artemis-maia’s musings (December 2013 – May 2014)

Table of contents


 

 “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Research and musings on the first murderer and the first martyr:

Adam made love to his wife Eve,
and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.
She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

Cain according to legend was the first child born. His name means metalsmith which fits his job (agriculture) or possession, and Abel means herdsman (connection to livestock) or breath.
Henceforth why Abel is usually depicted with sheep and Cain with fruits in art.

It’s typical for Bible names to respresent the roles of the characters: Also see Adam-human (first human), Eve-Life (women made the human race possible), Isaac-He laughs (his mother Sarah laughed at the thought of having a child since she was old), David-beloved (beloved king and said to be handsome) and Jesus-Saviour (self-explanatory).

There are stories about Cain is Jewish mythology which try to portray Cain’s mother as a harlot. These stories were written way later similar to many stories about Lilith. In these sources Cain is actually not Adam’s son but Samael’s. Thus basically Cain is the son of the snake and Eve had sex with the snake and seduced Adam afterwards. The menstrual cycle is a result of the snake poision in these stories and is demonized.

Basically these stories try to portray Cain as demonic by nature (even though the original story says he was normal) and are incredibly misogynistic by portraying Eve as untrustworthy.

I wouldn’t take these stories seriously since they are like fanfiction and they contradict why God dislikes humans: It was never about sex it was about humans starting to think for themselves and ceasing to be mindless servants and gaining free choice.

I guess the “demonic” part of the Cain legend was kind implied with Naoya being Chaotic aligned in the game. Henceforth when you chose his route MC’s/Abel’s smile turns into a smirk similar to Naoya’s.

I also like that it is mentioned several times that the two resemble each other before the Cain and Abel twist is revealed.

Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s?

We do know that Eve (and every women who was born after her) was punished with a painful childbirth by God so the birth of Cain and Abel was not pleasant.
Furthermore, we know Cain became a farmer kinda following Adam.

The way he was described is strong (he is never called a child but a man at once) and he had a temper (which would of course turn out to be bad). Naoya being quick witted and manipulative reminds me of this.

Abel is the nice obedient guy. I guess that’s what Cain didn’t like about Abel which is why Naoya tries to lead the MC away from God.

Cain offered fruit to God (fitting for his work of months) and Abel offered a lamb.
There are different interpretations why Cain’s offering failed. He didn’t try hard enough, he just did it as an obligation etc. However it is not mentioned at all.

Some interpretations say that one reason why Cain was pissed was that Abel was supposed to have the prettier sister-wife etc.

DeSu presented it the way I saw it as well: God wants the blood sacrifice just like Naoya says. Of course Christians could interprete it as basically a Christ symblism.

Cain reacted to YHVH’s arbitrary and inexplicable rejection by luring his divinely-favored brother Abel out to the fields and murdering him.
YHVH who is supposed to be all knowing and all seeing then asks where Abel is and Cain answers “Am I my brother’s keeper?” which convinces God that something is fishy.

Cain was banished, not smited and marked with the mark of Cain (a mark to warn others that killing Cain would provoke the vengeance of God, the damage would come back sevenfold).

Naoya is forced by God to remeber everything and bizarrely like Cain in the Bible was not smited.

Cain went to a place East of Eden called Nod, where he suddenly had a wife, who then produced a child, Enoch. Cain then built a city which he named after his son.

In the end neither Cain nor Abel kinda accomplished anything:

Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him. Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD. ”

All humans today are said to be related to Seth the third son of Adam and Eve, who was said to be similar to Abel since everyone on the Ark of Noah was said to be related to him.
So surprise: Neither Cain nor Abel is the one to sire the lineage of the Messiah and be an ancestor of humanity. Nope the third guy wins.

Cain’s lineage perished in the Great Flood along with everything they achieved. I don’t think that Cain’s lineage was worse than Seth’s since many of Seth’s lineage died as well after the Nephilim incident but his lineage was allowed to continue while Cain’s ended.

So to summarize this shortly:

I guess both boys were screwed over. Abel had a short life and Cain kinda didn’t achieve anything and had no way to redeem himself.
This story potrays YHVH just as illogical and contradictive as in the Adam and Eve story.
DeSu Overclocked even hints that everything is actually a set up to have a first martyr and a first murderer so DeSu’s YHVH does have sinister motives despite him not being SMTII like horrible.

The reason why the Cain and Abel plot was chosen: 
It fits the main series (Adam&Eve Story – Jesus Story – Apocalypse) and it’s a good way to start a conflict between two male characters.
Also see the novel East of Eden (even the title is a direct reference to Cain) or even the manga Naruto which kinda turned out be a Cain and Abel allegory over the years.


 Penthesilea ~ The Amazonian Queen

My article about Mitsuru, Penthesilea and Artemisia.

Penthesilea:

Penthesilea or Penthesileia is the daughter of the Amazonian Queen Otrera and Ares the God of War and sister of Antiope and Melanippe. In the stories regarding the Troian War she is the Amazonian Queen herself.

After Achilles killed Hector, Penthesilea and her amazons aided the army of the Troians.
On her first and last day of fighting, Penthesilea killed many men and clashed with Telamonian Ajax. Neither was clear victor, however then Achilles challanged her and with one blow to her breastplate knocked her to the ground and killed her. When Achilles removed her helmet he fell in love with her and regretted killing her. His companions mocked him which lead to him killing one of them, Thersites.
Finally her corpse was either given to the Troians, buried by Achilles or thrown into a river.

The names of her companions were: Clonie, Polemusa, Derinoe, Evandre, Antandre, Bremusa, Hippothoe, Harmothoe, Alcibie, Derimacheia, Antibrote und Thermodosa.

