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Persona series:

 51 Basarin, Sun, 28th Jun '09 12:06:40 AM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
My suggestion: focus on your teammates. When you hit level 10 social link with each member, their Personas each take a level in badass.

Also, are you working on requests? Talk to random people around town or in school or anywhere, and they'll ask you to get them certain things, which you can get from beating up enemies in the Midnight Channel. Some of those requests are REALLY beneficial, ranging from a free boost to Knowledge and Courage to payouts like 16, 000 yen, or Snuff Souls.
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
Yeah, I'm taking requests. Helped with Kanji's Shadow, since I used a lot of items in that fight. Kanji's Shadow was hard.

I think one of my problems with fighting the bosses (storyline and bonus) is that all my attacks barely dent them. Battles take a long, long time, compared to P3, where abusing weaknesses made things go much faster.

What level of Knowledge do I need to score for the various exams? I got Top 10 with rank 2 for midterms, so I assume I needed rank 3 for first place, and therefore rank 4 for first place in the finals. (Currently at rank 3.)

I'm also down two continues (Beginner mode item; I forget what they're called), against a normal fight with a Grave Beetle... which Mamudoed me when I had a Persona weak to Dark (Principality). Then it did a One More to Mamudo me again. The third Mamudo missed the MC, but hit two others (Yosuke and Yukiko). That was annoying.

edited 28th Jun '09 12:38:26 AM by dkellis

 53 Basarin, Sun, 28th Jun '09 12:38:19 AM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
Kanji's Shadow was more of an endurance test than anything. Offing the Nice Guy is a key priority, and Yosuke for the most part was set on permacasting the stat debuffs (though Shadow Kanji's power up moves you have to simply guard; no dispelling those). The Tough Guy wasn't much of a threat, and really, trying to take him out is more effort than it's worth. You just have to outlast him.

I'm guessing Knowledge rank 3 or so is necessary, but that's just an assumption on my part, as I'm not up there yet either.
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
I ran out of MP for Yosuke just as Nice Guy went down. Used up a couple of Snuff Souls. (And three Revival Beads for Yukiko.)

I did go back the day after Kanji joined the party to defeat the bonus boss of his dungeon. Took one try, but I used six Revival Beads, since the boss had Garula (which Kanji was weak against) and Bufula (which Yukiko was weak against). Even the Zionga + All-out Attack route took a really long time.

I'm pretty sure it varies by exam. I got top 10 on the first exam with knowledge rank 3, but aced the second and third with 4 and 5 respectively. You'll also need to answer all the questions correctly — the first time and when you encounter them again during the test.
I will keep my soul in a place out of sight,
Far off, where the pulse of it is not heard.
Left Eye
And remember double and triple battle links are preferable for money/XP grinding.
So I maxed out Yukiko's social link as More Than Friends (as it were), and while I haven't visited the TV World again since then, I'm not as impressed by the Persona evolution. Maybe it's better than it looks.

Currently focusing on Chie (7), Yosuke (7), and the Hermit (9) social links, with the Devil link standing in until I level up my Expression to talk to Nanako and Dojima. Ignoring Hanged Man, Moon, and Temperance, although I might pick up Temperance after I finish with the fox. For some reason I keep forgetting that Kanji exists.

It's July 10. My characters are level 35. If I hadn't read a boss FAQ, I'd have been pwned hard by the bosses in Rise's Club, but as it is I breezed through. Considering what happened with Yukiko's and Kanji's dungeons, this happy state of affairs is likely to be short-lived.

Adachi continues to be suspicious. He's either going to be the Spanner in the Works for the heroes (messing up their rescues or whatnot), or The Dragon. (He is, unfortunately, too well-telegraphed to be the Big Bad.)

Also, the gas station attendant only turns up during rainy days without an umbrella, which is either a sign of masochism or plot significance.

EDIT: Am I allowed to have multiple "Lover" type Social Links? Or am I limited to one "Lover" and the rest "Friends"?

edited 28th Jun '09 10:07:33 AM by dkellis

Squad Leader
I don't think there's a restriction, though I haven't tried due to roleplaying factors. And while aesthetically, I mostly prefer the preevolved forms of most of my teammates' Personas, Chie's makes up for it. It's got friggin' Darth Maul's lightsaber for a weapon, coupled with a generally badass look.

Heaven's boss took a while, I had to burn one of my 2 Somas to ensure that I would win, largely I think because my persona-fusing is somewhat inefficient.

And I must really complain about the "bad end"- it's really something of a Guide Dang It (lucky I picked up said guide)- I'd been heavily spoilered going in, so I knew what the wrong situation was ( throwing Namatame into the TV), but I didn't make the right choice between the other two endings, which meant that the game ended there with everyone watching you leave town. Very melancholic, but Nanako seemed to have survived, so it wasn't all bad. But I really just then went through the guide and followed the directions to keep going. And a bit later, apparently if you don't suspect Adachi after three choices of "going through the suspects, it's another bad end. Bad form, that, I say.

Edit: and what Adachi told me of the fog in town gives me a great idea for a sort of post-apocalyptic-zombie-horror thing fan fiction- Inaba and the shadow world merge, and the Inaba Scooby Squad gathers a few survivors at Junes, holding out against Shadow attacks while looking for an answer. This also gives other people the chance to face their shadows and create personas.

edited 28th Jun '09 4:04:34 PM by Rogue 7

 59 Basarin, Sun, 28th Jun '09 6:24:46 PM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
The thing about the upgraded Personas that I hear about (at least for the non pure magic casters) is that they lose their elemental weakness, which is pretty nice. Yosuke and Yukiko are the closest to maxing their levels, so I'll see fairly soon how they turn out.

