Video Game / Persona 5

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"You are a slave. Want emancipation?"
US Teaser

Persona 5 is an Urban Fantasy Role-Playing Game, and the fifth numbered sequel in the Shin Megami Tensei JRPG franchise's Persona sub-series, developed by Atlus for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. P5 marks the first mainline entry in the Persona franchise following Sega's purchase of Atlus in 2013, the first numbered Persona game since Persona 4 came out in 2008, and the first numbered Persona game to launch on multiple consoles.

You take the role of a new protagonist in Tokyo, a delinquent who spends his days as a second-year high schooler and his nights as a Gentleman Thief known as "The Phantom".

After an encounter with a new region of the collective unconscious called The Palace and a mysterious Shapeshifting cat named Morgana, the protagonist and his growing menagerie of friends form "The Phantom Thieves of Hearts." Their goal? Reform corrupt members of society by stealing the embodiments of their sinful hearts from inside the collective unconscious. Things quickly get more complicated as the group become the target of law enforcement and stumble on a criminal Conspiracy exploiting The Palace for their own ends.

Has a September 4, 2016 anime special, THE DAY BREAKERS, and two 2016 manga adaptation via Shogakukan's Manga One app and the Ura Sunday Website. It has its own page here. The game released on September 15, 2016 in Japan and will be followed by February 14, 2017 for North America and Europe.

Previews: Teaser, Teaser 2, Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3,Trailer 4

Persona 5 provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Despite the supernatural elements, most of the threats providing tension in the story are very much ones that exist in the real world:
    • Having your civil liberties violated by law enforcement, including being beaten, drugged, and potentially shot and killed, with the entire event being swept under the rug to protect law enforcement.
    • A well respected school teacher turning out to be an abusive sexual predator, whose actions are being covered up to avoid scandal. Leading at least one student to believe their only option for escape is suicide.
    • Your parent taking the money and credit for your hard work, and having no way to speak out about it.
    • Having your family think of you as a burden.
    • Being blackmailed for something you didn't even do, with the threat of ruining not only your hard-earned reputation, but that of your uninvolved family.
      • Being kidnapped, drugged, and possibly raped by criminals.
    • Watching your parent die in an accident or outright murder, and suffering from crippling feelings of stress and guilt as a result.
    • Being betrayed by someone you've come to trust and rely on happens twice.
    • In general, teenagers being unable to believe in their teachers, their parents, the police, or most other adults, to the point they're willing to engage in larceny and violent assault. The heroes discuss this at a few points, wondering if justice is entirely on their side, or if that even matters.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In Persona 4, the party members Shadows came from repressed teenage anxieties and were Obliviously Evil over a desire to be accepted. This game, however, shows what the Shadow of a truly evil person looks like... and it isn't pretty. The Starter Villain's Shadow alone is a sadistic, hedonistic tyrant who takes great pleasure in torturing and killing anyone who wanders into his mental world.
  • All for Nothing: Haru joins the Phantom Thieves because she wants to atone for her fathers actions and redeem him. This ends up for naught as her father is murdered by The Conspiracy and Haru spends the rest of the game having to cope with the guilt.
  • Alternate Reality Game: As part of the Tokyo Game Show 2015 marketing, the Japanese fanbase was tasked with tracking down and scanning QR codes at various places throughout the country, presented as finding information for the police force against the thief team. Scanning these unlocked the party's character bios on the official website for everyone to view.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: The final battle against Yaldaboath takes place on Christmas Eve.
  • The Anime of the Game: Persona 5 The Day Breakers was released shortly before the game, showing the Phantom Thieves of Hearts performing a caper.
  • Animorphism: In one dungeon, the party occasionally get turned into mice while you're exploring. Yes, even the cat.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The guard command is mapped to the same button that's used to back out of menus, so in case you accidentally mash the button too many times, the game asks for confirmation when you select the guard command so that you don't accidentally waste your turn guarding.