Quintus Smyrnaeus gave the following explainaion why Penthesilea aided the Troians: Penthesilea accidently killed her sister Hippolyte with a spear while hunting stags which led her to participating in battles.

Since the Kirijo group was responsible for unleashing Nyx Mitsuru has to pick up the pieces. She wants to help her father. Actually her problems are similar to Yukari’s since everyone is tricked by Ikutsuki and their fathers are blamed. Regarding her grandfather I have that theory that he was controlled by Nyarlathotep who with the Death experiments basically wanted to use Freud’s Thanatos (death urge) theories against the characters (which is why Ryoji looks like Thanatos).

Mitsuru does appear quite amazonian in the beginning. Similar to how Achilles saw her face under the mask in the end you see the different layers of Mitsuru’s personality.

Artemisia:

Artemisia of Caria was queen of Halicarnassus in about 480 BC. She served as queen after the death of her husband. She became an advisor to Xerxes I Great King of Persia and formed an alliance with him in a war with the Greeks.
She commanded her contribution of five ships at the naval battle of Artemisium and in the naval Battle of Salamis in 480 BC.

Artemisia II of Caria (died 350 BC) was both the sister and the wife, as well as the successor, of Mausolus, ruler of Caria,
She built at Halicarnassus a celebrated majestic monument, listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and whose name subsequently became the generic term for any splendid sepulchral monument (mausoleum).

Mitsuru’s “execution”:

The girls being surprised by the boys in the bath in Kyoto and Mitsuru punishing them is like the story of Artemis and Actaeon:

Artemis and her nymphs were bathing in the woods when the hunter Actaeon stumbled across her, thus seeing her naked. He stopped and stared. Artemis got revenge on Actaeon: he was turned into a stag and torn to pieces and eaten by his dogs.

Basically if you play the Male MC you are Actaeon. If you are the FEMC you are a nymph xD.


 Comparing the P2 characters to the Greco-Roman myths: Part 5 Eikichi

This time featuring Eikichi, Rhadamanthus and Hades:

Rhadamanthus: 

Rhadamanthus (Rhadamanthys or Rhadamanthos) the lord of Elysion was the son of Zeus and Europa. His brothers were Sarpedon and Minos.

According to Plutarch Rhadamanthys was the husband of Ariadne. In this account Ariadne was the daughter of Minos.

Rhadamanthus ruled Crete before Minos took over and invented a complexe codex of laws which the Spartans copied.

He fled from MInos to Boeotia where he was declared king and he became the second husband of Alcmene (Heracles’ mother). Homer says he judged over the dead (along with Minos und Aiakos) in the Elysian Fields a paradise for the immortals. Vergil depicts him as punishing evil deeds in Tartaros however (which is why Eikichi calls Rhadamanthus “Death bringer” most likely).

You could kinda interprete Eikichi’s new band (consisting of himself, Tatsuya and Jun) as reflecting Rhadamanthus, Sarpedon and Minos.
Just like Lisa’s Persona Eros, Rhadamanthus design resembles a costume from the music video Too Funky.

Rhadamanthus also judged over the souls of the Easterners (Asians).

Hades:

Hades is the Lord of the Underworld, son of Cronos and Rhea and brother of Zeus, Hera, Hestia, Demeter and Poseidon. He is usually depicted as a dark, bearded man with a crown and often depicted in a chariot or with Cerberos. Sometimes he also wears a key and is depicted as veiled.

In the later mythological tradition he is associated with the Helm of Darkness and the bident. This is why Kaneko depicted him with a helmet and with Cerberos on his right hand.

After defeating the Titans Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots for realms to rule. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the seas, and Hades received the underworld.
The most famous thing Hades did (and how he most often is depicted in art) was kidnapping Persephone (Goddess of Vegetation and daughter of Demeter) who was gathering flowers with the Oceanids along with Artemis and Athena in the fields of Nysa when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth.

He made her eat pomegrante seeds so that she would be bound to the Underworld. A deal was made to appease Demeter. Persephone should stay 2/3 of the year with her and 1/3 with Hades which exaplains the four season. Persephone thus became Hades’ Queen of the Underworld.

The whole Persephone story is referred to in the theatre quest at St. Hermelin with Akari turning into Persephone and Eikichi saying that Akari was good-looking.

Hades is not evil since Persephone convinced him to help Orpheus for example (which Orpheus sadly messed up with turning around to see Eurydice), he is often depicted as nicer than Zeus and Poseidon.
However he can be severe and he hardly leaves his realm (for example only when he kidnapped Persephone or when Paean healed him after he was wounded with an arrow).

Death is chosen well as an arcana for Eikichi because of the connection with Hades/Pluto (Scorpio) and since the Death Arcana represents change/start of something new (change from chubby Eikichi to the Visual Kei Eikichi).


 Comparing the P2 characters to the Greco-Roman myths: Part 4 Lisa

This time featuring Lisa, Eros and Venus.

Eros:

Lisa’s initial persona is the mischievous Eros (also known as Cupid and Amor), the son of the Greek goddess Aphrodite/Venus. He is the god of passionate love, desire and attraction.
According to Hesiod Eros along with Gaia, Nyx, Tartaros and Erebos was one of the five Gods who were created out of Chaos.
In later myths Aphrodite became his mother and his father is either Ares or Hermes.
The most famous story about Eros is by Apuleius namely Cupid and Psyche which is fairy tale like (a mixture of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast).