Out of curiosity, though, how much time do you dedicate to developing social links and personal stats compared to how often you jump into the TV and level?
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
Squad Leader
My pattern's changed a bit with the later dungeons, as oftentimes on rainy days, there's absolutely nothing going on and I'll go into the TV for gits n' shiggles. I burned through Heaven in one session, but none of the others really took more than 3 times.

And Yukiko doesn't lose her weakness to ice, but gains immunity to fire and a resistance to wind, I think.

edited 28th Jun '09 6:28:55 PM by Rogue 7

Left Eye
The main healers don't lose their weakness(just telling you now to save disappointment). Anyway, from Shadow Rise on I pretty much one shot all of the dungeons.

@dkellis: You needed help for shadow Rise/Teddie?

Also, why do people find the Heaven boss so hard? I only had trouble during my first try and that was more because of stupidity than anything.
 62 Basarin, Sun, 28th Jun '09 7:56:03 PM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
Fair enough. I left off from playing on floor 9 (I'm just at the end of June, and my MC is level 35 now with Gdon as his mainstay Persona; lowest level character is Yosuke at 31), so I'm not terribly far just yet. Thanks for the heads up.
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
Squad Leader
I've been catching up on the Giantbomb endurance run and I just watched their absolutely marathon battle with Rise/Teddie. Unbelieveable that they managed to pull out a win against Teddie given how little damage they were doing. Gdon was pretty much their mainstay persona as well, but be warned- he's weak to Ice, and shadow teddie will dish out some absolutely monstrous ice attacks when he wants to...mind charge+mabufula=pain. You will also absolutely want something with dekunda to counter the Marakunda he likes to throw around- the only reason I think I won that fight in my first goround was that I was lucky enough to have picked up a Matador with that skill.
 64 Basarin, Sun, 28th Jun '09 9:07:15 PM from Seoul, South Korea
The Lurkabout
Ooof. Good point. I'll have to see if I can whip up something at least immune to ice (or at least can absorb it).

That being said, though, I got Gdon just from messing around with the fusion mechanics, and I ended up choosing him because he looks awesome. Except when you can, it's hard to argue with a tiger who's on fire.
I'll find something relevant to put here someday.
 65 GG Crono, Sun, 28th Jun '09 10:51:59 PM from Waterbury, Connecticut
The Torterra Moves!
Am I the only one who thinks that Shadow Teddie is the most horrifying thing this series has ever produced?
"Honesty is the best policy but insanity is a better defense."
Whenever you're grinding, you should strive to have at least one persona who's unaffected by each elemental attack. For boss fights, it's often a good idea to have a persona who isn't weak to any elemental attack, but that's difficult at lower levels. (I think Oni was my first; helpfully, he's also resistant to physical.)
I will keep my soul in a place out of sight,
Far off, where the pulse of it is not heard.
Micromastophile
No, Shadow Teddie was *^4ing hilarious.

Squad Leader
No weaknesses was the reason I kept my Tam Lin around so long in Heaven- maxed Sun rank plus a good moveset, plus 4 resistances/immunities, plus the fact that he looks fucking badass as hell meant that he stuck around. He eventually got fused into Thor- Thunder Rage (or whatever the "Severe" lightning spell is)+ Elec Amp=Win, plus awesome physical moves for half HP cost- Thor's a winner.
After the Shadow Teddie incident, I was convinced, knowing Shin Megami Tensei games, that Teddie was Lucifer, who had somehow lost his sense of identity after the events of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.

I was a little disappointed when there was no signifcant evidence either way.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - E. Gary Gygax
I'm beginning to think that I'm never going to start the Tower link on time.

It's August 23, and I'm at level 46, with Courage and Expression maxed, Knowledge at rank 4, and Diligence and Understanding at rank 3. I've maxed social links for Yukiko, Chie, the SP Fountain Fox, and Yosuke, in that order. I'm currently working on Rise for the battle bonuses. I've barely started on Kanji.

Questions: is it a good idea to go for the Normal Ending first for a quick New Game Plus, or should I aim for a True Ending? Also, should I vary my team? I've been almost exclusively using Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko; Kanji and Teddie are still stuck at the level I obtained them at.

You've still got a good three, four months left to do Tower's link, and it's open a few nights each week. Don't worry too much about it yet.

Also, self-admitted 100% completionist, here, but I'd say go for the True Ending. That's just me, though. It doesn't really lengthen the game too much from the Good Ending, to be honest.

And that's pretty much the most solid team in the game, actually. You can vary if you want (and the leveling system in this game means they'll catch up quick with the rest of your party), but it's not necessary.

edited 29th Jun '09 10:32:15 AM by Theoneknownasme

 
Squad Leader
I'm in December and I still haven't maxed expression.

And Nanako and Dojima's social links got stuck at 8 and 9 respectively. Irritates me, that does.
Ooh, that's rough. I can sympathize; I was right on the wire finishing both of those (like, "last possible day to do it" wire).
 
Squad Leader
You know, it occurs to me to thank the internet for informing me more about this game. Had I played through it, spoiler-free, and not known that the Bad End was, in fact, a Bad End, I would have been sorely disappointed. "What? That's it? Teddie just leaves, Nanako is in the hospital for months, and we get a very melancholic ending of my friends leaving, we still haven't figured out the fog...what the kroot?!"
And what's funny is that that's only one of the bad ends, and arguably the best of them.
 
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