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Ryoji Mochizuki (
2016-10-15 05:41 pm (UTC)
: Ryoji Mochizuki
: Persona 3
: Riiiight before he vanishes on January 1st (Female route)
Persona 3 primarily takes place in 2009 Japan, in the fictional city of Iwatodai (which can reasonably assumed is similar to Tokyo, with Port Island being a substitute to Odaiba, due to some various landmarks). The main difference between it and the real word is the existence of creatures called Shadows, born from negative human emotion, that only come out during the Dark Hour. The Dark Hour is a hidden hour between midnight and 12:01am that normal people don’t remember due to them being concealed in coffins, which protect them from Shadows.
Certain people, however, can be awake during the Dark Hour- this can end very badly for those who can’t defend themselves, but those who
do so with creatures called Personas, which are in theory the tamed Shadows of the users. However, they can only be summoned by forcing the user to be aware of their own mortality and often eliciting that fear in them, usually done by pretending to shoot themselves in the head.
About 10 years before the start of the game, a group of scientists tried to create the ultimate Shadow, Death, in order to summon Nyx to the world and effectively end it. The plan was thwarted, Death being weakened and then contained by an Anti-Shadow Suppression Unit, a robot specifically designed to fight Shadows. This requires androids of this type to be self-aware in order to be able to summon a Persona. This is not common knowledge.
On the surface, Ryoji is energetic, outgoing, and flirtatious (bordering on perverted, especially in that one part of the school trip...), quickly proving to be a favorite among the girls at his school thanks to his looks and charm. He’s very friendly and polite, and generally takes rejection well, since his flirting is hardly ever truly serious (not that the girls he's flirting with always know that). It's very much second-nature to him, and he doesn't seem to be entirely aware when he's doing it; even as he's heading out with the PC he calls some of the girls falling them 'cute,' and another time he hits on Mitsuru, and then Yukari as soon as Mitsuru left. The fact that he didn't know why that earned him a slap sort of speaks to the fact that he really doesn't think anything beyond the moment in terms of those actions. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of ability to commit, unless he really cares about the person in question, and more likely than not he’ll feel like he’s not worthy of them anyway.
He ends up finding a good friend in Junpei early on, probably due to similarities in their personality. While Ryoji's more of a charmer than Junpei is, the two of them get along well in terms of energy level, not being fans of taking something seriously unless it's really important, and perverseness, as shown by the class trip in which they 'accidentally' stayed in the hot spring during the girl's time and spied on them. (Ryoji says that even though Mitsuru made sure they paid for it, it was totally worth it. And then apologized to the PC so she wouldn't hate him.)
In the female!PC social link, it reveals a very different side of Ryoji that’s much more caring and introspective. Initially, he flirts with her like every other girl, but soon admits that when he’s around her, he feels like he needs to be more honest with her about who he is. He winds up being very romantic towards her, still using some of his flirty pickup lines but much more sincerely. He's very gentle with her, and obviously cares for her very deeply, even if she chooses not to date him. Towards the end of the month, he starts have a bit of an existential crisis (brought about by the fact that he’s going to end the world, even though he doesn’t know it yet) and feels terrible about the fact that he feels like he’s going to make her sad, even though she’s so important to him.
Once he regains his memories, Ryoji also has to deal with a lot of guilt. Not only because of things he has done, like pretty much break Aigis when she confronts him, but also because of the possibility of ending the world or making his friends suffer. Honestly, the part about his friends seems to be of bigger conflict to him- he's very fatalistic and doesn't believe the Fall can be stopped, so he desperately wants them to be able to live their last few months as if they were normal high school students, without any real cares, even though that means forgetting him and everything that allowed them to grow during the game. In that vein, he's a tad bit selfish, wanting to give up things that were so important to them, even if it's for a more selfless reason. He considers it unfortunate that they make the decision not to kill him, but still respects their decision and tries to help them (even though he's sure it won't do any good).
He’s well aware of the fact that if he hadn’t been trapped in the PC for 10 years, he would have never have learned anything about being human, and he’s very grateful to her for that, even if it does make that what he considers to be inevitable harder for him to cope with. The conflict is a big element to his character, as Shadows are meant to not feel emotion and essentially drain it from others, but the part of him that's human from the PC is very emotional. This is a balance that he usually manages pretty well (generally in favor of the human side), but when it comes to more extreme emotions he's not always sure what to do about them.
Ryoji has the ability to turn into the shadow Death (looking very much like the persona Thanatos), which serves as a beacon to Nyx and eventually turns into her Avatar. As the shadow, Ryoji has never used his powers, so really anything for that would be speculation (I usually say he's got the same spell list as the Thanatos Persona). However, Shadows in general are made up from the negative emotions of humans- Ryoji especially so, since he was made specifically from the desire to end the world. Most Shadows can only really recognize when something is stronger then them, otherwise attacking anyone that is not Transmogrified (basically, hiding in a coffin) during the Dark Hour. Because of Ryoji's human element, he has much higher processing than this and can keep his reasoning and emotion intact, even in the form of the Shadow.