Eros’ trademarks are whips, a net and his wings and of course his golden arrows (crafted by Vulcanus). His golden arrows make people fall in love with each other if he hits them in their hearts, leaden arrows kill off the passion.
In Greek mythology he was depicted as an adult and handsome male while in the Renaissance art and later Greek art he became the chubby little winged boy known as the mascot of Valentines Day.
I guess the appeal was the destruction this little guy can do with his arrows for example since Apollo angered him once he made Apollo pursue Daphne mercilessly and made his mother Aphrodite fall in love with Adonis.

Other attributes with which Cupid is depicted are a quiver; a torch (upright and blazing means passion), (upended and extinguished means the love died out), a blindfold (“love is blind”), and a globe (love is everywhere and universal).
Kaneko used quite a lot of his attributes and made his Eros look like a costume from the music video “Too Funky”.


-Eros pushing Pan away from his mother Aphrodite

He is the perfect counterpart to Lisa’s Ultimate Persona Venus since he is not only often depicted as her son he is often depicted by her side and both are connected to love and can be stubborn however they also have a warm side similar to Lisa.

Venus:

Lisa’s ultimate persona is the goddess Venus, the Roman version of Aphrodite.
She is the goddess of love, sex, pleasure and procreation and was born when Cronos castrated Uranus and threw his genitals into the sea.
She arose from the foam (her name derives from aphros) (that’s also the the Inspiration for her design (sea/foam/shells) and her attack Foamy Lover). One of her symbols is a dolphin and she owned a girdle which made her irresitible.

Her husband was Hephaestus/Vulcanus the ugliest god at Mount Olympus which Zeus arranged so that the gods won’t fight over her but she cheated on Vulcanus with Ares which is why they were divorced and she became the wife of Ares (henceforth “men are from Mars, women from the Venus”).
In Roman mythology Venus is important since one of her sons was Aeneas who survived the Troian war and would found what would later become Rome.
Aeneas’ son was called Julus so important Roman names like Julius, Julia etc. derive from the lineage of Venus.

Aphrodite/Venus is said to be ill-tempered and vain and even punishes mortal women who she thinks are more beautiful than her for example see how she treats Psyche in Cupid and Psyche (Lisa has a tendency to become jealous of Maya and Jun which hints at these jealousy fits xD) and the Troian war started since Paris chose Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess in the Judgement of Paris (she promised him Helen the most beautiful woman if he chose her). However in some stories she is also a comic relief and she can show kindness like in Pygmalion and Galatea.

Similarities to Lisa:

In the Middle Age Venus was always imagined as a blond.
The jealousy outbursts.
The Comic relief aspect.
Her rebelling against her father reminds me of Aphrodite/Venus not caring about Vulcanus/Hephaestus the husband Zeus chose for her.
Lisa being popular and basically being/wanting to be “Miss Sevens”.
Lisa’s Zodiac Taurus is connected to the planet Venus.


 Comparing the P2 characters to the Greco-Roman myths: Part 3 Ulala

Part 3 of the Greco-Roman articles featuring Ulala, Callisto and Asteria.

Ulala’s main problem is that Maya doesn’t seem to have as many self doubts as she has.
She also takes care of hers and Maya’s apartment and chooses Maya’s clothes (for example her Sexy Suit) and even takes care of Maya’s makeup.
It sounds like Maya is her mistress sometimes which is reflecting the relationship between Callisto and Artemis: Callisto was Artemis’ servant. This is the reason why Ulala has an inferiority complex regarding Maya.

Ulala attracts guys who are really wrong for her and just use her and actually don’t give anything in return.
All the men she dated were sort of the same kind of guy and according to the P2 guide book she falls in love easily and hopes to marry one day. She participates in miai parties as you can see at the beginning of EP and also met Makimura at one of those parties.
She just handed money over to him and believed every dumb excuse he told her.

Ulala’s first persona Callisto reflects her relationship with Makimura and men in general up to this point:

Callisto:

Callisto (“the most beautiful”) was the daughter of King Lykaon from Arcadia and a nymph and follower of Artemis.
Like all the other nymphs she took a vow to remain a virgin. However Zeus fell in love with her and seduced her (in Ovid’s version she struggles against Zeus though) in the form of Artemis or Apollo which resulted in her getting pregnant.

Artemis and her followers noticed this and dumped her. She was then turned into a bear by Artemis, Zeus or Hera and her son Arcas grew up to be a bear-hunter. When he was 16 years old she in her bear form wanted to hug him however before he could kill her Zeus took both mother and son and put them in the sky as the Great and Little Bear, Ursa Major and Minor (also notice that Ulala’s arcana is Star).

In some versions Hera angrily transformed Callisto into a bear and persuaded Artemis to shoot her. Zeus then sends Hermes to recover the child Arcas from her womb and delivers him into the care of Maia from the Pleiades. Callisto was again placed amongst the stars.

Just like Callisto was used by Zeus Ulala was used by Makimura. Callisto lost her innocence and Ulala lost her belief in men.

Asteria:

Asteria was a Titan, daughter of Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Leto and mother of Hecate.
Zeus pursued her, and she turned into a quail to escape him (to get Asteria in EP you need a quail card from Mount Iwato) completely got rid of him, and finally she transformed into the island of Delos, where her sister Leto later gave birth to Apollo and Artemis.

With the help of good men who aren’t scum as well as with the help of Maya she finally is able to gain more confidence, doesn’t let men use her anymore, now rejects Makimura (the Zeus type) and gets over her inferiority complex.


“I will take care of him Miki.”

As a closure for both her and Baofu’s plot she becomes his new partner and they might possibly become a couple in the future.


 Isis ~ The goddess who never gave up on her dead lover

My article on Yukari’s Personas Io and Isis and their connection:

Io:

The ever-unfaithful Zeus spotted a beautiful young priestess/nymph (connected to the moon very often) from Argos named Io who was the daughter of Inachos, a river god or of the Argive Iasus.

