Persona 4 Basketball Or Soccer, Strength Arcana : Fellow Athletes

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Persona 4: The Shit No One Tells YouPersona 4 is a great game, and it”s been getting some much-deserved love here on the Escapist from Extra Credits, the staff, and others. It”s an excellent first JRPG for people who”ve avoided the genre because Yahtzee says they all suck. But I”m not posting to gush about it, I”m here to share some important stuff I”ve learned over my four full play-throughs ( :O ) that would”ve been useful for my first. I”d like to think that this will be useful for people who are having trouble with the game or just want to get the most out of it without using a walkthrough, which I would recommend avoiding the first time due to spoilers. And trust me, you don”t want the mysteries spoiled. Also, I wasn”t completely sure whether this belonged in Gaming Discussion or User Reviews, but since this isn”t a review and the description of GD includes “Talk about the games you love”, I went with the former.1) Social Link Go!One of P4″s best features is the Social Link system, where you assist your friends” character development and increase your power in battle by hanging out with them. Each Link is matched with one of the 22 Major Arcana that your Personae represent, and a higher S.Link gives higher experience when fusing (more on that later). The way you level up each character”s Social Link quickly is by picking the right dialog choices when on bro-dates with them. This is the obvious way, but there are several subtleties that aren”t immediately apparent. Because each rank of a S.Link requires a certain number of accumulated points to level up, you need to get characters over that threshold so you avoid dead days, i.e. a hang-out with them that doesn”t result in a rank up. First and foremost, bring a Persona of the same Arcana on hang-outs. That means if you”re gonna hang out with Yosuke, you should be carrying a Persona of the Magician Arcana, like Jack Frost. This gives a point bonus to the dialog choices and is almost necessary for some links. However, a few Links don”t need matching Arcana due to the way they level up. Any S.Link that advances by doing quests, automatically through the story, or every time you visit them, doesn”t require a matching Arcana. Also, some of your party members get free points depending on your choices in story segments, like giving them answers during class pop quizzes. Also, if you get enough points to reach the next rank with one of your school S.Links, they may ask you to hang out with them during Lunchtime. If you accept, you get an additional bonus to conversation points for that meeting. This is useful in “chaining” a Social Link, where you can level them up very quickly without any dead days. In addition, some links have more time to finish than others. You want to focus on your party member and school friend links when you can. And, hopefully no spoilers, but one of your later party members has a very short time to max their link and some difficult requirements even to start it. 2) Join all the stuffSomething seemingly obvious that I didn”t figure out my first playthrough: you can be in both the sports club and a culture club at the same time. When you sign up for either early in the game, you can ask your teacher about joining multiple clubs, which he states is not allowed. What he means is you can”t be on both the soccer and basketball teams or in both drama and music club, but you can (and should) be in one of each. Related, you can also hold multiple part time jobs at once.