As Nyx's avatar, he has the power of Death, plus the twelve other arcana SEES defeated that complete him (plus the Fool arcana, not sure how he got that but whatever). He also has fourteen different forms. How this works is that he starts off with the powers related to the Fool arcana; once his HP is gone from that, he uses 'Arcana Shift' to change to the next one (the Magician). This keeps going, all the levels having relatively low HP before he hits his true arcana, the Death arcana. At that level, he knows all the highest level element spells, in addition to being able to cast 'Moonless Gown,' preventing any damage from being dealt to him. The later only happens on the ‘promised day,’ while it seems he can turn into the Shadow form at will. He also is incapable of being killed by anyone who is not the PC.
Let me know if I need more!
Ryoji, instead of being a Shadow, is now a Sin-Eater, with a tagalong geist named
. The memento Ryoji carries from his geist is a beaten and battered children’s book, of a Torn threshold with the Phantasm and Stigmata keys. (Ryoji tries to read it to Thanatos sometimes, because he’s a dweeb.)
Mostly Ryoji uses Oracle and Caul, since he’s super not about the violence. However, he can use Marionette to do actual damage, and he hits
. He can conduct ceremonies to help the dead pass on, and use their voice to give their messages to their loved ones.
Ryoji grew up as a normal child (other than the fact he could kind of see ghosts) until he was about ten years old, when he and his parents were involved in a violent attack by muggers. His father was killed, but Ryoji and his mother survived. …Sort of. Ryoji had died, but a creature apparently took some kind of pity on Ryoji and offered him a second chance. Being frightened, confused, and not really seeing a downside to the arrangement, Ryoji agreed, and from that day on the geist Thanatos was a part of him.
The year that followed was a rough one, as his mother had to deal with the new balance of caring for her son and holding down a rather demanding job. Ryoji, meanwhile, was dealing with another presence in his head. Oddly, the intimidating looking creature was often totally fine with doing more childish things, but occasionally a violent, angry edge would well up. Too young to really filter that, Ryoji got in a bit of trouble at school and even wound up in a few fights. It was largely decided that it was trauma from the incident and he was sent to counseling- luckily, Ryoji was smart enough not to mention what was
happening. Not to mention he was an incredibly cheerful and optimistic person by nature, which helped him out more than once.
He learned to better control the impulses Thanatos forced into his head, and learned to work with the geist to be able to use the powers he’s been gifted. Ryoji enjoys life to the fullest, knowing how precious and fragile it all is, and works to help the restless dead find peace- a process encouraged by his view on death being a cycle of reincarnation, and the ghosts he sees being trapped in their current stage. Currently, he is attending university, where he works hard (mostly), parties a lot, and still makes an effort to help those that need it. Though, he does also rather hate anyone who is not a Sin-Eater messing around with the dead, for some reason…
Thanatos’s history is almost entirely unknown to Ryoji, and barely known to itself, but worth noting. Originally a young boy, the geist was often ill and in a hospital. The doctor meant to care for him was researching geists and their creation, and had noticed that those who died from illness came out to be the same type. To view a difference sample, the doctor drugged up the child, explained his plan, and then violently murdered him.
Infuriated and betrayed, the child did in fact come back as a geist, and proceeded to haunt the doctor and interfere with his plans at every turn. The geist is entirely motivated by the desire to not let people who don’t belong disrupt or toy with the dead, eventually molding into a form that aims to be their defender. This can be stopping other types of supernaturals from abusing them, laying ghosts to rest, and in general making sure the whole concept is as low key as possible. Thanatos finds violence to be justified- after all, violence is what brought it into existence in the first place.
The main difference is that in this version, Ryoji had more than a
to understand how humans and society functions. He grew up in it, so while he’s still cheerful and friendly, he’s no where as naive as his canon counterpart. Another major difference is Ryoji’s attitude towards violence. In canon, Ryoji was so upset about what he was fated to do that he didn’t want to harm any human, ever. This version still finds the idea distasteful, preferring to compromise, negotiate, or frighten others to achieve a goal, but he will still be violent if it’s the only option. This is largely in part to Thanatos’s influences and goals.
Unlike the original, this Ryoji also has some sense of self-preservation- he is not immortal, and it has been made
that he is not, so while he’s still very selfless and will do his best to protect people, offering to let people kill him is a thing that’s kind of off the table now. He likes living, he would like to keep doing that for a while. This is exacerbated a bit by the fact that he’s not nearly as guilt ridden, and has little reason to believe he’s inherently worth less than everyone else. However,
like the original, Ryoji’s got kind of weird views on death. It’s a natural thing that happens, and while it’s often sad, it’s life that should be celebrated rather than its loss mourned. He knows he will die again someday, and he’s made peace with that, and sometimes doesn’t get why no one else has.
As a side note, Persona 3 is cited as one of the inspiration resources in the Sin-Eater playerbook, sooooooo…
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