speaking Minato didn't exactly DIE. He just chose to spend what could very well be an eternity being crucified to act as a physical barrier preventing ANOTHER eldritch abomination from calling on Nyx to bring the fall back!
Theodore: Such heroics are truly to be remembered...
Luther: And don't forget the guy's love life either! I mean he's clearly slept with like five of his schoolmates, an all powerful elevator attendant, and a freaking robot! This man is my idol!
Theodore: Yeah... Real heroic figure there...
Rena: Oh and about that all powerful elevator attendant we just mentioned? Minato's strong enough to fight and kick her ass... all on his own! At the personal request of Elizabeth to engage in a fight that would mean certain death if Minato did anything wrong.
Alice: By that we mean Megidolaon to the face. For 9999 damage. It just goes to show that even the most uncaring people in the world can become an all loving hero if they really put the effort into it.
Minato: Cue Footage
Nova: You know, something interesting has been on my mind lately... Did Minato REALLY die at the end of Persona 3?
Luther: Ugh, here we go again.
Nova: I mean, I can't imagine all his love interests would be happy to find out just HOW many girls he's been dating, right? And Luth, if you were in that man's situation, what would yu do?
Luther: The hell are you asking me for? I'm not THAT much of a dick! ...And did you just misspell the word you on purpose?
Rena: Oh, I know what really happened here! Minato actually faked his death to avoid the wrath of his many concubines! He dyed his hair, changed his name, and moved to the country all with the intent of starting his life anew!
Nova: Exactly what I'm getting at, Rena! I knew it all along! It would be the greatest plot twist ever!
Theodore: Yeah, that sounds like a perfectly sensible theory...
Alice: Except for the part where that's absolute bullshit.
Theodore: You guys do realize Minato's still around as the Great Seal, right? *ahem* With that in mind, Yu Narukami is a youth with much more humble origins behind him.
Luther: Yu Narukami? Nu uh, I KNOW his real name is actually Souji Seta-
Nova: Not so fast! Unlike Minato's vague condition, Yu Narukami is this brotagonist's OFFICIAL name, all thanks to the fighting games and animes!
Rena: Aaaanyway, Yu's lived a relatively boring, uneventful life for as long as he's remembered, having to constantly move to different homes and schools because of his unseen parents. But everything changed when he was transferred to the seemingly peaceful town of Inaba.
Alice: Yes, I suppose the whole Velvet Room drug trip is already a massive neon sign that your life is about to take an abnormal turn. Hell, you could say that turn came the moment he shook hands with that creepy gas station attendant.
Luther: Supernatural circumstances aside, Narukami here's still a regular teenager like anybody else, so that means high school shenanigans for all! Everything's been going even considering the Hell that is modern day high school, until he started watching too much television. (Never thought I'd say that.)
Theodore: It seems there's been a strange rumor going about, stating that if you stared into an empty television on a rainy midnight,you'd get to see your one true love!
Alice: And because this is a JRPG, all the local myths and rumors MUST be true, no matter what!
Theodore: Why yes, except in this case the Midnight Channel essentially acts as a forecast detailing who's going to die on the next super rainy day, as Yu and his new friends would soon come to realize. I mean, how else could you explain the dead body that just happened to be lying atop a telephone pole?
Rena: So with nothing but curiosity in his heart surrounding the day's latest murder victim, Yu did the only sensible thing he could think of... HE JUMPED HEADFIRST INTO THE FREAKIN' TELEVISON!
Nova: Instead of breaking his skull and splattering his brains all over the screen, Yu and his friends found themselves inside the Midnight Channel, otherwise known as the TV World in simpler terms. There, they would come face to face with a pun spewing cartoon bear, an overbearing cloud of fog, and well... Rena, if you would?
Rena: Yay, it's time to talk about murders! Cause it turns out another chick was killed in the exact same way as the last poor schmuck!
Theodore: Coincidence? I think not! In an effort to seek justice for those killed by such a mysterious phenomenon, Yu ventured into the TV World once more, but his investigation hit a massive roadblock when the party was suddenly attacked by Shadows!
Luther: Now instead of deciding to become an hero, Yu decided to take a significantly saner approach to defend himself here. Well, as sane as you can get when a tarot card randomly shows up in your hand. Everyone say it with me this time...
Per... so... NA!
Alice: With a simple grasp of his hand, Yu took his first step towards Reaching out to the Truth. He had awakened his initial Persona: Izanagi!
Theodore: With this new power in hand, Yu would soon become the leader of a ragtag high school Investigation Team dedicated to finding tout the truth behind these mysterious murders!
Luther: And ooh boy, this Persona really knows how to kick some ass! In its first outing, (in the anime at least) Izanagi effortlessly tore through the entire fake town while trying to destroy an army of Shadows!
Rena: Its design is undeniably badass, especially with that naginata in hand, but Izanagi's a pretty simple summon all things considered, specializing in wild electric attacks, deadly spear lunges, and a few basic status buffs.
Nova: Just be perfectly aware that Izanagi'll probably fall over upon the slightest breeze. Get it? Cause he's weak to wind?
Theodore: Yes, hilarious as always. That said, for a starting Persona, Yu has really gone on to rely on it much more than you may think. You can usually expect it to be the first Persona Yu throws out in a fight, but that's far from the only tool tucked up his sleeves. The TV World is a truly dangerous place, so naturally Yu needs to come prepared with what is possibly the SINGLE greatest weapon in Persona history: The Golf Club!
Alice: Yeah that's... cool and all, but Yu realized that a basic slab of metal PROBABLY wasn't gonna be enough to fight off the hoards of Shadows that awaited him, which is why he soon favored the classic two handed blade instead. Katanas especially. Because katanas are just better.
Rena: *groan* Again with the standard RPG weapon choice?
Luther: Right, well Yu's gonna need more equipment than that to properly explore the TV World, which is why members of the Investigation Team wear a stylish pair of glasses to protect them from the fog within the dungeons they'll come to explore.
Alice: But looting around all these RPG weapons and armor in public isn't exactly the brightest idea, especially when the main portal to the TV World is in the middle of a popular mall. Which is why, I kid you not, the Investigation Team smuggles their equipment into the TV World by hiding them underneath their school uniforms.
Rena: Now I can understand how easy it would be to hide a small knife or a compact transforming weapon, but how the hell does everyone manage to hid such crazy shit like two handed katanas, chainmail, and actual freaking schooldesks?! I'm not kidding, there's a guy that uses a schooldesk to slam his enemies in this game! And it is awesome!
Nova: Let's just call it hammerspace and move on.
Alice: More like lazy writing.
Nova: But of course, Yu's true defining feature is the Power of the Wild Card, which we literally just explained like five minutes ago while we were talking about Minato. Cause let's face it, Izanagi alone isn't always enough for Yu to triumph.
Theodore: Atlus, if you're reading this, PLEASE do not make Arsene obsolete by the time the secodn dungeon rolls around in Persona 5! It's FAR too badass not to use!
Luther: If Yu really wants to spice up the situation, he can always call upon the ever so lovable Pyro Jack! He's basically Jack Frost's infernal twin brother! From he-
Nova: What? Pumpkin?! Pumpkin what?! What the fu-
Theodore: As the polar (or should I say bipolar?) opposite of the lovable series mascot, Pyro Jack's all about burning his enemies to the ground! He even manages to trump his little sibling with the use of some handy defense buffs and an actual resistance to ice attacks!
Rena: And if you're stupid enough to think fighting fire with fire's a good idea here, this Jackaboy'll just eat it up to restore it's own health! Not bad, plumpkin! Not bad at all!
Alice: Uh, Luth? Your line's up next, what's the hold up?
Luther: Let me just clarify something, all right? If a Persona is supposed to be the manifestation of your inner thoughts and all that... Oh ho ho, I'm gonna have a field day explaining THIS son of a bitch!
Theodore: Bloody hell, what the f*ck am I looking at right now?!
Alice: What's the matter Theo, feeling a little inadequate, or are you trying to compensate for something?
Theodore: Well, not exactly-
Luther: Ah, well having Mara as a Persona happens to coincide perfectly with Yu's character! Now you see, while Minato COULD stack up a harem with some careful planning, Yu just says f*ck that, I'ma just round up all the girls I can get my hands on! Ah, this series is simply amazing.
Nova: And it's pretty damn clear Yu's mere presence is enough to make even the straightest of dudes question their sexuality too!
Alice: Well, that's what all the Yosuke shippers would have you believe anyway. *shrugs*
Rena: Hell, Yu actually has MORE potential love interests than our beloved emo messiah, if you can even believe that... But that doesn't mean it won't come around to bite him in the ass when Valentines Day rolls around.
Theodore: Right, I suppose it makes sense that Yu would have a Persona that would accurately... reflect such activities. I must say, that is quite a big accomplishment behind his belt.
Alice: You do realize the carnage you've just started, righ-
Luther: Yeah, that's the spirit! Come on Allie, you don't have to HARDEN up so much if you don't want to.
Alice: *Groans of increasing discomfort.*
Rena: Eh, I don't get it. What's REALLY important here is Mara's ability to produce AND absorb heat!
Theodore: Indeed, but Mara's true specialty lies in the art of piercing! With its immense power, Mara needs but one thrust to penetrate the frail form of darkness!