    • Once you reach the final dungeon, you can't go back to the real world. Since the players would have no other way to refill their SP once they run out of items, Justine can heal you at the entrance.
  • Art Shift: Compared to the previous games. The art direction uses comic book-esque thick lines, bright colors, complex shading, Speech Bubbles and Speed Stripes to accentuate the Phantom Thief motif.
  • Asshole Victim: The Phantom thieves specifically target adults who have abused their position and taken advantage of others.
  • Background Music Override: Life Will Change plays throughout the final dungeon, including for regular battles, save for the battles against the four archangels, which use either Gatekeeper, the regular boss theme, or Rivers in the Desert.
  • Bait and Switch: Futaba having a Palace heavily implies that your party was to face her Shadow like the others, however you end up fighting a demonic representation of her dead mother instead, while the actual Futaba wanders into the Palace having to face her Shadow alone.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The "Heart" Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but also serve as Boss Battles. They include:
    • A giant headed demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants.
    • A gray haired man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky yellow kimono, too much white face paint, and giant fake eyebrows.
    • A purple fly man with a mustache, bad comb-over and white tuxedo.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The protagonists' Heel–Face Brainwashing methods would come off as crossing a line if it weren't for the fact their targets are just that bad.
  • Blank White Eyes: Several humans have been seen with these, suggesting some sort of possession. A subway conductor can be seen without any pupils as he runs a train off the tracks, leaving him in a pool of his own blood.
  • Bland-Name Product: The party can be seen eating a bag of Lays potato chips and drinking bottles of Coca-Cola at one point, only with the nondescript labels "Potato" and "Nice Cola" printed on them. Similarly, an ad can be seen for a tablet computer called the "Next P.A.D." that bears a striking resemblance to the Apple iPad.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The protagonist is beaten by police at the beginning of the story, various characters bleed black blood when awakening to their Persona, you sneak attack enemies by ripping the masks they use for faces off, and the game's main Color Motif is vivid blood red.
  • Body Horror: Human shaped Shadows bloodily erupt into demons when you start a battle with them. In a number of Palaces, human shaped Shadows will also transform into Humanoid Abominations.
  • Book Ends: "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" plays at both the intro and post-credits sequences of Persona 5.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. You can only fire a certain amount of ammo before you run out and have to reload.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Atlus published an ad in an actual Japanese newspaper, appearing as a Cut-and-Paste Note, that proclaimed "The Phantom" would appear at the February 2015 event that revealed new Persona 5 footage. Sure enough, he ended up appearing, "shot out" the lights, and proceeded to reveal the very first gameplay trailer for Persona 5.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: One dungeon has you trying to infiltrate a pyramid in the middle of a desert.
  • But Thou Must!: If you refuse to accept the opening This Is a Work of Fiction disclaimer, Igor proceeds to say "Well, then you can't play this game" and returns you to the Start Screen.
  • The Cameo: Rise and Kanami appear in individual advertisements at subway stations.
  • Camera Abuse: The screen will momentarily "crack" whenever you perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Central Theme: Thieves, Rebellion and Justice.
    • Each protagonists' starting persona is inspired by a historical or literary thief, and the party themselves become thieves to reform corrupt or broken members of society.
    • The party's ultimate Personas are based on mythological figures that rebelled against their respective gods and were cast out of the heavens for it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The head of The Conspiracy, Masayoshi Shido, turns out to be the guy responsible for the Protagonist's probation. Justified by the fact that Shido was inadvertently getting in the Big Bad's way, and thus they gave the person Shido had most recently wronged the power to eliminate him.
  • Chest Burster: Shadows in dungeons change from human forms to demonic ones by having their demonic selves burst from the chests or of their human bodies, reducing it to a puddle of back and red.
  • Chucking Chalk: One of the protagonist's teachers hits him in the head with a piece of chalk from straight across the room in one scene.
  • City of Adventure: Unlike the fictional settings of previous installments, P5 takes place in the very real Shibuya district of Tokyo.