He came down to her, and seduced her. The problem was that Io was a priestess in the temple of Hera, Zeus’ wife, so of course Hera became suspicious when he covered Io with clouds.

To hide her from Hera, Zeus then changed the girl into a beautiful white heifer. Hera of course knew the truth and asked for Zeus to give her the cow. Not having much of a choice he then gave her Io.

Hera, then asked Argus who had 100 eyes and could have some of them sleep while others were awake to guard Io.

Zeus asked Hermes to lull Argus to sleep with his flute and steal Io away (other myths claim that Zeus had come to Io in the shape of a bull, and made her pregnant which would have made Hera even angrier).

Hermes killed Argus, so he would not follow after waking up.
Hera then placed Argus’ eyes on the tail feathers of the peacock and sent a horsefly/gadfly to annoy Io.

Io wandered (she apparently also met Prometheus who encouraged her and predicted that she is the ancestor of a great hero who will set him free namely Heracles) surpassed the sea that is named after her (Ionian Gulf) and crossed the furd that is also named after her (Bosporus = cow or oxford).

She ended up in Egypt, where Zeus found her and she was turned back into a human and gave birth to a son, Epaphus. Hera then abducted Epaphus, and Io then looked for him. Some stories say that she found him and returned to Egypt, where she became Isis.

According to some versions she originally rejected Zeus however her father actually drove her into the whole mess with sending her to oracles which told her to do what Zeus wants otherwise Zeus would eradicate Inachus and his people without mercy.

Yukari’s father Eiichiro is used as a scapegoat for the Death experiment (fake message with him “taking the blame” included). Yukari is devastated and her faith in her father was shattered. Only when she hears the true recording her Persona evolves into Isis.
Her mistrusting nature during the beginning of the game (for example she doesn’t trust Mitsuru and it’s way easier to talk to her as the FEMC than as the MC) rather reminds me of Hera becoming suspicious all the time though.

Io and Isis:

-Roman fresco from the temple of Isis in Pompeii depicting Io being greeted by Isis

The name of Io’s son Epaphus is used as an alternative name for the Egyptian Apis bull.
Isis took over Hathor’s cow horns and her symbol is also a white cow.
Both Io and Isis wander a lot and search for loved ones (Epaphus and Osiris)
Both are aided by the God of Knowledge; Hermes/Thoth

Isis:

Isis (meaning throne) is the goddess of children, rebirth, magic and goddess of death.
She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife, a friend of slaves, sinners. She also was worshipped and listened to maidens and wealthy people.

Her father was Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky was her mother and she married her brother, Osiris.

Isis took over a lot of tasks from the goddess Hathor and they are portrayed really similar which is a result of the blending between them.
Isis however is often depicted with the child Horus, nursing him or with Osiris her brother/husband (depicted with green skin) or with her twin sister Nephthys.

She is often depicted as a woman of small stature who is on her knees or standing, often with a throne on her head. She often holds a Papyrus-cepter or an Ankh in her hands, or a sistrum or is wearing a menit.
When she started to resemble Hathor more and more she was also depicted with a solar disc and cow horns.
She may also be depicted as a kite due to her pivotal role in the restauration of Osiris.

There was also an Isis cult during the Roman Empire which depicted her in a tunica with a knot and a sistrum. She was really popular then and her cult basically was imported just like the Cybele cult or Mithras cult etc.

The most significant myth regarding Isis is the death and restoration of Osiris and conception of Horus.

The murder varies: Set takes the form of a wild animal, such as a crocodile or bull, to slay Osiris; or Osiris’ corpse is thrown in the water or he is drowned.

In some versions Set tricked Osiris with a box on a banquet which became the coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away and Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial.

She found the box in a tree in Byblos (that’s also were Io found her son by the way) and brought it back to Egypt.

Set chopped Osiris’s body into pieces and scattered them all over Egypt.
Isis went looking for these pieces, but one piece was missing since a fish had swallowed the last piece, the phallus. She created a golden phallus, with the help of Thoth or Anubis.
Then she transformed into a kite and with the aid of Thoth’s magic conceived Horus the Younger.

On Yukari’s role in the answer:
Yukari never gave up on the dead MC either since she is the one who wants to turn back time basically so that he is back.
Her wanting to have the key is like Isis collecting all the pieces of Osiris.
You may think that she is disregarding the sacrifice of then MC but it actually fits her Persona.


 Athena ~ Goddess of wisdom, war and protector of heroes

Aigis is one of the best characters in P3 by far and one of the few that is completely based on her mythological counterpart (Yukari is another one that stood out as a good character to me, I will probably publish the article about her Personas at the weekend along with a P2 article).
Everything regarding Aigis’ character makes sense in a mythological context since it all does connect her to Athena (even her being a robot).

Aigis/Aegis:

Aigis/Aegis (deriving from „aix” (goat) or from “kataigís” (whirlwind)) is the shield/buckler or breastplate of Athena and Zeus, which bore the head of the Gorgon Medusa which was a gift of Perseus.
It’s said to have a surface of gold like snake-skin.
In the Iliad Zeus sometimes lends the Aigis goatskin to Athena.
When Zeus sends Apollo to revive Hector of Troy, Apollo, holds the Aigis and charges the Achaeans to push them back.
The Timeoroi Libyes who cared for the goddess Athena after her birth also wore goat-skin capes (sterphesin aigaiois).

Aigis is thus a symbol for protection and there is even the expression of doing something “under someone’s aegis”.
Thus Aigis’ main role of a protector/bodyguard of the MC/FEMC is even already emphasized with her name.