Luther: And while we're on the topic, some of those physical attacks are capable of poisoning their targets too! Plus, if you're smart enough with your fusion tactics, you can make Mara shoot off Poison Arrows too! Damn, I'd hate to find out what kind of STDs this thing's carrying.
Nova: And if any of you guys out there are confident enough to think you beat off this massive beast, well let's just say that's gonna take a schlong time. Cause Mara can straight up absorb physical attacks, and has an extra special affinity for piercing!
Alice: Ugh, these jokes are flaccid, just stop giving them headway already!
Luther: Ha ha ha! Ah, this just makes me wish we were using the Persona 3 version of Mara instead, who really happened to HATE receiving cold showers! but on the bright side, this one's especially resistant to getting blown off instead!
Rena: Yeah, this whole section's been kind of confusing as is, but what really doesn't make sense is Mara's weakness to.. light? I don't think I see where that's COMING from.
Theodore: Perhaps she simply prefers a heavier payload?
Luther: Wait, that giant dick monster is a SHE?! ...Well that's a wooden development.
Alice: All right if we're all done screwing around in the gutter now, it's time we talked about a much less conspicuous, yet just as deadly Persona. I am of course talking about Alice.
Nova: Uh, why are you suddenly talking in the third person?
Alice: I'm talking about the young demonic girl this time, you fool! haven't you ever heard of Alice in Wonderland? If I was a petty android, I'd say off with your head for such insolence!
Luther: Huh, I didn't know you were such a fan of that work.
Rena: Oh, but THIS version of Alice is much more hardcore than than the Disney character many of you may be familiar with! Cause she'll play 52 card pickup... with the pieces of your face!
Theodore: Morbid, but very true. Do not let Alice's petite appearance fool you, as she is very much adept at the art of dark magic. When she's not blasting her foes with wave after wave of Almighty energy, she'll be scoring insta kills with the shrouds of darkness!
Nova: This girl gets even deadlier when she whips out her signature attack Die For Me! With it, she drops a rain of card soldiers from the sky with a sixty percent chance of automatically killing her victims. Death by paper cuts is never a pleasant way to go if you ask me.
Alice: Sixty percent may not sound too accurate too accurate on it's own, but Alice also knows Mudo Boost, which boosts the success rate of her dark spells by 1.5 percent. All right, pop quiz time! Can anybody tell me what 60 multiplied by 1.5 is?
Rena: Oh, pick me! I know the answer! It's 90! Die For Me now has a ninety percent chance of murdering someone!
Alice: Conglaturation, this question is correct answer. You have earned a cookie.
Rena: Yay! *chomp*
Alice: Now then, let's move on to our next guest! *Cue Sound*
Luther: Wha- I'M UP, I'M UP!
Alice: No sleeping in class, plebian!
Theodore: When the horns of justice sound, it's a telltale sign that the Persona Trumpeter has made it's appearance! And oh boy is this thing a real nightmare for any unfortunate victims that cross its path!
Nova: Now Trumpeter's got it's fair share of offensive capabilities, especially when it's devastating electric attacks are concerned, but the real meat lies in its support skills!
Rena: Oh yeah, Trumpeter's claim to fame can be summed up in two words: Debilitate and Heat Riser!
Theodore: Rena, that was three words. Four if you count the word and.
Alice: These abilities are responsible for decreasing the stats of the opposition for greatly buffering your own capabilities respectively. And just like in any Megaten game, these status buffs can truly mean the difference between victory and a game over.
Rena: So yeah, such a wide variety of abilities on a single Persona sounds pretty broken, right? Surely it's gotta have some kind of weakness to balance everything out? Well that's where you'd be DEAD WRONG! This band member has NO weakness!
Luther: Oh it ain't just that either, as Trumpeter blocks darkness, absorbs ice attacks, and outright reflects electricity and light! Hot damn, somebody at Atlus either screwed up the programming big time or had a deep love for the band club!
Alice: While we're on the topic of Game Breakers, I suppose now is a better time than any to introduce Yoshitsune, a Persona that many fans consider to be a perfect compliment to the menace that is Trumpeter.
Luther: Hey look, I think we just found Lobster Lord's long lost cousin! No wonder they're both broken as shit!
Nova: Huh... Something tells me this isn't just a coincidence. I mean they're both red samurai that can shoot lightning from their blades... YOU DON'T THINK-
Rena: Well Yoshitsune has access to Heat Riser as well, and it's electric attacks are as brutal as ever, but only really needs two moves to kick some serious ass!
Nova: Hey, I was just about to make an earth shattering point-
Theodore: It should be pretty clear at this point that Yoshitsune is mainly a physically oriented Persona, which is why it'll use Power Charge to more than double the strength of it's next attack! Combine that with a few status buffs, and all you need to do now is UNLEASH YOUR RIGHTFUL FURY WITH HASSOU TOBI!
Nova: Boo, you guys are no fun!
Alice: What exactly does this attack do, you may ask? Oh, it's only an absurdly powerful multi hitting attack that absolutely shreds the battlefield around it with no regard for mercy! Believe me when I say the damage from a Power Charged Hassou Tobi is absolutely insane.
Luther: Oh and just like with Trumpeter, the oversized lobster knight here has no freakin' weaknesses either! he'll resist fire, block any physical attacks, and reflect electricity and light! Oh and look here, we've only just passed the halfway mark on our list!
Rena: Ooh, I've been looking forward to this! It turns out Narukami here can summon the Devil too! And wouldn't you know it, this one's a massive Game Breaker too!
Alice: Enter Lucifer, the true Lord of Chaos, and arguably the true hero of the entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
Theodore: Eh, I really don't know about that. I mean sure, the entire Law Faction is a giant sack of genocidal bastards in my book, but Uncle Lucy's not exactly a saint either.
Nova: Whatever you wanna think of Lucifer himself, at least we can all agree that SMT Law sucks, right?
Luther: Granted, Lucifer's not as much of an egregious powerhouse as our last two Personas, but he still does his job pretty damn well to say the least. He'll naturally learn Mind Charge to amp up his magical attacks and Spell Master and Victory Cry for better SP preservation.
Rena: Though his main specialization in ice magic is pretty weird if you ask me. If anything, you'd expect the goddamn Devil of all people to be able to manipulate all the POWERS OF HELLFIRE! I mean come on, what's up with that?!
Nova: Eh, if it helps ease your mind a bit, Lucifer doesn't exactly suffer from any weaknesses either. He'll resist physical attacks, block darkness, absorb electricity, and repel light, which he ironically happens to be weak to until he learns the appropriate skill.
Alice: Well, aren't you in a good mood? In that case, I'd like to ask: Do you remember the guy we had kill your husbando a few episodes back-
Nova: *grumble* Don't remind me. (I still say that was bullshit though.)
Theodore: Seriously, you're still not over that? Anyway, this segway brings us to Magatsu Izanagi. No, despite being a literal recolor of Izanagi, this IS considered to be an entirely different Persona.
Rena: Why are you staring at me when you say that?
Luther: Now ironically enough, this Persona is a representation of the bond between Yu Narukami and... Drumroll please...
The serial killer the Investigation Team has been chasing after all this time! What a twist!
Alice: Granted, Adachi was doing a pretty good job of hiding his crimes until the teens finally managed to come to the proper conclusion. Oh uh, spoiler alert. The bumbling detective was the killer all along.
Theodore: But never fear, because even under the threat of death, Yu knew that the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP would ultimately prevail over evil!
Nova: Eh, it's more like the memory of a good ass kicking! F*ck you, Adachi! Taste my friendship!
Rena: Remember kids, violence solves all your problems! That's the story of how Yu basically mugged Adachi in order to gain a new Persona! And believe me when I say that was totally worth it because Magatsu Izanagi is an absolute beast!
Luther: Now while it may be lacking in the whole elemental resistance department, only being able to block insta kill moves and nothing else, this Persona is just as powerful as it was in Adachi's possession.
Theodore: Indeed, Magatsu Izanagi has a brutal, yet versatile moveset dedicated to tearing its foes to shreds! Whether it's slamming you with powerful magic or brutally stabbing you with its naginata, getting in this Persona's way is the last thing you'd ever want to do!
Alice: Now with that, I believe it's time to move on to the Persona representing Yu's cannonical tsundere love interest, Kaguya.
Nova: Wha- You can't possibly believe that Marie of all people is Yu's canon girlfriend! I mean come on, he's got SO many better choices-
Alice: The tsundere race conquers all. Your argument is irrelevant.
Luther: Besides, when your girlfriend secretly turns out to be an all powerful amnesiac goddess, what more could you ask for? But with that said, Kaguya is more of a supporting Persona than anything else.
Rena: It's a bit of a lame reward if you ask me, but Kaguya specializes in quick healing, insta kill light magic with another 90 percent success rate thanks to Hama Boost, and a few decent physical attacks on top of that.
Theodore: Even so, Kaguya was actually the Persona used to deliver the finishing blow on the final boss in the Golden Anime. THAT is why you should never underestimate the strength of LOVE!
Nova: Wow, that was cheesy. Naturally, this butterfly monster is far from perfect, especially when you consider its weakness to fire. It's super effective after all, since she's clearly a Bug Type. Luckily, Kaguya resists wind and blocks insta kill moves to make up for that.
Luther: Whew, this has been a long analysis, but the end is finally in sight! Why don't we go ahead and skip to the end of the game now?