  • Class Trip: Partway through the year, the party gets to go on a trip out of Japan through your school.
  • Color Motifs: Red, in opposition to the somber Persona 3’s blue and the upbeat Persona 4’s yellow, to underscore P5's themes of danger and rebellion. It also heavily uses black and white for a pizazz-filled "black with white highlights" look.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Goro Akechi is known as the second advent of Detective Prince. The original Detective Prince was Naoto.
    • Posters of Rise Kujikawa and Kanami Mashita can be found in the Shibuya subway station.
    • The traitor's black knight outfit is a corrupted version of the costumes from Phoenix Ranger Featherman R, the Persona series' Super Sentai TV Show Within a Show that first appearaed in Persona 2.
  • Combination Attack:
    • The "All-Out Attack", where the entire party rushes weakened enemies at once
    • "Random Fire", where the entire party showers random enemies in bullets.
    • "Baton Touch", where one character gives their turn to another to gain bonuses like enhanced stats.
  • The Conspiracy: The Phantom Thieves activities eventually attract the attention of a secret, wealthy organization that seeks to eliminate them for their knowledge of the world inside the collective unconscious.
  • Cool Mask: All the characters' Persona turn into nifty thief masks when not in use.
  • Dancing Theme: The main characters can be seen dancing around the city in the opening animation that plays before the title screen. The poses and spins make it look like they're ice skating on concrete.
  • Dark World: The Palace is a warped version of the real world that grows and transforms based on human desires.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Persona 4, with characters receiving visible, bloody injuries, regular use of Body Horror, the heroes being Anti-Hero thieves, much more dangerous antagonists and some fairly dark plot twists. As just one example, Anne's early game plot really kicks off when her friend Shiho, who is being terribly abused by Kamoshida to start with (to the point of having dead-looking eyes), leaps to her death off the top of a school building, in full view of all her classmates, including Anne. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire game.
  • Dialogue Tree: Talking with party members, answering questions in class, doing part-time jobs, and negotiating with demons all involve picking multiple options from a list of potential responses.
  • Difficulty Levels: You can play the game on Safety, Easy, Normal and Hard. Each mode gives enemies higher stats, making battles tougher.
  • Dirty Cop: The cops who apprehend the protagonist drug and beat him to try and get information on his accomplices. The head of the department is also a member of The Conspiracy, and plans to kill the protagonist and their friends to protect his illicit activities.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Futaba first awakens Necronomicon, it produces tentacles that abduct her and brings her inside, at the same time changing her clothes into her Phantom Thief outfit as a result.
  • Downer Ending: Compared to previous games, where the downer only came through Fridge Horror, the bad ending is far more overtly brutal as the protagonist is sadistically murdered by Goro.
  • Downloadable Content:
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The game opens with the protagonist being captured by the police during a heist at a casino months into the story, where he signs the standard "take responsibility for your actions" Wild Card contract, before waking up to find himself taking the train to his first day in Tokyo. It is this contract that then summons him to the Velvet Room in the past, despite the events being nested in a How We Got Here flashback.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Palace, a region inside the collective unconscious that warps into massive, unstable palaces based on the warped desires of humans and is reached using a cell phone app.
    • The Velvet Room, an ever-changing location existing not in space or time but inside the collective unconscious of the human psyche, returns.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Satanael, the protagonist's Ultimate Persona, is called forth with the aid of Yuki and the entire populace of Tokyo choosing to defy authority and believe in the Phantom Thieves. In the final battle he only has one move which headshots the final boss, but like previous games, he can be summoned using the maximum amount of fusions in the New Game+.
  • Elemental Powers: Each Persona user specializes in one type of elemental magic:
  • Epiphanic Prison: A major theme of the game is finding how to free yourself of the metaphorical chains society puts on you.
    Katsura Hashino: We may feel some sort of suffocation in this world today, but as long as the world is comprised of relationships among humans, it is a person’s character, or a group’s character, that will provide the "power" to destroy that "feeling of entrapment".