Palladion/Palladium:

-Cassandra of Troy and the Palladion

Palladion (lat. Palladium) is an ancient wooden statue of Athena, which according to legend stood on the castle of Troy as a pledge to the public welfare. It is said to have had closed feet, carrying a spear in the right hand and in the left hand a spindle or a shield.
Zeus threw it down when Troy was founded by Ilus (who had prayed) as a sign of good fortune.

Other sources say that it was a gift of Elektra.
Since Troy couldn’t be conquered when it possesed the Palladion (according to a prophecy by Helenus, Cassandra’s twin) Odysseus and Diomedes stole it and it ended up in Athens. Other sources say that it ended up in Sparta or Argos.

It also varies who took it. In some versions Aeneas the man who would found what would eventually become Rome took it with him. Thus Rome claimed to have owned it as well and it was said to have been hidden in the temple of Vesta to hide it from provane gazes.

“Palladion“ or “Palladium“ is basically a sacred objecet that is essential for protecting something (cities, nations etc.).
It also represents Aigis merely being a machine during the beginning before she developes emotions because of the MC/FEMC and SEES..
Athena/Athene/Pallas Athena/Minerva:

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom, strategic war, fighting, mathematics, art, sewing, and the protector and eponym of the Greek city Athens.
Her name was apparently originally Atana and it can be translated as girl from Athens (so she was apparently always associated with Athens).
Her symbols are owls (she is called the owl-eyed one which empasizes her big eyes) and she is one of the three virgin goddesses (along with Hestia and Artemis).

Why is Aigis a robot?

Zeus devoured his first spouse Metis who was pregnant with two children since there was a prophecy that a daughter would be equal to him however a son would overthrew him.
He had a headache then and thus Hephaestus shattered his head. Athena, fully amored jumped out of the head then. That’s why she is associated with wisdom since she came from Zeus’ head (head birth). The son wasn’t born and doesn’t even have a name.
In another version she jumps out of Zeus’ mouth also fully clad in armor.

To connect this to Aigis:
Aigis as a robot also was fully grown when she was created. She also wears her armor at once.

Athena’s foster father was Triton.
Pallas, Triton’s daughter was raised with her however was killed by Athena when they were playing with spears which is why Athena is called Pallas Athena.

She is also easily insulted:
She turned Arachne who claimed to be the better weaver into a spider.
In the Iliad Athena sides with the Greeks (out of anger since Paris declared Aphrodite as more beautiful as Hera and her) and in the Odyssee she protects Odysseus during his taks.
She is closely associated with protecting heroic figures: Odysseus, Heracles, Jason, Perseus etc.


I will always stand by your side protecting you.

It does make sense why Aigis is the one staying by the side of the MC/FEMC during the ending and why she is so focused on protecting him/her.


 Orpheus ~ musician, Argonaut, leader to salvation and founder of a religion

I have researched a lot for the P3 Personas several years ago so along with my Megaten and P2 articles I will probably publish P3 articles as well in near future.

Orpheus was the son of the Muse Kalliope and Apollo or the Thracian king Oeagrus.
He was a skilled musician and with his lyre (he was taught to play it by Apollo) was able to touch and enchant the whole nature (change the course of rivers, tame wild beasts etc.).

He was also one of the Argonauts. Jason asked him for help to pass the Sirens. According to the poet Phanocles, Orpheus loved the young Argonaut Calais during his time.

He loved his wife Eurydice who he only recently married a lot.
However she had an accident since she was killed by the bite of a serpent (in some versions she flees from Aristaeus or a satyr who tried to rape her) or she died by dancing with naiads.
Orpheus then descended to the Underworld/Tartarus to get his wife back.
He enchanted the Erinyes, Cerberos and Charon and pleaded in front of Hades and his wife Persephone with a touching song to get his wife back.
Persephone influenced Hades in this case since she was the one who convinced Hades to let Orpheus have Eurydice back.
There was a rule however:
Orpheus was not allowed to turn back when he leaves the Underworld.

Basically when the MC/FEMC in P3 goes to Tartarus he/she does the same as Orpheus. To get the answer/Eurydice.
Ryoji offering a deal to kill him could kinda be seen as Hades in this case.
However Ryoji is also very much inspired by Kaoru Nagisa (same voice actor in the Japanese version, appears late in the story, is not human, very important to the plot, similar looks, the relationship between Ryoji and the FEMC in particular is very similar to the ShinjixKaoru relationship, asking the protagonist to kill him).

Orpheus didn’t hear her footsteps anymore when he left the Underworld thus he foolishly turned around (henceforth the Fool is actually a really fitting arcana for him, same goes for Izanagi in my opinion) shortly before reaching the surface to the human world.
He lost his wife again and then he retreated into the wilderness. He avoided women and only played for stones, trees and wild animals.
In some versions he insults women now and favors young men.

The female servants of Bacchus who were spurned tore him to pieces (which is why his body is out of metal in P3 and why he wears the scarf).
They threw is head which kept on singing about Eurydice into the river Hebros.
Since his head kept on singing Apollo had enough and asked him to stop. Orpheus’ head stranded at the island Lesbos where a temple was built for him. Zeus turned Orpheus’ lyre into a star constellation.
Orpheus’ soul descended into the Underworld and was united with Eurydice in the end.
In other versions he was struck with lightning by Zeus for having revealed mysteries or he commits suicide.

Why is the final Persona of the MC/FEMC in P3 the Messiah?

I wouldn’t reduce it to Christ actually. Aleph is the actual Jesus figure of Megaten however there is a role of Orpheus that is often disregarded since his story is often only reduced to Eurydice.

– Christ as Orpheus

When Christianity arrived Jesus was sometimes drawn as Orpheus.
Orpheus’ descent was compared to Christ descending into hell after he was crucified which is why there are similarities.