Nova: Heeee'res a plot twist! Sure, Adachi may have been the bastard responsible for starting this string of murders and kidnappings, but who REALLY caused this series of escapades and fog to begin with? Why, it's that creepy gas station attendant from the beginning of the game of course!
Alice: Yeah, remember her? We only ever saw her once, but it turns out she's actually some goddess that wanted to seek out humanity's true desires, which in this case meant flooding the world with fog and having everybody live in utter ignorance.
Theodore: But our heroes simply could not let that happen, so they ventured into the TV World one last time to openly confront Izanami and beat the ever loving shit out of her! Things were going pretty well for our Scooby Doo gang here... until Izanami decided to show her true form.
Rena: It was at this point where Izanami started cheaping out and spamming insta kill moves on the entire party, but hey, that's nothing the power of friendship can't stop, right?
Theodore: How right you are, citizen! Not one to give up so easily, Yu returned from the brink of death, channeled all the bonds he had created over the course of his journey, and gave rise to his ultimate Persona: Izanagi no Okami!
Nova: Hell yeah, that's what I'm talking about! As Yu's strongest persona, this new Izanagi is every bit as powerful as you'd expect! It possesses absolute mastery of all the elements, Mind Charge to further amp it's already ridiculous strengths, and Heat Riser to power Yu up even further!
Luther: But what really cements this Persona's lofty position are its signature moves! Angelic Grace is a passive skill that allows easier evasion against all the regular elements and Myriad Truths... Well...
Theodore: It was this very move that allowed Yu to defeat Izanami for good, after tanking wave after wave of seemingly lethal blows beforehand if I may add. But unlike our previous protagonist... Yu actually managed to survive all this so he could star in later games in the series!
Alice: That is very true to say the least. And Yu didn't stop his God slaying career there, oh not at all. His other accomplishments include defeating Chronos alongside Minato in Persona Q... only to completely forget the experience because of the status quo...
Rena: Oh, and remember the all powerful elevator attendant we mentioned earlier? Well Yu managed to take on her big sister alone, and win! He even went on to win a fighting tournament that pitted him against many other Persona users including all his friends and even a few members of SEES!
Luther: THAT adventure was topped off with a fight against a psychopathic misanthropic swordsman with a love for terrible puns and yet ANOTHER crazy ass God that wanted to screw over the world. And in the latter instance, the only aid Yu required was that of Adachi! Uh, spoiler alert. Again.
Nova: But we can't forget this dude's wicked dance moves either! We've barely even begun to scratch the surface of either combatant's social lives either... Damn, is there ANYTHING that can stop him?
Alice: In all honesty, Yu doesn't have many notable weaknesses, though he does share all the same flaws as Minato in that regard, minus the need for an Evoker at least. Really, the only thing capable of conquering the ol' brotagonist here is a nice serving of Mystery Food X!
Theodore: *shudders* Yeah... I'm not kidding when I say a single bite of that abomination is enough to slay a god...
Rena: I guess there's only one way to find out, is there? May the best pimp win!
Yu: The connections we make give us strength... and we've forged new bonds in this strange world.
Nova: Alright, the combatants are set. Let's end this debate once and for all...
Luther: Yeah, I think we've spent more than enough time here as is. With all that information out of the way...
Theodore: IT'S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLE!
Location: Tartarus? Approaching the top floor.
Today... was a rather dark day to say the least. The mysterious tower Tartarus had abruptly arisen in the middle of the land, denizens of multiple worlds were colliding, and the multiverse as we know it was clearly coming to an end. Nobody knew for sure, but this new incarnation of Tartarus would hold all the answers people seek. Naturally, this meant the start of a new journey and the means to forge new connections with others for many people across the world.
Many souls have clashed, allied, or otherwise crossed paths along the way, but very few have successfully reached the tower, let alone approach the peak. Despite sharing the lofty achievement of reaching the top before anybody else, the two teenagers responsible for this feat were not about to meet with the friendliest of terms. One was a soft spoken, yet big hearted youth with a head of silver hair. The other, an equally devoted, yet somewhat more mature man with a noticeable hue of blue spread across his hair.
"Who are you?" the two of them spoke simultaneously, immediately catching eye of the opposing of one another from the opposite end of the room.
"I'm Yu Narukami... I'm sorry but... Do I know you? You look awfully familiar." the silver haired youth opened up, immediately walking forward to meet the newcomer.
"I... can't say I remember meeting anyone like you before. My name is Minato Arisato, by the way." the opposing teen returned the favor and continued to walk towards the center of the room.
"Sorry. I just can't help this strange feeling I have... But I can assume you're here to find the truth behind Tartarus, right?"
"Right... I'm here to put a stop to this apocalypse too... And I think I know what you mean... Why can't I recall?" Minato replied, only to suddenly grasp his head in an unexpected spike of pain. Yu clearly felt the same, stopping in his tracks to tend to his own mind.
"Ugh! What... is this?" Yu barely managed to stutter his words. The pain in his mind was starting to become absolutely unbearable (no bear pun intended) at this point.
"That's... impossible..." Minato was crouching down at this point, even deciding to swallow a few painkillers from his pockets to help ease the pain as he came to a sudden realization.
"Everything's just rushing back into me as if...You're the boy from the labyrinths, aren't you?"
"Yes, that's it. You know, I really can't believe we forgot about that journey. We made a promise too, right?"
"...How are you even alive right now?" Yu suddenly asked with a grim tone.
"What are you talking about?"
"I've heard all about it from your friends. How you sacrificed yourself to become the Great Seal. How you prevented the Fall from coming to fruition. What happened since then?" Yu continued his little interrogation, in dire need for an answer of any kind.
"Look, I'm still just as confused as you are, alright? I don't know why I'm suddenly alive again as if nothing ever happened! All I knew from the moment I saw Tartarus again was that I HAD to get to the top again. But there's nothing here!" Minato snapped, still clutching his forehead as he attempted to make sense of this situation.
"To be honest, I don't know what to do now either... I mean, you'd at least expect to find some kind of eldritch abomination bent on destroying the world in the name of mankind's desires, right?"
Minato let out a quick snicker before responding. "Well, I have some semblance of a plan in mind... Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" the blue haired youth questioned as he reached for his trusted Evoker.
"Yeah. You remember what Margaret taught us, right? The clash of two Wild Cards signifies the concept of infinity... Of limitless potential..." Yu responded, reaching for his katana upon confirming the situation he was now in.
"I guess you don't need me to tell you again, huh? Then I hope you're ready to give this everything you've got! Fight as if you mean to kill! To hold back would be nothing less than disrespectful!" Minato firmly warned as he pointed his Evoker at his head.
"I know. There's too much at stake for this to be a friendly spar. But know that I'm not going to let my companions down, no matter what!" Yu reaffirmed his beliefs and stretched out his arm to reveal a blue tarot card in his hand. the bearers of the WIld Card need not require another word to come to a full understanding. All that remains now is a life or death confrontation that will determine the fate of the bonds they hold so dear to their hearts...
Part 1: The Duel of the Wild Cards
Upon their master's commands, the two Personas instantly appeared before the combatants, lunging forward to unleash a basic blast blast of fire and electricity. The projectiles met halfway, unleashing a brilliant explosion of red and blue upon contact. With his vision temporarily obscured from the resulting smoke, Yu and Izanagi banded together and lunged forward in an electrifying dash, hoping to catch Minato off guard in the process.
Yet Orpheus was well prepared to handle Yu's initial offense as it brought its harp down on the approaching duo. Sure enough, Izanagi instinctively raised its naginata in self defense upon exiting the explosive cloud, engaging in a bladelock of sorts with the Master of Strings. Minato reached for his own blade and rushed forward to aid his own Persona, but Yu was nowhere to be seen, much to his confusion.
Yu leaped from cover the instant Minato was within range, coming down on his foe with a skillful descending slash. His target was certainly able to parry the blow, but the sudden impact left Minato staggering for a select second. It was the perfect opportunity. With the opposing summoner distracted, Izanagi broke away from Orpheus and triumphantly lunged its weapon into the air, bringing a violent lightning bolt down upon the Master of Strings.
Not only was the bolt a direct hit, but Izanagi had managed to strike Orpheus with its very own weakness. Both Minato and his Persona stumbled back in pain upon receiving the blow, allowing Izanagi to ruthlessly stab Orpheus with its weapon. Yu capitalized on the situation with a swift but true strike to Minato's face with the hilt of his blade. Then with Orpheus literally still in tow, Izanagi threw the Persona off of the naginata, now sending it flying into its own master.
With his Persona fading away in a flash of blue light, Minato knew he had to adjust his strategy accordingly. Despite tumbling along the floor for a good distance, Minato still had the strength to raise his Evoker to his head and pull the trigger.
Minato's fall was now broken by a masked demonic figure in a cloak. It was a menacing figure with a long blade in one hand and an array of coffins lined up on its back to resemble wings. Thanatos let out an ear piercing roar as it stretched out its entire body. With an eerie gleam on its face, Thanatos unleashed a flurry of purple projectiles upon the opposing Persona.
"Huh. I can't believe I forgot that you could change Personas too." Yu commented, not even fazed by Thanatos's renewed offense. Izanagi didn't even need a command to rush forth and wipe out the oncoming balls of energy with every swing of its mighty spear. Playing keepaway was obviously a poor choice at this point, so Minato commanded his persona to meet Izanagi head on with a simple hand gesture.