  • Eyed Screen: Once again, a cut-in of just the character's eyes will appear when you perform powerful Persona attacks.
  • Faceless Masses: Non-important NPCs have blurry, smudged out faces.
  • Facial Horror: When characters first awaken to their Personas, they have to rip off masks that are part of their faces, causing blood to erupt as they for all intents and purposes rip their own skin off.
  • Flash Step: One of the Protagonist's field abilities allows him to quickly move from cover to cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: Unlike P3 and P4, awakening to your Persona abilities in P5 also grants you a cool thief outfit in a blaze of magical blue flames.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The screen turns blood red and your characters can be seen blasting holes in their enemies' silhouettes when you perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Gratuitous English: Even if it's surprisingly good, English litters the UI even in the Japanese version, and almost everyone peppers their speech with random English phrases.
  • Gratuitous French: The tarot cards go by the French names, fitting since the designs draw heavily from the Marseilles designs.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Knocking down all enemies will allow the party to hold them at gunpoint, after which the Phantom can negotiate with an enemy to give him items, extort money, or make them become your Persona. Or you can just hit them all with an All-Out Attack.
  • Haunted House: One dungeon has you infiltrating a mansion filled with Masked Figures.
  • Hero Antagonist: Naturally, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department opposes the protagonists for their illicit activities. This includes entirely well meaning characters like consulting detective Goro Akechi and public prosecutor Sae Niijima. Goro is one of the main villains, however.
  • Historical-Domain Character: In addition to Shin Megami Tensei staples, the main characters' revealed Personas veer away from standard mythological figures and include a few real life characters that fit the roguish theme of the protagonists:
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Due to the Your Mind Makes It Real nature of the Palace, even prop weapons, such as a toy gun Ryuji gave the protagonist, are able to work as fully functioning weapons that can damage Shadows, although the amount of ammo it can fire is still limited.
    • This would also explain how Goro is able to use laser swords as his weapon.
  • Indy Escape: One dungeon has the team running down a staircase as a giant boulder pursues them.
  • In Medias Res: The game begins at the peak of the Thieves' efforts. After a Downer Beginning sequence where the Protagonist is captured, the game flashes back to the beginning: half a year ago.
  • Institutional Apparel: The Protagonist is dressed in black and white pinstripes inside the the Velvet Room's prison.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen. This is often done in Japan when making eye contact with fictional characters. The fact that the protagonist is doing it implies that he's not the fictional one...
  • Le Parkour: Dungeon traversal now has you jump between chandeliers, leap out windows, launch yourself over Bottomless Pits, and leap and dash between various forms of cover.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Similar to the social links in previous games, you get bonus levels when you fuse Personas, new abilities, discounts at shops, and so on by hanging with the Phantom Thieves and their various accomplices.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:
    • Japan has a 20th Anniversary Edition which includes an art book, CD set with music from the entire series, and several in-game items.
    • Internationally, there's the "Take Your Heart" edition, which includes a CD with select music, Morgana plush, art book, steelbook case, and school bag.
  • Literal Metaphor: In previous games, Persona were described as metaphorical "masks" as a tie to Jungian psychology. In Persona 5, the party's Persona literally transform into personalized masks when not in use.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: In true series fashion. This time it's the regular battle theme, "Last Surprise", an extremely upbeat song about how the target has been Out-Gambitted and about to be silently assassinated, while also functioning as a bit of a Bragging Theme Tune for Joker.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Many shadows take the form of humans with the various arcana masks in place of a face in dungeons. Once battle starts they burst apart and change into demonic forms.
  • Mask of Power: This time around, characters' Persona turn into masks after the first summon, and can then be resummoned by the character ripping the mask of their face. You can similarly weaken Shadows by ripping the masks off their faces.