There was also an Orpheus cult (Orphic mysteries simlar to the Mithraic mysteries or Bacchus cult). This cult basically saw Orpheus as a religious leader and a prophet like figure since he returned from the Underworld and basically was able to teach his followers about things that lead to salvation.
Orpheus also introduced the Dionysus/Bacchus cult in several legends (others say he worshipped all gods except Bacchus) and is said to have established the worship of Hecate in Aegina and of Demeter Chthonia.

The Orphic mytheries consisted of:

– seeing the soul as immortal and believing in life after death
– ascetic way of life
– postmortem punishment
– mysteries
– purification from sins
– cures of diseases
– averting divine wrath

Orpheus’ name:

Probably derives from orphe, “darkness” or orphanos “fatherless, orphan” or from goao “to lament, sing wildly, cast a spell”.


~It isn’t easy being human~

My musings about the endings of the main titles and certain events.
This is mostly my interpretation of the series and everyone can see their preferred endings as the canon of course.

Since this article is about endings: Spoiler warning

SMTI:

Shin Megami Tensei is the only game in the main series which has a canonically confirmed ending. The Neutral/Daoism ending.
This does make sense since Kazuya/Hero and Yuka/Heroine not only are like Adam and Eve they also made the very same decision and just like Adam and Eve they are supposed to “populate the world” or build it up.
They did not forsee how much their mistake would harm the future generations who are supposed to pay the price bitterly just like in the Adam and Eve or even the Pandora myth.
On the other hand it’s understandable:

YHVH just sees humans as servants only good for worshipping him and basically gives you a bazillion of rules. If you don’t follow everything he says you are on his black list. And no there are no second chances most of the time you have to face draconic punishments.
(think about it, it is said to be God who became so angry that he cursed humanity with death, cursed women to have to fight for their influence since God declares men superior to women, curses humans with a short life, curses humans to have to work until they drop dead, kills many people with the Great Flood etc. These are not said to be the devil’s doings, they are God’s doings) .

Lucifer’s intentions were not that bad at all, however I do agree with Laozi/Taijorokun that certain rules are needed.
If Lucifer’s Chaos world would win.. what about senile people, children, disabled, sick etc.? Do you really think that it’s a good world that doesn’t punish murderers or rapists etc. just because they were “stronger” than the victims.

Anyway the Adam and Eve plot is refered to in SMTII as well since the statue that depicts the Hero is crying since he didn’t achieve anything and he was killed off off screen.
He in my opinion realized that he damned humanity to be the constant object of the fight between two beings far out of their leagues and he didn’t achieve anything.

SMTII:

Anyway Law gets the power in SMTII since in critical times people turn to God/religion hoping that the God will help them (or in this story that YHVH will show mercy for once).
A typical mythological thought is that someone will come down from heaven and save everyone. A savior, in the Judeo-Christian faith the Messiah of course.
The Messiah Aleph/Jesus was born of a virgin and intended to be a lawful being (Aleph is technically designed to be a Lawful hero). However the Messiah doesn’t turn out how people expected him to be, he is in constant conflict with strict law followers and isn’t accepted by the majority of his own people and is especially disliked by the Government (it’s really interesting how well Atlus understood the Christ character, same goes for Adam and Eve I would never call their portrayal ignorant and I’m sure that they actually researched the various portrayals of these characters).

SMTII doesn’t have a canon ending since you fight YHVH in all routes even the Law one since Gabriel and Zayin can’t endure him anymore as well.
I actually really like Aleph’s and Hiroko’s decision to fight him since it discards the idea that many SMT players have namely that SMT just portrays everything Christian as lawish.
Christ is not a lawful character at all (in fact he would be a really bad choice as a lawful representative), neither is Aleph in my opinion.

I always interpreted that the Golden Goddess who appears during the ending is Sophia most likely.

Small Gnostic excursus:
At the centre of the Pleroma (fullness) was the primal Father who is unknowable by humans and who created the supernatural beings called Aeons.

These various aspects of God like Sophia and Christos are the Aeons.

Sophia who is said to be the spiritual consort of Christos gave birth to a defective, inferior Creator-God, the Demiurge. (“public craftsman/worker” ) also known as Yaldabaoth or Ialdabaoth (son of chaos),“the Lion-faced”, with the body of a serpent.
Originally in the teachings of Plato the Demiurge was a well intentioned character but serveral Gnostic teachings turned him into a being with questionable morals and actions.
He was more and more identified with the God of the Old Testament and has the same characteristics as YHVH in the SMT series:
He is said to be fundamentally evil, jealous, incompetent, a megalomaniac, lacking in compassion, and prone to genocide.
The snake is depicted as a hero in Gnosticsm very often since it allowed humans to gain knowledge and the Demiurge did not like this one bit.

Christ is an aspect of the creator thus an aeon. Jesus is Christ’s earthly form.
Since Christ’s consort Sophia gave birth to the Demiurge by herself she is “fallen from grace” (Gnosticism is kinda psychological regarding the Sophia character).
Sophia’s earthly forms are women like the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.
Christ is said to spread gnosis and in the end saves her/”revives her” and he saves humanity from the evil Demiurge.

Not only does Aleph defeat YHVH, he also does it with the help of a woman (Hiroko) and in the end it seems that Sophia is saved.
The resemblence it pretty interesting.

From what I have seen Japanese put a lot of Gnostic teachings in video games, they kinda seem to like it (see Final Fantasy X for example).

Sophia is also the goddess reincarnated in Shin Megami Tensei Nine.
In the Neutral-Neutral route she is able to take her true form. She had been reincarnating as a human and had to wait until the hero helps her with defeating Yaldabaoth.

