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PSO2 Story Guide
The story of PSO2 has many chapters & is very long.
This isn't meant to be a substitute for the game, or as a transcript of the entire script/plot, but rather a way to understand, read-up-on, speculate, analyze & get a really good idea of what's going on in the game.
Character Guide
Planets/Areas Guide
Special Quest Mission Write Ups
Color key
Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
Choice Options: Blue Text
Dates & Times (Story is time travel related) Purple Text
Story Guide Page 1 * Story Guide Page 2 * Story Guide Page 3 * Story Guide Page 4 * Story Guide Page 5 *
Story Guide Page 6 * Story Guide Page 7 * Story Guide Page 8 * Story Guide Page 9 * Story Guide Page 10 *
Story Guide Page 11 * Story Guide Page 12 * Story Guide Page 13 * Story Guide Page 14 *
For Pages 16 & Onward Use: Story Guide HUB

She is being dumb here vs Aurora. This is a child-like personality that WANTS reassurance from friends, not tough love from foes. She wants to be told she can do it, she can be good, she can live up to helping people. She’s CLEARLY crying out for someone to protect/believe in/give her confidence to LIVE ON. Yucreta is bogus here because she just witnessed her crying out the names of all her dead friends. It's super insensative to say 'screw your dead friends stop being a baby even though everyone you know is dead and you just found out this week' This kid becoming suicidal is NOT what anyone wants.
She cries again and says come on, why is it always you guys who give her encouragement, shouldn’t it be the opposite? Under the influence of PD revival , the sealed power of Apprentice lies here, it’s planning to revive it. To put it simply it’s attracted the bait, it’s the same with that monster. Afin says then we can’t just let The Anga Fundarge eat like that then. Aurora says lets stop apprentice right here, right now, she’ll lend her the power. She tells Yucreta to say her name, my name that dances, shines and fascinates more than anyone. The name that symbolize her and her perceptions, let her name be heard and call it: Enchanting Shining Dance Aurora!

She becomes some guns. The guns "Enchanted Shining Dance Aurora" appear on Yucreta's hands. Yucreta asks if it’s really her. A voice eminates from them that right now she’s with photons (Does she mean made of photons?) and by taking human form she can become a weapon too. (So, probably meaning that because she's more of a photonic construct now, rather than a flesh/blood being/real live Photoner, she can change what she is and how she...functions) Yu claims that she "is wild with her weapons" though. She doesn’t care that its painful, but we can worry about that later. They’ve attracted the attention of the fundarge. Before it’s exaushted and eaten we must defeat it now!

At 1200
If you can beat the fudnarge, its balls and parts will fall to the ground and Afin is relieved. Right? Yucreta’s not sure, and Aurroa reappears as a girl. Get back, she yells as small darker bugs consume the Fundarge into the floor. It couldn’t hold itself back from the bait, left in pieces before swallowing it up, what a terrible thing Says Aurora. (Why is that terrible?)Yucreta says Aurora is all that’s left. Aurora says for her to shut up. Xiao cuts in with are you ok because darker reactions in Lilipa are increasing, he guessed it, Aurora’s appeareance was a sign of something. (Why is she trying to pick another fight here? How is 'aurora all thats left'....of WHAT? A Fundarge is the worst monster in all the world/s thus far, and Aurora turned herself painfully into guns to try to stop it. Aurora was never 'leftover' because she was never a part of whatever wierd reaction was going on down here. Yucreta is just saying random garbage to sound mean.)

Yu guesses that Apprentice is planning to resurrect itself as a form on this planet. Judiging by the red lightening and darker stuff on the floor its true. Aurora says the scale is too much to handle. Yu calls out to "arks rep", she’s sending a communication, who is listening? Xiao now talks to her saying nice to meet you he can hear her. Apprentice is resurrecting, we need co-op from a large number of arks can he lend power? He says don’t mention it he’ll pass it on to all ARKS. (Thus creating an Emergency Quest) She asks if he can trust her words? He says yes, right you? You can nod. Xiao says its up to the 4 of you to come back to the ship now. Yucreta says back now really? Aurora pesters her saying is she scared if people are angry and hate her if she goes? So she hits her again with another chop. Afin says let’s go back, extending a hand. She says she has no choice.