Yet for reasons that Yu could not decipher, Thantos swung its blade down before it could even come within striking distance. It didn't take long for Yu's questions to be answered when Izanagi was surrounded by a field of blue energy. With no time to waste, Izanagi rose into the skies before its former location was quickly engulfed by a barrage of energy slashes.
Izanagi's escape wasn't entirely safe however. it seems Thanatos was lying in wait, relishing the opportunity to engage its foe in close combat. The sound of metal colliding soon filled the air as the two Personas were locked in a blindingly swift contest of blades. Keeping up with the warring deities would prove to be a difficult task, seeing as how they never strayed in a single location for too long. Bursts of lightning and purple energy scattered all over the arena, with the combating summons ramping up their offense with each passing second. But of course Yu didn't have time to sit back and grab some popcorn. Minato quickly closed in on the silver haired teen with his own blade in hand, ready to get some payback for Yu's earlier ambush.
"No slacking off on the job now!" Minato warned as Yu deflected his swing at the last second.
"Who said I was slacking, Mister MP3 Addict?" Yu snarked, adeptly sidestepping to avoid a thrust from Minato's sword. What followed was a relatively even swordfight on two different fronts, with neither side being able to gain a significant advantage over the other. This certainly was the case until one noticed the mocking smirk on Minato's lips.
"Oh, what have you been staring at lately? You didn't happen to bring any dirty magazines along, did you?" Yu joked as he ducked down in an attempt to catch his foe with a sweeping kick.
"Nah, I'm just really amused that Sherlock here managed to miss such an important detail." Minato stated with a small chuckle, jumping back to avoid Yu's sweep and briefly looking up at Thanatos, whose body had steadily been glowing with a purple hue over the course of the fight. Now that his plan was finally set in motion, Minato forced his way through Yu's defenses and engaged in a fierce bladelock, prompting the two personas to do the same.
"Hook, line, and sinker." Minato mocked as he directed Yu's attention to the Personas lingering just above their heads. Izanagi was clearly struggling to hold its defense against Thanatos, despite the fact that the God of Death was only using a single hand to hold its blade. Instead, the latter raised its free hand up high, summoning a rather familiar ball of purple energy above the combatant's heads.
"Ever took a Megidolaon to the face before? You should trust me when I say it's quite delicious!" Minato offered as Thanatos finally unleashed its payload. Izanagi took the Almighty blast head on, which ironically sent him tumbling right onto the preoccupied Yu Narukami. Still not satisfied with the current level of brutality, Thanatos forcefully tore off one of its own coffins and chucked it into the ground behind Yu, who still managed to stand alongside his persona despite taking such a devastating attack.
Ignoring the self inflicted wound from tearing off its own body part, Thanatos made a beeline for its adversaries and kicked them into the open coffin with the force of a certain Spartan Warrior. With little to no remorse for his actions, Minato slammed the coffin shut as Thanatos proceeded to completely mutilate the structure with its bare hands. The savage beating finally came to a head when Thanatos decided to literally bite down on the roof of the ghastly prison.
"Here's Jackie!" Yu's voice suddenly erupted from within the coffin as the door was blown open with a sizeable explosion. What emerged from the deadly prison was a small ghostly figure with a jack o lantern for a head.
"Pyro Jack, burn 'em to the ground!" Yu commanded. A simple wave of the spirit's lantern was enough to engulf the surrounding area in a wall of flames, forcing Minato to retreat and summon another Persona with the pull of a trigger.
"Jack Frost!" An adorable creature resembling a snowman appeared with a rather jolly smile plastered on its face as it triumphantly pointed at the raging inferno with the determination of an ace attorney. A chilling breeze coated the Persona's surroundings, steadily putting out the flames as a rather obvious result. But like an image ripped straight out of a horror movie, Pyro Jack menacingly leaped from the inferno with its lantern in hand...
Only to be met with a Sonic Punch to the face, courtesy of series mascot Jack Frost. That sucker punch certainly sent the fiery pumpkin head reeling, giving Frosty the Snowman the perfect opportunity to encase him in a block of ice before shattering the structure entirely with the snap of a finger. Though Minato was quite shocked to find that Pyro Jack was barely affected by the chill of his Bufudyne at all.
"That's impossible! I struck your weakness!" Minato proclaimed in surprise as the pumpkin headed Persona let out a wicked cackle before engulfing his fellow mascot in a fiery explosion. The force of the explosion was apparent enough already, but the super effective blow to his own Persona was more than enough to knock Minato onto his ass. Yu glanced over to Pyro Jack and gave a mutual nod of agreement before the two rushed over to their downed opponent.
"Then I guess it's not very effective." Yu calmly retorted. Minato's eyes widened in confusion as the combatants were abruptly surrounded by a cloud of cartoon violence, completely obscuring the beatdown that took place within. The ball of humor finally dissipated when Yu basically punted Minato off the ground, though the latter managed to regain his bearings in midair this time.
"Ananta!" Minato pulled the trigger on his Evoker once again, this time summoning a serpentine creature with a multitude of heads. The new Persona let out an ear piercing shriek as Jack frost was suddenly surrounded by a faint field of light. Yu recognized this lethal spell the moment he witnessed it and frantically summoned another tarot card in an attempt to switch out his current Persona. But the sight of Pyro Jack disintegrating within a violent flash of light and warding charms meant that Yu was far too slow to avoid the attack. Luckily, Yu's inventory allowed him to escape the harrowing horrors of instant death, but the pain of receiving another Persona Break was readily apparent.
"Trumpeter!" Yu commanded, summoning a strange skeletal creature floating in the air with a trumpet safely tucked in its hands. The Persona simply blew into its namesake instrument the moment it was summoned, though it didn't seem to have an apparent effect on the battle. Minato simply paid it no mind as he commanded his own Persona to heal his wounds, though he did seem to feel noticeably weaker upon hearing Trumpeter's blaring horn.
Ananta hissed terrifyingly once more before it made a sudden, but groggy charge for Yu's Persona. Trumpeter nonchalantly avoided the snake's oncoming bite by simply floating backwards, blowing into its namesake instrument yet again. Ananta was struck by a fierce lightning bolt before Minato could react, forcing Minato to hunch over in shock as the sound of the horn continued to drone on. Another bolt soon materialized right over the Persona user himself, but Minato was well prepared to avoid it with a quick jump to the side.
With no time to waste, Minato brandished his blade once more to ward off an ambushing Yu, who chose to trap him in yet another bladelock. Yu chuckled when he witnessed the confused look on Minato's face when his Persona wouldn't respond to his current commands. Surely he could not have taken too much damage yet... Of course Minato's questions were questioned when he simply looked over to his left to find that Ananta's main head was jammed inside of Trumpeter's horn.
"Uh... That just doesn't look right at all." Minato's mind went straight to the gutter as he commented on the awkward situation at hand.
"Apologies in advance." Yu warned, breaking off the bladelock as Trumpeter blared its horn directly into Ananta's face. It was at this moment when Minato dreaded sharing his pain with his Persona. His sense of hearing was absolutely screwed up, which makes sense when some jackass decides to blow a trumpet into your ear. Minato was in so much pain, he completely failed to notice the Almighty Megidolaon forming above his head.
Yu breathed a sigh of relief, believing he'd managed to at least bring his adversary to his knees. He could already tell that Minato would not succumb to defeat so easily, and Yu's suspicions were confirmed when a strong gust of wind cleared away the dust created by his Megidolaon. But what Yu didn't expect was for Minato to literally walk away from this attack completely unharmed, with two Personas guarding the boy to boot, Ananta among them. The other was an Indian deity that bore multiple arms and jewelry by the name of Vishnu.
"Two Personas at once?! How is that even- HAGH!" Yu asked in total surprise, only to be interrupted by a sudden fit of coughing. I only took the slightest glimpse of a faint purple circle around his feet for Yu to tell that he'd just been poisoned. Vishnu simply gave the silver haired teen a blank stare as it raised one of its many arms to the sky to signal a golden fist to materialize above Yu's head. Yu had little time to lose, so he quickly switched to another Persona to protect him.
"Mara!" Yu cried out as a... how do I even want to describe this?
...An enormous... appendage with a rather unfortunate shape riding a golden chariot protectively emerged above its master. Vishnu's God Hand has no effect at all, despite striking the opposing Persona's head. If anything, the attack seemed to actually heal Yu instead of inconvenience him.
"What the hell am I even looking at right now?" Minato tilted his head to the side, barely even comprehending the enormous living "thing" that his opponent had summoned. He simply could not bring himself to concentrate on his surroundings, allowing Yu the opportunity to remedy his poison with a quick batch of medicine.
"What, do you mean Mara?" Yu asked with a confused look on his face.
"What the hell kind of Persona is that and how did you even get that beast past the censors?!" Minato cried out in exasperation.
"Well, that's actually a pretty wooden story. I had to beat off a couple of Shadows inside a steamy bathhouse first and...." Yu calmly informed, earning an angry glare from Minato. "Hey, you don't have to be so frigid about it. I made her through a fusion accident. I believe Igor called it a premature discharge upon realizing his mistake." Yu replied with no regard to his new Persona's inappropriate design.
"Alright, you're trying to say you're a huge dick, I get it! Let's just get back to trying to kill each other, all right?" Minato pleaded with a hand cradling his forehead.
"I'm not really sure what you're problem here is but... Poison Arrow!"