  • Meta Twist: Futaba's dungeon is set up exactly like one from Persona 4, a mental world created by the inner thoughts and insecurities of a future party member, controlled by their Shadow. It's all flipped on its head once you reach the end: Due to Futaba's outward self-loathing, Shadow Futaba is a Hero Antagonist who represents Futaba's repressed positive side, and only fought the Thieves because she thought they were trying to harm Futaba. She's not the boss of the dungeon, the real boss is a monster born from the feelings that caused Futaba's depression: the belief that she's responsible for her mother's death. Shadow Futaba pulls a Big Damn Heroes to help the party defeat the boss, by convincing Futaba of the truth and becoming her Persona.
  • Minigame: After school, the protagonist can kill some time by heading to batting cages or wailing on a training dummy, which presumably increases his stats and is presented as a minigame to the player. This is a notable evolution from the last two installments, which featured no such thing when doing after-school activities (other than 4's Fishing Minigame) and were instead passive.
  • The Mole: The game begins with the police revealing there is a traitor in your midst who tipped the police off to the Phantom's location. As such, one of your goals over the game is to find out if and why one of your friends or accomplices would betray you. It's Goro.
  • Mon: In a return to Persona and Persona 2, you recruit enemy Shadows to become your Persona. And as in all games, you can fuse your existing Persona together to gain more powerful ones.
  • Monster of the Week: The game's story was modeled on serial novels and TV dramas. Each dungeon involves the Protagonists stealing the hearts of multiple targets in order to reform the world. This comes in contrast with other Persona games, as each one had a main goal and target to stop. Though this eventually catches the attention of a conspiracy with knowledge of the Palace, to serve as the overall Myth Arc.
  • More Dakka: The "Random Fire" attack, where the heroes can unleash a barrage of gunfire on the entire enemy party.
  • Motif:
    • Hearts. Arsène has heart symbols on his sleeves, enemy Life Meters are shaped like hearts, the party calls themselves the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts", and your goal is to reforming corrupt adults by metaphorically "taking their heart". The game will also release on Valentine's Day in North America.
    • Masks, in keeping with previous titles and the series' Jungian themes. the word "Persona" is latin for "mask", the party's main Persona all wear some form of a mask, Persona now transform into personalized masks when not in use, and Shadows appear as humanoid figures with masks on during exploration.
    • Chains, can be found everywhere from the transition to the Velvet Room, to being part of the glowing aura of your personas, tying nicely to the theme of all the party members desiring freedom in some way.
  • Multiple Endings: In contrast to Persona 4, the game has only one normal end, but there are several bad endings for not completing a Palace deadline. Like in P4, they are Non-Standard Game Overs that, for different reasons, end with the protagonist being outed, arrested, and shot in the interrogation room by Goro. The bad endings can be seen as early as before the first major boss.
  • The Musketeer: The main characters can switch between melee weapons and firearms, like in the original Persona and many other Shin Megami Tensei games.
    • The Protagonist uses combat knives and handguns.
    • Ryuji uses blunt objects and shotguns.
    • Anne uses whips and submachine guns.
    • Morgana uses toy swords and slingshots.
    • Yusuke uses katanas and rifles.
    • Makoto uses brass knuckles and revolvers.
    • Haru uses axes and grenade launchers (Bonus Points for actually being dressed as a musketeer).
    • Goro uses laser swords and pistols.
  • Mythology Gag: P5 has a number of references to other Atlus-made games.
    • This isn't the first Persona game to have a masked vigilante group that has a leader with the codename "Joker".
    • Ryuji's thief outfit is a Whole Costume Reference to the recurring Demon Hell Biker.
    • The enemies are mainline SMT Demons, a la Persona and Persona 2.
    • The protagonist can play a video game called Star Forneus 1988. Forneus is a recurring Demon in the SMT series, appearing ever since Shin Megami Tensei. The "star" is another Goetia Demon, Decarabia, who was a friend of Forneus in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
    • Mementos is a multi-floor dungeon you can go to any time to level up, is the location of sidequests and the bottom serves as the not-so-optional penultimate dungeon, much like Tartarus in Persona 3. And like Tartarus, if you spend too long in one floor, the Reaper comes after you.