6 Don’t turn eyes away: The meaning of this place

This is what gives you the EQ: Mining Base Demise
In this EQ it's a 12/12 MPA and meant to represent the ARKS that Xiao called down after sending your party of 4 back up. It takes place on a really large flat...'disk' that is somehow desending into an equally huge bore-hole in Lilipa's crust. It's powered by/propelled by 3 towers. Everyone charges the towers by collecting photon crystals that appear randomly. Many loads of darkers and bosses will spawn, trying to destroy the towers. If everyone can do a good enough job in defending them, the disk will reach the bottom of the pit & reveal that...
There's a huge...evil...wall of insectoid shapes (that's all one unit) that comes breaking through one edge of rock at the bottom of the pit. It has...pistons of some kind? That spring out, can emit tiny bugs, shoot a death ray, create exploding rock tiles on the floor, produce a force-field, use a smashing/pincher thing, use a force push, summon goldradahs and much more. AIS units can be summoned via panels on the floor. Once this thing takes enough damage, a huge laser cannon will rise up from the center of the platform.
Everyone in the MPA will be shown a cut-scene where they press the fire command to shoot off the laser, just as the wall thing fires off a death-beam. The ARKS laser will always destroy it at this point. This leaves a rocky rubble in the recess that it inhabited. Only then will a teleporter appear to take everyone back.

Will this get explained?
WHY did the piece of power manifest as an evil wall of nasty pieces?
How did digging into the ground and mining sand or whatever they were doing stop this thing? 
Why have a gigantic platform that decends a mile unter the surface? What does that even do? Why give it a laser? That sounds a lot like somebody knew something bad would appear at that exact spot, but how and also who? Certainly Xiao didn't know.
EQ's are notorious for not explaining much except 'a thing happened and we have to stop it', like darkers attack a city ship, a banther is loose in the forest, Vardha is rampaging in....the only room he can rampage in etc.

Things learned:
Aurora isn't a physical person/photoner any more, meaning Luther's the only one left.
She can turn herself into guns, but it hurts to do so.
Darkers consuming other darker stuff can make them stronger.
The piece of power that AW lost on Lilipa in the Matoi Vibrace fight really did linger till an EQ kills it.
Questions raised:
Well PD's still around, so Aurora has to be too.
WHY did Aurora choose to become an Apprentice? She wanted to be loved & everyone hated PD at the time.
Was anyone ever in danger of being "apprentice-ized" by this power-piece?

To advance the story beyond this point, the "Mining Base: Demise/Apprentice" Emergency Quest must actually appear & you have to be on an MPA that beats it. This is the first time something outside your control creates a situation like this where the plot won't move unless you can get a 12/12 going. Difficulty level doesn't seem to matter.

A place to return to
239 5/15 at 1400
This is the true “Final Tablet” of this episode, as it is a part of the “EX Chapter”. To view the tablet you have to be on a multi-party (12/12) run of the emergency quest Mining Base Demise/Apprentice and you must defeat the evil wall/win the quest. Fulfilling those brings out the last tablet for you to view.

After a brief glimpse underground at the wall crumbling away under the blast of the mega-photon laser thing that the MPA is able to summon up out of the ‘decender floor’ at the last minute (aka when the boss takes enough damage & any mining base-tower/s is still active) the scene shifts to above ground. This is probably implying that Afin, Yucreta, You & Aurora were all ALSO in the MPA that just beat the thing, but of course they can’t show it because EQ’s are npc-free zones by their very nature.

As the 'wall' (It is a very abstract monster, with many glowing 'eyes' in a mostly flat but complex textured confiiguration, it can extend "rods" that shoot, create force fields, summon/dispense tiny bugs, make exploding "dirt clods"? appear on the floor, swing rod-like structures to hit you & more. It is not mobile/no means to move itself, it crashes through a rock wall from a cave beyond it deep under ground, and then takes up the entire space it crashed through, as a wall would.) destructs underground yucreta and Aurora watch. Yucreta says reactions have disappeared so we can relax. Aurora reminds her it's not over yet, the open wound that seals apprentice is due to PD. As long as PD remains the seal won't hold and it will come out again. Here on Lilipa and other places too, it can leak. It currently has no host, but if a likely one appears it'll find one.

Yucreta realizes she's right and says that bugs can survive anywhere, this troublesome DF, as the first host, where do you think it gets it? Aurora narrows her eyes too as they scowl at each other, asking her about the influence she may have also had. Yucreta looks at the red smoky power rising from the hole, and becomes contemplative instead of continuing to bait her, saying 'we almost became like that too'. Aurora says it didn't happen though, cause you and Afin. Yucreta '...s' and Aurora asks if she doesn't want to admit, but they did help save us right? Yucreta still denies, saying she didn't ask for any of this. Aurora says Honestly?