Yu reinitiated the fight, commanding his Persona blast a sickly purple laser from it's "mouth". Minato wildly shook his head to dispel the dirty thoughts he had created as Vishnu shot a large chunk of ice at the Mara's approaching ejection. The airborne STD was immediately frozen upon contact but Mara herself was hardly even close to achieving satisfaction. Yu climbed onto the Persona's back and pointed at his foes with a gleam of determination. The Persona rushed forth on it's mighty chariot, intending on giving it's foe a head on attack.
Refusing to back down from such a heated confrontation, Minato signaled his Persona to slam the ground with all it's might, creating a massive shockwave in all directions. But Mara simply continued it's approach, not even taking time to register Vishnu's attack. With a surprisingly satisfied screech, Mara burst through Vishnu's Akasha Arts, emitting a strange stream of liquid from it's "mouth" upon doing so.
"Ugh, that's just wrong on so many levels..." Minato threw up in his mouth in utter disgust as Mara continued it's approach.
"I can tell you're running low on stamina. I only need but one thrust to reach the climax!" Yu triumphantly declared as Mara's body literally surged with power, prompting another sigh from his opponent. Before Mara could run Minato over, Vishnu rushed forth and caught the massive demon with it's six hands, clearly struggling to keep her from penetrating its body. In a last ditch effort to beat off the raging beast, Vishnu's eyes briefly flashed, signalling a bolt of thunder to drop from the sky. The bolt was a direct hit, but the strange flash that followed caused Vishnu to receive the attack instead.
"I don't think so!" Minato taunted, clearly unfazed by his reflected spell.
"I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you." Yu replied as Mara slammed the floor with enough force to shake the very foundation beneath the combatants, producing an enormous explosion that ripped right through the opposition. Vishnu was completely disintegrated by the blast, though it still managed to keep a firm grip on Mara until it disappeared completely. Minato himself was knocked to the ground by the explosion, coughing violently once he was reduced to an immobile heap on the floor.
With his Persona broken, there was nothing stopping Mara from crashing into Minato like a speeding car. The youth essentially became an unfortunate bug on a windshield, now forced to come along on Mara's wild ride. Minato struggled to regain his balance in a battle against time itself, well aware that Yu was seeking to hurl him off the edge of Tartarus. He managed to make a decent amount of progress by the time had run out, though the fact that he was forced to climb such a disgusting Persona with his bare hands was quite nauseating. Yu quickly took notice of his enemy's progress and proceeded to deliver a gut wrenching kick strong enough to force Minato off of his ride and right next to a rather precarious ledge.
Part 2: Enough Holding Back
His heart now heavy with concern, Yu halted Mara's violent approach and dismounted the Persona. "Alright, I think that's enough! You're in no condition to continue fighting!" He gave a stern warning, pointing his blade at the blue haired Persona user in a rather threatening manner.
"Ha ha! I'll admit, you're a lot better than I'd have given you credit for." Minato replied, clutching his stomach in pain.
"Then the battle's ove-"
"But... Don't you think you're giving up too easily?" Minato interrupted, taking a step backwards he began to grow an eerie grin.
"Wait! What the hell are you even-" Yu's eyes widened with fear as he realized what Minato was about to do.
"You realize this isn't just a friendly game, right?!" Minato asked as he allowed himself to plummet off the peak of Tartarus, his back turned towards the gaping abyss before him.
"No... How could you just..." Yu hurried to Minato's former position, absolutely shocked that his opponent would even consider committing suicide in the middle of a battle...
"GAH!" Yu cried out in a sudden fit of pain as an orb of Almighty energy struck him from behind, sending the silver haired teen hurtling off of the building in the same manner as his predecessor. Yu's life practically flashed before his eyes as he helplessly fell along the side of the seemingly endless tower. He had no way of telling if Minato was even alive at the moment, but Yu quickly created a tarot card in his right hand, intending to come out of this confrontation alive, no matter the cost.
"Magatsu- Izan- UGH!" Yu's fall was brought to a sudden halt as his shoulder was violently pinned to the side of Tartarus by a mighty spear. Despite the gruesome wound on his shoulder, he still found the strength to look up at the purple viking-like figure that floated before him, Odin. Minato rode atop the Norse god's shoulder, silently mocking his foe as Odin's free hand crackled with electricity.
"You don't have to worry about me. I've been through much worse." Minato reassured.
"Then you won't have any trouble surviving this! Magatsu Izanagi!" Yu cried out, summoning the dark reflection of his signature Persona. Before Odin could unleash it's reign of thunder, Magatsu Izanagi adeptly flew underneath him and skewered the mighty god from below with its trusted naginata.
"Dammit! That was not called for!" Minato scolded Yu's dirty tactics as he clutched his manhood in extreme pain. This gave Yu the perfect opportunity to dislodge himself from Odin's spear. The action was excruciatingly painful, but absolutely necessary to achieve his newest goals. Meanwhile, Magatsu Izanagi had swept behind Minato's back, raising its spear in preparation for a brutal attack. In a death defying stunt, Yu leaped towards his Persona the instant it swung its weapon downwards, leatching onto Magatsu's coat as his enemies were engulfed by a flurry of red slashes.
Minato held on for dear life as Odin slammed into the side of Tartarus, staring on in horror as Yu Narukami himself made another daring jump in his general direction. It didn't take long for Minato to decipher his foe's decision as Magataus Izanagi unleashed a raging vortex upon friend and foe alike, miraculosuly doing no harm to the silver haired teen in the process. Minato and his own Persona weren't so lucky. He could feel his entire body being pierced by the violent gales. His poor situation only escalated when Yu gave Odin a Magarudyne assisted football tackle and latched onto the Persona with his blade.
It was a miracle that Minato hadn't suffered a Persona Break yet, which was certainly lucky for both parties involved. If Odin were to disappear, there would be nothing stopping the two teens from falling to their deaths. But Magatsu Izanagi was quite intent on finishing the job regardless, wrapping it's body in a torrent of flame before rushing forth to stab the opposing Persona in the back. The impact was powerful enough to break through the wall behind its target, allowing both summoners a safe, yet clumsy method of reentering the Tower.
"Huh, aren't you clever?" Minato congratulated, rising to his feet as he took a deep breath to calm himself. "But I tell you've been holding your punches so far." Minato pointed out as he raised his Evoker yet again.
"Yeah, well I could say the same thing about you." Yu retorted, summoning Magatsu Izanagi to his side.
"Guilty as charged. But the gloves are really off now. Helel!" Minato cried out, summoning an enormous angelic figure, nearly tall enough to touch the ceiling with its size alone. The Persona showered its master with a radiant shower of light before winding up a heavy punch, prompting Magatsu Izanagi to unleash another Atom Smasher, engulfing Helel's body in a storm of quick red slashes. But in a complete turnabout of events, Helel completely ignored its opponent's onslaught. Magatsu Izanagi jumped back at the last moment, easily avoiding Helel's obviously telegraphed punch.
"What happened to not pulling your punches again?" Yu taunted as his Persona charged up an attack of its own.
"Oh, you'll see what I mean soon enough. But did you really just fall for that?" Minato pointed at Magatsu Izanagi, who's body was suddenly surrounded by a mass of Almighty energy. Yu was unable to assess the situation in time before the area was engulfed in a massive explosion, completely disintegrating Magatsu izanagi and sending Yu himself spiraling down the hallway. Minato quickly dismissed Helel in favor of Odin, now favoring speed over raw power. The Norse god sped forth with a burst of wind, fully intent on chasing down its wounded prey. It certainly didn't take him long to catch up with Yu, who was still flying through the hall. With his target in sight, Odin raised its right arm and formed a storm cloud above Yu's head.
A silver faced samurai garbed in red armor appeared before Yu, halting the man's momentum with one hand, and raising a blade to Odin's stormcloud with the other. A mere second later, the cloud unleashed a massive storm of electricity upon the two of them, but utterly failed to leave even the slightest mark upon either of its targets. Like a lightning rod in the middle of a stormy night, Yoshitsune's blade had absorbed the Reign of Thunder in its entirety.
With his master well and safe, Yoshitsune gave Odin a blank stare of fury before redirecting the god's furious attack right back at it. Yet the fury of thunder was about as effective as a spitball to the all powerful Odin, who merely allowed the bolts to strike him directly, which only served to strengthen the Persona even further. Having made it clear that electricity was rendered useless to both parties involved, the two personas readied their respective weapons and charged one another, much like the samurai of yore.
Yoshitsune's twin blades continuously clanged against Odin's lance as the two Personas engaged in a violent struggle to seriously maim the other. Sparks flew throughout the battlefield with every clash of steel, failing to harm both Persona and bystander alike despite the explosive nature of this conflict. It wasn't much longer before Minato had caught up to rest of the combatants, though he wisely decided to keep his distance from the warring Personas, lest he inadvertantly end up becoming sliced sushi.
The arrival of his predecessor granted Yu the perfect opportunity to enact a new strategy. Taking care to avoid being skewered on Odin's spear, Yoshitsune briefly broke off their fierce clash to enact a Power Charge. The very second Yohsitsune had lowered its guard, Minato knew he had to take a risk. In a matter of pure urgency, he commanded Odin to hurl its spear at the samurai Persona like a medieval javelin, only for Yoshitsune to sandwich the weapon between his blades in midair, only a few inches away from its face.
