The story of Lies of P has much more depth than it initially seems to have on the surface, and a prime example of this is petrification disease. The main focus at the start of Lies of P is the ongoing Puppet Frenzy that quickly turned the city of Krat into a nightmarish setting.
However, the less bombastic issue that is bubbling under the surface is the petrification disease that many surviving citizens are suffering from. The true nature of this petrification disease is unravelled throughout the story of Lies of P, so what really is the petrification disease?
What Is Petrification Disease?
The first examples of petrification disease we see when playing through Lies of P all tend to have similar symptoms. Like the name suggests, the disease causes people’s skin to become petrified, with it getting harder and some people even getting a skin texture akin to scales.
A common way the petrification disease is shown to impact it subjects first is to start making them go blind since it tends to affect the face first, so by the time it reaches the eyes it will blind the person.
Other symptoms of petrification disease are how it will start to turn the blood of its victims blue, and will give them scabies. Krat as a greater society is shown to have not come up with a readily available cure for petrification disease, and instead of treatment, victims are quarantined.
This quarantining is for fear of the disease being contagious, and victims are often shown to be stuck in dangerous areas that are abandoned by most, like Elysion Boulevard and Rosa Isabelle Street.
While a lot of people with petrification disease are shown to be slowly dying from the affliction, there are others shown to be able to work around the symptoms.
Who Has Petrification Disease?
While her affliction is not made clear right away, Antonia is one of the first characters you meet who has the petrification disease.
This is explicitly shown later in the game, but if you closely examine her character model upon meeting her, the petrification on her face can be easily spotted.
Throughout the story of Lies of P, you see how Antonia copes with her petrification disease, but near the end of the story, she eventually will succumb to its symptoms. However, how quickly she passes can be affected your choices.
Later in Chapter 2, a notable victim of the disease is the Weeping Woman who can be spoken to through a window in Elysion Boulevard.
She has been left there to quarantine, and mentions to P that she is losing her sight, and the only thing she wants to be able to do is hold her baby.
You can look for her baby by City Hall, and, upon retrieval, you realize it is just a baby doll. Since the woman is going blind from the disease, she cannot tell the difference, and you have the choice to either tell her the truth, or let her final moments with her ‘baby’ be in blissful ignorance.
Giangio is slightly off the beaten path in Chapter 4, but he is shown to be suffering from petrification disease, and looking for the gold coin fruit tree so he can cure his condition.
He is shown to be relatively capable, but still acts quite sickly. Upon finding the fruit, you can trade it with him for unique items; however, Giangio may not even have the disease at all.
In a post-credit scene, Giangio is revealed to be an alchemist named Paracelsus and is shown to have an almost completely different disposition when talking on the phone to an unknown other.
Notably, Giangio seems completely healthy, so it is easy to assume that his petrification may have been an act, and it was just cover for his research.
The next notable victim of the petrification disease is not until Chapter 6 when P can find Adelina hidden inside a room in the Estella Opera House.
You can learn a lot about her through environmental details, journals, and even battling her sister in earlier in Chapter 6, so finding her alive feels like a welcome surprise. Unfortunately, she is dying from the petrification disease when you find her, and she expresses regret about her traitorous relationship with her sister.
Earlier in the game, you will be able to buy an apple from Polendina in the Hotel, and at this point P is given the choice to ease Adelina’s final moments by giving her the sweet snack. You have to do this before beating the boss in Estella Opera House — if you wait until after, it will be too late and Adelina will have passed.
If you gave Adelina the apple, you can return to her petrified body after beating the boss, and she will have left P a record; however, if you saved the apple, or didn’t find Adelina in time, you can still use it on a statue of her elsewhere in the Opera House, where you will be given a spare Trinity Key for if you failed one of Arlecchino’s riddles.
The final notable victim of the petrification disease is the Black Cat. You will meet the stalker and his partner Red Fox as early as Chapter 3, but you will not learn of his status until after beating Victor in Chapter 7.
Black Cat will be waiting alongside Red Fox by the monorail to the Barren Swamp, and they will request Gold Coin Fruit to help slow down Black Cat’s growing blindness.
Since he works as a stalker, blindness will of course hinder his ability to complete his work. You will be given the option to give the fruit or not, but if you do, you will be thanked with a record.
On top of this, you will run into Black Cat and Red Fox again in Chapter 11. Here they are framed as two separate boss encounters; however, if you chose to give him the fruit in Chapter 7, you can skip both encounters by giving them another fruit each to help cure the Cat’s petrification.
