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The Joker ailment was a mystical infection featured in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
Nyarlathotep, in its bid to force the restoration of the Innocent Sin timeline during the events of Eternal Punishment, arranged for his servant Tatsuya Sudou to "become" a second iteration of Joker, JOKER, with a similar modus operandi: having a person call themselves on their cell phone and have JOKER appear, though instead of openly granting any wishes, JOKER asked who they desired to see dead.
Many people were seduced by the promise of power and called. However, as the New World Order invaded the airwaves to broadcast a message through fortune-teller Chizuru Ishigami to spread an insidious rumor: anyone who had ever used the services of JOKER will become a Joker themselves. Within hours, dozens of Sumaru City residents were transformed into Jokers. People who had called the JOKER began losing their minds, and when confronted, they became giggling lunatics, and their faces lost all definition except for a warped smile reminiscent of Joker's. In this state, they became dangerous powerhouses, and gained the ability to summon a Persona-like beast calling back to the original Joker, which gradually degraded to a vicious monster only partially resembling its original shape.
During Eriko's route to Sumaru TV, the party witnesses Ishigami's further extension of the Joker curse to anyone who had never called the JOKER. The whole scheme of turning more people into Jokers involves the viewing of the Joker as a symbol of sin (due to the contract killing). If more people feel sinful because of the Joker Curse, the New World Order can lure them to their seminars to absorb their Kegare (Japanese archaic form of "filth"). The large quantity of Kegare would force the dragons underneath the earth to rise, ultimately destroying the whole world. These events are, of course, rumors spread by the New World Order under Nyarlathotep's influence.
Jokers, besides having the standard summoning and combat abilities, have the Old Maid ailment skill, which will temporarily turn a random enemy into Joker, making them lose control of themselves and attack their allies.
In battle, Old Maid will infect a random target for 1 turn without letting the player know who is affected. If the infected is not defending but performing another command, they will cast the "Joker" attack on the rest of the party which deals moderate non-elemental magic damage. If the infected is defending, when their turn comes up, they will do nothing but the defend command will revert to "attack". The strategy against Old Maid is that upon its casting, change the command of all party members into defending (a short cut command "all defend" is available in the PSP version). Start the battle sequence and pause when one party member has passed their turn and check the command menu, if the command has been changed into "attack", it means they were the infected and the effect has expired so the whole party is safe to take action as usual.
List of Known VictimsEdit
- " " refers to the classic poker card game of namesake. In most Asian regions, one is usually selected to be the "old maid", in other words, the unmatched card.
- When attempting to escape from the Jokers, they refer to Maya explicitly instead of anyone else (excluding Sudou, Ulala, Junko, and Shiori for various reasons). It can be assumed from this that Nyarlathotep used the Joker curse as a large-scale method to gain control of people - similar to how it gained control of Jun and Kandori as their persona - in order to have Maya killed a second time, evident when Joker Ginji says her first name despite having no form of interaction with her prior to their encounter in the Smile Mall during that timeline nor did anyone mention her name around him (except Baofu, who referred to her by last name).