Yu flashed a devilish smirk as Yoshitsune proceeded to stab the floor with his blades, turning the immediate vicinity into a field of blood red. With no safe place to escape to, Minato and Odin were soon swallowed up by a sea of brutal slashes arising that seemed to arise from the Underworld itself. Odin was completely annihilated after taking only four hits, leaving Minato to suffer through the onslaught alone. Yoshitsune's Hassou Tobihalted after what seemed to be an eternity, but the floor below Minato's feet remained crimson red regardless. Fearing the worst, Minato immediately reached for his Evoker to switch to another Persona, only for Hassou Tobi to begin anew before he could even pull the trigger.
"You're... not killing me off so easily! Helel!" Minato roared in defiance, fighting off the immense pain to resummon the angelic form of the Lord of Chaos. With this new Persona's abilities in tow, the remainder of Yoshitsune's attack inadvertently rejuvenated Minato as the light of the heavens shone down above his enemies. Yu could only brace himself for the worst before he was bombarded by Helel's explosive. Morning Star.
Part 3: Stand Proud or Fall in Shame
The Almighty blast blew Yu off his feet yet again, though the silver haired youth managed to halt his flight by jamming his blade into the ground with an annoyingly loud screeching sound. Minato presumably remained further down the hall to apply prepare for another conflict with some much needed status buffs. Yu formulated another plan, making sure to analyze his new surroundings as quickly as possible. He seemed to be in a small alcove, hidden just out of sight of a larger room filled to the brim with empty crosses. "Alice!" Yu cried out, summoning a ghostly pale blonde girl with a simple blue dress. The girl gave out a creepy chuckle as the entire alcove was covered by a shroud of darkness, just as Minato had arrived with his own Persona.
"Trying to play hide and seek, huh?" Minato assessed the situation as Helel swatted away the cloud of darkness with but a simple flick of its fingers, piercing the shroud with a brilliant wave of light. What lay before the two as the shroud cleared away was a simple tarot card embedded in the wall. Minato cautiously approached the card and freed it from its "prison", suspicious of whatever trap Yu had laid out for him. Turning the card on its back revealed the image of the Fool Arcana. Minato could hardly notice it at first, but there seemed to be a crudely drawn 吸盤 right above the number 0...
"Oh shit." Minato gave out a deadpan remark as his attention was directed to the room below. There, he witnessed Yu giving him a mocking salute as Alice childishly spun around like a ballerina.
"I hope you're ready to Die for Me, now!" Yu warned as a comically large (not to mention unrealistically sharp) deck of playing cards and spears materialized above Minato's head. Helel moved to shield its master from Alice's deadly attack, but to little avail in the end. It took but a single card to completely destroy the angelic Persona, leaving Minato to take the full force of the reign of cards, immediately dropping the boy to his knees. but he was hardly about to let Yu get away with this little prank unscathed.
"Metatron!" Minato cried out, managing to pull the trigger on his Evoker despite being caught up in Alice's instant death attack. What emerged this time was another angelic figure with a more graceful presence with that of Helel. Metatron's attention was immediately drawn to Alice, who was performing a little victory dance at the prospect of having annihilated Minato's previous Persona and filling Yu with an excess of magical power.
In a rather ironic move, the angel simply shook its head and shrugged as the room below was filled to the brim with a brilliant glow of light that seemed to focus on Alice more than anything else. Not one to fall for the same trick twice, Yu immediately dismissed Alice in favor of a Persona guaranteed to survive the lethality of Metatron's Mahamaon.
"Kaguya!" Yu defiantly shouted as a rather unique figure resembling that of a butterfly took Alice's place the very moment her location was engulfed in a violent flash of light. Ironically enough, Metatron's illumination of the area made it quite impossible to spot Kaguya from beyond the wall of light, but that wasn't exactly necessary when a volley of orbs suddenly flew out of the lethal pillar in Minato's direction. Metatron quickly flew from the alcove and raised it's right arm, easily intercepting Kaguya's attack. Though if one paid too much attention, the angel's hand gesture did bear a rather heavy resemblance to a certain infamous salute...
But that's not too important. Metatron shrugged again as another mass of Almighty energy materialized above Kaguya's head. Yet Yu's Persona flew to safety with exceptional grace the moment the light of Mahamaon cleared away, easily dodging the explosive mass of energy crashing down from above. Kaguya beautifully twirled through the air as she made a beeline for Metatron itself. The angel barely even batted an eyebrow as it raised another salute to casually parry Kaguya's incoming attack. Regardless of the ineffectiveness of her actions, Kaguya continued to assault Metatron with a series of kicks and wing strikes, only for each attempt to be swatted away by another salute from the angel.
"Okay, this is getting us nowhere." Minato sighed as he finally decided to go on the offensive again, carefully making his way around the combating Personas to continue the fight on his own terms. Kaguya was then easily knocked back by another shrug from Metatron, who proceeded to materialize a fist of pure gold above the butterfly Persona's head. The God's Hand was avoided with relative ease, only for another fist to follow suit, forcing Kaguya to remain on the retreat, lest she be crushed like a bug. Kaguya fought back with another volley of orbs, which met with the same fate as her previous projectiles.
"So how about we change things up a notch?" Yu casually replied, coming forth to meet Minato head on as their two Personas remained in a stalemate.
"Sure, I wouldn't have it any other way." Minato confirmed, reaching for his Evoker as the two Persona users slowly drew near each other. Soon enough, the two combatants clashed blades with one hand, and prepared to summon another Persona with the other.
The familiar sound of swords colliding was soon intertwined with the mighty roar of the Devil himself. Two enormous creatures with skin the color of blue cheese had arisen behind the two combatants, engaged in a fierce armlock. Lucifer was a being that could truly befit the image of the Devil. He took a humanoid form with six enormous demonic wings spread across his back and a long pair of horns nestled atop his head. The other Persona, Satan took a more grotesque serpentine appearance. This being bore four terrifying arms, six demonic wings, and a face ripped straight out of an HP Lovecraft story. The entire room trembled in a semblance fear with but a single roar from these two mortal enemies.
"Well then. I didn't see that one coming." Yu casually commented before he broke away from Minato's bladelock, prompting Lucifer to do the same.
"You know, it's not exactly a good sign when the manifestations of our inner selves turn out to be the incarnations of the Devil himself, huh?" Minato joked along as Satan's right pair of arms began to surge with the color of crimson red.
"True, but appearances can be deceiving." Yu replied, signalling Lucifer to surge with power too. In that instant, the two Demons lunged forth with all the strength they could muster, unleashing a small orb of red and yellow respectively. The two projectiles seemed quite slow and harmless... until they intertwined moments later, resulting in a massive explosion obscuring the battlefield at large...But the dust quickly dissipated with what seemed to be an endless burst of fire and ice. The two Personas showed no regard for their surroundings whatsoever, instead wanting nothing more than to decimate their counterparts. They violently clawed at one another and wildly sprayed their destructive magic all in a furious struggle for superiority.
These Personas may not be the true Lucifer and Satan people have come to know, but the savage sparks in their eyes was more than able to match the sheer ferocity of the real deals. Walls were crumbling, the crosses in the background were obliterated by a stray explosion, and the battlefield at large was turning into what can only be described as true Hell. All the while, the ongoing swordfight between Yu and Minato managed to retain the same level of unbridled fury as their Personas. The time for holding back had long since past and both Persona users knew they could not keep up the fight forever.
"It looks like you're not giving up so easily either." Yu commented as he kicked off Minato's blade to create some distance between the two of them. "I think it's time for another change of pace." Yu commanded, calling Lucifer away from his own rival as well.
"What is it this time?" Minato asked, clearly annoyed with Yu's newest antic.
"Just see if you can keep up!" Yu warned, tossing his blade to the ground and throwing a sudden punch at Minato. Lucifer followed suit, reeling back his right arm to give Satan an old fashioned punch to the jaw.
"Seriously? Is that really your best attack?" Minato asked as he and Satan maintained caught their rival's fists in mid strike.
"Don't worry, we're just getting started!" Yu replied, crushing Minato's hand in his fist and using his free hand to attempt a left hook, which met with the same fate as his previous strike.
"If you're really that desperate to get your ass kicked in a real brawl, then..." Minato sternly warned as he broke away from Yu with a fierce backhand to his right cheek. "I'll just let the strength of my own bonds do the talking for me!" Minato roared as his Persona's body visibly surged with power yet again, rushing forth to meet Lucifer with an attack of his own. Yu simply gave a nod of approval as Lucifer followed suit to meet his rival head on. The two Personas attacked simultaneously, only succeeding in striking each other's fists. So they tried it again. And again. The attacks continued to collide with an ever increasing tempo until Lucifer and Satan's fists were nothing more than a seemingly invisible blur.
Yu opened his mouth to speak, only for Minato to silence him with a stern gesture of his finger. "I swear, if you start shouting ora repeatedly, I WILL end you." The blue haired teen quietly warned as the two Devils continued their furious rushes.
"Alright, if you say so... MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA-"
"Oh, GODDAMMIT!" Minato yelled with a loud facepalm, mentally cursing his luck as he silently commanded Satan to speed up his attacks even further. But nothing else truly mattered at this point. Both combatants needed all the focus they could muster. A single slip up would most certainly come up with painful consequences. Though Yu couldn't help but be amazed that Lucifer was keeping up with Satan despite having less limbs to attack with... Let's just say he was tempting fate with the mere thought of such a feat. The fated blow came sooner rather than later, as one of Satan's four arms had finally slipped past Lucifer's defenses and proceeded to lay a brutal smackdown on him.