(She’s a bit of a rotter here, it’s like getting into an avalanche, saying you didn’t ask for it, and refusing to be happy someone saved you) Aurora reminds her that she really ought to learn to thank others who she cares about. Yucreta promises to show her regards through her actions. So Aurora asks how that's working out for her (smart thing!) After some thought, Aurora concludes that she's too shy to tell them so! But, after a pause (that shows Aurora is right—you can see this via their expressions) Yucreta agrees she's grateful, and thanks to (you & Afin) she's herself again, and she'll never able to repay that or ever forget it. You are who helped her from her chains and set her free. Afin never lost hope that she could be saved, and so nothing could repay it.

Afin strolls up at the time, asking if he was called. So she charges in to hit Aurora again for summoning (you & Afin) at this inopportune time of her confession, but Aurora vanishes. Afin asks what was Yuki-nee talking about then? So Yucreta says it was nothing, except that Apprentice could reappear at any time. Also, its entourage could turn up too. No time for talking, we've got to hurry to the ship! She stalks off. Afin wonders if 'he said something'. (To set her off)

Aurora appears to dispel him, saying she's just shy and will be cute when she opens up. But, helping people is her specialty! (Is it really? It never was before? Her specialty was being adored and being beautiful as she clearly said multiple times) She'll talk more of herself later. Afin doesn't know what we're supposed to be talking about. But we should all go back now so YuChan not get sad or lonely. She goes to follow her, and Afin trails after.

This is the last of Episode 3- "Literally" in that it was published AFTER the following tablet section.
However: the PD battle that follows was the original 'end'. Yes its date is prior to these EX dates, but reading it in this format won't matter to the plot.

Beginning of the End - It's just an event tablet

This is another event where you MUST wait on it to appear on your server, get a 12/12 party & beat it, for the tablet to come out. Explanation of the Profound Darkness Battle:
When PD manifests, there's a cinematic showing it to you in space, kind of warping spacetime around itself with 'petal-ed' plates, vortices and general distortion. What comes though, and heads toward Naberius is an abstract many lobed (it's gigantic) glowing thing that's roughly circular, formed around a glowing core ball. ARKS ships are deployed to attack it, as it pierces the planet with a needle like tip. It also creates a "floor" that's like a semi-transparent red grid. This is hanging in space, way above the planet. The grid is disrupted by peaks and valleys (almost like a 3D graph of some kind) and the ships can't pass through this.

Thus opens the first fight. Everybody has to get out of the ships & go onto the floor/force-field. The red floor creates enough gravity for you to walk, and on it there appears a 'castle like structure' that's alive and evil. This is vaguely based on a spider with long spiked strands connecting various 'turrets' to a central brick 'core' that has a portcullis "mouth" and evil eye-spots above that. Each of the turrets can spin around the core, stomp as it 'walks', blast off like a rocket, and open small "wooden" doors at their base. Out from a certain door will come a weak point mounted in a chess piece theme. So, one will have a pawn-like, other a horse head, another a king crown & so on. Destroying these breaks the door. So yeah it's the double kids, but who knew they liked chess?

As the castle thing attacks, it can create walls of gates that move & smash people, go flying the whole thing like a rocket down a 'path' it makes to mow people down, and use the main mouth to spit out (literally) marda tocatta (rounded old-fashion car like monster) which self-destruct into poison slime. It can also summon bonta bearadda on sticks which 'fly' in circular patterns to keep people away. When the castle is weakened enough, the center will hang down with the gate open and a long tongue will flop out with a weak point globe on it. Hitting it enough will make it vomit blood/black/red stuff.

The castle laughs in a childish way no matter what you do to it.
This is obviously supposed to either BE double or a manifestation it creates. There are MANY of these on the red grid, fighting many different MPAs of 12 all at once. The ‘toy castle’ garish colors/theme , toy car & ‘clown bear’ enemies, and laughing all indicates Double. But, how is Double back? They self-destructed/dissolved on purpose to infect Matoi / you on Harkotan. Certainly, PD can ‘bring back’ dopplegangers of any Falz-type, but they can’t do anything new & they are not ‘that person’ again, as you could see with Apprentice Woman & the fake Luthers. So, how does the castle happen?