Can Petrification Disease Be Cured?
When Giangio is introduced to P, he also introduces the concept of the gold coin fruit, which he believes to be a cure for the petrification disease.
While he describes that it could just be a rumour, just a while later in Chapter 5, the tree for the fruit can be shown growing just outside a hidden door in the Hotel. Giangio makes his new base here, but he mentions that he is unable to pick the fruit himself since the tree rejects him.
After this point, P can harvest the fruit at regular intervals, and it serves as a secondary currency that is mainly spent with Giangio for wishstones and star fragments.
The fruit is shown to not completely cure the disease since Giangio keeps needing more and more; however, with his potentially fake status as a victim of the disease, he may be instead harvesting the fruit for a more nefarious purpose. On others, the fruit is shown to be more effective.
Later in Lies of P, you have the choice to make an experimental medicine using the fruit to help Antonia, who is shown to be in her final days.
Polendina is shown to request the medicine, and choosing to give it to him or not does have consequences. If you give it to him Antonia will survive until the last moments of the game, whereas if you do not, she will die a lot earlier, and you will miss out on some dialogue.
While it does not completely cure her, it is shown to be effective. The Black Cat is the other character who we see use the gold coin fruit, and it is shown to be most effective with him.
You only have to give him three gold coin fruits throughout the game, once in Chapter 7, to him directly in Chapter 11, and then to Red Fox on his behalf later in Chapter 11.
Upon giving Red Fox the last one, she states that this should be enough to cure him completely.
This is further evidence for Giangio faking the condition.
While it is shown to have no effect on him no matter how much you give him, it is shown to extend Antonia’s lifespan, as well as implicitly completely cure Black Cat.
How The Nature Of Petrification Disease Changes
Throughout Lies of P, the nature of the petrification disease is shown to change drastically. While there are still people who have the standard petrification disease, you start to encounter creatures that have a mutated form of the disease and have turned into monsters.
These creatures are first encountered at the Cathedral in Chapter 4, and become more and more common throughout the latter portions of the game.
This mutation is shown to resemble the petrification disease, and in Chapter 9, you can witness Belle’s friend hiding away amidst his transformation into a monster. One of the earliest and most notable mutated monsters is the boss for Chapter 4, Andreus, the former Archbishop of the Cathedral.
While he is corrupt, you also learn that he blames the alchemists for the mutations and the direction that Krat is heading in. The link between the alchemists and petrification disease is only strengthened when Geppetto tasks P with finding them for a cure after the events of Chapter 6.
What Causes Petrification Disease?
It is not until much later in Lies of P that you learn why petrification disease is caused, and why it became so common. It is exposed that petrification disease is caused by extended exposure to Ergo, and since Krat was becoming reliant on Ergo as a power source, most notably for puppets which were omnipresent, it is no wonder so many people started showing symptoms.
Ergo is the crystallized form of life essence and memories, which is why victims of petrification disease have their skin harden similarly to Ergo crystals.
This is also why puppets that are fueled by Ergo occasionally started to show more human characteristics, and was also why the needed the Grand Covenant in place to stop them from being able to rebel.
The mutated forms of petrification disease can develop naturally from the standard form of petrification disease, but most were caused by human experiments using Ergo by the alchemists led by Simon Manus.
Simon Manus states during encounters with him that his forced mutations through petrification disease are making humans stronger and the casualties are necessary on his path towards progress.
The Relationship Between Petrification Disease And Mutations
There are plenty of enemies in Lies of P that can be seen having a mutation that started from the petrification disease. Aside from their introduction in Chapter 4, an area where these enemies are most common is Chapter 7 where Lorenzini Arcade is overrun with mutated enemies.
The boss of Chapter 7, Victor, is shown to be a ‘successful’ experiment by the alchemists, having been a deceased performer that was revived and enhanced using Ergo.
A similar revival can be seen in the eldest brother of the Black Rabbit Brotherhood, who is killed in Chapter 5, but then revived as an Ergo enhanced boss in Chapter 10. The city of Krat itself is shown to start a petrification style mutation in Chapter 9 where the streets are torn apart by blue crystals.
Perhaps the worst victim of petrification disease is Sophia, whose physical form is shown to be completely mutated upon discovery in Chapter 11. You’re given the choice to free her from her pain, and this is rewarded with her new life after the credits.
Next: Lies Of P: Best Weapon Handles