SMTIII:

Shin Megami Tensei III is the Revelation of John being depicted literally (hello Whore of Babylon, 4 riders and trumpeter) and a bit of Japanese mythology since the Great Will’s form in this case is Kagutsuchi the God who burned Izanami to death (you can even see Izanagi’s and Izanami’s spirits and graves in the game).

In my opinion the true ending and canon ending is the True demon ending.
It’s basically the mirror image to the depiction of Jesus on the white horse leading God’s army.
In Nocturne’s case, Hitoshura (probably the “false prophet”) is leading the army of the “Beast” (Lucifer).
He is just a puppet intended for this the whole time in my opinion.

SMTIV:

In SMTIV’s case it hasn’t been confirmed yet which ending is canon but in my opinion it’s kinda obvious that they want you to take the Neutral path which leads to the revival of the Goddess of Tokyo.

In the Neutral path Isabeau lives, you find out most about Akira and Flynn’s previous incarnations, Tokyo sees light again and the Whites flip since they didn’t expect you to take the Neutral route (they didn’t think that this option exists).
On the artbook Flynn seems to side with the Goddess of Tokyo who depicts the Neutral path (The subtitle of the artbook is “The birth of SMT” and Flynn is also depicted naked which suggests that the revival of the Goddess is canon).
Steven designed Burroughs after the Goddess, but what is her goal?

That is up to interpretation I guess since unlike Mem Aleph (who wants the return of the Old Gods and who kinda represents the female goddesses who were discarded) and the Golden Goddess who appears after YHVH is defeated, she doesn’t seem to have a certain goal.

Maybe she represents Tokyo’s former glory before the attack/Great Flood which lead to only few people surviving with the Cocoon/Ark and now appears again since Tokyo will be rebuilt?


Comparing the P2 characters to the Greco-Roman myths: Part 2 Jun


Jun’s initial Persona is clever and mischievous Hermes, the messenger of the gods, the god of thieves and the one who leads the souls of the dead into the underworld.
He is always depicted as a young boy.

Jun/Joker is Nyarlathotep’s messenger just like Hermes is the messenger of the gods. Hermes at the beginning of his life also caused trouble to his older half brother Apollo but was forgiven (Jun is also forgiven after his Joker phase).

Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia from the Pleiades (which is why Jun sees Maya as a mother replacement/older sister).
One day after his birth he stole Apollo’s cattle and used sandals to lead Apollo in the wrong direction. He was caught, forgiven and Apollo and him exchanged gifts (staff and lyre, in Tatsuya’s and Jun’s case in the childhood flashback lighter and watch).

Hermes is also a trickster god (Jun is able to hide his identity for quite some time), god of travelers, a patron of thieves and always finds a way to get out of trouble using his charm (for example his mischief makes Zeus laugh. He can also act innocently “I was just born. How should I be able to steal your cattle?”). He is a great story teller/liar, is also described as remarkable smart and he invents several things a well (for example the lyre for which he used the back of a turtle. Jun is also said to be a good inventor).
As a pun Jun’s Ultimate Persona Cronus is depicted as a clock. This of course reflects the watch Tatsuya gave Jun as a kid. Chronos is the god of time, however he is not the same as Cronus who the Persona is named after.

Cronos/Saturn was a Titan, the eldest son of Ouranus and Gaia. Gaia convinced Cronus to depose of Ouranus. Thus Cronos castrated his father with a sickle. Cronos’ rule over the earth is called the Golden Age but he also swallowed his own children so that they don’t overthrow him. Zeus however was not swallowed due to a trick of his mother and he overthrew Cronos.

Cronos’ story has quite a lot of daddy issue symbolism and fate/fortune since all the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus and the Olympians became the rulers.


Comparing the P2 characters to the Greco-Roman myths: Part 1 Maya and Tatsuya


Maya and Maia:

In Greek mythology Maia, a daughter of Atlas is the oldest and most beautiful of the Pleiades and was seduced by Zeus which resulted in the birth of Hermes. She also nursed Callisto’s baby Arcas (Callisto was tricked by Zeus and ironically is Ulala’s Persona).

The reason why Maia was chosen for Maya: The name (due to the Maya/Maia,Mayan theme in the game), being one of the Pleiades, and most important since it is the basis for Maya becoming Jun’s big sister figure/mother replacement figure since his own mother Junko neglected him.
Jun was basically the one of the Masked Circle who saw Maya as a mother/sister figure the most.
In Roman myths Maia is the wife of Vulcanus (Tatsuya’s starter Persona).

Maya and Artemis:

Artemis fits due to Maya being a Cancer and her Arcana being the Moon arcana since Artemis replaced Selene as the moon goddess.
The reason why Maya is independent and seems to be able to live without a man in her life (despite her wanting to have a close family in the future since her own father put his job above his family) seems to be that Artemis is one of the three virgin goddesses (the other two are Hestia/Vesta and Athena/Minerva).

This ironically also is one of reasons why her bond with Tatsuya is forced to be starcrossed. Artemis asked Zeus to remain a virgin forever and remained unmarried throughout her life (Apollo despite having affairs also never married by the way).

Artemis also has a dark side since her and Apollo killed off Niobe’s children after she boasted that her kids are better than the twins or her turning Actaeon into a stag after her saw her bathing.
She attacked with ice like arrows and gave a quick death (fitting for Artemis ice pattern in P2) and she was associated with the color silver.

Vulcanus and Tatsuya:

I always thought that Vulcanus/Hepheastus was most likely the inspiration for Tatsuya’s image at school.
Kid with motorcycle, bad reputation, smoker, associated with fire.
Vulcanus is connected to fire, smithery, metals and volcanoes.