Defeating it will cause the 'binding' to come undone and all the turrets will rocket off in different directions and explode like a firework. This causes the grid floor to shatter & everyone falls  through it toward the planet. (Remember, its in orbit, I guess Double was nice enough to trap air in there somehow because it's stupid since all they'd need to do is release all the air and everybody dies in 1 minute because ARKS owns no space suits) However, everyone is saved by an ARKS lander pad (what you had to fight mt. falz upon)

This new transportation gets flown into one of the big petal-rings-dimensional distorters in an attempt to chase down PD. Inside this strange dimension, there is also somehow, air! Given that the lander can somehow spawn artificial gravity.

Once inside, there's no real 'space' to view outside, more streaky colors and stuff, but the pad is right away beset by PD itself. At this point it's abstract. It's on a roughly cylindrical format, with a long pointed tip and 2 basic layers. The layers are like petals that have different weapons. An oval with many searching 'eyes' that shoots round energy bursts, a pair of claws on long red whips, a prickly 'flower like' thing that smashes & shoots beams & can grab. The objective is to break (ex. chip or crack) each of these things. It will then turn over and present you with more of them.

This weakens it, until it manifests another form out of the very bright glowing central orb. This resembles a human torso with long arms that do have hands and fingers, partially done in gold armor,a chest area with a split in the middle & a head-like structure that's a blocky helm. It has no eyes or facial features, but a parallel series of holes in the helm. The 'lower body' is now the petaled structure. For the chest split, it will use the hands to rip open and expose a large 'evil eye' that does blasts & powers it up. *It actually makes sense that the thing is humanoid, because the Photoners were, and they created it, so it 'choosing' to look somewhat like an abstract man is actually ok & good plot-wise.

Hitting the eye will make it vanish but it'll always just open it again. It does finger blasts, summons shooting pods, pounds the platform (fist damage ala falz elder), and more.

Weakening it still more, and it will use the hands to distort space/time above the platform in a huge red ring of ominous power. Static appears, letting you know it really did distort time & now you are alone on the platform, and must fight Persona or a Doppelganger of yourself until you win, or it commits an OHKO blast. Defeating it/dying returns you to the platform with the rest of the MPA (who now either you must revive or must revive you if things didn't go well) This mechanism seems to be that if one person kills it, it dies for everyone without OHKO blasting. Fighting PD more will eventually kill it. It falls apart into white light and begins to vanish. In a view (that you could not possibly ever have) looking on from deep space you can see the destruction of Naberius by the 'needle' from the vortex "unwind / untwirl" and everything literally run the clock backwards as the planet is restored. The way everything appeared now goes exactly in reverse, ending with the slight distortion of the stars way beyond as that too finally clears up.

So killing it literally un-does all the damage you just witnessed & makes it essentially erase itself. (That's what it LOOKS LIKE)
Learning how it's fought & what it does was actually important to the story so that’s why this is here.

If you have gone through and completed ALL of the story quests before fighting PD in an online MPA, you won't see Persona any more in the part where it creates 'static', and gets you somehow alone on the platform. Ordinarily, Persona will appear here & you'll have to 1 v 1 for a while, until either he kills everybody, or at least 1 person defeats him. If he's defeated, he just turns into more static and disappears, then you're returned to being with everyone else on the platform & the fight continues. If you take too long to fight him, he'll unleash a huge blast that is OHKO for pretty much everyone. He'll tend to have your attacks to use against you (After all, this thing is still the manifestation of your will that's gone really bad), plus a few of his own, and he can hover/levitate pretty far up off the ground the whole time.

If you've beaten everything else, Persona won't appear there, it'll be a doppelganger of you. It still fights in the same way and wins/loses in the same way.

Tablet A Seal that Transcends Time

239 4/1 at 1400
Patty & Tea, Lisa & Fourier, Io & Azanami, Marlu and Ohza & you are all down with Matoi on the grassy flower field, a small island in the water on Naberius after the battle. The square lander is seen parked in the water in the background so it’s evident how everybody got down after the fight. The other characters seen here are supposed to represent the rest of the MPA “you were with” in the tablet. (but, of course it was a public MPA) Everyone's clearly talking about what happened.
Matoi comes running up, asking what happened with PD. You can only shake your head so she says she can't sense anything either. But we def stopped it, right? Xiao walks up to answer her it's not the alls well ends well we wanted. He's glad he came in person to inspect the readings because the data alone wouldn't have picked up on everything here. Because it's severe traces of time travel! PD was halted before it could fully revive.  Then, he detected Persona for only a split second. Matoi asks what it all means...but what he says, he warns is painful to hear. Should he say it?
(So, he did detect TWO time skips, one to put the doppelganger/persona there & another when PD escapes at the end.)