    • In one scene, Yusuke and the protagonist pose like the demon Orobas in the first Shin Megami Tensei I.
    • The midbosses in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon are made up of Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael, the four archangels from Shin Megami Tensei II.
    • When Satanael descends from the heavens, he pops the iconic arms wide open Ass Kicking Pose used by demon Lucifer in Shin Megami Tensei II and the games that followed it.
    • One of the DLC costumes for the gang is the Karukozaka High School uniform from Shin Megami Tensei if..., the Spiritual Predecessor of the Persona franchise.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Like in Persona 4, if you fail to complete the dungeon in time, you're shown a sequence of what happens afterwards, however what happens in unique to each dungeon. Possible consequences include: Yusuke remaining stuck in a life abused by Madarame, Makoto ending up at an "illegal services shop", Futaba commiting suicide and Haru being forced into an abusive marriage. And no matter what happens, the Protagonist is arrested and ends up getting killed during his interrogation.
  • Notice This: Quest Givers have a red speech bubble with an exclamation mark over their head. NPCs with general dialogue have a black speech bubble or 3 white sound lines popping out from around their heads.
  • Point of No Return: Played with. (Effectively the "Nasty" type, but with an escape clause) Upon reaching a dungeon's "treasure", you get the option of sending a Calling Card to the target. Once you do so, you're locked in: you're forced into the dungeon the next day and won't be able to leave until the boss is defeated. However, you are given the option to go back one week should you lose against the boss, in case you jumped into it before you were ready. (And so preventing Unwinnable situations)
  • Police Brutality: The protagonist is subjected to this at the beginning of the game after being caught.
  • Portal Picture: In the Art Gallery dungeon, the party can hop into paintings to use them to sneak around foes.
  • Post-Modern Magik: The heroes use a phone app called "Isekainavi" ("Otherworld Navi(gation)") to access the world of Palace.
  • Power Glows: Persona are now covered in a glowing blue aura of flames when summoned.
  • Public Domain Character: Always the case with Demons and Personas in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Whereas 3 and 4 used Classical Mythology (usually Greek) and Japanese Mythology for its Personas, 5 uses Lovable Rogues and famous thieves from contemporary folklore that match the party's own personalities:
    • The main character's initial Persona is Arsène - as in, Arsène Lupin, the archetypal Phantom Thief. Arsène the Persona dresses similarly to famous depictions of the original thief, with a top hat and other formal wear.
    • Morgana's Persona is Zorro, a pulp hero and cunning outlaw who defends commoners and other innocents from an oppressive government. The fact Zorro has the Animal Motif of a fox and Morgana is a cat is probably a joke.
    • Anne has Carmen, the star of a French opera of the same name and a gypsy woman loved by men for her exotic features and hedonism. Anne is a quarter-white girl who is the subject of some nasty rumors at the school regarding her ethnicity.
    • Futaba's Necronomicon takes the form of a person and livestock abducting UFO, reflecting both her fascination with programming and feelings of alienation from the rest of society.
  • Punny Name: The Protagonists attend a high school named "Shujin School" in Japanese. This can be read as "The People's School" or "Prisoner School".
  • Recurring Element: Multiple elements from Persona 3 and 4 return:
    • A primary Color Motif throughout the UI and other art. For this game, it's a vivid red.
    • The protagonist arrives in town by taking a train.
    • The Velvet Room has a new silver-haired, gold-eyed female attendant - though there's two of them now.
    • The game opens with the protagonist signing a contract that says they take responsibility for their actions (in this case a police confession) and seeing an otherworldly blue butterfly in their dreams.
    • The protagonist gets into trouble with a teacher after he transferred to a new school.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Persona game starring Anti-Hero Phantom Thieves also has a predominately red and black color scheme for menus, costumes, and area designs.
  • Relationship Values: The "Cooperation" feature works similar to the Social Link system in 3 and 4, giving bonus actions to your party members as you increase the rank. However, the non-party member cooperations also give bonuses, like granting additional Exp, or allowing you to fuse higher level personas for example.
