Studious readers of not only the blog, but the sidebar twitter might realize that I actually beat Persona 3 Portable a few days ago, but those same people will understand that I was trying to wait until I could talk to my buddy Haplo who is whom I turn to for Persona matters. Unfortunately, I assume he's been busy with school or something and hasn't been on, and in the meanwhile, this has been eating at me and I just can't write anything until I write this one out. As with my Thoughts So Far post a little while back (not a link in this portion because spoilers), I am going to be, well, spoiling things, so I don't want to catch people unawares. Considering I've beaten the story (and taken a peek at the story for The Answer since I'm not hunting my copy of FES down to play it), I have a pretty good stock of what happened. So, without much further ado, let's get this goin', yeah?
As warned, thar be spoilers after the break.
First off, I have to get something out of the way.
Here would be the point where I actually link my Thoughts So Far on Persona 3 Portable, since I assume you've either read it, or intend to read the spoilers (likely because you know what they already are, having beaten the game yourself), and because it's pretty required reading. And if you read/have read the linked post, then you know why the above picture is there. I am terrible at predictions, as I've said before and this is well-documented, but I got this one pretty good. Was I dead-on? No. I don't think it would have possible for me to be dead-on since doing so would have required me to think that the moon was the final boss which I don't think I am ever, nor will ever, be able to jump to at any given moment. However, the rest of it was pretty spot on.
As The Answer has told us, Persona 3's story ends with the Protagonist dying because hey why not. And as I said I would be, I am friggin' annoyed with this for the reasons I mentioned but can reiterate: In a game where the protagonist (as part of a party) cannot fall in battle (especially when falling in battle only means going unconscious) for the entirety of it, you don't get to kill him in the ending/epilogue, goddamnit. I'm sure there's exceptions to this, but I won't name any here for obvious reasons (it would spoil other things namely, also I can't think of any) and I'm sure that at least most people out there will agree with me on this. I mean yes, there's emotional impact and artistic value, but purely on a practical level, you're basically equating the main character with a piece of a puzzle, wherein s/he must be the last one placed, despite being able to 'fit in' (die) at any time. It's not cool, alright?
Anyway, let's cut down the predictions here, bit by bit and work through them, shall we? I want to savor this, because as I inferred earlier, this is a rare occasion.
Now, basically, I'm pretty sure this is going to culminate in fighting Nyx in an incomprehensible amount of forms (or, like, two or three, whatevs) with the general theme being "Shit, we can't kill the inventor of Death".
Kind of happened! I think 13 (14? There was a form before the Fool, right? Fool through Death is 13) forms counts as 'an incomprehensible amount' for the express purpose of being a boss fight. Even though that was Nyx's Avatar, and not Nyx itself, I think we can all agree that the fight against Nyx (or rather, the core of Nyx, Moon Weapon) either A) Doesn't count or B) is merely an extension of the Avatar fight. In fact, I'm going to go with B since it ties my theory together what with the whole "We can't move what's this pressure" blah blah thing after Nyx started falling to the Earth to bring judgement or whatever. And to further this, they -can't- kill the inventor of Death. So, bam, pretty much all points covered on that one.
From which the main character will have to then give his life to give life back to the world in the form of cancelling out Nyx, the Bringer of Death.
Alright, this one I didn't get spot on. But I got it pretty close since, as [the wiki entry for] FES' story goes on to put the Protagonist's death as being an end-result of sealing Nyx. This is kind of shaky, I realize and kind of why I wanted Haplo to explain things for me, but whatever, this is what we get. I don't really know the how or the why, but the end-result is the same. I called it. Protagonist died as a direct result of what he did, and even if he used 'the Power of Friendship', he still used an attack that took all his life and, he died. Eventually. If I had to guess as to why he made it the two or three months to March 5th (which, let me just state the coincidence here. What with March 5th being my birthday and all, it's kind of a thing I notice) before dying in the most dramatic timeframe possible, I'd suggest that maybe it was Ryoji's ten-year presence that kept him alive, or the fact that he had the potential for all those Personas and it took that long for them all to 'burn away' as it were. Or, since I don't know the circumstances, maybe he just didn't survive the sealing and the epilogue was just a dream, I don't friggin' know.
So with that said, I guess I should go ahead and put down my final thoughts on the game. Despite me playing it again (twice, I've got a NG+ for S. Link collecting and Female game open) I'm not expecting much to be different beyond enough 'little' differences here and there for me to say "Oh hey, that's neat" about. All in all, as you might be able to tell, I really did like Persona 3, but I'm just not quite sure it was -for- me. My complaints with Tartarus (which apparently stemmed from playing the game on Normal, rather than Easy) and the dissatisfaction with the ending kind of bring my whole opinion on the overall product down, but there's some real good to be had with Persona 3. I just find myself hoping that Persona 4 -is- better, as I heard it apparently was.