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Again, fairly obvious, but my first time, I thought you had to switch between them one at a time, a belief that kept me from even starting four Social Links (fail). 3) Check your fridge! (and other sources of courage)Of your five out-of-battle status parameters, Courage is seemingly the hardest to max, (the others being Knowledge, Diligence, Understanding, and Expression). I say seemingly because if you know it”s the hardest to max and know the not-so-obvious ways of increasing it, Courage can actually be the first status you get to level 5, as it was on my last playthrough. As hinted in the section title, check your fridge for nasty food. For some reason, eating shitty expired food makes the main character more courageous, so if you”ve got nothing better to do at night, think about seeing if there”s some wasabi or your cousin”s science project in there to chow down on. Other important ways of improving courage include reading manly books, working a stressful job, and beating extra-difficult enemies. You”ll be able to figure these out pretty quickly.4) Fusion, motherfuckers!Wow, four sections in and I”m just now getting to something related to the actual fighting? Well anyway, fusing new Personae is much better than relying on the ones you pick up after battles; they start out stronger, inherit skill, and some of them can only be obtained through fusion. One thing that took me way too long to figure out is the art of re-rolling fusions. When you select the two (or three, or more) Personae you want to fuse, you”ll get a preview of their demonic baby and what skills it will have. The red-colored skills it inherits from its parents aren”t fixed and if you back out of the fusion and reselect the parents, you”ll get a new set of skills. This is crucial, especially for one Social Link that is advanced by fusing Personae with specific skills. So don”t just accept the first skills it pulls out of a hat, re-roll it until you get skills you like, either strong skills that suit the Persona”s repertoire or ones that cover its weaknesses. Further, as I mentioned that having a matching Arcana increases Social Link points, there are some Arcana that can only be obtained through fusion, not during after-battle shuffles, which are Lovers, Fortune, Tower, and Judgement. There”s also many strong Personae that require specific recipes to obtain. Also of note is the Fusion Forecast system, which gives specific useful bonuses to fusion on certain calendar days. Just check the forecast when you”re in the Velvet Room. 5) That Goddamn Bird (how to avoid controller-chucking rage)Now for actual combat tips. The section title comes from the first real boss fight in the game, which is widely known for being a huge wake-up call to people who don”t understand the mechanics. Basically, the purpose of the fight seems to be teaching players the Shin Megami Tensei way, the three basic tenants of not getting assraped. First, weaknesses and resistances: this boss is the first without an exploitable elemental weakness, but that won”t stop it from exploiting yours. It”ll burn you to a crisp if you don”t fuse a Persona that resists fire, and will do the same to one of your mandatory party members if you don”t do something to alleviate their fire weakness. Second, buffs and debuffs, a MegaTen staple. Raising your attack, defense, and evasion and dropping the enemies” is incredibly useful and an almost necessary strategy in most boss fights. Finally, a little extra leveling never hurt anybody, especially leveling up your and your party member”s Personae to get important skills. For that particular boss fight, getting one of your party members an all-target ice attack is super helpful. You usually should rely on careful strategy instead of mindless grinding, but there”s nothing wrong with being prepared. 6) The real enemy: your own SPYou”ll find that if you”re not careful, you will quickly run out of manna while dungeon crawling with no way to restore it, leaving you helpless with no way to exploit enemy weaknesses for massive damage. You do get all your HP and SP back when you call it a day and come back, but that wastes precious time that you need for Social Links. Unfortunately, there almost nowhere you can buy SP-restore items and finding them in chests can be too rare. What you can do, however, is conserve your SP for when it”s important, especially for the main character. If it”s practical, try sticking to physical attacks. One area which I think is justifiable for using a guide is looking up enemy weaknesses. Instead of trying every element and wasting SP/potentially helping the enemy, you”ll be able to strike at their weak points with laser-guided precision. But I”d only recommend it if you”re having real trouble. Further, while you can”t buy SP items in the store where you get your other healing items, there is a vending machine right outside said store that stocks an item called TaP Soda which costs 120 yen and restores 10 SP. You can only buy five a week or so, but you should almost certainly buy all five every chance you get. It”s a fairly cheap emergency supply for when you”re running low in a dungeon. SP is only really an issue for about the first half of the game; later, you get items and abilities that can increase, regenerate, or lower the usage of your SP. 7) Random bits of nothingnessYou can reel in your fishing pole without losing your bait by pressing circle before a fish bites. There”s also a lady with a dog outside of Dojima”s house that will give you a free bait on sunny days. Talk to NPCs to accept quests, most of which are sort of worthless, but some of which give you useful items/money. While you can stick with the same three party members the whole game to maximize their level, it”s worth using everyone fairly evenly since they all have benefits and extra SP pool. Pay attention to the mystery, you get a bad ending if you fail to solve it. Save often, and buy about 10 or so Goho-M items at the store.

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These teleport you back to the dungeon entrance. It”s not a bad idea to save every other floor. Also, save your game on December 2nd. Don”t ask, just do it. Trust me. But above all else, have fun. Get to know the characters. Challenge yourself with the combat. It”s a great game and you really shouldn”t worry about maxing all the Social Links or 100%ing the compendium the first time through. There”s always New Game+ for that. I hope this long-ass post is helpful or entertaining to someone, and I hope that you consider checking out Persona 4 if you haven”t already. As far as discussion value of this thread goes, I… I guess you can tell me how awesome I am? Or you could contribute your own P4 tips and stories, recommend similar games, or post ASCII art of squirrels.

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