Please Tell Us
Let Matoi Decide

If you say Please Tell Us Matoi will agree that she needs to know too. Please be aware that its a hypothesis based on the facts but, the combined power of ARKS prevented Naberius corruption. But the battle weakened PD and this made Persona invoke its power. Matoi asks if it's time travel power? Xiao confirms it, saying it's the power to repeat only one's own time, the moment that PD revived. (Xiao & Xion could repeat or move people to and from ANY time, but Persona is limited in only its own short lifespan) The battle we did was enough to bind it to that exact point in time. And now, all we did right here was to turn back time.

That's as far as Persona could go though, shouldering PD and its mass amount of photons. But, it was effective enough to bind it to that exact point in time. So, sadly, all we've done here is turn back time so PD will manifest here again, inevitably. And once again, you and all the other ARKS will arrive and fight, and weaken it and then...Persona will return to the moment of its revival, repeatedly, endlessly and eternally...forever trapped within the cycle, finishes Matoi. Forever and ever? That's too cruel! She exclaims, needing a way to save them.

Is there nothing we can do?
This can't be sustainable forever...

If you say Is There Nothing We Can Do? Xiao tells you that even the mighty Photoners could do little more than seal it away. It frustrates him to admit but as of right now, that's all anyone's got. We have no idea of how long the cycle can last. Everything worked out ok this time, but what about next time? 10 cycles from now? There's no way to know. Even if he did more calculations, there's no way to know. But at the very least Persona and Xion bought us the time. (Always more time to figure it out—his point here is actually really good. Stall till you can collectively work something out that’ll kill it for good) Our future may have been one where the galaxy was devoured without escape...but those 2 saw to it that it didn't become a reality. We mustn't waste the chance as there must be an answer somewhere. Matoi says it'll def work out, right (you)? You were able to help her, save her! That counts for something. She's sure the answer is just ahead, you & Xiao made this future possible after all. Matoi closes her eyes and says that 'if you 2 are listening just hang in there, we'll save you soon!'

(She means PD itself, and Persona. Remember, PD was a Xion-clone-friend-whatever gone wrong, so it is technically likely to have also been a person, which Matoi is believing in here. Whether it's so insane now that it's not sentient/sapient any more, or is even something that CAN be saved is unknown.)

So, this ends on the predictable 'well it'll be back or else we wouldn't have a plot' note.
(BUT it’s done really well here! It doesn’t feel cheap or cop-out, and it makes a lot of sense, considering that the Persona would have ended up 100% evil/crazy by this point and probably has no mind left at all)  
All it takes is 1 round of somebody slipping up and PD will fully manifest.
Everyone has to just keep going vs it every time it appears in MPAs to buy Xiao the time to figure out how to really get rid of it.
Persona is full blown darker/bad now - whereas before it was a manifestation of will gone wrong (mercy kill Matoi because it lost hope of saving her) now it's all about bringing back PD because it kept on soaking up all the evil energy from everything ever.

Why it picks to look like you is unknown, going from trenchcoat man to doppelganger...maybe as a better skill copy? If Persona DOES die/give up/run out of whatever it is that keeps it going, what then? Does that kill PD or unleash it worse? Is it using up some of PDs photon energy to sustain itself because it doesn’t eat or sleep to live but it expends energy? And the energy IS expended every cycle because Persona’s the one on the outside, pulling the whole monstrosity back in time, as well as losing every ARKS fight as the doppelganger or the trenchcoat man.  It’s not ‘getting back’ its energy when it rewinds time like PD is, so something’s getting used up. *Probably like fuelling a flamethrower with gas from Jupiter: sure it burns nice but it'll be a billion years before you run out of moot point.

Questions that remain:
How did it ‘bring back’ enough of Double to make a castle?
Is Double ‘really-really dead’ now that the castle is?
Why a doppelganger?
How is there AIR???
Can the PD 'person planet' be saved or is it just beyond help/not even 'a mental thing' any more?
What would finally get rid of Persona?

This is the total end of Episode 3.
You just have to kind of ‘know’ to advance it on to Episode 4-5 MODE (while there were modes, MODE was abolished in March of 2018) because it is literally out of new content in 1 through 3 at this point. Episode 4 mode begins with a “reset” type effect. To begin it's story you will need Episode 4 Story Guide 1.