  • R-Rated Opening: The game wastes no time in letting players know it's Darker and Edgier, with the protagonist suffering violent Police Brutality (also involving drugs) in the prologue, and the Starter Villain of the game proper being a sexual predator teacher.
  • Running Gag: Morgana getting thrown by party members.
  • Sequel Escalation: Persona 5 adds Stealth Based Gameplay to dungeon traversal, a wider selection of stat improving minigames, a larger overworld filled with hundreds of NPCs, completely remade enemy/demon/Persona models, and even more stylized Videogame Interface Elements.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: As shown in the opening, the Palace, a Mental World shaped by warped desires, is filled with avatars of the standard 7 deadly sins and 2 non-standard ones, represented by nine Latin words:
    • Luxuria (Lust) - Asmodeus / Suguru Kamoshida, a teacher who uses his position to pressure his students into sleeping with him
    • Acedia (Sloth) - Azazel / Ichiryuusai Madarame, a famous painter who has been unable to finish a painting of his own for decades, and as such passes his pupils' work off his own.
    • Avaritia (Greed) - Baal / Junya Kaneshiro, a money obsessed banker blackmailing others to increase his own wealth.
    • Cavum (Hollowness) - The Sphinx / Futuba Sakura, a teenage girl who became an anti-social shut-in after her mother was hit and killed by a car in front of her.
    • Gula (Gluttony) - Mammon / Kunikazu Okumura, the president of a fast food company gorging the masses to prop up his own business.
    • Invidia (Envy) - Leviathan / Sae Nijima, a rising public prosecutor insecure about proving the equal of her co-workers and providing for her sister, leading her to a Second Place Is for Losers mentality.
    • Irritum (Vanity) - Goro Akechi, a Sociopathic murderer who passes himself off as an affable Great Detective to feed his own ego.
    • Ira (Wrath) - Samael / Masayoshi Shidou, a businessman who had the protagonist branded a criminal for trying to stop him from raping a woman.
    • Superbia (Pride) - Split between two characters:
      • Satanael / The Protagonist, a teenager who decided he and his friends should be the ones to punish criminals exploiting others, rather than going to any traditional authorities for help. Similarly, his ultimate Persona is noted in-game as a Gnostic version of Lucifer, the standard demon of pride in Christian traditions.
      • Yaldabaoth, the God of Control, who arrogantly believes he is the one true God, rather than just another facet of humanity's collective desires, and that mankind would be better off being controlled by him as puppets rather than being left to rule themselves.
  • Shout-Out: A full page for them.
  • Show Within a Show: One of the minigames the protagonist can participate in is playing a video game called Star Forneus 1988.
  • Speech Bubbles: Multiple parts of the user interface will pop up as white bubbles with black text in them.
  • Speed Stripes: White lines appear around the edges of the screen when the characters move at high speeds.
  • Stealth-Based Game: In dungeons, you can sneak around foes by flash stepping behind walls, hopping into paintings, and so forth. This allows you to perform Back Stabs to give your party the first turn in battle.
  • Stealth Pun: Anne and Morgana are both burglars that dress like/actually are cats.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: A cut-in of the character's eyes will flash onscreen any time your Persona performs a critical attack.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Shadow Selves once again sport glowing yellow eyes, even when appearing as Doppelgangers of their human selves.
  • Talk to the Hand: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Inverted. The Velvet Room, which changes into a location tailor-made for its current guest, becomes a prison for P5's Protagonist.
  • Take Cover: The protagonist can hide behind walls and furniture while sneaking around.
  • Tarot Motifs: As in previous games, Personas / Shadows, party members and various NPCs are divided into the 20-odd major arcana of the Tarot deck.
  • Tear Off Your Face: When party members first rip off their Persona masks, their face becomes appropriately bloodied as if it were their actual face. Ripping the mask off Shadows also hurts them, giving you an advantage in battle.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blue flames are a major visual motif in the game.
