The script translation differences were apparent to me immediately upon exiting the first dungeon in the game. I’m absolutely loving the changes thus far. I’m still playing it; I can’t really say it is worth it at its current state and the current price point sadly. The PS4 version to me is a 2/10 Remaster of a 10/10 game. The script translation is fantastic, but the outsourced development team didn’t fix all the bugs. They really need to fix the issues like crashes between terminals (and once during the losing screen) when facing the Four Horsemen in an optional quest for the hardest ending of the game. I hope there are patches within the coming six months so I can give it a better score thus far. It’s my favorite game of all-time and it deserved better than what the Japanese developers delivered; I don’t know what the developers (the outsourced studio Atlus hired in this case) were thinking, but the way the way Atlus Japan and Atlus West have gone about the marketing of what is probably their finest legacy has really made me lose all respect for them. There are even rumors of yet another Persona port coming out by E3 time, presumably P5 Royal for Xbox and Steam. I guess we know where their attention and interest have been for a long while now. I’m no longer excited for SMTV and I put slightly more blame on the Japanese company side than the Western one, but there is blame to go around. Nocturne’s HD Remaster deserved better.
Anyway, here’s what I found on careful exploration of Asakusa pre- and post-Futomimi speech:
- I spent time going through the before and after dialogue of Asakusa during the Futomimi cut scene where he proclaimed he wanted a world without suffering for Manikins, it may seem innocuous at first, but the dialogue around the entire town makes it clear that the Manikins were supporting a racial supremacist ideology, which is textbook fascism. Supporting their race as the supreme one while others suffer.
- The Demons who were living in Asakusa lived there in peace prior to the Manikins emigrating. They specifically say, like Titan, that all they want is peaceful co-existence, but the Manikins distrust them and dislike them prior to Futomimi’s speech.
- Futomimi’s speech – directed only towards Manikins – suggests he wanted a world for only Manikins. The town’s dialogue changes then give greater depth and make it clear that what they specifically want is a world without demons or humans at all. They want demons either enslaved and wiped out and humans wiped out so they can take the Power of Creation for themselves. The dialogue makes it clear they’re indoctrinating their children to follow a mindset of people being “more like them” and rallying around enslaving demons and then wiping out humans and demons.
- While it could be argued the NPCs are “just a couple of people” the whole point of the dialogue of those couple of people is to show the general atmosphere, culture, and beliefs of an area and give greater clarity to the worldbuilding. As such, we’re meant to understand it to mean that Futomimi has rallied the vast majority of the Manikins into this mindset. A lot of this was not in the PS2 version and seemed to have been whitewashed, but evidently Futomimi was a fascist cult leader. The dialogue with the Manikins at Mifunashiro clarifies that many of them just wait outside of the chamber where Futomimi meditates and ask him what to do instead of doing things for themselves. Futomimi is indeed an authoritarian supporting racial supremacy for the Manikins. Perhaps even a short critique by Atlus of the concept of saviors and prophethood.
- Perhaps the two most interesting aspects to consider: Futomimi always talks about the Mantra as if the Manikins successfully rallied an escape, when the truth is that a hybrid who is half-human and half-demon – you, the Demi-fiend – broke them out and freed them from a prison where they were being tortured and Hikawa, a human, annihilated the Mantra, thus ending their servitude in Ikebukuro. Yet, there is no concern whatsoever for your circumstances when they talk of creating a world for Manikins only where humans and demons are either enslaved or disposed of completely. The last intriguing point is that Futomimi himself said in Kabukicho that he could only see the Near-Future, yet the Manikins believe that he can see the future. In other words, they didn’t understand that Futomimi’s powers were limited to events that were already close to happening. This may be a metaphor for the Manikins being incapable of long-term planning and may relate to Nietzsche’s themes of the Last Man. They don’t know where they’re going, don’t know what to do, they think they’ve discovered happiness, and have no real meaning. I’ll have to re-read Thus Spoke Zarathustra to be sure (I’m already seeing a LOT of parallels with the others; Hikawa especially) and replay Nocturne more, but the use of illusions like race and obedience to a cult leader to establish meaning in life certainly aren’t pro-individualistic in ideals.
As for where I got these images and proof I checked over the NPCs, an hour-long video of me exploring the areas and talking to the NPCs, if anyone thinks I’m lying.
Here are the pieces of evidence in question:
Demons already Living in Asakusa wanted Peaceful Co-Existence
Cultish and indeed fascistic governing system whereby Futomimi is worshipped as Supreme Leader with some metaphoric conflation with Messiahs and Prophethood.
Futomimi declares his ideology of a World only for Manikins in the nicest of Propaganda terms.
Fascist Ideology proliferating after the speech. Fascist Old Man.
Fascism taught to their children
Fascist ideology proliferating after the speech. Encouraging the slavery over other races. Fascist Woman.
It’s possible that Manikins represented an allegory for fascism in its most distilled form: Pathetic, harmful to others when set free, never useful for anything the world needs except as a form of exploitation by stronger powers, never willing to confront their own mistakes, and attempting to abuse and exploit the stronger people to elevate themselves due to their own inferiority complex. A world of “equality” by dragging down the strong to their level and abusing them or just wiping them out so there is only them.
If anyone is curious, I’ve been gaming on this Youtube channel.
If anyone’s curious why I haven’t been posting much this month:
I should be writing more about politics and actual important events, I guess . . . but all politics gave me was 8 years of bad news and ambivalence around depressing feelings with not much positives. After the Capitol Hill insurrection, I can no longer believe in the US, it just feels like I’m lying to myself and too hollow. If that sounds stupid to anyone reading this, then I guess that’s that. Not like what I think matters on such an issue since nobody really cares to listen. Most people seem to just use personal attacks to convince themselves they’ve invalidated the opposition. Even just trying to point to a more nuanced argument regarding JK Rowling led to angry hate comments and I really wonder if it even makes a difference sometimes. I had topics lined-up, but people are just going to ignore my points and call me overly dramatic. So, for now, I’ll just focus on less quarrelsome topics.