Well aware that Yu was feeling every last punch that Lucifer received, Minato let this scenario play out for about five seconds before finally ending Yu's punishment, personally walking up to the silver haired teen to deliver a wicked uppercut to the jaw strong enough to knock him off his feet.
"I'm ending this right now!" Minato triumphantly shouted as he pulled the trigger on his Evoker yet again. Yu rose to his feet with the utmost urgency in mind, but what he witnessed upon regaining his bearings was a pretty bad sign to say the least. Not only did Satan remain on the battlefield, but Helel had been resummoned to the fight as well, floating alongside the demonic Persona.
"I'll admit it's been fun... But my friend need me more than ever now..." Minato attempted to console Yu as Helel and Satan prepared to unleash one final attack. With Lucifer well and truly defeated, Yu knew he only had one chance to save his life. He randomly drew a tarot card with the admittedly vain hope his next Persona could stop the combined might of two devils.
"It's time... for ARMAGEDDON!"
"IZANAGI!" The two Persona users instantaneously shouted at the top of their lungs. Helel and Satan unleashed their full power, engulfing the floor in a mass of violent light just waiting to annihilate whatever unfortunate souls that wandered within range. Izanagi did the same, unleashing the most powerful Megidolaon it could possibly muster into the sky.
The explosions that followed completely obliterated their surroundings, leaving naught but endless darkness. When the dust had finally settled, the very arena Yu and Minato had fought in ceased to exist altogether. All that remained was the broken bodies of both combatants lying face down on opposite sides of what seemed to be an endless void... It seems the wounds collected over the course of the battle had finally caught up with them. Yu and Minato were barely conscious now, having lost the will to even attempt to stand.
"Dammit... Do I reallly have to go like this..." Minato whispered under his breath, straining to even speak.
"I can't believe... I'll never get to see my friends again..." Yu mumbled, silently wishing for the specter of death to overcome him...
"What's the point of living... making friends... anything... If you're just going to die in the end?" Minato sighed in defeat, not even bothering to raise his head from the ground.
"Can this really be the truth of life... Maybe ignorance wasn't such a bad idea after all..." Yu contemplated in a vain attempt to pass the time...
"Maybe... This is for the best." Both youths simultaneously thought out loud.
Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, one is always aware that it lies in wait. Though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope. Only then will a traveler’s story live on, treasured by those who bid him farewell. But alas, now our guest's lives have ended, their tales left unwritten…
"NO! You can't give up yet!"
Yu and Minato's minds suddenly jolted awake, believing they've just heard a strange, yet familiar voice in their hearts...
"What... Who could possibly reach me out here?" Yu thought, still struggling to even move his head.
"What are you doing? Get up. You cannot allow yourself to fall here." came a more recognizable voice in Yu's head. The seeker of truth's eyes were forced open as a myriad of encouraging voices continued to pour into his mind, one after another. "Listen closely. You can hear their words, right?"
"Come on, partner! It's not like you to just give up out of boredom, right?"
"There's no way you're dying yet! You still have so many people you need to protect!"
"I know how tempting it is to just run away, but you have a home to return to, and people who still love you."
"Dammit Senpai, you can't let this keep ya down! Don't make me drag your ass back to reality myself!"
"Senpai, you can't leave me like this! You can't be afraid to face the world either!"
"Yes, the concept of Death is a truth we all hold inside. But that's no excuse to lie down and let it consume you."
"I'm gonna be BEARY disappointed in you if something this small if enough to keep you down, Sensei!"
"Big bro? Are you really going to go away again? Please don't! I'll make sure you're never alone again, but please don't go!"
"Stupiddyinghandsomejerk... I love you too much to let you go like this... So just get up already, you hear me?!"
That last voice forced a goofy smile onto Yu's face as the roars of encouragement continued to flow through him. All the while, Minato was experiencing a very similar phenomenon himself.
"Oh my, it seems my journeys have finally payed off! But are you still so tired after all this time?" The awakened messiah chuckled softly upon hearing the casual, yet heartfelt greetings of his old friend. "Chin up now! There are so many others just waiting to welcome you back into the world."
"Dude, is that really you?! I have no idea what you've gotten yourself into this time, but there's no way in hell you're losing at a time like this!"
"It's my turn to save you from the depths of despair... Come on, you've gotta get up now!"
"A real man never dies, even when he's killed! You can't back down now!"
"I know you're better than this! This situation should be child's play to a man capable of surviving a personal execution!"
<Woof woof! Growl... Woof!>
"I've seen your resolve, and it's given so much to aspire to... You just can't let it end here!"
"You're facing another insurmountable challenge all by yourself... But I believe in you! You WILL succeed, no matter what!"
"You've shown me the true meaning of life... and love... I won't allow to throw it all away like this! I will NOT fail to save you this time!"
"The hell's the matter with you? You're not as soft as me, right? It's up to you to take a different path. Take destiny by the reigns and decide your own destiny!"
Minato let out a cry of surprise upon hearing those last two speeches of empowerment.. Yu had done the same, clearly determined to rise to his feet no matter what punishment he had to endure. Forcing his way through the pain, Minato roared in defiance, ready to stand again through whatever means proved necessary. As the two Persona users finally reclaimed their ground, the sound of a clock tower chimed throughout the area for all to hear, followed by one last pair of voices neither teen expected to hear again.
"I don't wanna see you guys in the afterlife until you're old and grey, you hear me!"
"Now is not your time. You've found your own reasons to live, and I expect you to follow through to the end."
Yu and Minato immediately recognized their voices, their hearts filling with many pleasant nostalgic memories. With a tearful smile and a silent goodbye, the two saviors prepared to summon their Personas one last time.
Part 4: Burning My Dread
"Izanagi no Okami!"
"Come, Messiah!"With those five words of pure defiance, the empty void surrounding the combatants literally cracked away, slowly revealing the ever so familiar interior of Tartarus. Yu and Minato found themselves in the middle of the very room they had just recently destroyed with naught but their ultimate Personas by their sides. Yu's Persona greatly resembled Izanagi, just as the name implies. This figure in particular bore a radiant white cloak and a uniquely shaped spear with a golden ring in the middle.
Minato's Persona closely resembled both Orpheus and Thanatos. It was a humanoid figure with silvery skin, red eyes, and blonde hair. One could hardly notice it, but this Persona came equipped with three of Thanatos's coffin like structures and a pair of angelic wings. Messiah itself seemed to be permanently attached to a cross too, complete with an enormous metal pole protruding above its head.
The two summoners only gave one another a nod of understanding before their Personas sprung into action. Izanagi no Okami struck first, unleashing a precise burst of lightning from its spear. A simple backhand was all Messiah needed to deflect the attack, before responding in kind with a great ball of fire from its palm. Izanagi then took the offensive, using a burst of wind to propel itself towards Messiah, easily breaking through his foe's fireball along the way.
In the blink of an eye, Izanagi's spear was snagged up in a golden chain extending from Messiah's right arm, the coffins that had once lined up along the arm haven clattered to the floor to reveal a hidden longsword growing from its elbow. Izanagi was the unceremoniously dragged along the ground, causing Yu's body to uncontrollably lurch forward in pain as Messiah's armblade was set ablaze in preparation for its target's approach. Before he could even attempt to escape from his position, Yu was nearly brought to his knees when Messiah violently thrust its weapon into his Persona's abdomen.
"You really don't know when to give up, huh?" Minato voiced as Messiah proceeded to twist its blade within its target's body. "I guess that makes two of- ARGH!" the youth continued, only ceasing when Izanagi slammed its head into his Persona's skull with full force.
"Believe me when I say I've been through much worse." the opposing Wild Card calmly rebutted, freeing his Persona from Messiah's shackles before shredding the chain with a flurry of blinding slashes. Minato simply grunted in response as he fought through the pain and commanded his Persona to close in on the Japanese Deity. In the next moment, the two Personas began exchanging blows with their respective weapons, a conflict that quickly escalated into a seamless storm of clashing steel. The only sound one could hear from this point was the incessant clanging of the Persona's weapons as the battlefield was painted with a never ending stream of fire and lightning.
"So, do you really want to try this again?" Minato asked as the Persona's tempo only continued to increase.
"You haven't seen anything yet!" Yu openly challenged as Izanagi broke off from the confrontation to raise its naginata up at the sky. Minato merely scoffed in response until he bore witness to a seemingly endless stream of lightning flooding the ceiling, all preceded by an electrifying gleam from Izanagi's mask. In a fit of panic, a new chain lunged out from Messiah's arm in an attempt to lash out at the Japanese deity, but Izanagi was able to unleash its payload upon the opposing Persona before it could be shackled once more. The resulting stream of lightning that poured out from Izanagi's spear annihilated the floor beneath its feet in a grand explosion, throwing both Persona users into a perpetual state of free fall.
Minato found himself at a complete loss for words as he plummeted through the depths of Tartarus, with no floor in sight for as far as he could see. Though Messiah had taken the full brunt of the blast, a quick bestowance of Salvation was enough to negate any damage he had just taken. Of course whatever semblance of peace existed was short lived when Yu and his Persona came diving after Minato, complete with an enormous collection of white lights following in their wake.