    • In the second teaser, an otherworldly blue flame can be seen in the distance once time stops.
    • Each protagonist bursts into blue flame when they first awaken to their Persona.
    • Persona are now covered in blue flame when they are summoned.
  • Thematic Theme Tune:
    • "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" by Lyn Inaizumi. The lyrics are about stepping out of one's comfort zone to confront the wrongdoings and evils in the world when others are content to just stand by and watch, and that if someone wants change in the world, they have to do it themselves rather than waiting on someone else.
    • "Life Will Change" by Lyn Inaizumi. The lyrics have characters who have now gained strength by discarding the masks that once held them back to challenge the established order, inspire others, and change the world around them with their own hands.
    • "Rivers in the Desert", which has the hero and villain switching off verses giving their motivations for fighting each other, only to come together in the refrain to declare their Not So Different, Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the world.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: A humorous meta example. Major Persona 5 spoilers were leaked before the game even came out in its home country. The date? September 13th, 2016.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: All Shin Megami Tensei games begin with one of these, but this game stands out in particular by incorporating it into the narrative, with Igor asking the player directly whether they accept the disclaimer. Selecting "no" boots the player back to the title screen.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: The Protagonist, Ryuji and Anne start as a three man team that are constantly hanging out together, before recruiting the rest of the party.
  • Time Stands Still: When the protagonist first activates the "Otherworld Navi" app, everyone around him in a crowded intersection freezes, leaving only the protagonist and his Persona / Shadow still moving.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A central conflict in the game. The Phantom Thieves become criminals to reform those who have manipulated the rules of society to exploit others, and are thus untouchable by traditional authorities. The whole premise of Goro's ultimate villain status is that he just can't bring himself to not choose capital-L Law, which, this being SMT, has certain repercussions.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The Phantom Thieves' "Life Will Change" theme is a faster, more upbeat version of the opening "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" theme. It also replaces the questioning, lamenting lyrics of the opening with a triumphant promise that the singers will change the world themselves.
  • True Companions: The Phantom Thieves quickly become like a second family, not only trusting each other to go on life threatening heists with, but helping each other deal with various personal traumas and regrets. Goro is able to use this as to his advantage to infiltrate them.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In the pyramid dungeon, Anne throws Morgana so high into the air it results in this.
  • Unexpected Character: One of the persona's you can use is Bugs/Bugbear, a minor enemy from Devil Summoner Soul Hackers. No, really.
  • Unmoving Plaid: The plaid pattern on the male high school uniforms remain fixed no matter how much their wearers move around in the opening animation.
  • Urban Fantasy: The game revolves around high school students in contemporary Tokyo, Japan who can summon an Anthropomorphic Personification of their psyches that take the forms of various fictional and mythological figures. So monsters bearing the appearance of demons and gods are fought both with melee weapons and modern fire arms.
  • Vacation Episode: Your Class Trip involves the party traveling by plane out of Japan and over Hawaii.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The ability from Persona 4 Golden to equip your party members with different sets of clothes returns.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Your party spends their days going to school and their afternoons and nights reforming corrupt adults and trying to dismantle a criminal conspiracy.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Reaper dies very quickly when infected with the flu.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Of the How We Got Here variety. The Prologue shows The Phantom's capture by the police after a recent heist, before backtracking six months to his arrival in Tokyo and the start of his adventures. At regular intervals, the story cuts back to Sae and the Phantom discussing the events that led up to the current situation.
  • Year X: Rather than being a specific year, the in-game calendar is dated 20XX. Though it should be noted that the dates clearly match the 2016 calendar, so this game takes place roughly 4 years after the end of Persona 4.
  • 0% Approval Rating: You start the game with pretty much everyone wanting nothing to do with you due to your "record". In fact, Ryuji only becomes your one and only friend after you're both nearly killed in the collective unconscious.

"Your rehabilitation begins now. Welcome... to the Velvet Room."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Persona5