Apollo and Tatsuya:

Apollo the God of light, healing, plague, music and divination was chosen for Tatsuya due his Zodiac Leo and his bond with Artemis and Hermes.

Artemis had to help Leto to give birth to Apollo (Apollo was younger than her which is the reason why Maya is older than Tatsuya).

The jealous Hera sent the Python to pursue Apollo’s and Artemis’ mother Leto throughout the lands. Apollo is said to have killed the python later on. The traumatic birth of Apollo and Artemis (Leto not being allowed to give birth on land, Artemis being forced to help her mother giving birth to Apollo) might have been the inspiration for Tatsuya’s and Maya’s childhood trauma.

Later on Apollo became Artemis’ companion during hunts. He was overprotective of her, especially protective of her virginity (like some guy from a soap opera). He also had a strange complex regarding her since he even arranged the death of another companion of Artemis, Orion, out of jealousy.
Cyrene a lover of Apollo was called “a second Artemis” so Apollo’s affection for his sister can be seen as a sister complex.
Sounds a lot like Tatsuya constantly wanting to protect Maya in IS and EP.
Also notice that Tatsuya’s and Maya’s Ultimate Personas being twins fits the overall Dualism symbolism in P2. The IS and EP Worlds, Tatsuya and Maya, Tatsuya and Jun, Philemon and Nyarlathotep, Sun and Moon etc.

The gift exchange between Tatsuya and Jun (watch and lighter) is mirroring the gift exchange between Hermes and Apollo (staff and lyre). Hermes was a mischievous kid at first (stealing Apollo’s cattle) which might hint at Jun’s Joker phase but they became good friends.
Hermes gave Apollo the lyre which he invented and Apollo gave him his staff.

Apollo is also the archetype for the boyish young man (neither boy nor a man) which is kinda interesting since this is one of Tatsuya’s main problems in EP (adults do not take him seriously).

Apollo is also a bisexual god (he had male lovers as well) which is probably a reason why you can chose Jun as a love interest.


“The apple has been set before all of you. Eat well.”

Basically every SMT game (SMT, SMTII, SMTIV, and Strange Journey) includes the theme “knowledge” which is the reason why the Chaos faction came to existence and why many people oppose YHVH.

SMT:

Of course has the Adam and Eve plot with Kazuya and Yuka. The reason they chose Neutral was since it fits best if you consider the plot and because of the Daoism motif in the Neutral route (considering that Laozi/Taijorokun is the Neutral representative).

Basically humanity like in Genesis becomes a plaything for both God and the Devil and the conflict drags on forever which is why Neutral is never longlasting.
Lucifer basically wants to do whatever he wants to similar to Paradise Lost and God just does not give second chances.
The tree of knowledge never made any sense: Why plant it if you are all-knowing. Same goes for the creation of the rebellious angel.
The reason why the devil included humanity into the mess is said to be pride which is said to be the worst of the seven deadly sins since it sired the others. Lucifer is said to be the embodiment of pride in Binsfeld’s classification of demons by the way.

SMTII:

Jesus: “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
Mark 3:1-6

I always interpretated Aleph’s character as the embodiment of Jesus leading people away from the God of the Old Testament.
Everything fits. That the government doesn’t like him. That several people follow him, however the ones who follow the God from the Old Testament call him fake Messiah.
Jesus said that not all laws must be followed for example when he heals a hand on Sabbath and several people immediately criticize him for this and plan his destruction.
He also has got nothing against knowledge: When Martha of Bethany criticizes her sister Mary for not helping her with cooking and sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to his teachings, Jesus says that the woman made the right decision.

SMT also includes a lot of Gnostic themes: In Gnosticism Jesus leads people away from the evil Demiurge/Yaldabaoth (who is very often seen as YHVH) since Jesus spreads Gnosis (knowledge).
Jesus/Christ is basically joining Sophia who gave birth to the evil Demiurge and who is an Aeon.
Jesus is said to be normal since his soul is the actual Christ. Sophia can be seen as several women: Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene or if you want to Mary of Bethany (who shows affection for Jesus in the Bible since she anointed Jesus not Magdalene).
Eve/Zoe who is said to be Sophia’s daughter by the way played a far more important role than Adam in the Gnostic creation.

That’s the reason why I think that the Neutral Ending hints AlephxHiroko despite the story being close to the actual virgin birth and Aleph and Hiroko being Jesus and Mary expies.
Basically the Neutral ending is a copy of Kazuya’s and Yuka’s ending and the Golden Goddess is interpretated as Sophia or Mary by many SMTII players.

All in all I never understood why so many people are like: “SMT is so against Christianity.”.
I disagree, in fact SMTII actually sides with Christ even though Aleph/Jesus is the Messiah:
Both Jesus Christ and the Virgin are never portrayed in an evil way if you want to see an ignorant depiction of Jesus see Ajora from Final Fantasy Tactics who is just a stupid demon.
Black Maria was well depicted in SMTIV in my opinion.

Strange Journey:

“WORSHIP ME! THE CREATOR OF ALL, UNPARALLELED BY ANY!”
-demiurge in Strange Journey

Strange Journey includes Gnostic symbols:
The demiurge as basically a part of YHVH and the typical Ouroboros motif used universally and in Gnosticism which further shows that different religions strayed away from the Old Testament despite being connected to the Old Testament (Christianity and Gnosticism).
Yaldabaoth has also been used before so Gnostic themes aren’t absent.

Shin Megami Tensei IV:

The Black Samurai/Yuriko/Lilith is the one who spreads knowledge via books in SMTIV since Lilith is sometimes said to be the serpent sitting on the tree offering the fruit of knowledge.