"I think this has gone on long enough. Now it's time for you to realize the Truth!" Yu cried out, signalling Izanagi to rain hell down upon the two saviors.
"So it took you this long to get this straight to the point? Though I guess you're right about one thing!" Minato shouted back as Messiah flicked a single tiny orb in Yu's direction. "Only one of us will be allowed to survive from this point on, and I'm not about to give up my life for the world!" the blue haired youth concluded as Messiah snapped its finger, causing the orb to encompass its surroundings in another Almighty explosion.
"Don't you mean you're not about to give it up for za warudo?" Yu managed to crack another joke as his Persona shielded him from the oncoming explosion with the use of an invisible barrier.
"Whatever." was Minato's deadpan response as Messiah began to muster up all the energy it could take in, even as his descent went on without interruption. By all means, all that remained of the tower below them bore more of a resemblance to an endless tunnel than anything else.
"I'm gonna give this my all..." Yu replied as Izanagi did the same, its spear outstretched as a torrent of power began to form in the weapon's core.
"Behold, the truth!" The two summoners cried out at the top of their lungs, dramatically pointing forward as their respective Personas unleashed two massive laser beams upon one another. As one might expect, Yu's Myriad Truths instantly clashed with Minato's Megidolaon in an old fashioned anime beam struggle. The two Persona's power proved to be so great, that the beams of war spontaneously exploded before either side could assert superiority, swallowing both parties involved in the ensuing blast...
But Yu and Minato refused to succumb this time, instead preparing to begin their struggle anew. The two Personas unleashed their payloads once again, this time producing an even bigger spectacle than before. But the result was hardly any different than their last attempt, resulting in yet another explosion that tore through the combatants bodies with extreme prejudice. But this pain only seemed to further the teen's resolve and determination. So they simply unleashed their power again.
"I'm coming back home alive, no matter what!" Yu yelled with all his might, continuing onslaught for the third time, escalating the combustive aftermath even further than before.
"Dammit! This is like trying to fight my own shadow! In the literal sense! I guess we're both too stubborn to know when to call it quits." Minato angrily commented, commencing the fourth round of this seemingly endless struggle.
"I guess this just means we've both been through hell and back, right?!" Yu confidently asserted, refusing to back down as he initiated the fifth phase of the destructive conflict. But this line of dialogue got Minato to think to himself as he was engulfed in the ensuing explosion. By all means, both parties involved should be long dead by now. No ordinary human could have lasted this long...
But the very thought of having to leave behind the lives and friends they hold dear drove Yu and Minato to continue the struggle for a sixth time, with even more ferocity than before. To die here would be nothing less than an insult to the ideals they have fought for over the past few years, thus the wielders of the wild card powered though their exhaustion to pour even more power into their assaults. By the time the seventh clash commenced, the two Personas began to pepper one another with a miscellaneous spread of Maragidynes and Maziodynes.
(So he really isn't going to stop until he knows he's won, huh?) Minato thought to himself by the time the ninth wave of annihilation had come to pass. (...How admirable...) The blue haired youth concluded as he prepared to engage Yu in a tenth struggle for supremacy. The Myriad truths came once again...
But Minato made no effort to counteract the attack, instead allowing the beam to engulf his body, much to Yu's genuine surprise.
This time, all that was left in the wake of Yu's Myriad Truths was a thick cloud of smoke that completely obscured the youth's vision. Clearly confused by his opponent's last minute decision, Yu stood atop his Persona's shoulder as he stared down upon the devastation he had just caused. He could hardly believe that Minato would give up so easily.
(This has to be some sort of trick... Right?)
"You've got that right."
"What the?!" Yu exclaimed as a familiar blue glow blew away the smoke that enshrouded Minato's position, revealing the teen himself to be completely unharmed by Yu's attack. Moreso, Minato had somehow managed to remain in place as if he were standing atop an invisible glass pane hovering over the abyss.
"What's the matter? Haven't you seen a Wild Card come back from the brink of death before?" Minato taunted, not even bothering to recall his Persona as he looked Yu straight in the eyes. The gray haired teen wasted no time unleashing another Myriad Truths in response, but his foe barely even reacted to the attack. Hell, Minato was now walking towards Yu as if he were climbing an invisible staircase, a wicked grin plastered across his face as he completely ignored the giant laser bursting through his body.
Though he would never admit it out loud, Yu was getting desperate now, as evidenced by the beads of sweat dropping down his forehead. Izanagi no Okami threw out every attack in its disposal in a last ditch effort to deter Minato's progress. Agidyne, Garudyne, Bufudyne, Ziodyne, Megidolaon... None of his spells had any effect on the advancing advancing youth. There was nothing he could do to prevent Minato from climbing towards him...
Izanagi was set to fire off one last Myriad Truths when Minato finally drew near, but the Persona failed to to even trigger the attack before its body suddenly started fading from existence.
"Wh- What is this power..."
"This is goodbye." were the last words Yu heard before Minato pointed a finger directly at him. The gray haired teen could have sworn he felt his heart give out for a moment before his body violently imploded in on itself, with the ensuing blast growing large enough swallow up what appeared to be the entirety of Tartarus.
KO! FOR REAL THIS TIME!
Minato gave a sigh of both relief and comfort as the Victory Cry of his collected Personas completely reinvigorated him. When he next opened his eyes, Minato inexplicably found himself in the middle of an empty hallway, almost as if his duel with Yu Narukami had not destroyed the tower they had been attempting to climb. As painful as it was to kill an old friend in cold blood, the youth knew this would be his only chance to move on. There was far too much at stake for him to dwell on the past now...Little did he know that the epic duel that had just transpired attracted another, vastly different Persona user to the scene, lying in the shadows for the perfect opportunity to strike...
Rena: Wha- Hey! Why'd the footage suddenly cut off?!
Nova: It looks like we've got a cliffhanger on our hands, folks! Damn, I hate it when that happens...
Theodore: Ah, such a true spectacle of human emotion... I'm so touched...
Luther: Yeah yeah, you can make your heartfelt speech later. Back on topic now, this was undoubtedly one of the closest battles in Death Battle history!
Theodore: Well to start, Yu actually had the advantage of experience on his side, which makes sense when Minato here's been asleep in the Great Seal literally the entire time Yu's been off on his adventures! But experience alone is never enough to guarantee victory...
Alice: The insane level of customization that the Wild Card grants our combatants allowed them to counter nearly everything they could throw at each other blow for blow.
Nova: Whether it's the exploitation of a certain Persona's weaknesses or clever manipulation of the abilities at hand, there's no doubt that the Wild Card is one of the most versatile abilities we've ever seen!
Rena: But you guys probably noticed the phrase "counter nearly everything" earlier on in our discussion, right?
Theodore: Yes that is quite true. For all the great combat prowess Yu and Minato posses, the ultimate result of this duel hinged solely on their strongest Personas and their confrontations with Godly beings.
Luther: Izanagi no Okami is the ultimate jack of all trades, capable of making the best of any situation... But the fact that more than 50% of his moveset consists of basic elemental attacks ironically turned out to be a downfall against Messiah!
Nova: Oh don't get me wrong, the combination of high tier magic and spell amp skills is a wonderful tool of destruction in its own right... But Messiah naturally resists all of that.
Alice: Messiah's versatility may take a wildly different approach than Izanagi, but his myriad of unique skills were the true deciding factor of superiority here.
Theodore: Allow me to reintroduce you to Magic Skill Up, a passive skill that grants a 50% boost to all magical attacks... Which also includes the Almighty Megidolaon. Now Izanagi's Angelic Grace, another passive skill that grants a 50% boost to his overall evasion rate may sound like the perfect counter to this...
Rena: Except it's worth jack shit against Almighty attacks!
Luther: I believe the difference in power, however miniscule it may be is starting to become apparent now, right?
Alice: But Yu and Minato have shown time and time again that even the brink of death isn't enough to stop them! It doesn't matter how many insta death or max damage attacks the final boss throws at them, they'll keeping pulling through with the Power of Friendship!
Luther: I can't believe you actually said such a cheesy line with a straight face...
Nova: But wait, you say! Didn't Minato give up his life to even USE the Universe Arcana against Nyx to begin with?
Theodore: That's quite true, but the circumstances are what truly matter in this situation. Minato only died at the end of Persona 3 because of his newfound duty to become the Great Seal and prevent The Fall from ever coming again.
Luther: Even so, the dude's pure determination allowed him to stay alive long enough to meet up with his friends on the last day of school an entire month later! Eat your goddamn heart out, Frisk!
Rena: Question time! What sounds more impressive? Using the power of the Universe to defeat the incarnation of Death? Or using the power of the World to defeat the Goddess of lies? Yu sure as hell doesn't count as a world ending eldritch abomination either, so there's no way Minato would have to sacrifice his life in this fight.
Nova: Either way you deal it, this turned out to be a pretty WILD fight!
Luther: Oh, you're really stretching the boundaries with that pun.
Nova: Shut up. I'm kinda short on material for this episode, kay?
Alice: The winner is Emo Jesu- I mean Minato Arisato.
Alice: It appears we're passed the allotted runtime for this episode, which means we don't have the time to perform another skit for you guys...
Rena: So just add emo messiah ftw the end of your comment to let us know you read through the entire thing, kay?Theodore: We do hope you've enjoyed you're time here today. With that said, let the curtains close!